Stay Vigilant! Update on CoVID-19 from Dr. John Ross
Stay Vigilant! Update on CoVID-19
By Dr. John Ross MD FRCPC
Provincial governments and Public Health have begun relaxing CoVID-19 related ‘lockdowns’ and restrictions that were put in place in March. This is of course welcome news for everyone. That ‘everyone’ unfortunately also includes the SARS-2-CoV virus that causes the CoVID-19 infection.
As of today there have been 101,563 confirmed CoVID-19 infections in Canada. Our population is 37.59 million meaning that 0.27% of the population have been infected with the virus. If we add another 40%, which is one of the higher estimates of the people who had the infection but did not have symptoms, the total is 0.37% of the population has been infected by CoVID-19. So – more than 99% of us are still vulnerable. In Newfoundland and Labrador, 0.05% and Nova Scotia 0.1% of our populations have been infected leaving > 99% of us still vulnerable.
Worldwide, the infection is steadily increasing. This is from the Johns Hopkins website:
What does it look like when US states relax restrictions too quickly, without good public education and limited testing? This is a recent example of Arizona:
The other 49 states can be found at this site. Some have done better than others.
The point of this message is to remind everyone of a few things:
- CoVID-19 is not ‘over’. We are in a relatively quiet phase in Canada, but we still had 2,186 proven cases in the last six days (maybe 3,060 if asymptomatic infections were not tested and not diagnosed.) As restrictions relax and travel increases, we will get more cases. We do not want to be Arizona (despite their climate.)
- There is no vaccine and no specific treatment. There was a recent announcement about a medication that can help people survive IF they are in the intensive care unit. That will help a very small number of people.
- This is not only an ‘old persons’ disease. It affects everyone. (See the graph at right showing age groups vertical axis and number in age groups horizontal axis).
- For those of us who want and/or need to keep working, we must be continuously vigilant. Physical distancing when in unknown places or with unknown people, mask wearing in those places, hand washing, and isolating for 14 days prior to extended offshore work MUST be the new normal for an extended time. It is NOT over.
- The virus DOES NOT CARE if we find this annoying, costly, hard to do, etc. It does not care. It spreads when a person with an infection gets close to someone who has not had the virus before – 99% of us. Some people have some symptoms, some have the virus and only days after passing the virus to others will they develop symptoms. Some never have symptoms and are silent spreaders.
- We do not need to panic or get paranoid. But we do need to be mindful. An infection outbreak on a ship or camp or any remote place is a big deal. Getting an infection, not having symptoms, and passing the virus on to elders or those with medically vulnerable conditions who get really sick, and possibly die, can be avoided if we focus on prevention strategies.
- We all need to participate 100% – we are only as strong as the weakest link in people groups we interact with. This must be maintained until scientists discover, and can distribute, a vaccine that is used by everyone or until an effective anti-virus treatment is found.
If you have any questions, please contact PRAXES at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Ross MD FRCPC