A map of Vancouver Island with some COVID virus molecules swimming up to the Comox Valley area.

Photo Credit: ComoxValley.News Staff

We’re Number One?

Comox Valley leads BC in COVID infections

This is not the championship title we want

Comox Valley is red hot with COVID and it’s not great.

Previous hot spots like Surrey and Kamloops look like they’re calming down. But not Comox Valley. Our numbers are going up.

But why are so many people getting sick all of a sudden? For people 12 and up, 85% of us are vaccinated. The question is stressing people out.

Dr. Charmaine Enns is the region’s medical health officer. She released a statement to try to explain what’s happening.

“Community cases do not mean the same now as they did in the pre-vaccine phase of the pandemic. The majority of cases are linked to known cases and clusters,” she said in the statement.

That means most people who are getting sick aren’t catching COVID at the grocery store. It’s more like one person catches it and passes it on to close family and friends. And because there are no more stay-at-home orders, we see our family and friends a lot more.

A lot of the time, the first sick person is a kid. Kids are only now getting vaccinated, and there have been lots of school exposures.

There is also the saga of the Consumed Youth Conference in Courtenay in November. A church organized a retreat where 350 teens ate and danced together for a whole weekend. Dozens of the teens came down with COVID, and they passed the virus on to friends and family.

The church was crushed to learn they caused such a bad outbreak. But their Consumed retreat is now consumed by COVID.

Dr. Enns also reminded people that vaccines don’t totally protect you from infection. They just mean your body is better at fighting the disease and you won’t get as sick.

This wave of infections is worrying, especially with a new variant on the way. Omicron is more contagious than the Delta variant. And it looks like you need a booster shot to really fight it off.

Lots of people on VanIsle got their vaccines early, too. And they can start to wear off after six months.

That’s pretty normal for vaccines. There are a bunch that require three doses to be effective, or that fade away after a few years. Boosters are pretty normal.

But with Omicron around the corner, those boosters can’t come soon enough.