Lockdowns that send people ‘into financial ruin’ are not the answer to COVID: Ontario doctor
ONTARIO, December 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian doctor who works as an emergency physician said that lockdowns which send people into “financial ruing” are not the “answer” to the COVID-19 crisis, and that he shakes “his head” at his co-workers who go on social media “ranting” about a full emergency room.
Dr. Gil Nimni, a York, Ontario emergency room (ER) doctor made the comments on Twitter last week, calling out his “colleagues” who say the ER is “crazy,” when he has observed it is “empty.”
“I can’t help but shake my head tonight. I just finished my shift at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at my hospital. I decided to walk through my ER on my way to the changeroom - EMPTY ! I shake my head at my colleagues who go on Twitter and TV ranting about how our ER is crazy,” wrote Nimni on Twitter last Thursday.
I can’t help but shake my head tonight. I just finished my shift at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at my hospital. I decided to walk through my ER on my way to the changeroom - EMPTY ! I shake my head at my colleagues who go on Twitter and TV ranting about how our ER is crazy.— Gil Nimni, MD (@GilNimni) December 18, 2020
After his tweet took off on social media, Nimni clarified that he does not think COVID-19 is fake, but that the response by governments is “disproportionate to the problem.”
Nimni said that governments need to look at a more balanced approach, so that the public is not afraid to use the healthcare system when they get sick.
“It seems like my message from last night garnered some attention. By no means am I denying there’s a problem. COVID exists and people get sick. But the response is disproportionate to the problem. Lockdowns are not the answer. Need more balanced approach. That’s all I’m saying,” tweeted Nimni the following day.
It seems like my message from last night garnered some attention. By no means am I denying there’s a problem. COVID exists and people get sick. But the response is disproportionate to the problem. Lockdowns are not the answer. Need more balanced approach. That’s all I’m saying.— Gil Nimni, MD (@GilNimni) December 18, 2020
Nimni later sent out another tweet to say that he no meant disrespect to his co-workers. He then tweeted he simply wanted to bring attention to what he feels is going on as observed by him.
“COVID is very real and is a serious problem. We must adhere to public health measures in place. I am concerned that lockdowns are resulting In economic devastation but also resulting in fewer people accessing care in a timely manner,” tweeted Nimni.
“We need to improve our messaging and ensure that people understand that emergency departments are safe and that delaying care is not. I will include the link to the article below that sums it up nicely,” tweeted Nemni, with a link to a Toronto Sun report about his concerns.
A large portion of Ontario, including the Toronto, Peel and York regions, are currently under the most restrictive “Lockdown-Grey” category in the province.
Today, Premier of Ontario Doug Ford announced that the entire province will enter into a lockdown starting on December 26. Ford said this is being done to combat an apparent surge in positive COVID-19 cases in the province and a rise in hospitalizations claimed to be attributed to the virus.
Southern Ontario will be locked down for 28 days while the northern parts of the province will be shut for 14 days.
In the Toronto Sun report, Nimni said that his main “message” is that he thinks people should adhere to some public health measures, but “locking people up is not the answer.”
“When I see other physicians calling for complete lockdowns and further restrictions, even though we’ve had pretty heavy-handed restriction for the last four weeks or so with no change and even worsening numbers, you always have to think what are we doing and is this the right approach,” Nimni said in the Toronto Sun report.
“The sad tragedy in all of this is when the government tells people to lock down, unfortunately that translates into people not seeking care for things they should. You see a lot of late presentation in things that should have been dealt with weeks earlier. Those are the concerning issues.”
In Canada, most deaths attributed to the COVID-19 virus, around 80 percent according to official government statistics, are in those of advanced age in long-term-care homes.
When it comes to an increase in hospitalizations, Nimni said that if the “issue is about preserving hospital capacity,” then the solution should be to work on ways “to increase capacity instead of locking people up.”
Nimni added that the key to controlling the crisis is to protect the vulnerable populations, especially the elderly in long-term care facilities.
He also stressed that closing schools as a solution will have a “detrimental effect” on the mental health of kids, saying “show me evidence where COVID is rampant in schools and the kids are bringing it home.”
“Locking down people and sending people into financial ruin and worsening mental-health issues isn’t really the right answer,” said Nimni in the Toronto Sun report.
Nimni is not the first Canadian doctor to question lockdowns.
A renowned Canadian doctor with extensive credentials spared no words in blasting government-imposed COVID-19 measures at a public city meeting in Edmonton recently, calling masks “utterly useless” and saying the virus is “not Ebola.” He also criticized lockdowns and said everything should open up.
In October, Dr. Stephen Malthouse, a Canadian doctor in British Columbia with over 40 years of experience in family medicine, made headlines for writing to his province’s top doctor to blast the government’s COVID-19 lockdown policy.