惠州桑拿网Stupidity Experts slam politicians’ travel pandemic

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The decision made by several federal and provincial politicians to leave the country despite guidance from officials to avoid all non-essential travel amid the novel coronavirus pandemic is selfish and hypocritical, health experts say.

惠州桑拿网The move is “tone-deaf politically,” Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, said.

“I mean, to not be able to read the country, to not be able to read the mood and think somehow this was OK,” he said. “The stupidity is surprising.”
Click to play video ‘New COVID testing rules for air travellers’
4:01 New COVID testing rules for air travellers
New COVID testing rules for air travellers

Dr. Gerald Evans, chair of infectious diseases division at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., told Global News that this is “absolutely the wrong messaging” coming from these public figures.
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“What it does is it makes people not want to listen to politicians,” he said. “Why would you listen to somebody who’s a hypocrite?”

Evans said this raises the question of fairness.
“And that’s not the message we want,” he said. “I go back to the spring, (when) it was all about, ‘We’re all in this together,’ and it just doesn’t look like we’re all in this together when politicians travel.”

Read more: The Canadian politicians who travelled over the holidays during a coronavirus pandemic

惠州桑拿论坛 Their remarks come after more than 20 politicians, including (now former) Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips, MP Kamal Khera, and Sen. Don Plett, disclosed they had travelled outside of the country in the last several weeks.
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But their decision to ignore the regulations is just a “microcosm of what’s going on” in Canada more broadly, Furness said.

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“The airplanes that are going back and forth carrying COVID around are not just full of politicians, they are full of lots of people who think it’s really important to take a vacation,” he said. “And I think there’s a bigger social trend. They really are revealing that.”
‘Outrage’

Furness said this behaviour has provoked “outrage” from those who are heeding the advice of health experts and are respecting the measures in place to stem the spread of the virus.
Click to play video ‘The challenges Jason Kenney faces after MLAs travelled over the holidays’
4:36 The challenges Jason Kenney faces after MLAs travelled over the holidays
The challenges Jason Kenney faces after MLAs travelled over the holidays

This backlash, he said, is “actually very useful.”

“Now we actually really have public sentiment that says this is lousy behaviour… This is truly selfish, lousy behaviour,” he said.
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But Furness said we need to shame the actions, “not the individual,” adding that it is important to establish what is good and bad behaviour.

“I want it to look like it’s so socially unacceptable that you won’t do it,” he said. “That kind of attitude is actually starting to form because of these politicians’ gaffes, so that’s the upside.”
Closing down travel

Late last month, the federal government announced new rules for air travellers, saying anyone travelling to Canada will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before their flight.

The new measures are scheduled to come into effect on Jan. 7.

Under existing rules, anyone entering the country must quarantine for 14 days.

Read more: Canada’s ‘slow’ rollout of coronavirus vaccine ’embarrassing,’ experts say

However, Furness said it’s not enough to simply ask Canadians to only travel when it is essential.

“If we want people not to travel, we need to close travel down,” he said.

Furness pointed to the new COVID-19 variants identified initially in the United Kingdom and South Africa, which are spreading rapidly.