04.03.2020 11:53 AM

Up to 15,000 dead possible in Ontario over two years – and that’s even if we “follow the rules”

Full deck here.


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    Derek Pearce says:

    I’ve mostly been remaining calm throughout this whole thing and following the stay-at-home rules and hoping for the best. This has me shaken. I’m a little genuinely scared. We need FAR more severe crackdowns on making people shelter-in-place. Like, temporarily of course, but near-draconian.

    At least this fear for the lives of my family, my friends, my countrymen has taken my mind off my lost job and the shit state of the economy lol.

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      Chris Sigvaldason says:

      Timidity, naivety, bureaucracy. Our betters have always been behind the curve on all aspects of this crisis. Any early criticism was met with howls of admonition based on ideology and racism.

      We don’t “suggest,” or “ask,” or “advise,” or “recommend” people to drive at 100 km/hr or less on our highways. We “compel them through the force of law” to “obey” the speed-limit, with increasingly tough penalties. I wish our well-meaning scientists and their self-serving political masters would snap out of their ‘boy scout’ posturing and get serious.

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    joe says:

    “No American is going to say, ‘accelerate the economy at the cost of human life.’ Because no American is going to say how much a life is worth,” Andrew Cuomo
    Mr Cuomo is wrong.
    Consider for a moment that doctors and nurses get paid to save lives. Now would you, good reader, spend $ 1 trillion to save one life?
    Politicians get paid to make exactly that decision. How much to spend vs how many lives saved, or hurt. Before we scream at each other let’s admit it can be a very difficult decision. Spending money to save lives incurs costs: in dollars, in suffering, and even deaths in other areas.
    Mr. Kinsella made the decision not to be placed on a ventilator to free up resources for others and to avoid likely fruitless suffering on his part. Mr Kinsella has also freed a doctor and a politician from making that decision. Good for him to do so.
    Now consider the “worst case” scenario of 100,000 deaths over two years. How many people die each year in Ontario? For the last three years it has averaged 105,000 a year (Statistics Canada).
    Let’s look at COVID-19 deaths in Ontario (from today’s presentation): 53% of deaths are over 80 years in age; 89% are over 60 years in age.
    Now for 2018 Ontario deaths: 52% are over 80, and 81% are over 65.
    Unfortunately we don’t have (to my knowledge) the number of current deaths in Ontario, nor the age breakdown. This would be interesting to know.
    The COVID pandemic may last for months, or it may play out over two years, we don’t know. How much damage to our economy, and the resulting suffering that will inflict, are we willing to tolerate?.
    Sooner or later we will have to get back to work. I think physical distancing coupled with wearing masks would help many get back to work sooner. Yes I know a homemade mask is only 50 to 70% effective, but I and most readers will not be working in high exposure area like a hospital. Masks, coupled with physical distancing, and limited outside travel for those 60 and older, could allow people to get back to work sooner while reducing economic damage.
    Now I may get flamed for my comments above, but if we can have an adult conversation about this we’ll get to a better, more acceptable answer.

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      Derek Pearce says:

      The corollary of that though is that we will now offer no medical care to anyone over the age of 60, flat-out. We will have to do this to follow your plan. Because if we rush to get the economy back up and running even if over-60s stay at home, the hospitals will flood to overflowing with patients and then anyone who has a heart attack, stroke, is in a car crash, a workplace accident, suffers a serious domestic abuse attack, is a bystander who is shot, or gets life-threatening food poisoning or a life-threatening sports injury is also to be written off, because no capacity will be there to care for them, so the overall death rate among all ages goes up.
      But again, if we follow your advice, then fine, no hospital treatment for anyone 60+ and what I mentioned won’t happen. It’s the new Logan’s Run, yay!

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        joe long says:


        Good points. That’s why it’s a tough decision.

        7700 people die each day in the US. Majority are over 60.

        It would be interesting to see the total number of deaths from all causes plotted over time. I don’t know anyone who is doing this.

        So when do we go back to work? Is it staged? What level of risk would each one of us be prepared to accept? 1 in a 100, 1 in 1000, 1 in 10,000?

        After answering the above consider this: in the US approximately 40,000 people each year die in traffic accidents. The NSC estimates 4.5 million were seriously injured. So deaths are 1 in 8300 from traffic accidents.

        Most of us seem to accept the risk of death and injury from car accidents in order to go about our lives. But we attempt to reduce our chances through various techniques.
        Sooner or later, we will have to do the same with COVID-19. We’ll have to get back to work and employ various techniques to increase the chance of survival.

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      The Doctor says:

      If you read the literature on masks carefully, it’s a very nuanced situation. Absolutely if you’re going to be in close contact with the public, and especially close contact, then there’s an obvious benefit. But for most of us, if we’re doing social distancing and hand-washing already and we’re not required to be in close contact with others via our work, the benefit of wearing a mask is quite marginal. It’s there, but just not hugely significant.

      Measured against that are several counterpoints:

      1. If we we all now scramble for masks, we’re competing against those who really need them, e.g., healthcare workers. Yeah, homemade, blah blah blah, but people are stupid and in panic mode. Masks will get stolen and hoarded. It’s already happening.

      2. Most masks are meant to be used and disposed of, or alternatively cleaned regularly. Most ordinary people will not do that or realise it.

      3. The saliva factor — which also goes to why disposable masks are used by the pros. Saliva will accumulate, adversely affecting the effectiveness of the mask etc.

      4. Masks are uncomfortable, and for especially the stupid, uneducated or careless, will actually prompt people to touch their faces more often than they otherwise would without a mask. This also happens as you adjust it etc. Trained pros doen’t do this but we are not trained pros.

