“Steady”. In any critical time of war, steady guidance and steady leadership is key to easing citizens’ anxiety, keeping the concerned population informed of how/where the battle is being waged, outlining the path to victory ..and, hopefully, letting us know when progress is made.
And I believe, in the current World War against the Coronavirus, the Canadian and BC governments, their officials and, most of all, front line workers are doing a fairly good … if not perfect … job of not only developing/carrying out the plan of attack, but revealing victories/failings, providing daily updates of casualties/losses and encouraging us to stay the course.
And the numbers show that, in Canada, the battle plan is working.
As of Sunday, there were 6,320 reported coronavirus cases in Canada, 65 deaths.
Sad, of course, but keep in mind, the world-wide (officially reported) numbers are: 705,000 infected; 34,000 deaths.
Canada is doing better than most in combatting corona.
And the fight … supported by millions of Canadians practicing physical distancing, frequently washing hands and the drastic closing of bars, restaurants, shops and gatherings … should soon flatten the curve and start us back on the long road to recovery.
We have certainly done much better than our southern neighbour, where the picture is horrific: 140,000 reported infections; 2,400 dead. And latest estimates say the death toll could reach 200,000.
Hard to believe … actually with Donald Trump, maybe not … that the US President told his nation only weeks ago … on Feb 14: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.”
And on Feb 25 Trump said: “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country. We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re all getting better. … As far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job.”
The US figures are the LARGEST number of reported coronavirus infections on the globe … MORE than China (82,000), Italy (94,000), Spain (85,000) … and because of their late entry into the battle, their peak till could be months, away.
And if you’re bored stuck at home and want a good laugh to relieve your stress, there’s a whole list of Trump’s stupidity … so far … on coronavirus alone: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/17/trump-dissed-coronavirus-pandemic-worry-now-claims-he-warned-about-it.html.
Canadians should be grateful that OUR nation’s leader … despite whatever other faults/criticisms people may have … has not so blatantly under-estimated, misled, deceived, lied to and taken our citizens for fools when making statements on the coronavirus crisis.
In fact, PM Justin Trudeau’s on-air public daily briefings have been very steady, reassuring: announcing new programs/policies/funding to combat the impact of the war; reaching out to calm/comfort virtually every group in society; urging Canadians to help fight/stop the spread of the virus and, taking lots of questions from journalists.
Of course, as a journalist, I have found some of the questions too accepting/unchallenging and some of the responses from the PM and federal cabinet ministers etc. to be just that: “responses” … but not total “answers” revealing the full story. Ahhh! Politicians!
Nor am I suggesting there aren’t aspects of the whole coronavirus file that can’t be questioned, criticized or challenged … even now to some extent … but the REAL analysis/push for that can take place after the war has been won.
And at least I don’t get the sense that much of the fight here against the devastating virus has been badly mishandled or downright chaotic.
And the briefings that are being held are without anyone ranting, making obviously stupid and/or false statements, lying, hurling insults at premiers, or demeaning and debasing the media and reporters.
Or …. as Trump did Saturday … adding to the fright by revealing in the morning he could possibly announce “some time today” a full quarantine of the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut … before, by evening the same day, dropping the idea!
Imagine the angst, confusion, inter-state financial/commercial/family concerns/reactions his wild statement caused for millions of Americans … before he backed down.
And speaking of briefings, it should be said: the BC government has also done a fairly good job disseminating information, assistance and attacking the virus as well.
Daily information sessions, featuring Premier John Horgan and/or Health Minister Adrian Dix, other ministers and health officials are broadcast live and have provided valuable updates, statistics, announcements of new programs and progress fighting the disease and its impact on British Columbians.
And it is starting to work.
In BC, with our population of 5 million, there were 884 infections reported; 17 deaths as of Saturday.
Washington state, our closest US neighbour, with a population of 7.5 million, sadly has suffered 4,100 cases; 189 dead.
The coronavirus fight is not a contest: it is a war … and every casualty is a tragedy. But the figures do show that BC is faring better in the battle so far.
And it does help that Canadian federal and provincial governments … elected officials and bureaucrats, front line workers … and most citizens are all fighting the battle together against the virus … not sniping, under-cutting or attacking each other.
With steady leadership at the top … we will win.
It depends on all of us whether that will happen sooner … or later.
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