Quebec’s pandemic death toll, now over 10,000, elicits sadness and anger.

Quebec’s pandemic death toll, now over 10,000, elicits sadness and anger.

Quebec recorded 32 more deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, making it the first province to pass 10,000 deaths from the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The vast majority of these deaths — more than 60 per cent, according to government figures — have occurred in long-term care homes.

Quebec officials have often emphasized Quebec’s slightly different method for counting COVID-19 deaths. Officials in Quebec argue this offers a more accurate portrait of how many people are dying from the disease, and note other provinces will likely revise their figures upward when they’ve had a chance to scrutinize their data.

But even factoring this in, Quebec would still likely account for nearly half the COVID-19 deaths in Canada, said Simona Bignami, a demographer at McGill University who has been studying the impact of COVID-19.

„It is an easy argument to say we are the worst because we are the best at counting deaths,” Bignami said.

The province represents 23 per cent of Canada’s total population and has experienced about 3,500 more fatalities related to the coronavirus than Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.

In recent days, several grieving families have shared their thoughts with CBC News on what losing loved ones to COVID-19 has been like. Their emails were often a mix of sadness and anger.

Some demanded accountability, be it from hospitals or long-term care facilities where the virus was contracted, or from governments for their handling of the pandemic, while others focused on the pain of being unable to comfort dying relatives, who were treated in special hospital units where no visitors are allowed.

„We lost my stepdad. He was 69,” said one person through email. „Atrocious way to die. Alone. Atrocious for the loved ones. Not to be there. Not to see the person we love.”



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