50 signatures reached
To: Prime Minister
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
This is an urgent call for decisive action to stem the SARS-CoV2 epidemic in Canada.
The measures taken to date are important but not enough. We are facing an unprecedented crisis. CoV2 is invisibly tearing through our communities. Canada’s confirmed case count is doubling every 3.5 days & because symptoms take time to present & testing capacity is limited, confirmed cases represent only a small fraction of the actual case-count. We’ve seen in Europe & New York City (15,000 confirmed cases today) how rapidly a situation can degenerate & go from critical to catastrophic with health systems collapsing in a matter of days.
We are asking the government to initiate unprecedented emergency measures:
Effective immediately all non-essential activity needs to stop. All in-person retail & commercial activity not related to food, essential services or the fight against CoV2 needs to stop. Compliance by commercial enterprises must be enforced. Individual Canadians should be strongly urged to self-isolate, venturing out of their homes strictly for emergencies & to purchase necessities. We do not think individual self-isolation should be legally enforced yet, with the exception of people with confirmed COVID-19. By drastically reducing the movement of Canadians we will both limit further community spread & better direct resources.
We need to ramp up testing capacity so we can test for a broader set of clinical indications & eventually implement mobile community screening. This means securing the materials & human resources needed for large-scale testing, & minimizing test result turnaround time. Test data needs to be centralized & made available to researchers & clinicians nationwide. A successful & reliable testing program will ultimately be what permits the safe resumption of normal activities once we’re certain the crisis has abated.
During the second world war, the private sector was mobilized to provide resources to support the war effort. We need to do the same. Supplies are running out already. We must mandate that relevant industries shift their focus to SARS-CoV2 mitigation efforts. Some of the measure we urgently need include:
- Manufacturing industry to supply hospital supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators & testing materials
- Pharmaceutical industry to ramp up supplies of antiseptics, disinfectants, & critical care medicines.
- IT sector to develop robust information systems to support data sharing, research & logistical planning.
- Food & housing industries will also need to be mobilized because barriers to access will prevent people from properly self-isolating.
Canada is home to some of the world’s leading research universities, centres of excellence & innovative private companies. All available appropriate brainpower needs to be shifted to focus on Covid-19 mitigation, & elimination. This means massively increasing funding into research & development of treatments & vaccines against COVID-19, medical engineering & design to optimize & scale-up management of respiratory failure, logistics, data analysis, food security & public health efforts.
We recognize that asking Canadians to self-isolate & stop all non-essential economic & social activity requires a complete change in behaviour & a tremendous sacrifice. We must make it as easy as possible for Canadians to self-isolate. We need to remove any financial barriers to preventing Canadians from engaging in non-essential commercial activity. We recommend temporarily:
-Suspending all mortgage, rent, utility (including telecommunications) & debt payments.
-Suspending all interest accrual on existing debt, & waive any interest on new debt accrued during this period.
-Provide all Canadians with universal basic income & pharmaceutical coverage.
-Leverage unused housing stock & hotels to house vulnerable populations.
-Enact legislation to protect employees who cannot, for any reason (including caregiving) meet their daily work obligations, from termination.
Self-isolation will not work if people cannot self-isolate sustainably & equitably.
Why is this important?
793 people died of CoV2 in Italy on March 21, surpassing its own record set only 1 day prior. The death toll & confirmed case count in Italy & places all over the world show no signs of abating. In Canada the number of deaths leapt by 50% overnight. China is one of the only countries thus far that has managed to curtail the spread of CoV2 & has done so by mounting a war-like effort against the virus.
Without social intervention, CoV2 spreads at exponential rates. This does not simply mean "quickly", it means that the more it spreads, the more quickly it will spread. The humanitarian, personal, social & economic consequences also compound exponentially. Every day that we don't act costs us tenfold on the other end.The cost of inadequate or delayed action is a humanitarian & economic catastrophe.