Covid update: a sobering reminder

Hi all

I have not posted an update for a while but I’m in the ICU this week in the Toronto area. We have once again started seeing an exponential increase in cases and to be honest we are very close to a breaking point.

This wave has shown nothing but younger and younger cases that are getting sicker. The variant clearly is more likely to cause serious illness especially in the young. Our vaccination rates in this area are still not high enough to prevent this wave. In the last week alone we had patients the age of 22, 38, 35, and 33 all end up not only on life-support but often on ECMO.

Our ICU is rapidly filling up and currently we are over census and don’t have anywhere to place patients. We’re getting more and more sick calls from nurses as a burn out feeling is real.

We are at a very critical point here.If you can, please do your part and stay home. Do what you can to minimize your risk and ride out the next couple of months until the vaccines are more ubiquitous. Short term pain, will lead to a very long term gain if we can keep cases manageable until we can vaccinate most people. As well, do your part and make sure you and your loved ones get the first vaccine that you can.

A couple of issues I wanted to raise were around the vaccines. I know that the AstraZeneca Vaccines had some bad press, but the rates of blood clots are no higher than the general population. Moreover, it is known to cause 100% of people who receive it to avoid hospitalization. The risk of a blood clot from Covid is much higher, and clearly the risk of hospitalization is much higher. Please get the first vaccine you’re eligible for. The time that you wait could be critical.

In the US we are seeing a gradual opening up of things, as we’ve seen in Israel. We see that they are starting to have large scale events etc. Please be advised that while they have vaccinated more people that’s making this relatively safer than other areas, they still haven’t vaccinated enough. If you are attending these events and you have the vaccine then you I think you’re probably OK. However if you don’t have the vaccine I encourage you to think about maybe waiting for a few months until you do have it before you embark on a large scale indoor gatherings.
We’ve waited this long, why not a few more months to make sure it’s a safe as we can.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we aren’t there yet. At least in our local area things are gonna get worse before they get better, and while I know Covid fatigue is a very real phenomenon, try and do what you can to enjoy the outdoors and remain safe while we wait for this to hopefully pass in the next few months and return to normal.

Wishing everyone the best


Thank you for the update Alex.
Sending my best.

Thank you for updating us, Doc. Sending everyone love and prayers.

I believe the rate of blood clots is lower than would have been expected in the same population that have had the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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I don’t get it, if things are so critical, then why the fuck are restrictions being lifted? It’s getting fucking ridiculous. My family and I are doing what we can since last March. We go to work and we come home. The only thing we go out for, is to grab groceries every 2 weeks or so. It seems like so many people don’t give a fuck though.

I wish they would have gotten real strict about this shit in the first place. It’s been nothing but half ass measures from the start of this thing. We needed hardcore lockdowns and if people can’t handle it, well too fucking bad.


Yup. They shouldn’t be opening up more. Zero argument from me. If you check the news and Twitter many of my colleagues are saying the same

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Hi Alex…that you so much for the update, you sharing your expertise is very much appreciated.

I do have a question, I have had round 1 of the Phizer vaccine, do you think it is safe for me to do things such as grocery shopping? I have stayed home for the most part, but I do get groceries, pick up food etc.?

It depends on age. I would wait two weeks after the dose and then look at the graph below

If your levels are on the higher end it’s probably okay


As a public health professional I feel people fully vaccinated should still take precautions and wear a mask around strangers/in public for the time being.


100% agreed, that was never in question from my perspective.

Yes for sure. There is no reason not to do this at least until the vaccine is more widespread

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Totally! Didn’t mean to imply that. When I’m out walking in my neighborhood I see people back in restaurants like everything is over when I know it’s not, so just want to make sure you’re staying safe for yourself and others.

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Wtf is going on over there? I thought Canada was a competently run country?

At a provincial level, several Conservative leaders made a “business as usual” decision back in the fall, that’s coming back to haunt those provinces now.


They won’t shut down factories or manufacturing or offices or construction, where much of the transmission is happening. Allegedly because those industries are the biggest political donors; especially in Ontario.


Don’t get me started on this


These half assed measures are not working. Either shut EVERYTHING down for 3 weeks, or get more vaccines into our arms. It’s been over a year. Figure it out


The issue is we vaccinating people at a snails pace, and quite frankly people just aren’t listening. I went to Walmart to get groceries on Wed, and in the 1 hour I was there I saw like 6 things that shouldn’t have happened.

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When one side tells everyone that they don’t trust the vaccine and won’t get it simply because of who was President of the United States at the time it was created, but then trip into office through no effort of their own and then tells everyone how wonderful the vaccine is and even take credit for it, one can’t be surprised people (including those that support the current occupant of the White House) don’t trust what anyone says about this anymore.

I hate to break it to anyone that hasn’t figured this out, but people have been dying since the beginning of time. No government agency has prevented it, and they aren’t going to stop this virus from being a contributing factor to people dying, no matter how they order you to live your life. This is not the bug that is going to wipe out humanity, no matter what biased teleprompter readers, celebrities, attention whore medical directors, or senile country leaders tell you. Even if it was, is this how you’d want to live your remaining time? Having elected officials dictate the 10 do’s and 10,000 don’t’s you must adhere to?

I feel sorry for Ontario. I just read they are going to shut down businesses again and give the police power to ask purpose of travel, because of a respiratory illness that has a 99.7% survivability rate. The people won’t resist and those that do will be called selfish. The genie is out of the bottle now, good luck…

I feel like there are people better equipped to respond to your diatribe (not least Dr. Patel), but I am genuinely taken aback that, a year into this, and with so many people dead, we’re still seeing myopic, shortsighted takes like this.

Bypassing the edgelord stuff about senile politicians and attention whore medical directors (get a grip…), how has the toll over the last months not even troubled your empathy or civic solidarity?

No, this isn’t the bug that will end humanity, but by your rationale, why waste time with a polio vaccine, or insulin, or cancer treatments? Cite percentages all you want, every one of these deaths represents a person, young or old.

Yes, there is economic impact. Yes, governments should step in as much as possible to assist. But in the mean time, there are things we can all do. Your post has all the hallmarks of the me first attitudes that have exacerbated what was already a global crisis. Think of others.