COVID-19 in Ontario – a look at some numbers.

I know this isn’t local news but COVID affects us all. If you pay attention to the (I hate to say mainstream) conventional media, it appears that a crisis is imminent with regard to hospital beds in Ontario and in particular, intensive care beds. Unlike conventional media, we at Weston Web are not government funded.

There has been a startling increase in infection recently compared to previous waves ofCOVID.

Source: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data/hospitalizations

Looking at the data from Ontario’s own excellent website the black line shows the number of hospitalizations since April 2020 while the shaded area shows the daily numbers of active cases. The number of people in hospital has not risen in proportion compared to previous waves.

Despite the huge numbers of infections the latest wave, adult ICU beds don’t appear to be at a crisis point at the moment. In fact, despite rising numbers ofCOVID patients in ICU, availability has increased by 43 beds since January 6th.

Click to enlarge. Source: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data/hospitalizations

While the number ofCOVID patients in ICU is rising, so is bed availability. Over the past 30 days, available ICU beds have been as high as 802 on December 26 to a low of 540 on January 6. Indeed, if we look back a few months, we can see that there is flexibility in the system.

Click to enlarge. ICU availability since May 1 2020. Source https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data/hospitalizations

Hospitals have been able to re-assign beds to ICUs in order to meet demand. Between May and July last year there were 2554 ICU beds. The number currently stands at 2343.

The next chart is from the Ontario Science Table – an advisory group to the Government of Ontario. While being fully vaccinated doesn’t fully protect you from gettingCOVID, it vastly lowers your chances of getting severe symptoms. Look at these numbers of hospitalized and ICU patients by vaccine status.

Source: https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/ontario-dashboard/

Considering that almost 90% of Ontario adults have been double vaccinated, the rate of severe disease in the unvaccinated is startling.

Interestingly, while being doubly vaccinated lowers the chances of serious infection, recently, it is less protective against COVID as is shown in this next chart.

Source: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data

As of December 23, it appears that fully vaccinated people are more at risk of getting COVID. One can speculate on the reason for this but it’s quite surprising.

Lastly, if there was any doubt remaining; according to the Ontario Science Table, in the last month, Omicron has taken over from Delta as the dominant strain in Ontario.

Source: https://covid19-sciencetable.ca/ontario-dashboard/

Fundraiser for Elizabet Yitayew

The family and friends of Elizabet Yitayew, who was murdered on New Year’s Eve in Mount Dennis, are raising money on GoFundMe. According to the fundraiser, Yitayew immigrated to Canada from Ethiopia and had a 9-year-old daughter. The fundraiser is to help with Elizabet’s sister with the expenses of adoption and raising her niece.

76 donors have so far given about $5,400 of a $35,000 goal.

The alleged murderer of Yitayew was arrested at the scene.

Thank you to H for the tip.

Denison rink

Dave Bennett and a small team of volunteers are building a community ice rink at Denison park again this year. Sounds awesome!

We are continuing the 40+ year tradition of having a Community Ice Rink at our Denison Park. We have applied & received a Toronto permit and have assembled a team of 10+ neighbours to flood & shovel the ice rink. 

They’re trying to raise a bit of money to cover expenses, too.

Weston Park development: it’s big.

The “Weston Park” developers applied to the city in November with their plans for the corner of Weston and Lawrence, currently the site of the Weston Park Baptist Church and the former Scotiabank.

Castlepoint Numa would like to build a 38-storey building and a 28-storey building joined by a 3-storey podium. The buildings would contain 538 units in total.

The 38-storey building would be, I believe, the tallest yet proposed in Weston, and the development would be the second-largest—exceeded only by the proposed Greenland Farms development, with 592 units.

The developers promise “Commercial, Community, [and] Recreational Uses” and “a new sanctuary/performance hall for the Weston Park Baptist Church, a full-size gymnasium, and many flexible community spaces.”

The proposal is in the early stages, and is under review by city staff.

Winter park path project

The Toronto and Regional Conservation Authority has strict rules about salting pathways near water courses. Each winter, huge amounts of salt drain into our rivers and streams and toxic levels are routinely measured. As a result, the salting of pathways close to the Humber is not permitted. This makes for slippery journeys for the many people who rely on park pathways to get from A to B.

The City of Toronto’s Parks division is piloting a park path clearance project in our area. This winter, plows are clearing paths from Mallaby Park, through Cruickshank to the Raymore Park off-leash area then continuing from the Humber Creek culvert construction to James Gardens. After plowing, instead of salt, a black grit is being spread to assist with traction. Based on personal experience, it appears to work.

Let’s hope that when spring arrives, the grit will be hoovered up and recycled.

UPDATE: Parks supervisor Shane Rajapakse tells me that the grit is called LavaGrip and it’s being evaluated by the Parks people as well as TRCA. A report on its effectiveness will be sent to Toronto Council later this year. Apparently it is pet safe and made from small particles of actual lava from an extinct volcano in Quebec and it is supposed to break down at the end of the Winter.

“Salt is for Margaritas, folks”.