Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Full breakdown of Canada's fall fiscal update


Can Canada afford all the Coronavirus-related spending? Can Canada afford all these deficits? The Canadian government says: Yes. Canada has to reach the "other side" of the pandemic. There is a lot of "uncharted territory" here.

Finance minister Chrystia Freeland took over the job in August. She has laid out how much it will cost to shore up the economy until this pandemic is over, in the government's opinion. Before Coronavirus COVID-19, Canada's deficit for 2020 was projected to be about $34 billion. By July, the government predicted it would balloon ten times that: $343 billion. Now Freeland says it's likely to jump to $381 billion, because $25 billion is being spent on new programs that will set the stage for Canada's economic recovery. The wage subsidy is being increased, and parents of young children will certainly get more through the Canada Child Benefit. There's help for airlines and tourism and money going to the provinces to spend on improving long-term care. David Akin has the full breakdown while Ottawa Bureau Chief Mercedes Stephenson gives her take on what stood out in this fall fiscal update.

A pandemic is the global outbreak of a disease. There are many pandemic examples in history, the most recent being the COVID-19 pandemic, declared as such by the World Health Organization on March 12, 2020.

Here are some of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history:
Prehistoric epidemic: Circa 3000 B.C.
Plague of Athens: 430 B.C.
Antonine Plague: A.D.
Plague of Cyprian: A.D. 250-271
Plague of Justinian: A.D.
The Black Death: 1346-1353
Cocoliztli epidemic: 1545-1548
American Plagues: 16th century
Great Plague of London: 1665-1666
Great Plague of Marseille: 1720-1723
Russian plague: 1770-1772
Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic: 1793
Flu pandemic: 1889-1890
American polio epidemic: 1916
Spanish Flu: 1918-1920
Asian Flu: 1957-1958
AIDS pandemic and epidemic
H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic: 2009-2010
West African Ebola epidemic: 2014-2016
Zika Virus epidemic: 2015-present day

Pandemics are generally classified as epidemics first, which is the rapid spread of a disease across a particular region or regions. The Zika virus outbreak that began in Brazil in 2014 and made its way across the Caribbean and Latin America was an epidemic, as was the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016. The USA has been experiencing an opioid epidemic since 2017 because of the widespread misuse and high numbers of deaths caused by the drug, according to the USA Department of Health and Human Services. 

COVID-19 began as an epidemic in China. Then, it made its way around the world in a matter of months and became a pandemic. However, epidemics don't always become pandemics, and it's not always a fast or clear transition. For example, HIV was considered an epidemic in West Africa for decades before becoming a pandemic in the late 20th century. Now, thanks to advances in modern medicine, HIV is considered endemic, which means the rate of the disease is stable and predictable among certain populations, according to the American Medical Association. 

In epidemiology, an infection is said to be "endemic" in a population when that infection is constantly maintained at a baseline level in a geographic area without external inputs. For example, chickenpox is endemic (steady state) in the United Kingdom, but malaria is not. Every year, there are a few cases of malaria reported in the UK, but these do not lead to sustained transmission in the population due to the lack of a suitable vector (mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles). While it might be common to say that AIDS is "endemic" in many African countries, meaning found in an area, this is a use of the word in its etymological, rather than epidemiological, form. AIDS cases in Africa are increasing, so the disease is not in an endemic steady state. The spread of AIDS in Africa could be correctly called an epidemic, however.

The word "endemic" is from Greek ἐν en "in, within" and δῆμος demos "people." For an infection that relies on person-to-person transmission to be endemic, each person who becomes infected with the disease must pass it on to one other person on average.

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