Canadians fail to stop the spread of SARS2

Near the Canada USA border in Calais, Maine FPMag talked to nurse practitioner Monique Deslauriers with the Nurses Without Borders about what are the prospects for halting the spread of COVID-19 in North America.

“It is not known if Canada has the B.1.1.7 or 501.V2 variants of the coronavirus circulating from the United Kingdom and South Africa. Both are now in the UK,” the specialist nurse explained.

by Sharon Santiago

“Those variations are N501Y mutations. N501Y exists within the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein which is what it uses to exploit the human cells that have the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor.”

“The ACE2 receptors are found on cells in lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, heart and in the gastrointestinal tract. All of these organs and blood vessels can be seriously damaged by SARS-CoV-2, even causing death,” she explained.

“It is highly likely that both the British and South Affrican variants are in Canada given that there are over 300,000 visitors to Canada from the U.K. per month, in the last quarter of 2020 during which time the B.1.1.7 strain has been increasingly prevalent in the UK according to detailed reports in the Lancet.  Canadians in the thousands went to Hawaii over Christmas as did British travelers,” she explained, adding that her group is tracking the spread of up to 13 different variants that are considered significant.

“There is one particularly worrisome mutation of the virus’ N501Y.  Although the 501.v2 and the B.1.1.7 do not challenge existing vaccines, a new strain, the E484K is likely to diminish the effectiveness of vaccines because it is better able to disguise itself and thus fool the immune system. Vaccine makers will likely start testing that strain next week.

Hosipials are filling up.

Hospitals in North America are filling up rapidly.
All available space is being converted to care units. Photo Credit: source Supplied. Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

What can people do to avoid infection of the new variants of SARS-CoV-2?

“Well, that hasn’t changed. But carelessness will not be forgiven by these maturing genomes of the virus. The SARS2 virus hasn’t been with humans for long. We need to assume that the incipient transition variant from animals to people was a rookie that is after a year, gaining considerable experience inside human bodies. No more mistakes. People must not be touching their faces; ignoring hygiene imperatives, ignoring social distancing guidelines or skip mask wearing,” she noted.

“Mask requirements for traveling vary depending on the country, but if it were me, I would not be traveling but if essential then I would be wearing a comfortable respirator, and nothing less. Procedure masks do not protect the wearer from very much, certainly not virus-sized particles,” she explained. “And with these more infectious variants, one mistake is all it takes to become very sick,” she added.

“Vaccination of the population is the way ahead against this pandemic but it may take years to accomplish that. At this point the United States is far behind its goals and Canada is learning that vaccinating even just a small percentage of the population is tricky and slow going.” (See the progress table below.)

Locale Vaccinated %of Pop.
British Columbia 46,259 0.899%
Alberta 37,686 0.851%
Saskatchewan 6,964 0.591%
Manitoba 8,674 0.629%
Ontario 103,263 0.701%
Quebec 75,123 0.876%
New Brunswick 2,905 0.372%
Nova Scotia 2,720 0.278%
Prince Edward Island 1,950 1.221%
Newfoundland and Labrador 1,785 0.343%
Yukon 310 0.735%
Northwest Territories 162 0.359%
Nunavut 29 0.074%
Canada 287,830 0.757%

“For people who say they cannot find proper N-95 respirator masks to wear at home around a sick family member, Americans are buying them from Alibaba, maybe that would work for Canadians,” said Deslauriers.

A quick check revealed that the GB 2626-2006 respirator standard is accepted in North America

NIOSH N95 Alternative Respirator Certification Standards

  • Australia: AS/NZS 1716:2012
  • Brazil: ABNT/NBR 13694:1996; ABNT/NBR 13697:1996; and ABNT/NBR 13698:2011
  • People’s Republic of China: GB 2626-2006; and GB 2626-2019.
  • European Union: EN 140-1999; EN 143-2000; and EN 149-2001
  • Japan: JMHLW-2000
  • Republic of Korea: KMOEL-2014-46; and KMOEL-2017-64
  • Mexico: NOM-116-2009

Source: OSHA (USA Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Clearly nothing else is working in Canada to stop the spread of COVID-19 and Canada is heading into extremely serious trouble with this pandemic according to all epidemiological models.

At this rate, Canada is headed for 1.2 million cases by May and death sums topping 28k in the same period. Mitigation behaviours must be sharpened fast, say experts.

At this rate, 1.2 million cases by May and 28,000 deaths.

Canada reached and exceeded projected cases to 2020 year end. The original worst-case scenario forecast for Canada was 600,000 cases by year-end 2020. Canada exceeded that number. At this rate, 1.2 million cases by May and 28,000 deaths. Source: Civil Society Partners for solidarity against COVID-19 disease.

“Hopefully vulnerable Canadians wear a respirator mask when going out, says nurse practitioner Deslauriers. “Essential workers should already know this but if not, it has been said, ‘wear a respirator mask’. In many parts of Asia, frontline workers are wearing a KN-95 with a procedure mask over top of that respirator and a full face-shield with the top end sealed to the forehead by a foam strip. That is a medical face shield. Anything else becomes a wind tunnel to direct all the ambient air past the wearer’s eyes,” she added, explaining that there is a lot of bogus PPE offered for sale.

