Four months ago a new virus arrived to plague humanity. Believed to have originated in bats, it jumped species. Within a short period an entire province in China was locked down. To date over 80,000 Chinese have been infected, with over 3,000 dead. The Governments of the world had a slim window to control the outbreak and keep it isolated to China. They failed.
Instead of immediately imposing travel restrictions, instead of immediately quarantining anyone from china. They left our borders open and simply “asked” people to self-isolate. The lack luster measures have resulted in over 72,000 infected people outside of China. With a further, 2,500 deaths. Over in Europe Italy was the first Western country to be hit. Instead of immediately quarantining people, instead of immediately enforcing social distancing. It was business as usual. It’s now so bad that it’s being reported that people over 65 years of age are being refused treatment. There simply isn’t enough resources and the Health Care system needs to make hard choices. Everyday in Italy thousands more are infected and hundreds more die. The country has enacted severe emergency measures. But it may be too little too late.
Too Little Too Late
For those of us who weren’t affected, again there was a small window to to contain this outbreak and to mitigate the impending disaster. Again our leaders failed us. Still the borders remained open, still people were allowed to arrive from Italy, Iran, China, Spain without quarantine. Now the virus is here in Canada and it’s in the wild. We are already seeing community transmissions.
Our Federal Government has failed Canadians, it allowed this virus to come here. It allowed infected people to arrive on our shores unhindered. It has failed to provide clear and concise directions. At a time when our citizens need to be protected, it failed. It allowed this virus to arrive on our shores and it failed to enact emergency measures. Instead they offer guidelines and recommendations. Our Prime Minister, instead of leading this country has failed it.
The Provincial Response
It has been left up to our Premiers to lead our citizens through this crisis. Instead of Public Health Canada leading the way, it is the Provincial Health Ministries that are leading. But they are not coordinated. Ontario and Alberta are leading the way but there is only so much they can do. What we need is a coordinated nation wide effort. Not an every Province for themselves solution.
Ontario was the first to close it’s elementary and secondary schools, the Universities and Colleges quickly followed suit. The Ontario Government has closed all Casinos and have suspended the Court System. Yet our malls and restaurants and bars remain open. Instead of declaring an emergency and curtailing these activities. Just like their Federal Counterparts, they resist the inevitable and fall short.
Locally here in Sudbury our City Council has been absent. All organized sports have been cancelled by their National Level Organizations, the YMCA and Private Gyms are closed, the Province has suspended all Elementary and Secondary schools, the Universities and Colleges have shut down. Yet our city continues to operate like it’s business as usual. We already have 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Yet March Break activities continue. City run facilities such as libraries and recreation facilities remain open. This is unacceptable. Our City Leaders need to do more.
What should we do?
Immediately a National State of Emergency needs to be enacted. This will;
- allow for the prices of goods and services to be frozen.
- Rationing can be imposed.
- It will also enable the government to impose a curfew and to limit or outright ban all social gatherings.
- It will also make it easier for Provinces, Cities and Municipalities to access emergency funding which is going to be important in the coming days and weeks.
- Make the Military’s domestic response quicker.
- This will allow for the closure of all our land, sea and air borders. We don’t need any more infected coming here. Canadian Citizens by law have to be allowed back in, but they should immediately be quarantined at an approved facility.
We have some hard times ahead of us, but we can do this. We just have to remember our values. Be kind always, look out for one another, treat others as you wish to be treated. Wash your hands, stay home if you are feeling unwell, we survived the 1918 Spanish Flu, we survived smallpox and polio. We will survive this.