Coronavirus

The Coronavirus is taking the turn for the worst.  While events are happening quickly and no one knows how this will turn out, I do believe there are certain steps we can take.  I agree with the recommendation of some provincial governments to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country including to the US.  I likewise think flights from hotspots should be suspended accept for Canadians returning or essential business and all people coming from those checked closely.  Likewise closing down university campuses, schools, and banning large gatherings are worth it.  This may be an overreaction but better to be safe than sorry.  In particular elderly people should try to avoid contact with others as much as possible as the overwhelming majority of deaths have been elderly.  In terms of government responses, I would ask all parties to put aside partisan sniping and work on what is best as well as listen to experts.  Likewise we are heading for a recession so focus should be getting us out of the hole we are in thus while I still support balanced budgets, now is the time to run deficits and worry about balancing the budget once we get through this.  Part of the reason I urged governments earlier to run surpluses during good times is so we would have the firepower to spend in downturns like this.  Also for many workers who may lose their job or see standard of living decline due to job losses or having to self quarantine, EI rules should be loosened.  The goal should be to help us get through this as I believe the recession will be quite deep, but once the virus ends we will see a very strong rebound.  The one change though that might be permanent is more people working from home as many are already doing this.  And that may long term not be a bad thing as saves on driving costs and also beneficial to parents with children.  Still focus should be on immediate issue at hands and other issues we can worry about after.  In fact for parliament I would try doing them virtual and for key votes agree that each party only send a few members, otherwise enough to meet quorum and numbers sent would be in proportion to number of seats so that leaders can take a lead.  Crowds of 250 have been cancelled in some provinces so therefore since parliament has more than 250 members, it should be set up so only minimum quorum level is met in order to lead by example and also avoid risk of several members being infected.

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