I’d previously referred to Dr. Brent Roussin as “the messenger” for Manitoba’s coronavirus updates. I was corrected (not exactly gently, but corrected nonetheless) by readers that Roussin isn’t just the messenger, he’s the one in charge of the health orders that are, well, still killing Manitobans.
While most people working in healthcare are getting sympathy, compassion, and hell, even applause, the province’s top doc regularly takes a beating from the media and, you guessed it, outraged social media users.
It’s interesting how just a couple of years ago, you wouldn’t think an educated and respected doctor would be thrashed and bashed. In light of a pandemic, and being considered a political puppet since he’s teamed up with our controversial blame-the-American-president premier, it’s not uncommon for any tweet that Roussin puts out to be immediately destroyed by the Twitter mob.
Some examples from tweeters to just one of Roussin’s posts:
“You are not fit for this position what are you going to about this?”
“Stop the white-wash and yo-yo political posturing. Make all announcements at once, offer supports all at once. There is very little, if any plan.”
“How about actually enforce these restrictions you cannot rely on people at this point to do the right thing Face with rolling eyes where’s the enforcement your master promised.”
“I don’t ask my skinny friends for cooking tips. And I don’t ask my fat friends for health tips. Sit this one out, Brent.”
“Sorry doc but this is nothing more than half measures, not strong or long enough.”
“So you and your Boss knew third wave was coming so why did you chose to do nothing?”
I’ve said before that I don’t pay attention to the daily provincial updates because I feel it’s a lot of nothing. They can just release the daily numbers and give us a couple of bullet points and we’ll be on our way. I don’t know that much is taken away from the pressers than more confusion and frustration.
While I appreciate that they (the doctors, premier, etc.) are out there nearly every day, I’m not sure that it’s helping the overall stability of Manitobans. I understand they’re trying to give the illusion of transparency but it just blows up in their faces. And if they did ease up and back away, they’d be criticized — so it’s a lose-lose situation for them.
Now, I get it that people disagree with the health orders that contradict the science (or common sense) but when the people tasked with creating them can’t reasonably justify why they’re in place, it’s unlikely the public will go along with them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we defy the rules just to spite the premier or the provincial doctor.
Think back to when the pandemic started and Prime Minister Trudeau took a compassionate tone while reminding us that “we’re in this together.” Were people more understanding then? Yes. When Trudeau — and any politician for that matter — started wagging their finger and lecturing, we saw/see how the public reacts. It doesn’t work in anyone’s favour because the virus is still killing people.
Though it makes me wonder when the public doesn’t have confidence in the province’s chief public health officer if he should remain on the job. Sure, he might be qualified on paper but if the overall public opinion is that he’s failing us, should he be replaced? Would we be better off if we had someone like Dr. Fauci who, by all accounts, has significant credibility and the respect of most Americans?
Then again, if the person is working on Pallister’s team, well, I won’t finish that thought.