Can good news happen in a pandemic?

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Aristotleded24
Can good news happen in a pandemic?

With the world still in turmoil because of coronavirus, it can be very easy to become discouraged. Yet, it is important to keep a balanced perspective. There are actual signs of hope throughout this thing, and I think it is important to discuss them to keep our spirits up and our motivation that things will improve. Here goes:

New cases fall dramatically in New Brunswick:

Quote:
New Brunswick has no new cases of COVID-19 for the second straight day, the chief medical officer of health announced Monday.

The province's total number of infections stands at 118, Dr. Jennifer Russell told reporters during the daily update in Fredericton.

This is the sixth day in the last 10 that a new case of COVID-19 has not been reported, said Russell. In the past week, there have been just four new cases, she said.

New Zealand ready to downgrade its lockdown response:

Quote:
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has thanked people for "stopping an uncontrolled explosion of Covid-19", as she announced an easing of lockdown.

The country has been praised for its quick and strict response to the virus, and will move from "Level 4" lockdown to "Level 3" late next Monday.

It means some businesses can reopen, along with some schools, while rules on local travel will be relaxed.

...

Level 3 will last for at least two weeks, with a new decision on 11 May.

Separately, New Zealand closed its borders to almost all foreign travellers on 19 March - but that policy remains unchanged.

Aristotleded24

Yesterday, more people in Italy recovered than were newly diagnosed with coronavirus for the first time. Let's hope this trend continues.

Aristotleded24

Scorecard for April 30: New Brunswick 12, Coronavirus 0:

Quote:
There are no new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick for the twelfth day in a row and there is no one in hospital.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, said at a news conference in Fredericton on Thursday afternoon that there remain only four active cases of the 118 New Brunswickers who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Aristotleded24

Scorecard for May 16: Manitoba 5, Coronavirus 0:

Quote:

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, the province announced on Saturday.

The update marks the fifth day in a row the province has recorded no new cases, making it the longest period without cases since the coronavirus first appeared in the province two months ago.

Two people in the province are in hospital with the illness, one of whom is in intensive care, the province said in a news release on Saturday afternoon.

There have been 289 cases of COVID-19 identified in Manitoba, 25 of which are still active. Seven people have died and 257 have recovered, the release said.

Aristotleded24
Bacchus

Sounds like the score for a pretty shitty soccer team

Aristotleded24

Long struggle with coronavirus inevitable? Someone forgot to tell Montenegro:

Quote:
- Montenegro's prime minister on Monday declared the country coronavirus-free - a move vital for its Adriatic tourism industry coming 69 days after it reported its first case and after 20 without a new one.

Montenegro has reported 324 confirmed cases of COVID-19 illness and nine deaths.

"The battle with such a vicious virus has been won and Montenegro now becomes the first coronavirus-free country in Europe," Dusko Markovic, the Prime Minister told a news conference after meeting a body tasked with combating the disease.

Markovic started the news conference by taking off his face mask.

bekayne

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Long struggle with coronavirus inevitable? Someone forgot to tell Montenegro:

Quote:
- Montenegro's prime minister on Monday declared the country coronavirus-free - a move vital for its Adriatic tourism industry coming 69 days after it reported its first case and after 20 without a new one.

Montenegro has reported 324 confirmed cases of COVID-19 illness and nine deaths.

"The battle with such a vicious virus has been won and Montenegro now becomes the first coronavirus-free country in Europe," Dusko Markovic, the Prime Minister told a news conference after meeting a body tasked with combating the disease.

Markovic started the news conference by taking off his face mask.

Was there a "Mission accomplished" banner behind him as he spoke?

Aristotleded24

Covid recoveries in Quebec are now starting to exceed new cases. Also an Italian researcher suggests the virus is losing potency.

Aristotleded24

Today Quebec reported fewer than 100 new cases for the first time since March 22. The recovery rate in Quebec continues to vastly outpace new cases.

Aristotleded24

Cautious optimism from Dr. Tam:

Quote:

Canada's chief public health officer said today transmission of the novel coronavirus is largely under control in this country, but warned that the caseload can flare up at any time.

"The epidemiology indicates that transmission is largely under control, while also showing us that cases can reemerge at any time or place," Dr. Theresa Tam told an updated modelling briefing Monday.

"Dynamic models are telling us that if we relax too much or too soon the epidemic will most likely rebound with explosive growth as a distinct possibility."

The number of daily cases is steadily declining, along with the number of hospitalized and critical care cases, said Tam.

Aristotleded24

102-year-old woman survives influenza pandemic of 1918, cancer, and covid 19:

Quote:
A 102-year-old New Hampshire woman can be described using one word: survivor.

Mildred "Gerry" Schappals has now beaten the Spanish Flu of 1918, cancer and the coronavirus, according to WMUR.

