Effectively, here’s what happened. As COVID rampaged throughout the world and Canada increased distancing measures, there was a side effect. In Eastside of Vancouver, one of the poorest neighborhoods, several distancing measures affected those in need.
Halfway houses were shut down, many doctors left the clinics, clinics were closed. To make matters worse, access to overdose prevention is all but nonexistent.
All of this was done in the name of social distancing and to decrease the spread of COVID. It would seem that while the intentions may not have been malicious, it’s having a negative effect overall.
Patricia Daly, one of Vancouver’s leading health experts said that the measures were too extreme. That the fallout from these decisions may not be worth the effort that went into it.
“Some of our overdose prevention services were reducing their hours, or cutting back on the number of booths available because they believed that made it safer for those using their services. In fact by far the greatest crisis in the Downtown Eastside continues to be the opioid overdose crisis. We’ve had not a single death from COVID-19, and very few cases.”
This news comes hot on the heels of several reports of overdoses happening throughout the Eastside. Multiple fatal overdoses have gone up, now sitting somewhere around 30 overdoses. The largest amount that they’ve seen in a year.
Things Haven’t Improved in Months
Canadian officials also want to close down an encampment site that has been a meeting place for struggling drug users. It’s become a sort of social hub as well as a place for doctors to ensure that people are relaxed.
Due to an increased amount of overdoses, it seems that the encampment may see a shutdown. Which has riled up the neighborhood more than ever and is seeing tensions rise even more.
Nonetheless, Justin Trudeau is certainly facing a lot of criticism either way. As the country tries to increase measures to beat COVID before it continues to rampage, skeptics are now making themselves heard.
Hopefully things trend downward before Canada begins to see large level protests like in Denver. There is really no way to say for certain what to expect in the coming weeks.