LETTER: High density can be a benefit

In this age of physical distancing as a result of this virus, there seems to be the notion that the density of our cities and towns is a problem. Let me ask the followers of this notion a question.

Why did Hong Kong, Singapore and other cities with high population densities, have so few cases and recover so fast?

The answer lies in immediate unified multi-ministry responses and plain language from government officials. As soon as a few pneumonia cases were recorded in Wuhan, they set up temperature scanning at airports. They also initiated contact tracing to anyone who was in contact with positive cases and had mandatory quarantines for those folks. They only closed one school in all of Singapore, due to a cluster of cases in the immediate area around the school.

So far, the number of cases in these places has been really low and is considered in recovery. They had many imported cases, but no real community spread.

As municipalities in Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich recover and move forward with official community plan rewrites, it is important to remember that what will save us from this and future health crises will be good sanitation, great public health communication and strong local economies. All of which are easier to achieve in more densely built environments than what we have today.

Eric Diller

Sidney

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