Who said this? Travelling between provinces nowadays in a pandemic is “selfish, it’s responsible, it’s dangerous and it poses horrible harm to others.”
If you said that guy isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, I would be inclined to agree.
Who said this? “To brazenly not follow public health guidelines puts people at risk and that is something that we’ve seen with extreme right-wing ideology.”
You might think that’s the same guy.
But no, the first quote is from University of Toronto epidemiologist Dr. Colin Furness in an interview with The Globe and Mail. The second is from NDP leader Jagmet Singh.
Both smart guys, proving once again that the correlation between intelligence and common sense has yet to be proven. The first statement is just ridiculous. The second is less so. But even Singh must admit that young people are at very low risk of even getting sick from COVID and when they test positive it advances us that much closer to herd immunity. Young people know this. Science-based knowledge does not make them extremists. They know that a one-size-fits-all lockdown is just dumb public policy.
Our leaders have too often turned a serious public health issue into an either/or argument. Either we lockdown (stay home, shut down schools, shut down the economy, don’t go to work and don’t play sports) and we’ll beat COVID or we listen to the white supremacist anti-vaxxers and open everything up, burn the masks, breathe on your friends and kill your cousin. That’s not an exaggeration if Singh is to be taken at his word.
There is so little effort made to look at the vast landscape of options in between. As a starting point, surely we can protect the vulnerable without violating human rights and arresting pastors, journalists, burger joint owners and knocking a 12-year-old skateboarder to the ground in a public park. We also don’t need to force people into their homes to spend long periods of time eating their brains on the sofa. We’ve done that long enough. Ontario has had some of the most restrictive lockdowns in North America and It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find arguments to ruin more businesses and destroy more lives to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The fact of the matter is that all frontline workers and elderly people who want the vaccine have all been vaccinated twice. Even for those without a second dose, the vaccine still works to combat the virus so you won’t get as sick.
We know that 1.2 million Canadians have had the virus and recovered. Probably another four million people have had the virus and didn’t even know it or didn’t go to see a doctor. So both groups are now immune. About 8 million people under age 21 are statistically not at more risk to COVID than to the common flu. Almost 13 million Canadians received their first dose of the vaccine by mid-May and about 65 % of all Canadians over the age of 19 were expected to have been vaccinated by the end of May. There is some overlap in these groups but doesn’t this tell us we are on the way out of this pandemic.
Meantime, anyone and everyone who feels vulnerable or who is concerned about getting the virus has the freedom to stay home. They have the right to self-isolate. Everyone else who believes they are at low risk should have the right to go back to work, to church, to restaurants and to soccer fields. We can still limit crowd sizes and densities. We don’t need a full face-smash lockdown. People need their freedom. Even the resilient farmer is not bouncing back from one year of societal lockdown, according to a rural psychotherapist.
If federal and provincial governments don’t start easing off on restrictions, we now run the risks of serious long-term unemployment, depression and a spike in mental illness and substance abuse.
Martin Kulldorff, a professor at Harvard Medical School, summarized the impact: “Lockdowns have protected the laptop class of young low-risk journalists, scientists, teachers, politicians and lawyers, while throwing children, the working class and high-risk older people under the bus.”
Did you get that? The people making decisions about other people’s lives don’t care about those people. But they are willing to say stupidest of things to get those people to obey. We trust them at our peril.