Winnipeg needs early street cleaning to prevent & minimize Coronavirus-like symptoms

Winnipeg needs early street cleaning to prevent & minimize Coronavirus-like symptoms

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Alon Weinberg started this petition to City of Winnipeg

Every spring in Winnipeg, during the time between when the snow melts & the City cleans the streets - a period of several weeks as the City waits to make sure it doesn't snow again - the streets become dry & dusty with leftover sand from the City's winter application.

When the wind blows, this dusty sand & gravel swirls around.   Many people endure this dusty, dirty time with dry, sore throats & hacking dry coughs.  Sound familiar? These sensitivities  - or worse effects for those with respiratory conditions like asthma or emphysema - usually pass after a few weeks, and the eventual street cleaning & rains bring some relief. 

This year must be different.  This year the City needs to tackle street cleaning as soon as possible; we can't wait as long as usual. 

1. The effects of weeks of dusty, sandy, gravelly streets on lungs will weaken those most vulnerable to respiratory issues, exacerbating their already heightened vulnerability to Covid-19.  Additionally, extended exposure for anyone - with respiratory challenges or not - to substances such as excess dust that will test &/or weaken &/or inflame the lungs is not a good idea ever, but especially not this year in the midst of a lung-attacking pandemic.

2. If people - adults & children - are home from work & school, many of them are likely spending more time outdoors than usually they would, especially in the fine spring weather.  Prolonged exposure to dust/sand/gravel may, as mentioned above, cause coughing & asthma or asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing, seizing, & coughing.  In this environment of hyper-sensitivity to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the vast amount of public health information circulating about the virus & its worst symptoms, many people are bound to mistake their bodies' response to environmental conditions to be symptoms of the virus, especially in the context of a growing number of cases in Manitoba & the beginning of communal spread. In addition to increasing worry & anxiety within the population, there is a concern that what is experienced and endured as a cough or wheezing any other year could, this year, lead to hospital visits, potentially taxing the health system & leading to an overuse of scarce health resources. 

We therefore petition with all earnestness the City of Winnipeg to advance its street-cleaning regimen by several weeks & to roll out its crew of hard working civil servants to ensure that the winter cleanup occurs as soon as possible.   We ask that our environmental conditions assist and do not hinder our shared public efforts to fight the Covid virus & to flatten the infections curve to avoid the tragedies that have befallen places like Italy, Spain and the United States.  To the degree that cleaning our streets sooner than later can help a whole lot of us breathe easier, immediate action is urged.

To the extent that the City may, as a result of cleaning streets early, be required to conduct a second round of cleaning due to a certain weather event that shall remain nameless, we call on the Province of Manitoba to assist with the costs up front, to avoid potential increased health costs as a result of the City not having cleaned city streets earlier than usual.

Thank you,

Citizen A(nyone)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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