COVID-19 Update 9, May 5

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Mel Hurtig, Maude Barlow, Tommy Douglas, Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki, Farley Mowat… I have been a supporter of the Council of Canadians since the beginning in 1985. Here are the headlines from the Council’s recent update:

  • Some governments using COVID-19 crisis to roll back environmental protections
  • Council calls on government to support workers – no bailout for Big Oil
  • Barlow days COVID-19 puts the human right to water front and centre
  • Senior season care homes were in crisis long before COVID-19
  • Invest in public infrastructure, not privatization

Long Term Care institutions in Canada with the highest number of deaths:

* CHSLD de Sainte-Dorothea, Laval, 88 * CHSLD Larendeau, Montreal, 68 * Orchard Villa LTC, Pickering, 58 * CHSLD Yvon-Brunet, Montreal, 45 * CHSLD Lafleche, Shawiningan, 44 * CHSLD de Lasalle, Lasalle, 43 * Altamont Care Community, Scarborough, 41 * Forest Heights Revera, Waterloo,40 * Eatonville Care Centre, Etobicoke, 39

Other provinces: Alberta, 61, McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre, Calgary, 21 * BC, 60, Lynn Valley Care Centre, North Vancouver, 20 * Nova Scotia, 36, Northwood Manor, Halifax, 32 * Saskatchewan, 2 * Manitoba, 1

3119 (80.9%) of Canada’s 3854 COVID-19 deaths were in LTC institutions.

According to Governor Cuomo at least 4813 residents have died at 351 of New York’s 613 nursing homes, including 98 at the Isabelle Geriatric Center in Manhattan.

The mortality rate in the UK’s most deprived areas is 551/1M, more than twice as high as that in the most affluent areas 235/1M.

Manaus the capital city of the Amazonas state is being ravaged as COVID-19 spreads among indigenous people. The health care system in the city of 2.1 M has been overwhelmed by the avalanche of new cases. With more than 100 people dying every day, mass graves – trincheiras (trenches) – are being dug in the largest cemetery. 43% of the residents have no access to water to wash their hands. The area has already been devastated by Bolsonaro’s deforestation policies compounded by massive fires last year. The president claimed that these fires had been set by activists paid by Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Chinese state media released a short animation satirizing US response to the virus. “We are always correct even though we contradict ourselves.”

With daily infection rates under 1% the pandemic is over for Spain, France and Germany. With COVID-19 certain to come back in wave/s over the next 18 – 24 months it is more appropriate to say that the first stage of the pandemic is over. Spain’s journey to this level was the slowest and the rockiest, with Germany doing the best of the 3. It helped that Mrs. Merkel is a scientist. Failure to act promptly and decisively will continue to hurt the UK as the mortality rate keeps climbing. With the infection and death rates vastly underestimated by Brazil, and significantly so by Russia, the virus continues to ravage both countries.

In the earlier updates my emphasis was on flattening the curve of contagion. This was clearly accomplished in Canada. Now the curve is too flat as it slowly goes down, notwithstanding the bump on May 3, likely caused by a large batch of positive results coming in from the labs. The slowness is typical and is to be expected as it reflects the high level of infectiousness of COVID-19. Canada’s mortality rate is better than most countries’ but at 102 /1M has fallen behind Germany’s 83. They take better care of their vulnerable seniors. Canada’s great accomplishment is the low infection rate especially compared to some US jurisdictions. It shows that Canadians did well collectively to contain the virus.

AP, Toronto, May 5, 12 noon


Andrew Pakula is a long time peace activist and has been a member of Science for Peace from the very beginning. He is a retired social research and management consultant with a background in social psychology.

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