New Facts for a New Pandemic

With the majority of Covid-19 cases in Canada now being the variants of concern (VOCs), it is time to update what we know.

Here is the science as of today (Ontario, April 10, 2021):

Transmission

· Covid-19 is airborne: the virus can hang suspended in the air for hours and travel much further than 2m (6’), especially indoors in inadequately ventilated spaces* [1] [2]

· The virus can be spread to others from someone who is infected but not showing symptoms. This includes people who have not yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic) and those who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic)[3]

· The majority of Covid-19 cases in Canada are now the variants of concern, which are 1.2–2.2 times more contagious, and 60% more deadly[4] [5]

· The highest risk individuals for COVID-19 infection in Ontario are now young, healthy people 10–39,[6] [7] [8]

· A single dose of current approved vaccines provides protection against severe illness, but you are not fully protected until two weeks after your second dose; the level of protection may change as variants evolve[9]

· Cloth masks do not offer enough protection from Covid-19 indoors unless they are lined with polypropylene; KN95 masks or those with similar levels of filtration are recommended[10]

· Mask fit is crucial; even small gaps reduce your protection. Check your fit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoSb-HJJ5tk

· Outdoors is safer than indoors; transmission is greatly reduced (at least 19 times), but transmission can occur in close or crowded conditions and masking further reduces risk [11]

Seriousness of Illness

· Young healthy people with Covid-19 are deteriorating quickly at much higher rates[12]

· Brain disorders (neurological or psychiatric diagnosis)* affect 1 in 3 Covid-19 survivors [13]

· 1 in 4 people diagnosed with even mild cases Covid-19 report long Covid-19 symptoms months after recovering[14]

· The death toll of Covid-19 is likely much higher than official numbers as evidenced by the much higher than average expected deaths all over the world[15] [16]

Compiled April 10, 2021. Doctors and scientists, please send edits, corrections, or additions to citizenresearcher@urbannation.com

  • Clarifications added April 11, 2021, thanks to those who made suggestions

RESOURCES (added April 23, 2021)

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/global/2021/apr/04/how-new-zealands-covid-success-made-it-a-laboratory-for-the-world

[2] https://nursesunions.ca/cfnu-research-summary-on-covid-19/ *

[3] https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms.html

[4] https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00502-w

[5] https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/

[6] https://www.macleans.ca/news/younger-and-sicker-what-canadas-variant-driven-third-wave-looks-like

[7] https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/younger-healthier-people-need-intensive-care-quickly-with-variants-of-covid-19-tam-1.5376666

[8] https://covid-19.ontario.ca/ *

[9] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/22/one-vaccine-protection-severe-covid-evidence

[10] https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/marketplace-masks-test-1.5795481

[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33307081/

[12] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-covid-19-vaccines-are-helping-but-they-wont-solve-the-pandemic-on/

[13] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366%2821%2900084-5/fulltext

[14] https://www.statista.com/chart/24561/uk-long-covid-breakdown/

[15] https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid

[16] https://nationalpost.com/health/how-excess-deaths-show-covids-real-impact-and-point-to-better-ways-of-combating-pandemics

writer. media artist. citizen researcher. film programmer. wrangler of small humans. reads science journals to relax. she/her