|Covid 19 party, Vancouver|
It's happening in Israel and Europe, Asia and the United States, Canada too perhaps. These places (and others) are seeing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections.
It could be many things - end of summer parties, exuberant college students returning to campus, Covid-fatigue leaving some people hostile to masks, social distancing, constant handwashing, etc.
In the Spring, when British Columbia had achieved a decent result in 'flattening the curve' of Covid infections, the provincial medical officer of health, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said it was inevitable that people would want to get outside and enjoy the summer weather (such as it was) and that we might have to redouble our efforts to suppress the virus in September.
A couple of days ago, CTV News interviewed a Toronto epidemiologist who raised a different explanation for this global resurgence. He said the data 'increasingly' suggested what we're seeing is the onset of the 'second wave' of the Covid-pandemic.
This doctor added that, if this is the second wave, that doesn't mean it has to be as devastating as the second wave of the Spanish flu of 1918, the real killer of that pandemic. Our knowledge is better than it was a century ago. We have established medical infrastructure built up since the spring of this year. The organization is still in place and we know how to lock down if that again becomes necessary.
We can't lockdown society again, not without good cause, unless we're willing to start eating our lawns. But we need to know what's behind this resurgence of infections. Is it the second wave and, if so, how do we get ahead of it? What must we do?
What concerns me most is our students, especially grade school kids. We closed down their schools in the spring. If we're embarking on a second wave is it really the right time to send them back to classes? Is it safe?
This is plainly the sort of question that triggers the "precautionary principle." \
"The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is [not] harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action. ...The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result."
In 2015, the Federal Court of Canada upheld the precautionary principle as part of the substantive law of our country. The Supreme Court of Canada has also applied the precautionary principle.It is the substantive law of Canada. Why does our government pretend otherwise? Why do our premiers and our prime minister act as though it doesn't exist? Is it because complying with this fundamental, substantive law doesn't suit them?