She was only a baby during the Spanish Flu in 1918 - the first pandemic that swept through the United States.

...

Then in her 60's and 70's she was diagnosed with breast cancer and colon cancer.

Pondering

It's wonderful that the measures we have been taking are working but that is to be expected. For me the good news is the reduction in pollution. The increases in telemedicine and working from home have moved us along towards the future. People have been reevaluating their lives and saving money. There is a renewed appreciation for nurses and teachers and greater recognition of essential workers. The neglect of elders has been revealed. The plight of temporary farm workers has received national attention. We are more aware of the perils of globalization when it comes to necessities like PPEs and medications. While some parents have struggled with having their children home others have strengthened their bond.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I would concur with your list, Pondering. I would add that the other peril of globalization that might have been hopefully highlighted has been the over dependence on movement of people across borders both in terms of coordinating so many different facilities/players across various countries and transferring cheap labour where needed. An additional positive was people turning to their own backyards (provinces) for tourism.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
It's wonderful that the measures we have been taking are working but that is to be expected. For me the good news is the reduction in pollution. The increases in telemedicine and working from home have moved us along towards the future. People have been reevaluating their lives and saving money. There is a renewed appreciation for nurses and teachers and greater recognition of essential workers. The neglect of elders has been revealed. The plight of temporary farm workers has received national attention. We are more aware of the perils of globalization when it comes to necessities like PPEs and medications. While some parents have struggled with having their children home others have strengthened their bond.

Let's take this list a little bit further. The reduction in pollution during the shutdowns was temporary, and has been long forgotten as economies open up. Telemedicine might be more helpful for isloated communities, but here in Winnipeg where there are doctors offices, is it inherently necessary? Do you want someone listening in on a conversation between you and your doctor about your private parts? Telemedicine gives people that exact opportunity. Working from home? That can be a logistical nightmare depending on the workplace, and can give rise to serious challenges that impact how the work is done, which might be easier with everyone working in one place. I actually had a job where working from home was required once every four weeks, and some of my co-workers did not like working from home because they felt distracted. Then you get into practical issues such as will the complany provide laptops for people to use, what if people have to download programs ont otheir computers, problems with internet connections, privacy and security issues because you don't necessarily know who's looking over someone else's shoulder, and I'm sure there are other issues. I honestly think anyone who believes that working from home is inherently better than working in an office has either never worked from home or had to manage and supervise employees who do. I also read an article about self-employed people renting a shared office space precisely because of the need to connect with others. Downtown Winnipeg is already practically deserted in the evenings when office workers go home. If all these people can suddenly work from home without going to an office again, you've essentially killed off downtown Winnipeg, and the economy and restaurants and shops that depend on that activity. As for "appreciation" for nurses, teachers, and essential workers? Is that going to go beyond lip service, only to be forgotten once the pandemic ends? Same for elder care. Temporary farm workers? These workers are hired specifically to save the employers money. Do you think these guys aren't going to use the social capital they have in the smaller communities to resist any changes to business as usual? Heck, they'll even blame the economy on regulations, and will argue that they are just too poor to be able to do things like treat their workers with respect, and people in these towns will eat it up.

Aristotleded24
Pondering

The reduction in energy use isn't over and isn't forgotten. Air travel will not bounce back to previous levels. People have been reminded, if they ever experienced it, what it is like to live with reduced pollution levels. This will impact their views going forward especially on transitioning to green energy.

Air travel will increase again but it won't bounce back to prior levels. There isn't going to be another oil boom. Stimulus money will go to greening infrastructure.

The transition to work from home had already begun before this happened. Covid just accelerated the trend. Not all jobs translate well to a work from home scenario so some will return to workplaces but many will not. It's cheaper to have employees work from home. Now that employers have experienced how well it can work out they are not adverse to saving money on office space. People who had never heard of Zoom have become familiar with it. There will be far fewer business trips.

The hit to the hospitality industry is going to drive many businesses under. Bars, restaurants, hotels, taxis, uber, airbnbs will suffer but so will suppliers toa those industries. There is a ripple effect. The economy has been ruptured in a manner that allows for transformative change, or rather demands it. There isn't a choice here. Covid-19 will not negotiate or listen to reason. Look south to see what reopening too early or too much results in. It isn't something to "test". Having said that I agree with you that some lockdown measures should have been lifted long ago based on scientific knowledge of how it spreads. Playground equipment is not a big threat. "Deep cleaning" is not needed if you can just close a space for 3 days. After that it's dead.

