Local Covid update

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The latest set of restrictions introduced by the Ontario Government last week have not been welcomed by anyone; but they have been seen by most as inevitable, given the statistics. Between January 15 of last year and the end of last week, there were 378,339 confirmed cases of Covid in the province. That number jumped by 4,227 between last Thursday and Friday. Over the Easter weekend, the number of cases rose by 40,517, and 218 people died in those few days. This raised the total number of deaths in the province to 7, 512. Ontario has the highest incidence of new cases in the country. On one day last week, Ontario accounted for almost half of all new cases in Canada. On Thursday of last week, there were 1,492 people hospitalized with Covid in Ontario, of whom 552 were in Intensive Care, with 359 people on venitlators.

Eastern Ontario is one of the hot spots in the province. It has seen the number of new cases rise dramatically, especially compared to last Summer. The Leeds Grenville and Lanark Health Unit [LGLHU] area saw an increase of 22 cases between April 7 and 8, and another 13 the following day. Look at the stats for new cases in the region over the past week: March 18: 21; March 19: 35; March 20, 19; March 22, 19. Then, last week, the numbers were 15, 11, 21, and 22, 13.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit [EOHU] has suffered even more. Between last Thursday and Friday, there were 64 new cases in the region, and another 23 were reported by Saturday, for a total of 3,700 cases and 94 deaths since the pandemic first hit. Dundas County has actually fared better than most other parts of the EOHU area. North Dundas has had 108 confirmed cases, 21 of which were active last Saturday.

The age profile of those infected has also changed since the early days, when it was thought the most elderly were the most vulnerable. This has proved to be dangerously inaccurate. In the EOHU region, 34% of confirmed cases were in the 40-64 age range, and 25% were aged between 20 and 39. This is the age range of those most likely to be ignoring medical advice when it comes to mask wearing and social distancing.

The statistics for the LGLHU are measured somewhat differently, but they show that around 38% of confirmed cases were in the 40 to 69 age group. More than 25% were in the 20-39 bracket.

There are two factors to note in all of these statistics. One is that they are only the reported and confirmed cases; the other is that they are already out of date. The tragedy is that the numbers are changing every day, and not for the better. The Kemptville District Hospital Long Term Care unit reported an outbreak of Covid on April 2, and it has not yet been ended. We have seen cases affecting schools in the municipality.

The incident at a local restaurant last week underscored the danger of ignoring, or even doubting, this data. Those who refuse to accept the word of the medical profession have to believe that doctors, nurses, infectious disease experts, and other frontline medical staff are lying about the pandemic. The professionals whose lives are dedicated to the health and well-being of the community are not all involved in a dastardly plot to kill people in their communities. The question has to be asked: why is their testimony, and the dreadful testimony of these statistics, not believed? Who do these people believe instead, and why?
Every time restrictions have been eased, or after holidays like Christmas and Easter, the number of people infected and dying has risen. How can you explain that? No-one wants these lockdowns to go on. But the price of not abiding by the regulations is too high in human lives to ignore.

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