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Letter: Can't afford full shutdown

Can't afford full shutdown

Premier Horgan: I don’t send this missive lightly. I remain very impressed with your leadership and am hopeful it will stay the course in not exceeding the Health Canada and CDC protection safe distance and hand washing protocols.

Politics scare me when California takes the moral imperative to inflict house arrest on its own population. Why? Because a small percentage don’t follow the rules? The cost is shutting down the economic engine that can pay the rent on the money borrowed to cover the COVID-19 impact response. 

The real and full question is: What is the health cost weighed against the personal and societal economic cost? We must balance them somehow and not forsake one for the other or there will be hell to pay. The adage that we can’t have a good health care (protection) system if we can’t pay for it looms very large right now. 

I am a small businessman with four employees. We conduct building inspections that allow us a modicum of income that helps pay our mortgages and take a week off every now and then. But I am also a civil/ environmental engineer of 38 years with a PhD in indoor environments. That to say, I can reason logically as well as function in society. 

What I see right now is fear stoked decision making by my building inspection peers that has some of them voluntarily shutting down their businesses. The reasoning is not sound but suffice to say your efforts are already having the necessary effects: we are in a pandemic so take extra precautions. 

So, please don’t take the more extreme political position and send us all home - that is not the scientific solution to this issue and certainly not the fiscally prudent solution (not to mention mental health affecting). Shutting down our economic system even for a few weeks/months will have a huge spill over longer term ramifications. 

As Premier, You have to think politically as well as rationally. I know you are thinking and acting rationally now but there is huge (I argue unfounded) pressure to follow the leader in protectionism solely based on health based parameters. 

Politically, picture the huge rage from those who lost enough income to inflict significant harm into their lives for years to come when they find out and measure when the dust settles that the health impact was nowhere near Italy standards but more like Taiwan standards. You will be held accountable at the ballot box. You deserve better.

Craig Hostland



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