Authorities say a Canadian couple violated coronavirus restrictions when they traveled to the Yukon Territory last week for a shot, prompting legal charges and raising concerns about the infection in a remote community of about 100 people.
The couple, Rodney and Ekaterina Baker, of Vancouver, B.C., face fines of $ 1,000 for not self-isolating for 14 days after their trip to the Yukon, even though they said they would, according to court records.
In addition, Mr. Baker, 55, who was managing director of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which operates casinos and hotels across Canada, resigned from his post on Sunday. Ms. Baker, 32, is an actress.
According to prosecution documents and Yukon officials, the Bakers traveled approximately 1,200 miles to the Yukon’s capital, Whitehorse, on January 19. The Société Radio-Canada reported that instead of quarantining themselves for the required 14 days, the couple chartered a flight to Beaver Creek, about 300 miles northwest of Whitehorse, last Thursday, claimed to be working at an area motel and got his photos.
They returned to Whitehorse before authorities, acting on advice from Beaver Creek, tracked them down later that day, court records show.
“I am outraged by this selfish behavior and find it disturbing that people choose to endanger their compatriots in this way,” John Streicker, Minister of Community Services for the Yukon, said in a statement. “Reports allege that these people were deceptive and violated emergency measures for their own benefit, which is completely unacceptable at any time, but especially during a public health crisis.”
Janet Vander Meer, a member of the White River First Nation who has volunteered for months to help manage her community’s response to the pandemic, visited the Beaver Creek Community Center when a mobile vaccination team was arrived in town on Thursday.
It went well, she said, and she and her 72-year-old mother received doses of the Moderna vaccine. But she said her blood boiled on Friday when she learned that a married couple had been accused of misrepresenting who they were and violating protocols in order to get the vaccine.
“The first thing that came to my mind was privilege,” said Vander Meer, 53. “How dare they? I was outraged.
In the midst of a global vaccine rollout, questions about who should take the punches first have been informed by the inequities exposed by the pandemic, disproportionately high rates of infection and death among the poor and people of color to disparate access to testing and health care.
While the exact order of vaccinees can vary from state to state, most will likely prioritize medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities. If you want to understand how this decision is made, this article will help.
Life will only return to normal when society as a whole is sufficiently protected against the coronavirus. Once countries authorize a vaccine, they will only be able to immunize a few percent of their citizens at most in the first two months. The unvaccinated majority will always remain vulnerable to infection. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines show strong protection against the disease. But it is also possible for people to spread the virus without even knowing they are infected, as they show only mild symptoms, if any. Scientists do not yet know if the vaccines also block the transmission of the coronavirus. So for now, even vaccinated people will have to wear masks, avoid crowds inside, etc. Once enough people are vaccinated, it will become very difficult for the coronavirus to find vulnerable people to infect. Depending on how quickly we as a society reach this goal, life may start to move closer to something normal by fall 2021.
Yes, but not forever. The two vaccines that will potentially be authorized this month clearly protect people against Covid-19 disease. But the clinical trials that delivered these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could still spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. It remains a possibility. We know that people naturally infected with the coronavirus can spread it without feeling a cough or other symptoms. Researchers will study this question intensely as the vaccines are rolled out. In the meantime, even vaccinated people will have to consider themselves as possible spreaders.
The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is given by injection into the arm, like other typical vaccines. The injection will be no different from any you received before. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines and none of them have reported serious health problems. But some of them experienced short-lived discomfort, including aches and pains and flu-like symptoms that usually last for a day. People may need to plan to be absent from work or school after the second stroke. While these experiences are not pleasant, they are a good sign: they are the result of your own immune system encountering the vaccine and building a powerful response that will provide long-lasting immunity.
No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a genetic molecule to stimulate the immune system. This molecule, known as mRNA, is ultimately destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse with a cell, allowing the molecule to slip inside. The cell uses mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus, which can stimulate the immune system. At any given time, each of our cells can contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules, which they produce to make their own proteins. Once these proteins are made, our cells then shred the mRNA with special enzymes. The mRNA molecules that our cells make can only survive for a few minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is designed to resist the enzymes in the cell for a bit longer, so that the cells can produce additional viral proteins and elicit a stronger immune response. But mRNA can only last a few days at most before being destroyed.
White River First Nation Chief Angela Demit called the Bakers “privileged multimillionaires” in a statement Monday and asked why they “are putting our community at risk of skipping the line.”
“It is clear to me that because we are a predominantly indigenous community, they assumed we were naïve,” she added. “There must be a clear signal sent that this behavior is unacceptable.”
Efforts to reach the Bakers on Tuesday were unsuccessful and it was not clear whether they were represented by a lawyer.
The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation ad Mr. Baker’s resignation on Monday. He then said in a statement that the company “takes health and safety protocols extremely seriously and our company strictly follows all guidelines and guidelines issued by public health authorities in each jurisdiction where we operate.
Beaver Creek, which relies heavily on Alaska Highway traffic, has suffered economically from travel restrictions during the pandemic. The community has become a priority for vaccinations in part due to its remoteness, and vaccines have been made available to adults of all ages. Yukon ID cards were not required.
Beaver Creek is home to many senior citizens and a small health clinic. The nearest hospital is a few hours away. Sitting on the border with Alaska, the community is a stone’s throw from the United States, which has had more cases of the coronavirus than any other country.
The residents of Beaver Creek have been particularly diligent in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, Ms Vander Meer said, and Thursday’s vaccinations felt like a reunion – a chance to see neighbors and exchange socially distant greetings in the community center gym after months. of relative isolation.
But reports on the Vancouver couple cast a veil over the occasion, Ms Vander Meer said, and raised concerns about whether the community had been exposed to the virus – and questions about whether the fines were sufficient to avoid future damage.
“How,” she asked, “is that going to deter other people from doing the same in even more remote communities?”