And so, finally, after nearly two years of restrictions, sacrifices, frustration, and bewilderment over what the government has done, hasn’t done, and could have done, here’s where we’ve come to:

We are alone. We have to take care of ourselves. The government cannot protect us from the latest iteration of COVID-19.

‘It’s up to Manitobans to take care of them’: Premier

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MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS KITS

We must learn to live with the virus, says Premier Heather Stefanson.

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MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS KITS

We must learn to live with the virus, says Premier Heather Stefanson.

Job : 19:00 12 January 2022

As the Omicron variant roars across the province, Manitoba’s premier has acknowledged that the public – not the government – must be responsible for limiting its spread.

“This virus is spreading through our community and it’s up to Manitobans to take care of themselves,” Premier Heather Stefanson told reporters Wednesday.

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Flanked by her Minister of Health and backed by two senior public health officials, Premier Heather Stefanson on Wednesday told Manitobans to accept that we will all eventually be exposed to COVID-19, so the best we can expect of his government is a serious effort to “balance” the health impacts of the virus against the financial and social impacts of imposing measures to limit its spread.

“We have to learn to live with this virus,” the premier intoned, repeating a phrase often uttered by the province’s chief public health officer, but imbuing it with an air of resignation that led an opposition leader to conclude that the Stefanson government has “thrown in the towel” trying to combat the surge of Omicron.

Ms Stefanson reiterated that tougher public health restrictions will not be imposed, despite soaring daily reports of case numbers and the fact that the province’s abandonment of reliable testing, reporting and contact tracing means that published figures represent only a fraction of the actual Omicron. – infection rate.

When asked if public health officials had recommended stricter measures than those imposed, Manitoba’s deputy chief public health officer’s first attempt at a response was cut off by the premier, who then essentially evaded the question. A second question to the health expert elicited a carefully worded non-answer whose clear subtext was an implied affirmative.

Ms. Stefanson then cemented the province’s position on public health expertise at this stage of the pandemic: “At the end of the day, we will take the advice of public health, but we will take the advice of other Manitobans at the ‘to come up. .”

The Omicron horse is out of the stable, it seems, and what’s left for the Manitoba government is to stand there and watch it run. It’s galloping in other jurisdictions too, but where provinces like Ontario and Quebec have imposed additional restrictions in an effort to slow its pace, Manitoba seems inclined to just let the horse tire itself out.



<p>MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson</p>
<p>“width=”1024″ height=”683” srcset=”https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP109006_web_220104-COVID-presser-0394.jpg 400w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com /images/600*600/NEP109006_web_220104-COVID-presser-0394.jpg 600w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP109006_web_220104-COVID-presser-0394.jpg 700w,https://media .winnipegfreepress.com/images/800*800/NEP109006_web_220104-COVID-presser-0394.jpg 800w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/900*900/NEP109006_web_220104-COVID-presser-0394.jpg 900w,https ://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/1000*1000/NEP109006_web_220104-COVID-presser-0394.jpg 1000w”/>				</a><figcaption>
<p>MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p>
<p>Heather Stefanson, Premier of Manitoba</p>
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<p>The province will continue to encourage vaccinations as they remain our best way out of the COVID-19 disaster.  Getting those vaccines will be up to us, however, as Ms Stefanson’s government argues – owing, it is assumed, to careful political calculation – that imposing a more forceful vaccine mandate remains on the “don’t” side. will not” from the Pandemic Response Registry.			</p>
<p>The Premier also reaffirmed that Manitoba schools will fully resume in-person learning on Monday.  This statement was followed Thursday by a briefing from Education Minister Cliff Cullen and Provincial Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin, in which Manitobans were informed that schools will not would inform parents more about close contact with COVID-19 in their children’s classrooms, opting instead to provide recurring reports on absenteeism and recommending schools use rapid antigen tests or reduce high-frequency activities risk in times of high spread.			</p>
<p>“We must not present this as giving up on anything,” insisted Dr Roussin.  “It changes our approach.”			</p>
<p>As someone who has been the face of Manitoba’s response to the pandemic for two years and a constant voice of reason, reassurance and rational explanation, it would be comforting to take his statement at face value.			</p>
<p>This, however, would only be possible if one had not seen the calamitous abdication of responsibility which constituted the briefing of the previous day.  One can only wonder if Dr. Roussin also feels lonely.			</p>
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