On Tuesday, Ottawa Public Health confirmed the woman to be the youngest deceased in the city, but did not release further details to protect personal health information. “We mourn all those who have died from COVID-19. Every death is a tragedy, ”he wrote in a statement to CBC. “It is a sad day and a reminder of the impacts on family and friends of those who died during the pandemic. “
Dr Doug Manuel, a senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital who models local numbers, said deaths in this age group are “not uncommon, but rare.”
“It’s tragic,” Manuel said. “We have also seen younger people pass away. So i think [I’m] not surprised, but something that I was hoping we would avoid in Ottawa especially, as you know, as we start to see an increase in vaccinations. ”
Of 3,342 deaths in the province, 19 of them were in their 20s according to Public Health Ontario.
“Reality check” for the youngest
Manuel said that regardless of age, COVID-19 variants increased the likelihood of hospitalization or death by 40%.
“I think this death reinforces the fact that you can have a serious infection, you can die, you can have hospitalizations,” he said, adding that people should be motivated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. , regardless of their age.
Osman Elmi, former vice president of student life at the Carleton University Students’ Association, said that while some in his demographic did not take the pandemic seriously, “a lot of people are actually worried ”.
Elmi, 23, spent much of the pandemic at home and only left for essential reasons. For those who are more relaxed about the rules, he hopes this case will serve as a “reality check for many young people”
“A lot of us kind of thought we were invincible, when in reality we are not. This disease does not discriminate, ”Elmi said.
For Meghan Boyd, the risk has always felt close.
The 26-year-old is immunocompromised and for over a year she and her family have had to take extra precautions.
“Unfortunately, there are people who haven’t taken it seriously and they believe… this virus won’t affect them, but this is proof that it can. It can be harmful. It can be fatal, ”Boyd said.