Right in the centre - A careful examination of the statistics


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

No matter how tough things are, it’s best to know the facts. There is no doubt that we have been through a tough time. COVID-19 has caused deaths, sickness, anxiety and fear. All those things are very real.

I understand the deaths, they are all very sad, death always is a sad thing. Even when death brings an end to long time suffering, it’s still sad. I understand sickness, having both observed and personally experienced illness this past year.

The level of anxiety, and even more so the level of fear, are factors that need to be dealt with better than we have done so this past year. Preventing the spread of C-19 is supposed to be a matter of controlling contacts and so it’s important to look at the stats. Controlling contacts makes sense. So does washing hands, using hand sanitizer occasionally and staying home if you are sick, with anything, including possibly C-19.

What is really happening in our areas or districts as Manitoba Health reports?

Overall, as of the morning of Apr. 13, the figure I found for Manitoba’s population is 1.369 million people. The total number of C-19 cases was 35,327 confirmed tests. We have no way of knowing how many people actually have had C-19, as many are not showing symptoms and likely saw no reason to get tested. The actual number of cases is a matter of guesswork. The percentage of the population that confirmed test positive is 2.5 per cent. As always, check my math as anyone can make a mistake.

The number of active cases is listed at 1,370. The number in hospital is 57 and in ICU is 14. The number of deaths is 949 and that works out to 0.069 per cent of all Manitobans. The number of deaths overall in Manitoba in 2019 was 11,137 and in 2020 was 11,260, a difference of 123. One would think that a C-19 death rate of 949 (which is over a 14 month period, not just a year) would increase the overall death rate more than by 123 deaths. Perhaps many of the C-19 deaths were among people who were very vulnerable to begin with. That seems to be the case. I repeat, all deaths are sad, no matter when they come about.

Closer to home, if we look at the district numbers with Prairie Mountain Health Region that fall within the coverage area for the Rivers Banner and the Neepawa Banner & Press, we see the following numbers, listed in the table below.


Data as of Apr. 13, 2021:

Health District               COVID-19 Deaths               COVID-19 Recovered               COVID-19 Active cases


Agassiz Mountain                       11                                        100                                              1


Assessippi                                   2                                         151                                              9


Brandon                                      22                                      1,002                                            15


Little Saskatchewan                    0                                          66                                                0


Souris River                                 0                                          56                                               5


Whitemud                                    1                                           97                                               0