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No this doesn’t concern any of the topics I have recently commented on. I have already offered an apology for using the term “bitching and moaning” at a board meeting, and I don’t think Andrew will be getting any type of thank you, much less an apology.

The apology I am suggesting should be offered to Dr. Jim Chirico the Medical Officer of Health for the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit. The people who should seriously consider apologizing are our local politicians and some of our local business leaders.

I have been quiet about the whole COVID-19 situation, but I have been following it closely, more as part of my professional activities than as a spectator sport. For fun I prefer to watch American politics. Anyone else miss Donald Trump? Watching him operate was like watching a 5-year-old trying to land a Boeing 747. Lots of confidence but no experience or natural ability to succeed. I am actually getting quite a bit more work done now that he is not coming up with his entertaining daily demonstrations of narcissism.

Have you looked at our COVID-19 infection and death figures relative to the other districts and municipalities? Do you remember when Dr. Chirico imposed certain restrictions when he first saw evidence of COVID-19 variants in our district? There was a howl from businesses and the public that resonated with the politicians who demanded he meet with them weekly to discuss the situation and explain his decisions. How about we have a similar forum where the politicians meet with the public on a weekly basis to answer our questions and criticisms? Yes, we have deputations, but all the politicians have to do is listen and then conclude the presentation with a simple mention that they will take the input under consideration. What if they or staff had to answer on the spot or provide a written response within a week? I am sure they would feel that this was an unreasonable questioning of their authority.

But when it comes to public health, everyone, and that includes politicians, public, and businesses, is willing to question the medical professionals from the perspective of what they have read online and their friends have posted on Facebook.

Perhaps an apology is too much to ask, a simple thank you would be appropriate. It’s no fun putting restrictions in place. It’s so much easier to let the kids play video games and watch YouTube rather than convince or coerce them into doing their homework. But like a responsible medical officer or parent you have to provide leadership with longer term considerations in mind. Short term pain is often required for long term gain.

Disclosure: I am still annoyed by the response of the Town of Parry Sound Council when it came to the fluoridation issue and their lack of leadership. I am sure that if you put COVID-19 restrictions to a vote we would have no restrictions. Voting on public health issues is not in the best interests of the community but it keeps voters happy and supporting the politicians when election time rolls around. Better to trust the professionals.