My school division has been hit with a lot of COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks. From what I’ve heard there are cases all over the district with about 1 or 2 new cases every day. There was a confirmed case at my school and the person was there last Monday. I had close contact with them that day and now have to self-isolate for 10-14 days (the time away depends on getting a negative result back). This will be my third COVID test.
Last night the news broke that Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s senior advisors tested positive for the coronavirus. This morning it was announced that Trump himself has the virus.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Trump, who for months has played down the seriousness of the virus and hours earlier on Thursday night told an audience that “the end of the pandemic is in sight,” will quarantine in the White House for an unspecified period of time, forcing him to withdraw at least temporarily from the campaign trail only 32 days before the election on Nov. 3.
As far as an October surprise is supposed to be unpredictable, this one is very surprising.
The Alberta government today released their parents guide for the 2020-2021 school year.
“Your child may feel nervous about what school will be like. While there will be changes, the key school experience will be the same as before—they will learn in class with their teacher and see friends.”
Randall Munroe runs you through risky behaviour in this handy chart that applies for both pandemic and non-pandemic risks. I’m betting that I’ll be doing in-person classes come September. The minister of Alberta Education will let us know as of August 1st — though some teachers believe the decision has already been made and they’re waiting for August to improve the optics. It’s not like it really matters what they “decide” because things will change the moment we have confirmed cases at school — at least I hope so.
As for the chart, I feel like, “Skateboarding into a mosh pit on a cruise ship” should be rated as higher risk than “Getting a Covid test from a stranger at a crowded bar” on the non-Covid risk axis.
I’ll try to keep this interactive graph up to date with the number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and the rest of Canada. My spreadsheet can be found here.
I’ve started breaking the charts down by month, here’s one for April:
Data from Coronavirus Info For Albertans and 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infection.
The Atlantic is providing free ongoing access to its Corona Virus information.
This recent article from Kaitlyn Tiffany’s conversations with a number of public health experts about The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’ is enlightening. From the article:
If you’re confused about what to do right now, you’re not alone—even these experts occasionally disagreed on the answers to my questions. Where there were discrepancies, I’ve included all the different answers as fully as possible. This guide is aimed toward those who are symptom-free and not part of an at-risk group, with an addendum at the end for those in quarantine. If you are symptom-free but are over 60 years old; have asthma, heart disease, or diabetes; or are otherwise at risk, experts recommend defaulting to the most conservative response to each of these questions.
I created this graph of the number of cases in Alberta compared with the rest of Canada. This is just the beginning. I, for one, am skeptical that Alberta is going to have much success flattening the curve until they cancel school. Hopefully that happens before it’s too late.
Data collected from https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx
The Making Sense podcast episode on “How Should We Respond to Coronavirus,” is required listening. In this episode, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about the coronavirus pandemic.
From the episode:
“Even if we’re all destined to get this thing, or even if 75% of us are destined to get it, getting it later is absolutely better when you consider the implications for our health care system. Here are just the numbers, we have something like a million hospital beds (speaking now about the United States) there are something like 2. beds for every 1000 people. […] So just imagine a situation where everyone gets this at once. It’s just a tsunami of illness. You have a break-down of the health care system.
This must be tough watching for any Trump apologists and at the same time crazy-making for anyone in North America directly affected by the outbreak here. Trump has continued his repeated, months-long “it’ll just go away” denialism but now with the unprecedented actions of provinces, states, cities and private companies in North America it’s obvious that acknowledgement of the crisis had to happen at some point.