Vancouver's Downtown Eastside dodges COVID-19 — but CERB could be more deadly than the virus

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One vulnerable community in Vancouver, B.C. has found itself at the centre of a medical mystery.

Despite the grim predictions that COVID-19 would wreak havoc on the many homeless and drug addicted people residing in Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, pop-up testing surprisingly indicates that only a small number are testing positive for the virus antibodies.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that many who live there are not more susceptible to another silent killer on the rise.

Since the COVID-19 inspired lockdown, fatal overdoses have sky rocketed across the province. Perhaps the even bigger mystery in the province is exactly what role, if any, Trudeau’s CERB payments play in those increasing deaths. For people suddenly presented with extra cash, concerns have arisen that this money is being spent on drugs and alcohol.

Homelessness in Vancouver has already been on the rise and the Downtown Eastside has been the urban area most stricken by poverty for years. In 2019, Global News reported  pre-pandemic  that, “the number of people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver has hit its highest level in nearly two decades.”

Considering what we’ve been told about the COVID-19 death rate, the Downtown Eastside residents would be considered very high risk due to their underlying health conditions.

Thankfully, that isn’t the case, despite the fact that people densely gather on the sidewalks and in alleys daily.

So what was the reality regarding COVID-19's affect on the Downtown Eastside, and substance abuse skyrocketing at the same time? 

Are we seeing more than economic consequences from the negligent way the Liberals dished out CERB — consequences that could be contributing to the deaths of Canadians, but not by the virus?

With all of these questions regarding Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the people who frequent that area have valuable insight.

I went there to hear what they had to say.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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