“There are three types of lies -- lies, damn lies, and statistics.” “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”Benjamin Disraeli, 19th Century British Prime Minister
DEATHS BY COUNTRY
According to the Johns Hopkins University tally, Canada currently sits in the 27th spot for COVID-19 fatalities, with 30,022 deaths reported as of Wednesday morning.
Canada has seen significantly fewer COVID-19 related fatalities when compared to the U.S., the U.K., and France and Germany who sit in the first, seventh, twelfth and fourteenth spots, respectively.
The United States with 800,343 deaths
Brazil: 616,970 deaths
India: 476,135 deaths
Mexico: 296,721 deaths
Russia: 286,023 deaths
Peru: 201,848 deaths
The United Kingdom: 147,085 deaths
Indonesia: 143,960 deaths
Italy: 135,049 deaths
Iran: 130,831 deaths
COVID-19 FATALITIES IN CANADA
Health Canada data suggests that, as of Dec. 10, the majority (61.6 per cent) of COVID-19 related deaths in Canada have occurred among those aged 80 or older.
Individuals aged 70 to 79 account for 20.9 per cent of COVID-19 fatalities in Canada.
The majority of the COVID-19 related fatalities occurred during the first two waves of the pandemic, before vaccines were widely available.
Deaths plateaued in the summer of 2020, but began increasing again by the winter.
Data gathered by the Public Health Agency of Canada between Dec. 14, 2020, and Nov. 27, 2021, showed that of 10,325 fatalities reported, 7,861 were among those who were unvaccinated.
The agency stated that 12 of 13 provinces and territories have offered case-level vaccine history data for the national dataset.
The agency said 752 of the deaths occurred in those who were not yet protected, meaning they had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine less than 14 days earlier.
Another 731 of the fatalities reported to PHAC during that time period were among those partially vaccinated.
George Canning British Foreign Secretary (11 April 1770 – 8 August 1827)
Quote courtesy of Quote Master
DR. HENRY SEES AN END TO THE PANDEMIC
"Henry says the virus will eventually become endemic as the season shifts to spring, more children get vaccinated and the spread of infection slows, though she said there are still many unknowns ahead."
Post-pandemic life is getting closer in Canada, beyond lower-risk activities like patio dining seen here in Surrey, B.C., in mid-April. But experts warn fully reopening too quickly could lead to a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases.(Ben Nelms/CBC)
COVID. TRACK THE VIRUS
Where is the coronavirus pandemic getting better or worse?
Check back daily to see if cases and deaths are trending up or down in your region. There's also new data on vaccines, so you can track how many people have been vaccinated in your area.
Select your province or territory below to get started.
This page updates daily after 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT. Vaccine data updates throughout the day.
Dix says B.C. follows 'the science' in the pandemic, but what happens when the science changes?
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province's evolving direction on rapid testing is guided by science, but so is its decision to stay the course on third doses.(Ben Nelms/CBC)
The more things change in the pandemic, the more things stay the same in British Columbia's response.
"In general in B.C., we follow the science," said Health Minister Adrian Dix, during a Wednesday press conference where he hinted at what the province's strategy in dealing with the Omicron variant would look like in the coming weeks.
More rapid testing opportunities? A new strategy will be announced next Tuesday, Dix said.
New public orders on large gatherings, particularly things like concerts and professional sport events?
"The issue of capacity limits, the issue of the vaccine card … those issues are all under active consideration by public health, and we'll have more to say about that soon," he said.
In other words, changes are being considered in the face of a new wave with a new variant, with cases up more than 25 per cent in a week in B.C., and record high case counts in several countries where Omicron has taken hold.
But those changes aren't happening immediately, despite the now common cycle of some pushing for large changes to B.C.'s response as soon as a new variant of concern is detected or an uptick in cases happens.
And most of those people, like Dix, also believe they're guided by "the science."
Ontario accelerates third shots
Take third vaccine shots.
On Thursday, Ontario announced everyone 18 or older could start booking their third vaccine dose starting Monday, while shortening the minimum interval between second and third doses from six to three months.
It comes two weeks after the United Kingdom made a similar decision, with increasing evidence that third doses are particularly helpful given Omicron's greater ability to partially evade immunity from two doses.
"I would like to see the province take on the urgency of the situation here, and move things ahead as fast as possible," said Daniel Coombs, head of the University of British Columbia's mathematics department and a member of the B.C. COVID-19 modelling group.
"I think it would be nice to see that the province is ready to respond quickly when case counts start to really, really accelerate."
So is B.C. not following "the science"?
"We've been doing very well," argued Dix, pointing out the province had accelerated third shots for the clinically vulnerable, had given a greater percentage of its population a third shot in comparison to Ontario, and that a six-month interval has been recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
"The science says ... at least a six-month interval for older people."
'The situation is evolving'
But as South Asian COVID Task Force member Dr. Navdeep Grewal acknowledged, provincial and federal health officials across Canada have regularly changed their advice based on new information.
"We follow the science, we follow the evidence, we follow the data, and sometimes that means we do change our mind midway," she said.
Grewal, a family physician, said doctors she knows are having the same debates as the rest of us: some anxious about gathering with family during the holidays, some going ahead with travel or events long planned in expectation of the pandemic being "safe" by now.
"I think everybody feels very differently about what their risk assessment is, depending on who they live with, who they interact with, whether they have elderly parents or young children in their home."
The one thing virtually everyone is doing is waiting for more data on the health outcomes of Omicron: there are initial signs of symptoms being milder than Delta for many, but it is still hard to forecast what it could mean for hospitalizations in the best case scenario, given how transmissible it is.
"The situation is evolving," said Dix.
"We can't be certain about what the situation will be in two weeks from now, but it's unlikely it will be better than it is today."
Two more weeks, and we'll know more information, as British Columbians attempt to interpret guidance for holiday plans.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
A friend sent this and asked that I share on the Forum.