Son of 98-year-old COVID-19 survivor urges public health compliance in Saskatchewan

After worrying about losing his 98-year-old mother in Saskatchewan’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, a Regina man is tired of people not adhering to public health orders.

Brian Albert told Global News that anti-maskers and COVID-19 deniers should try mopping the floors of Extendicare Parkside where his mother lives, and where at least 41 people have died from the virus.

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“They’re idiots. They don’t get it,” Albert said, referring to people not abiding by current restrictions.

His calls for a galvanized public effort to suppress the virus come after his mother Marie recovered from the virus. With the help of staff Albert called “a gift from God,” his mother endured a fever and congestion that required oxygen, steroids and other treatments.

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He also attributes her survival to a healthy lifestyle and the fact she worked hard from the time she was six or seven years old, growing up in Romania.

With Saskatchewan leading the country in the rate of active COVID-19 cases, Albert and his mother can only visit from afar.

“I can’t hold my mom’s hand. I can’t hug her. She looks at me and gives me a virtual hug,” Albert said.

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His comments come after chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab warned he would recommended further coronavirus restrictions if cases don’t drop soon.

“We’ll be lucky to maintain the status quo. It’s not trending down and I think that’s something we really need to think about,” Shahab said during a news conference Thursday.

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210 coronavirus deaths, hospitalizations in Saskatchewan

During the same briefing, officials with the Saskatchewan Health Authority stated the health system had reached its most fragile point in the pandemic. Hospitals reached a new high for COVID-19 patients with 206 and the intensive care unit sat at 95 per cent capacity.

Shahab called it “a critical time for us.”

University of Saskatchewan epidemiologist Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine is concerned about the climbing numbers. In an interview, he told Global News that Saskatchewan needs a lockdown for conditions to improve like in Manitoba and Alberta.

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“We need to declare that we will keep a lockdown and stricter restrictions in place until we see our numbers going down,” Muhajarine said.

On Friday, the province reported 382 new cases of COVID-19, while four people died and 231 people were listed as recovered.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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