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Opinion: The threats to Canada’s public health officials are unacceptable

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Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a technical briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Jan. 15, 2021. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press Allan O’Dette is the CEO of the Ontario Medical Association. For more than a year, medical officers of health across the country have been tasked with navigating an impossible situation,…

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Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam at a technical briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Jan. 15, 2021.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Allan O’Dette is the CEO of the Ontario Medical Association.

For more than a year, medical officers of health across the country have been tasked with navigating an impossible situation, delivering news people don’t want to hear and managing supply that simply isn’t there. And in exchange for their labours, their day-to-day work has left them with newfound empathy for meteorologists on a stormy day, store clerks on Black Friday or captains of delayed flights, as one medical officer of health recently told me.

Now, deadly variants are putting Canadians in heightened danger and jurisdictions all over the country are imposing new levels of restrictions. Vaccinations are rolling out, but slowly, and some people are unhappy with their place in line.

As emotions spill over, public-health physicians that serve in an official capacity continue to advocate for our well-being despite being targeted with name-calling, foul language and even threats of violence.

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There are examples all across Canada. Attacks on Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public-health officer, came swiftly with the start of the pandemic and persist to this day. In British Columbia, what started as a fan page dedicated to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry turned ugly and had to be deleted. Abusive letters turned to death threats; she has needed to have security protection in her home.

In Ontario, Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region’s Medical Officer of Health, says his e-mail inbox is, at times, a torrent of hatred every single day. Let me give you a flavour of the hate mail he is receiving, because perhaps reading the actual words of these horrible messages will make people think twice before posting an angry tweet or firing off an incendiary e-mail.

“Greetings Dr. Loh. You are a sad excuse of a person and I want nothing but pain and suffering for you. The same pain and suffering you have caused the citizens of this region. I hope I never run into you in person. Fuck you.”

Another letter writer declares: “It is clear to me that doctors in public health were at the bottom of their classes. They chose not to go into the bloody mess of surgery, the sadness of oncology, the genius of research and the humble ongoing service of general practice. Clearly, you and your ilk preferred a bureaucratic 9-5 job and to tell people what to do.”

When Dr. Mustafa Hirji, the Chief Medical Officer of Niagara Region, announced an extended lockdown in that area in February, opponents called for his firing, arrest and assault – even his beheading. “Let’s put his head on a stick,” read one Facebook post. The messages were so threatening that police launched an investigation into them.

This is unacceptable in a civil society. Bullying, threats and of course any acts of violence are abhorrent and should not be tolerated.

Physicians need to be able to advocate safely for the well-being of their patients, and this is especially true of public-health physicians. They must simultaneously take into account considerations around medicine, infection disease control, community health, social determinants of health and, yes, politics.

We might have strong feelings around governments’ decisions to open up or shut down the regions where we live, or how to administer vaccines. But public-health physicians provide advice that will save lives and aim to stop the spread of disease. Eventually, the sacrifices they are asking us to make will get us to that place where businesses and society can safely reopen.

These physicians deserve our admiration, not our derision. They have made enormous personal sacrifices, taken risks and worked around the clock to steer us through the worst public-health crisis of our generation.

They’ve gotten us this far, and they will get us to the end of this pandemic under extraordinary challenge and adversity. They are owed a huge debt of gratitude as well as our support.

I’m asking everyone to focus their energy on following their medical advice. Follow public-health measures and work with our public-health experts, not against them, as they make recommendations based on the best available science to help us push past the heightened threat we are currently under. And let’s all commit to giving them the respect they deserve.

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Fire: Ungh’s Quest Finally Launches On Switch

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Fire Just So Good, You Guys Fire bad? Oh no, friends. No it turns out, based on some brand new intel, that fire… good. Yes, Fire: Ungh’s Quest follows one intrepid Neanderthal on his harrowing quest to unlock the secret of fire. He might be kind of a moron, but that will be no impediment…

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Fire Just So Good, You Guys
Fire bad? Oh no, friends. No it turns out, based on some brand new intel, that fire… good. Yes, Fire: Ungh’s Quest follows one intrepid Neanderthal on his harrowing quest to unlock the secret of fire. He might be kind of a moron, but that will be no impediment to either his enthusiasm or his determination.

You play as the aforementioned Ungh, travelling to exotic locales and solving clever puzzles. There’s no dialogue or text, because it hasn’t been invented yet. Even so, the instructions will be crystal clear. Even a caveman could do it! Hopefully he will, lest he freeze to death, or suffer a lifetime of uncooked meat.

Originally released on Steam way back in 2015, Ungh’s Quest is now on the Nintendo Switch. Like all good indie games, this Neanderthal narrative was always destined to launch on the Nintendo’s hybrid console. Bolstered by the cosmic chorus of “Switch port when?”, Every game in existence will eventually make this same pilgrimage. Curious players have zero time to wait for this one, as Fire: Ungh’s Quest is launching today. That’s so soon! Feel free to check out the launch trailer embedded below.

