Alberta Politics
Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).

Alberta now has the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 infections in Canada: this is nothing to be proud of

Posted on July 20, 2020, 2:15 am
6 mins

Today will be a significant day in Alberta’s struggle with the coronavirus.

We will learn, this afternoon, just how bad things are.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).

Will they be getting a little better after a worrisome statistical bump? If they aren’t, will they be they good enough that the present complacency can continue? Or will we have to look either at going back into another, harder-to-enforce lockdown or facing many more casualties?

The signs are not promising.

What was statistically evident at the end of last week is that Alberta now has the highest per capita rate of coronavirus infection in Canada.

Surely, given the large differences in population among Canadian provinces, that is the most significant statistic, the best measure of a province’s actual success or failure in confronting COVID-19. If so, for a province that likes to brag, this is nothing to brag about.

For weeks, provincial officials have been telling us to worry, but not that much; that we’ve been doing very well in Alberta even if we could do better; that you should probably wear a mask when you’re indoors, but you don’t have to.

This was a reassuring narrative made believable by the low absolute numbers of COVID-19 cases in the province, at least in comparison with places on this continent like New York, Georgia, Florida and Quebec.

However, as the Globe and Mail got around to reporting yesterday, now “Alberta is experiencing a surge of infections as cases accelerate faster than anywhere else in Canada.”

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).

There were 120 new cases reported on Thursday. There were 103 more on Friday. Young adults were overrepresented in these numbers. Contract tracers are finding a lot more close contacts than they did at the start of the pandemic, when more Albertans were behaving themselves. None of this is good news, except maybe the slight decline between Thursday and Friday.

British Columbia, by comparison, with over half a million more people, had 28 new cases on Thursday. Alberta has more than 18.2 active cases of the disease per 100,000 people, now marginally more than Quebec. B.C. has 3.75. New Brunswick has 0.1.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, says the surge is “a reflection of many people feeling that they are tired of the restrictions.”

This is undoubtedly partly true, but it is also a convenient claim for Alberta’s United Conservative Party Government, and it is only part of the story.

Albertans, with their self-perception of rugged individuality, have never been particularly enthusiastic about masking up or staying home. The UCP’s base — which the party’s leadership obviously fears, even though it certainly knows better — is outright hostile to anyone wearing a mask, let alone mandatory masking.

Premier Kenney has said he’s making “a very strong recommendation” that Albertans wear masks, but that there’s no way he’s going to order them to do it. In other words, pffffffft!

The anti-maskers who demonstrated yesterday in Calgary — like the anti-vaxxers with whom they would occupy the bulk of any Venn diagram — are more numerous and closer to the mainstream in this province than elsewhere in Canada. The farther south you go in Alberta, the more of them there are, and so the more this is true. It is also true that the farther south you go, the higher the per capita infection rate is. Nevertheless, the UCP treats pandemic deniers with kid gloves because of their enthusiastic support and likely also the fear they’ll run to a far-right fringe party if thwarted.

Premier Jason Kenney obviously has a plan, and it’s to relaunch the economy as quickly as possible, without too much thought for the consequences, and hope to be in a position to take credit for the boost from renewed economic activity.

“Alberta is now in Stage 2 of relaunch,” it says cheerfully atop the Alberta Government’s COVID-19 website. “Albertans can and should confidently support Alberta businesses, while continuing to act responsibly and following all public health measures.”

Meanwhile, so far at least it looks as if the premier and his health minister, Tyler Shandro, aren’t going to be diverted from their War on Alberta’s Doctors just because of some global pandemic.

Together, this is potentially a toxic mixture.

If there were 300 or more cases on Saturday and yesterday, brace yourselves, because the second wave of the first wave or whatever this is probably getting significantly worse. If there aren’t that many, that’s good news, although we’re hardly out of the proverbial woods.

38 Comments to: Alberta now has the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 infections in Canada: this is nothing to be proud of

  1. Dave

    July 20th, 2020

    I agree with all you said, but I think there is even more to this. It was famously said many years ago that a house divided against itself can not stand.

    The Government of Alberta is at war with important parts of our medical system. It has treated this virus as an inconvenient interuption to whatever its agenda is. Its real focus is the later and not the former, but the virus does not care about politics one way or another. The Alberta Government in its eagerness to resume its agenda has taken its eye off the ball.

