It's a make or break week for the provinces.
Since launching our "Get Canada Safely Back to Work" campaign, we've been incredibly encouraged by the conversations it has prompted, and the pressure it has put on our provincial governments to think critically.
And now, with Saskatchewan and New Brunswick leading the charge with plans for measured, safe endings to their lockdowns in May, there's much to be thankful for. Canada is destroying its relentlessly bleak, doomsday modelling that was wrong and alarmist from the word go. Our ICUs remain below average working capacity. Everyday we learn that the virus is far more widespread, but then also far more benign for 99% of those who catch it. We're even learning of the dubious nature of total lockdowns. With data no longer supporting the closing of parks, golf courses, and trails, or the unfocused, blanket approach to illness prevention for our most vulnerable.
As a "bearer of good news", we continue to stand in stark contrast to apocalyptic media coverage, and our governments' over-reliance on hypothetical worst-case modelling -- but there truly are silver linings everywhere.
All rational data points to allowing Canadians back outside in May to enjoy the great outdoors, with continued safety measures.
All rational data points to letting the low-risk and healthy return to work in May, with continued safety measures.
All rational data points to the need to focus on our LTC facilities and our most vulnerable first and foremost, and to properly isolate and support them with both continued and enhanced safety measures.
Which is why we're increasingly concerned with the messaging coming out of Ontario.
Premier Ford has been a boots-on-the-ground success from the beginning, but the shuttering of provincial parks and conservation areas until June, calling all lockdown protestors "yahoos" (many of them are about to lose their jobs, Doug), and his increasingly-dour tone while delivering (ostensibly) good news that his government was truly, deeply, unmistakeably wrong about its hysterical death projections should be cause for concern for Canada's largest province. If the Premier's office slow-plays a total lockdown into June-July, it will have lifetime ramifications for millions, and it will help put Canada lightyears behind the rest of the world. (Heck, it would even prevent the Toronto Raptors from defending their NBA championship.)
We simply can't skip Summer, bring about a depression, prevent the sick from getting much-needed surgeries, and create a mental health crisis in our adults and children the likes of which we've never seen.
Unlike the PM, our premiers clearly have the ability to think both safely AND critically at the same time. And this is the week to do so.
"The appropriate policy, based on fundamental biology and the evidence already in hand, is to strictly protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces and small businesses with some prudent large-group precautions." (Stanford)
It's a make or break week for the rest of the provinces.
As a "bearer of good news", we wish them the absolute best.
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