What is the true cost of this pandemic? Incalculable.

We have created a new culture with its own unique language.  This culture has been hyped to the point of hysteria by the media and nonelected public health officials (the experts), and politicians who do not understand the meaning of leadership.

Here are some of the key words/expressions which now constantly dominate the airways:  coronavirus, Covid-19, social distancing, self isolation, bubble, essential workers, front line workers, face masks, stay home, battle, war, raging pandemic, lockdown, herd immunity, flatten the curve, crisis etc.

Governments worldwide, plus the World Health Organization are not certain of the exact number, but consensus appears to be coalescing around .6% as the number of people who die after contracting an infection from Covid-19.  This is less than 1%.  Many people experience no symptoms at all.

The death number (numerator) is certain, but the positive tests (denominator) is probably much larger, which means that the number of deaths as a percentage of those infected is likely much smaller.

As of today, there are 11.4 M confirmed cases of infection with 534,000 deaths in a worldwide population of 7.6 billion people.  Deaths as a percentage of worldwide population today is .07 %.  The pandemic of 1918 killed 50 million people in a world population less than half of what it is today.

In Canada at least, the vast majority of deaths (82%) have occurred in nursing homes and other institutions which house the elderly in close quarters, which is more an indication of gross mismanagement and underfunding of these institutions than anything else.

Other “hotspots” are migrant workers and meat packing plants where people work in close quarters in abysmal environments most of the population never wants to see.  Again, an indication of mis management and worker exploitation more than anything else.

At the beginning of this “crisis”, the objective was to “flatten the curve” to reduce the possibility of a huge crush on the hospitals system.  A lockdown was justified, and this objective was largely reached within safe margins. Good work.  But what is the objective today?

Is the objective to prevent people from getting infected… ever?  This is a highly infectious respiratory virus like many others, maybe worse, but highly prevalent across the globe.  A truly effective vaccine may never be discovered, and if so, how do 7.6 billion people get vaccinated and how long would this take?  How long is the present ‘strategy’ to continue?

In the meantime, the collateral damage that has resulted is immeasurable.  Whole economies have been destroyed and will take years, if ever, to recover.  School children have been denied the right to be educated, despite a very low infection rate among children.  As these children have been forced to “stay home”, the number of abused cases of children has shot up enormously.  Combine unemployment, and close quarters of family members in cramped apartments, and the stress explodes into family violence, drug & alcohol abuse, spouse abuse, and other manifestation of mental illness.

The biggest deceit by government is that “we are all in this together”, as if this is supposed to be comforting.   Yes, the well off have been greatly inconvenienced by not being able to go out to dinner, or the theatre, or watch their favourite team sport.  They mostly kept their jobs and were able to work from home and maintain their income stream.   But how does someone who works at Tim Horton’s work from home?  And the many millions of other minimum wage earners who were simply furloughed with very little hope of ever being recalled?  It is estimated that up to 40% of these workers have lost their jobs forever.  Please! … we are NOT in this together.  Millions have lost everything, while the net worth of Jeff Bezos (Amazon) has gone up by 45 billion dollars.

Large corporations will survive.  Some have actually thrived.  But small businesses have been gravely wounded, and in many cases, destroyed.  We are talking restaurateurs, hair salons, small apparel shops, …this is where 60% of the population work.

The billions in debt that the Canadian governments have created will haunt our children and grandchildren for decades to come.  Sure, it was justified on the short term, but there was never a plan to deal with the long term.  How long can an economy be locked down before it atrophies and can no longer be revived?  Well we can always print more money.

The big problem with public health bureaucrats is that they only look at one or two numbers: number of infection cases and number of deaths.  They do not look at the collateral damage that their policies wreak on other segments of society.  This will prove to be enormous and long lasting.

This is where politicians are supposed to come in and balance their actions and policies in the interests of the whole population, but when they totally defer their authority to the “experts” they abdicate their responsibility to lead.  Leadership is not a characteristic in overabundance amongst politicians & bureaucrats.

Strong leadership has been grossly lacking throughout this whole Covid-19 event and only time will reveal the ultimate cost to society.  Will it have been worth it?  The invoice will be huge and will prove to have been very painful on many levels, beyond public health.