    We were fortunate to be hit by the virus later than other places, but that was partly luck. Most travel arrivals from Asia go to Vancouver or Toronto and Alberta gets less traffic from the US than parts of Canada closer to larger US population centres. However, with the US border closed and international travel severely limited now the issue is more local control and management

    Yes, complacency and fatigue has set in with some of the population in Alberta and there is a more libertarian sect here that chaffes more at restrictions. However, we also seem to have a government that has become more complacent, perhaps in part because we seemed to be doing well initially.

    This battle will be a marathon, not a sprint, and I hope our government fully realizes and more effectively communicates this.

    Reply
    • Brad Hawkins

      July 21st, 2020

      yeah except Canada’s early cases came from the USA, go figure

      Reply
  2. Bob Raynard

    July 20th, 2020

    I think it was unwise for governments to allow the reopening of bars like they have. Prolonged time in a bar, with increasing drunkenness, seems to check off all the Covid risk boxes: no mask, diminished physical distances as inhibitions decrease, and lots of talking ‘moistly’ as the room gets louder and people raise their voices.

    When the hockey playoffs start the problem will only get worse, especially in cities whose teams have success in the playoffs. The more success a team has, the more goals will be scored and the more loud celebrating in sports bars will be added to the above risk list.

    If bars are going to opened at all it should be for say a 2 hour period at lunch time, and again for perhaps 2 hours after work. I really think catering to the bar lobby is going to derail the entire effort to reopen the economy. At least if people drink at home they are not mingling with strangers.

    Reply
    • loraine

      July 20th, 2020

      agree with you, and did we really need the hockey games now
      perhaps mandating masks would help too

      Reply
      • Vic

        July 21st, 2020

        I grew up in a hockey family, played for many years and follow the NHL. We don’t need to see hockey in August. This is just a business trying to make money. It’s not what hockey is about for spectators.

        Reply
  3. Abs

    July 20th, 2020

    Consider that the actual number of cases is multiples higher than the confirmed number of cases, some say eight times higher.

    I now choose where to grocery shop by how many of the staff and customers are wearing masks. It is the big American membership grocer that wins: all staff in masks, free disposable masks for customers at the door.

    Sorry to say that physical distancing doesn’t work at the car dealership, where a customer with 20 psi over the recommended tire inflation on each truck tire went out of her way to try to bump into me. I guess no service rep should lecture such people about safety, because they do not care.

    Reply
  4. Murphy

    July 20th, 2020

    Is “Alberta” really struggling with Covid-19?
    In four months, .2% of the population has tested positive.
    .01% of the population were admitted to hospital with a positive test.
    0.002% of Albertans went to ICU with a positive Covid test.
    0.003% of the population died with a positive Covid test.
    Of that 0.003% who died, a minimum of 119 people, or 71% of those deaths were people in long-term care.
    Fully 91% of that .003% were over age 70.
    75% of that 0.003% had 3 or more comorbidities. These comorbidities were Diabetes, Hypertension, COPD, Cancer, Dementia, Stroke, Liver cirrhosis, Cardiovascular diseases (including IHD and Congestive heart failure), Chronic kidney disease, and Immuno-deficiency.
    A minimum of 27 of the 167 people who tested positive for Covid and died were never even taken to hospital for treatment from long-term care.
    .00075% of Albertans under age 10 ended up in hospital with a positive Covid test. 0 went to ICU.
    On the 30 of April we saw a maximum daily number of people hospitalized with a positive Covid test, which was 90, across 8000 acute care beds in the province.
    73.4% of those hospitalized with a positive Covid test had at least one comorbidity, 36% had three or more comorbidities.
    On May 1 the peak daily number in ICU was reached, with 23, across 700+ intensive care beds in the province.
    73.3% of those admitted to ICU had at least one comorbidity, 21.5% had at least three comorbidities.
    Somewhere around 7% of seniors live in long-term care facilities, and seniors make up less than 20% of the population, yet this tiny fraction accounts for a minium of 71% of Covid deaths.

    Here is a very curious fact about Covid in Alberta. A staggering total of two people under the age of forty have died with positive Covid tests. Both of these people died in the first month of Covidmania. Both of these people died when there were less than 1100 Covid total cases. Since their deaths, over 8000 cases have been recorded, and not a single death under age 40. Both died when the total of deaths was under fifteen. Curiously, the death toll for those under forty went from 15% of the first fifteen to 1% of the current 167 deaths.

