Social Distance Advisory
The current pandemic has cost more than $20 Trillion because we were not prepared. We are sure to do this again if we don’t start changing the way we do things.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, February 5, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic. COVID-19 was spreading rapidly throughout the world, but no one knew about the details or how to stop the spread. Fast forward almost a year later, and although some information has become clear, we need to stick to what we know for sure. Wearing masks, maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet apart, and proper hand hygiene/cleaning measures have been proven to help prevent the spread of the virus. If we clearly focus on a Social Distance Compliance Plan and safety protocols that we understand, we can begin to recover. So, Premier Doug Ford, what is your actual plan for unlocking the economy? What is your strategy for avoiding another lockdown in the fall of 2021 when an unavoidable third wave hits?
What We Don’t Know
The pandemic has taught everyone what it takes to come together to bring back a feeling of normalcy, but there is still so much we don’t know. Are we protected from reinfection? We don’t know if vaccines will protect us from reinfection or exactly how long they will last. We cannot measure the immune response yet. If one has had the virus before, they are likely to be immune for at least six months, but nothing is guaranteed. We also do not understand the vaccines’ long-term effects. Vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, have little data shown because the rollouts have only recently started. Other than those common for a vaccine, the short-term effects are also unknown because of its early stages. We don’t fully understand the capabilities of the vaccines and if we could still spread the virus after receiving them.
We hear about the daily case counts every day, but these are confirmed cases and deaths. We don’t know how many people are immune or if everyone who has gotten sick didn’t mistake it for the common cold/flu and just decided not to get tested. There have been asymptomatic cases, individuals with mild symptoms who recover quickly, symptoms that require care with months of complications, and cases that result in death. We don’t know why specific individuals become ill, and others can recover with no complications. Variants have started to become more common, which is another area of concern. With some necessary travel occurring and the world being more interconnected than ever before, no one can know if we will discover new variants in the future.
Will this winter be the same as 2020? Influenza and diseases are heightened in the colder months. We do not know whether we will be back to the same numbers or not, especially if restrictions are relieved. Many of us want to know when the pandemic will end. Will it be in 2021? We know that we should be positive, but we cannot know if the pandemic will end this year. When the pandemic does end, we won’t know if the virus will continue to spread. According to Tom Koch, a professor with the University of British Columbia’s Department of Geography, told CTVNews Canada by phone, “The pandemic will be considered ‘ended’ when there are only occasional traces of localized cases that are quickly contained in specific locations.” We do not know when there will be occasional traces of the virus or if it will spike. Even though we can bring the virus under control, there is always the threat of localized outbreaks, leading to strict measures in those areas. For example, there may be a large metropolitan area where the virus takes over again. How will this affect other countries or the world? With major airports and other transportation methods, cautions can be relaxed quite easily, which is why plans need to be in place, so these scenarios don’t repeat the same way.
What We Should Avoid and What We Do Know
A Past Pandemic: The Spanish Flu vs. COVID-19
The 1918 Spanish Flu can be directly compared to COVID-19 because of how they both spread rapidly in an unprepared world. The Spanish Flu was a by-product of WWI from all of the soldiers returning to their home countries. COVID-19 spread because of how easily connected we are today and how someone can be in one country one day and another one the next. Both spread differently but have had similar results: A world left unprepared for a virus that spreads and infects so quickly, and one that is not ready to move forward to protect us now and in the future when another deadly virus could appear.
Misinformation and Theories from Political Leaders
The plans are not consistent, and we are reactive to what comes our way. We should be proactive with solutions that we know will work! Although there are facts, there has been misinformation circulating press releases, social media, and other news outlets. Instead of asking, “When will restrictions and the lockdowns be over,” we should be wondering how many more lockdowns there will be if we do not secure a real plan to reopen the economy so we can stay open.
