Steinbach seems to be the hotbed of opposition to Manitoba’s Covid-19 health orders and guidelines. Local reeve, Lewis Weiss says he is opposed to what the province is doing, but the only reason he gives is that he finds the rules unclear and that “he is not a great believer” in the efficacy of face masks.
Everyone wants a break. Dr. Brent Roussin Manitoba’s Chief Medical Officer and responsible for Manitoba’s response to the Covid-19 crisis said that if he listened to every group that argued for exemptions from Manitoba health guidelines or orders, there would be no order or guidelines. Everyone would be on their own and we would be in a big trouble. So, he and his group make the best decisions they can based on science. I actually think they have not been restrictive enough.
The Church of God (Restoration) near Sarto and Steinbach has defied provincial orders and guidelines repeatedly. Most recently, they were charged for violating the prohibition against church services indoors. Pastor Heinrich Hildebrandt said, “No one’s obligated to come inside, but you’re all welcome to come inside because the scripture teaches us that we should be gathering together.” The Church’s online statement said,
“The Church of God’s embassy on earth is sovereign when it acts in His will and purpose and any attempts to impede its sovereignty are wrong…When tyranny becomes law, resistance becomes duty. Godly people do not fight with physical violence but the weapons of our warfare are spiritual and we fight against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Then there are a group of guys I have breakfast and conversation with once a week. Well at least we used to get together to do that. For about a year now we have met online virtually by Zoom. Someone called us “the Spiritual Dudes” because we often discuss religion. We are not a cult. We like to discuss all kinds of issues including religion. We all have differing views, but to some extent are aufgefalna—i.e. fallen off the branch. We like to think for ourselves. Frankly, we would all like to get together in a restaurant but have dutifully obeyed the health orders and guidelines so far without much complaint. None of us are asking for the rules to be relaxed. But we want to get together
What all of these groups have in common is that they want to be together but none of these groups, even my group, have come up with a good reason why we should be allowed to get together during a health pandemic.
Recently Canada has seen a 30% drop in active Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks. That is wonderful. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Medical Health Officer said there are 48,221 active Covid-19 cases in Canada, down from more than 68,400 cases two weeks ago. She also said the daily federal tally has been trending downwards with an average of 4,061 new infections reported per day the past week. She also said this slowdown has led to a gradual decline in severe Covid-19 outcomes. All of this is good, but according to her, it is not good enough. As the Winnipeg Free Press reported:
“Even with this decline, Tam said, the current caseload continues to burden local health-care resources, particularly in regions with high infection rates. “The risk remains that trends could reverse quickly…This is particularly important in light of the emergence of new virus variants that could rapidly accelerate transmissions of Covid-19 in Canada…These factors underscore the importance of sustaining public health measures and individual practices and not easing restrictions too fast or too soon.”
Or as my very smart wife said, “Rates are going down because we have had restrictions.” Why would we get rid of them so soon?
We need to have good public policies based on the best science not on wants.