The costs of flattening the curve

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Aristotleded24
The costs of flattening the curve

With the prospect of the restrictions we are living under being increased for a long time, and given the lack of critical thinking and hard questions the media is asking about these restrictions and their necessity, I thought it appropriate to start talking about the negative impacts of the restrictions we are living under. Here are some:

Children with special needs face extra challenges:

Quote:

Christopher Craig lights up when he talks about his 11-year-old son Cameron, who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

"He's got a sense of humour … he can laugh half an hour straight, but when he's cranky, he's really off," Craig said.

Everything has been really off for their family the past three weeks. They've been self-isolating as much as possible during the pandemic.

Cameron can't walk, move his arms or communicate, really, and needs round-the-clock-care, Craig said.

At school, Cameron has access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, music therapy and massage therapy, but right now, he is missing out on all of it.

Cameron's muscles are so tight, he's often in pain. Craig says it's difficult to open Cameron's arms or stretch his leg out to change his diaper.

"When he's had more stretching, more massage, more physio, he's looser and when he's looser, he's happier," Craig said.

...

Veronica has a genetic disorder called Angelman syndrome. She uses a wheelchair and experiences epileptic seizures every day.

Her developmental age is approximately two years old, St-Pierre said.

With school closed, Veronica's missing out on her occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech therapy — but she misses people the most. People who have Angelman syndrome are often very sociable, St-Pierre said.

As a result, Veronica has been trying to join her mother's video conference calls.

"She tries to grab my laptop and pull it to herself so she can see my colleagues closer up," she said.

Children with autism struggling with isolation:

Quote:

In addition to all the worry and uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanessa Coens is concerned about her two boys with autism regressing during this period of self-isolation.

Normally, 12-year-old Owen and 10-year-old Ben would be in school, which Coens said is critically important to developing and maintaining their social skills. Ball hockey and karate are also usually a part of their daily schedule.

"To get back into that, it's going to be very difficult," said Coens, who also works for Autism Ontario from Niagara Falls. "I worry about my sons, both of them, regressing socially … I worry about [him] not wanting to have that connection with other people that we've been working on with him."

The downside of flattening the curve:

Quote:

If the current economic shutdown continues much beyond a few weeks, the long-term health consequences will far exceed the acute havoc of the coronavirus. We must, therefore, manage both the COVID-19 health crisis and the long-term crisis that has already begun.  

The COVID-19 has taken 1,046 lives in the U.S. to date, and it will take many more. In the worst case, 81 percent of the population becomes infected over the course of the epidemic, resulting in 2.2 million deaths in the United States.  By contrast, when the Diamond Princess cruise ship experience is projected onto the age structure of the U.S. population, it gives us a mid-range death rate among the infected of 0.3 percent. If we assume, as with the Diamond Princess, that 20 percent of the population becomes sick with coronavirus, then the expected number of U.S. deaths would be about 200,000. In this plausible scenario, total COVID-19 deaths is equivalent to six years of deaths from flu. Death from coronavirus is a tragedy, to be sure, but it won’t be our greatest. 

...

The long-term health consequences of our present economic downturn are real. Heart disease, already the leading killer of Americans, will doubtless take more lives. Home confinement restricts exercise and access to fresh foods, which in turn lead to increased rates of obesity. Isolation increases depression and despair. Death by suicides have been increasing steadily in the U.S. over the past two decades; there’s every reason to believe that they will increase. Moreover, if 2018 was the first year in three decades that opioid deaths dropped slightly, coronavirus-era containment measures are sure to reverse this. Adverse health effects are manifestly clear at the individual, family, team, community and national levels.  

...

Although a flatter curve may reduce deaths in particularly overburdened health systems, the net number of lives lost may not substantially differ over the course of the disease. The extent of long-run adverse health consequences, however, will increase with the extent of damage to the economy from prolonged efforts to flatten the curve.

Pondering

If those children became ill and died I doubt parents would be happier.

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
If those children became ill and died I doubt parents would be happier.

Such a callous dismissal of the very real impact that this is having on such families. But hey, they're only disabled children, it's okay to sacrifice their well-being for the good of the community? I would think that these families are far more aware of the direct health risk that covid poses for their children than you or I do.

Do you understand that in some cases these children's lives actually depend on receiving such therapies? Do you understand that not receiving these therapies can have not only negative impacts on quality of life now and down the road, but that that might cost lives as well?

In any case, the media is surrounding us with this message of doom and gloom that we're all going to die unless we stay home for 18 months. There is even a thread here to talk about that. I was hoping that in this thread we could have an honest discussion about the negative impacts of social distancing without it reverting back to, "yeah but coronavirus!"

eastnoireast

https://giphy.com/gifs/cMcEpqYXiiHuYxucrY/html5

well, flattening the curve makes the whole clusterfuck longer. 

so far in nova scotia, the count is 2 dead involving covid, and 1, make that 2 dead involving domestic altercations.

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a couple of my ex's had significant hearing loss in one ear or the other, and so i was made aware of the coping strategies involved.   a lot of that involves quasi-lip reading and other clues.   enter the masked cashier behind plexiglass in an edgy noisy store...   

just one of many little un-noticed turns-of-the-screw, piling up on top of each other. 

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in the short/medium term, the lockdown, and resulting reduction in pollution will probably save lives overall, but that's somewhat of a separate issue.

speaking of lockdowns,

https://www.ft.com/content/10d8f5e8-74eb-11ea-95fe-fcd274e920ca

On March 24, at 8pm, Modi appeared on TV again to announce that, from midnight onwards, all of India would be under lockdown. Markets would be closed. All transport, public as well as private, would be disallowed. 

He said he was taking this decision not just as a prime minister, but as our family elder. Who else can decide, without consulting the state governments that would have to deal with the fallout of this decision, that a nation of 1.38bn people should be locked down with zero preparation and with four hours’ notice? His methods definitely give the impression that India’s prime minister thinks of citizens as a hostile force that needs to be ambushed, taken by surprise, but never trusted.

Locked down we were. Many health professionals and epidemiologists have applauded this move. Perhaps they are right in theory. But surely none of them can support the calamitous lack of planning or preparedness that turned the world’s biggest, most punitive lockdown into the exact opposite of what it was meant to achieve.

The man who loves spectacles created the mother of all spectacles.

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The lockdown worked like a chemical experiment that suddenly illuminated hidden things. As shops, restaurants, factories and the construction industry shut down, as the wealthy and the middle classes enclosed themselves in gated colonies, our towns and megacities began to extrude their working-class citizens — their migrant workers — like so much unwanted accrual. 

Many driven out by their employers and landlords, millions of impoverished, hungry, thirsty people, young and old, men, women, children, sick people, blind people, disabled people, with nowhere else to go, with no public transport in sight, began a long march home to their villages. They walked for days, towards Badaun, Agra, Azamgarh, Aligarh, Lucknow, Gorakhpur — hundreds of kilometres away.

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Aristotleded24

eastnoireast wrote:

https://giphy.com/gifs/cMcEpqYXiiHuYxucrY/html5

well, flattening the curve makes the whole clusterfuck longer. 

so far in nova scotia, the count is 2 dead involving covid, and 1, make that 2 dead involving domestic altercations.

That's true. Health officials are presenting a false dichotomy between social distancing which will save lives, and business as usual, which will cost lives. They should know that all aspects of community health are connected, and that prolonged shutdown orders will have negative health impacts, and yes, will also result in lost lives over the longer term. Does that mean that we should just go on with life as usual and go to big events like concerts? Not necessarily. Some of these shutdowns may have been neccessary in the shorter term, but we need a long-term exit strategy that takes into account not only coronavirus but other aspects as well. For example, maybe we don't have any summer festivals or professional sports this year, but we can to back to school and church at the start of June. Maybe the beaches will be safe to open for August Long weekend.

