Out of the Trenches…Hopefully Soon…

Canada out of trenches

April 9th, 2017 the Canadian Corps was ordered to seize Vimy Ridge.

“To capture this difficult position, the Canadians would carefully plan and rehearse their attack. To provide greater flexibility and firepower in battle, the infantry were given specialist roles as machine-gunners, rifle-men and grenade-throwers. These same soldiers underwent weeks of training behind the lines using models to represent the battlefield, and new maps crafted from aerial photographs to guide their way. To bring men forward safely for the assault, engineers dug deep tunnels from the rear to the front. Despite this training and preparation, the key to victory would be a devastating artillery barrage that would not only isolate enemy trenches, but provide a moving wall of high explosives and shrapnel to force the Germans to stay in their deep dugouts and away from their machine-guns. 

The Canadian operation was an important success, but it was victory at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded.

In recently musing over the latest information available worldwide regarding the fight against Covid19, the Battle of Vimy Ridge came to mind, as it is perhaps a fitting analogy to how I believe the fight against the virus must be conducted.

It is becoming clearer, day by day, that treatments for the virus are now coming online and undergoing clinical trials with great preliminary results – Hydroxychlororquine, Zypak, zinc,    Avigan, etc.

In addition, it is also appearing that pre-existing conditions of obesity, pre-diabetes, diabetes are distant early warning signs of risk. Viruses love sugar, and high blood sugar.

So, here is what I would do if I was Trudeau.

Once I was given adequate proof that anti-viral treatments are in hand, I would put it to the populace that it is time to get out of the trenches and begin establishing herd immunity – the best defense and offense against the virus.

Those “wounded” in the assault would be treated with the anti-virals. Those who are “unfit for service” (e.g. diabetic, lung cancer, etc.) would be isolated until the battle is won. People would be given preventative advice on how to reduce their chances of being wounded.

To the date of this writing, 291 Canadians have died in this battle, 13,901 have been wounded, and 2,595 have recovered.

If we had stayed in the trenches in 1917, we would have eventually been overrun, not only by the enemy’s guns, but, ironically, one year later with influenza. We may have ended up in a substantially different world.

We should keep in mind that every year somewhere between 1500 and 3500 Canadians die of seasonal flu. Life can be cruel, and eventual death is certain.

An informed political decision to send people into the fray will need to be made, and, the sooner the better.

While it has arguably made sense to “stay in the trenches” while treatments were being found, it is getting close to the time where we must muster the courage to go over the hill and get back to the life, which our fellow Canadians died for 103 years ago, and, which we knew and enjoyed just a short month ago.





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