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When is Comes to COVID-19, it May be That All We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

When is Comes to COVID-19, it May be That All We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

By: Roxanne Halverson

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~~~  October 19, 2020  (LSN)  I am tired, mentally fatigued, irritated and frustrated as I listen to mainstream media’s unrelenting hype and fear mongering over COVID-19. It is never good news, its always bad, despite the fact that COVID-19 has a 99.5% survival rate and the mortality rate, in Canada has been declining since it peaked in the spring of this year.  The constant media barrage has amped up again as we move into the second wave of this “deadly virus”.  Kenora, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Ontario 

Government can only manage risk, not eradicate it. As a society, hysteria seems to have overtaken our rational powers. Somewhere, someone decided that our goal with respect to COVID-19 should be to have zero tolerance of death.

But this extreme and unattainable ambition only applies to COVID-19 and not, for example, to pneumonia, which kills thousands of elderly Canadians, year after year. I have not heard you rail about that. Not a wo

Media Ignore Statistics to Paint a Dire Picture

So we have the media eagerly and yet, at the same time, gravely rhyming off rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and discussing fears that medical resources will be overwhelmed and the need for another lockdown. What they fail to mention is that the numbers are rising largely because of an 800 percent increase in testing since the spring. At the same time they gloss over the fact that this uptick was to be expected, as kids finally began returning to school, more businesses and facilities re-opened and more people returned to work in these businesses.

They are also quick to note with the rising numbers, there has been a large increase of positive test results among people under the age of forty.  What they neglect to point out is that that most people under the age of forty who do test positive for COVID-19, present with mild symptoms, if any at all, and seldom require hospitalization and thus will not overwhelm medical resources. Nor do they discuss the fact that while there are new COVID-19 cases, there has been a steady decline in deaths and hospitalizations since they peaked in the spring.  As of October 9th, the number of people under the age of forty requiring hospitalization due to COVID-19 make up just 17 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Given the current case numbers that amounts to less than 400 people over the course of nine months. We also don’t know how long of a hospital stay they required, was it one day, a week, a visit? We don’t know, or at least aren’t being told.

Statistics Don’t Lie

It is true that media certainly have made note of the fact that it is primarily the elderly that are more severely impacted by COVID-19, particularly if they have underlying health issues. Yet, they really don’t underscore this fact with any further detail or context when that information is readily available on the Health Canada website as outlined in the chart below which is an epidemiological summery of the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Canada by age cohort as of September 6th, 2020.

   

 

 

Elderly Account for Vast Majority of COVID-19 Deaths

According to these statistics, as of September 6th, 2020, 9011 people in Canada died due to COVID-19, or they at least had tested positive for COVID-19 when they died (which is another issue regarding COVID-19 mortality statistics). As the chart indicates, to that date, a total of 80 people under the age of 50 have died from COVID-19 and another 914 people, between the ages of 50-69, have succumbed to the virus. Most of these people likely had underlying health conditions that may have increased their risk. We will never know if that was, in fact the case, because due to “privacy concerns”, hospitals, public health authorities and various other medical officials, will not release this type of information.

As for COVID-19 deaths in the elderly, the math is pretty simple. Of those 9011 COVID-19 deaths, 8,070 COVID-19 occurred in people over the age of 70— that is 89.6 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada. If you look further at that chart you will see that 71.4 percent of those 8,070 deaths occurred in those aged 80 plus.

 

Long Term Care Facilities

According to the Health Canada statistics the bulk of those elderly deaths occurred between late March and early May, when reports of devastating outbreaks of the virus in long-term care facilities first began to emerge. Many of these facilities, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, were poorly managed, crowded, understaffed and alarmingly unprepared to protect their residents and control the spread of the virus*. They were essentially the perfect breeding ground for the virus.

Another element of the COVID-19 deaths in these long-term care facilities is that very few residents were hospitalized for treatment because when outbreaks occurred in these residences they went into immediate lockdown and quarantine. As a result the majority of residents who came down with the virus remained in the facility to receive whatever medical treatment available on site or perhaps provided by public health authorities. Some recovered, but many others died in these homes, alone without the comfort of family members at their side. These people did not overrun hospital emergency rooms or ICUs, putting an extra strain on these facilities. 

No official statistics have ever been provided on the number of deaths attributed to this debacle, but estimates indicate that at least 81 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada, to date, occurred in long term care facilities.  We also know that positive COVID-19 cases are again on the rise in these facilities as we enter the second wave. This is troubling, given that governments, at all levels, pledged to make it a priority to ensure these facilities would be better equipped to safeguard their residents when the second wave hit.

*This was partly due to the fact that neither the provincial or federal governments, when first hearing reports of this virus emerging in China, and spreading, thought to make it a priority to ensure such facilities had proper preparation and mitigation measures in place to protect their vulnerable residents.

