By Timothy Easling, Senior Columnist
Cancer accounts for approximately 30 percent of all deaths in Canada. COVID-19, as awful as it is, has only seen a fraction of those deaths (9,726) while registering almost as many cases (201,582). The concern is especially relevant seeing as fears about COVID-19 and hospitals has caused a drastic drop in cancer screenings.
It was another hard month for Canadians who have lost loved ones, but as more and more data becomes available, it has become clear that the general population is not in danger of dying or getting hospitalized. However, COVID-19 continues to be described as a risk to everyone by many outlets despite the fact that the vast majority of deaths are only those of advanced age and/or weakened states.
There is also a segment of the population that seems to believe masks protect them from the disease; this appears to be false. The American CDC recently released a study that revealed over 70 percent of the patients who had contracted COVID-19 in its study always wore a mask—effectively suggesting the claim of protection for the wearer invalid.
Getting to the data for the last few weeks, Canada saw 43,410 more cases since October 1 (until October 25) with 391 more deaths. Once again, the fatality figures were dominated by the most at-risk populations (elderly and already-sick/in long-term care). Of the 391 deaths, 377 (96.4 percent) were from the 60+ age bracket. The 50 to 59 age bracket suffered only 12 deaths and the 40 to 49 bracket had only 2 additional deaths. The only news better than the very low fatality figures for the previous two age brackets was the fact that there were zero deaths from October 1 until October 25 for the 0 to 39 age bracket—proving that COVID-19 is not a serious concern for those of good health and average age (or younger).
What some have called an alarming rise in case numbers can also be traced back to the strong youth population. Of the 43,410 additional cases over the last month or so, 24,241 (55.8 percent of new cases) have been from the 0 to 39 age bracket—again, with zero deaths. The 40 to 49 age bracket’s two deaths came from 6,229 cases (14.3 percent) and the 50-59 age bracket’s 12 deaths were from 5,788 cases (13.3 percent). The 60+ bracket suffered 96.4 percent of the deaths despite only seeing 16.5 percent of the total new cases.
The country’s hospitalization and ICU admittance stats were similarly skewed towards the older end of the demographic with 66.5 percent (1,049 people) of hospitalizations and 68.5 percent (581 people) of ICU admittances from the 60+ age bracket. (NOTE: The rest of this section’s percentages will relate to the total new cases for the age bracket—not the total number of cases.) Allowing for delays in reporting such stats, the 0 to 39 age bracket saw 161 people hospitalized and 185 people admitted to the ICU for 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent of new cases respectively. The 40 to 49 age bracket observed 138 more hospitalizations and 66 more ICU admittances for 2.2 percent and 1 percent of new cases respectively. The 50 to 59 age bracket had 229 more hospitalizations and 34 ICU admittances for 4 percent and 0.6 percent of new cases respectively.
British Columbia itself saw 3,173 more cases since October 1 but only had to endure losing 18 lives. As Canadians continue to press through COVID-19, it is important to keep the death totals in perspective. As per the Canadian Cancer Society, 617 people are diagnosed and 228 people die of cancer every day. They estimate that there will be more than 225,000 new cases and more than 83,000 deaths in 2020. Cancer accounts for approximately 30 percent of all deaths in Canada. COVID-19, as awful as it is, has only seen a fraction of those deaths (9,726) while registering almost as many cases (201,582). The concern is especially relevant seeing as fears about COVID-19 and hospitals has caused a drastic drop in cancer screenings. The focus on COVID-19 has cost the population dearly—shifting attention from major medical issues that cannot be ignored such as these cancer screenings and surgeries.