Experts have found that the CCP virus was not the only thing that has been killing more Canadians in 2020 than expected.
According to the Statistics Canada’s latest report, an estimated 241,257 deaths occurred in Canada from January to October 2020, representing an excess of 10,090 deaths above and beyond what would have been expected if there was no pandemic.
In comparison of the same period in past years, there were 228,058 deaths in 2018, and 226,994 in 2019.
The report (pdf) released by the Statistics Canada measures “excess mortality,” which means the number of people who have died above and beyond what would be expected in a given period of time. Experts found that the indirect consequences of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, is just as deadly as the virus itself.
In just the period from the end of September to the end of October, 22,741 Canadians died, which is 1,292 more than would have been expected without the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the overall mortality levels has been driven up by the number of COVID-19-related deaths since March 2020, the agency said a different pattern was seen among the population under the age of 45.
The report said that, from mid-May to mid-October, an estimated 7,172 Canadians aged 0 to 44 died, an excess of 1,385 deaths. Among them, males accounted for 81 percent of the excess deaths.
This pattern of increased deaths of men under the age of 45 is mostly found in Alberta and British Columbia. In Alberta, there were 298 excess deaths, while British Columbia recorded 260.
Among the excess deaths in this age group, less than 50 of them died of COVID-19 itself.
Statistic Canada did not say exactly what caused the increase in the death toll beyond COVID-19, but suggests indirect consequences related to public health measures put in place to address the pandemic, such as missed or delayed medical interventions and increased substance use.
The B.C. Coroners Service confirmed in a December report (pdf) that deaths caused by drug toxicity continue to surpass records in the province.
The agency reported 153 suspected drug toxicity deaths in November 2020, a 89 percent increase over November 2019 (81), and a 7 percent decrease over the number of deaths in October 2020 (164).
Lisa Lapointe, the agency’s chief coroner, said there have been 1,548 illicit drug deaths in 2020 in B.C., and the number of deaths in each health authority is at or close to the highest ever monthly totals.
“͞In the five years of this public health emergency, more than 6,500 families have experienced the grief and sadness of losing a loved one to the challenging medical condition of drug addiction,” Lapointe stated.
Suicides account for part of the increase in excess deaths, and could possibly be a reason for the higher numbers of deaths among young men.
“Suicide is a very complicated issue but some of the things we know likely contribute to suicide in men,” Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, professor and director at the UBC Psychotherapy Program, told the Toronto Star.
“There tends to be reduced distress disclosure in men and in the same regard there’s lower help seeking—they just don’t reach out.”
Ogrodniczuk is also the leader of HeadsUpGuys, a male mental health website. He said men under 45 years old account for 75 percent of suicide deaths, and more men die of suicide at times of greater societal stress.