An existential question

Opinion Apr 30, 2020 Stoney Creek News

As governments cautiously consider how to ease pandemic restrictions, the issue has almost taken on an existential question.

For the most part, we are naturally drawn to collective groups, whether trade unions, churches, political parties or sporting clubs. We feel secure in our solidarity with one another, developing like-minded goals and beliefs. Studies have revealed that during crises there is a commitment from individuals to provide mutual aid. To paraphrase W.H. Auden, the British-American poet, “There is no such thing as the State, And No one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice; To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die.”

During serious calamities, we draw strength from one another and in turn individuals create hope and optimism. To protect the individual, you protect the group.

Yet there is an inherent series of tensions created by the pandemic against the body politic. The first are governments’ rules and regulations that in normal times would have individuals rioting in the streets. However, these rules on physical distancing, closing businesses, imposing limits on where to go in public places are understood by the majority to improve the safety of the entire community, including each and every individual.

The second tension is how individuals should behave toward each other in relation to the entire community. The pandemic has revealed the community is only as strong as the weakest link. By self-isolating, you are protecting not only yourself and your family but also your friends, and subsequently your community.

As preliminary data has revealed, those strict measures seem to be working to flattening the curve and prevent hospitals and other healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Tensions continue to wax and wane, even though the results will prove beneficial in the long term. But what happens when it is time to ease those restrictions and reopen? How does the individual and community dynamic manage to coexist?

As governments’ decide who gets to open and how long it takes, tensions will fray. As we have seen in the United States, where some states have reopened in a helter-skelter manner, it becomes a question of trying to balance the desire for access to more goods and services against the potential for a spike in new coronavirus cases. Is that haircut really worth your life or the life of someone you love?

One of the significant failings of the Ontario government has been the lack of testing for the virus, an essential ingredient for any reopening plan to move forward.

Premier Doug Ford’s government has frequently touted its enhanced testing ability, but by April 27 it had conducted 12,550 daily tests when the goal had been 18,900. And that testing had only been an increase from 10,578 on April 25.

If there is any attempt to reopen Ontario's society, there must be a corresponding increase in the number of tests conduct to improve the health and safety of individuals so that we also protect the community as it moves forward through this time of transformation.

Finding the balance between health and normalcy when it comes to easing coronavirus-related restrictions

Opinion Apr 30, 2020 Stoney Creek News

As governments cautiously consider how to ease pandemic restrictions, the issue has almost taken on an existential question.

For the most part, we are naturally drawn to collective groups, whether trade unions, churches, political parties or sporting clubs. We feel secure in our solidarity with one another, developing like-minded goals and beliefs. Studies have revealed that during crises there is a commitment from individuals to provide mutual aid. To paraphrase W.H. Auden, the British-American poet, “There is no such thing as the State, And No one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice; To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die.”

During serious calamities, we draw strength from one another and in turn individuals create hope and optimism. To protect the individual, you protect the group.

Yet there is an inherent series of tensions created by the pandemic against the body politic. The first are governments’ rules and regulations that in normal times would have individuals rioting in the streets. However, these rules on physical distancing, closing businesses, imposing limits on where to go in public places are understood by the majority to improve the safety of the entire community, including each and every individual.

Related Content

The second tension is how individuals should behave toward each other in relation to the entire community. The pandemic has revealed the community is only as strong as the weakest link. By self-isolating, you are protecting not only yourself and your family but also your friends, and subsequently your community.

As preliminary data has revealed, those strict measures seem to be working to flattening the curve and prevent hospitals and other healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Tensions continue to wax and wane, even though the results will prove beneficial in the long term. But what happens when it is time to ease those restrictions and reopen? How does the individual and community dynamic manage to coexist?

As governments’ decide who gets to open and how long it takes, tensions will fray. As we have seen in the United States, where some states have reopened in a helter-skelter manner, it becomes a question of trying to balance the desire for access to more goods and services against the potential for a spike in new coronavirus cases. Is that haircut really worth your life or the life of someone you love?

One of the significant failings of the Ontario government has been the lack of testing for the virus, an essential ingredient for any reopening plan to move forward.

Premier Doug Ford’s government has frequently touted its enhanced testing ability, but by April 27 it had conducted 12,550 daily tests when the goal had been 18,900. And that testing had only been an increase from 10,578 on April 25.

If there is any attempt to reopen Ontario's society, there must be a corresponding increase in the number of tests conduct to improve the health and safety of individuals so that we also protect the community as it moves forward through this time of transformation.

Finding the balance between health and normalcy when it comes to easing coronavirus-related restrictions

Opinion Apr 30, 2020 Stoney Creek News

As governments cautiously consider how to ease pandemic restrictions, the issue has almost taken on an existential question.

For the most part, we are naturally drawn to collective groups, whether trade unions, churches, political parties or sporting clubs. We feel secure in our solidarity with one another, developing like-minded goals and beliefs. Studies have revealed that during crises there is a commitment from individuals to provide mutual aid. To paraphrase W.H. Auden, the British-American poet, “There is no such thing as the State, And No one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice; To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die.”

During serious calamities, we draw strength from one another and in turn individuals create hope and optimism. To protect the individual, you protect the group.

Yet there is an inherent series of tensions created by the pandemic against the body politic. The first are governments’ rules and regulations that in normal times would have individuals rioting in the streets. However, these rules on physical distancing, closing businesses, imposing limits on where to go in public places are understood by the majority to improve the safety of the entire community, including each and every individual.

Related Content

The second tension is how individuals should behave toward each other in relation to the entire community. The pandemic has revealed the community is only as strong as the weakest link. By self-isolating, you are protecting not only yourself and your family but also your friends, and subsequently your community.

As preliminary data has revealed, those strict measures seem to be working to flattening the curve and prevent hospitals and other healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Tensions continue to wax and wane, even though the results will prove beneficial in the long term. But what happens when it is time to ease those restrictions and reopen? How does the individual and community dynamic manage to coexist?

As governments’ decide who gets to open and how long it takes, tensions will fray. As we have seen in the United States, where some states have reopened in a helter-skelter manner, it becomes a question of trying to balance the desire for access to more goods and services against the potential for a spike in new coronavirus cases. Is that haircut really worth your life or the life of someone you love?

One of the significant failings of the Ontario government has been the lack of testing for the virus, an essential ingredient for any reopening plan to move forward.

Premier Doug Ford’s government has frequently touted its enhanced testing ability, but by April 27 it had conducted 12,550 daily tests when the goal had been 18,900. And that testing had only been an increase from 10,578 on April 25.

If there is any attempt to reopen Ontario's society, there must be a corresponding increase in the number of tests conduct to improve the health and safety of individuals so that we also protect the community as it moves forward through this time of transformation.