We’re victims of our own success.
Many of those who have downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, if not outright denied its existence, are now pointing to relatively low death figures and dropping case numbers in an attempt to argue that our public health officials and political leaders overreacted in bringing in lockdowns and travel restrictions that have, admittedly, caused economic pain for people. They point to these numbers and say, see? The pandemic isn’t really that bad.
Of course this argument is ridiculous, as it deliberately ignores the obvious: the number of people who have died in British Columbia is relatively low and our hospital system did not become overwhelmed because we took these steps to combat the virus. What would have happened if we indeed hadn’t taken measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 through our communities, or those measures hadn’t proven to be successful? We don’t have to dig too deeply to find out. It’s all over the news.
How the naysayers continue to justify this claptrap when they see what has happened in India, Brazil, and even, to some extent our closest neighbour to the south, the United States, is a mystery. These countries show very clearly what happens if public health measures are not taken at all or are not adequate. When lockdowns come too late or not at all, and the need to wear masks to slow transmission is ignored, or actively discouraged.
Closer to home, Manitoba’s health system is overwhelmed by the third wave. Ontario saw a huge third wave surge. So did Alberta and B.C. What has started to bring these surges back under control? Public health measures including various levels of lockdown.
So to claim that we didn’t need to do anything to combat COVID is absurd nonsense. We cannot take our relative success for granted. Too many people in B.C. have died from and continue to die from COVID. Abandoning health measures because they have been successful in limiting the tragedy would be nothing less than catastrophic.