The data suggest we can reduce significantly the number of people who will die because of the virus - if we follow the rules

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 3rd, 2020



The province could experience something between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths from the COVID-19 virus – if we follow the rules.

Three of the smartest medical minds in the province, each doing a critical job, were on-line for a media event that lasted more than an hour and a half.


Dr. Peter Donnelly and Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health

President and CEO of Ontario Health Matthew Anderson alongside President and CEO of Public Health Ontario Dr. Peter Donnelly and Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Adalsteinn Brown revealed the projected numbers at Queen’s Park on Friday.

Dr Donnelly explained that in a normal flu season about 1,350 people die.

The data that was presented indicated that Ontario would have seen 300,000 cases of COVID-19 and 6,000 deaths by the end of the month if there was no government action or intervention.

There is one action that can keep the number of deaths down to that 3,000 level and that is to follow the rules.

graphic covid 1One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. Two ears that work is all you need. Stay indoors; if you do go out for exercise stay away from other people. Mayor Meed Ward got it right.

The solution to the crisis we face, said Dr. Donnelly “is in the hands of the public.”

The decision to close schools in March was the right decision. Closing offices and factories were the right decisions.

Dr Matthews explained that the level of mortality for people over 80 who have underlying conditions and become infected is 16% – For those 70 the mortality level is 10%

Getting the data that was needed to do useful modelling from which projections can be made did take some time. Ontario was a little slow off the mark in the testing.

There were other issues:

Are there going to be enough ICU beds? Dr Anderson said that it is going to be very tight – and if public behaviour does not follow the rules – there will be a problem.

ICU capacity

The province believes they will be OK – but there is no certainty.

Dr. Donnelly, who did most of the talking, said that the province is going to have to be rapid and rigorous in bearing down on people who don’t follow the rules.

Projected cases

Projected death April 30We are heading into what looks like a decent weekend. Last weekend there was some really poor public behaviour. Cars were lined up on the side of the road at Rattlesnake Conservation area – when the park was officially closed.

People at Spencer Smith Park were tearing away that yellow tape that was around the park swings – Do that and the numbers will rise – and we will all be in very serious trouble.

six feet

Is that six feet of space?

People were standing just too close together.

The solution is in our hands. The solution to the problem is in the way we all behave.  Discipline yourselves and don’t be afraid to remind your neighbours.

“It is not possible to be exact about where we will end up,” continued the Dr Donnelly. “But I think it is reasonable to say that if we do everything that we can think of, everything that already has been done stays in place, all of the other measures that are being considered put in place, we could reduce the death toll.”

He then talked about the virus being part of the world we live in for a couple of years.

Rattlesnake 2

The park these cars were parked outside had been officially closed.

Ontario is reporting 3,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the province with 67 deaths as of April 2.

President of Ontario Health, Mathew Anderson, said during today’s press conference on the models, that we are already growing close to pushing our healthcare system beyond its current capacity.

“If we do not adhere to social distancing — if we do not contain this disease, it will grow more rapidly,” he said.

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6 comments to The data suggests we can reduce significantly the number of people who will die because of the virus – if we follow the rules

  • Alfred

    Curious. Is there a chance mosquitos can carry and transmit this virus? The reason I ask is, it appears that they are testing vaccines used to prevent malaria. On a nature walk, I noticed the flying little devils are around. Not sure what they were. But I was impressed at how fast I can still run when I’m scared. The reason for my question is, I took a drive into Hamilton today to see if this social distancing is taking place. I saw the following, people with very few teeth huddled in groups of 4 or 5 shoulder width apart talking or shall I say spitting on each other. In some cases I saw people passing cigarettes back and forth. All smoking from the same cigarette. Others passing a vaping machine back and forth. Meanwhile hi-fives and hugs for everyone. On a bench had a guy rolling a marijuana cigarette. He looked like he was a pro. He licked that paper for what seemed 30 seconds. He then lit it with a small lighter that blew a flame like a little flame thrower. I was surprised it lit with the amount of spit he put on it. Now in an effort to kill the last few brain cells he had left and his friends. He inhailed as much as he could. With his chest puffed out and eyes bulging out he then passed that spit soaked joint to his eagerly awaiting friends sitting beside him. Other street rats joined in. Where is a policeman when you need one? Just asked myself what would happen to these people who are endangering us all, if they lived in China. I thought this was an isolated case. As I drove towards downtown I stopped and parked at a vacant lot near the bus terminal and watched a group of approx. 25 people all standing together laughing and joking,smoking everything. People were going through garbage eating and picking up cigarette butts off the ground. They were battling the seagulls for the food. (poor seagulls). The seagulls I think were better at getting the food. Now this remember is 2 blocks from the Police station. 2 cruisers went by and continued on. Suddenly I noticed a car pull up 2 people approached the car and a 3rd person was called to help. They returned carrying what appeared to be 3 boxes of pizza and various boxes of other things fries, chicken wings?? As the boxes were neatly dropped on the ground. There appeared to be a pecking order similar to wolves that was established. The larger men opened the boxes. One man caused the pizza to hit the ground as he was pulling a piece. The alpha males apparently didn’t like some of the toppings on the pizza so the pulled the toppings off including the cheese with their never sanitized hands. Then threw them back on the pizza for the others to eat. Once the alphas had their share the rest joined in laughing and spitting all over the pizza. They appeared to have done this before as they formed a perfect circle of people around each pizza. Each shoulder and head touching each other. Now things are happening faster than my brain can process. So I’m asking myself, should I feel bad for these people? Now my brain is back on track. The situation leads me to observe that these folks are not starving as most of them are obese. They also appear to have money for cigarettes and other naughty things. But when I notice people with perfect tattoos covering their body that had to have cost thousands of dollars.Sorry no pity. Also to add to the carnival atmosphere a woman reached into the box of fries and throws them around so the seagulls can attack. I wish I recorded this. This was a perfectly functional covid 19 factory. The countries that got this virus under control did not let this garbage go on. To take a ventilator away from a retired nurse,policeman or army veteran to give to one of these folks. NEVER…

