When it comes to imposing lockdowns because of the Covid-19 coronavirus, I think most of us accept them as reasonable and necessary moves.
But I realize there are a lot of people who see them, because of the adverse effects they have on them personally and the economy in general, as a case of the cure being worse than the disease.
Considering the battering the United States is taking from the virus and how it is making inroads in certain parts of Canada, I am with the former.
As I write this on Saturday, the U.S. just experienced its highest number of Covid-19 cases ever on a one-day basis, 184,000. It was the third straight day of setting a record.
Chicago has reinstated a stay-at-home advisory, New Mexico has instituted restrictive statewide measures and.Oregon has imposed a partial shutdown, closing gyms and dine-in restaurants and mandating a six-person limit on all social gatherings.
Other states are trying to avoid full-blown lockdowns by enacting almost every other kind of restriction: nighttime curfews, bar closures, stricter mask mandates, 10-person gathering limits. But such moves are not being accepted as easily as they were the first time around, back in the spring when the virus was beginning its ugly march.
Back then the fight was new and people accepted what had to e done.
Now, however, there is pushback, with talk of Covid-19 fatigue.
I can see that. There is no doubt we are all tired of what is happening, even those of us in the Sault area who have not been affected severely.
But just because we are tired of the restrictions we face doesn’t mean we can just give up.
We are in a war, not as deadly as the First and Second World Wars, but deadly nonetheless.
The troops who kept us safe in those wars undoubtedly suffered battle fatigue but they didn’t have the luxury of saying, “I’m tired of this and I’m not going to do it any more.”
Actually, we don’t either.if we want to survive.
We may not have bullets coming at us but we do have a killer in our midst.
I realize closing down our businesses again will be a tremendous hardship for many, owners and employees taking the brunt of it, and will have an awful effect on the economy.
But when you look at what is happening in the U.S. it is hard to see any other choice.
It leads the world in positive cases with 10,877,379 and in deaths with 245,519.
Yet there are some who still claim the whole thing is a hoax. These people, of course, are supporters of Donald Trump, the U.S. president whose inaction allowed the virus to take hold in his country in the first place.
And then we have a conservative group in Alberta that is arguing that , since most deaths and severe cases are among the elderly, it is difficult to justify restrictions imposed by the provincial government in response to surges of the virus.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, recently announced private gatherings would be capped at 15 people in Edmonton and Calgary, in response to surges in COVID-19 cases that are putting a strain on the hospital system and leading to the deferral of surgeries and other medical services.
Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms founder John Carpay was quoted by Postmedia, “We’re publicly objecting to new restrictions on Charter freedom to associate.
“It’s a fundamental freedom that I have as a citizen to invite 16 or 20 people over to my house if I so choose, if we choose to associate with each other,” he said.
“Whether it’s six people or 10 people or 20 people, when the government tells you how many friends you’re allowed or not allowed to have over to your house, that is a very obvious and very direct infringement of freedom of association.”
I agree. It is a very obvious and very direct infringement of freedom of association.
But it is necessary. If we are to defeat this virus, it will require giving up some civil liberties.
We in this area have been lucky, but who knows what the future holds. Look at Western Canada. Where it looked like the virus was under control, as mentioned earlier, it is now surging.
Australia went through this but with tough measures, it is now to the point where it has almost eliminated the virus.
A story in The Washington Post a couple of weeks back said at that point no new cases were being reported on the island continent.
It had been a tough go, especially in some parts of the country.
Almost all public life in Melbourne ended, the city undergoing a lockdown for 111 days. It was that long before residents were allowed to leave their homes for any reason.
Leaders from across the ideological spectrum persuaded Australians to take the pandemic seriously early on and prepared them to give up civil liberties they had never lost before, even during two world wars.
“We told the public: ‘This is serious; we want your cooperation,’ ” said Marylouise McLaws, a Sydney-based epidemiologist at the University of New South Wales and a World Health Organization adviser.
And they got it.
So rather than pushing back on restrictions that may be put in place to fight the virus, I would suggest we prepare ourselves to follow Australia’s lead and do whatever is required to defeat it.
Yes, some businesses will die and employees will lose their jobs, but in time both owners and employees will rise again.
Those the virus kills will not have that opportunity.