Civil Rights and Covid-19

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Pondering

Human contact is not being minimized at all costs. That would be what they did in Wuhan. Our goal is to flatten the curve so lots of businesses ae still open and we still go grocery shopping and schools have reopened for children. 

Officers will wear masks and maybe face shields as well but all they do is shut down the party by ordering the homeowner to shut it down eg off the music. People will leave when they see the police ticketing people who don't. 

Nor are we assuming someone at the party is necessarily infected. Most of the time that won't be the case. They have to enforce the law because if they don't everyone who feels like it will have parties and some of them will have Covid. 

Aristotleded24

Maybe there is no crime happening in Montreal and this is a worthwhile endeavour for the police to justify their presence and budget there. Here in Winnipeg we have murderers, child abusers, people who beat their partners, robbers, muggers, and thieves causing mayhem on our streets and in our homes. I would much rather the police focus on that than on parties.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I am sure a few of those police officers doing traffic patrol, mental health "wellness" checks,  and stopping/harassing Indigenous people and other people of colour could divert some of their attention to this task.

Aristotleded24

So instead they can harras immigrant communities for whom large, extended family gatherings are very important in their culture?

I absoutley do not want to see taxpayer dollars spent for police officers going into private residences breaking up parties beyond the normal noise complaints they usually deal with, especially in a year when "defund the police" became a thing. Police patrols are expensive. If we're going to spend limited city taxpayer dollars on fighting the pandemic, I'd much rather that go to making sure shelters are safe for people who will have to sleep in them when the weather turns than towards the police.

Aristotleded24

This is a bit late, but Australian woman arrested for anti-lockdown facebook post:

Quote:

Footage shows officers handcuffing pregnant woman Zoe-Lee Buhler, 28, in her home in Victoria on Wednesday in front of her partner and children.

She starts crying during the arrest, telling police: "I didn't realise I was doing anything wrong."

Authorities have defended the officers, saying they acted appropriately.

...

When asked what the arrest is about, one officer says: "It's in relation to a Facebook post, in relation to a lockdown protest you put on just that day."

...

State Premier Daniel Andrews defended the arrest, saying protests undermined public health efforts.

"Now is not the time to protest about anything. Because to do so is not safe," he said on Thursday.

Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius added: "[I'm] outraged to say there are still people in our community who think it's a good idea at the time of this deadly pandemic to leave home and protest."

If this had happened to a BLM activist or an Indigenous activist organizing an anti-pipeline protest, we would be rightly outraged about that, especially on the left. Where is the left on this one? A civil liberties violation is a civil liberties violation.

Bacchus

Um they do that now for white supremists and muslin 'terrorist' groups

Aristotleded24

Uprising in the UK:

Quote:

Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters are marching through central London.

With anger brewing at the perceived unfairness of local lockdowns and increasing disagreement over the effectiveness of restrictions and the science of the pandemic, people travelled from across the country to attend the capital’s fourth mass protest against the government’s coronavirus measures.

Louise Creffield, the founder of Save Our Rights UK, one of the organisations behind the demonstration, said: “We believe that the coronavirus regulations that are in place are not proportionate and appropriate, and are causing more harm than good.

“We are very concerned with protecting people’s human rights: right to privacy, family life, bodily autonomy, medical freedoms, and so on. We are not just concerned with lockdowns per se, we are concerned with the infringements with our privacy by having this track and trace everywhere.

“The impact of the actions taken by the government are numerous, so we are not willing to support that, and we are keen to take a stance.”

Pondering

An "uprising" takes more than a few thousand covidiots. 

Previous anti-lockdown demonstrations have been addressed by controversial figures including David Icke and Piers Corbyn, who have pronounced the pandemic a hoax. Some of those attending have carried placards and banners supporting conspiracy theories ranging from claims that 5G is causing people’s respiratory problems to the increasingly popular QAnon.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

An "uprising" takes more than a few thousand covidiots. 

Previous anti-lockdown demonstrations have been addressed by controversial figures including David Icke and Piers Corbyn, who have pronounced the pandemic a hoax. Some of those attending have carried placards and banners supporting conspiracy theories ranging from claims that 5G is causing people’s respiratory problems to the increasingly popular QAnon.

You mean like the stoner hippies who were at the Occupy Wall Street protests, or the rioters and looters who were at the BLM demonstrations?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

You mean like the stoner hippies who were at the Occupy Wall Street protests, or the rioters and looters who were at the BLM demonstrations?

Hippie punching and race baiting. Nice, Ari.

