Civil rights and COVID-19

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Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Everyone is not wearing masks and socially distancing.

Actually in Winnipeg, they are where it matters, in indoor spaces. Many people are also wearing masks outside. Still hasn't had any impact.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
Everyone is not wearing masks and socially distancing.

Actually in Winnipeg, they are where it matters, in indoor spaces. Many people are also wearing masks outside. Still hasn't had any impact.

What makes you think the situation would be no worse if people were not wearing masks or socially distancing? Just because people are socially distancing in public doesn't mean they are doing it in private. I'm certain there are lots of people not having noticiable parties but still having people over. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Just because people are socially distancing in public doesn't mean they are doing it in private. I'm certain there are lots of people not having noticiable parties but still having people over.

Why should I care how many people someone invites into their residence when the majority of covid fatailties in the province are connected to oubreaks in the care homes and the hospitals, outbreaks that continue to happen while we are in lockdown? It's been a really difficult year for people, and friends and family are a source of joy. Why begrudge anyone of that?

JKR

This year has been difficult because of Covid, not the reaction to it. Confusing the two makes no sense.

Aristotleded24

Georgia reminds us of what freedom looks like:

Quote:

Spending three days in Georgia served as a glorious reminder of the good life. Restaurants and bars are packed, people are out shopping and spending time together, handshakes and hugs are everywhere. The movies are open. Office buildings are filled up again. You can even go to a holiday concert at the symphony hall. The holidays are not cancelled. 

Some schools are still shut and large events are struggling to restart. Masking is not legally mandated but still perfunctorily practiced out of perceived courtesy. So yes, there is some evidence of the suffering visited upon the rest of the country. Still, there is enough normalcy here to generate hope for the future. 

Most notable is the absence of the penitent despair one observes in any public place in the lockdowned Northeast, where people are still dressing in grim rags with face shields, barking at each other to mask up, or sheltering at home in fear of something they cannot see. Sadness is everywhere on display in such places. 

In Georgia you see actual happiness: smiles on faces, quick steps, and light conversations about something other than the virus. The look and feel of the place, with bustling commercial districts and holiday joy everywhere, absolutely startled me. Just being around this scene for a few days lifted my own spirits immeasurably.

Why, surely Georgia must be a basketcase of death, disaster, despair, and unemployment?

Quote:
In deaths per capita, Georgia is below the national average. Excess deaths actually fell in the two months following their reopening, rising again in August, and now matching average deaths from 2014-2019. The demographics of death follow what we’ve seen around the world. Three quarters of the deaths are people 65 or older. Only 3% are under 40 years of age. One third occurred in nursing homes. The average age of death is 74. Of the 7 pediatric deaths, 5 had serious comorbidities. 

In other words, all quite typical of this virus. Neither the lockdown nor the opening had an impact in either direction, which offers a serious rebuke to all the states that imagined their quarantines, closings, and curfews could somehow intimidate a virus. It’s also a refutation of the media’s hysterical predictions. 

Meanwhile, the economy is humming. The unemployment rate of 5.7% is well below the national average. That’s an increase in November but that is due to a record number of people re-entering the workforce. Georgia’s labor force is right now at a record high of 5.17 million. All those companies that relocated to Atlanta over the last 10 years can feel affirmed that they made the right choice.

Okay, having fewer deaths per capita than the national average in the United States is not particularly good, considering how badly the country did with the pandemic overall. But their deaths per capita are still nowhere near the top 10, where other Democratically-run states who enacted social distancing protocols still have among the worst covid outcomes in the country.

Aristotleded24

How the covid response enables authoriarianism:

Quote:

No federal or state legislature has the legal authority to limit people’s rights as has occurred during lockdowns. Political leaders have therefore suspended the normal operation of the legislature and declared a “state of emergency” in order to exercise absolute power. There is no basis in any constitution to exercise this type of power, except possibly during wartime or a natural disaster. The coronavirus pandemic is anything but a war or disaster, however. It is a mild respiratory infection with a 0.2% fatality rate that doesn’t even put a dent in national life expectancy. 

Without the legislative branch of government operating, the party in power operates as a dictatorship. They can pass any law they want with no opposition from other parties. This is what has happened in many countries. The government in power has used the emergency powers it claimed to pass bills that they have wanted for a long time. 

