COVID Canada: Calm, cool and collected

As tests of leadership go, a global pandemic must be considered fearsome.

There is nothing easy about what the world is experiencing.

It’s important to recognize, and appreciate, our country’s evolving management of COVID-19.

As of Thursday April 16, there were 28,899 cases of the virus in Canada, and 1,048 deaths.

Federal, provincial and territorial laboratories had tested 487,060 patients, with 453,590 negative results.

These statistics are updated daily.

Canada’s first death as a result of COVID-19 occurred March 9.

Travel advisories, and restrictions, were implemented almost immediately.

Announcements — new ones almost daily — of financial support for individuals, businesses, industry and agriculture followed.

Child benefits were increased. A GST tax credit was introduced.

Wage subsidy, workshare programs and interest free loans were offered to employers, and an emergency response benefit was created for the self employed.

Other programs are directing dollars to seniors, Indigenous populations, women at risk and youth.

It is perfect?

Probably not. However these are massive initiatives organized and rolled out in a matter of days and weeks, dependent on a human infrastructure that wasn’t loaded with free time to begin with.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are being funneled into research, public health and purchasing medical supplies and equipment.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the nation through the media daily.

His remarks are consistently factual and delivered with a composure devoid of partisanship or political backslapping. There is nothing easy about this.

And there can be nothing easy about providing for the needs and protecting the safety of 37 million people spread across 10 million square kilometers, separated by social, ethnic and geographic divides. It’s reassuring to remember we are in good — frequently washed and sanitized — hands.

—Similkameen Spotlight

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