    60-odd people in Alberta die every day, on average. A little more than one person per day has died with Covid, almost all with serious pre-existing health issues and almost all in the age cohort that makes up normal mortality.

    The number of sick has come nowhere near close to swamping the healthcare system, and is, without question, less than in seasons of severe influenza in Alberta.

    So just what exactly is it that is worrisome about any aspect of this phenomenon in Alberta?

    By the way, is it really a good idea to use pejorative terms like “denier” when we’re nineteen years into a series of illegal wars in which our state is a willing and enthusiastic partner of the single greatest purveyor of violence on the planet?

    Wear that mask or Covid’s gonna git grandma!

    Reply
    • Athabascan

      July 20th, 2020

      So, Murphy resorts to fun with numbers to advance the view that all this is a hoax?

      People die and they will die of something anyway, so let’s not do anything, and let us all just make money instead.

      Nice attitude.

      Reply
    • Abs

      July 20th, 2020

      I say this not for you, Murphy, but for the people who were transported to hospitals across the province on the weekend after the accident in Jasper and other incidents.

      More and more people are travelling on our roads and getting out in nature. Now is not the time to let down our guard. We can each do our bit to keep hospitals and their staff available for emergencies. This involves wearing a mask. It is nothing compared to the value of lives lost from failure to access emergency care when needed. That includes emergencies like stroke and heart attack, which can happen to anyone.

      I am willing to do my part.

      Reply
    • Ken

      July 20th, 2020

      Murphy;
      “So just what exactly is it that is worrisome about any aspect of this phenomenon in Alberta?”

      Probably the fact that you dont feel some lives are as worthy as others based on age.
      Then the fact you feel you get to spew statistics and everyone should find them even marginally credible.
      Then the fact you tried to insist you shouldnt be labelled a denier simply because some conspiracy theory you believe about war somehow overrules your blatant denial….

      Is your first name Rex?
      Because you wrote an assload of words saying NOTHING logical.

      Reply
      • merlin

        July 21st, 2020

        Ken…You say “logic” like the “acceptable risk” arbitrary line in the sand you’ve drawn is based in said logic?

        Reply
    • Cathy

      July 20th, 2020

      I’m very confused by your statements, and your sarcasm at the end is in very poor taste.

      Is it the case that you really don’t care about any illness or deaths from Covid-19 in the elderly population?

      Reply
    • Firth

      July 20th, 2020

      Congratulations! You’ve proven to us all for the 100th time that you can crunch numbers you pulled out of your ass, showing once and for all that you are indeed more wise, informed and certainly a hell of a lot smarter than not just us peons but all the doctors, scientists and researchers combined. And all you had to do to gain this extraordinary insight (that has somehow eluded all the professionals) is to just use a little common sense and crunch some statistics. Truly awe-inspiring!

      Honestly Murph, your best bet would be to start your own blog instead of trolling this one. And why wouldn’t you? You’ve shown you have ample time on your hands with all preaching and “statistic” spewing you do almost daily in your lengthy diatribes. Start preaching to your own choir instead of this one – you’ll probably find the adulation and recognition you obviously crave on your own website. Maybe you can come up with some more of your cute catchphrases that you love to flaunt over the rest of us ignorant rubes.

      One last thought, if you truly believe that crap you spew on here why don’t you prove how fake this little flu is by licking a door handle at the Misericordia. I’m sure the readership here would love to hear how it works out for you.

      (With apologies to Mr. Climenhaga…I’m a long-time reader that loves reading articles and comments here but is sick of a certain troll using your site as his personal pulpit)

      Reply
      • merlin

        July 21st, 2020

        What do “doctors, scientists and researchers” have to do with the “no-scientific and totally arbitrary” line in the sand hat you’ve drawn regarding an acceptable rate of risk?

        Reply
      • July 29th, 2020

        “All Doctors” hey https://twitter.com/i/status/1287857014698315776
        Why release prisoners if Masks work ?
        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ed99Z23UEAAM5CQ?format=jpg&name=large

        Honestly all you who think wearing masks by general public does anything other then comfort others are in my opinion fooling themselves. That’s based on science in above links.

