Canadian soldiers medic

Thin on the Ground

In the pandemic’s early days, when 80% of Ontario’s COVID deaths were from people in long-term care homes, the province called the military for help. They replied by sending members of the army into seven long-term care homes.

This spring, when COVID rates suddenly spiked in Ontario, Queen’s Park again called on the military and this time they offered “up to” three medical assistance teams plus nine critical care nurses to relieve our overwhelmed hospitals. These teams typically include two nurses and ten medical technicians. So, 39 military personnel in all.

It was good that the cavalry came and I can’t think of a better way to spend our taxpayer dollars.

But we have an awfully small cavalry.

Ontario has 627 long-term care homes. Ontario also has 32,000 practising doctors; 95,000 nurses and among them, 11,000 critical care nurses.

So the military was able to help only a little (aside, of course, from blowing the lid off the appalling conditions in long-term care homes in their April 2020 report).

The same pattern shows up in last week’s floods in BC.

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