Health

Covid-19 tales

As a corroded baby boomer, I received my first Covid-19 vaccination. The well organized location was humming with activity but I was in and out in precisely 22 minutes, including a quarter-hour spent in an observation area that offers immediate response if anyone suffers an adverse effect. No persons were suffering apparent difficulty.

Most inoculated folks probably had the reaction noted by Michael Cole:

On TV news, we observe people demonstrating objections to vaccines and to protective health orders issued to improve community well-being. Noisy recalcitrants appear in public together, probably because joining a mob reinforces shared convictions, even ideas that lean toward lunacy.

By the action of their own behavior, the number of protesters will naturally grow smaller. After Darwin, 19th century philosopher Herbert Spencer wrote:

It cannot but happen that those individuals whose functions are most out of equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces, will be those to die; and that those will survive whose functions happen to be most nearly in equilibrium with the modified aggregate of external forces.

An American report illustrates:

When a bar in rural Illinois reopened in February, patrons gathered inside to celebrate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just published the details of how that gathering resulted in 46 cases of COVID-19.

But hostility to commonly accepted health practices does not come only from the foolish and the uniformed. The New Yorker published Sweden’s Pandemic Experiment, which shows highly educated policy makers can put more faith in hope and wishes than in science.

While lockdowns, curfews, and travel bans were being rolled out across the rest of the world, Swedish restaurants, stores, bars, museums, day cares, and elementary schools all remained open.,,  Masks were not recommended and remained rare. Households could mix; until the end of March, even parties of up to five hundred people were allowed.

The man behind Sweden’s coronavirus response is Anders Tegnell, the country’s head epidemiologist… [Tegnell] has often said that lockdowns are not supported by science and that the evidence for mask-wearing is “weak.” His stance is a startling departure from the scientific consensus…

Tegnell said. “I mean, you’re always kind of hopeful and think that, O.K., this is something that’s going to pass over.” Soon, the per-capita death toll was among the highest in Europe…

Tegnell’s prediction of a tapering epidemic curve and quickly-attained immunity never came to pass. Sweden’s per-capita case counts and death rates have been many times higher than any of its Nordic neighbors, all of which imposed lockdowns, travel bans, and limited gatherings early on….

Worldometers, April 6, 2021

About a nation ruled by a man in denial where Covid-19 deaths in the last seven days are up by 35% compared to three weeks before:

Categories: Health

14 replies »

  1. We must have been in the same ‘room’ on Sunday, at the ICBC inspection building. Left arm jab for me, sore shoulder the next morning, no pain today.

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  2. Mine was this morning Tuesday and I’ve noticed not a thing. The needle used for the vaccination is so small, even that was nothing.

    One thing I found strange was that they have a large sign near the entry asking people not to report on social media that they’ve been vaccinated. But, then they give you an “I’M COVID-19 VACCINATED” sticker to wear on your clothing.

    Guess the organizers don’t always talk to each other.

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  3. Got ours at the McKinnon Gym in Victoria this morning – very well organized and efficient – easily within your 22 minute time frame too. Unfortunately, with daily new cases setting successive records, hospitalizations and admissions to ICU – not to mention handfuls of deaths every few days – I think we are still in deep, deep trouble.

    For our part, we’ll be pulling back – ordering everything for delivery and masking (N95) every time we’re anywhere near another breathing human being. The Island (Tofino and Mt Washington) were full at the weekend – as were the ferries – and our case positivity rates on the Island have NEVER been this high.

    I wish I felt that the vaccine was all we need as a culture – but I fear we also need a strong dose of enforcement and discipline – which doesn’t seem likely from Public Health. My family members in clinical health care are not amused! Stay safe Norm.

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    • Good points. Fewer than 20% of BC people have had a first shot and 98% of residents are not fully vaccinated. Handouts at vaccination centres note that immunity takes 14 days to develop and only time will tell how long the immunity lasts.

      So, even those of us who’ve had our arms jabbed need to exercise caution. This pandemic is now in its second year and has official killed 2.9 million people. Probably many more because some countries don’t want to report accurately and others don’t have the resources to accurately determine causes of death. People who analyze excess deaths (actual over expected) are certain the Covid-19 death toll is higher.

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  4. Wow ! Talk about swallowing the Kool aid ! I dare you to put up a chart comparing Sweden to Canada or the UK or almost any other country in Europe. Explain why California is nearly the same or worse than Florida. Explain why the so called vaccines don’t prevent you getting it or transmitting it. That’s not even controversial. It’s amazing what irrational fear will do to otherwise rational people !

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    • Sweden’s rate of Covid-19 deaths is 220% that of Canada.

