2023-10-03 BC


It seems like almost all public health doctors talk about COVID-19 as being part of “respiratory season”, and that cases go up “as we congregate indoors”. Some people talk about cases going up when school is in session. But looking at the historical data for BC, I see no evidence for that. I have been pointing out for a long time that cases go up when there are a bunch of people who don’t have immunity, either because a new variant shows up or because immunity has waned.

A few weeks ago, I said, tongue-in-cheek, that the only periodicity I could see is that cases went up in August caused by school being about to start:

Now, that isn’t exactly true — before we had immunity, there was a fall peak, though I think that was due to the interactions of variants and people getting tired of restrictions. However, after vaccines (that low point in summer 2021!), there were late summer peaks. It was a little early in 2022, but it was there.

Well, lately I have been thinking about the late summer peak. I don’t think the “people move indoors to socialize” is actually important: people are indoors like 90% of the time no matter the season. Most of my outdoor activity in the summer is individual (walking, biking), but even if I did those activities with a friend, I’m not going to move those activities indoors when the rain comes: I just am not going to walk three kilometers indoors with a friend, not going to happen.

I thought what actually happened was that people close windows when it gets cold, making indoor air quality worse. Public health doesn’t talk about that for some reason.

But something else I realized recently is that people close windows in late summer because of the smoke. People are also more susceptible to COVID-19 when the air quality sucks, and those people who have air conditioning (which is becoming more common) will also close windows when it gets hot.

So I think we shouldn’t be talking about “cases go up when we congregate indoors”, we should be talking about “cases go up when we close windows”.

Vaccine Supply

This article reports that flu and COVID shots will start on 10 October in BC. They will have a staggered start, and it looks like they will be run through the online invitation system, just like previous COVID shots. (I don’t know what happens if you want a flu shot immediately but aren’t eligible for a COVID vax yet.)


This article reports on a survey of people in BC.

  • 35% do not intend to get a COVID-19 vax this fall;
  • 55% say they probably will.


From Jeff’s spreadsheet, it looks like cases are rising quite assertively. We’re now at just about the levels we were at during the peak of Delta (but nowhere near where the levels were during Omicron):

Mitigation Measures

This article says that the Health Ministry issued a memo saying that BC health care settings were to go back to continuous masking effective 3 October. They were short on details, like what happens to people who do not comply? Do providers get fired? Do patients get turned away?

The article also mentioned that Health Canada is still evaluating Novavax. I hope they approve it by the time I’m eligible, I like that vax.