It was an accidental blunder that’s going viral faster than the virus itself.
There may now be a needle to treat the coronavirus. But there’s no vaccine that can cure the dangers of a hot mic.
Or mask the embarrassment.
Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, associate chief medical officer of health, have joined the list of countless others in and around media microphones who know that when something goes public that wasn’t meant to, it spreads on social media far and wide.
Hence a video moving around on Twitter (believed to be from Monday) of the two doctors bantering just before their news conference was to begin.
What they didn’t realize is the microphones were already turned on and their private conversation was anything but.
“I don’t know why I bring all these papers, I never look at them,” teased Yaffe.
At that point, Williams talks about what is believed to be the COVID-19 numbers and asks did she “really say that?”
They both laugh and it sounds like Williams agrees.
What, they didn’t teach about microphone protocol in medical school?
Another lesson they’ve learned is there’s no isolation room to hide from a cat-out-of-the bag moment. This was no longer a top-secret conversation and there was no doctor-patient confidentially happening on this one.
The Ministry of Health said it is looking into the matter but most fair-minded people understand what this was — two very good, overworked and under-stress doctors at the centre of the pandemic battle blowing off a little steam and having a laugh. No 14-day quarantine necessary.
But it was a laugh that was spread to millions.
The bad news is there is no cure or prescription for the pain and discomfort that comes with open microphone wounds. The good news is there is prevention to avoid contracting this ailment that involves covering your mouth and, of course, sanitizing your words.
Or better yet, just turn the microphone off.