Beyond the numbers: Who is dying of COVID in Canada, and how?

National Post
COVID 19 doctors National Post | James Alexander Michie

Doctors are looking for markers to predict the likelihood of “critical events” and death from COVID-19 — signs, like fast breathing, high blood pressure or elevated proteins in the blood, that someone might go from sitting on the edge of his or her hospital bed eating lunch, to sudden intense distress, to being sedated, and being lost. PHOTO BY ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS

It is possible that now we risk becoming numb to numbers? And indeed, it is considered that doctors still do not fully understand the ‘wacky’ nature of the disease.

As is well known, COVID-19 affects in different ways depending on each person. Most people who are infected have mild or moderate symptoms and recover without the need for hospitalization. Likewise, this disease paralyzed everyone at all levels, despite the time that has passed, the virus is still on the streets and continues to affect citizens.

It is clear that the pandemic has largely become a story of numbers, a daily summary of cases and deaths, of numbers analyzed, and numbers that tested positive. The statistics are dry, anonymous, but some patterns have emerged. Doctors are developing models and looking for markers to predict the likelihood of “critical events” and death, signs, such as rapid breathing, high blood pressure, or elevated proteins in the blood.

Unimaginable rates

Notably, Canada could cross the threshold of 20,000 to 60,000 daily cases by the end of December, warns the latest federal model. As of Friday, the official death toll was 11,856. So far, 2,756 people have died in the second wave, as of August 18. In fact, Manitoba and Quebec have the highest per capita death rates, but deaths are increasing at a faster rate than cases in all regions, according to the infectious disease researcher at the University of Toronto.

In addition, globally, Canada has the third-highest fatality rate (3.4) to date among middle, large, and high-income peer countries, says Moriarty, “higher even than Spain, France, United States States, and Germany “.

Some doctors, desperate to change the narrative, tired of pandemic denial, have been said to have begun to describe scenes within the hospital walls.

On the other hand, it is true that the elderly, those with underlying diseases, those with weak immune systems are being more affected to the point that they lose their lives. Of the more than 9,500 people in Canada who succumbed to COVID in the first wave, between March and July, 90 percent had at least one other cause, condition or complication reported on the death certificate, according to Statistics Canada.

In fact, death from COVID is no different than death from an infectious respiratory disease.

Source: Sharon Kirkey | National Post

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