There is never a time to suspend democracy. The more uncertain the situation facing a country, the more important it is to have rigorous political debate, checks on governmental power, and a free public debate. Moreover, history has consistently shown that when governments give themselves newfound powers in response to a crisis (whether actual or fake), they hold on to much of that power permanently. Termed the ratchet effect by historian Robert Higgs, it has never posed such a critical threat to wellbeing and self-determination.

...

The coronavirus pandemic has presented democratically elected leaders with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to exercise absolute power with no consequences. In fact, the prevailing attitude in high income countries is that the tougher the politician is on coronavirus contagion, the more that politician is a hero. Human rights laws are considered an inconvenience in this regard, garnering praise for politicians who heroically ignore them.

Aristotleded24
JKR

Libertarians are opposed to government intervention, even during a pandemic. Since when have libertarians been the ones we should follow?

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
Libertarians are opposed to government intervention, even during a pandemic. Since when have libertarians been the ones we should follow?

Total non sequitor. What's your point?

JKR

The article you posted was from a libertarian web site. My point is that libertarians are generally wrong in their opinions and the government has an important role to take in improving society which includes policies regarding Covid.

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
The article you posted was from a libertarian web site. My point is that libertarians are generally wrong in their opinions and the government has an important role to take in improving society which includes policies regarding Covid.

I can think of any number of things the government can do to make a positive difference on the covid file that would be far less expensive, less intrusive into people's personal and business lives, and would have a much better outcome and breed much less resentment than what the current measures are doing. Yes the AIER may be more liberterian leaning, but I'm not going to let liberterians or anti-liberterians do my thinking for me. I'll take a look at things on a case-by-case basis, and the facts posted in that article speak for themselves.

JKR

I think those were not facts but were biased libertarian opinions.

Badriya

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Georgia reminds us of what freedom looks like:

Quote:

Spending three days in Georgia served as a glorious reminder of the good life. Restaurants and bars are packed, people are out shopping and spending time together, handshakes and hugs are everywhere. The movies are open. Office buildings are filled up again. You can even go to a holiday concert at the symphony hall. The holidays are not cancelled. 

Some schools are still shut and large events are struggling to restart. Masking is not legally mandated but still perfunctorily practiced out of perceived courtesy. So yes, there is some evidence of the suffering visited upon the rest of the country. Still, there is enough normalcy here to generate hope for the future. 

Most notable is the absence of the penitent despair one observes in any public place in the lockdowned Northeast, where people are still dressing in grim rags with face shields, barking at each other to mask up, or sheltering at home in fear of something they cannot see. Sadness is everywhere on display in such places. 

In Georgia you see actual happiness: smiles on faces, quick steps, and light conversations about something other than the virus. The look and feel of the place, with bustling commercial districts and holiday joy everywhere, absolutely startled me. Just being around this scene for a few days lifted my own spirits immeasurably.

Why, surely Georgia must be a basketcase of death, disaster, despair, and unemployment?

Quote:
In deaths per capita, Georgia is below the national average. Excess deaths actually fell in the two months following their reopening, rising again in August, and now matching average deaths from 2014-2019. The demographics of death follow what we’ve seen around the world. Three quarters of the deaths are people 65 or older. Only 3% are under 40 years of age. One third occurred in nursing homes. The average age of death is 74. Of the 7 pediatric deaths, 5 had serious comorbidities. 

In other words, all quite typical of this virus. Neither the lockdown nor the opening had an impact in either direction, which offers a serious rebuke to all the states that imagined their quarantines, closings, and curfews could somehow intimidate a virus. It’s also a refutation of the media’s hysterical predictions. 

Meanwhile, the economy is humming. The unemployment rate of 5.7% is well below the national average. That’s an increase in November but that is due to a record number of people re-entering the workforce. Georgia’s labor force is right now at a record high of 5.17 million. All those companies that relocated to Atlanta over the last 10 years can feel affirmed that they made the right choice.

Okay, having fewer deaths per capita than the national average in the United States is not particularly good, considering how badly the country did with the pandemic overall. But their deaths per capita are still nowhere near the top 10, where other Democratically-run states who enacted social distancing protocols still have among the worst covid outcomes in the country.

