The good news this morning is that the curve for the coronavirus seems to be dipping in British Columbia. Nonetheless, Coasters should remain sheltered, keeping a two-metre plus distance from anyone except for symptom-free, non-isolated members of their household.
There are actually two curves worth watching. They are posted by the BC Centre for Disease Control. The light orange bars show the number of reported cases of COVID-19 in the province. The dark orange bars show the reported onset of symptoms from those cases. The dark bar (or curve) trails the light bar by about a week.
That makes sense. People report the illness when they think they have it, which is likely to be well behind when they first feel ill. At first, the normal human impulse toward optimism would be to shrug it off as a cold. A few days later people may think they have a light flu. Within a week they may face the hard fact: it could be COVID-19. Time to get tested. Time to get asked when they first felt symptoms: uh, a week ago.
What this means is that the actual infections occur much earlier than the cases are first reported. What that means is that the curve is trailing the reports; the light orange bars may be the most accurate depiction of where the virus is going in our province.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will be giving her regular live report on the outbreak early afternoon today. I’m sure she will advise British Columbians to continue their social distancing.
With our high population of vulnerable people on the Coast and our community-minded culture, Coasters should be scrupulous in heeding her advice.