Right in the centre - Hoping and praying


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

On Monday, several media outlets reported that Florida governor Ron DeSantis suspended remaining local COVID-19 restrictions within his state by executive order. It is part of a series of moves he said were meant to prevent government overreach in response to C-19. On the previous day, Florida reported 3,941 cases and 29 C-19 deaths. The population of Florida was reported as 21.48 million in 2019.

As a matter of contrast, Manitoba reported 250 cases and one death. Manitoba’s 2019 population was reported as 1.369 million. Florida has about 15.7 times higher population than Manitoba. So Manitoba’s case count on a per capita basis is almost identical to Florida and the death count is half of what Florida’s was on Monday. Florida also has a 70 plus percentage vaccination rate, something that Manitoba hasn’t achieved yet.

Hopefully Manitoba, and all Canada for that matter, will get to where Florida is now by the end of May. Maybe Manitoba can get to 70 per cent vaccination by then. That date is the scheduled time for new health orders in Manitoba and just about everyone is longing for a return to normal.

The general population in Manitoba is losing faith in governments to lead us out of the C-19 situation. Many are very fearful of C-19. Some openly state they don’t care. Both positions are likely unwise. On the fear side, consider that C-19 has been associated with deaths of around 1,000 people in Manitoba. That is a matter of genuine concern. On the other hand, it can easily be assumed that more than one or two people a day are dying from the side effects of the C-19 lockdown, so there are two sides to this fear question.

It has been privately wondered many times, as well as stated openly, “Why doesn’t the government tell us if there were co-morbidities?” Many C-19 deaths are tied very closely to one or more pre-existing health conditions. Another piece of missing information is why doesn’t the government say where the cases are? It would be simple enough to stay away from hotspots, so to speak. In pandemics of the past, households were quarantined and you knew not to go there if you didn’t have to do so.

The biggest problem with government involvement is that we were supposed to have a two week lockdown to “flatten the curve”. That two weeks has now dragged out to be 15 months and counting. Whatever premise or model the government was working on initially was not and is not accurate.

Just a few other observations. It can be assumed that big retailers, such as Walmart and Costco, are still open because they can afford more lawyers than small business owners. It has also been said we are all in the same boat. That is blatantly untrue. We may be all in the same storm, but many people have bigger boats than others. 

The whole vaccine question is evolving every day. Many have been vaccinated. Many more want that vaccination. Some don’t want to be vaccinated. Whatever vaccines the supply lines pump out and whatever vaccination decision people make, soon there will be a lot of people vaccinated. The irony of the vaccine is that the best vaccines guarantee around 97 per cent protection. That’s three per cent chance you will get C-19 even if you are vaccinated. That’s interesting, as only three per cent of the population have gotten C-19 in 15 months of pandemic, anyway. Some would say, they will take their chances without the vaccine.

There is a further credibility problem. Health officials are saying that there have been little or no cases of the “regular” flu this year. I don’t think anyone believes that statistic.

All in all, we can pray and we can hope that better times are coming by the end of May.