COVID-19 Roundup: price gouging protections, past pandemics, how government goes on

Photo: Cases of Covid-19 by health region on April 2, 2020. Government of Nova Scotia.

As of yesterday, April 2, Nova Scotia has 193 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Provincial snapshot
“Those cases range in age from under 10 to over 80,” says yesterday’s press release from the health department. “Five individuals are currently in hospital. Sixteen individuals have now recovered and their cases of COVID-19 are considered resolved.” The province has rolled out a new mapping tool showing how cases are scattered around the province. The majority are in the central region (where the majority of Nova Scotians live), but every region has multiple cases.

Price gouging
During a state of emergency, it’s against the law to jack up the price on essential items. But that doesn’t mean you won’t see price increases elsewhere. “There isn’t a comprehensive list of products or services that are considered essential,” explains Peter Moorhouse from BBB Atlantic. “If you don’t need that product to live safely right now, it probably isn’t.” In his latest Halifax Magazine column, he explains what price gouging really is and how you can fight it.

Comfort from the past
While enduring a pandemic is a new experience for many, older Nova Scotians have been down this road before. “The residents are talking about their own times of isolation from polio or TB,” says Lisa Hodder, director of Willow Lodge in Tatamagouche. “Their stories are really normalizing this isolation we’re going through… they didn’t seem to be frightened.” Raissa Tetanish reports for The Light.

Help from hemp
Coast to coast, businesses have retooled operations to produce much-needed medical and safety supplies. One such Nova Scotian business is Northumberland Hemp in Bailey’s Brook. It’s shifted gears from hemp seed oil and flour to hand sanitizer. “Hemp oil is a natural moisturizer,” explains spokesman Bradley Jardine. “Alcohol will just dry your skin right out. “We played around with various combinations [of hemp oil and alcohol] until we got one we were happy with.” See the story in The Pictou Advocate.

The halls of power
Maclean’s has published a fascinating story by Nick Taylor-Vaisey about the most extraordinary session of Parliament in Canadian history, and how Ottawa’s legislative wheels keep turning during a pandemic. “A political war few Canadians had patience for seemed ready to erupt,” he writes. “What followed, according to key members from each party, was a desperate scramble to defuse the brawl.”

Need to know
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This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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