The costs of flattening the curve

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Aristotleded24

Won't someone please think of the children?

Quote:

"Children are not often developmentally mature enough to understand why social distancing is being enforced. Most often this type of treatment of segregating from peers is interpreted as a punishment by the child," said Bernard.

"I fear that what that is going to do to their development, as it is clear we will be in this position for a while."

Bernard noted that while children are being told to physically distance, friends can go out and sit together at restaurants and bars.

Thank you Karla Bernard. You are absolutely correct. There is much evidence coming out now about how young children playfighting and wrestling is good for their development. Early childhood is a sensitive time for development, and if misapplied, the social distancing measures taken will have far greater detrimental effects than covid ever could.

Aristotleded24

Thank you Doctor John Mandrola (emphasis mine):

Quote:
The social distancing policies are harming people—not potential harms, but real harms. Economic harm is a euphemism because the economy is people.

I have had patients stop their medications because of job loss. When I state this publicly, some rebut it with the fact that US healthcare is unjust, which is true but also a non sequitur. We do not live in the healthcare system we want but the one we have.

A recent paper, in preprint form, suggests a substantial proportion of excess deaths observed in Scotland, the Netherlands, and New York during the current pandemic are not attributed to COVID-19 and may represent an excess of deaths due to other causes.

While the virus has been shown to harm minorities and the disadvantaged, it is also true that these same groups could be disproportionately harmed by our interventions. Shutting our clinics and reducing non-COVID care in hospitals threaten the poor more than the wealthy. Basic warfarin management in disadvantaged patients has been a huge challenge.

I don't have an easy answer for societal inequities, but it does public intellectuals no favors to ignore the fact that decision-makers have the luxury of a job and the ability to work from home. Our public interventions have made the poor even poorer. Raj Chetty and coworkers have shown that lower wealth strongly associates with a shorter lifespan.

kropotkin1951

A24 it seems that it gets a little clearer when you bring it down to the personal level. In BC my grandchildren are returning to school and their parents have been working full time at jobs that don't require interaction with  the public. They have spent their whole lives with at least weekly visits from my mother-in -law, their great grandmother. She has numerous great grandchildren who are tottlers and one set of their parents work at a DND facility.

She is 89, should she presume that COVID is not going to kill her because we have had no cases on the Island for over two weeks? Does the priority now become her great grandchildren's need to interteract with her or should we balance the high risk of death against the low change of contracting the virus and all look to measures that will prevent the potential transmission to her of a virus with an extreme risk of death for her?

NDPP

ONTARIO IS A FAILURE

https://twitter.com/profamirattaran/status/1269105964491460608

"Still 400 cases a day, no reduction in weeks. Official incompetence galore. Add a $23 billion recovery bill because it cheaped out on spending even 1% of that for pandemic preparedness last year..."

Basically Toronto & Montreal screwed it up bigtime.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
A24 it seems that it gets a little clearer when you bring it down to the personal level. In BC my grandchildren are returning to school and their parents have been working full time at jobs that don't require interaction with  the public. They have spent their whole lives with at least weekly visits from my mother-in -law, their great grandmother. She has numerous great grandchildren who are tottlers and one set of their parents work at a DND facility.

She is 89, should she presume that COVID is not going to kill her because we have had no cases on the Island for over two weeks? Does the priority now become her great grandchildren's need to interteract with her or should we balance the high risk of death against the low change of contracting the virus and all look to measures that will prevent the potential transmission to her of a virus with an extreme risk of death for her?

That is a very good question, and there is no easy answer to that. I think part of the reason for the stress that we all want easy answers that have certainty in a context where that doesn't exist or what we thought we knew last week turns out to be different today. As for the specific dilema, if I was that old and I had great-grand children, I would probably prefer to be in contact with my family regardless. It's a real quality of life or quantity of life question. The irony is that we were told not to do family gatherings over Easter to protect our elders, when so many of our elders are of advanced age and frailty that Easter 2020 was going to be their last Easter without the pandemic.

kropotkin1951

I don't like that kind of logic. An 89 year old can live for a decade and see yet unborn offspring or take a chance on getting a few hugs over the next few months. It all depends on the size of your bubble and how you feel about it. We are going to have a family birthday party outdoors with distancing rules in place. The immediate family list is 47 which means we will be a legal gathering. Here are the guidelines we are following in BC. I find them common sense and not draconian, what do you think?

Guidelines for Social Interaction

Phase 2 allows you to expand your social interactions. There are key guidelines to keep yourself and others safe.

