LETTER: More patience needed amid pandemic

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A number of lessons can be taken from what the world has gone through over the past year.

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates just how small our globe actually is, not only in terms of how the virus has impacted countries but also in how different political regimes have managed it.

Where some democracies have adhered to the principle of individual freedoms, others have taken steps to stamp out the virus before it got out of control by limiting travel and implementing stringent public health measures early. Despite their more advanced health-care systems, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea have fared much better than the U.S., the U.K., several E.U. countries and even Canada.

Several socialist and communist-led countries have coped quite well in comparison. China, Vietnam, Cuba and Venezuela’s infection and death rates are significantly lower than many. This is rather impressive given the fact they have all suffered the consequences of illegal and immoral economic, commercial and financial blockades implemented by some western nations over the years.


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The results of their different approaches and leadership styles provide us with good reason to question our system of governance and how we are often left to fend for ourselves in our so-called “free” societies, where profit is still more important than people.

As I ponder this question myself, I am also given to think about how the lack of good leadership tends to create a vacuum that necessarily has to be filled in some way. Watching what has happened around the world in recent years has allowed an upsurge in conspiracy theories and racism to fill the void.

Confused and inconsistent messaging provides fodder for those destabilizing elements in society to gain a foothold as people look to have someone or some political party acknowledge their fear and frustration. People can easily become victims of a charismatic and unscrupulous leader.

Suddenly all politicians are seen to be corrupt. The COVID-19 pandemic is believed by many to be used as an excuse to increase government control over our lives with travel restrictions, lockdowns and forced quarantines. Let’s not even talk about restricting access to military style assault weapons!

With the recent lifting of some public health measures in Ontario, many medical professionals are calling for increased vigilance due to the advent of a number of virus variants that appear to be more transmissible and possibly more deadly.
This is not the time to drop the ball and assume that because there is a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel we should forget the pain that so many families have suffered, the resultant economic fallout or the lessons we have learned in gaining some control over the pandemic.

We are nowhere near reaching herd immunity when we can hopefully return to some measure of normalcy. However, we are getting there and we all have good reason to hope as more vaccines come on line and the recommended public health measures seem to be helping reduce the number of infections.

So wear your mask and wash your hands. We just need to have a little more patience.

Ben Lefebvre,

Iroquois Falls

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