Now that a vaccine or two are available the question begs as to how fast it can make a real difference and how many of us need to be vaccinated in order to end or severely limit the impact of the pandemic and eliminate the disastrous lockdowns.
Let's analyze the numbers in the chart here from England which closely resembles ours in terms of the demographics of the virus.
First, the most important statistic is that less than 10% of deaths related to Covid-19 occur in those under 60 years old and of those deaths less than 1% of the total Covid-19 deaths occur in under 60 year-olds with no underlying conditions.
This means that the youngest 80% of the population suffer around 15% of the Covid-19 deaths.
The numbers are quite shocking.
They reveal that by inoculating just 15% of the population, those over 70 years old, the effects on the rest of the population can be safely managed.
Let us remember that the average age of a Covid-19 death is around 83 years old and 55% of those hospitalized with the virus are over 70 years old who make up just 13% of Canada's population.
The government is talking about the end of 2021 as the date when all Canadians who want the vaccine can get it, but the worst results of the pandemic can be minimized by the very early Spring by vaccinating the most vulnerable, those over 70 years old. And so the numbers presented here easily demonstrate that if those over 70 years old are removed from danger, Covid-19 is not much more dangerous than the flu for the rest of the population.
Really, I'm not kidding.
Let us compare the nine months of the pandemic and put Covid-19 deaths side by side with flu deaths for the groups under 70 years. In Canada of the 15,000 deaths from Covid-19, 90% occurred in those 70 years-old and older. Doing a little math tells us that only around 1,500 deaths occurred in those under 70 years old and quite shockingly, this matches almost identically to the 1,430 deaths from flu in people under 70 years old reported in Canada in 2018 (for the whole year).
If we innoculate the 13% of us who are over 70 years old and for good measure, another million or so in the over 55 set who have serious underlying conditions like morbid obesity, hypertension or heart disease, we can get the pandemic down to an extremely manageable level.
Those who are still in jeopardy should govern themselves accordingly by masking up when going out and limiting outings to the very bare essential.
The economy could be unlocked and businesses and restaurants reopened. Hospitals would still have Covid-19 cases but the numbers manageable and the fatalities cut by 90-95%.
At the point where we've vaccinated the most vulnerable 15%, a lockdown is infinitely more damaging than the virus.
The increase in suicides, conjugal violence and drug and alcohol abuse aggravated by the lockdown would be abated and children would return to the much-needed routine of school.
The early Spring is when this could and should happen, but I get the sense that the government both federal and provincial are enjoying the situation where total control and fear make us dependant.