People have been saving lots of money on commuting, work wardrobe and convenience meals. That is significant savings in time and money. Not everyone will like it but many more will that would not have previously. My sister has been working from home since March and her company has stated it will continue at least past September. Employees that don't have to be there are forbidden from entering the building. Passes have been revoked. If they need to pick up equipment they call ahead and it will be brought to the dock. This is to protect the workers that must be onsite to complete their work. This company supports the machines and create the software that dispenses medications into those little blisterpacks. That software integrates with Windows and software from other companies. They are critical to the health care system. There aren't enough people to do manually what these machines do and they have to be fixed quickly if they malfunction. The company's primary motivator is to avoid any disruption in the workflow. Some companies will transition to 3 days in and 2 out or vice-versa.

Of course 100% of work at home arrangements will not continue indefinitely but a significant amount will. Yes it is going to do a lot of damage to downtowns as we know them now. That will hurt many businesses. On the other hand it might reverse gentrification too. End property inflation. Transitions hurt but this isn't a choice. Large gatherings in enclosed spaces are not safe. Working in close proximity to others isn't safe. Working from home and shopping online is safe.  Curbside pickup, small gatherings and social bubbles are reasonably safe.

Telemedicine is great. I spoke to my doctor by phone to get on the list for two specialist appointments. There was no need to see her for that. My prescription information is already digitized  as are many hospital records. I have privacy concerns but the benefits of digitizing are too great to prevent widespread introduction. Telemedicine isn't particularly threatening in comparison to the benefits of allowing realtime heart monitoring or monitoring of oxygen levels etc. The benefits to our health stand to be enormous. Much greater than the threat to privacy in my opinion. I think legal protections are going to have to be on the end of how data can be collected and stored and for how long.

 Yes attention will wane but Mexico isn't going to continue sending us fresh fodder for our farms. Canadians won't accept the working conditions and pay offered. This is going to hit food prices as is what is going on down south. If Covid-19 just goes away then fine. Everything will revert to "normal". I don't think Covid-19 is going away. All indications are that we will be dealing with this for years not months even if there is a vaccine. We need massive buy in on safety measures and we don't have that yet.

We have no choice but to adapt as best we can. That will definitely bring hardships but I thought this thread was about the good news happening during the pandemic.

Did I mention the serious talk happening on basic income? Aside from that there is comparison to the Great Depression and what it took to recover from it. The Green New Deal just got a huge shot in the arm. If we are going to spend billions it might as well be on transition.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
The transition to work from home had already begun before this happened. Covid just accelerated the trend. Not all jobs translate well to a work from home scenario so some will return to workplaces but many will not. It's cheaper to have employees work from home. Now that employers have experienced how well it can work out they are not adverse to saving money on office space. People who had never heard of Zoom have become familiar with it. There will be far fewer business trips.

Work from home arrangements can also work out quite poorly, as I can attest to from personal experience.

Pondering wrote:
The hit to the hospitality industry is going to drive many businesses under. Bars, restaurants, hotels, taxis, uber, airbnbs will suffer but so will suppliers toa those industries. There is a ripple effect. The economy has been ruptured in a manner that allows for transformative change, or rather demands it. There isn't a choice here. Covid-19 will not negotiate or listen to reason. Look south to see what reopening too early or too much results in. It isn't something to "test".

This overlooks the structural fact that the US health care system is broken, in particular the fact that you have to pay to see a doctor. That hurts the people on the bottom end of the economic ladder  who can't afford to see a doctor or who can't afford to miss a day of work from being sick because they can't meet basic living expenses. Then there was also the botched economic response that didn't help average people at all. But no, let's continue to allow the media to ignore structual issues and to find an increasing longer list of activities people do that risk spreading the virus.

Pondering wrote:
Having said that I agree with you that some lockdown measures should have been lifted long ago based on scientific knowledge of how it spreads. Playground equipment is not a big threat. "Deep cleaning" is not needed if you can just close a space for 3 days. After that it's dead.

The thing about scientific knowledge is that it is always changing, and we forgot that as we were being brow-beaten to "accept the science." We had no democratic input into how the lockdowns were put in place, and rather than allowing democratic decision making about how to end the lockdown, we had to wait for the lockdowns to be lifted. Even now, I'm hearing about long-term restrictions being in place on our behaviour as part of the new normal, for example, not allowing people to sing in church. Fuck that! This is a free country, and that is no way for a government to treat its people.

Pondering wrote:
Of course 100% of work at home arrangements will not continue indefinitely but a significant amount will. Yes it is going to do a lot of damage to downtowns as we know them now. That will hurt many businesses. On the other hand it might reverse gentrification too. End property inflation.

In Winnipeg's case, that means the downtown will die completely and will become a dumping ground for all the social problems, and people will avoid the area. Gentrification has problems, but at least it highlights social issues that need to be addressed.

Pondering wrote:
Large gatherings in enclosed spaces are not safe. Working in close proximity to others isn't safe. Working from home and shopping online is safe.  Curbside pickup, small gatherings and social bubbles are reasonably safe.

