It doesn't take much effort to find people in medicine, science or politics who are, at the very least, skeptical about making Covid-zero Canada's aim. And some groups have been pushing back against shutdowns.
It's been difficult to escape ads from Restaurants Canada, a trade group. It has been casting doubt on the idea that infections are spread by indoor dining.
"Our industry is being singled out and we deserve to understand why," Todd Barclay, the group's president and chief executive wrote in an open letter. "Accurate transmission data that clearly points to restaurants being the source has not been provided."
While Dr. Dhalla acknowledged that it is possible to minimize transmission by taking measures in restaurants housed in very large spaces, he said that Canadian, American and international data has clearly shown that indoor dining is a source of transmission. In October, shortly before Toronto ended indoor dining, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's top public health official, said that an outbreak at the Yonge Street Warehouse exposed 1,700 people to the virus.
Even though Dr. Dhalla says it's necessary to end indoor dining in places where cases are rising rapidly and to do contact tracing there, he makes that recommendation with an important qualification.
"Restaurant owners and the people who work in restaurants should undoubtedly receive support from the government, which means the rest of us," he said. "If we're all in this together, that means we need to support people who lose their jobs."
But compensation means that Covid-zero may ultimately become a debate as much about money as about public health.