Pondering

I don't know why you think governments are advocating extreme shutdown for 18 months. They are not. The plan is exactly what you describe. Big festivals will come back later, long after the schools. Many promote not reopening the schools until September but no one is advocating keeping them closed for 18 months. The answer to delivering help to special needs children need not mean an immediate reopening of the schools. How do they normally manage during the summer months? Those are the children most at risk from a return to school where they would mix with the general population.

Legault's hare-brained idea of reopening the schools first is predicated on the notion that kids don't get that sick so herd immunity would begin to develop.

This worldwide shut down is not happening on a whim. It's happening because the alternative would be worse for everyone including and especially the most vulnerable. Some people have no choice but to go to work the least the rest of us can do is stay out of their way so they can avoid being crowded.

Everything I've been reading points to waves during which measures will be tightened and loosened depending on where we are at. We need the ability to test more broadly first. Then we have to be able to do contact tracing. Public mask wearing is about to get much more popular and that will help. Things will neither stay as they are nor revert to what was. Large festivals will be the last to return. I am sure businesses hope that will be before next summer but that may not be the case.

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
I don't know why you think governments are advocating extreme shutdown for 18 months. They are not.

They are at the very least very careless in how they present this message to the public. When people hear things like "this is the new normal" and time frames like "12-18 months," it's easy to see why people are confused.

Pondering wrote:
The plan is exactly what you describe. Big festivals will come back later, long after the schools. Many promote not reopening the schools until September but no one is advocating keeping them closed for 18 months.

What plans are you talking about? I've heard the Quebec and Saskatchewan Premiers muse about opening things back up, but they have not indicated any concrete details about when that might take place. Unless you have access to some insider information that you wish to share with the rest of us, your guess is as good as anyone else's.

Pondering wrote:
The answer to delivering help to special needs children need not mean an immediate reopening of the schools.

Well the closure of schools has not only removed a place for them to get support, but social distancing protocols have also impacted any other service delivery. Plus, did you not see in the one article the picture of one of the boys in a pool with is dad? How are any of them supposed to go to a pool these days? That is one option they might have had in the summer that they don't have now.

Pondering wrote:
Those are the children most at risk from a return to school where they would mix with the general population.

These parents know better the elevated health risks that they would face from coronavirus better than some condescending internet poster who purports to know what's best for them or that they must have support in the summer while being callously dismissive of the cost that these measures have had on these children and their families.

Pondering wrote:
It's happening because the alternative would be worse for everyone including and especially the most vulnerable.

So having access to regular services and programming is worse for special needs children who have been cut off, or for victims of domestic violence who are murdered because they were trapped at home and couldn't access shelters due to protocol changes for social distancing?

I started this thread specifically to talk about the negative impact of social distancing on society and that public health officials need to take this into account as well. Instead, I'm very angry at seeing a glib dismissal as to say, "the alternative is worse" or to pretend that simply hooking up everybody to skype gets rid of these impacts.

Aristotleded24

Mental illness will be a problem:

Quote:

An epidemiologist says social isolation could lead to a range of mental health issues as people face the prospect of living under the current COVID-19 restrictions for months.

Sandro Galea, dean at Boston University's School of Public Health, says the isolation as well as the uncertainty about how long it will last and how the pandemic will play out can all contribute to increased anxiety.

"We humans are ultimately social. We're social creatures and we do need interaction — physical and social — with others.

Aristotleded24

Social recession worries:

Quote:

As people around the world practice physical distancing, some worry that a social recession could be on the horizon.

While the word is more often associated with economics, neuroscientist James Coan says that a deficit of social connections can be harmful for both mental and physical health.

...

Though social media and video chatting can be good substitutes for face-to-face interaction, Coan says forming virtual bonds can be tricky because humans didn't evolve to interact with others through a screen.

...

"Any time I'm looking on Twitter and somebody starts talking about the last time they hugged somebody, I just shut that down. I don't like thinking about that."

Virtual interactions don't offer the same connection that things like sharing a meal or chatting with your local coffee shop barista can, she adds.

Coan, who has studied the effect hand holding has on the human body, says it's not surprising that Carter would crave that kind of physical connection.

"Touch is one of the most important things that we get to experience socially. It really matters to our brains that we get touched," he said adding that it can help manage stress.

"Some colleagues of mine and I have found that touch — simple hand-holding — can actually decrease the amount of pain you feel."

lagatta4

Yes, we are primates, and our Hominoid (great ape) family is very much a social animal.

I'm sure Pondering is as aware as any of us of the need for physical distancing to slow the spread of covid-19, but it comes at a great psychological and social cost, and even a health one in terms of physical fitness and the threat of increased obesity and degraded muscle tone.

Wester Wester's picture

One of the things I've experienced during this time is the sudden breakdown of relationship(s) in the face of it.  A neighbour of mine, who has some mental health issues though is otherwise functional, has gone over the edge.  She no longer speaks to me, since in her eyes my afternoon walk violates the isolation protocol.  I'm not the only one who has been targeted by her.  The sad thing is that I am the only one on my street who ever acknowledged her or spent time with her, in an effort to be kind and civil.

Then there's the friend of 45 years who has walled me out following my decision to quit a job where the shifts became 'Continental', meaning 12-hour back-to-backs of both two and three days consecutively.  This change was in direct response to the pandemic.  I'm an older worker, and that shift would have done me in.  So my decision to safeguard my health has had a negative impact on that friendship.  That the plant has laid-off 2/3 of it's employees because of the virus does not seem to change that.

The third example is the rise of people whom my sister refers to as 'The Yellers': folks who seem to glean a wealth of satisfaction by loudly pointing out that you're not 2M apart, that you shouldn't talk to anyone, and that shopping is not a social experience.  They are loud, and they are annoying.

That's my three.  Please, anyone who has any thoughts on this, I would greatly like to hear from you.  I need ideas, here.

Thanks, All ~

Wester

lagatta4

I also get the "older" (semi-retired worker, not debilitated elder) stuff, probably because I let my greys grow out several years ago, and am very happy about that these days!  As If I should stay in, rather than do my groceries from time to time. I suspect "packages" will contain a fair bit of stuff I'm allergic to or don't eat.  And Livia needs her "dental" cat food.

I have never heard of Continental shifts.

Unfortunately, there is a certain subgroup of humans we call "boss de bécosses" here in Québec. The kind of petty tyrants Kafka skewered.  I have a right to walk outside or ride my bicycle, and to shop at the businesses allowed to remain open. It is bad enough not speaking to anyone. A longtime friend (older than I am) has demonstrated such tendencies and it is putting me on edge because I don't want to lose a valued friendship, but can't abide someone who is not an employer or client telling me what to do, and even in the latter case, they must be courteous and respectful.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
  I started this thread specifically to talk about the negative impact of social distancing on society and that public health officials need to take this into account as well. Instead, I'm very angry at seeing a glib dismissal as to say, "the alternative is worse" or to pretend that simply hooking up everybody to skype gets rid of these impacts. 

It doesn't seem like it. It seems more like your intent is to condemn social distancing measures and argue for an early lifting of them due to the negative impact it is having on disadvantaged subsets of the population.

All children and their families matter not just special needs children. Your dismissal of the dangers to the lives of other children is glib. Children also come with pre-existing conditions and even some without have died. I said nothing about hooking kids up to skype as a solution.

Every parent knows as soon as the kids start going to daycare or school the entire family starts coming down with anything and everything that is going around. It is in the nature of children to be huggy feely and share things and go home and be huggy feely there too. Sending kids back to school before September is a terrible idea. Starting with local day camps is a possible avenue.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 They are at the very least very careless in how they present this message to the public. When people hear things like "this is the new normal" and time frames like "12-18 months," it's easy to see why people are confused.  

People in general maybe but not you.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
  What plans are you talking about? I've heard the Quebec and Saskatchewan Premiers muse about opening things back up, but they have not indicated any concrete details about when that might take place. Unless you have access to some insider information that you wish to share with the rest of us, your guess is as good as anyone else's. 

