By Letter to the Editor on April 8, 2021.
Editor: The younger generation are front- line workers (hospital,schools, stores, grocery stores, baristas, first responders â€¦) The younger generation often has to live in group settings to survive financially.
There is no paid sick leave for many in the younger generation to survive getting sick. Furthermore, our vaccination rate cannot keep up with the infection rate of B.1.1.7. We need to slow down the spread as we continue vaccination to harden the population to the new variants.
Some facts about B.1.1.7 Covid-19 Variant
– B.1.1.7 is more transmissible: 43% to 90% more transmissible than Covid Classic (original strain). Reproduction number for B.1.1.7 is ~1.4 compared to 0.9 for Covid Classic.
– B.1.1.7 is more deadly: infection was associated with 55 percent greater mortality compared to Covid Classic.
– B.1.1.7. spreads more easily in schools: with B.1.1.7, schools are pandemic accelerators and transmission sites. This is shown by research in United Kingdom, Denmark, Portugal, Austria.
– B.1.1.7 will cause a third wave: without stringent measures, including lockdowns, circuit breakers, limited closure of schools and a greatly accelerated vaccine roll-out, COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths will increase.
The third wave in Alberta is not one generation’s fault – it is all our responsibilities including our elected officials.
More people are going to die. More people are going to suffer long COVID.
More people are going to suffer mental illness, depression, economic hardship, and social isolation for longer if we don’t act now with decisive action as being asked by our medical community.
We need a circuit breaker to help vaccination catch up with B.1.1.7 transmission in Alberta.
Epidemiologist Rawat Deonandan, on the CBC Front Burner states: “We have gotten used to mass suffering. We have gotten used to overcrowded hospitals. And we have the sense the end is near, that our only way out is vaccination. That is not true – we have other tools that allow us to have a more pleasurable exit. And I don’t think [we have] the stomach for the capital investments (to help others) or the stomach for lengthy lockdowns. Having said that, I think the inevitable circuit break lock down are coming.”
Let’s take the action we need to protect each other now. Let’s not wait for the peak of the wave.