Aristotleded24

My point is that any time there is a demonstration, it's always easy to find the worst actors associated with such demonstrations and elevate them as if they represented what the demonstration was about. It gets people fired up emotionally, but in terms of discussing issues is not very productive. Look at the numerous videos on YouTube along the lines of "Trump voters/Biden voters/BLM supporters/feminists/Christian fundamentalists/atheists/*insert whatever group the person making the video disagrees with here* say the craziest things." My point in mentioning this is to show how causes and agendas we agree with are often misrepsrented in the media. This even happened in Winnipeg. Under our former mayor, Sam Katz, the Labour Council organized a demonstration outside city hall. One idiot close to the demonstration held up a sign comparing the Mayor to Adolf Hitler. Suddenly the only thing the media cared about for those few days was how mean the protester was to hurt the feelings of a Jewish mayor, and the issues that brought people to protest in the first place were completely ignored. Having seen the left been on the wrong side of that tactic in the press for the longest time (including the fact that the BLM and Occupy Wall Street movements, movements which I support, were in many quarters, villified in exactly that fashion on many news outlets) I know how that tactic works very well, and I'm prepared to call it out when I see it.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

My point is that any time there is a demonstration, it's always easy to find the worst actors associated with such demonstrations and elevate them as if they represented what the demonstration was about. It gets people fired up emotionally, but in terms of discussing issues is not very productive. Look at the numerous videos on YouTube along the lines of "Trump voters/Biden voters/BLM supporters/feminists/Christian fundamentalists/atheists/*insert whatever group the person making the video disagrees with here* say the craziest things." My point in mentioning this is to show how causes and agendas we agree with are often misrepsrented in the media. This even happened in Winnipeg. Under our former mayor, Sam Katz, the Labour Council organized a demonstration outside city hall. One idiot close to the demonstration held up a sign comparing the Mayor to Adolf Hitler. Suddenly the only thing the media cared about for those few days was how mean the protester was to hurt the feelings of a Jewish mayor, and the issues that brought people to protest in the first place were completely ignored. Having seen the left been on the wrong side of that tactic in the press for the longest time (including the fact that the BLM and Occupy Wall Street movements, movements which I support, were in many quarters, villified in exactly that fashion on many news outlets) I know how that tactic works very well, and I'm prepared to call it out when I see it.

Anti-lockdown demonstrators have no relation to Occupy or BLM. Many are conspiracy theorists types who think 9/11 was staged and climate change is a hoax. 

You could make the argument that even though many more people would die without restrictions, acquiescing threatens our civil liberties longterm. That's discussion worthy. 

You could make the argument that we could do with far fewer compulsory measures and rely more on voluntary complience like the Swedes do. 

But that wouldn't represent your position, which is that we shouldn't have any restrictions at all and Covid isn't any more deadly than a bunch of other health issues and we should just carry on like normal because all the governments and health agencies are in cahoots to scare us into giving up our civil liberties. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

My point is that any time there is a demonstration, it's always easy to find the worst actors associated with such demonstrations and elevate them as if they represented what the demonstration was about. It gets people fired up emotionally, but in terms of discussing issues is not very productive. Look at the numerous videos on YouTube along the lines of "Trump voters/Biden voters/BLM supporters/feminists/Christian fundamentalists/atheists/*insert whatever group the person making the video disagrees with here* say the craziest things." My point in mentioning this is to show how causes and agendas we agree with are often misrepsrented in the media. This even happened in Winnipeg. Under our former mayor, Sam Katz, the Labour Council organized a demonstration outside city hall. One idiot close to the demonstration held up a sign comparing the Mayor to Adolf Hitler. Suddenly the only thing the media cared about for those few days was how mean the protester was to hurt the feelings of a Jewish mayor, and the issues that brought people to protest in the first place were completely ignored. Having seen the left been on the wrong side of that tactic in the press for the longest time (including the fact that the BLM and Occupy Wall Street movements, movements which I support, were in many quarters, villified in exactly that fashion on many news outlets) I know how that tactic works very well, and I'm prepared to call it out when I see it.

Anti-lockdown demonstrators have no relation to Occupy or BLM. Many are conspiracy theorists types who think 9/11 was staged and climate change is a hoax. 

You could make the argument that even though many more people would die without restrictions, acquiescing threatens our civil liberties longterm. That's discussion worthy. 

You could make the argument that we could do with far fewer compulsory measures and rely more on voluntary complience like the Swedes do. 

But that wouldn't represent your position, which is that we shouldn't have any restrictions at all and Covid isn't any more deadly than a bunch of other health issues and we should just carry on like normal because all the governments and health agencies are in cahoots to scare us into giving up our civil liberties.

Because the government would never lie to the population and health authorities have never made mistakes in how they addressed health issues? Remember the mental hospitals that were closed a few decades ago? It was health authorities who for decades argued that this was the right way to deal with mentally ill individuals.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Because the government would never lie to the population and health authorities have never made mistakes in how they addressed health issues? Remember the mental hospitals that were closed a few decades ago? It was health authorities who for decades argued that this was the right way to deal with mentally ill individuals.

My wife was a psychiatric nurse for over 40 years. According to her, the closures of mental hospitals in the 70s and 80s were just a way for government to cut budgets, at the cost of throwing thousands of mentally ill patients who needed help onto the streets, to survive however they could. There was no medical or humanitarian reason for these closures, it was just one of the first actions of the neoliberal state.

