The Moral Dilemma of COVID-19

Maya Hutzul Maya Hutzul Instagram Apr 30, 2020 · 2 mins read
The Moral Dilemma of COVID-19
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COVID-19 is spreading quickly - so quickly, in fact, that by the time this article is released, these statistics will already be out of date*. When news of the virus reached the international community, the majority of the coverage was focused on China, particularly on the millions under quarantine in the province of Hubei. However, by the end of February, there was news of outbreaks in South Korea, Italy, and Iran. By mid-March, the majority of the world was under quarantine as outbreaks spread across the world. 

COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly around the world, with over one million cases and 56,000 confirmed deaths. Canada currently has 12,000 confirmed cases and over 170 deaths. The United States, however, has quickly become an epicenter for the virus, with over 265,000 cases and 6,700 deaths. An online polling survey by Leger suggests that Americans aren't taking isolation as seriously as Canadians - only 86% of US respondents were adhering to the required 2 metre distance rules, in comparison to 95% of Canadians. Although this number might seem small, it could be a significant factor in determining the death tolls in both countries. 

Disinformation is still prominent in the battle against COVID-19, and undermines public attempts to fight it. From online posts claiming that lemons ward off the virus, to Fox News anchors saying that holding your breath for more than ten seconds will prevent it, disinformation is widespread. Worse still, people’s attempts to try to make a profit off of selling their own home remedies do more than damage their personal credibility - they can prevent individuals, who have the disease, from getting life-saving treatment.

While choosing not to spread disinformation might be an easy choice, what the governments of the world are faced with today is far from easy. As the world goes into quarantine in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus, economic activity halts. This poses many problems, and it is inevitable that massive job losses follow.  In a one week period this March, the government of Canada received nearly 500,000 applications for unemployment insurance, an amount only matched by an eight month period during the recession in 2009. This presents a moral dilemma - a choice between people’s lives, and their livelihoods. 

The governments of the world, as this crisis continues to unfold, will have to tread carefully. Are they prepared to deal with a potential depression, and the mental health issues and business failures that would result from it? There are no easy answers, and this is not an easy situation. All we can do is stay safe as best we can, and practise social distancing for the good of our country and the world. 

* This article was originally released on April 3rd, 2020.

Image source: “Concept of Covid-19 In Red Background” by Edward Jenner from

Maya Hutzul
Written by Maya Hutzul Instagram
Former Copy Editor