Like many of you, I’m at home in self-isolation. My house is comfortable and my garden is coming to life through my window so it’s not so bad. All things considered, I’m pretty fortunate. But many others are having a very difficult time.
On March 18, the federal government announced an aid package to help workers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes $27 billion in wage supports and enhanced benefits, and $55 billion in deferred income tax payments. It is supposed to ensure that workers and small businesses have the financial support they need to follow public health advice and stay home.
Every crisis, it is said, also provides us with an opportunity. Government responses to the economic and social emergency caused by COVID-19 must deal with the immediate impacts on vulnerable workers and communities, but also move us towards our longer term goals.
As the COVID-19 health pandemic continues to evolve, each of us needs to do our part to reduce the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve”. We also need to make sure that as communities and a country, we are taking care of each other in the face of lost work and illness.