Global trade or self-sufficiency?

Letter writer Martin Holzbauer thinks COVID-19 should push us toward being more self-sufficient


With global trade even the simplest product can be made with components from several countries, but what about being self sufficient?

With the current pandemic, Covid-19, we have seen that there can be difficulties with global trade. Atthis point in time, there are almost no places on our planet that have

remained untouched by the pandemic. Our responses have ranged from good to

denial. Not just on the country level, but even on the personal level.

We humans are so interconnected, reliant, on each other, that most of us do not realize it. A lot of us have seen or read about a single person or a group of people who are self sufficient and admire them. but even the old-time prospector, trapper was never truly self sufficient.

For some reason in this pandemic the places with the best response appear to be island nations. The reason for those responses could be very simple. If you are on an island, some products could be more difficult to get. Island or isolated people, such as remote places in Canada, have to look ahead to make sure they have everything to survive for up to a whole year.

Remoteness can have benefits as well. The territory of Nunavut has zero confirmed cases of Covid-19. That means the more self sufficient you are, whether you are a single person or a country with millions of people, the better off you are.

However, being self sufficiency means more work. For example, a garden takes time and effort, a farm even more, and planning ahead for a full year or longer. On the other hand, being self sufficient comes with benefits as well, such as eating the fruits of your labour. There can be other benefits as well, such as local, regional food tasting better, with more nutrients and keeping us healthier.

Another benefit of a region, or country being more self sufficient could mean higher employment because of the additional labour involved.

As a person, region or country, we have a choice. Do we want things simple and cheap, but have to rely on others or do we want to put in the extra effort and money and become more

self sufficient.

Martin Holzbauer