Today, Quebec reopened retail stores and relaxed certain health measures. The Legault government made these decisions despite the fact that the daily number of cases is approaching a thousand, hospitalizations are still very high, and thousands of people have had their surgical procedures and diagnoses postponed.
A growing number of experts are calling on the authorities to pursue a ZERO COVID strategy. Earlier this week, Paul Manly, MP for the Green Party of Canada, called for an urgent debate on whether Canada should adopt a ZERO COVID strategy, as countries such as Australia and New Zealand have successfully done.
Although Canada is not an island state, it is worth asking whether this approach of lifting restrictions when the number of cases is so high is a good strategy.
By reopening too soon, we risk having to be closed for longer than if we simply maintained our efforts until the virus was reduced to zero or close to zero. We risk undoing the gains achieved through long-term sacrifice. If we were to maintain retail closures and halt construction and manufacturing for a few more weeks, we could really get the situation under control.
People are more willing to accept sanitary measures during the winter. We all want to be out and about when the warmer weather arrives in April. In view of the situation, the reopening of retail outlets means that we can now look forward to a third wave in the warmer months. Is that what we want?
Legault has chosen to reopen non-essential retail outlets while the curfew is still in effect and people haven't been allowed visitors in their homes since October. In my opinion, social relationships should be considered more important than retail purchases. If we're going to relax restrictions, let's relax them for people rather than businesses.
In solidarity,
Alex Tyrrell
Leader of the Green Party of Quebec

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