Tammy Oliver-McCurdie and her family have been personally shattered by what is now considered the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.
Her sister, brother-in-law, and 17-year-old niece were killed in the horrific 12-hour shooting spree in Portapique, Nova Scotia on Saturday.
“It’s hard to grieve because right now I’m in a frustration state,” Oliver-McCurdie said.
“I’m coming up against a lot of barriers to be able to get to a point of grieving and to help them [her parents] grieve because it’s the death of their kid and their grandchild and their son-in-law.”
Oliver-McCurdie, her parents, and other extended family live in Alberta. Her sister, Jolene Oliver, moved to Nova Scotia from Alberta in 2014 with her husband Aaron Tuck, and their daughter, Emily Tuck.
Aaron was originally from Nova Scotia and they moved there to help his ailing mother.
“They built a life out there,” Oliver-McCurdie said. “That little town they were living in the last two years was, we felt, as a family, that was the place where they had been at their best as a family.
“They all just felt happiest there and to have it all taken away when they were just feeling happy in their life and figuring it out and having something of their own…”
Making things even more difficult is the COVID-19 pandemic, along with related travel restrictions and self-isolation rules.
Oliver-McCurdie said they were asked to identify remains over email, through photos.
“For us to fly out there, we’d have to quarantine for 14 days. So, we can’t just fly out and identify bodies.
“My mom would really like to go out there and hold her hand one last time, so we’re really trying to figure out how to make that happen,” she said.
“We’ll make that happen, I just don’t know how it’s going to happen right now.”
As they try to facilitate potential travel and memorial plans, Oliver McCurdie said the family just wants to keep Jolene, Aaron and Emily together.
“We’re trying to keep them all together — all the remains together… They’ve always stayed together as a family unit and we’re trying to keep that.”
The pandemic is only compounding the tragedy for the entire family.
Aaron’s father passed away after they moved to the east coast and his mother died only months ago. Tammy and Jolene’s father has Multiple Scerlosis, putting him at a higher risk should he contract the novel coronavirus.
Canadians mourn victims of Nova Scotia shooting in isolation, on social media
Coordinating after one death would’ve been hard enough, Oliver-McCurdie said, “let alone three.
“I’m trying be the rock for my parents.
“We have all this COVID stuff that we have to facilitate stuff through. It’s frustrating.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help pay for the funeral costs and travel expenses. The family hopes to have some kind of memorial in both Nova Scotia and Alberta.
Oliver-McCurdie said any remaining funds will be used to start a bursary fund in honour of Emily. It will support young women and girls entering trades programs.
Oliver-McCurdie described her niece as a young woman with musical ability, a fantastic personality but who was “rough around the edges.”
Emily became interested in trades through a program in her community.
“She wanted to be an apprentice welder,” Oliver-McCurdie said.
“We want to make it a bursary so it’s accessible… For us, that’s important, because it gave her direction.”
Alberta premier offers condolences after Nova Scotia shooting
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
City asking people to wear masks on buses, but not mandatory – GuelphToday
As the city prepares to allow more riders on Guelph Transit buses, it is asking riders to wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
They are not mandatory.
Free 30-minute Guelph Transit service will continue for the rest of June but the city says thta with more businesses reopening and more people heading back to work, Guelph Transit is preparing to resume fare collection and regular schedules later in the summer.
In a news release Friday morning, the city said the request is based advice from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.
“According to health officials, wearing a homemade face covering/non-medical mask is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing. Wearing a mask has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, but it can help protect others around you,” the release said.
“As the buses get busy again, physical distancing may not always be possible. We’re asking riders to wear a non-medical mask or face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says Robin Gerus, general manager of Guelph Transit.
Guelph Transit is encouraging face coverings, not requiring them.
“It’s becoming more common to wear a mask on public transit in other cities, but it’s new for Guelph. Some riders may not be aware of or understand the latest guidelines from health officials. Some may not have resources to purchase or make a mask, or they may have a medical reason for not wearing one,” added Gerus. Everyone is welcome to use Guelph Transit, and we’re asking people to protect and respect each other as ridership increases.”