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Because the government would never lie to the population and health authorities have never made mistakes in how they addressed health issues? Remember the mental hospitals that were closed a few decades ago? It was health authorities who for decades argued that this was the right way to deal with mentally ill individuals.

My wife was a psychiatric nurse for over 40 years. According to her, the closures of mental hospitals in the 70s and 80s were just a way for government to cut budgets, at the cost of throwing thousands of mentally ill patients who needed help onto the streets, to survive however they could. There was no medical or humanitarian reason for these closures, it was just one of the first actions of the neoliberal state.

There is some truth to that. There was a movement in the 1970s to start moving towards a community care model, and there was community-based advocacy for that. Then in the 1980s, you had Reagan and Thatcher captialize on that and close the facilities down without providing any meaningful supports for people to live outside of them. In any case, it was "experts" that came up with many ideas, like mental health institutions. Regardless of the issues with the closures, and there were many, nobody is advocating we go back to the way things were. Even in the 1980s and 1990s, I saw how "experts" treated the issue of special needs, often presenting themselves as experts who had to be listened to. Something to think about as some people demand we "listen to the experts" on the issue of coronavirus without any input from the many people whose lives are impacted not only by the virus but by the measures introduced to fight it.

Aristotleded24

So as fines become stiffer for covid violations in many places, I think now is a time to ask if these restrictions are now causing more harm than good in stopping the spread. The rules for covid 19 are so strict that almost any individual or organization connected to an outbreak can be fined for having done something wrong to help the virus spread. What impact will this have on people's willingness to report? Will they lie to contractors about where they have been in order to prevent their friends, family, hair dresser, pastor, personal trainer, etc from getting into trouble? If they develop symptoms themselves, will they decide that with the hysteria and stigma against covid and the possibility of getting in trouble that they just won't even bother to be tested, they decide to tough it out instead, and then it becomes even harder to track the virus as it moves through the community? What impact will this have in marginalized communities that already have a shaky relationship with government and medical authorities because of their history? If you were in a position that getting a covid test could get someone you care about in trouble, would you take the test or would you keep your symptoms to yourself?

In discussing the issue of age of consent among teenagers, one of the points made is that by raising the age of consent, it could criminalize certain behaviours. This would prevent teenagers from seeing information as they don't want to risk anyone getting in trouble because the professional they are talking to has a duty to report. Why are we suddenly not seeing that with restrictive and punitive covid measures?

Pondering

We are not advocating that people "listen to the experts" blindly. We evaluate the experts and the facts they rely on, and apply our own logic and reasoning and values. 

 

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
We are not advocating that people "listen to the experts" blindly. We evaluate the experts and the facts they rely on, and apply our own logic and reasoning and values.

Bullshit! There is a mass hysteria out there that has demonized almost every normal human activity, whether meeting with friends, having a house party with your family, singing in your church choir, going to the gym, attending a concert, sporting event or festival, going on a date, or basically any social interaction beyond sitting at home staring at a Zoom screen as some sort of selfish behaviour that is going to kill everyone around you. Coincident with that, we have seen support for draconian, authoritarian measures to snuff out all of that. What I find more shocking is that support for restricting these normal human activities is here on babble.

It used to be that we accepted infectious diseases as a fact of our existence, and that we did our best to mitigate and manage them. Why is covid now this nefarious thing that must be stopped at all costs? Why is it that every time there is transmission there has to be someone, some organization to blame and is at fault, or that someone or somebody did something wrong? You want to apply a high moral standard that people just going about doing their thing is bad because the disease could be spread to the vulnerable? If so, I hope you never went to a doctor's office to complain about a cough or other flu-like symptoms, because by that logic, you could have killed someone in that room with a weak immune system.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Anti-lockdown demonstrators have no relation to Occupy or BLM. Many are conspiracy theorists types who think 9/11 was staged and climate change is a hoax.

As different as their outlooks are, the common thread is that any group that has a viewpoint not in line with mainstream thinking will be demonized and villanized by the media.

Pondering wrote:
You could make the argument that even though many more people would die without restrictions, acquiescing threatens our civil liberties longterm. That's discussion worthy.

One of the basic tenets of public health is that it happens in a complex web of inter-related things, and you cannot excessively focus on one aspect of it at the expense of everything else. Whatever we do about the coronavirus will have massive impacts, from the number of people sick and dying from cononavirus, to all kinds of other outcomes as a result of measures taken to stop the coronavirus. To say "more people will die" if measures are lifted is a simplistic statement that has very little foundation in actual science, especially when the impact of the coronavirus mitigation measures are taken into account.

Aristotleded24

More tensions in the streets over lockdowns, this time in Italy and in Australia.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
  As different as their outlooks are, the common thread is that any group that has a viewpoint not in line with mainstream thinking will be demonized and villanized by the media.  

