I think you and I are finding some common ground. Canada shut down a week earlier than the US and opened up a week later. I’m sure the data will prove Canada is better than the USA in this regard. But this is a rather weak victory. We were still too late.
My contention is that both USA and Canada had no plan in place for when a pandemic struck. Where was the warehouses of necessary hospital supplies to fight a pandemic? Oh, I forgot, the free market would be able solve that problem, so . . . . . we know how that worked, don’t we? My hypothesis is that this lack of preparedness put the medical people in charge of the final decision (and they did have compelling points) without any input from economists and sociologists.
And we had no plan for emergency social assistance. The government just concocted social policy on the fly. My family is a beneficiary of that social policy (the American version was a joke). But the last decade of any economic planning in Canada has gone out the window. We have a vastly increased money supply, which usually has dire economic consequences. I would have preferred a well thought out plan before the pandemic, using all sorts of expert analysis and economic models (as best we understand this unpredictable science of economics). Why not have “If a pandemic hits, here’s the economic plan” in place before the pandemic?
Most western governments failed so poorly in this handling this crisis. If we blame the leaders, would it not be better to blame the electoral systems that put those leaders in place? For example, South Korea dodged a bullet for the previous government (corrupt as hell) would not have handled the crisis as well as the current government.
As I alluded in an earlier comment in this thread, a big part of the problem is a general distrust of government. It’s not hard to understand why the American public believes that America can John Wayne its way through this crisis — rather than taking the simple courtesy for others by wearing a mask when going to a store. Governments are mostly foolish people just taking taxes from working people, right?
We need a new system of governance where the public trusts the decisions of the government.
In case, you haven’t figured it out, I have an ulterior motive for being on Medium. Western democracy has some serious flaws and needs to replaced. I have figured out a replacement with no political parties, but still very democratic. I have written a book on this concept which you might want to read. If we don’t change the system, your great-grandchildren will be discussing foolish decisions by elected leaders 30 years from now.