The far right is more wrong than they think. Less than 5% of Spain and France have Covid-19 antibodies.

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Both France and Spain have been hit much harder than Canada during the Covid 19 pandemic. Two studies with preliminary findings have shown that less than 5% of France and Spain’s population have been infected and have produced antibodies that appear to offer some form of protection from reinfection.

While it does point to a much lower closed case death rate of 15%, it does point to a much starker future. If these hard hit countries are only at 5% of their population infected, presumably Canada is much lower, with 5679 deaths already.

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Worldwide recovery rate vs death rate over time. Source: worldometer.info

In order to reach a level of herd immunity high enough to afford protection from infection, it is estimated that any given country would need 60-70% of its population to be infected.

If we are to assume that Canada’s healthcare system stays protected from being overloaded, and that Covid-19 antibodies give a long lasting immunity (which has not been proven and is highly unlikely), Canada could see a death rate of about 1%. This means that once this level of herd immunity has been reached, over 250,000 Canadians would have died.

Far right cranks still want to fully reopen the economy. If that were to happen, the number of cases would spike again, and the number of unavoidable deaths would be much higher than 250,000 due to Canadian hospitals being over stressed. We have already seen how quickly cases can spike.

Let’s also not forget that the people who most often suffer are the poorest in our economy. They are those who cannot work from home and must provide the essential services that we all depend on. Data from New York has shown that the hardest hit areas are not the most dense, but the most poor. According to the New York Times:

Nineteen of the twenty neighbourhoods with the lowest percentage of positive tests have been in wealthy ZIP codes in New York.

So what is the best strategy moving forward? Stay the course. Flatten the curve and get the number of daily new cases as low as possible. Then, partially reopen the economy with strict social distancing and hygienic practices. This will allow our health care system to identify and isolate new outbreaks through contact tracing. This is what will save as many lives as possible until a reliable vaccine or treatment is made.

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