School closures were announced as temporary. The Quebec date is May 4th which parents and teachers are objecting to. The absolute latest I have heard of anywhere is September because we are coming into the summer holidays anyway. That is why I asked what happens in the summer. Are they also lacking in supports during that time? Schools and daycares have opened for health care workers could the same be done for special needs students? Reopening schools to the broader public is not the sole solution.

I have certainly not seen any announcements suggesting the schools remain closed for 12 to 18 months. Throughout the world we are seeing a process that takes 2 to 4 months to get over the first wave after which things start opening up.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
   These parents know better the elevated health risks that they would face from coronavirus better than some condescending internet poster who purports to know what's best for them or that they must have support in the summer while being callously dismissive of the cost that these measures have had on these children and their families.

I know of no organizations representing these parents so positioned to speak for the group. I personally believe that children are people with rights of their own that supercede the rights of parents. I believe the state should step in to save the lives of children if need be. If anyone is condescending it is you. Apparently you consider yourself a mindreader.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
  So having access to regular services and programming is worse for special needs children who have been cut off, or for victims of domestic violence who are murdered because they were trapped at home and couldn't access shelters due to protocol changes for social distancing? 

Don't be ridiculous. There are better solutions than reopening schools and shelters. Victims of domestic violence often don't go to shelters if they perceive them to be worse than dealing with the violence. They shouldn't have to risk exposing themselves to covid-19 to gain safety. There are empty hotels and dorms.

Things are going to start up again bit by bit. There are two immediate key elements. The first is sufficient PPEs for workers but also masks for the general public. The second is widespread testing ability. Restrictions will be eased once those are available. They may periodically tighten up again until there is a vaccine.

You speak of the cost of "flattening the curve" as if there is a reasonable alternative.

If your point is to highlight segments of the population that need more help to get through this then of course we should be looking for ways to help them.

If your point is to use their plight to argue for an early lifting of social distancing measures I disagree with your assumption of personal moral superiority.

eastnoireast

Wester wrote:

That's my three.  Please, anyone who has any thoughts on this, I would greatly like to hear from you.  I need ideas, here.

Thanks, All ~

Wester

my three are "i'm ok with martial law", from a hippy i have known for decades; "oh well, if we just do what we're told we'll get thru it ok" somewhat unsurprisingly from an elderly couple down the road; and a friend walmart-bashing the "fucking idiots" he saw there, 6 in a car!  can you imagine!

my coping strategy so far is (try to) just nod and smile, and use this as an opportunity to figure out who i can really trust when things get stupid(er).  

anyone who repeats a gov talking point to me, falls hard in ranking.

i went into a nearby small town recently, and things had changed in a month.  the foodstore was not a happy place, anymore.   lines on the floor, plexi shields, tension you could cut with a knife.   employees argued over who had been texted for some shift.   shoppers eyed each other with suspicion. 

while getting fuel, i learned that the chinese were "tryna kill us", and that blacks in ny were dying at 3x.  "well yeah, the poverty" i ventured.  "no!  snort.  lifestyle".

so yeah, a lot of un-bonding of our social glues.  fear'll conveniently do that. 

 

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
  I started this thread specifically to talk about the negative impact of social distancing on society and that public health officials need to take this into account as well. Instead, I'm very angry at seeing a glib dismissal as to say, "the alternative is worse" or to pretend that simply hooking up everybody to skype gets rid of these impacts. 

It doesn't seem like it. It seems more like your intent is to condemn social distancing measures and argue for an early lifting of them due to the negative impact it is having on disadvantaged subsets of the population.

That's correct. Any time a government tries to intimidate a population into submission by saying, "there's this threat, do as we say or you're all going to die," it is important that what they are saying receives great scrutiny.

Have you ever seen a frog boiled in water? If you try and put the frog into water that is already boiling, the frog will jump out. If you place the frog in room temperature water and then slowly raise the temperature of the water, the frog will not notice. That is how governments move to take away people's rights, and I see many parallels between what the government is now doing and how they scared us into accepting more surveillance post-911 and ultimately sold the Iraq War. Governments do it a bit at a time. First we were told that school was going to close for 3 weeks. Now schools are closed indefinitely. Then they told us that we had to wait for a vaccine that will come in 12-18 months. But the first wave is starting to stabilize and is about to go down? Oh, not so fast! There will be more waves! I even saw a click-bait CNN title suggesting that self quarantine and social distancing now might last until 2022. Then, viruses mutate, and watch for the news to talk about all the different ways this virus has mutated, so for safety, we will never be able to leave our houses.

Governments love using crises to take away people's rights and control their population. They will use the coronavirus crisis to do likewise.

Pondering wrote:
Every parent knows as soon as the kids start going to daycare or school the entire family starts coming down with anything and everything that is going around. It is in the nature of children to be huggy feely and share things and go home and be huggy feely there too. Sending kids back to school before September is a terrible idea. Starting with local day camps is a possible avenue.

With summer festivals closing down, will there even be any day camps this year?

Pondering wrote:
All children and their families matter not just special needs children. Your dismissal of the dangers to the lives of other children is glib. Children also come with pre-existing conditions and even some without have died. I said nothing about hooking kids up to skype as a solution.

No more glib than your dismissal of the lives that will be lost to domestic violence, or from people who commit suicide who will be pushed into terminal depression because of this pandemic, or people under stress who turn to addictive substances like cigarettes and alcohol to cope. How about long-run deaths from cardiovascular disease as people stay inside more and excercise less?

By the way, if you want to talk about children with compromised immunity, children as a whole are less vulnerable to covid than any other demographic. It is true that some children with compromised immunity will die from coronavirus. It is also true that children with compromised immunity have died in previous  years, and those deaths are just as tragic and heartbreaking for families as anything else. We are hearing more about coronavirus deaths because the media is actively searching out these stories and highlighting them because that is what people are talking about. The media rarely highlighted this issue before coronavirus.

Pondering wrote:
I have certainly not seen any announcements suggesting the schools remain closed for 12 to 18 months. Throughout the world we are seeing a process that takes 2 to 4 months to get over the first wave after which things start opening up.

Well at the very least, with talk about "12-18 months" and "the new normal," the media is being very sloppy in its reporting, inflammatory as a means of getting people to pay attention, and the politicians are careless in communicating their true intention.

Pondering wrote:
You speak of the cost of "flattening the curve" as if there is a reasonable alternative.

We haven't been given an honest evaluation of them. There are some articles questioning these measures (particularly in the National Post), however there has been no serious challenge or public debate on this topic. The media in particualr has essentially gone along with the government's viewpoint and not challenged these assumptions in any way. That marginalizes any dissenting opinions. We should have open discussions between experts who say, "let's flatten the curve, here's why" and others who say, "flattening the curve is a bad idea, here's why" and that would better inform public policy. With the dissenting opinions being marginalized as they are, people are forced into different camps and have a hard time reaching a fair conclusion. Instead, they tend to form their opinions based on preconceived notions.

Pondering wrote:
If your point is to use their plight to argue for an early lifting of social distancing measures I disagree with your assumption of personal moral superiority.

My point is to have a clear and honest discussion about what we are doing and what is the cost-benefit analysis. Maybe you think that given the alternatives that flattening the curve is the best course of action, and there's nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. That's fine, we will disagree. But I don't think anyone can honestly say that what we are going has no costs or negative impacts either.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 No more glib than your dismissal of the lives that will be lost to domestic violence, or from people who commit suicide who will be pushed into terminal depression because of this pandemic, or people under stress who turn to addictive substances like cigarettes and alcohol to cope. How about long-run deaths from cardiovascular disease as people stay inside more and excercise less? 

Calling me glib was a personal attack. I responded by pointing out that your comments can be interpreted the same way. How about neither of us are being glib. How about believing that the people here care about others even if they disagree about the best way to achieve a more equitable and healthy planet?

