Right in the centre - Normal better come soon


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

In a news release on Monday, the Province of Manitoba issued its 99th advisory to Manitobans.

It said, “Public health officials advise no new cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m. today (Monday June 1). The total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba are, as of Wednesday, June 3, are 298.

The data also shows no individuals in hospital or intensive care, nine active cases and 282 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seven. The total number of tests performed since early February is 445,923.”

The province, its health officials and staff have done a good job of keeping COVID-19 at bay. The early initial response was the correct one. But the time has come to evaluate and move on.

There have been less deaths from COVID-19 than the flu. Most people recover from the disease and we really have no idea how many people have actually had C-19. If  there is a readily available post-COVID test out there, we aren’t being told much about it. I guess it’s anyone’s guess how long we go along this same path of 1,000 tests a day and only turn up one or two cases.

Now that most places of business are open, albeit many at half capacity, the stage is set for one more step. If the number of cases doesn’t escalate significantly by June 15, then it is my opinion that we should open up everything. If the number of cases doesn’t escalate across the general population, then we should change tactics. Maybe we should have changed tactics a few weeks ago.

If the cases stay relatively low, then it makes no sense to maintain the lockdown on everything from festivals to fairs to baseball games to community picnics.

Some precautions need to be taken. As sick as we may be about hearing it, we should wash our hands frequently. If a person isn’t feeling well, then stay home. If an outbreak of any major disease breaks out, then isolate or quarantine the location as much as possible. The whole C-19 experience begs the question about how we maybe should have been looking after our elderly in a better fashion. The fact that we have lost so many older people to influenza over the years needs to be questioned.

I won’t say that our health officials and provincial people have over reacted in this 2020 C-19 event, but if the current trend continues and we don’t loosen up a lot, and soon, I will certainly say that in the future.

It is very difficult to know what really happened in Manitoba. In order to know, we need to be told where the cases happened. We need to know if there were underlying health conditions. We need to know a lot more details in order to determine how this all unfolded in Manitoba. There are those who say, and not without good reason, that C-19 basically didn’t exist in many parts of Manitoba. Of course, we don’t know that because we were never really told locations. To say there were cases in Winnipeg or Prairie Mountain RHA is pretty much useless information.

I personally think that most everyone acted out of an abundance of caution but we may have overdone it a bit. The next two weeks will illustrate our path back to some level of normality.

If case numbers remain low in that time period, the time will have come to resume all normal activities.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer chair of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.