Covid-19’s Two options: get better on you own or…

di Priscilla Pajdo del June 10, 2020

TORONTO - Covid-19 offers its host two options: recovery, or … the less favourable.

In previous editions, the Corriere has tracked the deadly outcome for those who pay the ultimate price after contracting Covid-19. Statistics like those in that tabulation generally stimulate fear and nurture suspicion. But, it is important to grasp the full picture.

It is equally in our best interest to exercise caution and avoid contagion. Personal and economic life depend on it. Consistent information, updated and accurate data, combined with reliable reporting, go a long way in combating fear and suspicion and laying the groundwork for good decision-making by Governments.

New York State, for example, while currently the “hottest of Covid-19 hotspots”, has the most current, complete and transparent, publicly accessible collection of data in North America to inform policy makers and the public. It is “not out of the woods yet”.

New Zealand, on the other hand, has just emerged from a complete lockdown after what some consider exemplary implementation of the “test, trace and isolate” strategy to mitigate the effects of this highly transmissible virus. Other countries seem to be going in the opposite direction.

In our own way, to keep our readers informed, Corriere Canadese has been presenting a twicedaily Covid-19 update online ( Today’s offering (see below) compares the recovery rates and the rates of unresolved case in the same jurisdictions where we noted the rate of fatalities among those tested who confirmed positive.

Even as we move toward normalization, caution is still the operative word. The graph suggests the reason. Stay away from areas with the highest percentage of active cases (pink column). One place to avoid…New York State (NYS), where 71.2% of confi rmed positive cases remain “active” - unresolved. Our neighbour remains the epicentre of Covid-19 in the USA and North America. Ontario, shares a border with NYS. In fact, over 56% of the USA’s over 2,000,000 confirmed positive cases are still active. The Canada/US border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least June 21.

The graph also shows areas where there is a glimmer of hope (green columns) marking the rate of success in recovering from Covid-19. The higher the column, the higher the probability of a hopeful and positive outcome. Looking for a “safe place to stay” – relatively speaking? Ontario, with all its diƒ culties, seems a reasonable choice. The province reports nearly 80% recovery rate among the 30,860 confi rmed positive cases. With only 12.7% of cases still active, one would potentially have a better chance at recovery in Ontario.

Such is not the case with our neighbour to the east, the province of Quebec. Over 54% of infected citizens in that province are still grappling with the viral infection. Not exactly the best place to spend your summer vacation.

If indeed anyone is planning a European vacation, they might be alerted to heed caution if destined to Belgium. The country has one of the highest rates of active cases among European countries, 56.4%.

Judging by the statistics in this chart, if one is looking for a European destination, Italy would be safest option. Of all confirmed positive cases in Italy (235,278), nearly 71% have recovered…the “silver lining” of sorts in one of the hardest hit European countries since the beginning of the pandemic.

Countries that do not provide reliable data and do not report accurately defeat the purpose of a co-ordinated e# ort to understand and cope with the complex Covid-19 picture.

This graph includes the countries of Britain, Spain and Sweden, even though these countries have ceased reporting active or recovered cases.

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