        Old people die of Flue every year btw, that’s why retirement facilities do lock down. Now it’s all covid related death as they don’t even need to test anyone. Symptoms ok that’s what it is because ” I saw Covid”

        Reply
    • S

      July 20th, 2020

      Oh look, another “good ole boy” who thinks he knows better than people smarter than him. Put on a mask dumbass

      Reply
    • Sheila

      July 21st, 2020

      Murphy, it seems you either have no grandparents, or you don’t care much for them. Why the cavalier attitude toward seniors. The older people who died from Covid may have lived for many more years. Their families may still have wanted them alive, and when these people died, it was alone, because family wasn’t allowed to be with them.

      Scientists don’t know much about covid, yet, because it’s so new. One very important thing they’ve learned, so far, is that covid crosses into our bloodstream, unlike the other corona viruses (cold, flu, SARS, MERS) that are contained to the lungs. People of all ages, who have serious covid complications, have been found with unusual amount and type of blood clots that don’t respond to blood thinners. It’s these clots that are causing the serious complications (ie, strokes, heart attacks, and respiratory distress)

      Reply
    • Deb

      July 21st, 2020

      This is UPC rhetoric

      Reply
  5. Jaclyn

    July 20th, 2020

    Maybe opening up the care facilities to visitors isn’t so smart? So logical, yet still act on stupid.

    Reply
    • Murphy

      July 20th, 2020

      Smart has no role in any aspect of this phenomenon. There is no critical analysis of Covid mortality in this province. What role did the stresses induced by the panic have in the deaths of the seniors? My parents are not in care, at ages 78 and 82, but their lives will definitely be shortened by the panic. Their daily interactions with their grandchildren evaporated overnight when Covidmania was launched the week-end of St. Patrick’s Day. Nothing beats good olf fashioned isolation and terror for producing good outcomes for seniors!
      I took my Dad to urgent care with a heart issue in May. My mother was not permitted to accompany him into the urgent care, and he was given a let’s-pretend mask and left to sit unattended. I mean, when you’re 82 and having heart problems, what better way to protect you than to put a mask on that restricts your breathing and have you sit alone until triage can attend to you? Fortunately, since we shut down normal medical care so that Covid couldn’t overwhelm the system and force us to shut down normal medical care, the wait wasn’t long and they got to the old fellow to tell him he had had a heart attack. Anyhow, I digress.
      What portion of the dead seniors would have died during this period due to their pre-existing conditions?
      What portion of the dead seniors died because custormary treatments for various old-timer afflictions were not dealt with properly during the panic?
      It stands to reason that all three conditions: neglect, undue stress, and pre-existing conditions produced the number of dead, but we’ll never know to what degree. Some kind of stupid!

      Reply
  6. Athabascan

    July 20th, 2020

    Alberta is the worst place in Canada to live at the moment.

    1) kenney’s fascist government
    2) COVID -19 raging on esp. in Calgary
    3) One industry reliant where the industry (O&G) is tanking
    4) Loss of 811 doctors since March, and the health minister looking for ways to force doctors to stay.
    5) Loss of $2 Billion in the first quarter at AIMCO
    6) The only jurisdiction in Western civilization to roll back protection rights of LGBTQ
    7) The only province in Canada’s history to roll back minimum wage.

    How long does this list have to be? We only have 3 more years of kenney plundering the Alberta treasury to favour his friends. How’s that RCMP investigation of the kamikaze campaign going by the way?

    Reply
    • Murphy

      July 21st, 2020

      We may only have 3 more years of Kenney’s plundering, but there is absolutely no reason to expect the plundering to stop if and when he goes. We have been the victims of incessant looting of the capital produced from hydrocarbons for at least thirty years. The money that disappeared from this province puts us in a category with the resource-rich areas of central Africa in terms of lost value to the people. Notley and co. did absolutely nothing to alter this dynamic. I don’t believe that the far-far right has the impetus to split the nexus of greed and superstition in the manner that we saw in 2015, so be prepared for some kind of even kookier rubbish as whatever iteration of fascists takes the reins after the next election. I am a believer in the rights of any individual capable of forming consent to enage in whatever manifestation of sexuality that spins their propeller, but if you think it was a good idea for the NDP to make an issue of anybody’s “sexual” rights in the early 21st century in North America, you’re not paying attention. State interference in people’s sex lives has been a hallmark of the oppressor since the first would-be emperor set his eyes on the nearest nubile teen, male or female, and zing! went the strings of his heart! I have to sign permission slips for my kid to play school soccer or go to the museum, but apparently the NDP feels that clubs centred around the mingling of gay and straight people ought to be kept from the purview of parents. This business plays right into the hands of the right-wing kooks like Jordan Peterson and the 6000-year-old-earthers in Turner Valley and Lethbridge. The ND’s couldn’t have picked a more absurd hill on which to die. Which is why they chose that one, and didn’t bother to address the rock-solid foundation of inequality produced by the state religion of worshipping the rich.
      I do not entertain slippery-slope arguments, nor do I see a point in reductio absurdum except in jest, so please understand that I am quite serious in posing the question of whether or not BDSM organizations should be school-sanctioned, and whether or not parents should be informed of their children’s membership in such clubs. Unless of course it’s still okay for us to determine that certain lifestyles are perverse? Perhaps alliances based on racial distinctions should be encouraged, of course without parental involvement! We could adopt the criteria used in apartheid South Africa to figure out just who is who. Or perhaps the Belgian techniques used in Rwanda to to decide just who gets to claim memberhip in which box? Certainly the more distinctions that can be made between people, the better, no?

