August 17, 2020
Dear Sun Peaks Residents
Re: Sun Peaks COVID – 19 Update
Once again there are no new reported COVID cases in Sun Peaks.
Although perhaps a bit off topic, I wanted to address the latest ‘surge’ in BC as it is being reported in the media. This is obviously of concern and hopefully won’t escalate to the point we need another provincial shutdown.
However, I think it is prudent to realize that as the saying goes “Statistics is the art and science of finding out how uncertain the world really is”. New cases are now being reported at around 70 – 90 new cases per day, similar to those in March. But you must look at how many tests were being done in March versus now. In March, when the province (and Canada) were woefully unprepared for a pandemic (i.e. not enough swab tests available), only those people who were so sick as to need hospitalization or who were front line health care workers were ‘eligible” to be tested. So, the ‘prevalence’ rate (how much a disease is in a ‘population’ at a particular time’) was actually quite skewed as there was not testing of the whole ‘population’ but rather a biased and select sampling of the population. Now there is widespread testing in the population which gives a much more accurate ‘sampling’ and idea of the true prevalence of COVID. The most obvious way to appreciate this is to look at hospitalizations and ICU admissions. They are both very low and nowhere near where they had been in March/April. If COVID was as ‘rampant’ now as in the spring, we should have elevated hospital admissions. We don’t.
Again though, this is not saying there is no need for concern. The numbers are rising and in particular in young people. We still need to be vigilant, hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing.
To reiterate what was said in last weeks update, I think we also need as a community the willingness to be transparent. There are now news reports out of Alberta where contact tracing took up to a week to occur. I am not sure what the timelines in BC are, but it would seem there is definitely a lag in some instances. Like the admirable young people of Sun Peaks who did test positive, I think it behooves all people if they are found to be COVID positive to help with contact tracing via social media or whatever mechanism they choose. Like many diseases, with
COVID, time is a critical factor. COVID is a vivid example of our ‘connectiveness’ and how our ‘6 degrees of separation’ is all the more relevant and possibly life altering today.
Once again, thanks to all of you for helping control and dampen this pandemic.
Shane Barclay MD
Medical Director, Sun Peaks Community Health Centre