Caution needed, but not alarm

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Although it’s not the case in Chatham-Kent, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rising across Canada.

And most everyone is frustrated by these numbers. But opinions about what they mean are split.

On one side are people who believe COVID-19 is just like the flu or that it – incredibly – doesn’t exist.

On the other side are those who believe even the smallest increase in cases is a sign we need to plunge back into the sort of dreadful lockdown all Canadians experienced back in April.

Both of those perspectives must be rejected.

Yet that extremism can be understood for the simple reason that Canadians have experienced an unprecedented six months. So many crazy things have happened. And even the views of top-notch experts, from whom Canadians are supposed to take direction, have turned on a dime.

There is great worry that social trust is at risk of seriously fraying. People are feeling uncertain and anxious.


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Many place great faith in governments and public health officials. Others feel they’ve been betrayed by mismanagement from on high.

It’s for this reason that public officials must respond to the latest COVID-19 numbers with an approach that is cautious but not alarmist.

Yes, the spread of COVID-19 is something to be seriously avoided, although things haven’t turned out as badly as we thought possible. Our health-care system was never overwhelmed, and certainly not in Chatham-Kent. Indeed, it was learned on Monday that Chatham-Kent has gone a record nine consecutive days without a new case of COVID-19. That’s the longest stretch with no new cases in the municipality since the first was reported on March 18.

And yet that’s not the case elsewhere in Ontario or in Canada. Overall, the number of new COVID-19 cases is climbing. Some are calling it a second wave. But if that’s what it is, then we shouldn’t be surprised. Experts have been predicting a second wave for some time. And so there’s no need for alarm.

In fact, our medical experts are well prepared for a second wave. They’re much better at treating patients suffering from COVID-19, even those who need to receive care in hospital.

With that said, we shouldn’t be taking to the streets to protest rules about wearing masks.

But we also shouldn’t be demanding another lockdown.

A second wave will be frustrating, but we can handle it.

And keeping ourselves healthy while also keeping our society open is something we can manage.

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