#COVID19AB is not going well. I have been asked repeatedly to comment on the effect of temporary measures on the economy. People seem to be worried about this question: (1) How do we balance economic impact against excess deaths? which I think is a mistake.@AntibioticDoc
The right question is (2) when is the right time to take action to minimize deaths and morbidity *and* to protect the economy? The economy, after all, is just there for people, not people for the economy. What we have seen in other places is that once COVID
has inundated hospitals, politicians recognize that they need to take tough action to reduce infections. This is true because mortality increases once hospitals are overwhelmed, and because people naturally limit their opportunities for infection when risks increase. So,
the result is that business that rely on personal visits -- restaurants, bars, hair salons, gyms -- will have significantly reduced income when people are scared. And at that point, asking exactly those businesses to shut down temporarily does not seem like such a problem.
Given the trajectory of COVID wherever it has been allowed to run wild, and because it is *infectious*, if we are having continuing growth and nothing changes, it will just keep on growing... And exponential growth from a high number of infections is a lot worse! So --
We can anticipate that hospitals all over the province will be overwhelmed, and then the provincial government will decide to impose severe restrictions. Within a couple of weeks, given the growth in cases: expect take-out only restaurants; high schools online; etc.
If it gets really bad, other schools may also be shut. Do we want to wait for this? Or should we get "ahead of the curve" and act now? So this isn't about the economy vs deaths: it is about protecting the economy (and people!) from even worse outcomes.
By imposing modest restrictions now, we may be in a position to reduce the harm to the economy *and* the number of excess deaths. FWIW, I think that for years to come, people will judge provinces (and countries) by how they managed COVID. And they will want
to live in the provinces that showed organizational capacity. No one is going to worry that province X acted too aggressively to protect its population! The criticism is going to be targeted at governments that let their citizens die.
And just to repeat, it is the provinces where COVID gets out of hand that will have the toughest economic shock, that lose economically *and* morally. /End @CMOH_Alberta

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