Have you heard the good news? We are doing something right! The lockdowns, the masking, the distancing and maybe even worldwide attention to these is making a difference. We have reduced COVID cases in Canada.
In COVID testing, the positivity rate (the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive) is now 10% (anything above 3% is considered high) but down from 16.4% in the second week of January 2021. The number of COVID deaths are decreasing also. Hallelujah! We are winning against the second wave! Time to loosen controls- right?
To assess the effect of government decisions on COVID spread, let’s look at 2 European countries-Portugal and Denmark, that have preceded Canada with similar COVID infection patterns.
Portugal is just starting to get control over one of the worst waves seen in the world. They loosened controls after the second wave. This wave (third wave) has been predominantly the nasty S:N501 South African variant (I will speak about this later).
Denmark on the other hand, with relatively little vaccine available, and relying on all the basic precautions we speak about, is mandating a lockdown until the end of February, and is avoiding increasing viral growth. In fact, it is on its way to ZERO cases!
Why do I bring this up? Because Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, are talking about loosening restrictions despite all the scientific evidence to the contrary. With modeling suggesting that by March, B117 (the more transmissible British COVID-19 variant) will be the dominant viral strain, I think you know where am going with this…
Remember when you were a kid playing with blocks (LEGO was the best), and you piled the pieces higher and higher, building a wall around your fort/castle protecting it from all sorts of fantastical invaders (or your siblings)?
Piling up your protections against the COVID virus protects you, and lowers your risk of COVID infection. It’s not time to drop your guard - not yet. Stay home if you can, wear a mask, stay distant, avoid crowded places, clean hands and touchable surfaces frequently and open windows. Finally - get outside and get some sun! (even if it is hard to find).
VACCINE UPDATE: Pressure on governments by Family Medicine are yielding results. There is now discussion on how to roll out vaccines for Family Medicine practices. Our fridges and vaccine protocols have been inspected by Public Health and we have been approved to receive vaccines, as soon as they are available. I will keep you posted on further progress.
Stay safe and stay well. Download the COVID app.