When leaders fail to lead
New Zealand and many other nations have shown that thousands of COVID deaths aren’t an inevitable consequence of the virus entering a country.
Rather, they only become an inevitability when leaders fail to lead.
Nations which responded to the pandemic with a coordinated national response — strict border controls, short, hard lockdowns, followed by rigorous testing, tracing and isolation — are now reaping the benefits of both a healthy population and a healthy economy.
By contrast, Canada enjoys neither.
Tragically, too many of our leaders chose a reactive approach; incomprehensible denials and delays, shortages, porous border controls, a failure to protect care home residents or to adequately test, trace and isolate, masked in an incoherent fog of haphazard half-measures and lax enforcement.
As a result, New Zealand — with a population one-tenth the size of Canada’s — has suffered just 25 COVID fatalities while Canada prepares to mourn its 14 thousandth.
Heroic healthcare workers and a preponderantly compliant citizenry aren’t enough; as in any emergency — be it war, climate change or a pandemic — we need bold leaders making wiser choices, to defeat COVID-19.