Letter to the Editor


DATE: August 23, 2021

I’m not so sure why Jim Harding in his Aug 12, 2021 letter to the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix has passed judgment that recent provincial Covid policies lifting public health orders, especially around mandatory masking, are “parochial,” “asinine” and “utterly silly”. Saskatchewan brought in public health orders for mandatory masking in November 2020. If you look at the provincial statistics on cases and deaths at https://dashboard.saskatchewan.ca/health-wellness/covid-19/cases and draw a vertical line to indicate when public health orders were introduced, what it shows is a steady increase in cases, in spite of those orders. And, as much as a tragedy as a death from Covid is, the number of deaths has remained relatively low, with a total of 586 from March-August 2020, an average of 34 deaths/month or less than 1% of Saskatchewan’s population of 1.174 million. Of those deaths, 84% occurred in people over 60, with over half of them older than 80. Twenty-five died under the age of 39, with only 3 occurring in those less than 19—that’s 4.3% and 0.5% for those two age groups. Do these numbers justify the public health policies across Canada from mandatory masking to lockdowns to bans on hospital visits to limits to gatherings, including protests of those policies? I think not.

I can understand why people were frightened to the core that they might die from Covid, after what I consider false alarms were and continue to be raised by public health officials and the mainstream media. First, it was stay home, don’t kill Granny. Now it’s fears that children will die from the Delta variant, when the numbers do not support this fear. There is evidence that even with the more transmissible Delta variant, deaths are not increasing. When will the hysteria stop and when will we step back and take a sober look at what has actually happened since 2020?

People were breathing a sigh of relief when the vaccines became available, but there is now evidence that even those vaccinated can still transmit Covid. We may want to believe the hype that vaccines are the solution, but it might not be so. We have to understand how viruses behave, learn to live with Covid, including best treatments, and come up with sound public policies that protect the vulnerable. Lockdowns and mandatory masking are not the solution.