Right in the centre - Things will break loose soon


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

am not sure what breaking loose will look like, but changes are coming in the battle against COVID-19.

C-19 is serious, it can make you very sick. It can kill you, but the death rate has mostly been among people who are elderly (old like me, or older) or among people who had health struggles already. Some victims have been younger and healthy, some, not many. Every death is sad.

We should not be surprised, though, that people are getting very tired of all the rules and regulations.

Twenty months ago, we were told we would have to shut down and flatten the curve for two weeks. How well did that work out? We didn’t flatten the curve and it’s still not flat 20 months later.

Washing our hands, social distancing and now vaccines have likely reduced effects, but C-19 is still here and even rampant in some areas.

We were told if 70 per cent of people got vaccinated, it would be good. Then it was 75, 80, 85 and 90 per cent. Explain this then, how can a community have 90 per cent vaccination rates and still have 150 cases? Vaccination seems to help, but it doesn’t stop C-19. Just ask the people at Neepawa hospital with 24 cases and Third Crossing Manor home at Gladstone with 61 cases. Almost everybody at those  places were vaccinated. C-19, like many other diseases, is here to stay and it may well happen just like colds, flu and pneumonia.

The government has tried everything from coaxing, to threatening, to shutting down businesses, to sanitation, to vaccination and we are not done yet. I have no idea when all this will ever be over.

My biggest peeve is, and always has been, that none of the people demanding a shutdown are having their income affected by the shutdown. 

A breaking loose is coming. The tourism industry predicts that 2 billion people will take trips over the next year. So much for social distancing or caution in that regard. This past week, the Winnipeg Free Press was asking for tighter restrictions. Ironically, three separate members of the Free Press staff made public through both the Free Press itself and their social media accounts that they had been traveling to areas of much higher risk than Manitoba.

The paper made a big deal that a Winnipeg Jets player’s family wasn’t wearing a mask at a hockey game, but their staff can seemingly travel wherever they want without a care.

People are heading south for the winter, leaving the relatively quiet C-19 situation in Manitoba for areas with far higher infection rates and far lower vaccination rates and where masks are rare. This doesn’t make sense to me.

What all this travel means to me is that people are just plain fed up with restrictions that seem to no longer be working and have decided they are going to do what they want and not care about the irony, or the consequences.

We have gone through 20 months of excruciating trouble and I am afraid some of it has been misplaced. I am thankful for the hand washing, the hand sanitizing, the social distancing and even the vaccines. It has all helped, I guess. But we are at the end of what we can do to stop the disease from going through the population, with or without our further efforts now, and we will have to live (or die) with the consequences.

Just 5 per cent of Manitobans have contracted C-19. Two per cent of the cases have died. The death rate for the whole province is so small you can hardly measure it as percentage. Cancer has a higher death rate, does it not? Heart attacks have a higher death rate, do they not?

I think we are very close to the stage where we need to stop wearing masks. I think we need to realize that no amount of convincing to get vaccinated will raise the vaccination rate. We need to move on with surgeries and tests. It’s time to move on.

People can be mad about me saying that, but if you are double vaxxed, what are you worried about? Either the vaccine wills top you from getting C-19 or at least lessen the effects. If that isn’t the case, then we have been misled.

We are being told to get a booster shot. I am not convinced of that. I have also never had a flu shot and yes, flu could kill me, but at 73 years of age, I have never felt the need to get one. Maybe I am wrong, we’ll see.

What I have learned over 73 years, and especially the last two years, is the government rarely gets everything right and they sure didn’t get C-19 right. The efforts have been admirable, but never as effective as promised. After 20 months of promises, with mixed results at best, it’s no wonder things are about to break loose.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being the view of the Banner & Press staff.