Letter: Closing the US-Canada border must be based on fact, not hearsay

Ask local businesspeople how they feel about the closures’ impact on their livelihoods

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter is in response to the September 16 Page 4 letter to the editorial titled ‘Keep borders closed’ by Ron Osawabine.

To the Expositor:

Whether or not the Canadian/United States border needs to be closed for the rest of this year or into next year is a decision that needs to be based on facts, not hearsay.

The coronavirus in the United States is not out of control. Although cases have gone up recently and there is talk of a “second wave” (whatever that means), what is being overlooked is the number of deaths caused by the virus. In Michigan the number of daily deaths peaked on April 21 at 232. Since that April date, the curve has been in a gradual downward trend; beginning July 4, the daily death toll has been as low as “zero” and as high as 31. This downward trend is similar for the rest of the United States. This is not evidence of a virus being “totally out of control” but rather evidence of a thoughtful, systematic approach to controlling the impact and spread of the virus.

Citizens in both the United States and Canada share the common desire of not wanting to see another “shutdown” or as we call it in Michigan “a stay-at-home order.” Not only are they bad for business and the economy as a whole, but the health professionals are discovering that “shutdowns” are also bad for the mental and emotional stability of many individuals and families. This is true regardless of whether or not borders are open.

In Michigan we are all wearing face masks indoors. Some of the old folks, like me, are also wearing face masks outdoors. It is not uncommon to see a mother and her little children all wearing face masks as they walk into a grocery store.

As to the comment about “stop their drinking parties;” really? The bars in Michigan are only allowed to operate at 20 percent capacity. Unfortunately, young adults will always be young adults: they will ignore the rules about social distancing, wearing face masks, and other reckless behaviour. Reckless only because of the pandemic. If you think this reckless behavior is only going on in the United States, then you need to think again. This observation brings a smile to my face: I remember being picked up by a sheriff as a minor in possession for taking a sip of beer when I was 16 years old. But I digress.

One final comment: before waving a banner for closed borders, visit the shop owners in Little Current to get their take on the impact to their businesses of closed borders; ask the Fergusons, the Turners, the Sheppards, the McGregors, and other people in the community how they feel about closed borders and the related impact on businesses.

In the meantime, we wish all of you and your families to stay safe and well.

Bob and Fran Taylor

Kagawong and Michigan