Coronavirus Impact on Canadians and Economy

  • Canada closed its borders except to US citizens.
  • One of the biggest fitness chains shut its doors.
  • Delivery services have stopped accepting cash to avoid spread of the virus.

Currently, Canada has 415 confirmed cases of coronavirus in all 10 provinces. In an official announcement Canada closed its borders to all non-citizens. The only exemption is US citizens. Starting March 18th, all international flights will be restricted to airports in four major Canadian cities: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Nevertheless, commercial vehicles are still allowed travel through Canada/US border check points.

This is the right move. However, it seems the borders should have been closed immediately when the government knew about COVID19 in China. The biggest issue with communist governments is there is never accurate and real numbers of infected reported. Anyone who dares to speak out, either gets detained, threatened or beaten. An example would be the Chinese lab that posted the virus characteristics and was closed within days.

Personally, being a Canadian national, I have never seen such a dire situation in the country. A member of the Canadian Border Patrol (CBSA) tested positive for the virus. Justin Trudeau, who is a Prime Minister of Canada, is in self imposed isolation, due to his wife Sophie testing positive for COVID19 earlier.

Changes due to the COVID19:

  • Casinos are closed.
  • Dine-in restaurants and bars are no longer an option, only take out.
  • Many stores are on short hours or closed.
  • Schools are closed.
  • Many flights are cancelled.
  • City attractions closed.
  • Canadian staple coffee chain Tim Hortons will only have their drive-thru option available.
  • Goodlife fitness, one of the biggest sports chains is shutting down as well.
  • YMCA Toronto is fully closed.
  • Many also suspending cash operations to prevent the spread and will only accept debit/credit cards.
  • Apple and Nike stores are closed.
  • Grocery store shelves have a shortage of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and certain non-perishable foods.

COVID19 is hurting the economy. The Dow posted the worst numbers in history today, which impacts the TSX.

Outside the pandemic, there is more to worry about from a broad spectrum. Should China be paying for this? Clearly, it is responsible for the spread of the virus and to this day the exact origin is still not known. It is highly plausible it is a man-made created virus from a Chinese lab. Previously an Indian lab found similarities with HIV.

Moreover, the streets in many neighborhoods in Toronto are empty, a normally very busy city.  People are staying home and working from home to avoid possible exposure to the virus. Spring Break is one of the busiest times for Canadians to travel to Florida, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Now, it is all cancelled.

It all feels very real when you see police officers wearing masks in public. Psychologically, it feels like a nation is ill when you turn on the news every day and see the social media trending topic is COVID19 and there is a constant rise in positive cases. The scary part is you never know if people are truly taking it serious and quarantining themselves. A majority of Canadians are very responsible and we are a health conscious nation, but there are still some that will continue to ignore the precautionary measures.

It is clear that for at least the next month it will be a tough time in the West. Also, depending on the duration of this pandemic, it is plausible to expect Canada to enter into a recession.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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