Alberta’s COVID-19 models way overestimated the impact

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on April 17, 2020

Alberta is far over-performing on COVID19, the province has consistently shown lower infection and hospitalization numbers than predicted. It isn’t known how much of an impact social distancing and lockdowns have had on the virus but it can be partly thanked for the incredibly flat curve the province has been keeping on COVID19 infections.

At this point, it was predicted that Alberta would have over 200 patients in the hospital for COVID19, but the provinces only has 44 right now. Alberta was also slated to have around 40 patients in intensive care, and currently, there are only 14 requiring intensive care.

Alberta also will not be facing any protective medical equipment shortages, which explains why the province started exporting medical supplies, including masks, to provinces like Quebec and Ontario.

Premier Jason Kenney said regarding the low statistics, “Here is the good news, people have been following the public health guidelines, they have been acting responsibly, they have been doing the right thing.”

Speaking on why projects seemed to have been so inflated Kenney said, “let me be totally transparent about this, early on we as government were not getting we’re not getting much from the system in the way of models. I was frustrated by that as it was very hard for us to prepare what kind of resources we needed to put where.”

Premier Kenney admitted that the models used were largely based on the United Kingdom which may not have been the most directly comparable geographic area to Alberta as we have far lower population density. It warrants explanation why those tasks with creating the model decided to base predictions off of a COVID19 hotspot that our province is only mildly comparable to.

News that Alberta’s situation with COVID19 is likely to stay fairly mild may cause some to question the strict social distancing guidelines as Alberta hospitals are not experiencing overcrowding. At the very least new statistics are unlikely to ingratiate Albertans to any further restrictive measures, and may lead to disobedience of self-isolation orders like in the US.

Some of the media reports emphasizing every single new infection and death in Alberta from COVID19 may be overwrought when the scope of the virus’ effects in Alberta are put into context. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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