Absolute safety doesn't exist. Risk is inherent in freedom. You might feel safe shopping online, but it's not necessariliy safe for the workers who may be at risk of infection in the warehouses, or the delivery workers getting into a traffic accident while bringing  your items to you. And again with the "small social bubbles?" Why is this necessary long-term? That's a blatant attack on the freedom to choose who you associate with. You can't protect people from everything. At some point, you just have to say, "this is a risk," and people will have to decide for themselves how comfortable they feel about it.

Using the playground example above, there is always the risk of bumps, bruises and scrapes, and there have even been serious and fatal injuries to children from playgrounds. But we accept some level of risk because we decided as a society that the benefits are more important. Have you ever thought about what life would be like if we turned everything over to health professionals, and asked them to tell us what we shouldn't do to stay safe and make rules based on that? For one, nobody would be allowed onto a beach, as every summer there are news articles with dermatologists reminding people that there is risk of skin cancer. Playgrounds would probably not be allowed either for the reasons I just mentioned.

Pondering wrote:
Yes attention will wane but Mexico isn't going to continue sending us fresh fodder for our farms. Canadians won't accept the working conditions and pay offered. This is going to hit food prices as is what is going on down south.

I don't know what the arrangements between the Mexican and the Canadian governments are with respect to migrant labour, but as long as there is a large gap in living standards between the 2 countries, numerous Mexicans are going to do what they can to come to this country and improve their economic situation.

Pondering wrote:
If Covid-19 just goes away then fine. Everything will revert to "normal". I don't think Covid-19 is going away. All indications are that we will be dealing with this for years not months even if there is a vaccine. We need massive buy in on safety measures and we don't have that yet.

It might go away. It might come back in multiple waves. It might join other infectious diseases like influenza, hepatitis, AIDS, ebola, hantavirus, West Nile, or other infectious diseases we have to live with. Nobody knows how this will end, and the expert's guess is as good as ours.

Pondering wrote:
We have no choice but to adapt as best we can. That will definitely bring hardships but I thought this thread was about the good news happening during the pandemic.

I was thinking more in terms of regions where covid is going away, news about the virus not being as deadly as we thought, and other things directly related to covid, but threads do take on a life of their own. As for the massive societal re-engineering that some have said will take place with regards to covid? After many months, I think it's clear that we disagree very strongly and fundamentally on how many of these initiatives are inevitable or good.

Pondering wrote:
Did I mention the serious talk happening on basic income?

Which can very easily become a program where the government throws just enough crumbs at people to say they're helping but it still traps people in poverty. That was the problem with Andrew Yang's proposal, along with the fact that he wanted to cut government programs to fund it.

It's all in how you roll it out.

Pondering wrote:
Aside from that there is comparison to the Great Depression and what it took to recover from it. The Green New Deal just got a huge shot in the arm. If we are going to spend billions it might as well be on transition.

How did the Green New Deal get a shot in the arm when there are no viable Presidential candidates in the US even pushing for it? Perhaps if large numbers of people started taking to the streets all around the world to demand action on climate change, that might be enough to force governments to take action. Oh wait, we can't gather in large groups.

Aristotleded24

I'm very conflicted on the idea of making mask use mandatory, but with such mandates going into place in many hard hit areas of Ontario and Quebec, I hope that this will mean a drop in the case counts in those provinces.

Aristotleded24

That run of good luck has continued with only one active case and the virus close to eradicated in this province. I don't know why 13 is considered an unlucky number in this country.

Aristotleded24

Good news in Ontario:

Quote:
Ontario has recorded fewer than 100 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the end of March.

Provincial health officials logged 76 new infections of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

The new patients confirmed on Wednesday mark a significant decrease in Ontario, as the province has seen daily case counts climb as high as 203 and fall as low as 103 within the past 10 days.

There were 85 cases confirmed on March 24, which was the last day there were fewer than 100 new infections confirmed in the province.

lagatta4

While I see benefits to telemedicine, I am absolutely terrified of business, the state or whoever having access to my personal health details.

And online shopping raises a great many problems, including surexploitation of workers. It is also hell for people who are hard to fit, or have other requirements. No way am I going to buy shoes without being able to try them on.

It is true that less demand for office and retail space would be a disaster for central Winnipeg. It's not the same as Hamilton, which is close enough to Toronto to draw many residents to its neighbourhoods, though there isn't a great difference in the size of the two cities.

Bacchus

Hamilton has a pop of 536000 and Toronto close to 3 million. A bit of difference in size and a huge one in infrastructure

 

lagatta4

Bacchus, I thought it was obvious that I was comparing Hamilton and Winnipeg, non? It would be ludicrous to compare either of those cities to Toronto.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Lagatta, it was obvious.  Bacchus was just being funny.

