Saving businesses saves lives

Out of 4.41 million people in Alberta, the grand total of people currently hospitalized because of COVID-19 is 44.

Not 44,000. Not 4,400. Just 44.

The Alberta government and Alberta Health Services have done great work testing at levels that are leading the country. Our hospitals are not war zones. Excellent care is being provided to the ill. The vast majority of people who contract COVID-19 are isolating and recovering swiftly without medical care.

I believe that every life is important, which is why I would love to see millions of lives spared the misery that comes from being jobless with little prospect for employment. Innumerable businesses and not-for-profit organizations are hanging by a thread. Public hysteria has politicians afraid to make choices that could backfire on them at the polls.

We should not wait till the end of May to start lifting the lockdown. We can't open the floodgates, of course, but why not go back to where we were a month ago, allowing some businesses to be open with spacing and capacity guidelines in effect? Test, measure and go from there.

We have learned to wash our hands. We keep our distance at grocery stores and walking down the street. We know that we must protect the vulnerable.

Save businesses and we will save lives.