Aristotleded24 wrote:
  Any time a government tries to intimidate a population into submission by saying, "there's this threat, do as we say or you're all going to die," it is important that what they are saying receives great scrutiny.

Covid-19 is not a made-up threat like WMDs in Iraq. It has decimated countries of every political stripe. Yes governments take advantage of such situations to increase their power but that doesn't mean the threat doesn't exist.

The notion that the government wanted to decimate the travel and hospitality industries as well as brick and motar stores and give up all the revenue generated by fesivals to me is the makings of conspiracy theories.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
  That is how governments move to take away people's rights, and I see many parallels between what the government is now doing and how they scared us into accepting more surveillance post-911 and ultimately sold the Iraq War. Governments do it a bit at a time. First we were told that school was going to close for 3 weeks. Now schools are closed indefinitely. Then they told us that we had to wait for a vaccine that will come in 12-18 months. But the first wave is starting to stabilize and is about to go down? Oh, not so fast! There will be more waves! I even saw a click-bait CNN title suggesting that self quarantine and social distancing now might last until 2022. Then, viruses mutate, and watch for the news to talk about all the different ways this virus has mutated, so for safety, we will never be able to leave our houses. 

The situation is unprecedented. They are learning as they go along. They didn't and don't have all the answers. They and we have seen what has happened in countries or areas that have been overwhelmed by the virus. That is what they are trying to avoid.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Governments love using crises to take away people's rights and control their population. They will use the coronavirus crisis to do likewise. 

Yes they will. That doesn't mean the threat isn't real. Our healthcare system hasn't been entirely overwhelmed because of the physical distancing. Even so there is a shortage of PPE. They can't handle more than what they are getting now. It takes time to build capacity in the form of equipment and staff. The logistics are not simple.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 With summer festivals closing down, will there even be any day camps this year? 

Prossibly not. Even if they open parents might not feel comfortable sending their children. It depends on what happens between now and then. It looks like we might be flattening the curve with the exception of longterm care facilities.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 By the way, if you want to talk about children with compromised immunity, children as a whole are less vulnerable to covid than any other demographic. It is true that some children with compromised immunity will die from coronavirus. It is also true that children with compromised immunity have died in previous  years, and those deaths are just as tragic and heartbreaking for families as anything else. We are hearing more about coronavirus deaths because the media is actively searching out these stories and highlighting them because that is what people are talking about. The media rarely highlighted this issue before coronavirus. 

Children are carriers. They bring illnesses home to their parents who bring them to work. One of the most dangerous things about this virus is that for many it is symptomless while they are spreading it. Yes the media looks for sympathetic human interest stories. They aren't making up the numbers. The shortage of PPE equipment is not exagerated. The medical profession is still learning how to care for victims.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Well at the very least, with talk about "12-18 months" and "the new normal," the media is being very sloppy in its reporting, inflammatory as a means of getting people to pay attention, and the politicians are careless in communicating their true intention. 

Politicians don't know their true intentions. They are flying by the seat of their pants. They are listening to experts an authorities. Medical professionals say 12-18 months is the absolute soonest they could have a vaccine ready.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 We haven't been given an honest evaluation of them. There are some articles questioning these measures (particularly in the National Post), however there has been no serious challenge or public debate on this topic. The media in particualr has essentially gone along with the government's viewpoint and not challenged these assumptions in any way. That marginalizes any dissenting opinions. We should have open discussions between experts who say, "let's flatten the curve, here's why" and others who say, "flattening the curve is a bad idea, here's why" and that would better inform public policy. With the dissenting opinions being marginalized as they are, people are forced into different camps and have a hard time reaching a fair conclusion. Instead, they tend to form their opinions based on preconceived notions. 

The National Post also puts the oil industry ahead of the environment. They are libertarian. There is no real debate about what will happen when restrictions are lifted. It hasn't been eradicated therefore there will be waves. That means the vulnerable, which includes me, will have to "shelter in place" or wear n95 masks which are not available. It will be russian roulette. The deaths will be spread out but they will still occur and it isn't just the vulnerable. Some very healthy young people have died. Yes people die all the time. Not this many this fast. Do you think the nurses are lying and really there is plenty of protective equipment for them? They aren't really working as hard as they say?

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 My point is to have a clear and honest discussion about what we are doing and what is the cost-benefit analysis. Maybe you think that given the alternatives that flattening the curve is the best course of action, and there's nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. That's fine, we will disagree. But I don't think anyone can honestly say that what we are going has no costs or negative impacts either. 

The likes of Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil argue against. They are fools. If we do not flatten the curve the health care system will be overwhelmed. To suggest that is an acceptable choice to me is just unbelievable. It is the nurses and caregivers who are being overwhelmed and don't have enough protective equipment. I don't see how you can argue that they can or should be sacrificed because that is what you are advocating.

There is no debate about whether or not a surge will occur when restrictions are lifted. We are buying time for the medical system to prepare for the next wave.

We can't open up until there is enough PPE for all health professionals, caregivers and orderlys not to mention N95s for the general public. Factories are switching over as fast as they can. There are practical benchmarks we need to reach before we can talk about reopening and reopening will happen in stages. Aside from PPEs we have to be able to test and track contacts.

No one is denying the harm done by this shutdown and we do need to find ways to help those being hurt most but the solution cannot be sacrificing the health care system and those who work within it. That would help no one.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Yes there are drawbscks to social distancing. However this virus is like no other in recent years with the potential to spread from people who have no symptoms of the disease. Organized isolation seems to be the wisest plan.

yes women and children are being abused and they're are drawbscks which do require dialogue.

i agree with Pondering that the term "cost-benefit analysis" when we are talking about human lives does come across as being glib and indifferent to the people who are most vulnerable. They are not death statistics. They are people who are terrified right now that they get sick and die if they come into contact with someone who is infected.

Men do have a choice. They can stop being violent. Virusee cannot stop being viruses which can kill people. Through social isolation it has been demonstrated that social cooperation does seem to work to mitigate against further contamination.

Please stop referring to vulnerable people as cost benefit analysis statistics. It does sound ghastly and aweful.

Fuethwrmoee, I have never run across Pondering trivializing domestic violence. What she has posted is that celebritiee like Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil have gotten into very serious trouble for downplaying the seriousness of this virus. In fact, Dr. Phil had to formally apologize and retract his statements for making the same glib remarks that have surfaced on this thread. These opinions are the same ones being expressed by s Donald Teump supporters, white men who object to the government telling them what they need to do with their bodies-stay home. These are the same men who have no problem interfering with women's rights to safe access to abortions.

There is a fine line between expressing the downsides of social isolation vs taking reasonable measures to try to save the lives of people who need our help at this time. Some of this argument is taking on a right-wing agenda. 
 

I was very close to someone who had to suffer from abuse by her husband on a daily basis. Social isolating exacerbates male rage. When this pandemic is over, male rage and violence will continue just like it always has. But right now, some are living in fear that if they go to the hospital for dialysis, chemotherapy, or any other necessary treatment that they will get infected with this virus and they may die. I have seen that fear. These vulnerable people are not responsible for male violence. Letting them glibly die as just a death statistic is not going to solve the problem of male violence against women. And our governments are not going to pour the billions of dollars into setting up the facilities and programs that women need to flee male violence safely and effectively.

male violence against women and children is valid to discuss in this thread because it is definitely pertinent. However, it is not acceptable to entertain social irresponsibility due to a lack of respect or regard to people whose lives are in danger right now.

There are all kinds of right wing boards out there with white angry men who are angry at the government for curtailing their freedoms. Covid has a long incubation time and it is unique in spreading without people knowing that they are infected. So let us respect everyone's needs and most importantly the most vulnerable and let us work cooperatively to try to stop this virus from spreading and killing people.

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
  Any time a government tries to intimidate a population into submission by saying, "there's this threat, do as we say or you're all going to die," it is important that what they are saying receives great scrutiny.