Let's looks at some numbers.  On Jan. 1, 2021, Georgia had 6277 cases of COVID/100K population, and 103 deaths.

On the same day, the three Canadian provinces with the highest numbers were:

QC 2447 cases/100 K; 28.5 deaths

AL 2467 cases; 23.3 deaths

ON 1330 cases; 17.2 deaths

Tracking Covid-19 cases in the US (cnn.com)

Canada Coronavirus Map and Case Count - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

 

Aristotleded24

Badriya wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Georgia reminds us of what freedom looks like:

Quote:

Spending three days in Georgia served as a glorious reminder of the good life. Restaurants and bars are packed, people are out shopping and spending time together, handshakes and hugs are everywhere. The movies are open. Office buildings are filled up again. You can even go to a holiday concert at the symphony hall. The holidays are not cancelled. 

Some schools are still shut and large events are struggling to restart. Masking is not legally mandated but still perfunctorily practiced out of perceived courtesy. So yes, there is some evidence of the suffering visited upon the rest of the country. Still, there is enough normalcy here to generate hope for the future. 

Most notable is the absence of the penitent despair one observes in any public place in the lockdowned Northeast, where people are still dressing in grim rags with face shields, barking at each other to mask up, or sheltering at home in fear of something they cannot see. Sadness is everywhere on display in such places. 

In Georgia you see actual happiness: smiles on faces, quick steps, and light conversations about something other than the virus. The look and feel of the place, with bustling commercial districts and holiday joy everywhere, absolutely startled me. Just being around this scene for a few days lifted my own spirits immeasurably.

Why, surely Georgia must be a basketcase of death, disaster, despair, and unemployment?

Quote:
In deaths per capita, Georgia is below the national average. Excess deaths actually fell in the two months following their reopening, rising again in August, and now matching average deaths from 2014-2019. The demographics of death follow what we’ve seen around the world. Three quarters of the deaths are people 65 or older. Only 3% are under 40 years of age. One third occurred in nursing homes. The average age of death is 74. Of the 7 pediatric deaths, 5 had serious comorbidities. 

In other words, all quite typical of this virus. Neither the lockdown nor the opening had an impact in either direction, which offers a serious rebuke to all the states that imagined their quarantines, closings, and curfews could somehow intimidate a virus. It’s also a refutation of the media’s hysterical predictions. 

Meanwhile, the economy is humming. The unemployment rate of 5.7% is well below the national average. That’s an increase in November but that is due to a record number of people re-entering the workforce. Georgia’s labor force is right now at a record high of 5.17 million. All those companies that relocated to Atlanta over the last 10 years can feel affirmed that they made the right choice.

Okay, having fewer deaths per capita than the national average in the United States is not particularly good, considering how badly the country did with the pandemic overall. But their deaths per capita are still nowhere near the top 10, where other Democratically-run states who enacted social distancing protocols still have among the worst covid outcomes in the country.

Let's looks at some numbers.  On Jan. 1, 2021, Georgia had 6277 cases of COVID/100K population, and 103 deaths.

On the same day, the three Canadian provinces with the highest numbers were:

QC 2447 cases/100 K; 28.5 deaths

AL 2467 cases; 23.3 deaths

ON 1330 cases; 17.2 deaths

Tracking Covid-19 cases in the US (cnn.com)

Canada Coronavirus Map and Case Count - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

 

I actually acknowleded within my post that the United States as a whole had not done very well with the pandemic. I would argue that there are demographic and structural factors, like massive incarceration rates, rampant income inequality, and the fact that people go to work sick because of a tough-it-out culture along with the fact that the working class is so stretched thin financially that they can't afford to miss a day of work because employers don't offer sick pay. That said, the fact is that even by covid metrics, Georgia is doing much better than states in the Northeast which did lock down.

Is joy and happiness not worth anything any more? The article mentions that people are generally happy. How happy are people in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta? Is crushing covid worth it if it takes all meaning out of life?

Pondering

Ontario and Quebec have failed to take the measures needed to control Covid-19.  

Hospital capacity, not death rate, is guiding response. 

