The lion’s share of Canadian pandemic victims were 85 and older, lived in long-care homes, had dementia or Alzheimer’s and “may have been at a high risk of dying over this period regardless of the pandemic,” says Blacklock’s Reporter, referring to a federal report.
“Increased Covid-19 deaths may be attributable to the disease taking a heavy toll on people who have been at a high risk of dying over this period regardless of the pandemic,” Statistics Canada wrote in a report to the Commons human resources committee. Coroners’ figures showed “the majority of Canadians who died from Covid-19 were residents of long-term care homes,” said the Briefing On The Impact Of Covid-19 On Seniors.
More than half of pandemic deaths were among people older than 85, said StatsCan. Patients typically suffered from dementia or Alzheimer’s as well as chronic heart disease and pre-existing “cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.”
Pension-age Canadians, as a group, those over 65, accounted for 94 percent of pandemic deaths. “An in-depth examination of this issue will be conducted using 2021 Census data,” wrote researchers.
“The 2021 Census will show how the pandemic has profoundly altered population growth, sources of income, commuting patterns and many other aspects of our lives,” said Briefing.
The report did not detail the impact of school closures, business failures and unemployment attributable to Covid lockdowns. However, the report noted younger Canadians were more likely than seniors to report depression and financial distress.
“Seniors aged 65 and over were least likely to live in households that reported it was ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to meet basic household financial commitments compared to all younger age groups,” said Briefing.
The data follow a Commons health committee hearing last November 20 when MPs questioned whether federal regulators had weighed relative impacts of pandemic control measures.
“I’m just wondering if you could point me to any publicly-available federal data that’s been used to suggest repetitive Covid lockdowns had a better impact on Canadian society than the negative societal impact of job losses, mental health, being separated from family,” said Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner (Calgary Nose Hill.) Department of Health managers replied they had no analysis.
“The prime minister suggested businesses were better off because of lockdown,” said Rempel Garner. “As a legislator, I’ve been trying to figure out if the measures that have been put in place are actually working.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters November 20 he supported local lockdowns in areas with high infection rates but was “not looking to bring in a federal hammer” that would have imposed a national quarantine.
“Going into lockdown and supporting businesses while we’re in that lockdown is a better way of ensuring their success in a few months, in a few years, than trying to tough through a virus that is running around unchecked,” said Trudeau.
Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
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