Hospitalizations

The number of hospitalizations of infected people provides a good indicator of the severity of COVID-19 infections. Health Canada provides statistics on the number of hospitalizations, as well as admissions to ICU and patients requiring a ventilator. Between January (when COVID-19 first arrived in Canada) and September 26, there have been 148,438 confirmed cases, out of a population of 37.5 million. That is an infection rate of 0.4 percent. Of those 148,438 confirmed cases, 12,000 required hospitalization (9 percent). We do not know the length of time spent in the hospital, which would be another indicator of severity.  Of those 12,000 hospitalized of 2,440 were admitted to ICUs, and of that number, 470 required ventilation.  So out of a population of 37.5 million, some 3,000 people required critical care for COVID-19, which amounts of 0.008 percent of Canada’s entire population. As of October 9th, 2020, based on Health Canada’s statistics, there has been no significant increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, despite the rising number of positive cases.  And as with the long-term care facilities, if governments expected a second wave, why were additional hospital facilities, such as temporary Emergency Rooms and ICUs, not part of their response planning on a going forward basis, particularly in “hot zones”.

Why are COVID-19 Policies Based on Case Numbers Rather Than Morbidity Rates

So, it is clear that the mortality rate in Canada, due to COVID-19 is very low, even in the highest risk groups, based on the statistics laid out in the Health Canada chart.  Yet, the current public health policies related to the pandemic are not based on mortality rates, but rather on the number of cases, or positive test results, regardless of their severity.  This has resulted in the lockdowns, business closures, school closures and instructions to limit social interactions, even with family.  It is also the reason for ongoing restrictions for businesses that were allowed to be open, or re-open, to stay in business and the changes in classrooms as kids return to school. We also don’t know if there will be more delays in routine and even essential medical procedures in preparation for another “onslaught” of COVID-19 cases.

Government can only manage risk, not eradicate it. As a society, hysteria seems to have overtaken our rational powers. Somewhere, someone decided that our goal with respect to COVID-19 should be to have zero tolerance of death.

But this extreme and unattainable ambition only applies to COVID-19 and not, for example, to pneumonia, which kills thousands of elderly Canadians, year after year. I have not heard you rail about that. Not a wo

By: Roxanne Halverson
Former TBT anchor and reporter
Living in Ottawa (retired RCMP Senior Emergency Management Planner

#LSN_Opinion 

Categories: HealthOpinion
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Follow the numbers for TBDHU Easter Month Long Lockdown

Population of Thunder Bay District (2016)  146,048
April 8th 1st stay of stay at home order for 28 days

Date New
Cases
Active
Cases 
Resolved 
Cases
Deceased Hospitalized ICU
Apr 3 26 183 2673 53 12 3
Apr 5   9 163 2701 54 14 4
Apr 6  1 149 2716 54 14 5
Apr 7 15 148 2732 54 10 4
Apr 8  3 104 2779 54 10 4
Apr 9 12 101 2793 55 12 5
Apr 10 13   98 2809 55 13 5
Apr 11 Not  Reported        
Apr 12 13 91 2829 55 14 5
Apr 13 9 87 2841 56 13 4
Apr 14 4 72 2860 56 11 4
Apr 15 4 61 2875 56 10 5
Apri16 8 57 2885 58 12 4
Apr 17 4 56 2890 58 9 3
    Not  reported  Today    
             
Apr 20 11 54 2909 60 7 2
Apr 21  6 52 2916 61 7 2
Apr 22 11 59 2919 62 8 2
Apr 23 10 61 2927 62 8 2
Apr 24 10 67 2931 62 9 2
    Not  Reported  On Sundays    
Apr 26 10 69 2939 62 7 0
Apr 27  6 66 2948 62 8 2
Apr 28  5 61 2958 62 8 0
Apr 29 15 67 2967 62 7 0
Apr 30  1 63 2972 62 6 0
May 1  7 54 2988 62 6 1
May 2   Not Reported  On Sundays     
May 3 9 48 3003 62 6 1
May 4 6 44 3013 62 4 0
May 5 5 45 3017 62 5 0
May 6 5 45 3022 62 5 1
May 7 2 41 3028 62 3 1
May 8 5 37 3037 62 3 1
May 9   Not Reported  On Sundays    
May 10  7 40 3041 62 4 1
May 11  0 29 3052 62 3 1
May 12  8 31 3058 62 4 1
May 13  6 36 3059 62 4 1
May 14  4 34 3065 62 4 1
May 15  4 32 3071 62 4 1
May 16  Do  Not Report  On Sundays     
May 17  3 29 3077 62 4 1
May 18  1 25 3079 63 2 0
May 19  1 24 3081 63 2 0
May 20  7 31 3081 63 4 0
May 21  1 28 3085 63 5 0
May 22  4 25 3092 63 5 0
May 23 Do  Not  report  On Holidays     
May 24 Do Not  report  On Holidays     
May 25 4 24 3097 63 5 0
May 26  1 17 3105 63 3 0
May 27  5 19 3108 63 4 0
May 28 18
14
 3
 1
 33
First Nation
Distict 
TBay
3112 63 4 0
May 29 9
6
3
0
42
First Nation
Distict 
Thunder Bay
3117 63 5 0
May 30 Do  Not Report  on  Sundays    
May 31

