We Have a Different Emergency Than You Think

Many of us on twitter are business peps.  We analyze data and form insight to develop strategies and tactics to overcome risk and improve performance. Most use KPI’s.  When data is presented or lack there of in pressers many of us question it as it is not driving proper mitigation strategies.

Case in point that sticks out from both pressers yesterday

  1. Dr Brown, “we have cell phone data of people moving around. I look out my window and see streets busy.”  Logical counter -kids in school (with cellphones), people need to work, its Xmas people are out buying presents and lastly their own data shows that less than 1% of transmission comes from retail.   PH, Elliot, Crombie, Tory parrot this cell phone data as a reason to lock us down when their own data counters it.  They have also pushed it to select media who are parroting it and now you see trash talking of anyone seen in a Costco line.
  2. Yaffe-when asked why they are seeing big spikes in cases 14-17 and where they are coming from her response “shopping malls”.  Logical counter-see point 1 and where is this age group spending the most time? School.  Toronto PH will not release data about school transmission.
  3. Yaffe-when asked where the extra beds are after 9 months-her response “we need people, beds are one thing”.  Counter, most intelligent people understood that the government was fully funding all aspects of added beds in the spring, including staffing!!!!
  4. Ford’s rant about international travel-it is a deflection issue, again pushed out to steer anyone away from the real crisis areas of transmission-LTC and Industrial Workplaces in which they have done absolutely nothing. Ironically, like point 1, this is now being pushed out as hysteria to key media.  
  5. Olser CEO disingenuous speech about his hospital capacity.  Brampton council declared a state of emergency last year with Osler.  It is by all account under funded but also one of the worst run hospitals.  Ask the CEO what his nursing turn over rate is-a key metric of staffing retention. Where is the Peel field hospital we heard about in the spring?

And finally, the worst, after reading the Ont shutdown document this utterly floored me. 10 months of provincial data and they using- other countries data, useless google data that they blindly make assumptions about, but now they are saying they are going to review key trends?  Most of us on twitter have been telling them key trends just looking at the data. How much money are we spending on these experts and consultants?

Here is from shutdown document

While data will continue to be monitored weekly, the CMOH will review trends in key public health indicators in the final week of the Provincewide Shutdown period and indicators from each public health unit region will be assessed to determine the appropriate zone for each PHU region under the framework. • The Chief Medical Officer of Health will assess and apply lessons learned thus far to the COVID-19 Response Framework to ensure appropriate and effective measures are in place to protect the health of Ontarians and enable economic recovery after the Provincewide Shutdown ends. This will include an assessment of how a revised approach for the safe re-opening of retail may be operationalized, according to the latest available evidence.

Regarding the alarming sources of transmission is industrial workplaces, that Patrick Brown and other highly respected experts have sounded the alarm on since the fall. 

Some key indicators that are related to this pandemic

  1. Online shopping since the spring has doubled and some sectors are expecting over 300% increase in online-food, toys/games, outdoor furniture, home goods. This will require an increase in manufacturing and fulfillment capacity.  In addition, delivery services including Canada Post will require larger workforces to fulfill demand.
  2. The largest logistic hubs in Canada are in Brampton, Fraser area (BC), Edmonton, Boucherville/Laval.  Overlay the high case numbers and correlate with these hub areas, I will leave that to data wonks.
  3. Due to capacity increases, the worker profile is generally min wage and/or companies use temporary workers during surge times.  Christmas has always been a surge time.  We are getting surges in cases.
  4. The government during lockdowns has choked the retail/bar/rest industry to online/pick up.  This will ramp up the need for more capacity.  On a side note, ironically the LCBO sales are surging as a trade off for no bar sales as people just gather and drink at home and addiction escalates. 

We clearly have shifted from a health emergency to an emergency of another kind.  We have public health, doctors and a science table that are running policy without a clear fundamental understanding of macro economics, human behaviour. On a personal note, I am shocked how they distort data-but that is another blog.

The best thing Ford did was bring the army in for vaccine roll out and LTC crisis.  Emergency disaster response is a 360, all encompassing plan that identifies issues/risks, and launches a multi dimensional action plan with key people on the team who are not decision makers but offer advise in their area of expertise.

We have allowed the medical/PH community to make policy decisions and manage this crisis.  These voices are better suited to patient care management as they have no formal training in wide scale emergency management, economics, and human behaviour.

Two great voices of late that have been interviewed are 2 disaster management experts David Redman and Alex Vezina have commented widely on what we need to do to get us back on track.

It is time to push the stop button and bring this expertise to the table.

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