Monday, October 26, 2020


2020-10-26 18:27:27

I have said this before but what is way more important to me is the number of covid deaths compared to all cause mortality. More deaths secondary to opiates this year than Covid in Alberta. Suicide rates also way up. Why is this not newsworthy?

2020-10-26 13:37:09

Great article, Grant. Having worked in Communications for large public organizations, I know that, while there is a team doing a lot of the work for Dr. Hinshaw, what is prepared will be going through significant approval processes, especially considering how politically charged this situation has become. I would not be surprised if what we are seeing actually contradicts what the recommendations are from the Comms team. We will be seeing that a lot from AHS comms given the current political climate. JS

2020-10-26 13:44:02

Thank you for making that comment. So true. It may not be the communications people making these decisions; it's likely the work of their bosses.


2020-10-26 10:58:03

Hi Garth,

At the start of this pandemic, the case count mattered because we needed to know if our health system could handle whatever was coming our way. Before we had testing in place, the case count told us how many people were actually getting sick and would need hospitalization.

Now that we know more about the virus, the number of cases should become background information. Instead, we need to focus on how many of those cases require hospital care and how many people die. This is good health care practice, not a communications failure at all. It is not evidence of Dr. Hinshaw being managed by the government's communications team. It is evidence that the communications team is taking its direction from Dr. Hinshaw. As a public health professional, she understands that even though big scary case count numbers increase readership and viewers, they are no longer the most important information we have and are in fact counterproductive from a public health perspective.

Perhaps your media bias is interfering with your perspective on why Dr. Hinshaw needs to make this important shift in messaging. You are thinking about Covid as a communications issue.

Virginia Durksen

2020-11-07 16:28:56

As someone who refers to the case counts to aid in making decisions about whether and where to shop or seek other services, I disagree wholeheartedly that the active case numbers are simply background information. One focus is reactive (too late for me to do anything about personally, but here are the cases that are in hospital) versus proactive (there is a fourfold increase in the neighbourhood in which my optometrist operates their business). I would argue that both sets of information are incredibly valuable and should be given the same attention, as they were given at the start of this pandemic.

2020-10-26 15:13:01

You lost me at Garth.

2020-10-26 11:15:57

Thanks for taking the time to write Virginia. Everyone has a right to an opinion but I can assure you that I see this as a public health issue that needs to be communicated properly. I found it very interesting how the communication strategy changed when the numbers started increasing dramatically and this approach has been used by communicators before.
-Grant (Not Garth) Ainsley