After seven weeks now for most of us either shut in and working from home, or watching our kids vegetate in front of the TV, the term “reopen” must trigger a rush of endorphins in the brain.
That’s where conversations are now turning in places where the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 appear to have peaked.
There’s no doubt we could also use a glass of wine on a patio or some retail therapy, and our businesses are desperate for some semblance of normal.
We will see if there is a pent-up demand for commerce or if people are too timid and broke to come back and participate in the economy in the way they’d like to. We believe the temporary government interventions we’ve had so far put us at least on a good footing to enter this brave new world.
But we shudder to think of what would happen if we pulled the trigger too soon and end up paying an even higher price thanks to a resurgence. We fear that is what our neighbours to the south are asking for.
No matter what route we choose, there are risks and trade-offs that we must be willing to accept. While we save lives in special COVID wards, people await treatment for other illnesses. And government bailouts cannot last forever.
Thankfully, most of our confirmed cases have come from clusters, not wildfire-like community spread. It may be time for some small, calculated steps forward and close monitoring.
Our leaders all have access to the same public health expertise, but the decision to reopen is a political one.
We don’t know what the new normal will look like. We just want to make sure there are as many of us there to see it as possible.
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