The numbers are rising, and so are the fears among politicians and health officials in BC, across Canada and the world about the potential tragedies coming our way in December.
The Festive Season is fast approaching …. starting with the Indian Festival of Diwali that starts next Saturday, goes on for five days: a joyous occasion marked with LOTS of family, friends and feasting … celebrating together.
Just what a Covid-plagued society needs, a major festival, when daily numbers are several times what they were pre-Thanksgiving!
And let’s keep it real: last weekend’s new Covid infections in BC were, by far, worst in the Fraser Health Region, where Diwali will be widely celebrated: 737 of the 998 recorded were in Fraser Health alone.
(Fraser Health serves 1.8 million population in 13 communities, including Surrey, Delta, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, New Westminster.)
Covid is spreading there far too fast.
But Vancouver Coastal Health Region actually did not fare too badly last weekend: 210 total new cases over Saturday and Sunday.
(Vancouver Coastal serves 1.25 million residents in Vancouver, Richmond, North Shore, Sea to Sky country, Garibaldi, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.)
That’s 210 new cases over TWO days in an area with a population of 1.25 million!
Do these numbers justify a Public Health Order imposing such extensive new restrictions ???
I’d say YES in Fraser Health; NO in Vancouver Coastal!
The media/public should not have so easily bought the “spin” that both areas were targeted because people travel so often between the two. That’s a total red herring! Using that logic raises an obvious question: why then weren’t the Covid figures much closer in the two?
Fraser Health’s 737 new infections were WAY ABOVE Vancouver Coastal’s 210 … a disparity far too large to tar the two areas with the same brush … or the same crackdown.
In fact, Global TV noted Tuesday that, of the total 5,133 Covid cases recorded in BC so far, 68% have been in Fraser Health; only 27% in Vancouver Coastal.
Clearly, it’s activities and compliance levels in Fraser Health that should properly be targeted!
Vancouver was included, I’d say, for political reasons: authorities didn’t want to appear to be singling out/targeting just one region, Fraser Health, just before Diwali.
And that’s what’s wrong with the current B.C. fight against Covid.
To control and ultimately beat Covid, without punishing everyone or destroying the vast majority’s lives, their jobs, their businesses and the entire Lower Mainland (or BC) economy, we need proper targeting of specific areas, specific activities, specific businesses, specific facilities, specific violators who/where Covid is spreading.
Not the imposition of penalties and punishments on one region or several for poor compliance or outright defiance in another!
Remember, Diwali will be just the beginning.
The Buddhist Holiday Bodhi is on Dec 8; Hanukkah starts Dec. 11 ; Ismaili Muslims mark Salgirah Dec. 13; there’s Wiccan’s Winter Solstice Dec. 21; Christmas Dec. 25, Orthodox Christmas Jan. 7; Kwanzaa Dec. 26; and, New Year’s Eve Dec 31.
And then barely enough time to recover before Chinese New Year Feb 12 .
ALL of these Festivals normally involve days, even weeks of feasting, partying, celebration, large gatherings and lots of fun …. right around the world.
Perfect for the spread of Covid!
We all know one of the cruelest aspects of Covid is that those who get it can EACH carry it, pass it on to dozens, even several dozen others for two weeks or more, before noticing or showing any symptoms.
Just think of what even “modified” family and friend and business associates gatherings and get togethers could soon bring our way.
In BC, across Canada and right around the world millions of people will be offering up new victims to Covid … under the names of their favorite Festivals.
That’s what I believe the latest two-week Public Health crackdown in the Fraser Health and Coastal Health Regions is really about: trying to put a lid on the coming Diwali celebrations … without saying so!
Because as the Diwali celebrations go … so will all those other upcoming festivities.
Everything else in that confusing and over-reaching Public Health Order last weekend I view as flack and fluff to cover up the real target of BC’s health officials and the government’s latest Covid fears…. the widespread ignoring of Covid rules in Fraser Health.
Notice the Order expires just days after Diwali celebrations and get togethers end.
Then, the government will wait and see.
And if the Covid numbers go UP again, in the week or two after Diwali, those who celebrate December Festivals will pay the price … with another Order imposing harsh measures … or at least trying to … for Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s.
Even if they won’t tell us the Order and the government will will specifically be targeting our festive celebrations.
(Lest we forget! Today is Remembrance Day. And for me, a retired political/investigative reporter , blogger and also for all those who comment/disagree/dispute on here, it’s a very special day … a day to say Thank You to the many who have served our country and have given up so much, including their lives, their health, their peaceful nights even now so that we CAN do what we do, without fear, favour or retribution. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! )