Covid-19 is not a made-up threat like WMDs in Iraq. It has decimated countries of every political stripe. Yes governments take advantage of such situations to increase their power but that doesn't mean the threat doesn't exist.

The notion that the government wanted to decimate the travel and hospitality industries as well as brick and motar stores and give up all the revenue generated by fesivals to me is the makings of conspiracy theories.

Fair point. Having said that, there will be certain winners and losers to come out of these restrictions. Would you not agree that the surveillance industry and big tech do stand to beneifit greatly, and that they will be very reluctant to hand back the power they received in this pandemic once the crisis has passed?

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
  That is how governments move to take away people's rights, and I see many parallels between what the government is now doing and how they scared us into accepting more surveillance post-911 and ultimately sold the Iraq War. Governments do it a bit at a time. First we were told that school was going to close for 3 weeks. Now schools are closed indefinitely. Then they told us that we had to wait for a vaccine that will come in 12-18 months. But the first wave is starting to stabilize and is about to go down? Oh, not so fast! There will be more waves! I even saw a click-bait CNN title suggesting that self quarantine and social distancing now might last until 2022. Then, viruses mutate, and watch for the news to talk about all the different ways this virus has mutated, so for safety, we will never be able to leave our houses. 

The situation is unprecedented. They are learning as they go along. They didn't and don't have all the answers. They and we have seen what has happened in countries or areas that have been overwhelmed by the virus. That is what they are trying to avoid.

Is it really that unprecedented, or are we simply looking at an historically recurring event that has happened throughout human history only on a bigger scale? If you ever watched any documentary on the Spanish Flu, the narrators specifically said that it wasn't a question of if something like that would happen again, but when. Since coronavirus went global, there is now new information coming out that Canada and the US both rolled back pandemic preparations that had been in place previously. So somebody in charge knew about the danger and dropped the ball.

Pondering wrote:
Do you think the nurses are lying and really there is plenty of protective equipment for them? They aren't really working as hard as they say?

I absolutely believe medical professionals when they say they are underequipped. But that gets me to a bigger point. Individuals are being asked to go to great lengths to flatten the curve, lengths that no individual can possibly go to. We've seen high levels of anxiety, from people who are panicked because maybe the went home and forgot to wash their hands before eating something out of the fridge, to people who are ready to call 911 on a couple they see holding hands walking down the streets. Meanwhile, the collective action on the part of government that is necessary to meet this thing is lacking, as you correctly pointed out with PPE. Then there is testing, which we need more of in every jurisdiction. If it's that bad that we can't visit friends, then that is reckless endangerment of public safety on the part of government decision makers.

Pondering wrote:
Do you think the nurses are lying and really there is plenty of protective equipment for them? They aren't really working as hard as they say?

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
 My point is to have a clear and honest discussion about what we are doing and what is the cost-benefit analysis. Maybe you think that given the alternatives that flattening the curve is the best course of action, and there's nothing I can say to convince you otherwise. That's fine, we will disagree. But I don't think anyone can honestly say that what we are going has no costs or negative impacts either. 

The likes of Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil argue against.

I haven't seen Dr. Phil's remarks on this.

Misfit wrote:
i agree with Pondering that the term "cost-benefit analysis" when we are talking about human lives does come across as being glib and indifferent to the people who are most vulnerable. They are not death statistics. They are people who are terrified right now that they get sick and die if they come into contact with someone who is infected.

...

Please stop referring to vulnerable people as cost benefit analysis statistics. It does sound ghastly and aweful.

Fair enough. Bad choice of words on my part.

Misfit wrote:
Fuethwrmoee, I have never run across Pondering trivializing domestic violence.

I thought about this, and you're right. I have been unfairly going after and using this particular topic to score points rather than engage in honest discussion.

Misfit wrote:
There is a fine line between expressing the downsides of social isolation vs taking reasonable measures to try to save the lives of people who need our help at this time. Some of this argument is taking on a right-wing agenda.

I think if we don't have an honest discussion about these downsides, then the right-wing will capitalize on this and will monopolize the discussion.

Misfit wrote:
I was very close to someone who had to suffer from abuse by her husband on a daily basis. Social isolating exacerbates male rage. When this pandemic is over, male rage and violence will continue just like it always has. But right now, some are living in fear that if they go to the hospital for dialysis, chemotherapy, or any other necessary treatment that they will get infected with this virus and they may die. I have seen that fear. These vulnerable people are not responsible for male violence. Letting them glibly die as just a death statistic is not going to solve the problem of male violence against women. And our governments are not going to pour the billions of dollars into setting up the facilities and programs that women need to flee male violence safely and effectively.

male violence against women and children is valid to discuss in this thread because it is definitely pertinent.

Can we agree on these 2 things?

1) Asking people to stay at home when their domestic situations are dangerous is less than idea, and specific plans are needed to address that.

2) Once this is over, we need to do better at supporting victims of domestic violence.

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
 No more glib than your dismissal of the lives that will be lost to domestic violence, or from people who commit suicide who will be pushed into terminal depression because of this pandemic, or people under stress who turn to addictive substances like cigarettes and alcohol to cope. How about long-run deaths from cardiovascular disease as people stay inside more and excercise less? 

Calling me glib was a personal attack. I responded by pointing out that your comments can be interpreted the same way. How about neither of us are being glib. How about believing that the people here care about others even if they disagree about the best way to achieve a more equitable and healthy planet?

Fair enough. Moving forward, I will take more care to respond more respectfully on points where I disagree or feel something needs to be challenged.

Aristotleded24

Some cancer surgeries delayed:

Quote:

The Nova Scotia Health Authority's cancer care program is making decisions daily, trying to best balance the safety of its patients with existing resources.

"We're in unprecedented times," said Dr. Drew Bethune, medical director of the provincial cancer care program.

"We're doing our best at being as innovative as possible, so this is extremely necessary, regretfully."

The changes include:

  • Delaying some surgeries.
  • Suspending the colon cancer prevention program.
  • Cancer patients can no longer bring a support person to most appointments.
  • Radiation therapy patients are now receiving higher doses, less often.

"It's really, very, very difficult. Cancer patients are at a time of their greatest need," Bethune said.

He points out cancer patients have compromised immune systems, putting them at an extremely high risk of developing serious medical complications if they contract COVID-19.

So apparently the choice is between one's life being in danger as the cancer continues to eat away at the body, or from being more vulnerable to covid infections as a result of the treatment and surgery.

What a horrible situation that must be. My heart really goes out to these people. :(

Bacchus

Speaking business-wise the winners will be business we really didnt want to win and they will then be first choice for everyone after this has passed.

Speaking personally, if I needed things this was my usual run:

I need printer Ink and some paper and pens -Staples

I need the latest bestsellers or some magazines-Chapters, Used bookstores

I need some games for my daughters xbox and a watch repaired as well as clothes-Mall

I need some stuff for my car and for some DIY repairs around the house-Home Depot, Canadian Tire

Some fresh veggies and to support locally-Farmers Market

Some socializing with friends-Cigar store, bar or restaurant

All of the above are closed leaving Walmart and a big chain grocery store as my options

So they make big profits out of this and the rest may go under

 

lagatta4

Fortunately I never shop at Walmart (none are close to my place) and rarely at Provigo/Loblaws. I've actually found some smaller chains here and independent groceries provide safer conditions as well as more fresh produce.

But I am high anxiety right now and exhausted - the fact that I spilled some sauce while roasting chicken legs, onions and (lovely) little yellow potatoes from Métro had me up a wall. Just tidying up the house after that took me hours (and house is a 3 1/2 flat with one human and one small black cat).

kropotkin1951

Bacchus I think many of the things you mentioned can also be bought at London Drugs. My keyboard bit the dust the first week of isolation but they were open. They like Walmart sell groceries as well as most everything else so that is probably why..

lagatta4

Fortunately I never shop at Walmart (none are close to my place) and rarely at Provigo/Loblaws. I've actually found some smaller chains here and independent groceries provide safer conditions as well as more fresh produce.

