Today’s mailbox: COVID reopening

Letter to the editor published July 3

Don’t sacrifice our vulnerable, writer says

The following is an open letter to Premier Sandy Silver and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health

I feel very hurt, disappointed, and am just plain mad! In early COVID-19 days, Yukon worked hard to successfully flatten the curve — averting a potential 2500 cases — by enforcing a mandatory 14-day self isolation upon entering the territory, contact tracing, and avoiding community spread utilizing the “Safe Six.” Now you’re willing to jeopardize these hard-fought gains.

When Dr. Hanley insisted that the B.C. border would stay closed, both Yukoners and businesses embraced a Yukon vacation vowing to get through this together. It was a shock, when, in less than 24 hours you decided to open the B.C. border July 1 — a 180 about face for economics? Although restrictions were already being lifted, even allowing camping, only data from lockdown times was offered as justification.

Forfeiting consultation with Yukoners on whether to pursue a safe COVID-19 free three territories bubble or one with B.C. (not COVID free), you unilaterally chose the riskier. Transparency and public consultation?

You say you are acting according to science and epidemiology, while clearly ignoring the warnings from the president of the Canadian Medical Association, the WHO, the CDC, and medical professionals all over the world of disastrous consequences from reopening too soon/fast as evidenced by skyrocketing resurgence of cases worldwide, especially in the southern U.S. and Alaska.

Dr. Hanley, you mistakenly maintain that you can contain/manage the spread of new cases through contact tracing and testing once the border opens, but with safeguards eliminated community spread will ensue. Being willing to accept some cases/clusters even simultaneously in two Yukon communities to the point of overwhelming Yukon health care services; but the virus will spread like wildfire (i.e. La Loche), given the social culture, overcrowded housing, and high incidence of vulnerable populations in Yukon communities. Mine workers could contribute to outbreaks as in Alberta oil fields.

Opening the Yukon to tourists for the benefit of businesses, while imprisoning vulnerable Yukoners in lockdown to stay safe from the imported virus is unacceptable. These folks who probably comprised much of your original mental health stats, contribute to Yukon financially year-round deserve better.

Well, enough is enough! As part of the Yukon vulnerable population, I resent/refuse to be forced back into depressing lockdown or be sacrificed as acceptable collateral damage being robbed of any quality of life again in exchange for economics. The last straw was learning that, using public funds, the Yukon Tourism branch is also marketing Yukon as the ultimate destination for adventure, splendour, and lack of congestion to B.C. tourists for Yukon businesses. You have now completely lost my trust.

I do not have a death wish and resent being deemed worthless. I intend to purchase a face shield, at government expense, to stay safe as I pursue some quality of life in spite of the present government’s intension to the contrary. If necessary, I am prepared to utilize human rights legislation toward this end.

I sincerely hope you come to your senses in time and reconsider your actions. There is still time to enable safe quality of life options for all Yukoners, enforce safety measures, utilize effective screening measures, heighten the bar for evolving new cases triggering border reclosure, slow down and stop this bullying. It could be a matter of life and death for Yukoners.

Liz Reichenbach,

“Hurt, angry, vulnerable Yukoner and retired Yukon nurse practitioner”

Letters to the editor

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Whitehorse RCMP will provide internet safety training due to an uptick of child luring offences. (iStock photo)
RCMP hosting internet safety webinars for parents and caregivers

The webinars will take place on March 23 and 25

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Most Read