Esquire Magazine used to have the annual dubious achievements awards celebrating outstanding failures. If such awards would happen in Manitoba today, Southern Manitoba would no doubt walk away with some prizes.
We finally made it. We had to work hard but we did it. Steinbach beat out Winkler and reached No.1 status in the Covid-19 wars.
Winkler and Steinbach are highly competitive communities. Each thinks it is the fastest growing community in Manitoba. Each brags about its religiosity. Each thinks it is more successful financially than the other. Each likes nothing better than to beat the other. Now Steinbach has come out on top. And it was a most dubious distinction.
As the Winnipeg Free Press recently reported,
“People in the Southern Health region are being infected with Covid-19 at a rate five-fold Manitoba’s capital city, as small communities continue to grapple with low vaccine uptake and ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus. The latest numbers show from the province show Southern Health–home to more than 207,000 residents across the 27,000 square kilometres–notched 10 cases per 100,000 people a day in the last seven days, compared to 2 per 100,000 reported in Winnipeg.
Perhaps even more disturbing were the remarks by a University of Manitoba assistant professor of Community Health, Souradet Shaw who said things could get worse for Southern Health! This is because people tend to cluster by vaccine status. In other words, people tend hang around people with the same vaccine status. Like seeks like. That could mean that in our area the vaccine might spread even more vigorously. As Shaw said, “Once the virus gets into vulnerable pockets, we will see very rapid spread within these pockets.”
For quite some time now we have seen the daily reports of cases with Southern Health having more cases than Winnipeg, even though Winnipeg has a population of about 5 times that of Southern Health. That is having a profound effect.
The figures don’t lie. As Danielle Da Silva reported,
“As of Thursday, Steinbach had the second-highest per capita infection rate in Southern Health after the surrounding health district of Hanover. [which means they have the highest and second highest rates in the province!] The two communities also have the highest number of active cases in the region , with nearly two dozen cases reported at area schools in the past two weeks.”
In other words, Steinbach and its surrounding area have the highest rates of Covid-19 infection in Manitoba while having a very low rate of vaccine uptake. Who is surprised?
The Southern Health Region has many Mennonites, Conservative political leaders that keep getting re-elected no matter how dismal their performance, low vaccine uptake rates, and the highest rates of infection with Covid-19. That is a bounty of achievements. Too bad they are so dubious.