But I am high anxiety right now and exhausted - the fact that I spilled some sauce while roasting chicken legs, onions and (lovely) little yellow potatoes from Métro had me up a wall. Just tidying up the house after that took me hours (and house is a 3 1/2 flat with one human and one small black cat).

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Canadian Tire is still open (at least it was two weeks ago) in Winnipeg. I also learned from friends that garden centres will be open, a relief for those with gardens. Also smaller independent grocers are doing delivery services (and with shorter wait times than Safeway/Sobeys). McNally Robinson, a great book, gift and toy store, also has a strong online presence so hopefully they can survive this.

Bacchus

Canadian Tires in ontario, at least, are now closed

Aristotleded24
Pondering

Thank-you Aristotled

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Fair point. Having said that, there will be certain winners and losers to come out of these restrictions. Would you not agree that the surveillance industry and big tech do stand to beneifit greatly, and that they will be very reluctant to hand back the power they received in this pandemic once the crisis has passed?

Absolutely but even that might be turned at least somewhat to the advantage of citizens. I remember concerns about cameras, and there is still reason to be concerned, but cameras have proven police brutality. Citizens have been able to record Data collection is so easy there is no reason the government books shouldn't be far more open. The government works for us, or is supposed to. We have the right to see the numbers without a specific request for information. Contracts for services across Canada should be searchable. We should know how much goes to administration and how much to frontline staff. The ability to follow the money is powerful.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Is it really that unprecedented, or are we simply looking at an historically recurring event that has happened throughout human history only on a bigger scale? If you ever watched any documentary on the Spanish Flu, the narrators specifically said that it wasn't a question of if something like that would happen again, but when. Since coronavirus went global, there is now new information coming out that Canada and the US both rolled back pandemic preparations that had been in place previously. So somebody in charge knew about the danger and dropped the ball. 

It is unprecedented because globalization spread it fast. The jetsetters brought it around the world and our supply chains are global. I have been saying for years that our security is threatened more by the globalization of necessities of life. If it is possible to provide a portion of something for ourselves we should be doing it as a matter of national security. We should be building capacity instead we are dependent on imported labour. There's a discussion that needs to be had. The law of supply and demand means employers have to pay whatever it takes to get X job done. If that means food prices go up well then that is the real cost of the food. We need a 15$ minimum wage indexed to inflation.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
I absolutely believe medical professionals when they say they are underequipped. But that gets me to a bigger point. Individuals are being asked to go to great lengths to flatten the curve, lengths that no individual can possibly go to. We've seen high levels of anxiety, from people who are panicked because maybe the went home and forgot to wash their hands before eating something out of the fridge, to people who are ready to call 911 on a couple they see holding hands walking down the streets. Meanwhile, the collective action on the part of government that is necessary to meet this thing is lacking, as you correctly pointed out with PPE. Then there is testing, which we need more of in every jurisdiction. If it's that bad that we can't visit friends, then that is reckless endangerment of public safety on the part of government decision makers

YES and both the Liberals and Conservatives are responsible so what we need is a system that doesn't allow governments to ignore the safety of citizens. We keep getting promised transparency but we don't get it.

Canada is among the wealthiest countries in the world and a lot of that wealth is rooted in natural resources. There is no excuse for food banks and homelessness in Canada. This is something the federal government must take responsibility for. No city wants to be the best for homeless people because it would attract more homeless people. Same goes for social housing. If any city made it easy to get social housing then people who need it would flock there. To be fair this would overwhelm systems. Montreal can't afford to house all the homeless of Canada. Many of the homeless need help due to addictions and mental health issues or are failure to launch foster kids (maybe because they don't have a launch pad). One of the most important things that unite Canadians is medicare and even EI. Those are nation building programs. Get universities involved in housing plans that will satisfy their needs. Women fleeing domestic violence shouldn't have to turn to charities for shelter. "Please sir can I have some bread". Canadians should be entitled to a roof over their head. There is no shortage of empty buildings. We should be hanging our heads in shame that there are teenagers on the streets with no where to practice social distancing. Temporary washing and feeding stations have been set up. I guess there is no need to be clean or eat unless there is a deadly virus circulating. It is as though we think we can discourage them from existing if we don't provide public toilets. How perposterous to ticket them.

There are hotels and motels that are going to close. Some of them already know they won't make it. Volume won't return for many years. The consensus is we are in for waves of it each time we led down our guard. Every time restrictions are loosened we know it will again spread. Flattening the curve means just as many people will get it. Just at low enough numbers that the hospitals can handle it. Which brings us back to PPEs. PPEs and testing are key to reopening. We need an amble supply of both. But even then tourism isn't coming back fast. Festivals are all canceled for this summer and beyond. A lot more business is being conducted remotely. Hotels and motels and Airbnbs are going to close. Airbnbs will be transformed back into rental units. What about hotels and motels? Both would be suitable to transform into public housing, some of it supportive.

The plights of the vulnerable are being made visible in a manner that little else would have. For some reason we don't flinch at someone curled up sleeping in a storefront, as if it is because he doesn't want a job. People are just soooo lazy they choose to live on the street rather than work (sarcasm).

Basic income isn't a cure all but it would go a long way to solving these problems. Then we will see how many women actually want to be sex workers.

The outrageously low income paid to orderlies and other healthcare workers has been revealed and we have been shamed. They are indeed heroic and deserve to be paid as such.

I have no idea where the blocks will fall but there are opportunities in times like these to reveal who has all the money and why.

lagatta4

Montreal is certainly not attracting homeless people from across Canada; mostly from Québec, perhaps a few from NB and the far east of Ontario, and  Québec including a LOT of Indigenous people from Nunavik and the Cree country just south of there. There is a huge housing crisis in northern Québec as in many other areas with First Nations reserves or Inuit villages.

Cities in southern BC attract many homeless people and transients because of the mild (but alas rainy) winters.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Fair point. Having said that, there will be certain winners and losers to come out of these restrictions. Would you not agree that the surveillance industry and big tech do stand to beneifit greatly, and that they will be very reluctant to hand back the power they received in this pandemic once the crisis has passed?

Absolutely but even that might be turned at least somewhat to the advantage of citizens. I remember concerns about cameras, and there is still reason to be concerned, but cameras have proven police brutality. Citizens have been able to record Data collection is so easy there is no reason the government books shouldn't be far more open. The government works for us, or is supposed to. We have the right to see the numbers without a specific request for information. Contracts for services across Canada should be searchable. We should know how much goes to administration and how much to frontline staff. The ability to follow the money is powerful.

With the police, we are still seeing blatantly inexcusable brutality where officers aren't even charged. And we know that the government is collecting data on us, but we still post our entire lives to Facebook. Also look to countries like China which have kept the Internet under firm control and the so-called information revolution hasn't really made a dent in China's authoritarian tendancies.

Another big concern I have with the pandemic is if it is going to push more of our lives online while closing off real-world spaces for face-to-face interaction, which would of course benefit those with more money. Take education, for instance. Sure you can teach online, but the school experience is more than that. There is a spontenaity in face-to-face interaction that really enhances it and that cannot be replicated digitally, and I think it would be very sad if we lost that. Perhaps I'm getting a bit off topic and this particular subject is best discussed in another thread, but there are so many trends that really scare me about turning into permanent cultural features. Perhaps that's just me and I need to relax a bit.

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
Is it really that unprecedented, or are we simply looking at an historically recurring event that has happened throughout human history only on a bigger scale? If you ever watched any documentary on the Spanish Flu, the narrators specifically said that it wasn't a question of if something like that would happen again, but when. Since coronavirus went global, there is now new information coming out that Canada and the US both rolled back pandemic preparations that had been in place previously. So somebody in charge knew about the danger and dropped the ball. 