      Why is California’s death rate close to Florida’s?

      Obviously, there are numerous factors involved. An important one is that according to US Census Bureau data, California has the highest level of functional poverty in the country. Poverty results in people living in circumstances that make isolation and distancing more difficult. MIT reports on California:

      Throughout the state, Latinos make up by far the largest share of cases (56%) and deaths (42%), according to data from the California Department of Public Health. While Latinos make up 39% of the population, whites are a close second at 37% but represent only 17% of covid-19 cases.

      These infections appear to be concentrated within low-income communities, where people are often essential workers who can’t do their jobs from home, can’t afford to call in sick and may live in crowded housing conditions… Language, immigration status and financial issues can complicate efforts to successfully reach infected patients or their close contacts in these communities, and convince them to isolate themselves for extended periods.

      MIT also says that part of what’s driving the soaring case loads in California is the influx of positive patients from Mexico.

      The suggestion that vaccines don’t prevent people from getting Covid-19 flies in the face of science. According to CDC:

      Prospective cohorts of 3,950 health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers completed weekly SARS-CoV-2 testing for 13 consecutive weeks. Under real-world conditions, mRNA vaccine effectiveness of full immunization (≥14 days after second dose) was 90% against SARS-CoV-2 infections regardless of symptom status; vaccine effectiveness of partial immunization (≥14 days after first dose but before second dose) was 80%.

      Health experts know that the vaccines reduce the chance of infection and drastically reduce the severity of any illness that might develop. Some say the Covid-19 vaccine is almost 100% effective in preventing death from the virus. However, it’s unclear if a vaccinated person can still transmit the virus to other people. My guess is that vaccinated people can still be carriers.

      I do agree with one thing written by Bill Ligertwood. It is amazing what irrational fear of science and scientists will do to otherwise rational people.

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  5. Over the past several decades society has become predominantly secular. Simultaneously left-wing progressivism (‘woke-ism’) has become entrenched in academia and the mainstream media, ramping up to full volume the past few years. Progressivism has permeated public consciousness through activism by the mainstream media, social media and popular culture, filling the void once occupied by orthodox religion.

    As a consequence, victimhood, safety-ism and lockdown (and other Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions [NPIs]) adherence are prevailing narratives, with much of the public looking to big-government to ‘save them’ from any risk of SARS-CoV-2 through lockdown. This is particularly evident in the USA where support for NPIs tends to split down party lines.

    A signature of progressivism is the abuse and (attempted) ‘cancellation’ of anyone who objects to its ‘truth’. This now includes anyone who dares mention the scientific orthodoxy set out in the pandemic preparedness guidelines, other perfectly rational and feasible alternative strategies to the management of SARS-CoV-2, such as the Great Barrington Declaration, or actual facts that counter the lockdown dogma.

    This has been exacerbated by government failure to set up advisory committees comprising diverse academic opinion on all aspects of lockdown, including its detrimental effects. Consequently, lockdown ideology persists with few voices willing or able to contest it.

    The vitriol dished out to anyone who questions the wisdom of lockdown has been extraordinary, particularly on social media but also by mainstream journalists who insinuate that any opposing view is not valid. Lockdown ideology has also been corroborated by big tech which positions itself as progressive, with the removal or shadow banning of material contradicting the lockdown and NPI mantra from it platforms.

    Even the WHO has kowtowed to appease the lockdown ideologues by temporarily changing the established definition of herd immunity, and defining a confirmed ‘case’ as “a person with a positive Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT [PCR])” including in the absence of symptoms. Big-government lockdown, propagated as the only virtuous and effective response to SARS-CoV-2 by a vociferous media and biased government advisers, has been bought hook, line and sinker by a risk-averse public (and politicians).

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    • Amazing that progressive attitudes cause fear in non-progressives. Those right-wing people even think the term “woke” is an effective insult to be used when they disagree with another person.

      Woke was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary as an adjective in June 2017. It was defined:

      “originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice”.

      Spoiler: progressives don’t find those words insulting.

      Bill Ligertwood promotes the “Great Barrington Declaration.” It was sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian, free-market think tank that is in a network of organizations funded by Charles Koch — a right-wing billionaire known for promoting climate change denial and complete deregulation of business.

      The declaration is widely debunked. Herd immunity for Covid-19, particularly with dangerous variations, will be gained by effective vaccines and by ongoing virology, not by piling up dead bodies.

      Social Distancing and Quarantine Were Used in Medieval Times to Fight the Black Death

      Almost 700 years ago, the overwhelmed physicians and health officials fighting a devastating outbreak of bubonic plague in medieval Italy had no notion of viruses or bacteria, but they understood enough about the Black Death to implement some of the world’s first anti-contagion measures.