Other than white supremists I don't think anyone is being demonized. Not even anti-maskers. They are regarded as suckers for junk science not demons. Politicians treat them with exasperation. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:

One of the basic tenets of public health is that it happens in a complex web of inter-related things, and you cannot excessively focus on one aspect of it at the expense of everything else. Whatever we do about the coronavirus will have massive impacts, from the number of people sick and dying from cononavirus, to all kinds of other outcomes as a result of measures taken to stop the coronavirus. To say "more people will die" if measures are lifted is a simplistic statement that has very little foundation in actual science, especially when the impact of the coronavirus mitigation measures are taken into account.  

Yes and medical professionals and scientists have considered that. 

We return again to the simple fact that our medical system can't take the pressure. There isn't enough staff. Are you going to voluteer to work as an orderly? Nurses are working forced overtime without a second wave. 

You seem willing to sacrifice the lives of health care workers who are 10 times more likely to get sick. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
We return again to the simple fact that our medical system can't take the pressure. There isn't enough staff. Are you going to voluteer to work as an orderly? Nurses are working forced overtime without a second wave.

If that's the case, one has to wonder how the system would have coped with a particularly bad flu season, like the one the US saw in the winter of 2017-2018. But even if the system is going to crash under the weight of covid, there is no good outcome. We can either have the system crack under the strain of covid in the next few months, or crack under the strain of delayed proceduers, complications from interventions not done in a timely manner, and the fall-out from the mental health impacts. So it is inevitbable that the system will crack no matter what we do. Pick your poison.

Aristotleded24

Are you fit for civil disobedience?

Quote:

A coalition of Quebec gyms, yoga studios and other recreational activity centres are threatening to reopen at the end of the week, even if the province extends the 28-day partial lockdown.

Such facilities have been closed since Oct. 8, as part of a series of measures imposed by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Premier François Legault has scheduled a news conference for 5 p.m. today, where he is expected to extend many of the measures imposed earlier this month in red zones.

Owners of fitness facilities say they have spent thousands of dollars to ensure their locations are safe and that their clients depend on exercise to keep physically and mentally healthy.

In a statement issued Monday, the group — which says it numbers more than 200 — says they will reopen Oct. 29 regardless of what the government decides.

"All the sanitary measures in force will be respected," the statement said.  

"If the government by then can prove to us, through studies, that we are the source of the outbreak, we will reverse it."

Pondering

If that's the case, one has to wonder how the system would have coped with a particularly bad flu season, like the one the US saw in the winter of 2017-2018. But even if the system is going to crash under the weight of covid, there is no good outcome. We can either have the system crack under the strain of covid in the next few months, or crack under the strain of delayed proceduers, complications from interventions not done in a timely manner, and the fall-out from the mental health impacts. So it is inevitbable that the system will crack no matter what we do. Pick your poison.

The whole point of restrictions is to keep the spread slow enough to not overwhelm the system so treatments can go ahead. Every flu season the news goes out to avoid the emergency department if possible. 

Health care costs are being controlled through rationing. There is no wiggle room in the system. There is absolutely no reason that forced overtime should be a regular occurance. No health care facility of any kind should be using temp labor as a matter of course. 

Aristotleded24

Forced overtime has been a regular occurence in Manitoba before the pandemic.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
"If the government by then can prove to us, through studies, that we are the source of the outbreak, we will reverse it."

I agree with them 100%. What's open and what's closed has been decided very arbitrarily. At this point people should be told that the government considers X,Y or Z to have some risk so if you live or work closely with other people they should be informed. 

I suspect that private parties in homes where physical distancing is difficult contributes most to spread. People, especially young adults, will find a way to congregate. If you don't give them a good way to do it they will find a bad way to do it. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
I suspect that private parties in homes where physical distancing is difficult contributes most to spread. People, especially young adults, will find a way to congregate. If you don't give them a good way to do it they will find a bad way to do it.

Funny you should mention that:

Quote:
The restrictions also exacerbate the problem of young people contracting and spreading the virus, he added.

“I think it just encourages the young people to hit the liquor stores and move the party indoors privately where there’s no contact tracing and regulations.”

So if I'm understanding this correctly, let's keep restaurants open, and then they are subject to health regulations (i.e. social distancing, co-horting, restrictions on alcohol sales, contact tracing) rather than forcing the problem underground into private parties or needing extensive surveillance and policing to stamp out private parties, which creates its own problems as well? Kind of a "covid harm reduction approach?"

I can live with that.

Pondering wrote:
What's open and what's closed has been decided very arbitrarily. At this point people should be told that the government considers X,Y or Z to have some risk so if you live or work closely with other people they should be informed. 

Pondering, does the Quebec government keep close tabs on which types of businesses have outbreaks? Manitoba keeps good information on that kind of thing. Not only have there been zero covid outbreaks connected to gyms and fitness studios here, but none of them have been placed under heightened restrictions. That's a much better record than even schools have. I know there was one such outbreak in Ontario.

Given this record, how important gyms are to strengthening the body systems under attack from covid, that people who use them are generally young and healthier and with a lower risk of needing hospital care should they get sick, and that I've also seen evidence of a relationship between inactivity and long covid, I think a case can be made that they should stay open. Maybe even loosen the restrictions a little bit.

