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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

FELDSTED -- The world will not stay “on pause” awaiting a coronavirus vaccine ... there are better solutions


Politicians talk about a “new normal” following the relaxing of coronavirus regulations. There will be a “new normal” – for governments.

We are weary of the continual bickering, posturing, promises and ongoing failures to put the interests and welfare of Canada and Canadians first in our governance considerations.

Canadians were doing well caring for themselves, in spite of government meddling, and will do well caring for themselves as the coronavirus crisis passes. Our governments have no tools with which to eradicate or eliminate coronavirus. It is not the only uncontrolled virus we have to combat.

The world will not stay “on pause” awaiting a coronavirus vaccine. There are better solutions.

Government inaction was replaced with overreaction. Shutting down our economy and all social interactions was drastic and has serious financial repercussions. This aspect of the fallout was not given proper consideration when the decisions to shut down was made.

Financial support programs keep expanding daily as governments discover new groups in need of financial support not covered or inadequately covered by their initial programs. It appears very few have escaped reduced income, increased costs or both.

Governments are not saving us from anything. They are embroiled in alleviating hardships arising from a questionable decision to lock down the nation. A new report estimates that there are now more than 11 thousand unoccupied beds in hospitals across Canada, both because of fewer ER visits and the fact that a staggering number of surgeries -- almost 53 thousand -- have been cancelled. Ref:

We are told that as of May 1st there were 55,061 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus confirmed. 28,919 were active ... 22,751 had recovered ... and 3,391 had died.

Of the 28,919 active cases, we do not know how many are isolated (quarantined) at home (or if they stay home), and how many are hospitalized. Of the 3,391 dead, we are told that 79% or 2,679 are connected to personal care facilities. Many residents in personal care facilities have “do not resuscitate” orders on file and cannot be saved.

Of the 52,382 non-personal care facility cases, 43.4% have recovered, and non-personal care facility deaths are 711 or 1.36% of those infected.

I have difficulty accepting that coronavirus can be accurately described as “lethal”. To date, 1 in every 723 residents living outside of personal care facilities have been infected.

We do not want to see the numbers of verified cases reported rapidly increase, so precautions are still in order. The key is for people suffering coronavirus symptoms to seek help and get tested. That will assist health care officials to keep new infections contained.

Continuing to act as if everyone we come in contact with is ill and can infect us in not practical, rational or reasonable.

We need to make provisions for family units to reunite and shortly thereafter for communities to reunite. Like many other things in our lives, we do not appreciate the value of family and friends until they are suddenly not available when we discover how much we need and miss them. Isolation has taught us a lot about what really matters.


We must be careful and continue to protect those we know to have health problems that inhibit their ability to combat a virus. That includes any virus including other strains of influenza. The basics of hand washing, avoiding facial touching, suppressing coughs and sneezes in an arm, and regularly disinfecting high use surfaces are common sense habits we have to cultivate.

What we need from our governments is relief from the political posturing. The Prime Minister and Premiers do not have license to control our lives and cannot tell us that they will only allow us to leave our homes -- and conduct our affairs under strict controls. They can propose reasonable regulations to protect us, and others for a limited duration, but people have to buy into the plan.

We have not relinquished our constitutional freedoms and rights. We cooperated in containing the coronavirus spread. The feared wave of infections did not occur so there is no curve to flatten ... 11,000 empty hospital beds attest to that.

We now have 53,000 cancelled and postponed surgeries, and medical procedures, to catch up on.

Putting our entire focus on containing coronavirus spread has resulted in hardship and suffering for people who were arbitrarily elbowed aside. They too deserve compassion and compensation.


John Feldsted ... is a political commentator, consultant, and strategist.  He makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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