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Brian GiesbrechtThe lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will saddle the next generation with a crushing debt and enormous social costs.

The rationale of emptying schools and shuttering businesses deemed non-essential is to flatten the curve of the spread of the virus. Social distancing measures and closures in general are meant to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

But questions need to be asked about the incredible restrictions we’re living under. There’s no evidence that the draconian measures were necessary.

Sweden supports social distancing but hasn’t closed primary schools and most businesses. While the World Health Organization (WHO) wants Sweden to enter lockdown along with the rest of Europe, Sweden follows its own course. It’s probable that the Swedes will be immune from the next wave of the disease – achieving ‘herd immunity’ – while citizens of locked down countries remain susceptible.

What’s our game plan? Why not do what Taiwan or Sweden have done to flatten the curve? Do our politicians have a plan to make the virus disappear?

If so, tell us!

We should begin getting our economy moving again. The first step should be reopening schools and selected businesses. Yes, some school children will get sick and infect their parents and others.

Did closing schools ever make sense or has it prolonged the life of the virus in our community?

The overwhelming percentage of healthy people infected will get sick and recover. Nature has designed healthy bodies to cope with respiratory illnesses.

Those elderly with compromised health bear the primary risk. This pandemic has revealed starkly how ill-prepared many of our nursing and care home systems were to protect the most vulnerable from infectious disease. Clearly, changes must be made.

But surely protection of the elderly and the at-risk population should not be allowed to compromise our children’s future.

As a grandfather, I’m thankful this virus goes after us and not the young. I’m doing social distancing and hand washing. If I do get sick, I will be comforted by knowing that the vast majority of healthy people will recover.

Could it be that we’re giving in to irrational fears?

Don’t we need to rebuild a strong economy to prepare for the awful possibility that another and worse pandemic is in our future. An economy in shreds would leave us hopelessly unprepared and our young struggling.

Recent California antibody tests indicate that the mortality rate for COVID-19 might be more like two in 1,000 rather than two in a 100. So if the plan is to wait for a vaccine, is it reasonable to accept living in lockdown for a year?

Surely even seniors in compromised health prefer to spend the last stage of their life with their families, not in isolation. Again, is it reasonable to put our lives in suspended animation?

Or is it time to ditch our hunker-in-the-bunker mentality, drop our draconian freedom-crushing strategy and get on with life?

Brian Giesbrecht, a retired judge, is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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Covid 19 measures killing economy

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