We’ve been coping with the struggle of a global pandemic for months. So the question now arises, how and when do we re-open the economy as a whole?
Around the world, governments and individuals are struggling with dwindling economic capacities.
- People are losing their jobs.
- Businesses are going under.
- Production chains are strained.
- Governments are putting out unaffordable stimulus packages.
- Schools are closed.
- Travel is restricted.
We cannot sustain this.
In the past days, several Canadian provinces have put forth plans to initiate reopen their economies and social guidelines with regard to the virus. In the next two to four weeks, restrictions will be eased incrementally in order to analyze whether or not society can revert back to normal with minimal recurring impact by the virus.
As provinces begin to reopen, we can only hope that businesses will be able to regain momentum in production and trade so that we’re able to rebuild our corporate footing on both the national and international setting. Sooner or later we have to re-establish ourselves and our economic strategy in adaptation to post-pandemic times.
Several Canadian Premiers, including those of Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec, have already put forth plans to phase back to a fully functioning economy and normalized day to day lifestyle. The reopening of parks and restaurants, as well as some non-essential businesses is expected to unfold within the next two to four weeks in most provinces. Stéfane Marion, chief economist at the National Bank of Canada mentioned in an interview that, “Every month you extend the shutdown, you lose a full year of potential growth. The longer you shut down, the more permanent the destruction of capacity.”
As new numbers of coronavirus cases plateau throughout the nation, it is becoming a very realistic possibility that normality will resume sooner than later. In any case however, experts are saying that the virus will have an impact on our lives potentially for the next two years. We can’t simply hide away in our home for that entire duration or global economies will not be able to sustain the continuity of life as we know it. The precarious position of world leaders at this point is balancing the health and safety of humanity with the very economic foundations that form the structural sustenance of global populations.
Despite the push for reopening, there has been some opposition from the public, interest groups, school boards, and even the Prime Minister. When dealing with such an unstable and impactful decision, a unanimous resolution is unlikely. Premiers have the jurisdiction to reopen certain fronts of their respective provinces independently of the federal government, so the best course of action is for federal leadership and the Bank of Canada to act in support and in aid of their provincial counterparts as they serve the needs and interests of their constituents.
The strengths of democracy shine in crisis and in disagreement. Cooperation is the center of inter-governmental affairs, and here in Canada as we know, perfect isn’t possible, but compromise is. The virus will persist until a remedy is developed, tested, and approved, but if we just sit at home waiting for it, our normal lives may not be there anymore when we’re ready to come back to them. As long as our local, provincial, and federal governments can rise to the occasion in unison with our frontline workers and pharmaceutical developers, the virus can be controlled as we revive this country again.