17
8
4
5

54
First Nation
District 
Thunder Bay
3117 63 4 0
June  1  3
2
1
54
Thunder Bay
First Nation 
3120 63 3 0
June 2 4
2
2

Thunder Bay
First Nation
       
June 3 11
2
5
4
61
Thunder Bay
First Nation
District 
3128 63 6 0
June 4 21
 1
13
 7
75
Thunder Bay
First Nation
Disrict 
3273 63 7 0
June 5 16
6

2
81
Thunder Bay
First Nation
District 
3289 63 6 0
June 6 Do  Not  report on  Sunday     
June 7

10
 3
 6
 1

67
Thunder Bay
First Nation
District 
3169 63 7 1
June 8   
 0
 0 
 1
 60
Thunder Bay
First Natiomn 
 District  
3175 63 5 1
June 9  
0
1

 
56
Thunder Bay
First Nation
District 
3181 63 5 1
June 10

3
0
1

51
Thunder Bay
First Nation
District 
3190 63 5 1
June 11  1
3
0
47
Thunder Bay
First Nation
District 
 
3198 63 5 2
June 12
1
 2
3
39
Thunder Bay
First Nation
District
       
June 13 Do  Not  remport on  Sunday  
             

 

Follow the Ontario numbers for Easter Month Long Lockdown

Ontario's 3rd lockdown start April 3 at 12.01 am. 
April 8th 1st stay of stay at home order for 28 days

Date Test Cases 
May
31
18,200 916
June 
1
20,300 699
June 3 34,300 870
June 4 32,300 914
June 5 27,800 744
June 6 22,600 663
June 7 15,200 525
June 8 17,600 469
June 9 30,500 411
June 10 31,400 590

June 11

28,900 574
June 12  24,100 502
June 13 20,700 530

 

Date Test Cases Date  Test  Cases Date  Test  Cases  Date  Test Cases
April 1  62,300 2,557 Apr 16 64,300 4,812 May  1 46,800 3,369 May 16 33,100 2,199
Apr 2 121,400 3,089 Apr 17  56,900 4,362 May 2 45,300 3,732 May 17 24,500 2,170
Apr 3   3,009 Apr 18 53,800 4,250 May 3 33,200 3,436 May 18 22,900 1,616
Apr 4   3,041 apr 19 42,900 4,447 May 4 33,700 2,791 May 19 38,400 1,588
Apr 5    2,938 Apr 20 40,600 3,469 May 5 45,800 2,941 May 20 45,400 2,400
Apr 6 37,500 3,065 Apr 21 51,900 4,212 May 6 54,100 3,424 May 21 37,100 1,890
Apr 7 49,900 3,215 apr 22 54,200 3,682 May 7 51,300 3,166 May 22 34,600 1,794
Apr 8 63,800 3,295 apr 23 56,200 4,505 May 8 47,800 2,864 May 23 31,200 1,691
Apr 9 61,400 4,227 Apr 24 52,200 4,094 May 9 38,500 3,216 May 24 16,900 1,446
Apr 10 61,400 3,813 Apr 25 46,700 3,947 May 10 27,200 2,716 May 25 20,200 1039
Apr 11 56,400 4,456 Apr 26 33,800 3,510 May 11 28,100 2,073 May 26 24,000 1,095
apr 12 47,900 4,401 Apr 27 34,000 3,265 May 12 45,700 2,320 May 27 37,700 1,135
Apr 13 42,200 3,670 Apr 28  50,200 3,480 May 13 47,600 2,759 May 28 40,900 1,273
Apr 14  54,200 4,156 Apr 29 56,900 3,871 May 14 44,000 2,362 May 29 33,600 1,057
Apr 15 65,600 4,736 Apr 30 53,100 3,887 May 15 42,300 2,584 May 30 26,600 1,033

 

TBDHU goes into Grey Lockdown March 1st 12.01 am.

