Andrew Nikiforuk writes that expecting governments to fight COVID is yet another example of misplaced faith:
When governments play with viral fires, it is ordinary citizens, including our unvaccinated children, that get burned.
And so the fourth wave has arrived in our midst like some crazed arsonist in a dry forest under a heat dome.
This is what happens when a reckless political class ignores history (pandemics have long tails); abandons effective control measures; preaches the gospel of unwarranted optimism; surrenders any duty of care, and abandons the unvaccinated (children) to high risk and uncertainty.
His focus is on Canadian -- not American -- governments:
In Canada, Alberta stands out as a risible example of this political and moral collapse.
A rudely inept government has refused to address rising caseloads, just as they did repeatedly in two previous waves. (Intransigent governments, whether of the left or the right, tend to behave badly, consistently.)
The Jason Kenney administration can’t even release modelling figures promised a month ago.
And the independent BC COVID-19 Modelling Group calculates that the trajectory of infections in the province will explode from 800 a day to 4,000 in the next two weeks without interventions.
The Trudeau government, which botched the nation’s entire pandemic response (if this wasn’t an emergency calling for national standards, than what the hell is?), obviously doesn’t want Delta’s exponential growth to influence a completely unnecessary election.
The same irresponsible panjandrums who wilfully let the third wave of COVID overwhelm the capacity of acute care hospitals in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba ignorantly set the scene for a fourth wave.
So be warned: governments that reduce the pandemic to stats on the dead and the recovered are minimizing the complexity and severity of this pandemic.
There are other countries that have done much better:
Countries that have pursued elimination (Zero COVID), such as New Zealand and Taiwan, don’t have long COVID or clogged hospitals to worry about. They used layers of public health measures including effective border controls to eliminate community transmission altogether. They banished fear and restored confidence. And they did so without vaccines.
France’s Molinari Economic Institute recently compared the performance of Zero COVID jurisdictions with G10 nations with no discernible plan other than waiting for the vaccine. The results are jaw-dropping. In the U.K., for example, the economic downturn was nine times more pronounced in 2021 than in New Zealand. Moreover, the U.K. resorted to more stringent measures affecting civil rights than New Zealand ever has. (New Zealand, which hasn’t had a COVID case in six months and only 26 deaths for the entire pandemic, is now battling an outbreak with a strict lockdown.)
So what's to be done?
The institute’s recommendation: Couple vaccine campaigns with a Zero COVID approach.
Without such an approach children become victims:
By removing mask requirements and other protective measures, many governments from Florida to Alberta have left their young children vulnerable to mass infection — a careless and unethical act.
So what happens when you vaccinate about 70 per cent of the population, lift mask protocols and other measures, but leave children under 12 completely unprotected because they haven’t been jabbed?
Well, you push the pandemic into unvaccinated populations. (It could be another six months before researchers complete vaccine trials for children.)
And then what happens when authorities order children back to poorly ventilated schools with mostly ill-conceived health protocols as the Delta variant surges?
The outcome, like so much of this pandemic, is highly predictable: thousands of children have already been hospitalized in the U.S. Throughout the south and Midwest, pediatric hospitalizations have broken all pandemic records. As one doctor told the Wall Street Journal: “This is different than we saw before. We weren’t sustaining those numbers months ago.”
It's an old and ugly truth: Any society which does not nurture its children has no future.
Image: AZ Quotes