Health

Sociopathic political leaders

Green Party MP Elizabeth May made a plea in the House of Commons for caution and common sense in dealing with COVID-19. Ms. May drew my attention to a December article by Tyee contributing editor Andrew Nikiforuk.

Because politicians and senior health officials are surrendering to the virus, Nikiforuk’s article is worth revisiting. His major points:

Leaders embraced four big myths.

  • Myth 1: Vaccines will get us out of this.
  • Myth 2: Pandemics are unpredictable and have nothing to do with policy or human behaviour.
  • Myth 3: We can live with this virus, and it will become milder over time.
  • Myth 4: COVID is just a flu-like virus.
  • They moaned that their fatigued citizens couldn’t follow any more restrictions to save lives from death or long COVID.
  • They have wholeheartedly embraced fatalism as acceptable public health policy.
  • A highly transmissible virus is something to be feared and respected.
  • Health-care workers will get smashed again by exponential hospitalizations and deaths.
  • Omicron is NOT the worst the pandemic can still throw at us.
  • COVID, the seventh coronavirus to plague humans, “is capable of far more changes and far more variation than most ever thought possible and it will keep coming back to haunt us again and again.”
  •  The virus just doesn’t attack individuals but society as a whole.

Provincial health officials, including Minister of Health Adrian Dix, cling to the hope that COVID-19 is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that fall quickly to the floor. This led to advice that a few feet of human separation, handwashing, surface wipes and plastic dividers were effective protections from the virus.

Back in 2020, the New York Times reported that in an open letter, 239 scientists in 32 countries have outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people. The paper presenting the scientists’ views was published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The experts were clear:

We appeal to the medical community and to the relevant national and international bodies to recognize the potential for airborne spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)…

Studies by the signatories and other scientists have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in air and pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond 1–2 m from an infected individual. For example, at typical indoor air velocities, a 5-μm droplet will travel tens of meters, much greater than the scale of a typical room…

As in other jurisdictions with greater concern for economics than for citizen health, the BC government resists indisputable science of airborne transmission. The reasons they refuse to recognize science are financial and political.

Easing measures to restrain the spread of disease and telling the province to live with the virus is dangerous, particularly at a time the death toll in BC is at its worst and rising.

Dr. William A. Haseltine suggests a better way to deal with viral disease is to invest more dollars in science:

The extensive measures SARS-CoV-2 deploys to counter innate immunity are worth detailed study. They are attractive targets for antiviral drugs. Inhibit one or more of these proteins, and we tip the balance of innate immune suppression in our favor, limiting prolific replication early on and thereby reducing transmission. Drugs that inhibit viral countermeasures may also help those with limited innate immune function, including the elderly, control infection early on...

Looking forward, I am aware of dozens of antiviral drugs that are in early stages of either preclinical or early clinical trials. I am certain that over the next two years, we will have a broad array of pharmacologically active drugs safe enough to be used in combination. My vision is they will be safe enough to be preventives for those exposed and treatments for those infected.

Those who study the biology of viruses and viral diseases warn that climate change and globalization exacerbate transmission of viral diseases. Business-first politicians, who usually are de facto climate change deniers, don’t want to hear this message:

Many emerging infectious diseases come from animals and can be transmitted to people directly or through vectors, such as mosquitoes or ticks. The planet’s population growth, urbanization, the globalization of travel and commerce and climate change enhances contact with new environments, climates and new vectors of diseases. “Now, more than ever, we must be reactive to give quick responses to epidemic outbreaks,” said Marion Koopmans, DVM, PhD, head of the department of virosciences of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam…

Leaders guided by business loyalties, myths, and unfounded expectations will not support scientific resources needed for real solutions. Unfortunately, the above description fits the people governing western Canadian provinces.

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7 replies »

  1. It always seems to beg the question as to why our leaders fail us
    so badly when addressing the magnitude of problems our species
    have created to this point and they like the rest of most of us have
    children and grandchildren.

    A very thought provoking historical approach is taken by author
    Amitav Ghosh in his offering entitled The Nutmeg Curse, Parables
    for a Planet in Crisis. Don’t let the title fool you. The biblio is very
    thorough. Be warned though. It is a tough read and is not the Tylenol
    we are looking for but rather the diagnosis. One of those gems in the
    rough everyone should try and read.

    Like

  2. As the late Rafe Mair told, when i appeared on his show, during a news break, so many years ago; “Politicians, once elected are seduced by a not so friendly bureaucracy ad are surrounded by yes men/women who shut the door on any reasonable debate. The elected politician is then segregated from society as a whole and his/hers world becomes very small, with only limited access to constituents.

    Further, the party whip ensures loyalty or the elected politicians may lose privileges, such as free trip at winter time to attend conferences and such.

    In the the end, the politicians becomes estranged from the electorate and reelection means complete adherence to the party line.

    In the end, the MLA or MP or city Councillor tend to be nobodies because if they agitate against the party and are booted or sent to
    Coventry for their misdeeds or do nothing and become party lick-spitals.

    This why electoral reform is most necessary and why party establishments fight so hard against electoral reform as the status quo suits the needs of the party.

    Today in Canada we are ruled by party despots who are completely aloof of the electorate.

    Thus covid, global warming and a host of other issues are little dealt with, except at election time loaded with photo-ops and 10 second sound-bites.

    Like

  3. The WHO was told in May 2020 that this virus was an aerosol and could linger in the air for hours. Doctors who recognized that this disease was more than just a “flu” began treating it for what they saw as “organizing pneumonia ” and started seeing good results. These doctors are now vilified and called quacks. One nurse practitioner in Florida has according to her treated upwards of 1000 covid patients and only one has succumbed to this disease. Her treatment is based on the FLCCC protocol. Now to my personal experience with covid. I contracted covid from two vaccinated people while ice fishing. They, after the fact said they previously felt ill with what the thought was just a cold. Three days later I became ill with fever, chills, headache, and body aches. I went for a test on the second day and got my positive result the next day. I had a prescription for the drug that can’t be named from my doctor for just this occasion. At noon on the third day I took my first dose and by 8pm that evening all my symptoms had cleared. My spouse that morning had started getting symptomatic herself and also had a prescription from her doctor and also based on my positive test result started taking her medication that day. Her symptoms did not progress to the level of my illness and by the next day she was feeling better. Her test taken 2 days after mine also came out positive. I should also note that we have been taking vitamin C, D and zinc as recommended by the FLCCC. My real concern is not that my chosen treatment is discouraged by our chief medical officer but when I went to the BCCDC website for their recommended treatment for what we have been told is a life threatening disease their only recommendation is to isolate and take ibuprofen to manage fever. Nothing about the value of vitamins, or other treatments that have been shown to reduce severity of this disease. This after two years into this pandemic is all they can offer. Pathetic. I will continue to trust the people that I have found to be right more often than not and also willing to change when new information becomes available. Remember they have just recently conceded that this virus is airborne 18 months after they were told. Any doctor or politician that claims “the only way out of this pandemic is vaccination ” is in my opinion either lying or inept. Maybe both.

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    • Well I suppose you summed it all up in words that fit the bill beautifully and perfectly. Very articulate. Wished I could say things that way. One day. But, good on you.

      Like

  4. When i heard that many in a performing choir (Airborne?) had been infected i felt compelled to stay away from hand dryers etc.Regardless of early poli/ sci guidelines at the time.

    Like

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