The culture of fear that surrounds all news of Covid strikes Manitoba again. The numbers are bandied about, emphasis is placed on the deaths (18 at last count, all over 50, most over 70). Be afraid seems to be the message they send. Be of good heart is the one I wish to convey.
First the numbers, assembled on Sept 21st.
It appears that the City of Winnipeg has about 10% more people than the Rural part of Manitoba. I would be willing to bet that most Manitobans don’t realize just how close in population the two are. You certainly wouldn’t know it by the way the news is covered and presented. So first blush the rural has considerably (about 1/4) more cases than the urban about ¼ of the active cases, 50% more of the recovered and the lions share of the deaths. So which area is safer? I believe the urban population has larger risk problems than those of us who are rural. Why I feel that way I will explain later.
But first rates of infection, expressed as so many per 1000. So, if you have 10 thousand people and 1 person infected, the rate is 0.1, so let’s look.
|RATES PER THOUSAND|
As Artie Johnson used to say, Interesting, velly interesting.
In all of Manitoba, if you gathered up 1000 men women and children, you would have 1 that you can prove has or has had the disease. Ask yourself, how many new people, that I spend minutes in close contact with, do I meet each day? Unless you work with the general public, ie retail, server, police, it is unlikely that you would meet more than 10. That could mean that 20 weeks go by BEFORE you meet that person who has/had Covid. The American CDC claims (Sept 21) that the ability to infect others is done around 10 days after first infected, so quarantining them for 4 weeks looks after that. The fly in the ointment or sand in the Vaseline is that there are an unknown number of asymptomatic people out there that can be spreading the disease, hence the urgent need for more testing. At 1000 tests per day we need 1,377 days (3 ¾ years) to test everyone in the province. We don’t really need to test everyone, but we do need at least 40% and very rigorous tracking follow-ups. Sort of a Canadian S. Korea or Taiwan if you will.
Now, if you multiply all those numbers in the second set of boxes by 10, You will have the percentage of the Manitoban population currently infected or active cases or recovered or dead. Not very big numbers, low risk can be argued. Quarantine the sick, protect the vulnerable old people and those with co-morbidity, and the risk drops. We should not self-quarantine, we should treat those infected like we did 60 plus years ago. Short-term hard on those infected, one hell of a lot easier on the over 99% of the rest of us. Cheaper than what we are doing now, better for our economy.