Every evening at 7, Canadians bang pots and shout out to honour our frontline workers. Rightly so. But as Canadians gear up to return to work we must protect those who contracted COVID-19 on the job. Currently, under CERB, recovered front-line workers must accept any job offer, full or part-time, from the employer who laid them off due to the virus.
The reinfection rate and the viability of antibody-based immunity have not yet been determined, as recently indicated by the prime minister and Theresa Tam. The potential severity of reinfection is not known. Mutation patterns have not been determined and PPE supplies are difficult to acquire even for medical personnel, let alone for front-line workers in the service industry such as clerks and servers.
CERB is in effect until September. Recovered workers form a small portion of Canadians who were laid off due to COVID-19. Until more is known, they must be given the choice whether to risk reinfection or not. That is democracy. Let us serve those who served us. Do not them become the canaries in the coal mine.
Write the PM, your MLA and our health ministers today.