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Death statistics for 2020 reveal its not how and who the virus is killing

Death statistics for 2020 reveal its not how and who the virus is killing

Statistics Canada Death Rates for 2020 raise questions

OTTAWA, ONTARIO ~~~~~~  January 13, 2021  (LSN)  Statistics Canada Death Rates for 2020 raise questions as to whether COVID or lockdowns account for increased deaths in younger age cohorts

As we close out the notorious year 2020, it seems like a good time to tally up the carnage caused by COVID-19.  While the general assumption may be that, if the 2020 death rate exceeds that of previous years, COVID-19 would account for those increased numbers. That assumption, when you take deaths of the very elderly out of the equation, is tenuous at best. The proceeding Statistics Canada colour coded charts track annual death rates (all causes) in Canada, for the years 2014 to 2020.  Rates are calculated on a weekly basis, starting on a Sunday and ending on the following Saturday. Rates are tracked by the following age groups—age 44 years and under; age 45 to 65 years; age 65 to 84; and 85 and over.

Death Rate—All Age Groups

This first chart tracking deaths in 2020 for all age groups (black dotted line), clearly demonstrates that a vast number of Canadians succumbed to COVID-19 in the spring and early summer of first wave of the pandemic. That, however, is all it tells us.

 

Death Rate—85 plus

The second chart tracking of deaths in those aged 85 plus, shows a similar peak during the same time frame for 2020, clearing indicating that COVID-19 hit this age cohort very hard. Actually current estimates are that half of the COVID-19 deaths in Canada for the year 2020, occurred in people aged 86 and over.  It should be further noted that the majority of those deaths, estimated to be as high as 80 percent, occurred in residents of long term care homes in the first wave when the entire country was in lockdown, and are occurring again in the second wave.

A closer look at the death statistics charted by Statistics Canada for 2020 the rest of the age groups reveals some patterns that don’t seem point to COVID as the main cause of death.

Death Rate—Under Age 44

It is not surprising to see the very elderly accounting for a large number of deaths in any given year without COVID-19 in the mix. What is surprising though, is to see a huge spike in death rates in 2020 in people under the age 45, when compared to previous years, which is clearly demonstrated in this chart. There is a huge surge in deaths beginning in May and carrying on through to mid-October, where the data for 2020 ends, much higher than any of the previous years tracked. 

 

A total of 1880 more deaths occurred in this age group compared to the same period in 2019. Yet, Health Canada records indicate that only 144 people under the age of 49 have succumbed to COVID since the pandemic began, and all of them had comorbidities. So it is reasonable to ask what accounts for this alarming rise in the death toll for this age group in 2020, if it isn’t COVID? The answer may lie in the fact that a large chuck of this group, particularly those

between the ages of 20 and 44, are the people who have been most impacted by the shut downs and lockdowns.

This includes university students forced to complete their studies on-line and isolated from their peers, young people working in the service industry losing steady incomes and on-the-job experience, young entrepreneurs losing opportunities, graduates moving into a job market that offers few career opportunities, business owners losing their

livelihoods, and young families trying to keep their heads above water.

 

Statistics Canada’s death statistics for this group in 2019 and previous years, cite suicides (self harm) and accidental (unintentional injuries which include drug overdoses) as the leading cause of deaths in this age group. It would seem that might account for the big jump in deaths in this group for 2020. Yet, unless someone is curious and looks at this data that is readily available on line, who would know about this sharp rise in deaths in young people. We certainly don’t hear much about this from our governments and the media, when they announce further restrictions and draconian enforcement measures.

 

 

Death Rate—Ages 44 to 65

The chart tracking deaths in the age group 44 to 65, again illustrates some significant spikes in death rates in this age cohort in 2020. It does, however, reveal significant spikes in other years as well.  Another notable aspect is that some of the weeks during which there were spikes in deaths in 2020, there were also weeks where deaths diminished considerably.

 

In fact, according to data provided to Worldometer* by Statistics Canada, COVID deaths dropped from an average high of over 100 deaths per day in the spring and early summer, to an average of ten or less per day, over the rest of the summer and early fall. This would lead one to conclude that the spikes in deaths in the 44-65 age group, in that same time period, as illustrated in the Statistics Canada chart, were not all due to COVID-19. *Worldometer, is a reference website that provides and real-time statistics for diverse topics. It is owned and operated by data company Dadax.

 

Death Rate – 65 to 84

Again, in this age group you can see spikes in deaths when COVID peaked during the first wave. That is to be expected, because again, people over the age of 75 account for a total of 75 percent of COVID deaths (again the majority in nursing homes) in Canada.  As well, the charting for this age group also reveals that while 2020 death rates were higher than in other years in general, they remained so, even during the summer and early fall when COVID cases dropped dramatically. So again, what accounts for the rise in deaths, when it can’t be COVID? Could it be delayed diagnostic tests for serious diseases such as cancer? Could it be the postponement of medical procedures such as pacemaker implants, biopsies, and other elective surgeries to treat serious health issues? This, all in the name of clearing the hospitals for COVID cases that didn’t arrive during the first wave.

 

Summarizing

So it would appear that while COVID-19 certainly increased death rates in the very elderly and particularly those in long term care facilities in 2020. When looking at other age groups, however, it would appear that it accounts for some, but certainly not all increases in death rates for 2020. Most troubling of this is the dramatic increase in non-COVID deaths in those under that age of 44, yet this does not seem to be on either governments’ or the media’s radar when more lockdowns

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

#LSN_Health  #LSN_ONNews
 

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