OPINION: It’s time to follow the scientific method - and re-evaluate Canada’s COVID approach

Toronto Sun

A sign promotes COVID-19 vaccination Wednesday, May 12, 2021 north of Shannonville, Ont. PHOTO BY LUKE HENDRY /Luke Hendry

Did you know that the average age of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths in 2020 was almost 84 years, while the average age at death in Canada in 2019 was only 76. You would think that these Statistics Canada data published on June 1 would give politicians, public health officials, and the media reason to re-examine the threat of SARS-CoV-2 and consider age-specific response measures. We are a group of academics with PhDs spanning the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities. What we know about COVID-19 has changed over the last 15 months.

In early 2020, asymptomatic transmission was suspected to pose a risk large enough to respond to the novel coronavirus with unprecedented lockdowns and mobility restrictions.

The collateral damage of lockdowns on our emotional, physical, and mental health is increasingly coming to light. Considering that humans are social beings, this is an unprecedented experiment that might have devastating long-term effects, especially on children. The United States has been a political battlefield for different approaches to responding to COVID-19. It does not take a degree in medicine or public health to see the possibility that the threat of SARS- CoV-2 was greatly exaggerated and the Western world’s pandemic response badly mismanaged.

It is extremely dangerous to suppress diverging analyses and censor opposing views, as has been happening with respect to COVID-19 in mainstream and social media, in the public sphere and at the workplace, and even in our universities and parliaments. If we do not maintain careful checks and balances on government and public health officials, we run the risk of taking the wrong path for too long. This is the situation we are facing right now, and it is imperative that we stop and retrace our steps to find a sensible, sustainable way to deal with SARS- CoV-2, as we do with other endemic viruses.

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Source: Claus Rinner, Donald G. Welsh, Jan Vrbik, John Zwaagstra, Laurent Leduc and Valentina Capurri( Special to Toronto Sun)|Toronto Sun

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