Aristotleded24

Italy continues to burn:

Quote:
New skirmishes between police and protesters broke out in Rome on Saturday following clashes in Florence a night earlier that Italy's interior minister blamed on "violent fringe elements".

Protesters have taken to the streets in the past week in cities across Italy, including Rome, Naples and Turin, to criticise a new series of restrictions to aimed at stopping an alarming rise in coronavirus cases, even as the government considers more stringent measures to be announced as early as Monday.

Early Saturday evening in Rome, a sit-in at the famed Campo dei Fiori ended in a clash with police as some in a crowd of a few hundred protesters began throwing bottles and firecrackers, before being dispersed by police with riot gear and truncheons.

A second protest in Rome also ended in clashes with authorities.

The protests in Italy's capital came a day after an unauthorised nighttime demonstration in the Renaissance city of Florence turned violent, when police sought to prohibit about 200 people from entering in the central Piazza della Signoria.

Clashes broke out between riot police and protesters, some of whom hurled Molotov cocktails, bottles and rocks, overturning trash bins and breaking security cameras.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
   So if I'm understanding this correctly, let's keep restaurants open, and then they are subject to health regulations (i.e. social distancing, co-horting, restrictions on alcohol sales, contact tracing) rather than forcing the problem underground into private parties or needing extensive surveillance and policing to stamp out private parties, which creates its own problems as well? Kind of a "covid harm reduction approach?"  

Yes, unless there is evidence that they are the ones spreading Covid.  There was evidence in the case of  one Kareoke bar. The schools have been opened with only small outbreaks requiring the occasional closure of  single schools. 

Cases are going up again so we do need to be careful but governments are shutting down everything social while opening what they believe is important for the economy.  A hard lockdown made sense in March when we knew nothing. It is not possible to keep people so completely socially isolated indefinitely. Stores are open. Transit system is running. It is unrealistic to think people won't see friends and family when they can do so many different things. You can go to school, work, go dress shopping but you can't see anyone socially is not a message that can be sold for an extended period of time. 

Governments have been authoritarian rather than authoritative. Their position has been stop people from seeing each other unless it is unavoidable. Unavoidable being work and school. They defined everything else as dispensible so no need to actually think about it. 

The thing is the rest is not dispensible indefinitely for anyone other than natural loners therefore people are going to break the rules if they are too strict and onerous. 

Right when we started reopening the message should have been that if people don't wear masks we will have to go back into full lockdown.  The message should have been much stronger to track your movements and contacts with people. That should have been gravely emphasized and linked with the message that it will help avoid a hard lockdown. It would take too many pages to explain the approach I think they should have taken. 

People are not going to stay apart for Christmas and Thanksgiving so give people information about how to do so as safely as possible while explaining the risk can't be taken down to zero.  

Aristotleded24 wrote:
   Pondering, does the Quebec government keep close tabs on which types of businesses have outbreaks?    

Sometimes but I think we have a lot of general community transmission and that needs to be controlled. You cannot send teens to school then say they can't see their friends. Same goes for people who work. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Given this record, how important gyms are to strengthening the body systems under attack from covid, that people who use them are generally young and healthier and with a lower risk of needing hospital care should they get sick, and that I've also seen evidence of a relationship between inactivity and long covid, I think a case can be made that they should stay open. Maybe even loosen the restrictions a little bit.   

If people need exercise they can go for a walk. Having said that gyms have invested in safety measures. Unless they can be shown to be vectors of transmission they should be able to stay open when other businesses are allowed to operate. 

Having said all that, read this. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/first-member-community-positive-...

People need to be taught how to socialize without endangering anyone but then there is this...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/first-member-community-positive-...

Because the goal in Quebec is to get the economy up and running while not triggering an outbreak that will force shutdowns that would hurt the economy even more. 

His message is, you can take chances to work but not to see family and friends.

When people realize that the government's priorities and their own priorities don't line up they stop listening. 

Somethings should be off limits period. Massive events that make contact tracing difficult should not be held. Smaller events or venues should have big signage stating that if you enter you should warn anyone before spending time with them so they can decide if they want to take the risk of spending time with you. Stay away from anyone vulnerable for 2 weeks and a requirement to show ID and give contact information. 

Sometimes it will be necessary to be stricter but it should be the smallest areas possible. 

They need to provide people with information about what they CAN do and how to do it safely. 

Restrictions will still be in place for winter carnival. People should stick to local festivities.  People want to ski and sled and skate outdoors. 

Hockey for kids should be permitted with guidance on how to do it safely. The bench and locker rooms are where transmission is more likely to occur not on the rink especially with everyone in helmets. 

Encourage municipalities to increase small outdoor sports venues for skating and sledding. 

How can public washrooms be made safer? 

Require bowling alleys to operate by appointment and have a door person. At this point businesses are desperate to just stop bleeding money. 