      Reply
  7. Scotty on Denman

    July 20th, 2020

    It’s disheartening to hear deniers belittling general concern about CV19. Insofar’s the narrative writes itself, most people like me, my squeeze, and many of our family, friends and acquaintances who are at high risk of dying if any of us were to catch it have accepted that we have to take care of ourselves. And so we do.

    Eventually things will have to reopen, regardless a vaccine or helpful treatments; the general, public fight to control CV19 casualties (which includes swamping hospitals with patients who eventually survive, delaying procedures for those who might not survive other diseases) will gradually become more like individual responsibility—with ‘new normal’ and considerate cooperation fore and aft.

    We’re good with all that and I guess that suits libertarian deniers just fine. As for us retirees, we alright, jack!

    Yet I worry about the flu season, kids going back to vector-rich, design-poor schools, citizens struggling as we enter the most depressing, stressing time of year. How does it go?—viral mutation does as viral mutation goes?—or something scary like that: bedecked with charcoal-activated face masks repurposed from coal-lumped stockings? I wonder how much stronger X-Mass tradition will be than CV19 protocols (authoritarian China, recall, allowed its own traditional New Year—the single largest mass movement of people in all human history—to proceed despite knowing the virus was on the loose and the celebrations presented grave contact risk: such is the strength of tradition that politicians are afraid to muss with). The last flu I got was from a Boxing Day traditional party, darn near killed me—which makes me wonder how much more vulnerable anyone, even young and healthy, might be if he or she contracted CV19 at the same time. This flu season will be a ride, for sure. Especially where people eschew masks and other CV19 protocols (which are as effective for all sorts of other communicable disease, too).

    Watching tRump get thrashed in November is one of my stronger motivations to keep myself safe going into autumn—but I’ll confide I’m happy it helps keep others safe, too.

    Should I be just fine with people risking infection over a few jugs of droplet-rich suds at saloons across cowboy country? I suppose if it was just them, I could apply their own inconsideration of vulnerable compatriots to them and just them, as well. But the gut tells me sumpin’ jess ain’t rat ‘bout thet. Eh-thickly, thet is.

    The same phenomenon has hit angelic BC, as well (in the southernmost Okanagan and adjacent cowboy rangeland)—as Dr Bonnie anticipated, no doubt. It’s still the same plea: be safe, stay calm, and be kind. For now, anyway.

    Be well, my friends.

    Reply
    • Murphy

      July 21st, 2020

      What exactly constitutes a “denier”? The CBC had a doctor on who stated, unequivocally, that Covid is “unquestionably much worse than a bad flu season”. This statement is in denial of the statistics for influenza in Alberta from the last ten years. Over 3000 people hospitalized with flu in one season, twice as many sent to ICU, kids dying from flu, etc.
      What exactly is the threshold at which the various rituals and social controls are to be implemented? No need for science with the mountains of corpses and thousands sick with Covid who can’t access care in the overwhelmed hospitals here, right? Masks for everyone in public, even though Sweden can’t muster more than .8% infection in the whole population after four months, and we have a 5.0 or so case rate of hospitalization with a positive test for Covid (with a fundamentally unreliable form of test) here in Alberta?
      If you think dumping Drumpf is going to give us any improvement, you are without a doubt, in denial. I find it so funny that “progressives” are all in favour of non-binary for gender identity, but you’re either with us or agin’ us when it comes to participation in the political system owned lock, stock and barrel by a tiny elite. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow!