Direct comparisions between places cannot be made without taking into account dozens of factors of which hospital capacity is just one, but the most important of all. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Ontario and Quebec have failed to take the measures needed to control Covid-19.  

Hospital capacity, not death rate, is guiding response. 

Direct comparisions between places cannot be made without taking into account dozens of factors of which hospital capacity is just one, but the most important of all.

Except as Badirya points out, covid is not spreading nearly as rampantly through Ontario and Quebec as it is throug Georgia. Does Georiga all of a sudden have more hospital capacity than these 2 provinces, and that is why they are feeling free to open up again?

JKR

Comparing states in the U.S. northeast to many other parts of the U.S. is not instructive because states in the northeast, especially Metro New York City  had to deal with very many cases of Covid very early in the pandemic compared to most other states that didn't have to.

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
Comparing states in the U.S. northeast to many other parts of the U.S. is not instructive because states in the northeast, especially Metro New York City  had to deal with very many cases of Covid very early in the pandemic compared to most other states that didn't have to.

But I thought the covid fatality rate was all Trump's fault? Now all of a sudden when the blame is flipped back onto Democratic governers people want to have a nuanced conversations about factors beyond the control of government that influence the spread?

JKR

I think it's obvious that places that had to deal with Covid earlier in the pandemic were in a much more difficult position because they had much less time to prepare. In descending order places that confronted Covid earlier were places like Wuhan, the rest of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Italy, Belgium, Spain, New York City, and the North East U.S. states.

Trump and other Republicans completely botched the U.S.'s response to Covid. Many months after the pandemic started Republicans  have learned far too little and that has caused far too much damage.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Except as Badirya points out, covid is not spreading nearly as rampantly through Ontario and Quebec as it is throug Georgia. Does Georiga all of a sudden have more hospital capacity than these 2 provinces, and that is why they are feeling free to open up again?

What Georgia does is up to them. My opinion is based on what is happening in Montreal and the rest of Canada. You mentioned somewhere that emergency waiting rooms are empty. They are supposed to be empty. Covid patients are not taken in through emergency unless they showed up there instead of calling the info line. People are avoiding the emergency room unless they have no choice. It isn't emergency that we have to worry about. It is the number of beds and nurses available. 

Alberta is setting up a field hospital. Ontario and Quebec are shattering records as predicted. It will get worse before it gets better. End of January beginning of February will shatter more records unless restrictions are tightened up and fast. 

Meanwhile Wuhan is having a great big party. 

jerrym

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Is joy and happiness not worth anything any more? The article mentions that people are generally happy. How happy are people in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta? Is crushing covid worth it if it takes all meaning out of life?

Despite the fact that I leave the house only two to four times a month I have found plenty to keep me busy and I am enjoying most of the time I spend there with my family, learning Spanish, exercising, writing short stories and poems, etc.  admitting though that I get a little restless at times. This may be a function of my personality, although I am also an inveterate traveller who has been to 76 countries before Covid struck. I don't ascribe this to any kind of superiority but rather that my personality does better in some situations than many others do but worse in other situations than many others. My wife will testify to the latter. Don't assume everyone sees or feels the world the same way that you do.

However, what does make me sad at times is watching the death toll mount at home and abroad. Therefore, for me, I see taking the measures governments have taken to be necessary to increase the likelihood of more people surviving Covid and not as a crushing burden. 

Aristotleded24

jerrym wrote:
However, what does make me sad at times is watching the death toll mount at home and abroad. Therefore, for me, I see taking the measures governments have taken to be necessary to increase the likelihood of more people surviving Covid and not as a crushing burden.

Every civil rights violation in the history of humanity is justifed on the basis of protecting the greater good. When covid restrictions result in more overdose deaths, or throw people into poverty, or tear apart at the social fabric of a community like I'm seeing happen here in Winnipeg, I'm not sure you can credit the measures as preventing covid deaths. Especially since deaths in elder care homes have been happening regardless of the state of lockdowns that have been enacted.

JKR

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Every civil rights violation in the history of humanity is justifed on the basis of protecting the greater good.

How has protecting people's health and lives from COVID-19 unreasonably violated civil rights?

Aristotleded24

JKR wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Every civil rights violation in the history of humanity is justifed on the basis of protecting the greater good.