Bacchus

Misfit wrote:

Lagatta, it was obvious.  Bacchus was just being funny.

 

Well that and since Toronto is the centre of all, it cannot be compared to ;o)

Misfit Misfit's picture

Yup. East of Yonge Street is eastern Canada. West of Yonge Street is western Canada if I remember correctly.

Bacchus

Its funny you put it that way. In Toronto if you grew up/lived in one side of Yonge you forever more tend to never move away from that side. You may have grew up in the Beaches and now in Scarborough but if you think about it, if you were east of yonge or west of yonge to start, you never change it

Aristotleded24

We hit an important milestone as a country today. Every province that noted new coronavirus cases noted less than 100 new cases. Let's mask up, keep going, and we will beat this thing shortly.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Well New Zealang thought they had it beat and now they have new cases sprouting up. Possibly travel related but they are also contemplating whether it came with shipment of goods.

But on the good news front, First Nation communities across the country have been super vigilant and careful with amazing success in keeping the virus out while taking care of one another. I believe many of those communities are still imposing strict blockades on who enters their communities. Plus they are limiting indoor activities and having staff work for home, distributing PPE to people throughout and using hand sanitizers in every public place, ensuring that all members have the food and supplies they need, and encouraging outdoor activities that build on traditional resource use skills including subsidizing the costs associated with going on the land.

lagatta4

Aristotle, bravo, but even in New Zealand there was a very slight resurgence. We have to remain cautious and vigilant. I'm saying this as I'm breathing deeply at home. I wear the mask scrupulously, but have multiple allergies and the damaging effects of my father's chain smoking (yes, he died of it; lung cancer after two heart attacks, phlebitis and the beginnings of emphysema).  If I'm shopping, at times I have to step 2m away from other humans, lower my mask and breathe deeply.

That said, I'm generally in good health and do my shopping either on foot or bicycle. The only thing that worries me is a second wave in the late autumn or winter. It will be hell to run my errands then.

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Lagatta, I know what you mean about the prospects of dealing with a surge in cold weather. At least the outdoors in summer weather provides some relief and ease in getting errands done. Good to hear you are well and taking care.

In terms of who is most affected, it may impact those living in more crowded, less affluent communities the worst as is the case in numbers reported in Toronto, but lets not forget that it is the more privileged who are travelling and bringing the virus back and unfortunately increasing the chances of poorly paid front line workers being exposed to it, who then end up exposing it to others in their households.

Aristotleded24

There is lots I want to respond to.

If covid is going to be around for as long as public health officials are telling us (which I don't accept that it has to be but we'll go with that assumption) then I think it is all the more important to celebrate whatever good news comes our way. It is mentally exhausting to hear non-stop bad news, cases rising, places closing, and on and on. The other important thing about celebrating good news is it gives people a sense of control over the pandemic, and if they feel their actions are going to help, then public buy-in is much easier to obtain.

As for New Zealand having new cases, that is a matter of simple math. As long as you have parts of the world where cases are rising, it's going to slip back in to even the most tightly contained countries. As far as Canada goes, it looks like we've turned a corner, and the hot-spot provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta are starting to cool off a bit. That will have positive results on the rest of the country. As cases drop, that reduces the pool of infected people from which large spikes can happen. If they do happen from smaller numbers, they are much more likely to be contained. To me, this is all the more reason to try and stamp out the virus now, because a resurgence from zero cases in New Zealand is much easier to deal with than the current several thousand currently in Canada.

As for seasonality, that doesn't look like it's the case. That's actually good news, because that means we have more control over stopping the spread. But even if it was, that is why I think it is very important to get people outside and exercising to the best they are capable until Thanksgiving. That not only positions us with a low case count going into the colder season, but it improves people's health and gives them better odds against covid. It will also keep them out of the hospitals, which will free up more medical resources to fight covid. The thing that really worries me about the cold weather (aside from indoor drop-in spaces closing or being restricted in their capacity) is if outdoor skating rinks don't open here in Winnipeg. The reason respiratory infections spread in the colder months is because people are inside, breathing recycled air and shedding viruses. Opening the rinks gives people a reason to be outside and escape the tight quarters, making it less likely to spread and catch covid.

Aristotleded24

The countries with the highest numbers of covid cases (United States, Brazil, India, and Russia) are all on the downswing for new cases (assuming you believe the numbers).

Aristotleded24

Saskatchewan joins Canadain covid club zero:

Quote:

The province announced no new cases of the virus on Tuesday. One case was discovered to be an out-of-province resident and was removed from the Saskatchewan count. 

There have been eight new recoveries. 

This brings the total to 1,601 reported cases, 88 of which are considered active. In total, 1,490 people in Saskatchewan have recovered.

