Together, lets get the COVID-19 narrative right
I read Ms. Siegler’s letter on Feb. 25 with interest. I appreciate that you publish a variety of view points and experiences with COVID-19 in the Cowichan Valley.
Although Ms. Siegler discusses the importance of more healthful living in general, as well as her observations about children’s mental health during the pandemic, I’m limiting my comments to B.C. statistics on affected age groups, and recent protests against restrictions in Duncan.
Admittedly, I am not as grounded in the research as I’d like to be, but a quick look at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website tells me that currently, B.C. has just over 79,000 cases. About 68 per cent of those are in the age range 20 to 60, well outside “primarily a problem in nursing homes”, according to Ms. Siegler. In fact, the numbers tell me that the B.C. individuals most infected with the virus right now are 20 to 29 years old. Those numbers are not insignificant; at about 18,000 young adults.
What I’m also aware of, although largely anecdotally, is a growing number of individuals known as “long haulers”, left with debilitating and lingering symptoms, with no known full recovery. They are a mix of ages, not predominantly older adults. Surely no one wants this?
A secondary issue in Ms. Siegler’s letter is related to the recent story, I believe, of the spa owner in Duncan who wasn’t following public health guidelines with respect to masking, social distancing, etc.
The spa owner, along with every other citizen in the Cowichan Valley, has the right to protest her dislike of the health guidelines (or any other law for that matter). None of us has the right to continue to break the law and in the process, expose others to the COVID-19 virus.
Public health restrictions may seem heavy handed, with real impacts on our personal and business lives, but evidence clearly demonstrates they make a difference. Masks, social distancing, and now vaccines are showing promise in preventing the spread.
There is still much to learn, and a few things we didn’t get right, but I am encouraging my fellow citizens to also do their homework, focusing on legitimate and trusted sources. Otherwise, we risk spreading false understanding and narrative about what’s actually going on. None of us benefits from this.