Inside Your Bubble

  • Your bubble includes members of your immediate household
  • Try to limit the number of people in your bubble. Your circumstances may mean your bubble contains several people. Every time you add someone to your bubble, you are also connecting with everybody in their bubble
  • Inside your bubble you can hug and kiss and do not need to wear a mask or stay 2 m apart
  • Remember, vigilant hand-washing and space cleaning is still important
  • If you are sick, limit hugging or kissing and when possible, self-isolate in separate rooms

Outside Your Bubble

In personal settings when you're seeing friends and family who aren't in your bubble:

  • Only get together in small groups of 2 to 6 people outside your bubble
  • Keep a physical distance and limit your time together
  • Stay home and away from others if you have cold or flu symptoms
  • Have extra consideration for others, especially people at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including older people and those with chronic health conditions

If you are at greater risk (over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions), be informed of your risk, think through your risk tolerance and take extra precautions.

Our circumstances are unique, but the things we need to do to keep each other safe is the same.

 

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I don't like that kind of logic. An 89 year old can live for a decade and see yet unborn offspring or take a chance on getting a few hugs over the next few months.

That could very well be the case. It's a tough question. There is no easy answer.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Here are the guidelines we are following in BC. I find them common sense and not draconian, what do you think?

Guidelines I'm fine with, as long as they are clear and that people are free to take whatever level of risk feels comfortable to them. Hard-and-fast rules intended to govern every aspect of our behaviours I have a problem with.

kropotkin1951

I agree and that is also Dr. Henry's view. It requires buy in from most of the people and she has gotten it. Alberta has three times the death per capita as BC. It seems that right wing governments are failing because they listen to business first and then they don't get buy in from the public. In BC I think the stats they put out showed an 80% buy in rate and flattening the curve requires over 60%.

Aristotleded24

I'm very happy to hear that Dr. Henry has worked hard to earn public support. That increases the amount of respect I have for her.

My biggest problem with the efforts to flatten the curve is that sometimes health officials take an approach where you model if the dots move around and if the dots do social distancing the difference between infection rates. It's good for information, but doesn't always work in the practical sense. We are not dots. We are human beings with biological and emotional needs that dots don't have. In some cases applying a strictly mathematical model doesn't make sense. For example, baseball has been cancelled in New Brunswick, which has tight border controls and where the virus is nearly gone. Or, take church gatherings limited to 50 people. If a congregation is larger than that, what do you do? Can each congregation split up and do multiple different services? If numbers are capped and the doors are shut so people can't come in, how is that a very welcoming environment? Or not even singing in church? Seriously, I think if the chucrh community is that fragile that mere singing is going to spread coronavirus, then we are in much worse shape than we thought, we're all going to get coronavirus anyways, so we might as well enjoy ourselves and sing. Or outright telling people they can't have any physical contact like hugging or shaking hands? Why not simlpy say, "due to the pandemic, we suggest physical contact be limited," and then everyone can decide for themselves what level of contact they are comfortable with. Do you really think that if Bob wants to shake hands and Bill doesn't, that Bob is going to grab Bill's hand and force it anyways? That's ridiculous. Change practices around communion, fine, but let's not go overboard.

There is another aspect that the mathematical models don't cover. Right now all the drop-in spaces for vulnerable people in the poor urban areas are closed. If the pandemic comes back in the fall and winter, are we going to close these spaces again in the name of stopping covid spread? With people forced outside for long periods of time, that's going to mean death in the streets, or other hazards like fires getting out of control as people desparately search for whatever means they have to stay comfortable.

I also take issue with the idea of things having to change long-term once the pandemic is done. Take New Brunswick's recovery plan, for instance. It identifies a green phase that will be triggered once a vaccine is discovered, or other unspecified knowledge of treatment. Why do we have to wait that long in a jurisdiction where the virus is practically eradicated? What if a vaccine doesn't ever come? Does that mean we're going to go years without fun events like summer and winter festivals, concerts, or sporting events? That seems unreasonable to me, and allowing fear to ruin your life. You are far more likely to die driving to or from one of these events than from a disease you picked up from them. Or take gyms, for example. They already had protocols to clean equipment. Does the new normal mean they have to mandate people book their workouts ahead of time to meet low caps, and to dedicate a large part of the work day to cleaning down the area now and forever until the end of time?

I think we have to be realistic about this. Yes, we may have to take steps to protect ourselves while the pandemic is ongoing. Things may change in society as a result. But I think the endless drumbeat about how everything has to change forever and that nothing should ever go back to the way things were before is overkill. Instead, I think society needs to collectively calm down, catch a breath, take a look at where things are now, and then decide where we want to go.

NDPP

'Worth Noting:  Queensland Has Had Schools Back in Full Attendance For Two Weeks Now...'

https://twitter.com/AndreBeltempo/status/1269570621752643585

"Weird! It's almost like if you do a better job containing the pandemic you can relax physical distancing more, reopen schools and minimize community spread!"

And if you don't you can't!

