October 20th, 2020

It’s time to give normal lives back to people


By Letter to the Editor on May 23, 2020.

Re: Social distancing and the new normal.

These two terms I hope soon not to hear again. There is increasing anger, resentment, discontent and uncertainty in our country and this community. I feel it myself to the point where I cannot watch the news.

How did we get into this impossible situation? Why is our country shut down, paralyzed and at the point of ruin? Why do we now have “Arrow” police telling us how to pick up groceries?

The World Health Organization (WHO) mandated the use of social distancing practised over the centuries in treating people with disease eg. leprosy. Lockdown was used effectively in the 1918 flu epidemic where cities exercised this measure with good results. People did not die in numbers where the dead were not buried.

Did WHO expect our country to be locked down from coast to coast to coast? No. Our prime minister and health officials surreptitiously foisted this unbelievable situation upon the entire nation. We were blindsided. Now we are paying the price: People are cocooned and afraid to venture forth. Agoraphobia? Depression has set in. Hopelessness and rising anger.

Only the major hot spots had to be shut down. Cargill is an excellent example of how a COVID-19 outbreak can be handled. The plant was shut down, workers isolated and households quarantined for 14 days. Contacts were traced and tested. Why provincial health ministers have so much power over the entire province is beyond understanding. Why haven’t the mayors of smaller and basically clean communities taken back their power and opened up their towns and cities for business, playgrounds and schools for children, and churches?

Social distancing does not have to be the new norm. If infection is widespread in the community, wear a mask when in public places, avoid face-to-face encounters, and practise hand washing. Give us back our lives or people will begin to exercise their God-given freedoms – and take them back.

Edna Mackenzie

Lethbridge

Share this story:

10
36 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Seth Anthony

If you’re 60 and under, the death rate is about a measly 0.5 percent. BUT (and this is a big but), that number is inaccurate. The true number is actually much lower. The reason is because the death rate numbers are for those who went to the hospital. There are huge numbers of people that get Covid, but have no symptoms, or mild symptoms, so they don’t go to the hospital and aren’t included in that number. If they were included, then the death rate number would be far lower. In addition, those very few that die from Covid are typically over 80 years old with very serious underlying health conditions. In other words, they were so close to death already, that even the common cold would probably have killed them.

These numbers in no way justify throwing millions into unemployment and destroying the economy. Doing this will result in far greater death and destruction than Covid ever will. Poverty, crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, child abuse, domestic violence, psychological disorders, suicide, etc, etc, will all skyrocket.

This isn’t the black death for crying out loud. It’s a very weak virus. Isolation should be voluntary and everyone should be allowed to work and play while practicing the standard precautionary procedures of masks, social distancing, disinfecting, etc, etc. Doing this will flatten the curve without destroying healthy people’s lives and creating massive debt, massive unemployment, and all the destruction that goes with that.

Here’s an article from the National Post explaining the health issues the ill conceived lock downs will cause:

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/health-pmn/how-the-covid-19-lockdown-will-take-its-own-toll-on-health

h2ofield

While thanks for offering your opinion, fact is, it’s still too early to make the call on this thing. To say ” it’s a very weak virus”, unless you’ve been through it, is rather morose. And while asking for the ‘standard precautionary procedures’ from everyone, getting that cooperation 100% isn’t realistic..something will always slip through the cracks .Until there’s a vaccine, we suck it up to what science says. No use going on about the ‘cost’ of it all..Mother nature doesn’t care. One can go on about the origins of it, but she sent us this wake-up call.

Seth Anthony

H2,

It’s weak because the numbers say so. It’s weak because it can only kill the weak and half dead. It’s weak because most who come in contact with it, are immune to it, or show only mild symptoms.

https://www.livescience.com/56598-deadliest-viruses-on-earth.html

Granted, it is somewhat early as you say, and it may mutate into a stronger strain. However, that doesn’t negate my points.

Fescue

This is a pandemic – it is what nature does now and again, and it is outside of human control. It is not a political conspiracy.

Consider some loose statistics. Given your name (I had a younger sister named Edna who would be in her mid-eighties, I’ll assume you are an older person) you have about a one in six chance of dying from the virus, should you contract it – Russian Roulette comes to mind. If there were no intervention on our behaviours, the models show about 70% of the population would contract the virus within a year. That gives you a 7 in 60 chance of dying – over 10%.

By virtue of the government having closed higher-risk opportunities to spread the disease, your chance of dying of this virus within the next year is lost in the decimal places – virtually zero. Is this not good for you?

Can you now see the illogic in reversing the causality in your argument – that the risk of dying is virtually zero and, therefore, the intervention was a gross over-reaction?
Another reason that the intervention was important was that the rate of infections may well have overwhelmed the medical system, causing even more deaths from unrelated causes due to the absence of available medical attention. This is called ‘flattening the curve’ or ‘caring about others’.