      Starting in 1348, soon after the plague arrived in cities like Venice and Milan, city officials put emergency public health measures in place that foreshadowed today’s best practices of social distancing and disinfecting surfaces.

      “They knew that you had to be very careful with goods that are being traded, because the disease could be spread on objects and surfaces, and that you tried your best to limit person-to-person contact,” says Jane Stevens Crawshaw, a senior lecturer in early modern European history at Oxford Brookes University.

      Vitriol directed toward Covidiots is understandable. They put all of us at risk but most of all, they contribute to the deaths of vulnerable people.

      Talk to people who work each day in hospitals caring for patients with Covid-19. Those people are stressed beyond limits and when this coronavirus tragedy concludes, PTSD will be a major problem. But people on the far-right will see that as just more proof of “woke-ism”.

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      • Indeed. The Bill Ligertwood screed is lifted from a UK website. Blatant plagiarism is something even high school students know they should avoid.

        The site where the words originate has controversial commentator Toby Young behind it. Of course, Young is not a scientist or public health expert.

        Young, by the way, wrote an article last year for right-wing British newspaper The Telegraph saying that a second spike of COVID-19 infections had “refused to materialise.”

        In January, he had to admit when challenged on BBC that he “got that wrong.”

        In my opinion, that’s not all he gets wrong.

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  6. Excess deaths are sure to rise – no question about that – and waves of new infections are raging through Eastern Europe and rural India at this moment…even the US, which is doing well with vaccinations – cases are now on the rise again. As an aside, there was no signage asking folks to be mum on social media about having been vaccinated at UVic yesterday. Curious that.

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  7. I’ve been looking into the treatment of covid-19 with Ivermectin.

    There are many doctors and researchers claiming it can be as effective as a vaccine in preventing hospitalization and death if used early in the infection also as a prophylactic. I do not understand why the MSM does not report on this. My first thought is it is due to the fact it is a very inexpensive treatment therefore no money in it.

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    • The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says Ivermectin should NOT be used to treat or prevent Covid-19:

      There seems to be a growing interest in a drug called ivermectin to treat humans with COVID-19. Ivermectin is often used in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals. The FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical support and been hospitalized after self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses.

      Some published studies suggest Ivermectin may inhibit replication of the Covid-19 virus, but substantial questions have been raised about methodological quality of that research.

      The World Health Organization said there was a “very low certainty of evidence” on ivermectin’s effects on mortality, hospital admission and getting rid of the virus from the body.

      The WHO looked at studies that compared ivermectin against a placebo and against other drugs, in 16 randomised control trials examining 2,400 patients:

      We currently lack persuasive evidence of a mechanism of action for ivermectin in COVID-19…

      I think we should exercise extreme cautious before accepting potentially dangerous information from sites that do not have solid scientific backing. I don’t mean purported science; I mean sources that reflect a consensus of expert opinion.

      ‘Miracle’ drug ivermectin unproven against COVID, scientists warn

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  8. I have a Covid Tale from my own opinion files.. We’re all this together, and we the citizen are being told to hunker down to the tightest space and bubble possible by the government and the message repeated over and over by media like Global and their radio CKNW broadcasters and of course everywhere else from media corners are nothing short of being a bunch of slimy hypocrites or better yet two faced BSer’s.

    The reason I say this is is because the Vancouver Canucks, and it’s not just them of course are allowed to get away with playing in that large gathering and then, the inevitable happened, because of a player supposedly brought in the disease and it spread through their so called defenses like a good offensive move and slapshot of the puck into the net. Now apparently some family members got it. Sounds like the highly transmissible variant strain also. I just knew it was inevitable that this variant or variants would get through the defense line and to it’s goal.

    And now they are talking like it’s okay to just get better and do it all over again, and these media hypocrites don’t bat an eye at the hypocrisy they swim in, and even perpetuate the idea that this is okay, while we and our families are told to get in our trenches along with all the other gatherings and businesses getting the proverbial clamps put on them. The big hypocrite talk in media and on that bullcrap radio is the hope that they get playing soon. Yet all of us responsible ones are being constantly bombarded by these double tongued jerks to do our part.

    I do love sports and the game and my kids grew up playing the many different sports which was so good for them and their growing years. But this goings on from media and the weak knee government as I mentioned are so disgusting and pathetic in their day to day on this stuff. We continue to hunker down in this dangerous time. Will the ones who continue to think it’s okay to get away with reckless behavior led by big money and enabled by media and two faced radio idiots or will they fix their broken moral compass.

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