Wednesday, June 24, 2009

what makes swine flu spread? oh, racism!

everyone is so worried about the swine understandable concern i'm sure but considering that most of us live in cities where we can, you know, wash our hands we don't have a lot to be worried about.

if you live in a first nations community in canada, however, you do have something to worry about. despite the bizarre ideas that circulate about how first nations communities get shit loads of money to build elaborate and awesome accomodation the reality is that the majority of these communities don't have clean water, or even running water at all.

this is a huge problem in terms of things like the swine flu, or even common illnesses, which can be easily curbed with frequent and rigorous hand washing.

so health canada is all like, we know, it's all about hand sanitizers for these communities. presumably this is a good idea(forgetting just for a second that these communities don't have basic infrastructures which are actually human rights) except they forgot to factor in one tiny little thing: racism.

shit bitch, health canada is saying, we can't send ALCOHOL-based hand sanitizers into reserves because those people are going to DRINK it.

senior public health adviser to the Assembly of First Nations, dr. kim baker, said that this is just another example of how the swine flu measures are " ill-suited to the social realities of some aboriginal communities that lack running water for hand washing."

let's just repeat that: "lack running water"...." for hand washing"

according to baker, that people were even arguing the pros and cons of the alcohol based sanitizers "because of the conersna bout addictions in communities" is "absolutely outrageous".

there have been some chiefs involved in the discussions as well, who have made the argument that the concern was legitimate because many communities are dry, so they don't allow alcohol there.

one such perons, chief david harper from the garden hill first nation, says that this still isn't a good excuse for delaying the supplies that are so desperately needed and that he was able to buy alcohol free sanitizers.

he also says, of health canada:

"They know that there's hand sanitizer wipes that are available, which are alcohol based...What are you saying? We're going to start chewing on them? I don't think so."

you can read the cbc report about it HERE.

i feel like, regardless of the huge issues of infrastructure and racism, health canada just needs to send the sanitizer because people need it right now.

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