SOURCE: Press Release

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Amazon’s New World is Your Next Grand Adventure

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New World Preview Last week, a select group of journalists and influencers from around the world got the opportunity to go hands-on with Amazon Games brand new open-world MMO, New World. For this particular event, we were given a glimpse at one particular aspect of the game, Expeditions. Expeditions are 5-player events where players will…

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New World Preview
Last week, a select group of journalists and influencers from around the world got the opportunity to go hands-on with Amazon Games brand new open-world MMO, New World. For this particular event, we were given a glimpse at one particular aspect of the game, Expeditions. Expeditions are 5-player events where players will test their abilities in a story-driven area filled with monsters, treasure and lore. The Expedition we participated in was the Amrine Excavation, an ancient, underground dig-site.

Before we dive into our Expedition, let’s take a step back and review this upcoming title. New World takes place in the 17th century, on the fictional island of Aeternum. At the beginning of New World, you will begin with nothing. No allies, no supplies, nothing. You’ll need to explore this world and find the tools needed to survive. Magic is a critical component to Aeternum and will be one of the keys to your success. As your character levels up, you’ll eventually be able to team up with other adventurers and tackle Expeditions, our focus for today’s preview.

Stunning Visuals
The most apparent detail you’ll notice when watching the gameplay is just how beautiful the Amrine Excavation is. Ancient ruins are lit by beautiful, glowing torches and the occasional ceiling crack. A hazy dust hovers throughout the caverns creating a spooky ambiance. Throughout the Expedition, you’ll come across documents containing Lore – perfect for those who really want to engross themselves in the backstory of Aeternum. As you dive deeper into the caves, you’ll notice massive statues erected by past civilizations.

This particular Expedition only had a few different enemy types, ranging from zombie-like scavengers, eerie geists, bat-like derangers, and ravagers. Each of these enemy types had a very unique and distinct look to them. The geists glowed and could be seen clearly from a distance. The ravagers were these massive, hulking creatures that towered over players. Combat is a combination of hack and slash sword play combined with magical abilities. It’s pretty standard fare for MMO’s, so if that’s the kind of gameplay you enjoy, you’ll feel right at home here.

If you die during your Expedition, the penalty isn’t too bad. As you progress through the Expedition, you’ll come across plenty of shrines that act as checkpoints. This particular Expedition ended with a boss fight which was essentially a buffed-up version of one of the standard enemy types. Admittedly, this was a bit anti-climatic and disappointing. Unique boss fights are always more enjoyable and hopefully, we’ll see more variety in the full game.

Needs More Interactivity
Another aspect of New World that left me disappointed was just how static the world seemed. For example, when your characters don’t actually open treasure chests, they just sort of hover their hands over the treasure chest and then receive the loot – it’s kind of silly looking. I personally prefer the sense of excitement and anticipation I get from opening chests in a game series like Legend of Zelda. The Expedition was also filled with all manner of tents, wooden boxes, and more, but nothing is destructible. Adding destructive elements to the world might help create a greater sense of realism.

New World is set to launch in August 2021, with a closed beta beginning on July 20th. Unfortunately, it looks like you’ll need to pre-order New World to access the closed beta.

Stay tuned to COGconnected for more information on Amazon Games exciting new MMO, New World.

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New Pokémon Snap Video Review – A Nostalgic Adventure Down Memory Lane

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New Pokémon Snap Video Review Rewind the clock by 22 years and drift back to 1999 where the original first-person photography game, Pokémon Snap, was released for the N64. Now, over two decades later, and with the popularity of the franchise not waning even a fraction, Nintendo has just released the sequel to such a…

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New Pokémon Snap Video Review
Rewind the clock by 22 years and drift back to 1999 where the original first-person photography game, Pokémon Snap, was released for the N64. Now, over two decades later, and with the popularity of the franchise not waning even a fraction, Nintendo has just released the sequel to such a nostalgic title with New Pokémon Snap.

With new fans and original fans alike, New Pokémon Snap promises to be a bigger and more robust experience. After all, over the last couple of decades there have been hundreds and hundreds of new additions. Which, of course, means there are even more exciting Pokémon to get the best pictures of. So what exactly do we think about the game? You can find out in our Pokémon Snap video review below.

Okay, so maybe it’s a little more geared towards the kids, what with the repetition and all but hey it’s definitely still a super fun time. And what’s even better is that playing in the recommended short bursts (for adults anyway) means that it’s the perfect title for those short car rides with friends or bus rides to work. Here’s a brief snippet from our review, “New Pokémon Snap takes everything the original game did right and only adds onto the original, successful formula. It is beautiful and relaxing while being frantic and fun. There is an almost overload of things to see and do on each stage with plenty of challenges to complete.”

Pokémon Snap dropped on April 30th exclusively for Nintendo Switch. Have you joined in the photography yet? What do you think about it so far? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube for more great video game content.

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