A Journal of the Plague Year (28)

Daily New Cases in Canada Thus Far [from Johns Hopkins University]

April 13, 2020

Local hospitals and medical facilities in and around Ottawa have been bracing for an influx of corona patients. The Ottawa Citizen reports under “…that is a surprise”:

The daily report from Ontario’s critical-care system on Friday showed just two additional coronavirus patients admitted to an ICU anywhere in the province the day before. Despite having to treat over 530 confirmed or possible COVID-19 people, almost 78 per cent of the province’s expanded ventilator capacity remained free.
The patient volume was well under the “best case” scenario depicted in Ontario-government epidemic modelling released earlier this month…


But even so, the dearth of apocalyptic scenes in Canada’s ICUs seems to offer at least a glimmer of hope, especially after the release of federal government modeling Thursday that predicted 11,000 COVID-19 deaths in a best-case scenario.

It will be very interesting to see how the predictions pan out. After all, experts are often wrong. The tragic cases are mostly from care homes for the aged and infirm. About half the total deaths in Ontario are from various care institutions. Ontario cases below:

One might have thought that the SARS outbreak of 2003 would have taught our governments a lesson. The Liberal government of the day committed to incorporating possible pandemics and public health emergencies with national security in considering threat assessments. Wesley Wark, a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, is quoted on CTV News:

“…Despite the idea that we were going to do this with the national security policy, it just never happened.”


But there is “absolutely no evidence” the major players of the security community have collectively focused efforts on a pandemic threat-assessment mission, he said. There is also no indication the Public Health Agency of Canada has conducted its own open-source assessment of the threat in recent years, Wark added.

Now that’s food for thought, especially as we now know that this virus has caused more damage to the world than a million terrorists.

On the medical data front, a study from NYU Langone Health Center focusing on New York City looks at the biggest factors in US hospital admissions related to Covid-19. [Full paper available on medRxiv [here]]. The study covered over 4 000 patients and found that the chronic condition that was most associated with critical illness [in Covid-19] was obesity. This was found to be more of a factor than any cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions. Obesity is pro-inflammatory and that in itself can lead to over-reaction of the immune system.

Writing in The Lancet, virologist Gregory Poland notes:

…we have an increasingly older age demographic across virtually all countries, as well as unprecedented rates of obesity, smoking, diabetes, and heart and lung disease, and an ever-growing population of people who are immunocompromised—all comorbidities that lead to significantly higher risks of severe disease and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In turn, these huge numbers of people who are more severely affected by this virus require ongoing and more complex care, overwhelming many times over the capacity of medical systems to care for them.

When will people start to realize that being fat is a health problem, even without Covid-19, and that the “all body types are equally beautiful” mantra is self-indulgent bunk?

Rebel Yell