Right in the centre - Don’t let casual sloppiness come back to bite us


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

Some news out of Australia shows that regular flu deaths have dropped dramatically this year. Right now is Australian winter, if you can actually call what Australia has as a winter season. Nevertheless, it is flu season in that part of the world. The drop in regular flu deaths is being attributed to all the extra measures that have been taken to combat COVID-19.

These measure have become well known to Canadians, such as avoiding crowds, wearing masks when it makes sense to do so, covering your cough, regular hand washing, staying home if you are sick, all the things we have heard about and have been practising. It is now obvious that we can and should practise better hygiene and thereby cut down on a lot of infectious diseases other than COVID-19.

I chuckle when I see that list of things to do, as many of these practises have been preached for  100 years or more and I think we, as a society, got sloppy. That casual sloppiness came around and bit us. Plain and simple.

There are other things we can do to avoid getting sick and they start long before we get sick. Eat well (I have no problem with that one, for sure), drink lots of fluids, make sure you take your vitamins, see a doctor regularly to make sure you are healthy. Vitamin levels are essential to staying well. All these are background issues and then you make sure you do the common sense stuff, like covering your cough and hand washing.

Where the government and sporting organizations are going off the rails is on some common sense issues. They know, or should know, that “maybe” C-19 might be delayed if everything was shut down. But “delayed”  is the key word. Remember the whole idea of “flattening the curve”. In Manitoba, we not only flattened the curve, we pretty much crushed it.

Protecting the vulnerable is key, but as for the rest of the population, we will likely get COVID and we will likely survive it, if we haven’t already. Many won’t even know if they have it or not. Eventually, in spite of all we do or try to do, C-19 will go through the population and immunity will build up. There’s bad news in all this. Another virus will come along, they always do.

Some of the things governments and organizations are going through are almost nonsense. I think trying to mandate masks on school students is doomed to failure, but I could be wrong. Sports organizations are trying very hard to help with this situation, but here’s an analogy. Fighting to avoid or delay COVID-19 is a good thing, but what some people want to do is like sitting down to a game of chess. In the middle of the game, a spider lands on the chess board. The way some people are reacting to C-19, they would take a sledge hammer to squash the spider. The board is smashed and the chess pieces go flying all over the room. Wouldn’t it be simpler to grab a Kleenex and simply pick the spider off the board and flush it down the toilet?

Kids have to get back to school. If parents feel strongly that they want to home school, I think that is good too. We need to have hockey, football, soccer, music and all these other things to get life back to normal. And yes, some people are going to die. But understand this, far more people have died from flu, other diseases, cancer, heart disease, delayed surgeries, traffic accidents and sadly, suicide, in Manitoba since March 1, 2020, than from C-19. Thirty people die every day in Manitoba and we have lost 12 total to COVID-19.

It’s time to do two things. One, take all the reasonable precautions and two, get on with life.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer chair of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.