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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Ian C MacLeod -- Whichever scenario plays out it will continue to be hugely disruptive and expensive, and will probably be with us for quite a while

The COVID-19 crisis will not be over soon (a few months to several years!), and it will be prohibitively expensive. No politician has all the answers and none can realistically provide a quick fix. Those are realities, and we must find ways to adapt to them.

As to duration of the COVID-19 crisis, there seems to be 4 alternative timelines and tracks:

1. MAYBE A FEW MONTHS NEW TREATMENT DRUGS are developed to treat actual infections. There seem to be a number of them close to, or actually in, human testing. Will still be issues of cost and access;

2. MAYBE A FEW MONTHS JUST RUNS its COURSE. With containment measures, cases seem to be “plateauing” in China (if one can believe the data). As with some previous pandemics, maybe in time (hopefully no more than 4 or 5 months) it just fizzles out (with the help of containment and treatment measures).

3. MAYBE 18 MONTHS a NEW VACCINE is brought to market. There are a number of options in the pipeline, but they take time and money to test for effectiveness and safety. There also potential issues of pharmaceutical companies or Trump's USA cornering the market on vaccines or price gouging;

4. SEVERAL YEARS (MAYBE 3 TO 5) over time, society builds GROUP IMMUNITY (like the common cold). But that means that a huge number of us, perhaps the majority, will have to first suffer through the disease, with the resulting death toll (the current mitigation measures are more to save the health care system from being swamped beyond capacity in the short term than to actually stop the spread of the disease);

Whichever scenario plays out, it is, and will continue to be, hugely disruptive and expensive - to all of our lives, services, jobs and the economy, and will probably be with us for quite a while - and much longer than most of us expect or hope for.

Hopefully the shorter tracks #1 or #2 above pan out, but it could the much worse #3 or #4.

In the meantime, each and every one of us will have to:

  • follow the advice of the medical authorities (cleanliness, social distancing, etc);
  • give our support to all of those on the front lines (health care and emergency service workers, much needed food and other retail workers, etc.); and
  • give what help we can to the more fragile seniors, the ill, the economically vulnerable, and the parents of children who have no schools, community programs or libraries (and the children themselves).

It will not be easy, but acting together, with diligence, caring, sharing, wisdom, personal sacrifice, patience and time, we can get through this. We have no other choice!

“Let's be careful out there!” (iconic line from the TV drama, Hill Street Blues (1981-1987)).


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