David Staples: Hinshaw struck right balance with new voluntary public health restrictions

Article content continued

We’re now seven months into the global pandemic, but this fight isn’t going to get any easier. It’s not a sprint for us, but a marathon through a long, cold, bleak winter. This is why a voluntary approach is so crucial. We need to pull together to make this work. At the same time, a freedom-loving people are far more likely to comply to various public health protocols over the long term if they’re asked to do it, rather than forced to do it.

I applaud Hinshaw for never losing sight of the fact that public health includes mental health, economic health and the normal functioning of our lives, that it’s bigger than just one variable or disease, as frightening as that one disease might be. The terrible toll of the pandemic isn’t just measured in COVID cases, but as our most measured medical health experts constantly remind us, it’s measured in drug overdoses and suicides, in businesses going under and jobs lost, in young people missing out on education and opportunity, and in all of us feeling more alone, isolated and stressed out.

Small business owners fear a second shutdown, but Annie Dormuth, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business director of provincial affairs for Alberta, praises the approach of the government to date. “I think they have struck a good balance. Alberta has consistently had some of the least restrictions on small businesses, and businesses in general.”

That said, already one in five Alberta businesses has closed or is now worried it will close, Dormuth said, and far more worry about the impact of any second lockdown.

View original article here Source