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Warren (Gus) Reed: The need to wash your hands before it became all the fashion

This article was originally posted on the website of the James McGregor Stewart Society. Re-posted with permission. 

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – In newspapers and on TV, Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s Chief of Public Health advocates strongly for preventative measures against Covid-19:

People are being urged to protect themselves through good hygiene like coughing into sleeves, not touching their face and washing hands often. Although Strang said those instructions sound basic, they are “really important.”

People should frequently wash their hands well, cough or sneeze into a tissue or their sleeve, avoid touching their face and give distance to people when socializing.  If a person is sick with a fever or cough, they should stay home for the duration of their illness or wear a mask if they need to go out in public. “These sound basic, but they’re really important and they actually work,” Dr. Strang told the Chronicle Herald

I wonder when Strang got hand washing religion. Four years ago, wheelchair users asked Strang to weigh in on enforcement of the province’s food safety regulation requiring “washroom facilities for staff and washroom facilities for the public available in a convenient location” in restaurants.  He was indifferent:

“There is agreement that your concern is best handled through the NS Building Code. I suggest that you contact Mr. Joe Rogers, Building Code Coordinator, Office of the Fire Marshall in the Department of Municipal Affairs.” he wrote me in March, 2016

Thus began a four year detour through the depths of justice and human rights in Nova Scotia.  More on this later.  

So for most Nova Scotians, the very best antiviral measure is, “WASH YOUR HANDS”.  For wheelchair users, “Call Joe”. Why the difference? Wheelchair users are used to it, and we call it discrimination.

See also: Warren (Gus) Reed: Waiting 14 months and counting for the simple right to wash my hands

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