Aristotleded24

Wuhan hosts major party:

Quote:
Wuhan is probably one of the last places you would expect to see a giant pool party taking place.

Images have emerged showing thousands of people gathered at the Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park over the weekend for an electronic music festival, with no face masks or social distancing to be seen.

Looking at the scenes, it is hard to accept the Chinese city is where COVID-19 is believed to have originated, after first being detected there in December 2019.

While Melburnians face another week of hard lockdown, Wuhan appears to have returned to normal, with pictures from the festival showing partygoers frolicking in the water and enjoying themselves.

All this without having to wait for a vaccine. Meanwhile our leaders continue to introduce restrictions on our movements and activities, and insist that they have to be in place for months, if not years or permanently.

I remember being taught that China was a bad communist country where the government controlled citizen's lives and we lived in a free country. What an absolute embarassment for Western leaders for this big party to happen.

Pondering

The Wuhan lockdown was far more severe than anything anywhere in Canada.

It seems the measures Canada has taken have been reasonably successful but I expect a serious relapse this fall in Quebec if people listen to Legault.

Aristotleded24

Manitoba Junior Hockey League planning return to 2020-2021 season:

Quote:

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is just over a month away from kicking off the hockey season.

They came out with their Return To Play - Phase II guidelines this past week. In that release they announced the start date of the regular season which will be on October 9th. MJHL Commissioner Kevin Saurette says the response they’ve received has been nothing but positive.

“It’s very exciting to get to this point,” says Saurette. “Since the announcement the feedback has been very, very positive from everyone involved in the MJHL community. It’s an exciting moment but there’s still a lot of work to be done. With this announcement, we understand that we now have a great responsibility to deliver on our plan and that’s something we plan to do very professionally and in a very laid out way.”

Saurette says this season will be different from any other but they will be adapting to the “new normal” with concerns regarding COVID-19. He adds teams will be making their own decisions, in partner with their local public health authorities, to make the best plan for their stadium when it comes to fan entrance, seating, movement in the building, and exiting.

Aristotleded24

laine lowe wrote:
But on the good news front, First Nation communities across the country have been super vigilant and careful with amazing success in keeping the virus out while taking care of one another. I believe many of those communities are still imposing strict blockades on who enters their communities.

Take a look at the story of one First Nation in the covid hotspot of Western Manitoba:

Quote:

The most recent report from Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Co-ordination Team, dated Aug. 28, puts the number of lab-confirmed cases among First Nations people at 22, with 19 recovered. All cases are off-reserve. Three are in the Prairie Mountain Health region. There have been no deaths.

First Nations represented 11 per cent of tests done in Manitoba so far, with a total of 12,002 tests. Of those, 60 per cent of tests were completed for on-reserve First Nations people and 40 per cent for those who live in urban or rural areas, according to the co-ordination team.

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Chief Jennifer Bone said having a good team in her community has kept COVID-19 out.

"We have an incident commander and our health centre, our nurses. We rely heavily, and we still continue to rely heavily, on our health professionals that are working for our nation," Bone said.

...

Also, with the first wave of COVID-19 that hit Manitoba, Birdtail put up a checkstop until the province’s numbers were down to zero. Anyone not a member of the First Nation was kept out.

"We had our health staff delivering information," Chalmers said. "They did a good job explaining what this was about."

A new store on the reserve helped members stay local, and not venture too far. Nevertheless, each home was provided with hand sanitizer and masks — everything they needed if they had to go on a trip or if they had to leave the reserve for essential services.

With Brandon’s case numbers up, Chalmers said he has heard band members aren’t going to the city anymore.

Aristotleded24

Has a breakthrough discovery been made?

Quote:

One of the many things yet to be understood about the virus is exactly how it is able to attack the human body in so many different ways and cause so many different symptoms, from persistent heart disease to the inability to smell and taste to the skin lesions that have been dubbed 'COVID toes'.

Early on in the pandemic, some doctors suggested the variety of symptoms could be explained as the work of cytokine storms – processes in which the immune system overreacts to an infection.

...

More recent research suggests that one of the other defender molecules may be the culprit. It's been dubbed the "bradykinin hypothesis," and it's gained steam ever since it was first theorized in the journal eLife in July.

...

While cytokines fight off infection by attracting white blood cells and ultimately regulating the body's temperature, bradykinins handle it via methods including inflammation. They're responsible for sneezes, coughs, stuffy noses and other typical symptoms of influenza and the common cold. They're also able to dilate blood vessels, making them porous.

Like cytokines, bradykinins can wind up in overdrive. Jacobson and his team say the genetic data from COVID-19 patients' lungs includes an abundance of enzymes that can trigger the production of bradykinins and unexpectedly few enzymes that can break it down – what they described as the perfect conditions for a bradykinin storm, allowing for fluid to build up around the lungs.

