Ontario approaches peak COVID incoherence
Photo by Government of Ontario/YouTube Article content On Wednesday, as expected, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that students would not return best replica hermes blanket
to school in person before September. As ever, he had some terrible and insulting arguments lined up to explain himself. He claimed to have discussed reopening schools with a neighbour child called Arthur, for some reason. And perhaps the most infuriatingly, he told reporters, “I won’t risk the health of our kids.”
We have had 14 months to accept a central blessed fact about COVID 19: as bad as it is, it is largely and conspicuously uninterested in sickening and killing otherwise healthy children: The death toll among children in the United States from COVID 19 is only just now catching up to that from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, which hardly anyone even remembers. We know who’s in danger: the elderly, the obese, the immunocompromised. And yet some politicians continue to pretend they’re screwing up children’s education, social lives and overall development for their own good.
Article content They are not.
History may record that closing schools was a reasonable or necessary precaution to prevent worse outcomes for society as a whole, but not to keep kids themselves healthy certainly not in places that have very few or literally no COVID 19 cases. History will not be kind, I suspect, to the one size fits all restrictions that suddenly replaced Ontario’s regional approach in an April panic. In the week ending June 2, the Toronto public health unit recorded 1,656 cases of COVID 19. The Timiskaming public health network didn’t record a single new case.
If “think of the children” was the most insulting justification on offer, however, it certainly wasn’t the most novel.
Article content “C’mon, Doug Ford schools should open before patios,” was the headline to a recent Toronto Star editorial. “We all know (the decision was made) so patios and non essential retail can reopen sooner than expected this month,” the Star seethed when it didn’t get its way.
“Today, Doug Ford chose patios over schools,” Liberal house leader John Fraser said Wednesday, then decided that didn’t go far enough: Ford, Fraser alleged, chose “patios over people.”
More On This Topic Randall Denley: The harm of keeping schools closed is the only risk Doug Ford will tolerate Chris Selley: Doug Ford has seriously harmed Ontario’s school kids. Now he has to fix it Whence comes this madness? Ontario’s COVID 19 Science Advisory Table recently insisted upon the principle that “schools should be the last sector to close and the first sector to reopen.” It’s difficult to think they meant that literally that literally nothing, no matter how safe, should be allowed to happen before school’s back in session. The science table was fine with a regional approach.
Article content An internal survey conducted by the Ford government “asked whether the province should ‘reopen schools for three weeks in June even if that means Ontario’s reopening plan is delayed by one week from June 14 to June 21,'” CTV News reported. Fifty six per cent said keep the schools closed.
“The survey also asked if respondents were comfortable with the back to school plan jeopardizing other parts of the economic reopening such as summer camps and retail shopping,” CTV reported. Sixty three per cent weren’t comfortable.
Any government that tells you public opinion hasn’t heavily swayed its pandemic response is lying, and there is widespread disagreement among experts on school reopenings. Polling is fine. Polling false choices is useless.