Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Gold Canada Gold!

You could not have written a better script if you tried. Canada loses to the USA in the preliminary round – needs to avenge this defeat. Beloved hometown goalie in net. The Americans tie up the game with only 30 seconds left to go in regulation!  And then young superstar Crosby, who hadn’t done much during the tournament, scores right when we most need it! And the crowd goes WILD!!!!!!!

And go wild they did!  I was watching the game with some friends at The Vogue Theatre on Granville and let me tell you, the crowd went crazy!

Everyone was yelling and jumping and hugging random strangers and we all poured out on Granville Street after we watched the medals being given out and I’ve never seen so many people in my life as were on Granville Street today!  Pictures don’t really do it justice, but this is sort of what it looked like:

People as far as you could see in every direction.  There were quite a few cops out, but they looked a bit at a loss – I mean, there were thousands of people in the streets, but no one was doing anything wrong!  We were yelling and cheering and chanting “Crosby! Crosby!” and singing “O Canada” and playing music and dancing and high fiving anyone and everyone – including the cops! – and when we got to the corner of Granville and Robson it was an absolutely crush of people – like the biggest mosh pit ever.  People were crowd surfing in the street!  There were people climbing light poles:

We enjoyed the crowd for a while and then grabbed some food and then headed back to the Vogue to watch the Closing Ceremonies. And when I left near the end, the street were still full of happy, happy celebrating Canadians1!

I can honestly say that this is an experience that I won’t soon forget!

Also I have to say congratulations to all our amazing Canadian athletes2!  The most gold medals by a country in an Olympic games – that’s pretty freaking amazing!  As Chris put it in her blog posting, we own part of the podium – the gold part!!!

  1. And, in a typical Vancouver scene, I saw cops dumping out some guy’s beer, while not batting an eyelash at the fact that the entire downtown core smelled like pot! []
  2. What? They could be reading this.  You don’t know that they aren’t []

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Public Health Achievement #2: Control of infectious diseases

Note: I’m not sure how, but I completely managed to miss writing about the February public health achievement during February. So I’m writing this in late March (because I suck) and back dating the post so it will show up in February in my blog archives. Because I’m not above back dating, apparently.

February great public health achievement badge

One of my favourite courses in all of my undergraduate degree program was virology. I remember being in first year and reading through the courses I would be taking over the next four years and seeing it listed as a Biochem course I could elect to time in my final year and being super excited. And when it finally came to be fourth year, the course did not disappoint. To this day I still have a love for viruses – especially ebola and dengue!  But while I love to learn about viruses, I certainly don’t want to be infected with anyone of them!  Which is why I’m glad that Public Health has made great strides in the Control of Infectious Diseases, which just so happens to be the February theme for the 12 great public health achievements in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Public Health Association.

Some random interesting facts about infectious diseases:

  • 28% of Canadian troops returning from WWI were infected with syphilis and/or gonorrhoea

  • In 1997, a new surge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)1) started, notably of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. These diseases are preventable and treatable, but we need to ensure that we promote “disease prevention and effective, non-judgemental public education” to keep these diseases under control.
  • The first known outbreak of polio in Canada occurred in 1910
  • ~11,000 people in Canada were  paralyzed by polio between 1949 and 1954. Thanks to the creation and widespread use of polio vaccines, Canada was declared polio-free in 1994.
  • Despite a significant drop in rates of tuberculosis in Canada as a result of the use of antibiotics to treat TB, rates still remain high among Aboriginal people.  In 2008, the TB rate among Aboriginal people was ~6X more than  the overall Canadian rate. In Nunavut, the rate of TB was more than 38 times (!) the national rate. Immediate improvements in health and social conditions are needed to reduce this inequity.

Stuff you can do:

  • Education yourself about, and protect yourself against, STIs.
  • Advocate for measures to eliminate the health inequities (of which TB is just one) between Aboriginal people and the rest of the Canadian population.
  1. formerly known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and before that as venereal disease (VD []