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Letter: There has to be a more reasonable way

Concerns with COVID-19 restrictions
opinion

On April 8, 2020 the Alberta government issued a computer-generated model of probable, elevated and extreme case scenarios with regards to how many COVID-19 cases we would have and how many deaths there would be within a very short period of time. 

Probable included a mid-May peak with 800,000 total infections and from 400 to 3,100 total deaths. Elevated included an early May peak with 1,060,000 total infections and a total of anywhere from 500 to 6,600 deaths. 

Extreme scenario included a mid-April peak with 1,600,000 total infections and anywhere from 16,000 to 32,000 deaths. And, for almost a year now we have been inundated, daily, with the continuation of the scary COVID-19 numbers.

But what do those numbers mean? How do we process the data thrown at us everyday, except with fear? Because the way the numbers are presented to us definitely instill fear.

Danielle Smith, in her Feb. 11 podcast, put it very well when she stated, “They throw these numbers around and these percentages around as if we’re supposed to know what they mean and when you look at the data, it doesn’t match.”

So, let’s take a closer look at the numbers, taken directly off the Alberta.ca website.

As of Feb. 14, there have been 129,075 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, with 1,782 deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 123,855 resolved cases. This gives us a case fatality rate of 1.44 per cent. 

Now, let’s look at our most vulnerable population. There have been 5,346 cases in people 80 and older. 

There have been 1,156 deaths in that age group. That number of deaths looks really high. But, if you take those numbers and turn them into a percentage, the survival rate of people 80 and older is 78.38 per cent. 

COVID-19 is real. We need to be cautious. Every death is heartbreaking. People loved and will dearly miss those family members and friends who died. 

But do the fatality rates warrant the restrictions that have taken a toll on the mental health of our children, kept out of school and a way from sports, or our elderly, locked away in solitary confinement, unable to be hugged by their family members? Do they warrant the financial ruin of so many of our small businesses? 

There has to be a more reasonable way to live with COVID, respecting it, absolutely, but not to the detriment of so many segments of our society.

Cindy Tippe, Gary Wiens, Beth Wiens, Rhonalyn Carpenter, Dan Harder, Connie Harder, Deanne Trewin

on behalf of Mountain View Freedom