Letter: B.C. COVID-19 numbers ‘lagging’ compared with many nations

Have you noticed of late how Premier Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix repeatedly make comparisons to the U.S. COVID-19 response?

Do you think that maybe they are redirecting your attention by comparing to this lower performing jurisdiction? True leadership aspires upwards, and thus a proper comparison of B.C. COVID-19 performance must look to those places where the response has generated exceptional results.

Case in point – Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand have vastly out-performed B.C. in terms of deaths per population. These are countries we actively trade with, have extensive family and personal connections with, and are pretty much in the same league with regards to economic, social and health-system development.

Agreed, the great work by the provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry may have kept us from an even worse performance. Yet, the circumstances that B.C. has had many more truly avoidable deaths than what is being experienced on the other side of the Pacific is telling, although these facts go pretty much unreported.

Possibly the recently acquiescent media might return to its previous role of asking and demanding answers to this kind of hard question. Possibly, the B.C. Liberals can put together a cohesive plan to demonstrate to British Columbians that a better way forward might be possible, but so far not much of relevance.

The only way we make something good of these difficult circumstances is learning what went well and less so. But we must gather these lessons now so to prepare for the next public safety crisis, and no time to lose as that big earthquake predicted for our region will not give any warning, just like the unannounced arrival of COVID-19.

British Columbians deserve our thought-leaders to improve public safety through seeking and applying best practices. It is about time to get on with this public debate so we are better prepared for the next calamity.

Joe Sulmona, Burnaby

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