Yesterday, the Ontario government turned a small business owner into a criminal after he defied the government’s lockdown—because he wanted to provide for his family.

Police officers arrested Adam Skelly, owner of Adamson BBQ in Toronto, after he opened his restaurant for indoor dining for the third straight day after the lockdown.

These lockdowns are supposedly designed to help people, but they’re actually harming people. COVID-19 is dangerous to vulnerable people, but the government has been more threatening to us all. In Canada, COVID-19 has killed twelve-thousand people, but the government has killed millions of livelihoods.

During the first lockdown from the Ontario government in May, I visited my local pizza restaurant to buy dinner. When I walked into the restaurant that evening, the owner was the only person inside.  

I asked him how he was doing, and that prompted a long and heartbreaking conversation. He said I was the second person to walk into the restaurant that day. 

It was 6:00 p.m at the time. 

He said the restaurant was making only 10% of what it was making before the lockdown. And because of that, he was forced to layoff all his employees. He was the only one working at the restaurant from early in the morning and late into the night. 

He was afraid he could no longer afford to keep his restaurant and his home. He said the Canadian government’s stimulus package wasn’t nearly enough to cover the financial toll he’s suffered from the lockdown.

He was on the verge of tears as he shared his story with me. He was an immigrant from India, and he had worked tirelessly to achieve the Canadian dream. It was his dream to immigrate to Canada to own a small-business and provide for his family. 

And his dream came true—briefly. 

By the end of the first lockdown in August, he lost his dream—he lost his restaurant. 

COVID-19 didn’t make him lose his restaurant, the government did. And he isn’t alone. Thousands of small-business owners across the country have lost their businesses because of these lockdowns and restrictions. And for restaurant owners who have managed to maintain their business, 60% of them believe they’ll lose their businesses within months. 

That’s why Adam Skelly defied the government. Adam Skelly didn’t defy the government during the first lockdown. He didn’t defy the government after they maintained restrictions after the first lockdown either—and because of that, he says he fears he is on track to lose his business and his livelihood within months—and that was before the ramifications of a second lockdown. 

The cure has become worse than the disease. These lockdowns and restrictions are killing lives and livelihoods. Because of the lockdowns and restrictions over COVID-19, 40% of American adults say they’re struggling with mental health and drug use. Because of the government reactions to COVID-19, up to 115 million people worldwide have fallen into extreme poverty this year. 

Abortion rates, suicide rates, crime rates, extreme hunger rates, and unemployment rates are all significantly higher across the world after the lockdown and restrictions this year. 

In an especially devastating story, an elderly woman in Toronto, recently committed suicide—with the help of supposed doctors—to prevent herself from suffering another lockdown—another long period of loneliness and depression without her family. 

And worst of all, since the Ontario government has essentially closed churches in Toronto and Peel Region, many local churches are not able to help vulnerable members in their communities. 

Meanwhile, “essential” businesses like the government-owned liquor and cannibis store, LCBO, is harming citizens while it’s on track to record sales. 

We should grieve when the government harms people to, supposedly, help others. No man should be forced between obeying the government and obeying his God-given duty to provide for his family. There is no justification for forcing a person to lose their livelihood—none. The ends never justify the means.

By the grace of God, I would rather lose my life than force a person to lose their livelihood. That’s because I know life is much more than protecting myself from disease and death. 

God has created us to work. God didn’t create us to make us alone—it’s not good for man to be alone. God has created us for relationships. God has created us for fellowship in churches. 

We’re souls who yearn for relationships without restrictions. We’re souls who yearn for good lives and good livelihoods. 

And especially, we’re souls who should fear Christ more than COVID-19. In fact, if the world feared Christ as much as it fears COVID-19, we wouldn’t be so afraid of death—and we wouldn’t be so willing to destroy livelihoods to, supposedly, protect lives.