Summarizing the takeaway points from this interview:

  1. Regardless of what mutations of the virus there may be, avoiding infection of any variant is the goal and that is achieved by following good public health guidelines.
  2. Anything less than a respirator mask will not protect the wearer sufficiently.
  3. The video below is a short course on how to use and re-use respirator masks.
  4. It is especially important to wear a respirator mask at home if a family member is ill with COVID-19 disease. 
  5. Canada’s situation might approach the point where hospitals will tell first responders not to transport unless blood-oxygen levels are something awful; or not at all because, there are no beds. This must be avoided.

“It is equally important to maintain nearly obsessive hand-hygiene; personal habits that exclude touching any part of the face;  and safe practice for area hygiene. It is important for families that have a COVID-19 patient at home to learn proper isolation and sterilization,” says Deslauriers.

How to don and doff a re-used respirator mask.

Canada daily case and death sums.

Canada daily case and death sums. Source: Civil Society Partners for solidarity against COVID-19 disease. Source: Civil Society Partners for solidarity against COVID-19 disease.

Canada heads for a million cases.

Canada heading for a million cases. Source: Civil Society Partners for solidarity against COVID-19 disease.

June 29, 2022

Population: 38,745,871 adjusted for estimated real COVID-19 deaths

Reported:3,948,18641,896 1.06% CFR3,852,87953,411
Estimate:21,833,46954,464 *0.25% IFR21,306,421295,363

*Inferred IFR is an estimate only. The actual COVID-19 IFR may not be accurately calculated for the entire human race until long after the pandemic has ended.

Canada ProvincesDeathsCFR%CasesCuredActive
COVID-19 Totals:41,8961.063,948,1863,852,87953,411
* Quebec15,5721.431,087,0251,061,41710,036
First Nations7400.67110,221108,0131,468
Nova Scotia4210.42101,34799,4061,520
* PEI450.1140,80639,6931,068
* NWT220.1812,13512,09419
Sub Totals41,8961.063,948,1863,852,87953,411

Recoveries are estimated using a Canadian-specific algorithm. Canadian COVID-19 Data is weekly by the country. Some data CSPAC obtains from Public Health Units is updated daily.

* Quebec, * Northwest Territories, * Prince Edward Island data is current daily.
Note: Last available First Nations data is shown when provided by the federal government of Canada.

Below: Extensive Estimates using data from multiple sources.

Beta experimental estimates for Canada. Reported + unreported mild + asymptomatic COVID-19 infections.

The total actual number of infections in Canada including all the untested, unreported, asymptomatic infections is likely greater than 21,833,469 (56.35% of the population) including mild and asymptomatic cases. That would mean the estimated inferred average Infection Fatality Rate:
(IFR) is likely around 0.25%

Canadian COVID-19 deaths to 2022-06-29 are estimated to be 54,584 Using estimated IFR of 0.25% which is far below global average IFR.

54,584 (0.25% IFR) is the CSPaC estimated number of Canadian COVID-19 deaths (based on the inferred IFR) including those deaths unreported as COVID-19). The IHME estimates excess deaths in Canada to reach much higher than CSPaC estimates.

See The Lancet estimate of excess mortality from COVID-19 (Download PDF) in 191 countries/territories and 252 subnational units of select countries, from 1 January 2 0 2 0, to 31 December 2 0 2 1.

54464 Is the CSPaC estimated number of Canadian COVID-19 deaths based on a modified universal algorithm which factors more sophisticated public health infrastructure and also fewer available urgent care beds and facilities which is a problem in much of Canada in an emergency measures context.

The closeness of the two numbers derived from unique data and methods suggests their high probability. The blended data of three projections from three different biostatistician labs also confirms the estimates +/- .01%.

It is safe to say that Canadians have endured the grief of losing 54464 family members. Every number has a face. May their memory be forever a blessing to their families and friends.

Canada's advanced public health standards.

Canada and the USA both have a significantly lower than global average Infection Fatality Rate. (influenza has an IFR of .1% or 6 per 100k (2019)).

Ontario, Canada Reports

Ontario Regional Public Health Units (PHU) - Reported by Ontario Province.

These reports from the Ontario Provincial government differ significantly (much lower) from the data reported by individual Public Health Units (PHU). CSPaC includes links to each PHU to allow readers of this report to check the latest data from their public health unit.

Health UnitCasesDeathsCFRRecoveriesActive
Algoma District8,581570.7%8,44579
Brant County11,873830.7%11,74149
Durham Region63,0714960.8%62,295280
Eastern Ontario16,0972181.4%15,82158
Grey Bruce8,873690.8%8,76737
Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge9,4981111.2%9,33255
Halton Region49,6273270.7%49,057243
Hastings & Prince Edward Counties10,388630.6%10,25471
Huron Perth7,4281111.5%7,29126
Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington17,560600.3%17,298202
Lambton County11,9031461.2%11,72334
Leeds Grenville And Lanark District9,5671061.1%9,357104
Niagara Region41,5845481.3%40,829207
North Bay Parry Sound District6,132440.7%6,03751
Oxford Elgin-St.Thomas13,9911691.2%13,76755
Peel Region186,6161,3560.7%184,468792
Peterborough County-City7,607801.1%7,48146
Renfrew County And District4,827501.0%4,74433
Simcoe Muskoka District46,6344380.9%45,927269
Sudbury And District15,5221501.0%15,240132
Thunder Bay District12,907960.7%12,640171
Waterloo Region46,7564210.9%46,139196
Windsor-Essex County44,2246321.4%43,433159
York Region112,8551,0420.9%111,193620
Last Updated: 2022-06-29 Time 05:46:25 GMT. Source: CSPaC