      Reply
  8. Just Me

    July 20th, 2020

    Looks like the Tiny Trump wants to have his Little Arizona pandemic hotspot. Judging by the way Kenney has been pumping an early opening and not ordering a mask mandate, not to mention blindsiding Dr. Hinshaw with his plans, there’s going to be a massive outbreak across Alberta whether the population wants it or not. It’s everyone for themselves, at this point.

    The handling of the pandemic in Alberta is about as couched in reality as Kenney’s RV trip to southern Alberta. Witness accounts on social media are noting that Kenney did not actually drive the RV to its destination, he travelled with a substantial personnel and vehicle entourage, and he preferred to stay in the better local hotels, rather than in RV camp grounds.

    When you have a premier so inclined to live in a world of fakery, no wonder so many Albertans are not taking the pandemic seriously.

    Reply
  9. Janice Williamson

    July 20th, 2020

    Thank you for this. Why didn’t the Alberta government have a COVID update today since the increases have been eye-popping. And it would have been good to know what the numbers were the past three days. Maybe they didn’t want the numbers to come out because I think Calgary is having a discussion today about mandating masks.

    I’m less enthusiastic about our heroine Deena Hinshaw whose attitude towards masking is very old school. It is “common sense” etc. She appeals to peoples virtue. However we know that, for instance, more men than women tend not to want to mask up in public (too feminizing, too weakening, etc.) Men are also subject to the Darwin Prize effect – risk-taking is fun and avoidable death happens. But studies show that mandating masks makes more men wear them (the gender differential disappears).

    So get some spine Dr. Hinshaw and start being responsible. Demand mandatory masks in Alberta. Risk being unpopular for once.

    The person in the comment above who trumpets the deaths of elders and the relative safety of young people as a positive outcome of COVID in Alberta leaves out the fact that those with the illness have many different responses besides death. Some of the consequences are debilitating. The whole body can be affected. The immune system. The brain. The heart. The lungs. The vascular system. Etc. I simply don’t want to get this illness since, from the accounts I’ve read, the effects can be disastrous.

    I think Edmonton should require masks indoors. I’m starting a petition. The province is a cesspool of vile politics elsewhere and the UCP voters appear happy to infect each other to great effect. The anti-masking demo at the Leg appeared to have very few participants. I think many Edmontonians would welcome this.

    Blog: http://www.NoLockNoGate.com

    Reply
    • Bob Raynard

      July 21st, 2020

      Janice, I tried to follow your link but the IP address cannot be found. I would like to sign your petition.

      With regards to Dr. Hinshaw, I do wonder how much Jason Kenney is controlling her narrative. Kenney learned his political leadership skills from a guy who muzzled scientists, so I can very easily see how Kenney is muzzling his chief medical officer of health.

      Reply
    • Murphy

      July 21st, 2020

      Your eyes must have blown right out of your skull and passed through the neighbour’s parlour back in April when we had 8% positive tests and over three hundred cases in a day. Of course, it only produced a relatively tiny number of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths, but , you know, zowie!

      Reply
  10. joe

    July 20th, 2020

    Big whoop. This thing is not a threat to anyone under 70.

    Reply
    • Murphy

      July 21st, 2020

      It is a threat to people under 70. The issue is how much of a threat it is to everybody. Currently we’re being told that the 4 390 000-odd people without Covid need to be masked in public, follow an unprecedented array of social controls and accept the absurd notion that every time they leave the house they have to ask themselves “who am I protecting today?”. The mentality of the lottery player is being implemented, only with slightly less reasoning.

      Reply
  11. Jim

    July 20th, 2020

    There you go with the use of the word deniers again… also slipped in anti-vaxxers as well for good measure. It is interesting that large multinational corporations can be attacked for contributing to climate change and having no liability. However if you question large multinational corporations that want to stick a needle in you with no liability all of a sudden you are an anti-vaxxer. I’m sure the Gates Foundation and the corporations it supports have all our best interests in mind, just ask India. Come on Dave we should all be highly suspicious of any sort of rushed vaccine that comes out for covid.

