LETTER: Shutting down the economy is not the way to respond to pandemic

Can we not protect the vulnerable and elderly without sacrificing the lives of others?

In response to “Arguing to open the economy is arguing to cull the herd,” Editor’s Notebook, Progress, May 28, 2020, I would like to agree wholeheartedly with your closing sentence where you stated, “But please, let’s be honest.”

• READ MORE: COLUMN: The call for full-scale economic reopening is an argument to cull the herd

Honesty is exactly what is needed as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold. For example, let’s be honest about the number of suicides resulting from the lockdowns and job losses. The son of my neighbour is an example. After losing his job when his place of employment was forced to shut down due to COVID-19, he slipped into depression and shortly thereafter took his own life.

Let’s be honest about how shutting down a large part of the economy is not the only way to combat a pandemic. Look to Taiwan for an example of an alternate approach. I am 100 per cent in favour of protecting the elderly and vulnerable, but can this not be achieved without sacrificing the lives of others?

Let’s be honest about how projections for COVID-19 deaths, upon which most governments based their courses of action, were extremely overestimated.

Let’s be honest about how the real death rate of COVID is between 0.1 per cent and 0.3 per cent, with almost all deaths occurring in people with significant co-morbidities. Let’s be honest about how the majority of the mainstream media refuses to cover stories or information that isn’t in line with the official narrative, even if it is thorough research done by credible doctors or scientists.

As for putting profits before people, it is my honest observation that many small and local businesses are closed or suffering, while the big box stores have been open and busy all along. Is a local family, simply wanting to protect their independent livelihood, being greedy or heartless?

And last but not least, please, let’s be honest about how our youth and future generations will probably pay greatly increased taxes and have reduced career opportunities because of today’s lockdowns. Discussing these points, in my opinion, is a step towards being honest.

Jeff Engelbrecht

• Send your letter to the editor via email to editor@theprogress.com. Please include your first and last name, address, and phone number.

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