Population of Thunder Bay District (2016)  146,048

Date  New
Cases
Active
Cases 
Resolved
Cases 
Deceased  Hospitalized 
ICU
Feb 27   335 1218 30 23 7
Feb 28   343 1239 30 26 9
March 1 56 376 1262 30 29 9
March 2  40 374 1304 30 26 9
March 3  26 389 1314 31 29 10
March 4 61 397 1366 32 29 10
March 5 48 389 1422 32 27 8
March 6 40 386 1465 32 35 11
March 7 111 470 1492 32 37 11
March 8 30 462 1529 33 36 10
March 9  58 458 1589 35 29 9
March 10 46 414 1677 37 31 10
March 11 46 423 1714 37 35 9
March 12 82 435 1784 37 35 8
March 13 43 446 1816 37 36 9
March 14 40 437 1865 37 37 9
March 15 51 446 1906 38 44 7
March 16 35 403 1984 38 39 8
March 17 68 424 2030 39 38 8
March 18 40 406 2088 39 39 12
March 19 38 399 2133 39 44 15
March 20 32 379 2185 39 45 16
March 21 20 362 2222 39 35 12
March 22  9 325 2267 40 35 12
March 23 29 305 2316 40 31 7
March 24 25 286 2355 45 26 5
March 25 33 283 2390 46 28 5
March 26 20 259 2434 46 28 4
March 27 29 233 2488 47 20 3
March 28  21 216 2526 47 19 4
March 29 12 207 2547 47 19 4
March 30 25 199 2576 51 17 3
March 31 34 216 2592 52 18 3
April 1 23 210 2621 52 18 3
             
             
             
             

This is the total number of deaths among cases in which COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death

 

Number of Test and Number of Cases of COVID Ontario

Date Tests Cases Date Tests  Cases  Date Tests Cases
Feb 11 68,800 945 Mar 1 35,000 1,023 Mar 19 56,100 1,745
Feb 12 62,000 1,076 Mar 2  30,800 966 Mar 20 52,100 1,829
Feb 13 58,800 1,300 Mar 3 52,600 958 Mar 21 49,200 1,791
Feb 14 48,700 981 Mar 4 65,600 994 Mar 22 31,100 1,699
Feb 15 27,000 964 Mar 5  64,700 1,250 Mar 23 32,600 1,546

Feb 16

30,400 904 Mar 6 57,800 990 Mar 24 52,000 1,571
Feb 17 34,000 847 Mar 7 46,600 329 Mar 25 60,100 2,380
Feb 18 56,200 1,038 Mar 8 38,100 568 Mar 26 53,400 2,169
Feb 19 65,400 1,150 Mar 9  33,300 1,185 Mar 27 61,000 2,453
Feb 20 57,200 1,228 Mar 10 54,100 1,316 Mar 28  50,200 2,448
Feb 21 Not report Not Report Mar 11 60,600 1,092 Mar 29  39,500 2,094
Feb 22 31,200 1,058 Mar 12 64,600 1,371 Mar 30  36,100 2,336
Feb 23 26,000 975 Mar 13  58,400 1,468 Mar 31 52,500 2,333
Feb 24  54,900 1,054 Mar 14 47,600 1,747 April 1  62,300 2,557
Feb 25 66,400 1,138 Mar 15 34,000 1,268      
Feb 26 64,000 1,258 Mar 16 28,500 1,074       
Feb 27 59,400 1,185 Mar 17 49,100 1,508      
Feb 28 49,200 1,062 Mar 18 58,600 1,553      
                 

 

Covid and test During Ontario Lockdown

December 26th is day one of lockdown in Ontario 

Date Tests #Cases  Date Test Cases Date  Tests Cases
Dec 26   2,142 Jan 11     Jan 26 30,700 1,740
Dec 27   2,005 Jan 12     Jan 27 55,200 1,670
Dec 28   1,939 Jan 13     Jan 28 64,700 2,093
Dec 29   2,553 Jan 14     Jan 29 69,000 1,837
Dec 30 39,200 2,923 Jan 15     Jan 30 59,600 2,063
Dec 31   3,328 Jan16  73,900 3,056 Jan 31 49,400 1,848
Jan 1   2,476       Feb 1 30,400 1,969
Jan 2   3,363 Jan 17     Feb 2 28,600 745
Jan 3 49,800 2,964 Jan 18     Feb 3 52,400 1,172
Jan
4
    Jan 19     Feb 4 64,500 1,563
Jan 5 35,200 3,128 Jan 20     Feb 5  62,700 1,670
Jan 6     Jan 21 70,300 2,632 Feb 6 62,300 1,388
Jan 7     Jan 22 71,800 2,662 Feb 7 51,700 1,489
Jan 8     Jan 23 63,500 2,359 Feb 8  28,300 1,265

Jan 9

72,900 3,443 Jan 24  48,900 2,417 Feb 9 30,800 1,022
Jan 10     Jan 25 36,000 1,958 Feb 10 52,500 1,072

Links to Regional Covid-19 Regional Information

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