Wednesday, June 10, 2020
A Little Good News to Pierce the Gloom
No new Covid-19 deaths in British Columbia in the past five days. A dozen new cases reported, all on the mainland. It's been weeks since there was a new case on Vancouver Island.
Here's the thing. British Columbia is almost exactly one-third as populous as Ontario. We have a lot of active connections with Asia Pacific. People flying back and forth. Lots of ships bringing goods to Canada's largest port. Washington, which had been a virus hot spot right next door.
So what's going on in Ontario which apparently has overtaken Quebec in new covid cases? 251 new cases, 11 new deaths today. Ontario has made progress. New cases reported have dropped below 300 per day for a while now. But why are their numbers still so high? For that matter, what about Alberta, a province just a few hundred thousand smaller than BC but a total infection tally about three times British Columbia's? What's going on. I don't get it.
I got a call from my hematologist today. He helped set up and staff the pandemic ward at Nanaimo regional hospital a few months ago and has just returned to his practice.
At the outset they were expecting a deluge of Covid cases. That didn't materialize. There were a few cases in Nanaimo but the healthcare types did the tracking and found they had all contracted the disease off-island. They got under medical care quickly. With a lot of great luck they didn't shed the virus to others.
Demographics also played a big role. Covid is especially deadly to the elderly and we've got a big retirement population. They got the word and they reacted accordingly - masks, gloves, isolation, distancing. Diligent geezers helped drive infection rates into the ground (before they wound up there themselves).
My doctor told me that Vancouver Island is one of the most virus-free places on the planet. The trick is going to make that last as long as possible. It will be back, that's almost certain. They've already got their tackle in order for a rematch, recognizing that we might not be as lucky next time.
The other good news is that we've also at least temporarily eradicated most other readily transmissible diseases such as influenza, strep, colds, seasonal flu, measles, mumps, etc. They too will return - eventually.
His parting advice - if there's a vaccine, get it. Pneumonia, influenza, the lot. I see some needles in my future.
But remember - perspective is everything.