Aristotleded24

Is the response to covid triggering an even bigger problem in BC?

Quote:

The BC Coroners Service said 170 people died of an illicit drug overdose in May, the highest total ever recorded for a single month in provincial history.

It's also more people than have died from COVID-19 in B.C. all year.

"It's frustrating to see the number of illicit drug deaths go up and to reach a new high ... It's sad to see this many people impacted, losing their lives," said Andy Watson, a spokesperson for the coroners service.

The province said 167 people have died of COVID-19 since B.C.'s first case of the virus was confirmed six months ago. The annual total for overdoses in B.C. was 554 as of May 31.

The article also notes that a public health emergency has also been declared over overdose deaths in BC. But apparently it's okay to allow poor people to overdose, but the second that covid scares the hell out of "respectable" middle-class residents, covid is all of a sudden the only crisis worthy of attention?

Misfit Misfit's picture

One is caused by addiction/consumption, the other is a communicable disease that can be controlled through organized  community social distancing.

kropotkin1951

Of the FB feeds that I saw today about it I think the best comment was that they were 170 black market poisonings. The answer is simple and it is to adopt the Portuguese approach immediately.

Aristotleded24

I mentioned the issue of overdose deaths because of the possibility that the spike is related to the pandemic response. For example, in Winnipeg, any drop-in service for vulnerable people in the urban areas with high poverty, if they aren't closed outright, are very restricted in the services they are offering. Is that the case in BC? Not having drop-in services will have detrimental impacts, whether on mental health which can exacerbate addictions or being able to connect to services through the drop-ins. Are the same restrictions in effect in BC? Is the pandemic response diverting resources away from dealing with the opiods?

This is a perfect example of social distancing=lives saved, no social distancing=lives lost is not that simple. We are very lucky that social distancing in Winnipeg started in mid-March. I truly believe that if it had happened in the middle of winter that people would have frozen to death in the streets due to having nowhere to go during the day. I also believe that health officials would be patting themselves on the back about the wonderful job they were doing stopping deaths from corona while overlooking people freezing in the streets.

kropotkin1951

A pandemic heightens the problems that already exist but it also makes the simple solutions glaringly obvious. The answer pandemic or no pandemic is giving people a safe supply of drugs. Libby Davis spent her entire career trying to bring this issue to the national stage and even safe injection sites have been resisted at every turn. We have safe injection sites in BC and no deaths have occurred at those sites. We need more of them and they need to be dispensaries not just injection sites.

Aristotleded24

What difference do safe injection sites make if everyone is avoiding them for fear of contracting covid?

Douglas Fir Premier

Aristotleded24 wrote:

What difference do safe injection sites make if everyone is avoiding them for fear of contracting covid?

Are people doing that though? In my community -  while yes, people are afraid of contracting COVID - those concerns seem to still be secondary to people's more immediate need to use. The decline in numbers of visits at the sites was not a reflection of people not wanting to access the services, but rather, was a result of them operating at a reduced capacity due to the initial physical distancing measures that were put in place. Some sites later made the decision to go back to full capacity, as they decided that the more immediate risk to users of the sites was still that of overdosing.

Aristotleded24

It's not just a Vancouver problem:

Quote:

Signs of an overdose surge are emerging in Winnipeg, a trend advocates feared could appear as people struggle to cope with pandemic isolation.

"We haven't had an overdose surge like this probably for two years," said Ian Rabb, business development director of Aurora Recovery Centre and executive leader of Recovery Day Winnipeg.

Seven Manitobans have died of COVID-19. Rabb personally knows of 14 people who died of overdoses in the past few months, he said. Some were suicides.

"It's a devastating loss: they're all young people with potential great futures that had no access to services in the last little period."

...

Emergency calls related to crystal meth and opioid poisonings or overdoses increased 66 per cent in April and May, compared to the same period last year.

Paramedics' use of the life-saving opioid overdose antidote, Naloxone, also jumped more than 70 per cent higher than that two-month period in 2019.

Although calls due to suspected alcohol poisonings were halved during April and May compared to last year, by volume, alcohol still exceeded every other substance category.

"We would be naive to say that the COVID world we live in has not increased the demand and desire to cope," paramedic Cory Guest said.

"Some folks are vulnerable, some folks are dealing with trauma.… The No. 1 reason that folks do substances is often to cope."

Manitoba's first COVID-19 cases were detected in the first half of March. Closures soon followed. So did physical distancing.

That created barriers to accessing addictions support services, Rabb said.

People began using substances more in isolation, he said, and that carries a heightened risk when things go wrong.

As we're seeing in Winnipeg and Vancouver, social distancing is killing people, and in both cases, in greater numbers than the pandemic. We need to stop acting as if coronavirus is the only risk our communities face, calm down as a society, and come up with a plan that can reduce the impact of coronavirus while factoring in all other aspects of human health. This current approach is not it.

