Updated: Nov 1, 2020
Any plan for coping with dangers to our society needs to assess the relative harm of the danger and the relative harms and benefits of our response.
The Harm and Potential Harm of Covid-19 in Canada.
Top 10 Causes of death in Canada in 2017 (Stats Canada)
Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 79,844
Diseases of the heart 53,029
Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke, etc.) 13,893
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (diseases of the lungs) 12,847
Influenza & pneumonia 7,396
Alzheimer’s Disease 6,675
Chronic liver disease 3,245
Coronavirus Deaths in Canada (Sept 30, 2020) 9,297
Deaths from Se 30 to Oct 30 = 813 deaths
Assuming average deaths/month at 850 x 3 mths = 2550
Projected mortality rate for all of 2020 11,847
Coronavirus Deaths in BC (1/5th the Canada’s death rate) 234
Mortality rate adjusted to include all of 2020 (x 12/8) 351
If BC’s population was the same as all of Canada (x 7.4) 2,597
How Serious is Covid-19 Compared to Other Causes of Death?
Covid-19 is not killing nearly as many as during the spring. Why is that? One of the factors is herd immunity. When a large enough proportion of the population becomes immune to the virus it runs out of people who will replicate it and it dies out. That is called herd immunity
A second factor, not talked about as often is that viruses normally mutate into less lethal viruses. Mutation happens when the information in the RNA becomes corrupted. As all software engineers know, corrupted programs are either ineffective or occasionally they work but are less effective. At this point, (Oct 2020) Sars Covid-2 has mutated hundreds of times and we should expect that many of these mutations are less effective and less dangerous. Computer programs that have become corrupted may become corrupted again, but the additional corruption never makes it more effective. Such is the case with viruses. (There is one exception--if the mutation causes the virus to replicate itself more readily. That does not make it more lethal, just causes it to spread faster. If that happens, it will actually shorten the life of the epidemic because it causes more infections, which lead to more herd immunity and more mutations, which cause the virus to weaken more quickly.)
This weakening of the virus seems to be happening in Europe, as well as in Canada. In both Europe and Canada, the number of cases is increasing, but the deaths are decreasing. Note the increase in the number of cases in Canada in September and October.
Then look at the number of deaths from Covid. While the number of cases seems to be increasing rapidly, the number of deaths is only increasing slightly. (The spike in early October is due the Health Canada adding 74 deaths from the spring to October 2nd.)
Clearly, the coronavirus is becoming less lethal. Admittedly, this is not all attributed to mutations. Most likely, doctors are finding more effective ways to treat it or people are using vitamin D and other supplements which greatly bolster our resistance to it. (For some reason health authorities are not publishing this information). Whatever the cause, the virus is becoming less lethal. A disease for which we have an easily accessible cure becomes less lethal by that fact alone.
However, we should be careful about believing everything we are told about death rates. In the U.S. hospitals are awarded an extra $10,000/patient who dies from Covid. Therefore we should expect that the published numbers in the U.S. would be inflated. The deaths/million in the U.S. is 709. Could money incentive cause than number to be inflated? Canada only reports 267 deaths/million (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/.
If Covid-19 is not as serious as the media makes it out to be, how could we tell? We could use the same method that epidemiologists use to indicate how serious an annual flu is. We could compare the number of deaths from all causes this year with the number of deaths in other years. The number of excess deaths will give us a fairly good idea how serious this pandemic is. The graph below is such a comparison.
This Statistics Canada graph compares the weekly all cause deaths in Canada for seven years. The black dots represent 2020. The other lines represent the six previous years. Notice that the death rate was in the normal range until March, when the number of deaths spiked. Then, in July, the weekly death rate drops below normal and stays below normal until August when the data comes to an end. We know that from August until the end of October, the deaths from Covid are relatively low. (See previous graph.)
