LtE bug

Letter: Comparing COVID cases in two provinces

A tale of two provinces. (With apologies to Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

The above quote describes the present COVID-19 situation. We are at once wise and foolish in our handling of the pandemic; we embrace the belief that our health measures will be adequate but shake our heads in disbelief at the results and our powerlessness to break free of the grip of this disease; we have hope for a positive outcome, but the repeated dashing of those hopes is resulting in desperation.

The two provinces in this story are Uttar Pradesh (technically a state) in India and our own province of Alberta.

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India with 240 million people; Alberta has 4.4 million people. UP (per capita) income is $1134 compared to Alberta average (household) income of $125,000.

As far as C-19 cases are concerned, one would think that UP would track comparatively to Alberta on a per population basis. At the time of writing this, Alberta presently has 18,421 active cases with 1609 being reported on Sept. 14.

Since UP has 54 times the population and a lower standard of living, they probably don’t have as good a health care system as prosperous Alberta. They probably have at least 54 times the COVID cases. They must be really suffering over there.

Apparently, UP does not have 54 times the cases, it has 269. But not 269 times the cases. That is 269 total cases; down from 310,873 in April. New cases have been below 100 for each of the last 50 days.

Did I mention that UP has only 5.8 per cent of the population vaccinated?

Cue incredulity.

Apparently, UP is doing something that we’re not to achieve these results, and it might be worthy of checking out.

What if our AHS officials would pick up the phone and see what they’re doing differently?

Maybe we should collectively and loudly demand that someone – anyone – does. And soon!

Here are some suggestions of people of whom we could make that demand: Jason Kenney, Premier, Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health; Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of AHS; Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health; our two local MLAs – even our mayor.

Ken Arnold, Red Deer