Aristotleded24

As isolation sets in, suicide rates risk rising. In some cases, they have outpaced corona deaths:

Quote:

Northern California experienced more deaths from suicide than deaths due to the novel coronavirus during the peak month of the pandemic, doctors from the western American state said over the weekend.

“The numbers are unprecedented. We've never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” Dr. Mike deBoisblanc at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, told ABC 7 News.

“We've seen a year's worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks,” he added.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I mentioned the issue of overdose deaths because of the possibility that the spike is related to the pandemic response. For example, in Winnipeg, any drop-in service for vulnerable people in the urban areas with high poverty, if they aren't closed outright, are very restricted in the services they are offering. Is that the case in BC? Not having drop-in services will have detrimental impacts, whether on mental health which can exacerbate addictions or being able to connect to services through the drop-ins. Are the same restrictions in effect in BC? Is the pandemic response diverting resources away from dealing with the opiods?

This is a perfect example of social distancing=lives saved, no social distancing=lives lost is not that simple. We are very lucky that social distancing in Winnipeg started in mid-March. I truly believe that if it had happened in the middle of winter that people would have frozen to death in the streets due to having nowhere to go during the day. I also believe that health officials would be patting themselves on the back about the wonderful job they were doing stopping deaths from corona while overlooking people freezing in the streets.

You don't know how many lives have been saved due to locking down.  It is no secret that mental health care in Canada is severely lacking. The people who have committed suicide would possibily also commit suicide if their family died of Covid 19 or their place of work was shut down because of a mass breakout. 

The solution to drug overdoses is to decriminalize them and treat drug addiction as the health issue it is. 

Bacchus

If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Our nation has always needed more money and resources to be devoted towards addressing the needs of homeless people and the most vulnerable in society. The increase in drug overdoses should not be blamed on social distancing but rather on the years of governmental neglect and chronic underfunding for low cost housing and effective social programs. 
 

I am one person who gets lost in the logic when the villains are covid patients and people social distancing during a global pandemic.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I mentioned the issue of overdose deaths because of the possibility that the spike is related to the pandemic response. For example, in Winnipeg, any drop-in service for vulnerable people in the urban areas with high poverty, if they aren't closed outright, are very restricted in the services they are offering. Is that the case in BC? Not having drop-in services will have detrimental impacts, whether on mental health which can exacerbate addictions or being able to connect to services through the drop-ins. Are the same restrictions in effect in BC? Is the pandemic response diverting resources away from dealing with the opiods?

This is a perfect example of social distancing=lives saved, no social distancing=lives lost is not that simple. We are very lucky that social distancing in Winnipeg started in mid-March. I truly believe that if it had happened in the middle of winter that people would have frozen to death in the streets due to having nowhere to go during the day. I also believe that health officials would be patting themselves on the back about the wonderful job they were doing stopping deaths from corona while overlooking people freezing in the streets.

You don't know how many lives have been saved due to locking down.  It is no secret that mental health care in Canada is severely lacking. The people who have committed suicide would possibily also commit suicide if their family died of Covid 19 or their place of work was shut down because of a mass breakout.

That's also possible. Human behaviour is very complex, far more so than any mathematical model can account for. That's why it's fallicious to make an absolutist claim that lockdowns "save lives" without considering other factors that are ultimately too complex to ever have a full, accurate picture of the situation.

Aristotleded24

So now in Manitoba they are cutting seating capacity on school buses:

Quote:

To ensure physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be less capacity on school buses. That means schools will rely on parents who can transport their kids to class, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said during a news conference Thursday.

"[Getting kids to school] is probably the biggest challenge, and … probably the one that department officials and public health wrestled with the most," Goertzen said.

"We will rely heavily on parents who are able to bring their kids to school to do that, and that, I think, will alleviate a lot of the pressures."

In which regions parents are most able to drop off their kids, and how much pressure parents truly take off of the schools, won't be known until the fall, he said.

Let's skip over the challenges that will pose for parents who, on top of everything else they have to worry about, now have to drive their kids to school, and look at this from a safety perspective. To date, no children in Manitoba have died from covid. But traffic accidents remain a major cause of permanent injury or death for this age group. How is adding more traffic to the streets conducive to safety?

Consider also the fact that to accomodate this request, you will either have to have more school buses, or more parents driving. This burns more gas either way. Is it really a good idea to be adding more carbon to the air considering the shape the climate is in?

Aristotleded24

Let children be children:

Quote:

For parents of young children who are concerned about the risk of COVID-19 infection from surfaces like playgrounds, which have been off limits in cities like Toronto for months, the lack of evidence is no doubt frustrating.

