2020-11-22 - COVID strategy

COVID-19 cases are rapidly growing in Alberta. If we don't act quickly, we'll soon have case loads comparable with our US neighbours. That's crazy! We're better than that.

What's driving the growth? Nobody knows for sure, but my guess is a few things:

Interestingly, some things don't seem to be big drivers of transmission:

Some things are a "maybe" - they look like they should probably cause accelerated spread, but I haven't seen evidence to back that up. This includes spin studios, gyms and religious gatherings.

Make no mistake, the infection numbers are large. While we can't directly compare positive tests against those early in the pandemic due to increased test capacity, we can compare daily hospitalizations and deaths -- those don't depend on how many tests are available. The growth is alarming and shows that the disease is much more prevalent now than it was in May:

COVID metrics in Alberta

Since spread is exponential, we have to respond quickly or else things will get out of control. It's hard for humans to think about exponential growth processes, but we must, because nature doesn't care. Unchecked, the first impact will be that the health system will stop being able to support non-COVID patients, as COVID patients overwhelm both regular and ICU hospital beds. After a while, again if we don't manage transmission, it won't be possible to treat even all COVID patients. AHS is already losing the capacity to support non-COVID patients.

So what should we do?

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