Folks, this discovery could potentially be huge. The big story here isn't the potential of this discovery to save lives, although that is a possibilty. Remember all the long-term impacts of covid throughout the body that you have been talking about? If this discovery pans out, it could mean treatments that also spare covid patients of some of the worst long-term effects of this virus.

Bacchus

Nothing advances science like a good war or pandemic

cco

Put another way: nothing advances science like funding it, which only happens when there's a politically perceived national emergency.

Bacchus

Yup when a government plays Violet Bauregard and wants it NOW!

Aristotleded24

That's actually Veruca Salt, but your point is well understood!

Aristotleded24

I believe the current surge of covid cases in Canada will result in a lower overall death rate from covid for 2 reasons:

Testing: We have more testing capcaity now than we did in the spring. So many people with covid symptoms in the spring were told to stay at home, watch their symptoms, and call back if things worsened. So many of them recovered without having to call back, but would never count in the statistics because they were never tested in the first place. We're catching so many more of those cases now. With more cases recovered relative to fatalities than we had before, the death rate will go down.

Age profile: The first wave of the disease hit the older generation. The current wave is hittin the 20-39 age group. Factoring for all else, your average young person is far likely to suffer an immediately bad outcome than an average older person. As more young people recover, that again pushes up the recovery rate.

Bacchus

Aristotleded24 wrote:

That's actually Veruca Salt, but your point is well understood!

 

I always get the 2 mixed up

Aristotleded24

Are long-term complications of covid more in line with complications from other infections?

Quote:

Distressing though COVID-19 associated MIS-C is, these cases have decreased from an already low population incidence and risk of fatality. While symptoms may persist in COVID-19 and may sometimes be serious, they are not typically so, and appear to measurably diminish with time, even within the short time frame of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In some years, epidemic – let alone pandemic – flu may lead to a broadly similar number of deaths to COVID-19, even given widely available vaccination.

Like COVID-19, influenza poses an elevated risk to the over-65s. However, influenza presents a clearly greater risk to all other ages, including children and adults. While seasonal flu leads to higher mortality rates at the extremes of age, 2009 H1N1 flu, for example, may have posed a particular threat to ‘working age’ adults.

Multi-organ complications, including myocarditis and encephalitis, occur in both flu and COVID-19. In both cases, these complications have the potential to be persistent and serious, but such instances are rare and may be complicated by pre-existing disease. Patients typically recover in a few weeks and where symptoms do persist, they diminish – if sometimes gradually – in frequency with time. The most persistent symptoms are predominately those such as fatigue, aches and pains, and shortness of breath and are not life-threatening.

It is far from evident that COVID-19 presents a greater risk of complications or persistent symptoms than flu and – given the demographic most affected – COVID-19 does not present as great a threat as flu to children and younger adults and the otherwise healthy.

Epidemiologically and clinically flu may be as bad as COVID-19. In children, juveniles and productive adults flu appears worse.

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In both cases, targeted mitigation of disease and risk may offer a fairer, more plausible and cost-effective alternative to large-scale maximum suppression strategies and, as it has been argued, “a more holistic approach focussing on rehabilitation and general wellbeing is paramount”. Such an approach may always be tailored to more at risk demographics.

Aristotleded24

How Africa escaped the ravages of covid:

Quote:
News reports and opinion articles have posited that corruption and a lack of health-care infrastructure meant that Africa was a “time bomb” waiting to explode. Rampant poverty and a lack of effective governance would cause the dark continent to fall apart under the weight of a public health emergency. The world, the experts said, should prepare to offer aid, loans and debt forgiveness to African governments — in other words, they should prepare to save Africa.

No need.

While so much about the virus and how it operates remains unclear, sub-Saharan Africa so far has dodged a deadly wave of coronavirus cases. Many factors have contributed to this. A number of West African nations already had a pandemic response infrastructure in place from the Ebola outbreak of late 2013 to 2016. Just six years ago, Liberia lost nearly 5,000 people to Ebola. At the beginning of this year, Liberia began screening for covid-19 at airports. Travelers coming in from countries with more than 200 cases were quarantined. To date, Liberia, a country of some 5 million, has 1,335 cases and around 82 deaths.

After the Ebola pandemic, Senegal set up an emergency operations center to manage public health crises. Some covid-19 test results come back in 24 hours, and the country employs aggressive contact tracing. Every coronavirus patient is given a bed in hospital or other health-care facility. Senegal has a population of 16 million, but has only 302 registered deaths. Several countries have come up with innovations. Rwanda, a country of 12 million, also responded early and aggressively to the virus, using equipment and infrastructure that was in place to deal with HIV/AIDS. Testing and treatment for the virus are free. Rwanda has recorded only 26 deaths.

