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Opinion: ‘Dave in Burnaby’ thinks there are ‘good’ COVID-19 numbers

The word 'recovered' isn't quite accurate
COVID-19 vaccine
A senior male is about to receive a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine. - Photograph via Getty Images

Many people write to me trying really, really hard to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been going on since early in 2020 when things started getting locked down. Some folks are open about their denial of the pandemic, but there are other people who think the pandemic is either a hoax or that it’s just “no big deal” but won’t actually come out and just say it.

Instead, they dance around things and nibble at the edges, but they make the same basic point that COVID-19 isn’t a big deal because it’s mostly old folks who are dying so why make younger people alter their lives in any way.

Take “Dave in Burnaby” who wrote in to respond to a recent Keith Baldrey column the NOW ran looking at some of the scary COVID-19 numbers in B.C.

“I wondered why he did not mention the good numbers that the B.C. Covid Dashboard states,” he wrote.

Yes, Dave is upset that Baldrey isn’t focusing on the “good” COVID-19 data.

What he means is the large number of people who are classified by B.C. health officials as having “recovered” from the virus.

“Wouldn't we consider recovered cases to be good news?” asks Dave.
I hear this point a lot and what it misses is the fact that the term “recovered” doesn’t tell the whole story.

The fact is that while many patients recover enough that they won’t die, some are facing long-term health problems due to the damage caused by COVID-19.

My cousin, for example, is 50 and now out of hospital after testing positive. He was close to dying and finally “recovered” enough to go home. But his doctors have told him that his body will never be the same due to the damage.

“We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California, told Reuters for a story.

Doctors are still discovering all sorts of health issues with people who have “recovered.”

But folks like Dave want to downplay that and just focus on deaths – as though those numbers are in any way positive. To them, it’s a relatively small number who die and most of them are just old people with other health issues anyways so what’s the big deal?

It’s just such an ugly argument.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.