trying to get back to normal is going to kill us

We’ve got Covid Fatigue. So we’re missing that it’s actually getting a lot worse. In BC infection rates are six times higher now than in April. 

We did a great job in the first half of the year. We flattened the curve while doctors learned how to fight it, so we’ve kept morbidity down — spectacularly low, in fact. But we’re itching to get back to our lives, as though that’s a thing that can happen. Our frustration and impatience is normal, which is the entire problem. This is not a normal situation. As we relax our vigilance case numbers are going up again, rising much faster than before. If we exceed hospital capacity then the death rate will rise too. How far it rises is on each of us.

Some people like to say the Common Flu is just as bad and we don’t shut Canada down for it, so what’s the big deal. That’s dead wrong. Depending on your source, the 2018 flu season killed just 220 people in Canada (with a 42% vaccination rate), according to Flu Watch, and that was worse than usual. COVID-19 has so far killed 10,685. That’s nearly 50x more deadly SO FAR.

If I were in charge I’d lock the country down. Close the provincial borders. A grid quarantine with mandatory tracing on the level of Singapore or South Korea. I’d pause all the bills, freeze the debts, distribute enough money so we can all afford to stay healthy. We’d have the virus under control in six weeks, and then we’d be able to strategically re-open at a very strict and manageable level until we have vaccines in distribution late next year. It would probably end my political career but I would have saved the population and the economy and I could live with that just fine, thanks. But I’m not in charge. I can only try to spend money locally and help my community get by while our government tries to find a path between saving lives and mitigating the economic disaster of repeating waves of infection. Because people are scared and impatient.

I wear the mask. I wash my hands. I limit my exposure. I appreciate that I live in a country full of intelligent, compassionate people who are also willing to do what it takes to help us all get through, even if it’s lonely, and long, and boring, and frustrating, and scary, and even financially terrifying. We are in this together and we need to behave like that means something.

Trust the experts. Ignore the nuts. Flatten the curve. That is the only way we’re getting through this.