Wednesday, December 28, 2022

2022 has seen more COVID deaths than 2021 or 2020

I know we're all trying to pretend that the COVID-19 pandemic is over (except in China, which may be experiencing a ridiculous 37 million cases a day, and crematoriums are struggling to cope with the number of dead bodies). But it may surprise some people to discover that there were more deaths and hospitalizations (and many more cases) in Canada in 2022 than in either 2021 or 2020.

Of the 48,948 COVID deaths in Canada since the pandemic began, 17,997 have occurred in 2022 (which is not even over yet!), compared to 16,489 in 2021, and 14,462 in 2020. Surprising, eh?

More recent variants have tended to be less virulent but, even so, there are still nearly 3 times as many Canadians in hospital with COVID compared to this time last year, which you may remember was the early stages of the Omicron variant. While fewer of those people have ended up in intensive care (or dead), proportionately speaking, the sheer numbers are still staggering. On 19 December 2021, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there were 1,489 COVID patients in Canadian hospitals; on 19 December this year, that number was 5,548. This is, of course, to say nothing of large numbers of RSV and influenza hospitalizations, which may also be indirectly blamed on COVID.

No-one has any idea any more of how many actual cases are occurring, but estimates suggest that they may be double or even triple last year's tally. Meanwhile, most people are walking around in crowded public places maskless, and vaccination boosters have all but ground to a halt. How things have changed (and not necessarily for the better).

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