Since March, Guelph Transit made the following adjustments to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- free 30-minute service allows passengers to avoid using the farebox and board from the rear door
- plastic barrier between the driver and passengers
- hand sanitizing stations and cleaning supplies for drivers
- no more than 10 people per bus
- blocked several seats to encourage physical distancing between passengers
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the City and Guelph Transit encourage riders to continue following the latest advice from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health:
- wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer
- stay at least two metres away from people you don’t live with
- when you can’t maintain physical distancing, wear a non-medical mask or face covering
WHO resumes hydroxychloroquine trial on Covid-19 patients – ITIJ
On May 25, WHO suspended the trial of the drug, which is usually used to treat malaria patients, after a study published in medical journal The Lancet found that Covid-19 hospitalised patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher risk of death, as well as an increased frequency of irregular heartbeats, than those who weren’t treated with it.
However, WHO officials have since asserted that there is no evidence that the drug reduces the mortality in these patients, and the study has since been retracted over data concerns.
“The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed the continuation of all arms of solidarity trial including hydroxychloroquine,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference 3 June, adding that WHO planned to continue to monitor the safety of the therapeutics being tested in trials involving over 3,500 patients spanning over 35 countries.
“WHO is committed to accelerating the development of effective therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics as part of our commitment to serving the world with science, solutions and solidarity,” Ghebreyesus said.
'Truly sorry': Scientists pull panned Lancet study of Trump-touted drug – National Post
NEW YORK/LONDON — An influential study that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients has been withdrawn a week after it led to major trials being halted, adding to confusion about a malaria drug championed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Lancet medical journal pulled the study after three of its authors retracted it, citing concerns about the quality and veracity of data in it. The World Health Organization (WHO) will resume its hydroxychloroquine trials after pausing them in the wake of the study. Dozens of other trials have resumed or are in process.
The three authors said Surgisphere, the company that provided the data, would not transfer the dataset for an independent review and they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”
The fourth author of the study, Dr. Sapan Desai, chief executive of Surgisphere, declined to comment on the retraction.
The Lancet said it “takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously” adding: “There are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study.”
Another study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that used Surgisphere data and shared the same lead author, Harvard Medical School Professor Mandeep Mehra, was retracted for the same reason.
The Lancet said reviews of Surgisphere’s research collaborations were urgently needed.
The race to understand and treat the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of research and peer-reviewed scientific journals are go-to sources of information for doctors, policymakers and lay people alike.
Chris Chambers, a professor of psychology and an expert at the UK Center for Open Science, said The Lancet and the NEJM – which he described as “ostensibly two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals” – should investigate how the studies got through peer review and editorial checks.
“The failure to resolve such basic concerns about the data” raises “serious questions about the standard of editing” and about the process of peer review, he said.
The Lancet did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The NEJM could not immediately be reached for comment.
The observational study published in The Lancet on May 22 said it looked at 96,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, some treated with the decades-old malaria drug. It claimed that those treated with hydroxychloroquine or the related chloroquine had higher risk of death and heart rhythm problems than patients who were not given the medicines.
“I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use,” the study’s lead author, Professor Mehra, said in a statement. “For that, and for all the disruptions – both directly and indirectly – I am truly sorry.”
Many scientists voiced concern about the study, which had already been corrected last week because some location data was wrong. Nearly 150 doctors signed an open letter to The Lancet calling the article’s conclusions into question and asking to make public the peer review comments that preceded publication.
Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said the retraction decision was “correct” but still left unanswered the question about whether hydroxychloroquine is effective in COVID-19.
“It remains the case that the results from randomized trials are necessary to draw reliable conclusions,” he said. (Reporting by Michael Erman, Peter Henderson, Kate Kelland and Josephine Mason Editing by Leslie Adler, Tom Brown, Giles Elgood and Carmel Crimmins)
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