Manitoba is opening up, good and bad news

Connecting the Dots

Manitoba’s Phase 2 reopening is good news for businesses (if half-capacity helps sufficiently); it makes available much needed, but distanced, interaction at churches, in playgrounds etc. with family and summer camping. In general, it makes us more relaxed. That’s good, but it can be bad because it could cause us to forget the protocol we have learned.

Within Manitoba’s borders there is not a great chance that the people we come into contact with will be carrying the virus. Our number of affected remains the lowest per capita in the country. Also, it’s summer and outdoor activities are probably much safer than indoor contact.

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But, on a cautionary note, it only takes one person to infect an entire group, producing a cluster which can stealthily infect many more.

We feel pretty good here in Manitoba.  To better understand how COVID-19 is spreading in the province, public health officials are conducting surveillance testing of people without symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic people) who work in the trucking industry. This will reassure truckers who are returning home to Manitoba and provide important information about how the virus can spread. (www.manitoba.ca/asset_library/en/coronavirus/restoring-asymptomatic-testing-for-truck-drivers.pdf.)

 

But, next door in Ontario the battle rages.

There is no vaccine yet and for the vulnerable (if that’s not you, it could be your parents, a friend with COPD, diabetes, cancer or other health issues) there’s no clear treatment for severe cases.

The fact is, the coronavirus spreads the same way now as it did when the pandemic was announced. And, historically the second wave of an epidemic hits harder than the first.

An interesting study published by the CBC said that based upon the rate at which the virus spreads, about 62 per cent of the population would need to be immune to provide herd immunity. We are no where near that anywhere in Canada.

Manitoba, as of Tuesday June 2, has tested 45,000 people. That’s about the head count of Brandon. There’s 1.37 million of us in the province, so about 3.3 per cent of Manitobans have been tested. Some 300 cases have been confirmed and most have recovered. Roughly .02 per cent of Manitoba’s population have been exposed to the virus and supposedly now have immunity. That’s a long way from 62 per cent.

An additional two COVID-19 cases popped up on June 2. Where from?

My point - we are now practiced at sanitation and distancing. We know the routine. For the sake of vulnerable people in our families and communities let’s not throw caution to the wind.

© Virden Empire-Advance