The daily covid count could be likened to the insidious form of torture known as 'water torture'. The torture is designed to cause insanity over a very short period of time without inflicting serious bodily injury. The victim is secured to a board and unable to avoid a single drop of water that falls on the forehead. The size and timing of the drop can't be anticipated, which is all part of how it works.
In the case of the average Canadian citizen it is the constant drip, drip, drip of the latest virus-crisis report that leads every news cast for the past six months. The actual number of deaths does not instill fear, neither does the number of people in hospital but the number of 'cases' can be blown up to continue the campaign of fear, to keep everyone in line.
To keep reinforcing the fear narrative, requiring everyone to wear a mask and avoiding each other serves to keep the anxiety level as high as possible.