The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how quickly a virus can spread, and how unprepared we are to tackle such a large enemy. Every nation has either misjudged, mismanaged or hesitated in some way that facilitated the spread of the corona virus. From lack of testing to unfettered border crossings, the issues we have faced, and will face in the near future, are a sign that we need to make better protocols for these situations.
The world has not really seen anything like the COVID-19 virus. Its contagion level is extremely high making it very hard to keep contained, and the incubation period makes it very hard to detect. These attributes make the virus uniquely dangerous. The virus has the capability and efficiency to infect nearly the entire population.
For many it will be mild, but many it will not be. Even if the death rate is lowered to 1% from the 3% it is looking like right now, the death toll could be as high as 77 million. If you want to look at just the elderly, which there are roughly 677 million over 65 in the world, their death rate is over 10%, which would be over 67 million. That’s 590,000 Canadian mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. That is a lot no matter how you look at it, or what death toll numbers of other diseases you research.
Staying ahead of the curve.
You hear a lot about ‘flatten the curve’. The only way to do that is to stay ahead of the curve. To do that we all need to take the measures that were recommended to us SERIOUSLY. It is very important to sanitize and wash your hands frequently if you are outside of the house. Try to wear a mask, if not, do not touch your face, ever. Limit any close interaction with people. If you can stay home from work, if you do not work in a critical industry like grocery, health care, emergency services, and your job deals with the public, stay home, we will figure the rest out when everyone is safe.
A comprehensive relief package.
The government needs to step up and provide a smart and effective relief strategy that will help the most people nation wide. To do this you need to look at the root of the problem. People can not work, so people do not have money. The largest expenses are usually rent/mortgage, insurance payments, child care, and food.
The Canadian government has enacted policy to waive the 1 week waiting period for EI. So this will help some people, but not all. Many people either do not have enough hours to qualify or are self employed like gig workers. These people will be without work and without any way to make up for the lost wages. How do they pay their rent?
Or the family of 4, that both can not work, the mother works part time, and does not qualify for EI, and the dad gets 55% of his earnings to cover their mortgage, insurance and food for the month. People will have to borrow and go into debt, but what about the people that don’t have credit and are living like this? People are going to suffer and go without unless we come up with a plan.
One way is for the Federal government to suspend mortgage payments during times of pandemic outbreak and to legislate that insurance companies include retroactive clauses of payment waives during such times. No rent and no insurance payments. You still get 55% of your wages. These 2 measures as a start would reach the most Canadians being impacted by the outbreak. Nobody would be put behind in any way, and everyone would be able to protect themselves and their loved ones. Stopping the spread would not be such a burden.
The hopeful outcome
I think that much of the policies that have now been implemented, with the exception of the reluctance to close the US/CAN border, we will quickly ‘flatten the curve’. There will be some deaths, but I think that in a months time things should be on a downward trend, instead of the upward one we are in now. The biggest impact will hopefully be a financial one and not one of personal grief. We can take care of finances, especially when everyone is impacted. I feel no remorse with sticking that burden on the shoulders of the government, the banks and the insurance companies.
While we are all waiting for this to blow over, get online and sign some petitions. This one is for rent/mortgage payment suspension. It has 230k signatures already and is quickly growing. I do not know the effectiveness of these kinds of petitions, but it is a good indication of the support for this idea. If you think so to sign and share.