For example, in June 2020, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at The Great Reset, which sparked false assertions and conspiracy theories that the virus was essentially a plan orchestrated by world leaders to rebuild the economy. Many elected officials have also clearly told the public to stay home as much as possible and avoid travel. Some have gone on record with this statement but are then found partaking in unnecessary travel. There becomes a social distrust in world leaders and their choice of words and actions. With different guidelines and measures consistently changing, political leaders become the only individuals we believe we can trust. Instead of having a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality, they need to focus on a set plan and what they know about the spread of the virus.
Vaccines and Variants
The creation and distribution of vaccines sound hopeful and an encouraging step to fight COVID-19. We crave any new information that claims to be the end solution to the virus and the pandemic. According to Carolyn Y. Johnson from The Washington Post, “The declaration that a vaccine has been shown safe and effective will be a beginning, not the end. Deploying the vaccine to people in the United States and around the world will test and strain distribution networks, supply chains, trust, and global cooperation. It will likely take years to reach enough people to make the world safe.” Although vaccines have been created quickly, we need to understand the reality and facts behind how they will get under control and how safety protocols will continue even with the vaccine rollouts. There is a slim opportunity for Ontario to vaccinate and to “herd immunity” by this August. Based on the current availability of vaccines, it is nearly impossible. What is possible is that it looks like we are heading towards a third wave this fall, which will result in more costly lockdowns and restrictions. Not everyone will want to receive a vaccine, and we need to consider how it will affect the economy opening back up. Will all of the current restrictions remain in place? The response has to lead to a universal plan that comes back to what we know works by being social distance compliant.
With a new virus and insufficient travel restrictions comes new variants. New variants of the virus cause more misinformation to develop and panic to erupt from responsible officials and the public. The control that is already lacking becomes much more significant with variants being discovered.
Small Businesses and the Economy
We know the virus is dangerous, and we know what will help protect us, but we believe in so many theories with serious concern on when all of the lockdowns will be over. We need to maintain a steady focus on what we understand with consistent compliance so we can stay in a post-pandemic stage sooner rather than later. Small businesses and other non-essential organizations have had to close their doors due to ongoing lockdowns. They have faced mass layoffs, permanent closures, bankruptcy and have been impacted by personal debt. Big-box stores and larger businesses have stayed open, but there is a lack of responsibility for consistent social distance compliance measures. We witness some of these large organizations failing to be social distance compliant, which sets a negative example for businesses reopening. According to Statistics Canada, small businesses make up 98 percent of all employer businesses in Canada, so without small businesses, we not only lose the strength of our economy but our sense of community. There has to be strict protocols for all businesses to stay open, and those deemed essential now have to lead the initiative for a staying open with a Social Distance Compliance Plan. We need to stop with the classifications and focus on models that make sense. Small Business is Essential.
Mental Health and Lockdowns
Lockdowns not only have an immense effect on small businesses, but they also put a negative toll on our mental health. Being isolated from our surroundings and everything we once knew as “normal” comes with a significant shock to our mental state. Consistent lockdowns come with higher rates of alcoholism, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. There are already anxieties surrounding the virus itself, but some individuals take the restrictions of a lockdown differently. When lockdowns are lifted, we will have been isolated for so long that some may find it harder to adjust to the new normal. Without a Social Distance Compliance Plan in place, lockdowns will continue to hurt the mental health of businesses and those who run and surround them. We do not know what goes on behind the masks of our neighbors.
The Truth: A Focus on Social Distance Compliance
We should be formulating a regulated, universal, and precise Social Distance Compliance Plan to safely stop the spread of this virus and its variants while opening up the economy. There should be strict measures across the board to avoid any confusion for anyone involved in releasing the data and information. With a chance of a third wave and continuous lockdowns, Ontario has still not made any plans or preparation to address social distance compliance. Social Distance Management sees that the reactive behavior and decisions based on unreliable data and projections have to be diminished. We have to be proactive in control plans and our strategies of safe business practices that will promote economic continuity and take the pressure off of our overburdened healthcare system. Let’s use everything we know about social distance compliance and focus on moving forward to protect our population and economy now and for our future.