From this graph, we can see that the death rate spiked from March to mid June. That is the time when the previous graph indicated a spike in deaths from Covid. Then, from June until the end of October, Covid did not cause an excess number of deaths. In fact, during that period the slight rise in Covid deaths is even less than the normal rise in deaths at that time of the year.
Look at the data and decide for yourself. How lethal is Covid-19 to Canadians at this part of the epidemic cycle?
Having a Balanced Response to Covid
When responding to a potential danger to our society, we need to do a cost benefit analysis--make sure that our response does not cause more harm than the disease itself. We did not do this when we locked things down in the spring. For example, in Canada, the lockdown resulted in thousands of cancer screenings and biopsies either cancelled or the patients afraid to come in for the procedure. This has resulted in a five year backlog. That means that from now until the foreseeable future, someone with cancer will have to wait years before he or she can even be diagnosed. Since cancer deaths far exceed Covid deaths, this was a huge mistake. There also has been an increase in suicides and drug overdoses. Emergency departments are also reporting an increase in child abuse cases. We also need to consider the loneliness and depression of seniors who have lost contact with their families. Our over reaction has caused more harm than the disease itself.
Our response has also greatly increased harm in other areas. Thousands of people have lost their jobs or had their businesses destroyed. Children’s schooling has also been disrupted. The ironic thing is that children are virtually immune to Covid-19. Even if they do get it, they seldom pass it on to others. I had a cousin in a care home who could not have any visitors since March. Last month he died. His reason to live and his sense of hope was taken away from him. Many more are still suffering with that isolation and loss of meaning, especially seniors who are isolated from family and friends, the things in life that really matter to them. Yes, our response to the virus has brought about more harm than benefit.
What our Response Needs to Be
We need a response that minimizes the harm caused by the disease and adds as little harm to our citizens as possible. What should that be?
1. Help our citizens to bolster their immune systems.
There are two ways available to everyone to bolster their immune systems. First of all they support their immune system with adequate nutrition: Vitamin D, A, C and zinc. Secondly teach them to use herbs that further bolster the immune system such as echinacea, oil of oregano, and reishi mushroom.
2. Protect those who are most vulnerable. (isolating, disinfecting, hand washing, etc)
3. Make cures available for those who experience serious symptoms.
There are a number of effective cures that are being used around the world, but not in Canada and the U.S.--ivermectin, chlorine dioxide, hydroxychloroquin and quercetin. (India has been using an ivermectin combo and finding it very effective. India's death rate is only 88/million https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbGG79WGmu4&t=1082s)
4. Tone down the rhetoric that is creating all the panic.
Assessing the relative danger of this virus needs to include assessing its danger relative to other dangers in our lives. If we were to educate people about building up their immune systems and if we were to use the cures that work in other parts of the world, this virus would be even less dangerous.
5. At this point, the death rate from Covid has dropped considerably from the spring and we need to encourage our people to protect themselves primarily by bolstering their immune system, then treat it like any annual flu or cold.
6. What about vaccines? Those who wish to get a vaccine, can do so. However, a vaccine only gives an IGG immunity, which is temporary--only lasting a few months. If it is like the flu vaccine, it will only be effective for 40-60% of customers and while the person's immune system is focusing on fighting the vaccine, the customer becomes vulnerable to many other diseases. That is why so many people become sick after taking a flu vaccine. Finally, and of most importance, vaccines can cause serious health problems and sometimes death. In 2018, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in the U.S. received 58,381 complaints about health problems cause by vaccines. Specialists have also found a correlation between vaccines and autism, adhd, chronic fatigue syndrome and other long term conditions.
The point of all of this is that we need to respond to this virus with an approach that takes into account both costs and benefits. The Covid-19 pandemic is following the normal cycle of viral epidemics, and seems to be in the latter stages of petering out. In the meantime, we need to treat it like any other epidemic, protect and strengthen our people and provide the remedies that are available when people become sick. We need to stop the extreme measures that are undermining our citizens' charter rights and destroying their livelihood.