COVID-19 has resulted in a number of closures and cancellations. (File photo) COVID-19 has resulted in a number of closures and cancellations. (File photo)

COLUMN: COVID-19 statistics are the stories of people

This pandemic is ultimately about people, not just about numbers

It took six months for the world to reach the first 10 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The next 10 million confirmed cases happened just over six weeks later, on Aug. 10.

And since that time, it has taken just one month and one week to add 10 million more confirmed COVID-19 cases. This figure was reached on Sept. 16.

How long will it take to reach the next 10 million cases?

In addition to the number of confirmed cases, another number must also be considered. We are approaching one million deaths from COVID-19.

These are not just numbers. Every person who has tested positive for COVID-19, and every person who has died as a result of this pandemic is, before all else, a person.

READ ALSO: Increase in average daily COVID-19 cases ‘a concern’ for Canada’s top doctor

READ ALSO: Worldwide virus cases top 20 million, doubling in six weeks

The numbers must still be considered, and the statistical analysis is important. But each of the COVID-19 numbers is about something affecting people.

More than half the total number of COVID-19 cases to date have come from just four countries. The United States, India, Brazil and Russia have more than 17 million cases between them, and while the number of new daily cases has been dropping in the United States, India’s new daily cases have been at disturbing levels for several weeks. The country has been recording more than 90,000 new cases each day for some time.

And in numerous other countries, including Argentina, France, Spain, Colombia, Peru and Mexico, the number of new daily cases is in the thousands.

By comparison, Canada’s numbers have been quite good.

This could be in part because the messages from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, provincial premiers and federal and provincial health officers has remained consistent.

However, after more than half a year of COVID-19 precautions in Canada, the pandemic is not going away in this country. Instead, the numbers are continuing to increase, with no end in sight.

In the summer, case numbers in British Columbia began to rise. At the time, many hoped the increase would represent a spike in new cases.

But instead, the number of new cases has not shown any significant decrease since mid-July.

While it is easy to focus on the number of cases and the number of deaths from COVID-19, it is important to remember that this pandemic is ultimately about people, not just about numbers.

This disease has affected people around the world. It is not limited on one geographic region or to one socio-economic segment.

By now, a growing number of people know one or more people who have had COVID-19. Some have recovered while others have not. And some of those who no longer have COVID-19 are still dealing with long-term health effects from this disease.

Others around us have underlying health problems, such as heart and lung issues, compromised immune systems or chronic ailments. If they were to contract the virus, the outcome could be much more serious than for an otherwise healthy young person.

And even among those who are in good health, COVID-19 can be fatal.

This is not a disease anyone would wish to contract, and it is not a disease anyone would knowingly pass on to a friend or loved one, particularly someone with other underlying health concerns.

And yet, more than 30 million people around the world have tested positive for this disease, and nearly one million have died as a result.

This pandemic isn’t just about numbers and statistics. It affects people like us.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ColumnistCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton Western News Publisher Warren Smith takes a look at the 2020 Best of the South Okanagan supplement appearing in today’s (Wednesday, Oct. 21) paper.
Hot off the Press: The Best of the South Okanagan

Check out Wednesday’s Penticton Western News for winners and favourites

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)
Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

Most Read