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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Frustrated by bureaucracy of pandemic

I just returned from a trip to the US to see my elderly parents. They are trying to live independently and need occasional help from their family who all happen to live in Canada.
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Letter to the editor. (Shutterstock)

I just returned from a trip to the US to see my elderly parents. They are trying to live independently and need occasional help from their family who all happen to live in Canada. (Not everyone travelling to the US is playing golf or checking out Disneyland). Before I left I completed the information on the Canadian government app ARRIVECAN and received a confirmation number. I also completed the Alberta Isolation form. I wore a mask during my visit, at the airport and on the plane. Our temperatures were checked before we boarded the plane. Prior to landing in Calgary, we had to fill out another form with COVID-19 questions for Canada Customs. At Customs, we were asked COVID-19 questions at the kiosk and again by the Customs agent. Our responses to the questions were noted by the agent in handwriting on our customs form. Upon exiting with our bags, we were met by a dozen Alberta Health Services staff. We were asked the same COVID-19 questions again and our temperatures were taken. Then we were directed to two additional screening stations. At the first station, the information in the Alberta Isolation form had to be transcribed onto an iPad and we were given an AHS tracking number. At the second station, we were verbally asked the same COVID-19 questions and our answers noted.

The next day I received a phone call from the Alberta government. I gave them my AHS tracking number but was told they could not access it and needed to search by name. I was asked the same COVID-19 questions again. I was told to expect another call from AHS and then another from the Canadian government.

I get it- isolate. I have heard it 1000 times, read it 100 times, and signed my freedom away at least twice (up to 6 months in jail and $750,000 fine). I was asked the same questions by 4 different publicly funded agencies who seem not to communicate with each other at all (but maybe this has become a replacement for the WE/government youth employment program…the young AHS staffer did not know what country Boston was in … Maybe online learning is not working? So many questions…).

This overall lack of respect for our collective intelligence, the mindless bureaucracy, and the waste of taxpayer dollars is what drives people crazy during this pandemic.

Regards,

C. Byler



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