Commercial renters need much better protection. If a venue is closed for that time the morgage holder of the property must freeze interest and payments so  rent is also frozen. If a landlord is making their living through renting properties they too should be eligible for CERB. I'm sure it's more complicated than that but I am equally sure lawyers can figure it out. 

This isn't going away any time soon so we need to find ways to live with it for an extended period of time. The haphazard way things are being opened and closed is not a good way to control the pandemic.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Given this record, how important gyms are to strengthening the body systems under attack from covid, that people who use them are generally young and healthier and with a lower risk of needing hospital care should they get sick, and that I've also seen evidence of a relationship between inactivity and long covid, I think a case can be made that they should stay open. Maybe even loosen the restrictions a little bit.   

If people need exercise they can go for a walk.

Not if they have a physical impairment that their local gym is capable of assiting with or are too afraid to walk by themselves outside because the neighbourhood is unsafe.

Aristotleded24

Need a better reason to oppose lockdowns?

Quote:

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is vowing to ramp up COVID-19 enforcement, and says his government is "seriously considering" imposing a curfew, but an infectious disease expert questions whether it's all coming too late.

Pallister said the province's chief public health officer has recommended steps to curb group gatherings to limit the current surge in cases.

"These late-night situations in Winnipeg have expanded our number of COVID cases significantly," Pallister said Monday morning. "According to Dr. [Brent] Roussin, this is an action that we should seriously consider, and I am seriously considering it now."

Pallister made the announcement at a news conference on the first day Winnipeg and the surrounding area were placed under heightened pandemic restrictions.

The region moved into the red, or critical, stage of the provincial pandemic response plan as of Monday. Movie theatres, libraries, sports facilities, restaurants, bars and dining rooms are closed for at least two weeks, among other restrictions.

See what advocating for lockdowns gives authoritarian politicians license to do? See what happened in Hungary? This is a frightening suggestion on Pallister's part. I shudder to think of what would have happened had the Federal Emergencies Act been invoked and the military been available to do domestic enforcement. Does anybody remember what happened with the G20 in Toronto? Would Pallister hesitate to bring that level of response to Manitoba if a Prime Minsiter Harper or Prime Minister O'Toole had made that option available?

This is dangerous. I've been pretty critical of blatant power grabs of certain provincial and federal politicians, but I have a feeling that nobody in Canada has suggested we go as far as Pallister is contemplating.

Aristotleded24

Manchester student describes being fenced in at university

What stood out for me is she says in this interview that rather than supporting students under isolation for testing positive, the university told them to go out and get food themselves while wearing a mask.

Aristotleded24

Recent uprisings continue in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Aristotleded24

Welcome to North Korea, Manitoba:

Quote:

Widespread shutdowns are coming as Manitoba's premier and top doctor order the entire province into the red, or critical, level of the provincial pandemic response plan.

Among the "short, sharp set of restrictions" is a ban on social gatherings of any kind starting Thursday that could last into December. Social contact must be reduced to members of your household only.

Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement Tuesday morning alongside Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin. 

Non-essential retail stores, gyms, movie theatres, salons and churches will close. All recreational facilities and sports activities will be shut down, said Roussin, but schools and child-care centres will remain open.

This is why you don't ever support authoritarian means to achieve your political objectives. If you can use authoritarian means to support your objectives, your opponents can also do so and you lose credibility if you try and call that out. Pallister sat in Harper's caucus as an MP, and I don't think anyone on these boards would support Harper having these kinds of powers in any other circumstances. I also feel that people who fed into the narrative that covid is an apocalyptically-bad disease that needs to be stopped at all costs are partly responsible for creating the climate of paranoia and fear that Pallister was able to use to justify these draconian measures. Isn't it also ironic that these restrictions are coming during a time of year when we are ordinarily asked to remember the sacrifices of soldiers who fought for the very freedoms we have been losing this year?

And what is the medical rationale for closing gyms and recreational sports? These provide exercise opportunities which improve the immune and respiratory systems, which are the very systems under attack from this disease?

If there is a silver lining, it's that churches have been ordered to close, and much of Pallister's support base comes from Christian fundamentalists. Let's hope these churches rise to the challenge, put their beliefs into practice, and find some way to resist these draconian, over-beraing responses.

Aristotleded24

I agree with something a Saskatchewan Party politician said:

Quote:

Saskatchewan's incoming health minister says people have a right to protest the government's mandatory mask mandate as long as they stick to the public health rules.

Paul Merriman was moved to Health from Social Services in a cabinet shuffle Monday and said he was to be briefed on the province's COVID-19 situation right away.

...

"It's people's right to protest. If they want to protest, that's something — as long as they're doing it adhering to the public-health rules, which are staying six feet apart, masking," Merriman said on Monday.

"I'm OK with protests happening if they adhere to the public-health guidelines. If protests are happening and they're not adhering to the public-health guidelines, then I'm not in support of that."

