The time has come to learn to live again

Time to learn to live again

UPDATE DAY

Omicron has taught us that there comes a time in a pandemic when the cost of stopping a wave will be worth more than the effort.

Despite near-total lockdown , the 5th wave still overwhelmed our health system. This is the very nature of this variant.

This time, you had to buy time to give the 3rd dose. But the excuse will no longer hold the next time. 

Governments are right to prepare for deconfinement. They will still have to wean themselves off the extraordinary powers they have given themselves for two years.

Fear

For 22 months, society has run on fear. The fear of the virus, the fear of infecting our loved ones, then the fear of not being treated by a hospital network that was out of breath.

Omicron was scary. A group of researchers associated with CIRANO estimated that up to 400,000 Quebecers could have been infected in one week!

Now, if the size of the wave overwhelmed the health network, it has not decimated the population of Quebec. The vaccine did its job, the mask too, then the distancing and all the rest.

This is where we are. The Covid of 2022 is not that of 2019.

The time has come to take back, little by little, control of our lives.

That does not mean swinging all the instructions out the window. That means going to get her third dose, using rapid tests smartly. It also means stopping imagining that governments can perfectly control the vagaries of this pandemic.

Getting out of the emergency

François Legault was careful not to say when he intends to lift the health emergency in Quebec. However, if he wants to keep the confidence of the population, he will have to offer clear, precise criteria.

We understand, on Tuesday, his refusal to give a timetable for deconfinement. The uncertainty remains too great. But the picture will become clearer. At this point, he will have to put his cards on the table.

Because the collective tolerance to see individual rights sacrificed has reached its limit. Is it selfish? May be. Above all, these are hard-won rights that will have to be won back.

The December 31 curfew reminded us of the propensity of a pandemic government to adopt drastic measures. The opacity of Public Health opinions embodies the authorities' affection for secrecy. The draconian measures at the border illustrate their predilection for simplistic measures that reassure.

But each of them has a cost. For democracy, the economy, sanity, the balance of society.

As pandemic guru Tomas Peyo suggests, once Omicron passes, there will also need to be predictability in longer term. That is to say, to define when and why we will dare to impose again these closures and limits that have poisoned our lives for almost two years.

Because, the more the weeks pass, the less the pandemic has the back large. 

Time to relearn how to live

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