February 1, 2022 5:18 a.m.
New Chatham-Kent Health Alliance board chair says COVID-19 is not a hoax and those who think it’s no worse than the flu are ‘just plain wrong’.
Board chairman Alan Wildeman said the idea that COVID-19 isn’t serious is causing unnecessary stress among his hospital staff.
Wildeman points to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculations showing that the flu caused 1.8 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2019, where COVID-19 causes about 215 deaths per 100,000.
Hospital CEO Lori Marshall said the effects of relentless stress may never be reversed and she is preparing for nurses to leave the healthcare profession after the pandemic if they haven’t already left. .
“The impact of CIVID has been significant and sustained and I would say it forever changed the face of healthcare and us healthcare workers,” Marshall said. “The morale of healthcare workers over the past two years has been very difficult and it will take us a long time to recover.”
Wildeman said COVID-19 is no joke.
“The effects on staff are an order of magnitude greater than what has typically been experienced with the flu and things like that. This is a lasting effect of people working in the healthcare system,” Wildeman said.
Marshall hopes that young people will continue to be inspired to work in health care in the future and that the system will see a renewal.