PrairieView: COVID shutdown not the answer

It appears that the second wave of this pandemic is getting worse. 

On Nov. 9 there were over 1000 new cases of the infection in Alberta, since then the cases seemed to decrease somewhat. 

However, after four days of decrease they have substantially increased to where there were 1584 people found with COVID-19 on Nov. 21. 

These numbers have many doctors demanding that the government implement a shutdown of all nonessential businesses. 

Initially I did not agree with this solution. Now I am not so sure. If this does happen it will create severe social and economic problems. 

In the Nov. 12 issue of the Edmonton Sun, columnist Lorne Gunter listed many of the social problems that have been created with the previous shutdown. It is impossible to calculate the economic damage to Canada from the shutdown that was implemented last spring.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took full advantage of the situation to show what a compassionate and caring government the Liberals were. 

He went on a spending spree the likes of which the country has never experienced even in war time. 

Prior to the pandemic he was running an unsustainable deficit of about $20 billion. So far with his COVID spending spree the deficit is $343 billion which will increase our accumulated debt to over a trillion dollars. 

How in the world will Canada ever pay that back? 

Another shutdown would require further subsidies. These shutdowns would likely be implemented by the province. 

Provincial deficits also have to be paid back so they also add to the lack of financial integrity of the country. 

So, what is the answer to this mess? 

To me it is time for the people to take responsibility rather than expecting the government to solve this problem. 

There were rules and protocols developed when it became apparent that we would have to deal with a deadly pandemic. Had everyone strictly followed these protocols I think the damage could have been mitigated somewhat. 

However, having said that, there was some confusing advice from the authorities. For example, there was indecision on the benefit of mask wearing and the number of people that were allowed in various public gatherings. 

In spite of the government shutdown many people did not cooperate with what they were expected to do. 

In any event by midsummer the numbers did go down till the fall. The question is why have the numbers dramatically increased to where we are now?

There are probably several reasons, but I think the main reason is that when the government opened up the economy people got complacent and didn’t continue to follow the original rules. 

They didn’t continue taking the necessary precautions. They socialized more and gathered into larger groups. 

As we can see now that was a recipe for the disaster we are now dealing with. I think the only way we can avoid a financial disaster is for everyone to take full responsibility by following the safety protocols such as wearing a mask anytime you are interacting with the public. 

People should be able to continue most activities, such as going to work and eating in restaurants but there should never be more than five or six people in any one group. If there happens to be an infected person in a group, the larger the group the larger the number of people that will be infected. 

If there is another full-scale shutdown in Alberta there will be thousands of small businesses go bankrupt. There are businesses shutting down now due to our weak economy. 

I am aware of at least four businesses that shutdown recently in the Town of Coronation that were not directly connected to COVID. The last one was the Coronation Family Foods grocery store. 

You can see that a province-wide shutdown would be a real disaster for small business.


by Herman Schwenk

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