Marr thinks the guidance on children avoiding playgrounds has been "misguided" throughout the pandemic.

"Playgrounds are probably one of the safer places for kids to congregate, if they have to congregate," she said. "And the reason why is that sunlight kills off the virus pretty effectively. So if it is on surfaces, I don't think it's going to last very long."

Chagla said at this point in the pandemic, there's no "good reason" why playgrounds should remain closed, given the combination of sunlight and open-air ventilation making them a relatively low-risk activity.

Marr said the real risk of infection from playgrounds is largely from kids who are in close contact with each other, not from the surfaces they're interacting with.

Howard Njoo, Canada's deputy chief public health officer, said Wednesday that officials are weighing the evidence on infection in children, but that the risk seems low. 

"From the science, what we know is that certainly young people, children, are less likely to have more severe consequences if they do get infected with the virus," he said.

"It also appears that in terms of transmission, young children — at least in some of the studies I've seen — do not appear to be as efficient or effective in terms of transmitting the virus to others."

Here is what happens when children play on the playground. They get vitamin D. They are exposed to all kinds of germs and pathogens from the dirt. They are running around, laughing and having fun with their friends, which reduces stress. All of this helps to build up and strengthen their immune and respiratory systems, which are the exact body systems we need to be strong during a pandemic.

Aristotleded24

Now June was the worst months for overdose deaths in BC history:

Quote:

For the second consecutive month, a record number of illicit drug toxicity deaths have been reported in B.C.

B.C. Coroners Service Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said 175 people died in June, which is up from 171 deaths in May.

Prior to May, the worst month on record was December, 2016, when 161 lives were lost.

"We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people who use drugs, as it has all British Columbians," she said.

"Access to key harm reduction services has been a challenge and our social networks are smaller."

Aristotleded24

Might this have been an exaggeration from the start?

Quote:

In mid-March, professor Neil Ferguson with the Imperial College of London made a series of projections, including one that predicted upwards of 326,000 Canadians would die as a result of COVID-19 if mitigation measures weren’t put in place. With physical distancing and lockdown measures in place, he predicted that toll could be reduced to 46,000. 

The Canadian economy shut down quickly after these models were released. 

“The problem here is that the actual numbers that have come in have been massively lower than those predictions,” said Peter St-Onge from the MEI. 

As of Thursday, more than 7,600 Canadians have died of COVID-19 – a number well under Ferguson’s best-case scenario. 

...

St-Onge said a blanket shutdown was unnecessary, given the fact that the virus has mostly affected seniors in long-term care facilities. 

“If that’s the case – locking down working age people; waitresses, truck drivers – it completely missed the mark, but meanwhile it causes this massive economic damage,” he said. 

St-Onge predicts that the economic downturn will bring its own set of consequences on health, that may be worse than the virus itself – but Quebec Premier François Legault disagrees. 

“With the information we had at the time… it was important to make sure we put all chances on our side, to not spread too much the virus,” he said.[/quote[

So given what we now know, Legault isn't backing down or open to adjusting his approach, and yet people like me who were treating these claims that we were all going to due unless we locked down with some skepticism (and I would have thought that skepticism of large-scale government interventions that limit people's freedom to move should be the default position until it's proven otherwise) are the extremists in this discussion?

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Now June was the worst months for overdose deaths in BC history:

Quote:

For the second consecutive month, a record number of illicit drug toxicity deaths have been reported in B.C.

B.C. Coroners Service Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said 175 people died in June, which is up from 171 deaths in May.

Prior to May, the worst month on record was December, 2016, when 161 lives were lost.

"We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people who use drugs, as it has all British Columbians," she said.

"Access to key harm reduction services has been a challenge and our social networks are smaller."

Dr. Henry has given the government the answer to the problem and they refuse to listen because Horgan is a moralistic asshole who thinks addicts deserve to die because it is a "choice." The deaths can end almost immediately COVID or no COVID.

But in the context of the continuing overdose crisis that is affecting families and communities across BC, the province cannot wait for action at the federal level. Immediate provincial action is warranted, and I recommend that the Province of BC urgently move to decriminalize people who possess controlled substances for personal use. This is an important additional step to stem the tide of unprecedented deaths.Decriminalization of people who use drugs can be achieved through two provincial mechanisms. The first option is to use provincial legislation (specifically, the Police Act) that allows the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to set broad provincial priorities with respect to people who use drugs. This could include declaring a public health and harm reduction approach as a provincial priority to guide law enforcement in decriminalizing and de-stigmatizing people who use drugs. This type of approach would provide pathways for police to link people to health and social services, and would support the use of administrative penalties rather than criminal charges for simple possession.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/o...

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Now June was the worst months for overdose deaths in BC history:

Quote:

For the second consecutive month, a record number of illicit drug toxicity deaths have been reported in B.C.

