Monday, May 16, 2022

Today's News: We need to remember the ones we have lost

Canada just passed a terrible milestone.
More than 40,000 Canadians have now died of COVID. Globe and Mail health reporter Andre 
Picard writes
More than 90 per cent of pandemic deaths in Canada have been in people older than 60 .... 
There is no doubt that elders, especially those with chronic health conditions, or living in long-term care, are at far greater risk. In recent weeks, we’ve again seen a steady increase in outbreaks, and deaths, in long-term care facilities. 
But let’s please stop with the too-often-uttered ageist nonsense: “They were going to die anyhow.”
Deaths from cancer, heart disease, COPD, diabetes and other things that routinely kill elders have not dropped one iota. 
The tens of thousands of COVID-19 deaths are on top of that – additional years of life lost.
Governments have largely stopped collecting and publishing data. But the hospitalizations and deaths won’t stop just because we avert our gaze. 
 Avert? Yes, that's exactly what we are doing.

Today I saw some incredible statistics about how many extra Saskatchewan deaths we have had 
in the last two years:
Dr. Ogieglo notes that in addition to Covid deaths, people have been dying earlier of other 
conditions. Here are some additional figures:
The WHO has recently released a report which calculated a world excess death rate of 15 million 
in the last two years - here is their main chart:


Again, many of these extra deaths were undiagnosed COVID cases, but also these figures include deaths from other conditions which might have been treatable if the health care systems hadn't 
been overwhelmed with COVID cases. 
Here is a chart from the BBC based on the WHO statistics:

I know we all want to "move on" from Covid, but we also need to remember the people we 
have lost.

In other news: Tristen Durocher walked 600 km from LaRonge to Regina in 2020 to raise awareness of teen 
suicide in Northern Saskatchewan. News stories describe the award here, and the background here 
and here. In the LaRonge Now article, Durocher describes his visit with Justin Trudeau: 
 “I told him about Saskatchewan, how in the north from ages 13 to 45, the leading cause of death is suicide and how that wasn’t acceptable,” Durocher said. “He did listen, he was very sincere and he seemed compassionate and genuine.” 
The two also discussed art and music and how they have the capacity to be healing. Trudeau told Durocher that art doesn’t only have to function as a mirror, that it can also be a lamp. 
“I think what we meant by that is art just doesn’t need to reflect the grief or the heartbreak within certain spaces, but it can serve as a nightlight or a source of inspiration or hope,” Durocher said. “I was telling him how music is really good at articulating emotion, so when students learn their instrument and music, they learn to have this musical vocabulary that they might not have the words for.”  
And in other news, I found this one amusing: Two amazing tweet threads about the terrible white supremacist attack in Buffalo - 
Sherrilyn Ifill here: and David Rothkopf here: And I appreciated Oswalt's observation too: Not much news on Ukraine today, but I thought this was interesting, because Putin had been 
talking as though Kherson is basically a Russian city now. Not so much, I guess. 
Also, Melitopol: Great observation: And the Battle of Alberta is ON! Too bad only one of them will go on to the next round.


Anonymous said...

I'm leery of the media narrative that "more than 90 per cent of pandemic deaths in Canada have been in people older than 60." I bet over 90% of deaths are in people over 60 in any case, even pre-pandemic. That stat doesn't tell us much about the risk of Covid, which is among the top 5 causes of death even in young people. But from what I can see, most people would sooner risk their health than wear a mask to shop.


Cathie from Canada said...

Thanks for your comment. There is more detail at the links about the death percentages. I think the "90%" figure also explains why our society seems to be so ready to "move on", and why we are in denial about how serious Covid really is. It is Long Covid that frightens me, too.
I have seen some commentary that the world should expect to see a decline in overall life expectancy rates, just because of Covid.