The province’s comorbidity fact sheet is updated weekly, with the last one released on Nov. 11. The number of COVID-19 deaths recorded at that time was 369 individuals.
Out of that number, 75.3% of Albertans who died had done so while suffering “with 3 or more conditions” in addition to COVID-19.
The next highest figure were those suffering from two comorbidities in addition to COVID-19, which made up 16.5% of cases. Those with one extra condition made up 5.4%. And those without a comorbidity were 2.7% of the tally, or 10 persons.
What does this tell us? For one, that there are a number of persons out there who are facing multiple serious health challenges and that they are particularly vulnerable to dying from COVID-19.
Their lives matter and we need to think of ways to better serve them.
The flip-side of this is that it also tells us how very few people who are not suffering from a previous medical condition have actually died of COVID-19.
“If you’re under 60 years of age and don’t have a medical condition your chances of having a serious outcome is way less than 1%,” Dr. Robert Sargeant, who attends to COVID-19 patients at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, told me in a recent interview.
There is also the chance that some provinces do not even compile this data, as one B.C. health ministry representative observed to me after I requested their comorbidity data.
It’s troubling that the politicians and health officials don’t reference this sort of important data more often. Instead, the likes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford like to offer alarmist rhetoric about rising case counts across the country. Their theatrical lines get turned into headlines, which frighten Canadians.
What we’re learning more and more though, is that the data tells a much less alarming story.