It is unprecedented because globalization spread it fast. The jetsetters brought it around the world and our supply chains are global. I have been saying for years that our security is threatened more by the globalization of necessities of life. If it is possible to provide a portion of something for ourselves we should be doing it as a matter of national security.

How many new back yard, front yard, and neighbourhood gardens can we set up this year? Can we set up more in 2021?

Pondering wrote:
Canada is among the wealthiest countries in the world and a lot of that wealth is rooted in natural resources. There is no excuse for food banks and homelessness in Canada.

Pondering wrote:
Festivals are all canceled for this summer and beyond.

At least in the interim, most of them are making plans for 2021. Related to what I said above about the loss of person-to-person interaction, I would feel very sad if we lost them permanently. What does person-to-person interaction look like in a pandemic and post-pandemic world?

I would also like to say on a personal level, Pondering, that when I didn't see you respond to this thread for a couple of days, I got a bit worried, especially since you mentioned being among the vulnerable in this pandemic upthread. You and I agree on things mabye 5% of the time, but I'm happy that for the time being, you are at least well enough to engage in these threads.

eastnoireast

who's to say if it's from covid/lockdown, or with covid/lockdown; but my local rural area has just been hit with several break ins at unoccupied homes.  apparently little theft but lots of smashy smashy. 

there's been very little of that for 15 years or so.  it's pretty sparse out here, depopulated, and sparser with the lockdown.  a lot of older folks.  especially after the randomness of the nova scotia murders, people are on edge. 

kropotkin1951

I have a suspicion that we will find out the Nova Scotia killings were not very random and that the murderer picked his targets specifically.

Apparently there has been a major increase in burglaries at closed businesses in Vancouver. B & E crooks love empty places so unused second homes and closed businesses makes sense.

In the four weeks between March 18 and April 15, compared with the same period last year, Vancouver saw a 147 per cent increase in commercial break-and-enters. Residential break-and-enters were up 51 per cent.

"Stores are left unoccupied and so it gives an opportunity to thieves to break in," said Const. Tania Visintin, a spokesperson for Vancouver police.

Last week the police announced they had arrested 40 suspects in relation to commercial break-and-enters in the past few weeks. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-commercial-bre...

eastnoireast

eastnoireast wrote:

who's to say if it's from covid/lockdown, or with covid/lockdown; but my local rural area has just been hit with several break ins at unoccupied homes.  apparently little theft but lots of smashy smashy. 

there's been very little of that for 15 years or so.  it's pretty sparse out here, depopulated, and sparser with the lockdown.  a lot of older folks.  especially after the randomness of the nova scotia murders, people are on edge. 

and another round of break-ins last weekend, another 6-8 empty houses all around me. 

perhaps another group, the m/o was a bit different.  the big worry is for it to not escalate to non-empty houses.  these are early days. 

there are people sleeping with shotguns in the community, though personally i'm just going with herd immunity on that one.

speaking of costs, i know of 2 guys who each got $1000 dollar fines for driving 15min to the tim's drive-thru in the same car.

"the law, in it's majestic equality, forbids both the rich and poor, from sleeping under bridges"

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 I would also like to say on a personal level, Pondering, that when I didn't see you respond to this thread for a couple of days, I got a bit worried, especially since you mentioned being among the vulnerable in this pandemic upthread. You and I agree on things mabye 5% of the time, but I'm happy that for the time being, you are at least well enough to engage in these threads.

Thank-you for your concern. As long as I don't get covid I am fit as a fiddle. My building is incredibly safe and I haven't been out since March 12th but that is mainly not to worry my daughter. I think it is perfectly safe to go for walks but the weather hasn't been great anyway. I consider myself very fortunate in that I love my apartment.

I have been away from the board because I withdrew from the news. I"m still avoiding it. By its nature the news is usually bad and can make us despair for humanity.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 At least in the interim, most of them are making plans for 2021. Related to what I said above about the loss of person-to-person interaction, I would feel very sad if we lost them permanently (festivals). What does person-to-person interaction look like in a pandemic and post-pandemic world?

There is a twilight zone element to  all of this. I don't blame people who are rebelling against the lockdown. It feels unbelievable. It is difficult to be convinced all of this is necessary in part because it shouldn't be necessary. The reason it is necessary is because our governments failed to prepare. They are the very institutions of society that are supposed to prepare us for such eventualities. PPEs and testing are not on the frontier of medicine. We are still struggling to produce enough and we still have trouble finding alcohol on store shelves.

We went overboard isolating some cruise ship passengers while leaving our airports wide open.

The shut down could have been way less severe. Even now if testing and PPEs were unlimited we could reopen quickly and just do community or regional shutdowns whenever a case pops up. In fact I think that is where we are headed which brings me back to festivals.

Events will need to stay smaller and be more local. That is not entirely bad. Imagine an ever increasing circle beginning with your closest associates and radiating out from your community to your city, province, etc. The smaller the circle the easier contact tracing is. The less circles overlap the easier it will be to contain. It will be better if we keep festivals local. It's partly the number of people but it is also the distance they travel.

The more people follow physical hygiene guidelines the easier it will be to contain. Mask wearing, hand washing, physical distancing.

People who can stay out of the way should stay out of the way to make streets and public transit less crowded. Anyone who has any sort of extra vulnerability will have to take some responsibility for guarding themselves. Working from home set-ups just became semi-permanent. They are going to try to keep the density of workplaces and transit as low as possible and have as many people as possible wearing masks.

The goal here is not to stop people from getting Covid-19. 30 to 70% of the population will likely still catch it. It will just take longer to happen so hospitals can return to regular surgeries, which is also dependent on having enough PPEs.

Those N95 masks are supposed to be changed between every patient otherwise it only protects the workers. We aren't even close to that.

We will probably lose tourism jobs for years to come but hopefully we will gain more manufacturing jobs.

 

 

 

eastnoireast

https://www.ianwelsh.net/how-neoliberalism-destroyed-capitalism/

29 Comments

It was clear that Central Banks had decided their primary purpose was to make sure that the rich stayed rich, no matter the cost to others. If they had let those firms go under, the economy would have fallen faster and recovered far better for over 90% of the population.

They patted themselves on the back for saving the world, and when Coronavirus hit they did the same thing.

At this point the world economy, and especially the US economy, only works as long as you keep it hooked up to a ventilator, and it works badly.

-

So this is the future of neoliberal states: elites will continue to produce “money” for themselves while damaging the real economy. At some point a stressor will hit the economy which the actual production and logistics chains cannot handle. Elites, completely unable to do anything but manage financial numbers will not be able to handle it and there will be an actual economic collapse. Meanwhile, for most of the people in America, Britain and other neoliberal states, the long constriction of actual standards of living will continue.

If you want a good life, and you want to avoid, not disaster (like Coronavirus or huge wildfires) but absolute catastrophe, these elites and their entire supporting apparatus has to go.

If they don’t, they’re going to kill a lot of people, certainly including people you know.

lagatta4

If they want us to wear masks (in public transport and confined spaces such as grocery and other shopping, that is fine) they have to provide them. Either free of charge or on sale at a reasonable cost. I remember Trudeau telling us to shop every two weeks, or at the most once a week. This is odd, not because of his personal life experience (they can get anything they want delivered) but because he is the MP for Papineau, an overall poor urban riding (though property values have increased in central Villeray) where very few residents can shop like that. And while parts of  Villeray have become a bit more middle-class, it is small, old (but charming) flats with no room for large fridges or chest freezers. And mostly small groceries, unless one treks up to the Maxi, which frankly sells a lot of shit.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
I have been away from the board because I withdrew from the news. I"m still avoiding it. By its nature the news is usually bad and can make us despair for humanity.

I hear you on that. There's very little actual "news" on the covid front these days. It's mostly just updating numbers. Unless those numbers are part of a new cluster, that can be simply done with a press release, no press conference needed. Saves a great deal of time.

Pondering wrote:
We went overboard isolating some cruise ship passengers while leaving our airports wide open.

