Today I received an email from my White Rock friends who, pre-COVID, went to Perth, Australia to see their grandkids.
More than a year later, my friends are still there, fortunately as it has turned out, living a relatively normal life, because Australia dealt with the pandemic properly, imposing lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus.
The result, 909 deaths in a population of 25 million and an economy that remained strong. While in Canada, there have been over 20,000 deaths in a population of 38 million, in an attempt not to upset too many people or upset the economy. Does it have to be that way? Everyone knows lockdowns save lives. There is going to be loss of life, but let’s make minimizing it the priority.
Imagine if B.C. had imposed an Australia-like lock down right after Christmas. Put the province in a bubble.
By now, six weeks later, we could potentially have stopped the spread, had no new variants circulating, saved much suffering and death, and been looking at the prospect of a return to normalcy (with appropriate cautions).
Or, what if we’d had a proper lockdown last November, instead of the half measure we got. We might even have had a normal Christmas.
Instead, we have daily cases in the hundreds, daily deaths in the double digits, hoping that in nine months (September) the vaccines will have rescued us, unless a resistant variant emerges, in which case, just rewind the tape.
Recently, a task force called the COVID Strategic Choices Group, consisting of experts in epidemiology, public health, public policy, economics, and business, outlined a strategy called Building the Canadian Shield.
It recommends an approach similar to what Australia did but not as harsh.
Please look it up and if you agree, let our politicians and public health officials know. We need to do more.
Mark Dalton, Surrey