About this Site-repl

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My purpose in publishing this page is to share comparative data which I have been collecting on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in the form of relevant and readily understood charts, updated daily. I started down this road in March when I realized that the outcomes of different jurisdictions’ responses to the pandemic would constitute a once-in-a-lifetime objective test of the strengths and weaknesses of their respective leadership styles, health care systems, social safety nets and other societal institutions, which might help us all to focus more on what works and less on empty ideologies.

Observing the pandemic upfold over the past year, it has become increasingly obvious that, while our first COVID wave was largely unavoidable because of how little we initially knew about the novel coronavirus, the second and now third waves have been largely of our own making.  If that statement surprises you, please take the time to review the recent Newfoundland experience of quickly supressing a sharp outbreak of the more infectious variant, restoring their province to near-COVID-free status. And compare Canada’s experience with countries like Australia and New Zealand which pioneered the best practices followed by Newfoundland and whose leaders both prioritized their people’s lives over business considerations and were consistent in decisively suppressing outbreaks.  Their choices have enabled their people to safely live mostly normal lives.

The second wave, which has been replaced by the onset of a potentially more deadly third, cost the lives of he lives of nearly 13,000 Canadians, including more than 4,000 Ontarians.  Tragically, our non-Atlantic Premiers repeated the same short-sighted, foolish choices which caused our second wave, thereby blindly leading us into what became an equally devastating third wave.  While it doesn’t have to be that way, changing course would require that we demand a say in our futures and stop meekly accepting what the Premiers choose to dish out. As always, the first step has to be to better inform ourselves, which is what this site is all about. 

Keeping the sheer volume of information displayed in this site up to date on a daily basis would be impossible as an unpaid, mostly single-person project without some pretty amazing technology.  The entire site is run from a massive Excel spreadsheet.  Downloading the previous day’s data from Johns Hopkins and Canada’s Public Health Infobase takes less than 10 minutes, at which point all of the charts and much of the statistics-rich portion of each narrative have been automatically updated. Writing the daily blog takes another 30 to 40 minutes.  Then moving all that into the former Facebook page piece by piece used to consume another couple of hours, which precluded the time I really needed to research relevant changes in the provincial and international comparisons. 

I should therefore give a heartfelt thank-you and endorsement to ipushpull, an innovative UK company which made this site feasible by generously donating a year’s free access to their data-on-demand platform.  Using that technology, I can simply push a button in Excel to make all of the latest charts and narratives appear in this WordPress site.

Ron Hartling

Kingston, Ontario