Global TV News rolls out the stats on Covid most nights, number by number:

They talk about the curve – but they don’t show us the curve.  Presumably we’re supposed to remember the case figures from previous days if we want perspective and the specifics of said curve.  For some reason, they’re adverse to using a simple chart to indicate the trend.

They use all kinds of charts and graphics for the weather.  Why not for a pandemic?


  1. If you want to see the curve, CBC’s Justin McElroy updates his charts every time new data is released, and they then appear (sometimes within minutes) on the CBC’s story. You can see the latest data (up to 22nd December) here.

    That link won’t be the same on subsequent days, obviously, but there is a new story on the CBC BC website every time data is published.

  2. NONE of these curves show the tiny death rate to distract from the extremely tiny death risk concentrated on the very old, mainly those in old folks homes. Out of 5,000,000+ BCers around 0.1% have died – many of them not of Covid but with Covid ie from other underlying ailments. The total death rate overall HAS NOT AT ALL MOVED as now there’s far less flu death, for example.

    Undiscussed, of course, are grave policy mistakes made such as closing biz, schools or universities this late spring when mass herd immunity could have been achieved by the not-at-risk population under 70 and many severe Covid cases happening now could have been happening then when hospitals had ample capacity.

    A flat curve is a far FAR longer curve. That simple fact is nowhere to be seen except when you dig into detailed reports suppressed by main stream media. We should NOT have closed any school or biz at all and we would have never had an issue with ICU overloads.

    We will for years discuss the false policy mistakes made and what the right response should have been. Grave overreaction to a flu-like virus is now the opinion of many experts incl epidemiologists !

    Merry Christmas anyway !

    1. Yes, Thomas. Herd immunity is the only answer. Just ask the Swedes. I’m sure if our Maoist overlords allowed us to exercise our god-given free will, we’d all prefer to let hundreds of thousands of Canadians die so we could enjoy a Joey Fortas steak in peace and without feeling weird wearing a mask. The sacrifices are simply too great.

    2. Reality check for Thomas:

      And while the US has been pretty reckless and higher numbers are expected, even the US had many many more restrictions and precautions including much more limited international travel that would have reduced these numbers considerably. If the US had acted entirely without caution, as Thomas would have it, you can bet it wouldn’t just be 5X the death rate of the flu.

      1. Immunity from getting Covid or from a vaccine – what’s the difference? Why did we close any school or biz after May? We knew a lot more then than we did in Jan to March !!

        Out of 350,000,000 folks in the US not even 0.1% or 300,000 have died thus far which is about the avg monthly death rate in the US, as about 4M folks die every year in the US.

        The media hype is OFF THE CHART.

        The cost of irresponsible government actions is insane, paid for by all but mainly those without assets, ie the lower middle class and the young or yet unborn in the next few decades though vast inflation and far lower real wages. Assets will inflate in value as we see from record Dow Jones despite crappy economy, or record prices for BitCoin, gold, copper, lumber, bread or apples. Food prices have already sky rocketed as have building materials. Check out these debt to GDP charts:

        How many more now die due to irresponsible lockdowns from anxieties, job losses, depression, biz failures, delayed surgeries or suicides? Far FAR more than directly from Covid. Where is this debate ?

        1. Because people die on the way to herd immunity.

          If you’re going to claim that more people are dying from our balanced approach to restrictions than from doing nothing then you’re going to have to provide links to research published in credible medical journals.

          1. People die. Get used to that. A flat curve is a far FAR longer curve. The same people die, but later, a GREAT AND UNNECESSARY EXPENSE for the living & productive. LOCKDOWNS ARE VERY COSTLY – not just economically but also in terms of huge unintended side effects of social isolation, loneliness, anxieties, joblessness, poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse AND suicides – all uncounted today as it its all Covid Covid Covid !

            There are MANY other opinions on this topic, most suppressed by FaceBook, Twitter or YouTube, like this expert Knut Wittkowski, for example who was 20 years at the Rockefeller University as the Head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research

          2. Or this guy here

            This debate is lacking.

            Politicians have failed us basically, but are too proud to admit it. Since it is not their 6 figure jobs (or businesses that cost 7 or sometime 8 figures to build like major hotels or restaurants or theatres or event spaces or many other small biz) that are lost they can do whatever they want. THAT is the real issue misalignment of goals.

          3. YouTube removed this guy Knut Wittkowski, for example, in the spring. NOT good for democracy and a healthy debate necessary about choices.

            Easier to throw billions at the problem and shut down thousands of livelihoods. The metric discussion is missing. Preventing all death at all costs is not affordable and as such, not sustainable as a society.

            Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year [ perhaps with a vaccine for all but even that is unclear right ]. Where’s the debate on who gets it in what order ?

          4. I asked for research and you replied with opinion.

            Not only that, but just like the climate change deception you fell for, it’s just the same few “experts” that are fawned over by those who like their stories.

            Find some credible research instead of the hurried opinions of somebody who wasn’t even prepared for the interview.

          5. Like the climate change debate, public health care responses to the Covid virus too are now HIGHLY political and no true proven approach exists ! The science is evolving just like climate. It is not proven that lockdowns work as there are huge side effects, or BC going Site C, solar, geothermal or nuclear or with 3M EVs is THE right answer !