As the United States approaches 200,000 deaths, the West seems largely blind to Africa’s successes. In recent weeks, headline writers seem to be doing their hardest to try to reconcile Western stereotypes about Africa with the reality of the low death rates on the continent. The BBC came under fire for a since-changed headline and a tweet that read “Coronavirus in Africa: Could poverty explain mystery of low death rate?” The New York Post published an article with the headline, “Scientists can’t explain puzzling lack of coronavirus outbreaks in Africa.”

It’s almost as if they are disappointed that Africans aren’t dying en masse and countries are not collapsing. While Black Americans have been disproportionately contracting covid-19 and dying, Africa’s performance shows, as I quoted a Kenyan anthropologist saying in May, “being a black person in this world doesn’t kill you, but being a black person in America clearly can.”

Pondering

No mystery: Strict lockdown, more rural population, less international travel, younger population, more time outdoors.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-africas-low-covid-19-death...

At the WHO briefing, experts cited several possible factors to explain the lower rates of death and illness in Africa, although they emphasized that more study is needed.

The most widely accepted factor is Africa’s youthful population. Only about 3 per cent of Africans are over the age of 65, the age group in which illness and death from the coronavirus are most common. (By comparison, about 18 per cent of Canada’s population is over the age of 65.)

More than 90 per cent of African coronavirus cases have occurred among people under the age of 60, who are better able to shrug off the virus.

Death rates have been higher in Algeria and South Africa where a larger percentage of the population is over the age of 65, Dr. Moeti said.

Another factor could be Africa’s lower population density and the fact that many people live in rural areas, spending more time outdoors, analysts say. There is growing evidence that outdoor spaces, because of their greater ventilation, tend to reduce exposure to the virus, making it less dangerous.

“It doesn’t transmit very well outdoors, and Africa has a significant population that is rural and spends a lot of time outdoors,” Francisca Mutapi, professor of global health infection and immunity at the University of Edinburgh, said at the Africa WHO briefing.

Sam Agatre Okuonzi, a Ugandan health researcher and hospital administrator, told the briefing that he agreed that Africa’s risk of coronavirus infection may have been reduced by its larger rural population.

A third factor was the imposition of early strict lockdowns in many African countries, at a time when case numbers were relatively small. This postponed the worst of the pandemic, allowing hospitals and health workers to be better prepared with the latest treatment methods.

A study this month by South Africa’s biggest medical insurance company, Discovery Health, concluded that the lockdown in South Africa will have averted 16,000 deaths by the end of the year. The lockdown, now largely lifted, was one of the strictest in the world, contributing to a sharp economic decline this year.

Aristotleded24

2021 Olympic Games to go ahead?

Quote:

Japan's new prime minister said Saturday that he's determined to host the Tokyo Olympic Games next summer as "proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic."

The 2020 Games were postponed as the coronavirus spread worldwide, and there's been widespread doubt about their future.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in a prerecorded speech at the U.N. General Assembly that he will "spare no effort in order to welcome you to Games that are safe and secure."

Surveys have shown that a majority of Japanese companies and the public don't think the Olympics will, or should, happen next year. A poll published in June by Japanese broadcaster NHK said two-thirds of sponsors were undecided about extending for another year.

Keeping domestic sponsors on board is financially critical, and Japanese leaders have been eager to signal the Games' viability next year.

Very ironic that at a time when the Olympic movement was in trouble before corona (as evidenced by Calgary voting against hosting the games despite the pride of having hosted them in 1988) that the Olypmics going forward would be a major morale boost to a world that has seen everything turned upside down because of the pandemic. Of course the reason the games were cancelled in the first place is that athletes from several countries declined to participate on the grounds of health concerns. Whether or not they do so again is beyond Suga's control.

Aristotleded24

Is there hope for lung recovery following covid?

Quote:

"The bad news is that people show lung impairment from COVID-19 weeks after discharge; the good news is that the impairment tends to ameliorate over time, which suggests the lungs have a mechanism for repairing themselves," Dr. Sabina Sahanic, a clinical PhD student at the University Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, who was involved in one of the reports, said in a news release.

So far, only study abstracts of the new research have been released and the findings are preliminary, but they shed new light on the long-term impacts of Covid-19.

...

"Covid-19 survivors have persisting lung impairment weeks after recovery. Yet over time a moderate improvement is detectable," Sahanic said. "Therefore, a structured follow-up in Covid-19 survivors is to be considered."

These preliminary findings have only been presented -- not published in a peer-reviewed journal -- and they come with limitations, including that the sample of patients was small and many of the study participants have a history of smoking. More research is needed to determine whether similar findings would emerge among a larger and more diverse group of patients.

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The preliminary findings come with some limitations, including that more research is needed to examine rehabilitation among a larger group of patients -- and the findings have not published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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