EDITORIAL: A speedy COVID-19 solution is the worst-case scenario

EDITORIAL: A speedy COVID-19 solution is the worst-case scenario

Doing what is needed means stretching this global pandemic out longer

All of our lives are very different right now and if all goes according to plan, this will last for quite some time.

While that may not be a positive thing to hear, it’s worth noting that following the recommendations and orders from public health officials should help end the COVID-19 pandemic, but it won’t do that soon.

Ending this quickly is actually the worst-case scenario.

Staying home and social distancing will extend this pandemic, and that is the point. The public health advice is meant to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, which means that as the virus inevitably affects all or most of us, the number of new cases needs to be spread over a long period of time.

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If all we want for is this to be over with quickly – as U.S. President Donald Trump has urged – we would go to hockey games, dance together in the streets. The problem with that scenario is that the health-care system would not be able to keep up and doctors would be forced to choose who lives and who dies.

And many, many vulnerable people would die.

There are those who suggest this is what should be done to help rescue the economy. The ones dying, some say, are in their 80s, maybe close to end of life anyway. This is not only heartless, it is also inaccurate. Look around your family, friends your workplace and you don’t have to look far to find someone with an underlying health condition that could make a COVID-19 infection deadly.

Whether it is cancer survivors or those with auto-immune disease, some people of any age are at risk of death from this virus.

The so-called flattening of the curve will extend the timeline of this pandemic, but hopefully make manageable taking care of those affected.

It’s easy to see how this all looks like an over-reaction but health-care professionals on the front lines say we should assume every person we come into contact with is positive.

“If you are not afraid of what is going on, then you don’t have a good understanding of it,” says a Toronto emergency room doctor.

Like the battle against climate change, this requires the implementation of frustrating measures that may damage the economy in the short term, but are required to save us in the long term.

This is our new inconvenient truth.

Black Press Media


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