          6. Climate change is not political. It is as good as fact among climate scientists – those who know what they are talking about on the subject.

            The climate change “debate” is political. There is only a debate among those who are not climate scientist and don’t know what they are talking about on the subject but have a political and social agenda.

            The Covid response *is* evolving and no proven approach exists. It’s only about a year old and nobody has all the answers yet. Except, apparently, you.

          7. Like the ongoing and unsolved climate debate, the Covid decisions also have to be taken IN THE REAL WORLD, causing winners and losers.

            Any (climate or Covid) decision has cost and REAL WORLD implications on jobs, interest rates, debt, loneliness, depression, anxieties, income disruption, business failures and suicides. Those have unfortunately not at all considered by the decision takers that have fixed salaries with little, if any, at risk. Unlike the yoga studio, airline, restaurant, concert event, hotel, retail store or gym owner or employee that have 0 input today but cover all the costs !!

          8. How well is opening things up and pretending it will all just go away working in the places that have tried it? What would be the motivation of any government to needlessly stifle the economy? The economy is always in the top one or two things that they must manage well or get the boot. What would be the motivation of a government to purposely create hardship and angst? Who thinks that’s a winning strategy?

            If you’re worried about debt, then provide a nice list of all those jurisdictions that are going to come out of this with nicely balanced books. You worry about all the wrong things, Beyer.

        2. For the majority of people who don’t die, fall seriously ill, infect others, and/or are hospitalized from COVID, there’s no difference at all between getting it and a vaccine. Huzzah for them. For the statistically-significant remainder of them, though, I’d wager there’s a difference.

    3. This is just bonkers. We have a low infection rate and concomitant low death rate because people have taken precautions. That can’t be an argument for abandoning caution. Viz: Very few people get glass in their feet; therefore, shoes are unnecessary and everyone should walk around barefoot.

      We may come to decide that we did overreact in some aspects, but the fantasy of mass infection leading to herd immunity is just a fantasy. Even if the death rate was only 0.5%, that would mean 25,000 people in the province dying in one year of one disease, completely overwhelming the medical system. And we still can’t be certain what the death rate actually is.

      Yes covid is flu-like. The Spanish Flu was flu-like. Even smallpox is flu-like in some respects. Flu-like does not mean harmless.

      Which epidemiologists? I would like to read what they have to say because I suspect that it is much more nuanced.

      1. OK I looked at the Wittkowski post and it isn’t more nuanced, it’s just wrong. The interview looks to have been in June, and subsequent events have shown that he was just way off base. He basically says lockdowns are a wasted effort because the only way to handle covid is with herd immunity; the UK was already at herd immunity; and a vaccine is unlikely to be developed. Well events have proven unkind to those views. The case of the UK is instructive. He argued that Covid was essentially over in the UK by June and that the country had achieved a 50% herd immunity that would prevent any burden on the healthcare system. He even goes on to say that there is no such thing as second waves with respiratory epidemics. Well the UK got a second wave and the deaths from the second wave might well equal the deaths in the first. Wittkowski thought that this was that this was impossible. He was right to point out that it is difficult to figure out what the mortality rate is because it is unclear how many people have had the infection, but that lack of clarity cuts both ways. It is still very unclear how many people have been infected and thus have some sort of immunity and therefore whether we are close to herd immunity.

        The Guardian column is just a lament that the UK’s response has been inept and cronied, to coin a word. Yes a second lockdown might have been unnecessary if the test and trace system actually worked, but it didn’t.

        I don’t think that Canada’s response has been that great. The political leadership seemed to have spent January and February believing that it just wouldn’t happen here. We were exposed as having very little in the way of medical stockpiles. All the public health officials were pressed into lying about the efficacy of masks because there just weren’t any. The economic response continues to be weak. In March I thought that we would go into a hard lockdown for the month of April and all scheduled payments would be suspended except salaries for people actually at work. No rent, interest or repayment throughout the economy both personal and commercial. Essential services would continue and work that had high costs to start and stop like construction and integrated manufacturing. Just like the economy mostly goes to bed every night, the economy would go to bed for a month. The cessation of payments would mean that individuals and firms wouldn’t be financially damaged during the “night” and would still be viable when things opened up. And when that didn’t happen in April, I was still so naive I thought it would happen in May. Well it never happened that way. Instead of a payment holiday, we got various government patches and programs that aren’t actually keeping individuals and firms viable while still costing an enormous sum of money. And instead of one short hard lockdown, we have a pudgy extended one that has done no one any favours.

        I also harbour a fantasy that we might have been able to segregate the particularly vulnerable, so that the young and healthy could have just got on with it. But it is probably just a fantasy that this could be managed. There are just too many connections that span different generations. Certainly we didn’t manage in even a more limited way with vulnerable populations. If we were to try again in the future with a pandemic that presented similarly – being much more dangerous to particular populations – we would have to try way harder to keep the populations separate.

  3. Sam de Groot wrote: “This is just bonkers. We have a low infection rate and concomitant low death rate because people have taken precautions.”

    Exactly. It’s like saying “well, the building didn’t burn down so maybe we shouldn’t have bothered calling the fire department”.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that equally important to keeping the death toll low is keeping the hospitals available. If the hospitals are saturated then the death toll will spike even further with people who could otherwise be treated.

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