Not only that, but the stories about cruise ships focused on how inconvenienced the passengers were and all but ignored the risks to the underpaid staff who work on those cruiselines.

Pondering wrote:
Events will need to stay smaller and be more local. That is not entirely bad. Imagine an ever increasing circle beginning with your closest associates and radiating out from your community to your city, province, etc. The smaller the circle the easier contact tracing is. The less circles overlap the easier it will be to contain. It will be better if we keep festivals local. It's partly the number of people but it is also the distance they travel.

Sorry, whenever I hear the world "festivals," I think of the Winnipeg Folk Festival for some reason. Using that as an example, I think one of the amazing thing about it is that you could hear from actual artists from all corners of the world. I think it would be sad if that kind of diversity was lost.

Pondering wrote:
People who can stay out of the way should stay out of the way to make streets and public transit less crowded. Anyone who has any sort of extra vulnerability will have to take some responsibility for guarding themselves. Working from home set-ups just became semi-permanent. They are going to try to keep the density of workplaces and transit as low as possible and have as many people as possible wearing masks.

There are advantages to working from home, but there are also good reasons to question it on a large scale. For one, who is going to have access? You also have to worry about reliable connections. Security is another big thing. Are you okay with your insurance files being stored on the same unsecured personal PC or laptop where your insurance agent stores his porn collection? There are many security threats that the average person is not prepared for. There is a reason why even horrible companies will pay big bucks for IT staff who can run their operations and keep them secure.

Pondering wrote:
The goal here is not to stop people from getting Covid-19. 30 to 70% of the population will likely still catch it. It will just take longer to happen so hospitals can return to regular surgeries, which is also dependent on having enough PPEs.

I have seen this 30-79% figure quoted many times, based on hypothetical models. I would like any proponent of said theory to name one jurisdiction that is on that trajectory based on the number of actual cases we have experienced.

Just to give one example of a problem I have with said models. Last month, Manitoba released modelling suggesting we would have over 6000 cases "in a year" under current restrictions, which are slowly being loosened as we speak. The article doesn't say, but I'll assume that "in a year" means the one-year anniversary of the arrival of covid in Manitoba. Covid has been in Manitoba for 2 months, and as of today, we stand at 289 cases. Since most people in this country can't do basic arithmetic operations without a calculator, let's round that up to 300 cases. Assuming that the disease continues to spread throughout the province at the same rate, that gives 1800 cases by the one year mark. Well short of what the model predicts. That means that at some point, Manitoba would have to be hit with much bigger coronavirus case increases than what we have seen so far. Why do our health officials believe this could happen? They don't say.

I remember doing math in high school and university it wasn't enough for me to come up with the answer. I had to show my work and how I arrived at my conclusion. Many people who came up with the cornoavirus modelling have not done so.

Pondering wrote:
We will probably lose tourism jobs for years to come but hopefully we will gain more manufacturing jobs.

If you want to talk about a coronavirus public jobs program, I'd be interested in one that involves radical restoration of natural ecosystems. People volunteer all the time for clean-ups in certain areas, why not ramp that up? You can do that work anywhere from a large city to a small town, it's easily adaptable to specific areas, you would create a diversity of jobs from scientists and researchers with experience who direct the project to people looking for their first jobs doing tasks like (safely, of course) removing garbage from the area. To get off topic a bit, I think that a key aspect of creating a liveable planet means not only halting our destruction, but handing back some of our built-up areas to the natural world.

Aristotleded24

And here's another crazy suggestion for when school starts up:

Quote:

Nothing is off the table when it comes to how classrooms will look in the fall — if they're even open to students by that point, say Manitoba school officials.

"I think it's a guarantee that whether or not we resume classes in September … they will be different," said Alan Campbell, president of the Manitoba School Boards Association.

"We need to be able to provide a classroom setting that allows for physical distancing and meets the guidelines from public health, not just in the classroom but in the hallways. How do students move from class to class?"

That could mean no recess, no phys ed, no gathering in hallways, classes being dismissed at different times and staggered lunch breaks.

This is a perfect example of over-reacting to the coronavirus while completely ignoring every other aspect of life. Physical activity is as essential to keeping children healthy as is food and water. We already had problems with children not receiving enough exercise. This will make it worse. Additionally, if we assume that everyone is going to get coronavirus at some point and the only question is when, then exercise will encourage respiratory health. The healthier the respiratory system, the less likely you will see serious complications from infections. Finally, depriving children chances to exercise and blow off steam will lead to increased behavioural problems in the school and more strees for everyone.

Yes, we have to deal with cornavirus. Yes, we will have to make sacrifices in some parts of our lives. What we should not do is obsessively focus on coronavirus to the point of sacrificing other critical things. If the facts show that the coronavirus risk level is that high that having recess and phys-ed will spread the disease to that extent, then the schools should remain close until the risk drops below that point.

Mobo2000

Yes, agree, especially when it comes to school reopening, I would rather it was back to normal or keep it remote only until we can go back to normal.   No recess and no phys ed is a complete non-starter, primary schools could not function without them.   And I really don't want my kid taught in an environment where his every movement and motion is watched and controlled.   One of the most important aspects of public school is the opportunity for kids to socialize, if that is removed they may as well be at home in front of a screen.

The statements from the Manitoba school officals above read like trial balloons and make the authoritarian alarm in my head go ping ping ping.    It barely sounds serious, it's almost functioning as clickbait.   No recess?   Good luck.   And if we are to socially distance in classrooms, we are going to half classroom sizes and double the number of teachers?   My kids and the teacher's unions would love that, but it's not going to happen.

Aristotleded24

Mobo2000 wrote:
I really don't want my kid taught in an environment where his every movement and motion is watched and controlled.

Yeah, it's really quite frightening how many parents want to keep that close tabs on their children even into adulthood. That doesn't do children any favours.

Mobo2000 wrote:
One of the most important aspects of public school is the opportunity for kids to socialize, if that is removed they may as well be at home in front of a screen.

Can I tell you a little secret about the claims of the teachers unions about how important the teachers actually are in children's learning? The truth is, not really. We think of "education" as a teacher instructing children in the ways of the world, the academic portion. That is only a fraction of what children learn. As you said, it is important for them to be in each other's company (without cellphones or electronic devices) to socialize and learn how to function in a society. Even  on the academic side, children taking the lead in their own learning and collaborating is far more meaningful than sitting in a desk listening to the teacher talk. Even preschoolers can learn collaboratively. One of the problems I have with distance learning is that it encourages unhealthy dependence on electronic devices which was already a problem, and robs children of so many other aspects of learning, including direct contact with the natural world.

If you're interested in discussing education specifically, here is a thread that is dedicated to that very topic.

 

Aristotleded24

Will swimming be under water in Toronto this summer?

Quote:

For many, summer in Toronto means swimming in outdoor pools with the sun shining overhead. For others, it means doing laps in indoor pools that are usually a little quieter in the summer months. 

And for still others, it means going to the beach, laying down a towel, putting up a big umbrella, and wading into the cool waters of Lake Ontario with pebbles under your feet. 

But this year, given the pandemic, opportunities to take a dip in either indoor or outdoor public pools on hot humid days are looking a little slim.

All indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools and spas, splash pads, spray pads, wading pools and water slides are closed under provincial emergency orders extended until June 9.

Dr. Anna Banerji, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, said people who want to swim in public pools this summer may not get the chance.

This is a perfect example of what I mean by over-focusing on coronavirus at the expense of everything else. Our goal in flattening the curve was to stop medical facilities from being overwhelmed, but here is another example where other needs come up. Summers in Toronto are very hot, muggy, and humid. If the pools are closed, does that mean that the city's hospitals and EMS response will be under more stress because of heat stroke and other heat related illnesses?

Serious question here folks. Let's remember that corona is but one of many things we have to manage in our lives, and try and come up with a holistic approach that works overall rather than being hyperfocused on just one thing.