He clarified he's not comfortable with groups sending messages that go against public-health advice and that residents should listen to officials to keep themselves safe.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

There are many on the left, including Wab Kinew who is leader of the Opposition, that have been complaining that Pallister was not doing enough to protect the public from the surges in COVID cases. Thank the stars that Pallister did not follow Kenney or Trump's approaches to the pandemic.

Aristotleded24

laine lowe wrote:
There are many on the left, including Wab Kinew who is leader of the Opposition, that have been complaining that Pallister was not doing enough to protect the public from the surges in COVID cases.

I would assume we are in agreement on that one. It's the issue of lockdowns and micro-managing of human behaviour to the point that people are encouraged to rat out their neighbours for having too many people at their houses that greatly concerns me.

laine lowe wrote:
Thank the stars that Pallister did not follow Kenney or Trump's approaches to the pandemic.

I don't know what Trump has to do with the covid response in Manitoba. I have said repeatedly that the United States is such an outlier in terms of how badly it handled the pandemic that I consider it to be a red herring whenever it comes to discussing the covid response here in Canada.

Besides, why are we talking about "Trump's response" when there was no unified American response to the pandemic? California saw major surges in cases, even though it was one of the first states to lockdown and lockded down very hard. Regardless of the response of individual states ranging from lockdown to semi-lockdown to locking down without locking down, cases surged all over the place (with the possible exception of the state of Vermont).

There's another reason that lockdowns have to be off the table. Lockdowns give Premiers like Pallister and Kenney the cover they need to underfund health care services. The only time lockdowns work is if your health care system is about to be overwhelmed and you need some time to catch up. Not properly preparing the health care system allows them to use the inevitable rise in cases as an excuse to exercise power, power that I'm not comfortable with any Harperite having. If instead you commit to never locking down under any circumstances, that forces you to prepare for the rise in cases that will eventually come.

Aristotleded24
Aristotleded24

Protesters in Steinbach handed fines for violating social distancing rules:

Quote:

Less than an hour after Manitoba announced its highest single-day jump in COVID-19 deaths, dozens of people gathered in Steinbach to protest heightened public health restrictions implemented in Manitoba this week.

More than 100 people gathered Saturday afternoon in Steinbach, a city located roughly 50 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg, to protest against additional restrictions that came into effect on Thursday. The entire province is now in the red, or critical, level on the province's pandemic response system.

Some protesters brought their children with them.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, provincial conservation and health officers who were in attendance started issuing fines to some of the people participating in the protest. Some protesters, in turn, could be heard shouting profanities at the officers.

The protest comes a day after a nurse, who works in the emergency room at Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach, said the facility is over capacity and the workload on staff isn't sustainable.

I have to commend the bravery of the people choosing to protest and speaking their minds, given the current environment and how anyone who questions whether these restrictions are necessary or useful is automatically deemed a bad and uncaring person. Besides, the protests in support of BLM were much larger and did not spread covid, so why are we worried about the smaller gathering? Oh, I forgot, progressive elites get to set rules for everyone else to have to follow only to disregard these exact rules when they are inconvenient. Silly me, that's how the world should work.

I wonder what would happen if people simply refused to pay these fines? What if larger and larger groups began to gather and they were fined and they simply refused to pay them? Could such an action be enforced?

Aristotleded24

Defund the police:

Quote:

About 200 people attended a “freedom march” in St. Thomas, Ont., on Saturday hosted by a controversial pastor and supported by The Line Canada, a group that does weekly anti-lockdown protests across the country.

“We’re basically a civil rights liberty group fighting for freedom in Canada, just wondering when this lockdown is going to be over,” said Lamont Daigle, who is the executive director for The Line Canada. “We are the voice.”

Henry Hildebrandt, a pastor at the Church of God in Alymer, Ont., has been in and out of the headlines since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic for his controversial views on government-imposed restrictions due to COVID-19.

...

A police presence kept an eye on the crowd, which had gathered at the Memorial Arena parking lot and marched along the Whistle Stop Trail to the intersection of Talbot and Moore and then back again.

“Rest assured that just because the rally is over, the investigation is not,” police Chief Chris Herridge wrote. “The St. Thomas Police are committed to this investigation and will be presenting evidence to the Crown Prosecutors for review.”

 

Aristotleded24

Chaos in Germany as police clash with conflicting protests over lockdown restrictions

This description from the Washington Post:

Quote:
Around 9:30 on a quiet Sunday morning late last month, a crudely made explosive device went off with a small bang and a flash in central Berlin near the building of an association of German scientific institutes.

A note found nearby demanded the end to coronavirus restrictions.

Just a few hours earlier, molotov cocktails had been tossed at the front of the Robert Koch Institute, the German federal agency responsible for controlling the virus.

The incidents come against the backdrop of a growing violent undercurrent at large-scale street demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions, including one attended by 20,000 people Saturday in Leipzig. The developments point to an increasingly radicalized movement of virus skeptics in Germany, embraced by the country’s far-right extremist groups and energized by global conspiracy theories, notably those put forth by the U.S.-born QAnon movement.

