March 14, 2020
A special message to our customers and members.
We are proceeding with plans for all the trips in our 2020 schedule. Our Century Ride weekend is 10 weeks down the road. It is more than three months until the start of Tour du Canada in Vancouver and that is a long time in the lifecycle of Covid-19. Looking at the current situation we see a broad range of effects. Italy and Norway have closed their borders. China seems to be past the peak and is dismantling the temporary hospital built for peak crisis in Wuhan. Some countries, notably Italy and Iran, seem to be overwhelmed by the virus. Others, and we think Canada is in that group, have health professionals who seem prepared for the challenges that this epidemic represents.
The outlook is certainly troubling now but may look much different in three or four weeks. In Wuhan, China, it was 15 weeks from the first case to the point where the spread of infections was past the peak — from the first case on November 17 to a remarkable decline in new cases in early March. In Canada, the first case was diagnosed on January 25. That was a traveller from Wuhan. The first “community case” — spread within Canada — was diagnosed on March 5. In recent days governments at all levels in Canada have moved rapidly to introduce measures designed to slow the spread of infections. Other countries are taking similar actions, although some may have a more difficult time ahead. We will make ongoing reassessments of our judgment as we go into spring and a new cycling season for us. If you want to discuss the situation, call (705-434-1100) or send us an e-mail (email@example.com).
March 15 Update
My morning habit now is to update my spreadsheet on virus numbers over the previous 24 hours. Every day I see worrisome numbers but the latest 24-hour period was interesting. Italy — now the source of most concern — had no new cases and no new deaths. It was a welcome break because there had been 368 deaths in the previous 24-hour period. The pause in bad news out of Italy was part of a worldwide slowdown in fatalities in the latest 24-hour period.
China continues to be a central situation in the unfolding pandemic. For most of the last four months it has accounted for more than half of Covid-19 cases. Now it is well below half — 9,897 active cases in China and 88,637 active cases in the rest of the world. The recovery rate in China is a similarly striking comparison — 83.8% in China and 10.9% in the rest of the world. That doesn’t mean people aren’t recovering. It means that the number of new cases outside China has been rising rapidly while treatment takes time.
For non-Canadians on the Network, the totals in Canada now are 341 cases and only one death.
Travel Update, March 16
Most people probably know by now that Donald Trump has stopped Europeans from travel to the U.S. and Boris Johnson says he sees no reason to do the same in the U.K. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, has banned travel to Canada from outside the country, except that Canadian and U.S. residents are exempt. The U.S. move had put Canada in an uncomfortable position by creating a situation where Europeans could travel to the U.S. through Canada. That situation is now clarified. We continue to plan for our season as scheduled. Start dates in June for Tour du Canada and Tour Arctic are still well down the road and we expect the virus situation will look much different by then — for the better, we hope.
Travel Update, March 19
Unfortunately, for circumstances beyond our control, we have had to cancel our Century Ride Weekend which was to take place on May 23 and May 24, 2020. Rules against large crowds assembling meant that the location and meals for our overnight stay for that trip was cancelled by the provider.
Since we don’t have mass groups on our other trips we continue to plan for those as scheduled.
Canada seems to be at a fork in the road. One path leads to the promising examples of South Korea and Singapore. The other to Greater New York and the northern part of Italy centred on Milan. The Canadian situation is all the more relevant because we have a federal system that has had a checkered history of regional co-operation. All indications now are that the provinces are working well together on Covid-19 and the results are promising.
Canada’s population is roughly double the population of Greater New York, a metropolitan area that includes parts of neighbouring states. At today’s count, Canada had almost 10,000 Covid-19 cases. Greater New York had about 100,000.
In Canada, the mortality rate now is 1.3%. The global rate is 5.1%. Again on today’s numbers, Canada has had three deaths per one million population. In the U.S., with 10 times the population, it has been 15 deaths per one million population. The global mortality rate has been rising steadily, from 2.8% in February to just over 5% now. In Canada, the mortality rate has consistently been in a band around 1% since early March. In South Korea the mortality rate now is 1.7%. In Singapore it is 0.4%.
The global recovery rate had been declining since February but in recent days it has been stable.
Meanwhile, we still are planning for our 2020 schedule of events. Just so you know, we have been quiet lately because of technical issues with our internet feed. That has been resolved and we are again getting on top of e-mail communications.