How has protecting people's health and lives from COVID-19 unreasonably violated civil rights?

Suppose we have a wave of refugees coming in from a country experiencing an outbreak of a deadly disease. Let's then say these refugees were targeted and profiled by the government, and their communities within Canada were subject to increasing scrutiny. Would that be acceptable?

Aristotleded24

Family gathering broken up by Gatineau police

I don't think it's reasonable at all for the government to limit how many people one can have over at their residence under any circumstances.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Suppose we have a wave of refugees coming in from a country experiencing an outbreak of a deadly disease. Let's then say these refugees were targeted and profiled by the government, and their communities within Canada were subject to increasing scrutiny. Would that be acceptable?

It would be acceptable to require them to go into quarantine on arrival, as should anyone arriving from that country, but profiling and targeting would be unacceptable. 

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Family gathering broken up by Gatineau police

I don't think it's reasonable at all for the government to limit how many people one can have over at their residence under any circumstances.

Collective rights take precedence. They knew they were breaking the law but expected only a warning. They may well have just gotten a warning if they identified themselves. 

The people who ran the underground railroad and who traveled it were in the right but they hid their behavior because they knew they were breaking the law.

Likewise, if you are going to break the no gathering rule because you think you are in the right don't make so much noise that the neighbours call to complain about fighting. 

Bacchus

Reading the article its clear he knew it was wrong and figured he would either not get caught or just get a warning. He was wrong and assaulting a cop doesnt help either

Aristotleded24
Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

jerrym wrote:
However, what does make me sad at times is watching the death toll mount at home and abroad. Therefore, for me, I see taking the measures governments have taken to be necessary to increase the likelihood of more people surviving Covid and not as a crushing burden.

Every civil rights violation in the history of humanity is justifed on the basis of protecting the greater good. When covid restrictions result in more overdose deaths, or throw people into poverty, or tear apart at the social fabric of a community like I'm seeing happen here in Winnipeg, I'm not sure you can credit the measures as preventing covid deaths. Especially since deaths in elder care homes have been happening regardless of the state of lockdowns that have been enacted.

Again, the goal wasn't and isn't to prevent all deaths and transmissions. It is to slow transmission. It is succeeding in slowing transmission. It isn't doing it well enough so now we have to have stronger restrictions. 

Aristotleded24

We have more videos from Calgary. One about police being called on a skater. Another case of cops called on a soccer game.

Defund the police indeed. Many people who spout that ridiculous mantra have no problem with lockdown restrictions, which invite the possibility of police enforcement for non-compliance. It used to be that people who called the police for such petty reasons were derided. Now they are celebrated as heros.

earthquakefish

Aristotleded24 wrote:
I don't agree with that.  I want to be understanding, even linient, empathy does actually ask seeing everthing, and not minimalize anyone's grief who has lost someone to covid-19.  I have, more specifically a family member lost their father, in a nursing home, while the mother/wife - not understanding he was dead, kissed him goodbye.  Her family was rightfully scared she is still alive, this is from April, and I can't know but I would imagine her not saying goodbye in that way, is paramount -for her- upon any risk people want to subscribe

 

So my questions begins, where in any name of any deity, secular or not, people get to image what matters to someoe else?

So now Manitoba is the latest jurisdiction to roll out a covid alert system. Note that the green level is to be reached when "The spread of COVID 19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment is available." Until then, there are limits on gathering sizes indoors and outdoors at the higher levels.

Why are we okay with Dr. Roussin deciding this for us? I thought in a democracy, the people decide. For one, limits on indoor capacity is a health risk for people freezing to death outside in the winter. But more broadly, capacity limits on gatherings, especially in a context where we don't have a vaccine or effective treatment and may never have, is a blatant attack on our right to free assembly which is guaranteed by the Charter.

No, I am not okay with this. These restrictions should be challenged in court, and the government allowed to make its case. There are already provisions in the Charter that allow certain rights to be suspended for the greater good. If the government makes a solid case, then the restrictions will stay in place. At least that is a better outcome than just rolling over and accepting these limitations. To paraphrase George Carlin, if your rights don't apply in a crisis, they don't apply at all.

Pondering

In a representative democracy the people choose their representatives who then make the decisions usually rooted in wanting to get elected again. 

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