Even young owls are wise enough to know the North Island is losing medical services  |  George Le Masurier photo

The Week: We’re back but CV pathologists are gone — and, face mask deniers beware

Oct 2, 2020 | Commentary, News

By George Le Masurier

If you start hearing complaints from people about how long their biopsy results have taken, don’t be surprised. Island Health finally got its wish and forced out Comox Valley general pathologists, Dr. Chris Bellamy and Dr. Wayne Dunn.

The pair of well-respected doctors resigned on Aug. 21, leaving the Comox Valley without any onsite pathologists. This means a serious degradation of health care services available locally.

Island Health is determined to remove medical services from the North Island and centralize them in Victoria. They took away onsite clinical pathology services from the Campbell River Hospital several years ago to the dismay of that community’s doctors and other health care professionals who have protested and demanded reinstatement.

The Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital Board has joined that fight. But pleas to the North Island MLAs for help have gone unanswered.

Watch for more on this story next week.

Congratulations — again — to the Cumberland Community Forest Society for completing their largest single land purchase. In early September, the CCFS closed the deal to preserve an additional 225 acres. This means more forested land that was threatened by logging interests can forever be enjoyed by hikers and mountain bikers. Future generations will look back on what the society has achieved with admiration for their foresight and perseverance.

It’s hard to take the criticism of Premier John Horgan’s Oct. 24 election call too seriously. Yes, there is a pandemic and there’s no vaccine or proven cure for the COVID virus on the horizon. There may never be either. However, British Columbians are carrying on their lives safely. The infection data shows it. The grocery stores are full. People are buying cars, motor homes, televisions and going in and out of all kinds of stores and coffee shops. Kids are back to school. So it shouldn’t be difficult to arrange safe polling stations. And listen, if people willingly waited in lines to enter Costco or buy a latte, they should be happy to do the same to vote.

Speaking of masks, why are so many people not wearing them? Most grocery shoppers we see wear masks. But at other stores, the percentage of non-maskers ranks significantly higher. True, some of these people might have forgotten their mask at home — seems like we need multiple masks these days, tucked away in our cars and coats — but what’s up with the other people who just don’t seem to care? We don’t promote or condone mask-shaming, but, sweet mercy, those people look like the fools.

The breaking news today that US President Trump and his wife have both tested positive for the virus feels like karmic destiny: what goes around, comes around. We hope for his speedy recovery, as we would for anyone with COVID. But isn’t it tempting to think maybe he should suffer a little? Trump has downplayed the virus while more than 200,000 of his constituents died and millions of other lives have been permanently altered, either directly through as yet unknown long-term medical complications or via the collapsed economy. Trump has refused to wear a mask and mocked his opponent, Joe Biden, for doing so. We shudder to imagine how he’s going to spin this irony on Twitter.




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