B.C. Coroners Service Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said 175 people died in June, which is up from 171 deaths in May.

Prior to May, the worst month on record was December, 2016, when 161 lives were lost.

"We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people who use drugs, as it has all British Columbians," she said.

"Access to key harm reduction services has been a challenge and our social networks are smaller."

Dr. Henry has given the government the answer to the problem and they refuse to listen because Horgan is a moralistic asshole who thinks addicts deserve to die because it is a "choice." The deaths can end almost immediately COVID or no COVID.

If it is John Horgan's fault, then why is Winnipeg also seeing a rise in the number of overdoses in a much similar trend that came about with the social distancing measures enacted? Note in the article that the Mental Health and Addictions Minister claimed a falling fatal oversode rate before the pandemic hit. Remember what I said about the ability to do social distancing being a priviledge? That applies to drug addiction. The social distancing measures have destroyed communities, and many of these people are by themselves, with nothing but all the time and money in the world they need to feed their addictions. The co-founder of a local recovery centre here in Manitoba said that there are more overdose deaths than deaths from corona that he knows of personally. There are probably more. And if, as you claim, Horgan is ignoring Dr. Henry's advice on drug overdoses and following her advice on covid, that proves the point of this thread and what I have been saying for months, which is that we are excessively focused on covid to the point of neglecting not only other causes of death, but are blind to the very real potential harm brought about by these draconian reactions to covid which have placed more restrictions on people's movements for a much longer time frame than should be acceptable to anyone who likes living in a free country.

kropotkin1951

It is John Horgan's fault that nothing is being done just like your Conservative Premier is to blame for no action in Manitoba. COVID is a fucking red herring, people are dying because of the war on drugs and a deadly supply chain. The problem is not social distancing. In BC both liquor stores and pot stores were deemed essential from the first orders, if they had followed Dr. Henry's advise (I suggest you at least read the executive summary) the opioid crisis would be part of a public health emergency not a personal tragedy.

Aristotleded24

Not that I wish to defend Brian Pallister, but if Winnipeg and BC are both experiencing a rise in overdoses at roughly the same time, why discount the possibility that perhaps there is a common thread beyond the control of both governments that is driving this thing? Note that the article discussing increased overdoeses in BC talks about a rise in overdoses that happened in May? Note that the article talking about overdoses in Winnipeg talks about rises in calls in April and May? What was happening across the world at this time. Furthermore, as per the CBC article I posted, several people on the front lines of addiction said the following:

Quote:

Manitoba's chief medical examiner's office said it won't have numbers on fatal overdoses during the pandemic until the fall, but 911 call data from the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service mirrors what addictions support workers say they've seen on the street.

Emergency calls related to crystal meth and opioid poisonings or overdoses increased 66 per cent in April and May, compared to the same period last year.

...

"We would be naive to say that the COVID world we live in has not increased the demand and desire to cope," paramedic Cory Guest said.

"Some folks are vulnerable, some folks are dealing with trauma.… The No. 1 reason that folks do substances is often to cope."

Manitoba's first COVID-19 cases were detected in the first half of March. Closures soon followed. So did physical distancing.

That created barriers to accessing addictions support services, Rabb said.

People began using substances more in isolation, he said, and that carries a heightened risk when things go wrong.

Sure things like increased shelter capacity and safe and legal supplies of drugs might save lives. But there are a variety of factors related to addicitons, and I would have assumed that if something could be done in the community to reduce the number of people who fall into addictive behaviours in the first place (or conversely to address a factor that is pushing more people into addictive behaviours) then that would have been considered a good thing all around.

Public health is a vastly complex web of things that are interdependent, and that changes in one area can impact another. Pre-covid, I would have thought that this basic point was understood by public health professionals and us here on babble. But now that the media says that covid is the only threat to public health we need to deal with, it is being treated that way to the exclusion of almost everything else.  I feel like I've been hitting a brick wall with this online community the last few months every time I have pointed that out.

kropotkin1951

A safe drug supply is the immediate solution to the death toll removing all the restrictions from COVID might reduce it down to last years epidemic numbers. Dr. Henry's report is over a year old because the opioid crisis is not new or caused by COVID.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I fully agree with Kropotkin. The underlying reasons for drug overdose deaths has far more to do with puritanical policies than how we prepared and reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aristotleded24

It's not an either-or thing. Nobody suggested that things were fine before covid. With all of the problems of drug policy going into the crisis, if you see a rise in overdoses coincident with the introduction of these health measures (which is the case in Winnipeg and Vancouver) then I think it's a fair thing to ask if these interventions are making that problem worse.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

It's not an either-or thing. Nobody suggested that things were fine before COVID. With all of the problems of drug policy going into the crisis, if you see a rise in overdoses coincident with the introduction of these health measures (which is the case in Winnipeg and Vancouver) then I think it's a fair thing to ask if these interventions are making that problem worse.

