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Let's consider a balanced approach

LETTER: For the week of May 25
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"We are one of many cross-border couples in this situation and needless to say, it takes a toll on mental health to be apart from the most important person in your life for as long as the government decrees," writes Lisa Woo.

I would like to respond to the "Letters to the Editor" written by Dr. Denton Hirsh and Dr. Tom DeMarco in the May 7 and 14 issues of Pique, respectively.

I appreciate the "bigger picture" perspectives that they brought to the table in analyzing some of the costs and consequences of the pandemic measures that have been implemented.

I am a "middle of the road" person; I do not see the world in black and white. 

I see that for every action, there is always an (sometimes not so) equal and opposite reaction (to misquote Sir Isaac Newton).

I also have family members who experienced COVID-19 (my son, daughter-in-law and their two kids, plus my cousin's husband). They have all recovered.

Our approach to COVID-19 in Canada has probably saved thousands of lives and prevented our healthcare system from being overrun. The same may be true for many other countries. However, if we look at the global side effects of the pandemic measures taken, these are just some:

• some animals in zoos around the world have experienced starvation or been killed;

• farm animals have been euthanized;

• crops on farms have been destroyed;

• millions of people have lost their jobs and businesses;

• migrant workers have been displaced into poverty and starvation (especially in Asia and Africa);

• major cities face bankruptcy;

• there will be an economic recession of historic proportions;

• land and ocean pollution has increased due to irresponsibly discarded masks and increased use of plastic wrap and containers.

All that makes my own personal situation seem insignificant, the fact that my marriage to a U.S. citizen was deemed by the government as [a] "non-essential" [reason for travel] and we have not been able to be together at all due to the border closure. (We both live alone and have not been symptomatic or sick.)

We are one of many cross-border couples in this situation and needless to say, it takes a toll on mental health to be apart from the most important person in your life for as long as the government decrees. (Let it be known that this can happen in a country that prides itself on democratic principles and human rights.)

So, taking all this into account, the severe and far-reaching costs of the measures that have been implemented to protect us from an unknown virus, can we not ask ourselves if it was totally worth it in the end? What did we achieve and what costs?

Or is there a more moderate or balanced approach that could achieve sufficient containment without so much global destruction in almost every facet of life?   

Lisa Woo // Whistler




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