Note from Michael, Dec. 26, 2021 | Letting go of COVID guilt

From the desk of Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO

Hi Everybody:

I want to tackle head on something I have been getting notes, phone calls and texts about over the past few days—“COVID guilt”.  The vast majority of Islanders have been trying hard to follow CPHO guidance, changing holidays plans to decrease exposures, getting vaccinated as soon as they can, wearing masks, and yet Omicron is spreading through the province.  This goes for our Health PEI team as well. We have a growing number of staff members becoming infected and many more identified as contacts. 

As I have said a few times, the vast majority of our staff infections are being picked up in the community, but I haven’t said this: It’s not your fault!  You didn’t cause Omicron. 

Given your double or triple vaccine status, the vast majority of you will have minimal symptoms—so minimal that you may not know you are infected.  This can lead to further exposures at work but that is the nature of the virus.  All we can do about this is continue to wear our PPE and be careful around one another.  No health care system in Canada has the ability to lab test every worker every day, and even if we did, I do not believe it could stop the spread.

Ultimately, this is about shifting gears to trying to manage the spread of Omicron—surfing the wave rather than trying to stop it.  Islanders have been so good at stopping this until now, that I think we probably have the most difficultly of any province in making this shift.

To sum up: you do great work, a bunch of us are likely to get infected during this wave but due to vaccines, the vast majority of us will be OK. We will try to control the spread of this in our facilities as best as we possibly can, but at least some spread will occur. This is the reality of Omicron and nobody should feel guilty about it.

Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to, subject line “Notes for Michael”.

Last Updated
Sun, 12/26/2021 - 14:36