Earlier in the year, an illness ripped through the Byfield home. Dad Vince, his four kids, and his wife were all sick, some worse than others. In fact, the illness was worse the older the afflicted Byfield was
That is, all except for grandpa Ted.
Grandpa Ted is 93 and he's been doubly vaccinated against COVID-19. Naturally, the Byfields were all but certain they had COVID. Vince just needed a doctor to confirm it.
It was something Vince and his family wanted to know before they made the informed decision to be vaccinated, since a recent Israeli study has shown that naturally immunity to COVID — the kind you get when you contract an illness and recover — is stronger and more resilient than the vaccine induced kind.
Vince's doctor ordered the serological test for COVID-19 antibodies and Vince went off to the local private lab.
And that's when things got weird.
The central Alberta government lab stepped in and put a stop to the test — they over ruled Vince's doctor without ever knowing why the doctor had ordered the test.
But Vince was determined to know his medical information whether the vampires at the government lab liked it or not. He paid out of pocket to send his blood to the Mayo Clinic in the United States. And sure enough, Vince had COVID at some point.
I reached out to Alberta Health Services and a spokesperson told me that antibody testing is not available for Albertans unless the test is specifically okayed by the government on a case-by-case basis. They told me this sort of testing is only used for “surveillance” purposes.
But why does the Alberta government not want us to have this information? And why isn't this policy of denying serological COVID antibody testing being conveyed to the public and doctors? And if antibody testing is used for surveillance, then why isn't the government trying to collect as much data on COVID recovery rates as possible?
Vince wouldn't speculate but I will.
I think the government doesn't want Albertans to know just how many of us have had the virus and recovered. It would throw a wrench into the vaccine passport system if Albertans knew how many of us have greater immunity than what the vaccines provide.
It would end the discrimination and bullying that is strong-arming unwilling people into getting a vaccine they don't want if the public knew they didn't really need it.
Why can't the Alberta government make this testing available, especially when the government was able to pivot public infrastructure and the health system so quickly to a focus on COVID testing and case identification?
They can do it again, this time with antibody testing.
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