Tristin Hopper: Canada’s COVID-19 lockdowns have lost all touch with reality


Temporary street patios earlier this month in Toronto as they were being prepared by restaurants and bars in anticipation of the end of lockdown. PHOTO BY IAN WILLMS/GETTY IMAGES/FILE

COVID-19 is now killing fewer Canadians per day than the daily average from pneumonia and the flu

With both having received two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, they’re effectively removed from the ranks of people who contract or transmit COVID-19. Of the 139 million Americans who have become fully vaccinated since December, a mere 3,459 have suffered a serious COVID-19 infection in spite of vaccination. The couple were leaving a state of 10 million people that was now counting record-low case rates of only 300 infections per day. Comprehensive infection data from Israel, meanwhile, has shown that people like the Floridas are now 94 per cent less likely to transmit the virus to others.

And on top of everything, they both showed up at the border with negative COVID-19 test results. The Government of Canada did not care. «It seems like you would want to deploy those resources better than just sort of being a pest,» Florida told the National Post. Florida is but one of thousands of people now caught in a latticework of Canadian COVID-19 restrictions that have ceased to have any relationship to reality.

As COVID-19 goes into full retreat across the country, Canadian governments are stubbornly adhering to restrictions that are not only pointless, but incur a daily tithe of debt, closed businesses and lockdown-related fatalities. At a time when Canada should be casting off the shackles of one of its most damaging single events, entrenched interests seem bent on seeing it continue. On Thursday, only 12 people in Canada died from COVID-19. For context, in a typical year 19 Canadians can be expected to die every day from flu or pneumonia.

By contrast, in just the first two months of 2021 Alberta saw an average of four fatal overdoses per day. Canada now has one of the lowest rates of per-capita COVID-19 fatalities in the entire G20. At the end of this week, the average citizen of the European Union is now 61 per cent more likely to die of COVID-19 than the average Canadian, even though the case rates in both places are roughly the same. Even with Ontario now at 75 per cent vaccination coverage, a government-mandated interval of three weeks means that hair salons will continue to remain shuttered until July.

He suspects he’s not the only one thinking hard about whether it’s still possible for him to do his job from Canadian soil. «This is literally like hanging out a sign and saying ‘global talent, we’re kind of on the fence about you,’» he told the National Post. Canada’s hesitance on reopening also risks leaving whole sectors of the economy out of the global rebound, including the country’s $100 billion-per-year tourism industry. As early as February, Poland lifted its quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated tourists.

Canada, by contrast, just extended its non-essential travel ban with the U. until at least July 21, ostensibly to keep «Canadians safe,» according to a statement by Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair. The borders similarly remain closed to everyone else looking to take a Canadian vacation, regardless of their vaccination status. «You can’t enter Canada for discretionary travel,» reads a blunt declaration on the Government of Canada’s official information page for foreign visitors. Not only is this shutting out yet another summer for Canada’s bankruptcy-plagued tourism sector, but it risks permanently altering long-established travel patterns.

Canada’s refusal to reopen its ports to even fully vaccinated cruise vessels, for instance, has spurred a legislative push in the U. A June 9 poll by Maru Public Opinion found that 69 per cent of Ontarians approved of school closures. And despite living within North America’s most locked-down jurisdiction, half approved of the performance of Premier Doug Ford. An Angus Reid Institute poll released the same day wasn’t nearly as warm towards Ford, but it nevertheless found that Ontarians approved of his performance on COVID more than any other single file, including the economy, healthcare and education. crawls out of its pandemic, American communities have reached out to Canadians with a wave of good neighbourliness.

Communities in Alaska, Montana and Washington State have even offered extra vaccine doses to Canadian towns across the border to speed up reopening. Canadians, in contrast, have seemed unusually willing to seal off outsiders for as long as possible. Last month, Ontario premier Doug Ford said his province could not afford to watch the fourth wave of COVID-19 «walk across our border.» Last July in B. Only three weeks ago, an Angus Reid Institute poll found that more than half of Canadians continued to favour a total ban on international arrivals. Said Florida, himself American-born with two dual-citizen children, COVID-19 «exposed something I had never seen and would rather not see».

Source: Tristin Hopper | NP 

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