    • David

      According to a Doctor that answers questions for CBC there has never been a case of transmission by mosquitoes of a respiratory virus.
      Your observations about some of the people populating downtown Hamilton made me smile.
      They are a mixed bag thats for sure, the police Yellow jackets (Junior Constables) are the ones that have to move the more, shall we say interesting ones along.
      These poor unfortunate people have mental health issues and they have nowhere else to go, you can move them along all you like they will only end up being a nuisance somewhere else.
      Hamilton for years has been the dumping ground for Ontario for all types of problems.
      Methadone clinics, Mens & Women’s shelters, Once these people have been medicated, fed, rested. they are out on the streets for the day.
      Downtown business has done a tremendous job in changing the downtown, but are up against it with the Province.
      I live in Burlington, don’t think we have anything like it here, I smiled again when we had beggars at the stop lights in Burlington, shock horror, they’ve had this for years in the Jane Finch area.
      I used to make corporate donations to the Good Shepard in Hamilton (There but for the grace of God….)
      Some of the people in Downtown Hamilton just look scary….They are not….I find them to be the most friendly and helpful individuals you will ever meet.

      Hamilton like any other big city, has its share of people who fall through the cracks.
      In this Covid-19 outbreak the poor and unfortunate will take their casualties and carry on as best they can. The undereducated and poor will still be around after this is over.

      Alfred you have stirred some funny and happy memories for me and I can only smile with affection at the downtown Hamiltonians, God bless em.

      p.s. Just stay away from everyone and everything you are unsure about, maybe it’s the ones in suits you should be worrying about.

  • Eva A

    And it will only get worse as the weather gets nicer. Time to issue heavy fines, not just warnings and polite pleas to please stop this behaviour. Putting barriers up and closing parks do little to stop it. As an example, Rattlesnake a couple of weeks ago.

    • Phillip Wooster

      I’m as concerned as you about this behaviour. I drive around south Burlington and Grimsby and I don’t see it occurring–and I’m looking for it! I see couples, sometimes families, cyclists, joggers—all seem to be making an effort to socially distance. I’ve spent time in a park in Niagara–now closed, where at first glance there was a lack of social distancing but when you examined the situation closely, there were many family groups (mostly with small kids) but they were distancing from other people–the park was closed!

      I continue to find MMW’s edicts somewhat inconsistent–she closes Lowville Park but not Spencer Smith–same behaviours and same risk profiles.

      • EvaA

        Phillip I’m certainly glad that you don’t see this behaviour happening and I agree that many people are making an effort to socially distance themselves but I must disagree with you that all are making an effort and we must ensure that ALL are distancing themselves. My own personal experience at the grocery store only this morning was to have to ask the person in line behind me to please step behind the tape as the posted sign directs you to do and wait.
        He simply stepped forward and proceeded to place his groceries on the belt until the cashier had to ask him again to step back. It only takes a few, or in the crisis situation we find ourselves in now, maybe only one to spoil it for the rest of us.

  • Craig Gardner

    I heard STILL today the beaches in Burlington full of people NOT 6 ft apart and a loyt weere seniors with walkers. The parking lots were full.
    When will the city lock down the beaches and spencer smith those selfish people are endangering us all.