      Again, I’m not anti-mask, but it’s a huge mistake to see them as an unequivocal good for the entire population. If we had an absolutely unlimited number of quality masks AND refills, the situation would be different. But we don’t.

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        joe long says:

        I’m going to wear a homemade mask next time I go to the grocery store. That’s the only time I’m out, and in closer contact with people.

        So what if it’s only say 20% effective. There’s little to no downside and it’s cheap. Will be washed and dried after each use.

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      Erin says:

      Your comments are very acceptable given the data that we have received so far. We are facing a new pandemic which is the economic and social repercussions of this cris. One which will have far reaching implications than this corona virus. It is time for those in charge to be preparing an easing of restrictions and getting people back to work. During this time is is necessary to follow the World Health Organization and their recommendations to install soap and water at all airports buses trains and this should extend to the work environment as well. Time for factories to clean up and make a plan to help social distancing while at work. They need to stagger breaks and lunches so as to give proper space to employees.Try and stagger the starting times if possible. Perhaps they can have employees wear cotton masks. We have 3 weeks till May to make up a plan. Time for being calm cool and collective and start with a balanced approach. Time for a real clean up of our country especially in Toronto where many live in cockroach infested apts with mold and midew everywhere. So those who might have a problem with people walking outdoors and live in a fancy house maybe you can wake up and have some empathy and compassion. A mother living with two children in a small room that had black mold on the ceiling and walls that looked like the ceiling was black stated she would rather live outside then in the room but not safe for the children. I would feel the same way. The black mold is terrible for your respiratory system. So perhaps John Tory can start having buildings fixed up for the health of Torontonians. We probably know more of his City then he does. Or he looks the other way. The whole point to a crisis is we make changes when possible after the crisis is over.
      On the point of the anti malaria drug an Italian doctor goes directly to peoples homes to help them with the COVID19 symptoms and he gives then the anti malaria drug Trump stated works and also he gives them a blood oxygen monitoring device and oxygen cylinder when needed. Only 10% of his patients needed to go to the hospital. Many years ago Ontario doctors made house calls. Will any be willing to do what this doctor is doing. The doctor is wearing all the necessary PPE of course. All politics aside study is really needed for the anti malaria drug and its effectiveness. Malaria is a parasite that attacks the blood and causes a fever. The corona virus is attacking just like malaria according to many doctors. Further study is needed based on real life experiences from doctors battling the corona virus. These are the true experiences needed for studies. Is the ventilator doing more harm then good. Again many doctors are stating this. Do research and really check on the true life experiences not text books. That is where you find the clues how to really deal with this virus. There is no time for back and forth contradictions. Do we visit our aging parents or not? Some say yes others dont dare do that or you might infect them ? Which is it? Should you go out for a daily dose of vitamin D (sunshine) and fresh air. Of course you should!!! again back and forth rhetoric on that.
      Go with your instincts and take care of your bodies. Since humidity and heat are shown to kill the corona virus then perhaps if you unfortunately get sick with it then maybe many showers a day with the warm steam and hot teas and lemon and honey and VICKS vaporub and a heating pad or hot water bottle will help. Respiractin is a herbal supplement that works too., I am prepared for that as I know from experience what works with cold viruses and other respiratory ailments. for me Proven time and time again. But everyone can decide what is best for them. We are in charge of our own bodies.
      Last week it was claimed there would be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in America. Now its down to 60,000. Will next week be only 40,000. Unfortunately in America the statistics are showing many Blacks and Hispancis are dying from this virus. I think we all knew this would be the data because of the lack of adequate health care in the USA and poverty. Very sad. Unacceptable in a rich country especially New York City where billions of dollars are traded on Wall Street. The situation in America will be even worse after the crisis is over.
      The World Health Organization on January 10th warned the countries of the world to prepare. But sadly they did not. So thus we are forced into these types of lock downs. But transparency is needed. Not fear because of lack of preparedness. It appears an ease on restrictions is about to occur in Europe and other places so Canada needs to watch and follow with their own game plan. I put peoples lives before money but the world can only stand still for a while. Common sense and good hygiene and using experience to help navigate is the best way to do things.

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    CanadianKate says:

    They also left out context.

    How many people would have died in April if Covid didn’t exist?

    I read in The Economist this morning that:

    “The only European country whose total death rate (as calculated by Euromomo, a research group) had spiked by March 20th was Italy.”

    The problem of course, is March 20 was so long ago in terms of this crisis, I can’t recall how advanced the spread was in other European countries at that point.

    Another stat I heard (I believe on The Economist podcast) is the number of suicides from mental anguish due to financial and isolation triggers is likely to be balanced off by the reduction in deaths by accidents.

    And a month ago there was a doubtful stat going around that more people didn’t die from pollution in China than died from Covid (later I heard that it was based on the reduction in pollution lasting the whole year, not just the 3 months of shut-down.)

    In other words, I guess my question is how many people would normally die in a particular time-frame, and what will the increase be due to Covid?

    I’m wondering if it isn’t a change in the number of deaths but a change in who will die. The health care worker instead of the drunk driver, for instance. And a change in what we’ll die from, a Covid infection instead of the dementia that confined one to a nursing home bed.

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    A. Voter says:

    Canoe News has a link to a story that said scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a COVID vaccine that worked on mice. The vaccine would be put on the body like a Band-Aid .
    Researchers in Israel have claimed to have developed a way to run up to 64 COVID tests at once.
    The Pentagon began running tests on a short-term vaccine in Seattle March 12. One of the test subjects
    was on CNN the other night. Hope for the best.


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