When our children were younger we gave them jobs to do, especially on Saturdays. They often did not appreciate this. They wanted to do their own things, to play, to socialize, and to laze in their rooms. Our suggestions were often ignored, until we forced the issue and demanded that the jobs be done. Too frequently this led to frustrated and unhappy children. Eventually we came up with a better, more acceptable plan.
We still assigned tasks; we still expected the completion of those tasks. However, we made one major stipulation. You are free to do as you please—once the tasks are done. This meant that if a child would start working first thing in the morning and complete the task in short order, the rest of the day could be filled with whatever that child desired (within certain family limits). This certainly helped set a better tone for the family. We all worked to get our jobs done in order that we could participate in the fun activities that lay ahead.
Why am I bringing this up? Let me tell you. The medical experts want us to shut down the fun activities for a certain length of time. These “rules” do not seem to work—the Covid-19 numbers continue to rise or at least remain too high. Surely there is a need for a different approach.
Why not hold the proverbial “carrot” in front of us? Set up the shutdowns but specify that when certain targets are reached, then, and only then, will restrictions be lifted. At this point we go through the motions of being careful, but know that the restrictions will be lifted on a certain date. Will this also be the case if we do nothing or very little? It seems that the medical experts are more interested in opening up on a certain date than they are in making sure we do our “jobs”.
I would strongly urge the powers that be to make a change. Why not set up restrictions with the proviso that these will be lifted once a target is reached (such as x number of cases or y number of deaths)? In this way the entire population has a stake in reducing the Covi-19 outbreaks. Once we have achieved our goal, we are able to “do our own thing” and enjoy life as we desire. If we refuse to obey the restrictions, these will remain in force for a long time, until we realize that obedience to the rules will bring us freedom—whenever that may be. Setting a date for “opening up” has not been working. Maybe this “work before play” approach will bring more of us to our senses and push us to finish the tasks at hand in order that we can enjoy our lives.
Let me end with two illustrations from other constituencies. First, the “Re-Opening Roadmap: A Gradual, Measured Approach to Easing Public Health Measures” as provided by the government of Saskatchewan.
This “Re-Opening Roadmap” is a three-step plan gradually to lift current public health restrictions as Saskatchewan reaches significant vaccination levels. It also provides Saskatchewan people with an incentive to continue following public health measures and a clear reason to get vaccinated.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said. “This is not only a re-opening plan. It’s also a plan to encourage people to get vaccinated and to keep following all the public health orders and guidelines. Those are the two things we all need to do in order to move forward through the three steps of re-opening so we can enjoy a great Saskatchewan summer and get back to normal.”
The Re-Opening Roadmap includes three steps based on vaccination thresholds, vaccine availability and timing between steps. The thresholds are related to vaccines received by residents, not to specific dates.
The second example comes from Minnesota where Governor Tim Waltz revealed a three-step timeline for ending nearly all statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Again, this timeline is based on acceptance of restrictions now in order that the opening of the state may occur as soon as possible. Although dates are suggested, Waltz states that these are projections, dependent on the Covid-19 outbreaks.