To me its a question of relevance. One approach solves the problem and the other looks for somewhere to put a band-aid. Like seniors care COVID has shown us where our public health policy gets a failing grade. I say lets concentrate on that and not decry measures that are helping with one of the two epidemics in our country.

Aristotleded24

It's not clear to me that measures are helping at all, considering that the restrictions that are in place and the infrastructure that is being set up for contact tracing and all capabilities used to fight the pandemic will be retained by the government and used to restrict our liberties and right to dissent when we take to the streets again as large numbers of people did last year around the world.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Those measures in place is what distinguishes us from the FUBAR that is the USA. We already have an advantage of having less population density and it is obvious that our largest population centres were hit hardest. But still, I think in general, the approach was fairly balanced given that we did not have a complete lockdown for 6-8 weeks as was experienced in Wuhan and parts of Italy.

Aristotleded24

Did covid restrictions cost 19-year-old his life?

Quote:

People could always tell when Aaron Ogden entered a room.

The 19-year-old had a big presence, said his father, Mark Ogden. He was a prankster, a one-of-a-kind character who would sit and talk to anybody as if he'd known them for years.

"He wasn't afraid to make friends," Ogden, 50, said in a phone interview. "This is just the way he was. "Really easy to talk to."

People remembered the young man's outgoing personality at his funeral this week. He died in a Calgary hospital last Saturday after collapsing on a run. His father, a trucker, was able to be by his son's side.

He said a major blood clot had formed around a stent placed in his son's aorta. The stent was necessary after he survived a serious highway accident on his way to work last year.

"It was a miracle, really."

Ogden said while in hospital before his death, his son told him he was supposed to go for a CT scan in June while still living in Saskatchewan near Yorkton.

It was a routine checkup on the stent, but the appointment was postponed because of restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic and never rescheduled.

"I didn't think nothing of it at the time, but I mulled it over... as we watched him decline," Ogden said. "It hit me. He was trying to tell me: 'This shouldn't have happened."'

The father believes that had his son's scan not been cancelled, doctors might have found the blood clot in time. Ogden wants all postponed hospital procedures done immediately.

"People's lives are being lost," he said. "These COVID rules are way too far."

kropotkin1951

He said a major blood clot had formed around a stent placed in his son's aorta. The stent was necessary after he survived a serious highway accident on his way to work last year.

"It was a miracle, really."

Maybe God took back his miracle.  The CBC has descended into the worst kind of journalism driven by click bait numbers.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:

He said a major blood clot had formed around a stent placed in his son's aorta. The stent was necessary after he survived a serious highway accident on his way to work last year.

"It was a miracle, really."

Maybe God took back his miracle.

What does God have to do with a story about whether the covid interventions had an impact on medical procedures that could have cost someone his life? People say "it's a miracle" in all kinds of contexts regardless of their beliefs. If that's what his dad said, should the CBC have not printed that?

I think that's a pretty callous dismissal of someone's loss of life.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The CBC has descended into the worst kind of journalism driven by click bait numbers.

I agree. That kind of click-bait journalism has been used throughout the pandemic to justify extreme lockdown measures and fan the emotional blackmail and psychological warfare to support the idea that anyone who disagreed with the measures or went out and had fun during this time was a selfish piece of shit who didn't care about elderly people. I don't know why it's now suddenly not okay to use these kind of clickbait anecdotal stories as justification to question the necessity of the measures taken during the pandemic.

Pondering

The procedure wasn't cancelled because of something that could be changed about covid. There were simply not enough PPEs to go around. They couldn't prevent people with Covid from coming in hospitals or clinics so personnel coming in contact with those patients had to be givin priority for PPEs. Even then there wasn't enough to go around. I agree there needs to be a big catch up on medical procedures but I know that in Quebec they have sent cases to the regions to do so.

It is terrible for the young man's father to believe that his son's life might have been saved had that examination taken place. I fear people will be dying of cancer because they didn't go for check-ups or had treatments delayed.

The thing I think you don't acknowledge is that without enough PPEs there was no choice to be made. We could not choose to allow the hospitals to become overwhelmed while expecting medical staff to work without protection.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
The thing I think you don't acknowledge is that without enough PPEs there was no choice to be made. We could not choose to allow the hospitals to become overwhelmed while expecting medical staff to work without protection.

Our first covid case arrived on January 22. Our first covid death occurred on March 9. The WHO declared a pandemic on March 11. That was more than enough time for the government to source all the PPE and equipment they needed for the hospitals. That the government failed to do forced the hospitals to choose between the bad options of being over-run with covid, or postponing and cancelling procedures that did turn out to be vitally important.

