Focus On

Letter to the Editor: ‘Dissent column timely, necessary’

Thursday, May 07, 2020 @ 11:22 AM | By Regan S. Christensen

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the recent article “Why dissent is essential.”

Writer Sam Goldstein’s opening sentence about our government “preventing us from sharing joy, or sorrow with our loved ones” hit particularly hard for me. My grandfather is currently in the hospital in excruciating pain from non-COVID-19-related ailments and likely has days to live. The powers that be may not even allow him, with appropriate safety precautions, to see his own spouse and children one last time (they haven’t permitted it thus far), let alone allow us to hold a proper funeral to grieve his passing and commemorate a remarkable life that included many years in our Canadian Armed Forces and other extensive public service.

I was stunned yesterday to learn that we currently have 11,000 empty hospital beds here in Canada and are approaching 53,000 postponed surgeries. Even if our only metric for making policy decisions were preventing human death (and I can’t think of another time in history where that has been the case), I question how many of these postponed surgeries and other delayed care of non-COVID-19 medical issues are destined to become tomorrow’s preventable deaths.

Beyond deaths, it appears that domestic abuse, addiction, mental health, poverty, education and a host of other once-pressing social issues have suddenly become afterthoughts. Sadly, many of those we have placed in positions of power appear to have developed tunnel vision that removes from focus all forms of human suffering and death other than those caused by the novel coronavirus.

Thank you for being a voice of reason in a time where far too many are suddenly treating critical thinking, personal responsibility and government accountability as “non-essential” activities.

Regan S. Christensen is a lawyer with Christensen Law Firm, Cambridge, Ont.

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