    This whole covid thing has become one giant political mess with each party trying to use it to their advantage. You need to stick to the facts and avoid all the political noise. After months of hiding in our homes of course there will be a spike in cases add to that increased testing. Is it better to have high case numbers during the summer rather than the fall and winter during the normal flu season? Have the hospitals been overrun, remember originally we were told everything needed to be shut down so we would flatten the curve. Well the curve has been flattened and the hospitals haven’t been overrun. Should bars and nightclubs be opened probably not the same goes for long term care facilities or anywhere the elderly and vulnerable are.

    It may not be something pleasant to think about but if you are over 80 with multiple preexisting conditions it isn’t going to take a lot to kill you. Just look at the numbers when governor Cuomo ordered sick patients back to nursing homes in New York. A high mortality rate fit with his political ambitions, apparently he forgot the Internet never forgets. How do you get the mortality rates down, well you start mass testing which has happened. Eventually the rate of extreme outcomes will start to look like a regular flu season as well.

    Reply
    • Murphy

      July 21st, 2020

      Covid was a political phenomenon when it came out of the Gates. Remember? “China! So bad! Those weirdos and their wet market!”. That was, of course, rubbish, but no sense fretting about that. If there’s a group of people who have our best interests at heart, it’s faceless corporate monstrosities.

      Reply
  12. Murphy

    July 21st, 2020

    350 positive Covid cases on 23 April out of 4144 people tested with 4473 tests. 8.18% positive tests.
    174 positive Covid cases on 17 July out of 7289 people tested with 9710 tests. 1.98% positive tests.
    Many more tests, many less positives.

    Dr. Hinshaw, the new General Westmoreland. Every masked face is a heart and mind we’ve won! I feel truly blessed to see the Domino Theory applied to matters of public health. I couldn’t have dreamed it up on peyote.

    Reply
    • Corwin Sullivan

      July 21st, 2020

      As far as I can tell your percentages are slightly off, but in any case June 18 was another day of relatively high testing – 9100 tests on 7791 people with 46 confirmed cases, for a rate of 46/9100 x 100 = 0.51% positive tests. So there’s pretty clearly been a substantial increase in case numbers in Alberta over the last month or so. Whether the increase is a huge cause for concern in itself is another question, but it’s there and is probably worth keeping a careful eye on.

      Reply
      • Murphy

        July 21st, 2020

        They’re not my percentages, they came directly from the Alberta Government Covid website. They include multiple tests on the same individuals, but that’s quite apparent in the difference between the number of tests and the number of people tested. Which is why your calucation is wrong. No need to pay close attention to that sort of thing, though. June 18 was the day on which the most Albertans were ever tested, and the day on which the third highest total of tests were conducted, so it was not “relatively high”. July 17 saw the most tests ever performed on one day, and the fourth most total people tested, and lo and behold, July 17 saw the most cases in since April 30, with 59% more testing and 44 fewer cases than April 30.

        Reply
    • Athabascan

      July 21st, 2020

      Thank you Murphy. I feel so much better that only (fill-in the number) died or are infected. I feel so much safer now that I it isn’t 7.5 billion infected humans, or 45 million Canadians. As long as we keep it at less than 45 million, we are doing great.

      Old people worry too much. Why aren’t they OK with just dying and leaving us their money? Selfish old people.

      That reminds me Murph, have you called your parents or grandparents lately?

      Reply
  13. David Climenhaga

    July 21st, 2020

    NOTE TO READERS: OK, I think the increasingly sharp-toned conversation between one particular prolific commenter and readers who appear to represent the rest of humankind and do not share his views has gone far enough, so I’m shutting it down under this post. I am not about to start censoring views with which I disagree in the comments section of this blog, nor am I about to ban long comments. However, I would be very grateful if we could keep our back-and-forth comments in this sort of conversation to hundred words at most. Interestingly, today’s catch of comments also included several from trolls who simply want to abuse people who disagree with them. Those go straight to the trashcan. DJC

    Reply
  14. Glenn

    July 30th, 2020

    With looking at overall testing rates, this article is partisan nonsense

    BC has more deaths than Alberta but Climenhaga doesn’t bother examining that glaring discrepancy which almost certainly means BC has a lot of undiscovered cases of COVIDs.

    If I recall, Alberta has one of the highest rates of testing in Canada so it should be no surprise that we have higher per capita numbers. I tried find some stats but couldn’t but Climenhaga should have at least made an attempt to factor that in.

    I see also that we have a new liberal label: ‘pandemic deniers’.

    Got love it. If you don’t agree with liberals, you’re a ‘denier’ of some kind.

    Reply

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