Is it time to put micromanagement and conflicting directives behind us? Two years into the pandemic, the question is becoming more relevant than ever.
Public Health manages the type of exercise that can be practiced without a mask in a gym. For example, it is mandatory for the dumbbells, and optional on the treadmill. It fixes the distance between the tables in the restaurant, and the number of people who can sit.
As of February 14, dance studios are allowed to reopen, but bowling alleys are not. You can go to the spa, but darts are still prohibited. After two years of the pandemic, more and more people consider this micromanagement of our daily lives to be childish, contradictory and frustrating.
“It’s not normal that journalists have to spend 24 to 48 hours clarifying the rules each time they are relaxed or tightened,” said emergency physician Jonathan Côté-Paré, who is very active on Twitter. The summary tables of the new rules, the press conferences to find out what we have the right or not the right to do, we won’t be able to digest that for a long time. »
Two years ago, without a vaccine and faced with an unknown virus, the overwhelming majority of the population understood that strict guidelines were needed. Then, we promised that the mask was freedom. Then, that the vaccine was freedom. Then the third dose was freedom. Finally, that the vaccine passport was freedom. The reality is that this freedom is still long overdue. The carrot is now withered at the end of the stick.
Rapid tests, effective masks, adequate ventilation… Isn’t that enough to put aside the micromanagement and covid panic that taint the daily lives of Quebecers?
The severity of the measures currently in force in Quebec has economic impacts that have led the National Bank (BN) to lower its growth forecasts.
“It is in Quebec that the measures are the most severe in Canada and that they are most likely to limit economic growth. Consequently, we are forced to reduce our estimate of Quebec’s real GDP growth by more than half a percentage point for 2022,” the economists said in their January report.
By lowering their forecast from 3.3% to 2.6%, Quebec ranks dead last among Canadian provinces in terms of economic growth this year.
“Never has the gap in the strictness of the health measures imposed on Quebecers been so great compared to the national average. However, COVID hospitalizations in intensive care in Quebec are within the average for industrialized countries, ”said the chief economist of the BNC, Stéfane Marion.
Due to health restrictions, Quebec could be the only major Canadian economy to experience less growth than that measured in 2019, before the pandemic shock.
Beyond the devastating economic impacts, the current climate is anxiety-provoking for many people.
Friendships have eroded, and part of Quebec is now divided. A social divide has occurred between vaccinated and unvaccinated. Isolation has become a pandemic.
The fragility of our hospitals is real, and tragedies take place there every day. Few Quebecers believe that COVID should be taken lightly, but more and more believe that the current strategy has lasted long enough.