Far-right groups marched alongside the demonstrators this weekend, stoking concerns among security officials that they will gain recruits and draw more demonstrators to violence, with bomb- and weapon-making material already circulating in coronavirus-skeptic circles online.

...

Querdenken’s founder Michael Ballweg has said the movement tried to distance itself from right-wing extremists. There was no violence started by the movement, the group said in statement Saturday, and its social media channels blamed far-left infiltrators.

“It is certainly amazing how a peaceful movement from the center of society is unjustifiably criminalized and stigmatized,” it said.

...

Authorities in Saxony said that most of the 20,000 people who gathered Saturday were peaceful. While 8 in 10 Germans think that strict measures are necessary to contain the coronavirus, according to a poll by ARD television, around 1 in 4 think the restrictions are disproportionate. Germany entered a new month-long lockdown at the beginning of November, as cases surged across Europe.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I presume you fully support these protesters in their valiant struggle for freedom, Ari.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

I wonder what would happen if people simply refused to pay these fines? What if larger and larger groups began to gather and they were fined and they simply refused to pay them? Could such an action be enforced?

I thought that would work to stop TMX from being built. I am sure that you will have less success getting a critical mass of anti-maskers together than we did trying to get environmentalists together. The state crushes people who oppose it. They will send you to jail for contempt of court and yes if enough people do it civil disobedience works but getting the bodies is the trick. However I have to note that it is a very self centered anti-community idea to make a stand on.

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
I presume you fully support these protesters in their valiant struggle for freedom, Ari.

You either believe in freedom or you don't. It's that simple.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

I wonder what would happen if people simply refused to pay these fines? What if larger and larger groups began to gather and they were fined and they simply refused to pay them? Could such an action be enforced?

I thought that would work to stop TMX from being built. I am sure that you will have less success getting a critical mass of anti-maskers together than we did trying to get environmentalists together. The state crushes people who oppose it. They will send you to jail for contempt of court and yes if enough people do it civil disobedience works but getting the bodies is the trick. However I have to note that it is a very self centered anti-community idea to make a stand on.

The mask mandates are the least objectionable aspect of the covid restrictions. It's the limits on gathering sizes, that now every action short of staying home and staring at a computer screen is putting other people at risk, the fact that medical authorities have arbitrary power to order businesses to close at a moment's notice, and that people are willing to report their neighbours for having too many people over at their house. Is all of this necessary for a virus that mainly kills elderly people in the care homes? Perhaps a better strategy around care homes is what is called for and the rest of us can go on living our lives. If you want to call me selfish for having that opinion, it is a free country. Go ahead, fill your boots.

Bacchus

Apparently it is ok to support violence and terrorism here in the name of freedom? Interesting

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:
I presume you fully support these protesters in their valiant struggle for freedom, Ari.

You either believe in freedom or you don't. It's that simple.

Freedom to falsely shout "fire" in a theatre to cause a panic?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Social distancing and limiting social contacts are far more effective tactics than wearing masks (although I agree with that added degree of protection). The pandemic has definitely shown that there are serious short-comings to how we operate long term care facilities including having people living in wards instead of private rooms and sharing bathrooms as if they were living in a youth hostel. Then there are the deplorable workforce conditions of low pay, part-time, moving from one facility to another, lack of decent supplies (both PPE, sanitation and nutrition) and just a total lack of respect and dignity for clients living there. And it's not just seniors living in long term care facilities. It sounds like freedom is for the young, the healthy and the well-off. The rest who need protection should just accept their fate that they are "lesser" human beings.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

laine lowe wrote:
There are many on the left, including Wab Kinew who is leader of the Opposition, that have been complaining that Pallister was not doing enough to protect the public from the surges in COVID cases.
There's another reason that lockdowns have to be off the table. Lockdowns give Premiers like Pallister and Kenney the cover they need to underfund health care services. The only time lockdowns work is if your health care system is about to be overwhelmed and you need some time to catch up. Not properly preparing the health care system allows them to use the inevitable rise in cases as an excuse to exercise power, power that I'm not comfortable with any Harperite having. If instead you commit to never locking down under any circumstances, that forces you to prepare for the rise in cases that will eventually come.

I'm not comfortable with letting thousands of people die to prove that our health care system is underfunded. There is no way to ramp up medical care immediately. It takes years to train doctors and nurses. 

Pondering

​The protest comes a day after a nurse, who works in the emergency room at Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach, said the facility is over capacity and the workload on staff isn't sustainable.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 

I wonder what would happen if people simply refused to pay these fines? What if larger and larger groups began to gather and they were fined and they simply refused to pay them? Could such an action be enforced?   

No it couldn't be enforced. All laws require the consent of the governed.  Covid would spread. Hospitals would cancel surgeries. People would die. Their bodies would have to be stored in refrigerated trucks. Once people realized they could no longer get cancer treatments or have heart surgery due to Covid they would go into lockdown. 

If it were not for health care workers and the innocent who could also catch it I would say let Darwin's theory do its work. 

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