Calgary economist calls for more restrictions on COVID-19 to prevent further damage to Alberta’s economy – Calgary


A University of Calgary economist calls on the province to implement tougher COVID-19 measures to reduce damage to Alberta’s economy in the long run.On November 12, the province announced two weeks of limited measures to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the suspension of indoor team sports in some areas and the introduction of new restrictions on restaurants and bars.

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“These are kind of symbolic,” said Aidan Hollis, professor of economics at the University of Calgary, who specializes in pharmaceutical markets.

“There is a possibility of perhaps reducing the transmission a little and it is a signal for the population. I don’t think it will have been effective and it doesn’t really tell people to be very careful.

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Hollis admits that closing businesses will have detrimental effects on some businesses and workers, but he said the province still needs to impose more restrictions.

“The question is, do we want to do this sooner or later? If we wait until later, it will take more restrictions and longer; it will hurt the economy even more and it will hurt these individual workers even more, ”Hollis said.

“Now is the time to start looking at what we can do to prevent this thing from getting out of hand.”

Hollis said a partial shutdown isn’t just about reducing the spread of the virus – it’s about making people feel safer going out in the long term.

“No one is going to look into the future at a province that has seen thousands of deaths and say, ‘Good job – you haven’t taken a firmer stand and you have been able to keep some restaurants open,” he said. declared.

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Some Albertans are asking for exemptions under the province’s two-week limited restrictions.

“I think these activities are essential for the health and well-being of children and it is essential for us to make these small businesses work as well,” said Mandi Sutherland, Ballet Examiner at the Royal Academy of Dance.

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“You can’t put a number or a price on the lack of consumer confidence that then follows from these closures. ”

Sutherland has spoken to several ministers in Alberta to obtain exemptions for dance studios. She said they could operate with a maximum of five people in a room and had to maintain their “low effort” activities.

“Dance studios followed the exact same COVID and transmission prevention protocols as the school system. So if it is safe for them (the kids) to be in school, it is safe for them to be in the dance studios, ”Sutherland said.

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Hinshaw says striking balance in COVID-19 fight ‘difficult’ amid calls for more restrictions

Dr Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said on Friday it was difficult to find the right balance between stopping the spread, while maintaining jobs and operations.

“Of course, I’m concerned that the measures we’ve put in place over the past few months have slowed growth somewhat, but they haven’t bent the curve as much as needed,” Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw said she took many factors into account when making her recommendations.

“It has been difficult to determine what is the right balance and what that right set of measures would be to be able to reduce COVID-19 while maintaining the mental health benefits of activity and socialization, advantages of being employed, the advantages of being able to participate in physical activity. “

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Hinshaw said she wanted to be able to give as many opportunities as possible to try to control the pandemic with measures that had the minimum impact on people’s health in other ways.

Hollis said a three-week limited shutdown could still give businesses a chance to be opened for Christmas earnings, but adds it must be accompanied by appropriate compensation for workers and businesses.

Hollis is concerned about the challenges some people face who work in places where the virus is at risk of spreading.

“From an economic point of view, it’s a very difficult problem – when you have to put yourself in danger to make money because you need it to keep your family afloat,” he said. .

“The problem of just saying, ‘You are on your own right now and we are not going to have a mandatory business shutdown, even though it is risky enough for you and increases infections in the general population,’ c is pretty brutal. “

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