Bacchus

True but it still means the Hospitals were without chouce and should not be the focus of blame

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I know quite a few people dealing with cancer and initially some appointments were postponed but for the most part, their scans and treatments were treated as priorities throughout the pandemic.

Sadly, this postponement may have caused a young man's life.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Our first covid case arrived on January 22. Our first covid death occurred on March 9. The WHO declared a pandemic on March 11. That was more than enough time for the government to source all the PPE and equipment they needed for the hospitals. That the government failed to do forced the hospitals to choose between the bad options of being over-run with covid, or postponing and cancelling procedures that did turn out to be vitally important.

If only Canada was friends with countries in the modern world that produce PPE's like maybe China or South Korea or Taiwan. I think the reason masks have not been made mandatory here is because we don't produce them in large enough amounts and our economic system is not geared to respond to any public need only private greed. Its strange seeing the majority of the worlds population with masks except in the underdeveloped backwaters with no manufacturing industry.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

 That kind of click-bait journalism has been used throughout the pandemic to justify extreme lockdown measures and fan the emotional blackmail and psychological warfare to support the idea that anyone who disagreed with the measures or went out and had fun during this time was a selfish piece of shit who didn't care about elderly people. I don't know why it's now suddenly not okay to use these kind of clickbait anecdotal stories as justification to question the necessity of the measures taken during the pandemic.

Sorry for being "callous" but frankly this Dad reminded me of people whose relatives have been victimized and they demand draconian punishments including death and since I don't want my justice system based on vengeance I am always under impressed both with the person making the statements and the news outlet for going there.

Aristotleded24

With school opening up, I must absolutely speak out against the suspension of high school sports. Sports promotes many good things, like teamwork and exercise. Exercise also strengthens the respiratory system, which is a key system that the coronavirus attacks. Now without sports, what chances are there for exercise? With sports and other recreation areas shut down, will more teenagers turn to drugs and alcohol and become dependent on said substances? Will no sports have an impact on not being active throughout the rest of their lives? Even if sports events between schools have to be cancelled, can't the schools at least provide some opportunities for physical activities for teens to do within their cohorts?

Pondering

I haven't heard of phys-ed being canceled. I know many coaches have figured out how to modify games to make them safer. There are other ways to get exercise and stay in shape.

As to getting into drugs and alcohol I don't think it is as easy to get them anymore and I don't think "not playing sports" is a causal factor. (corelation is not causation)

Relax. What are you so afraid of? 

Aristotleded24

Cost of physical distancing can't be ignored:

Quote:

I have a saying that there are two viruses at work during this pandemic: one is COVID-19 and the other is physical distancing. Both can kill us.

This week, my wife and I celebrate our 53rd wedding anniversary. It is the first time we are doing so without being able to give one another a kiss, a hug or even hold hands. 

Betty and I met 54 years ago and, it would seem, fell in love immediately. Now, she is a resident in a secure dementia unit of a long-term care facility. And while the staff there is absolutely wonderful and has helped facilitate weekly video conferences, that's not the same as truly communicating with Betty the way that works best for her.

Conversation and communication are two radically different events; communication is more than 90 per cent non-verbal and when one is wearing a mask and unable to touch, it is nigh unto impossible. 

I believe there should be procedures introduced, much like those followed by the staff of these facilities, that would allow me to physically interact with my wife. 

...

In long-term care, people are not patients; they are residents. They are not sick; they are moving in — very much like you or I might move into an apartment. It is the role of the staff to help these residents to live happy and active lives for the rest of their days. Quality of life rather than speed of discharge is the key factor.

The staff of the long-term care home is allowed to interact with residents despite coming and going from the building because each of them is willing to keep a change of clean clothes on site and change into these clothes as soon as he or she reports for work. The staff also have a temperature check and respond to a checklist of questions regarding COVID-19 and potential exposure. 

I would absolutely be willing to do exactly the same as the staff if it meant that I could hold my wife's hand while there is a chance she still remembers me.

Aristotleded24

Just learned this:

Quote:

Those filled with a little too much cheer are going to need to find a new way home in Winnipeg this holiday season.

Operation Red Nose Winnipeg has cancelled its annual ride-sharing program in the city in 2020, citing health concerns over COVID-19.

“Maintaining social distancing in vehicles and ensuring a safe environment for our clients and volunteers would be very difficult, if not impossible,” Operation Red Nose Winnipeg co-ordinator Sharra Hinton said in a release Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share our decision to not provide our ride-program during the 2020 Holiday Season due to COVID-19.”

Are we naieve enough to think that people won't gather and have alcoholic beverages this Holiday season even with public health orders? With one less option for people to get home, will we see more drunk drivers on the road? That doesn't make me feel safe at all.

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