A Journal of the Plague Year (46)


Paramedics suiting up

April 30, 2020

More local news today. The City of Ottawa has so far in the pandemic recorded  76 deaths and 1297 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

There are 23 ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 in local institutions, mostly long-term care, retirement homes and hospitals. Sixty-four deaths and 575 cases of COVID-19 have stemmed from institutional outbreaks in Ottawa.

Excluding the deaths in long-term care homes and other institutions, there were 12 deaths in total in Ottawa. Given that the population of Ottawa and its environs is about one million, the probability of dying from COVID-19 is around 1 in 100 000. This may change of course, but so far for ordinary people in reasonable health this is a pretty low probability. Does this justify destroying the economy and many people’s lives? Just by way of comparison, in 2017 there were 32 deaths from traffic accidents in Ottawa and 51 due to drug overdoses (2011–2015 average).

Many other people may die from surgeries and hospital care required for other medical conditions that has not been forthcoming. How many of them will there be? According to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot in the Toronto Sun:

An estimated 35 people in Ontario have died due to delayed cardiac surgeries during the pandemic, Health Minister Christine Elliott says.


Ontario continues to delay over 12,000 elective surgeries a week even as thousands of hospital acute and critical care beds lie empty, a provincial fiscal watchdog has found.
The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released a new report Tuesday that looks at hospital capacity and health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To free up beds, Ontario’s hospitals have cancelled 52,700 surgeries since March 15, and are delaying 12,200 additional surgeries each week that operation rooms remain idle.

It certainly seems like the health services are not overwhelmed. Sometime soon a reckoning must be made with the opportunity costs of this ongoing lockdown.

On the national scene, the record of Dr Theresa Tam, Canada’s El Supremo in the public health world, has been less than stellar. In a devastating article in the Edmonton Journal, we can see the timeline of mistake after mistake–mistakes that were made when other countries, notably Taiwan and South Korea, were showing the way with success stories of their own.

For example,

Jan. 23: The WHO emergency committee, including WHO advisor Dr. Theresa Tam of Canada, meets by teleconference with health ministry officials from China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand — but not Taiwan which is banned from the WHO at China’s insistence — to discuss whether to declare COVID-19 a public-health emergency.

Note that the WHO is totally dominated by Communist China. Why wasn’t Dr Tam objecting to this?

She is “…also on the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee of the Health Emergencies Programme of the World Health Organization, a position to which she was welcomed between April and June 2018.[8][9]” according to the Wikipedia entry. So not much oversight was being exercised.

Jan. 24. China locks down 12 more huge cities in Hubei province, with no travel in or out.
Jan. 24: The WHO again advises against travel bans on China: “WHO advises against the application of any restrictions of international traffic based on the information currently available on this event.”

And then, unsurprisingly, we are treated with the politically correct nonsense by which Liberal governments seek to suppress justified criticism:

Jan. 29: Canada now has three cases. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, on Twitter: “I am concerned about the growing number of reports of racism and stigmatizing comments on social media directed to people of Chinese and Asian descent related to 2019-nCoV coronavirus… Everyone has a part to play in preventing the spread of the virus. The Chinese community and all travellers from affected areas are a key part of these efforts….Racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language are unacceptable and very hurtful. These actions create a divide of Us Vs Them. Canada is a country built on the deep-rooted values of respect, diversity and inclusion.”

Apparently, that “respect” is not extended to respecting the lives and health of residents of Canada who may be infected by incoming travelers from other countries. Read the whole article and then ask yourself why does this woman even have a position in the public health world of Canada?

Rebel Yell