OUR VIEW: Virus transparency is vital

OUR VIEW: Virus transparency is vital

Refusing to say if there are any COVID-19 cases in Surrey is not transparency

Clearly nobody wants to see stampeding crowds and panic in the streets over the COVID-19 virus.

But now that we’ve established the obvious, is it really asking too much that public health officials reveal – if they are aware of any, that is – whether there are any known cases here in Surrey, a city of more than half a million people?

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that there were. This is not saying we have any inside knowledge, because we don’t.

But if there were, would people not be more likely to embrace public health authorities’ advice to regularly wash their hands, with soap, as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry put it, “like you’ve been chopping jalapeños and you need to change your contacts.”

READ ALSO: Surrey councillor trying to resurrect Public Safety Committee

At times like these, it’s especially important that we can sleep well at night knowing the medical profession has our backs on this. Trust, of course, comes hand-in-hand with transparency, not holding back information like it is some kind of state secret. If that is indeed the case here.

Refusing to say if there are any cases in Surrey, is not transparency. During the same teleconference with reporters on Tuesday, in which Henry remarked, “We really need to be really cognizant of what’s happening in our local community,” she also declined to reveal if she was aware of any cases within the City of Surrey, when asked by the Now-Leader.

“We are only identifying cases by the health authority that they reside in,” she replied. These health regions, of course, are relatively enormous in size compared to the cities they serve – even those with more than half a million, such as the City of Surrey.

If our health authorities expect the public to react with blind faith in their ability to manage this situation, as best they may, perhaps health authorities should invest some trust in the public’s ability to handle, like adults, what’s happening – or not – in our city. Quid pro quo.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gurdawara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar in Surrey is warning the public of a possible COVID-19 exposure at the temple between Nov. 18 and 20. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey gurdwara warns of possible COVID-19 exposure

Facebook post says individual was at the temple Nov. 18 to 20

A recent seizure that included drugs, cash and a firearm from two serparate incidents on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (Photo: Surrey RCMP handout)
Surrey RCMP seize drugs, cash and gun over the weekend

Police say items were seized during two different incidents

Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for ‘immediate’ government help for businesses shut down

‘Don’t punish all businesses for the sins of a few,’ CEO Anita Huberman says

The 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Mammography machine, new to the Surrey Breast Health Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (submitted photo)
New 3D breast-cancer technology in Surrey ‘has already helped so many women’

Digital breast tomosynthesis new to Surrey Breast Health Clinic

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

There are 32 active outbreaks in seniors' homes in the Fraser Health region.
MAP: See the locations of 32 active COVID-19 outbreaks in Fraser Health seniors’ homes

There are 32 active outbreaks in assisted-living, long-term care homes and seniors’ rental buildings

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read