When sick pigs fly?

GTA boy dies.

Mass panic for vaccine.

Short supply.

And now the Canadian government is on the defensive, reaching for Stractical Points. And after all the media reports of grannies turned away from vaccine clinics after lining up for hours, Ottawa is in tough as the architect of Canada’s pandemic strategy.

The government needs a two-pronged approach in reaction but so far, we’ve only seen one:

1) The “we’re not wrong, we’re right” approach. Effectiveness: Tactical.

A difficult thing to prove in the blusterous court of public opinion, especially when it comes to a public health issue.

 


A federal official said with 6-million doses of the vaccine already in circulation, Canada is ahead of the rest of the world on a per-capita basis.

“There is no shortage,” the federal official said.

What the official meant, I interpret, is that there will be no shortage — folks who want the vaccine will get it… eventually. But in the media/public vortex, the “shortage” means what’s available now. Normally, full points for using a comparison (Canada vs. the world) but in the context of public health, this declaration reads disjointed compared to the story being created around flu concerns.

But they help their case by backing it up with numbers:  Ottawa is releasing data saying over a million doses have been distributed already nationally. A lesson in the effect and simplicity of a statistic to capture a point which carried this “we’re right” approach from gut-reactive to tactical.

2) The “what we’re doing to make things even better” approach. Effectiveness: Stractical.

While approach 1 hinges on defence, approach 2 is how you put points on the board (so many apologies to Touchdowns & Fumbles for co-opting football metaphors) To do so, the Ottawa needs to communicate what happens next. What’s the timeline? What should people expect? But the government still appears hesitant to commit to comment on when vaccines will be available for everyone who wants one or why most of us aren’t in dire need of the vaccine this week.

And they probably have good reason to avoid this area: they just don’t know and are afraid to say. But until the Canadian government can bridge approach 1 to approach 2, only half a Stractical point is all they collect.

Now, anyone for bacon?

Swine Flu

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