As for the economy, we should not understate the pain for many in our community, and we should hope for a speedy recovery and support government efforts to provide needed assistance. But to blame the government for its intervention (in the absence of prior experiences of this sort) is quite unfair and assumes that people would have continued to act the same in a full outbreak. The reality is that the economy would have suffered immensely regardless, as people would have stopped shopping, dining, and attending mass entertainment without being told to do so by an authority.

In sum, let’s accept and support the decisions that have been made by health experts and governments, and refrain from revisioning the outcomes based on illogical arguments or spurious comparisons to unrelated issues.

Seth Anthony

Fescue,

Your reply seems to be addressed to Edna, but whatever.

You said,” Can you now see the illogic in reversing the causality in your argument – that the risk of dying is virtually zero and, therefore, the intervention was a gross over-reaction?”
———————–

A I reading that right? What does the lockdown have to do with recovery rates? In other words, lockdown or not, recovery rates wouldn’t change.

Anyway, the point is, “My body. My choice”. If one wants to hide under the bed because of this weak virus, then so be it. Said hiding should not be forced upon everyone. Especially given the negative circumstances that are created from doing so.

h2ofield

Really? Asymptomatic transfer anyone? Thanks for your forethought!
Again, too early to make the call..and go on about the future burden of it all.
Patience.

Seth Anthony

I’m well aware of asymptomatic transfer. Again, that’s yet another seemingly argument against my points, but it has nothing to do with my points, and more importantly doesn’t negate my points.

h2ofield

Well, if your point is the strong survive and the weak fall by the wayside.
That is unacceptable in my opinion….again..morose.

Seth Anthony

Nope, that’s not my point(s) at all.

h2ofield

What is it then? Don’t get me wrong ..I want people back working and everything good too.
This just isn’t quite the time to rely on complacency until we get the full science and hopefully a vaccine for all. Not quite the time to swing the doors open. Locally or provincially, the data that comes in after this first phase…say a month or two from now will be key. Then there’s the fall, with a potential worse 2nd wave. What I find really positive is the vaccines and trials that are amazingly accelerated thanks to modern medicine. Maybe that silver bullet will be here quicker.

Seth Anthony

Coronaviruses have been known for about 100 years. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a successful vaccine for them. From what the immunologists say, it’s like trying to create a vaccine for the common cold. Also, I believe health organizations are saying that we’re looking at least a year for a vaccine if they rushed it, and if they can produce one at all. Then of course, how many people are going to take it? From my observations to that question, very few. They’re seeing it as being rushed, will not have proper testing, and they’re not going to risk taking it for virus that will have little, or no effect on them. I suspect the best bet is herd immunity and/or it dies on its own. Those things won’t happen when people are in isolation.

As far as my points go, they are exactly as I said in my original post.

Tom Johnston

To extend your logic — “My body. My choice”, absent of any reference to how your choices may impact others — we should repeal impaired driving legislation and remove all posted speed limits, as both infringe upon personal liberties (although I’m not certain that driving while impaired or at dangerously-high speeds are “God-given rights)..

Seth Anthony

I covered that by stating that if one doesn’t want to get covid, then they can voluntarily isolate. Not that it would matter much, as unless you live in a plastic bubble, you’re going to come into contact with covid one way or another.

Does the end justify the means? I think not.

Citi Zen

A very weak virus… but 97,000 deaths in the U.S. alone to date.
Practice reasonable safety. And keep the border closed a bit longer…..

Seth Anthony

It’s been in the us for 6 months now at the very least. Given the us has a population of around 327 million, that means around 99.97% haven’t died. A weak virus indeed. Especially given that for intents and purposes, it’s too weak to kill anyone unless they’re already on the brink of death.

Tom Johnston

As you have opened the door, let’s head on through.

If it is the case that we shouldn’t be concerned about the disproportionate risk (and higher mortality rates) faced by the old and sick because they are on death’s door anyway, then the next question is really obvious.

Where do you draw the line? How old, or how ill, or how close to death does a person need to be before we shouldn’t be concerned about them?

Seth Anthony

One can apply the “where do you draw the line” argument to just about anything. In this regard, the line is drawn when the consequences of the so called cure are worse than the disease. For example, harming people that weren’t in harms way (which is the vast majority), in order to slightly extend the lives of a very, very small minority of people that were about to expire anyway.

biff

agree with fes, as usual (and because it likely confounds harold), also agree with h20, ragnar, and, oddly, citi!
there is much i feel uncomfortable with in the letter, but the worst of it is the statement that cargill is an “excellent example” of how covid should be handled. you think?! great plan that was – get a bunch of employees sick due to NOT implementing effective countering measures, and then decide to act. enough said: the letter comes off as a fail.