Things have been going crazy in Steinbach. By that I mean more crazy than normal. Steinbach has been recently hitting the national news for two reasons. First, Steinbach apparently has the highest per capita covid-19 rate in Canada. At least it did.
As reported by CBC, according to research epidemiologist Cynthia Carr, “Steinbach has around 1,000 active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. She says that number is twice as high as Winnipeg and ten times the national average.”
Now comes the crazy part. What do you think Steinbach is doing in response? Battening down the hatch right? Wrong answer! Steinbach is going into denial in high definition. That may seem incomprehensible but it’s not.
Ian Froese reported for CBC News, that local Steinbach restaurateur, Brigitte Turner, said that some people don’t believe there’s anything to worry about. The ones that don’t find anything to worry about, worry me. They think that because God is on their side there is nothing to fear. As Bob Dylan said long ago, “Don’t count the dead with God on your side.”
According to Ian Froese of the CBC, “Over the past week, a daily average of 31.2 out of every 100,000 residents of the Southern Health region (which includes Steinbach) were diagnosed with COVID-19. No other health region in Canada, aside from Winnipeg, comes close.”
As Froese reported, Brigitte Turner overheard “a patron trying to explain to a friend that a death rate of one to two percent from an illness is actually devastating.” Think about. How does that need explaining? Canada has a population of about 37 million people. If 2% die that would mean 740,000 deaths! The United States which so far has more deaths than any other country in the world and has about 10 times Canada’s population, has less than 1/3rd of that! Yet some people here think 1 to 2% is acceptable?
As if that is not enough, in Steinbach we have even more crazies. Take Evangeline Loewen owner of a local florist shop. She was also interviewed by the CBC. She says 99% of her customers think the government imposed restrictions are too extreme. That number is absurd by the way. There are many people who object to those restrictions but many people in Steinbach realize they are necessary to save lives. I don’t know which camp has more people. Yet as Steinbach has the highest rates in Canada many want restrictions loosened.
As Ian Froese reported,
“Instead, she advocates for measures separating the most vulnerable in society from everybody else. Another near-lockdown may have disastrous effects on economic, physical and social well-being, she worries. “We’re not happy with the whole fear being pumped into the people.”
Think about that solution for a moment. I have heard that people “at risk” represent about 30% of Manitoba’s population. Manitoba has a population of about 1, 400,000. That means we need to find a place for about 420,000 people. Where would they all go? Currently most of those people are sprinkled throughout the population in every town and city. Many live with their families. Some live alone. How are we going to keep them separate? Send them all to some town up north? How practical is that?
Loewen says she cares deeply for old people who are mainly at risk. That is why she wants them kept separate? But have no fear she has a solution to that too. She says we should not be afraid. “That’s because part of why a lot of us aren’t as afraid, either, is because we do know there’s a God. He made us, He’s the one that can actually heal us.”
So the Christian solution is to send old people and others at risk some place where they can be separate from the rest of the people but as long as they trust God they have nothing to fear.
Is that the Christian solution?