Would This Covid Communication Strategy Have Been More Effective?

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Aristotleded24
Would This Covid Communication Strategy Have Been More Effective?

I've been thinking a bit about how covid has been communicated with the public, and what strategies are effective or not. Here is a strategy that, if I could go back in time to mid-March, that I would have had the medical officers of health do:

First, explain that the projections of people infected and the resources needed are guess work. Either we're going to have an Italy situation where we don't have the resources and have to turn people away, or we are going to have empty beds. Obviously a public health professional would prefer the latter.

This is a new disease, so we have to be very careful. That is why we are asking that everything shut down for now, to limit the spread, and give us time to learn about it. That is also what is scary about this disease. As we find out more about it, we will know more about specific means of prevention and treatment. This knowledge will allow us to be more specific as to how we handle it later on.

This disease poses a risk, and place that in the context of other risks that people take on a daily basis (i.e. driving a car, crossing the street). We know what precautions to take to manage said risks, and we take these precautions while going about our day. I think doing this gives people useful information they can use to protect themselves without being panicked that covid is going to get them around every corner.

Of course, the million dollar question is, how long will this last? I think that speculation about a "new normal" in the early days set the stage for a self-fulfilling prophecy where people just accept that covid will last a long time. As we've seen in a few isolated cases, it really doesn't have to. The answer I would have given is: covid could go on for a long time, but we can do something about it. If we follow the steps and take precautions (most importantly, wearing a face mask) we will limit the spread and it will be over more quickly. I would also balance this out by explaining that the lockdown measures to fight covid will hurt, and there is no way around that. For this reason, it's important that we take precautions and follow the steps, get this thing under control right away, and that will reduce not only the negative impact of covid, but also the negative impact of the anti-covid measures. Basically, the faster we beat this thing, the faster we can return to normal. I would also point out that the lockdowns will be more challenging for some people, so to be mindful of that and stay in touch with people you know who are in that situation.

Thoughts?

pookie

Maybe? I am not sure how much this differs from alot of what has actually been said over the course of the pandemic.  The complications have been:

a. media fixated on click-bait style, gotcha reporting.  I am old enough to remember when they screamed about the lack of federal projections in early spring, and then screamed when the projections were highly variable.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

b. federalism.  we have a mish-mash of rules.  there is little that could be done about that unless the feds were prepared to invoke emergency powers, Parliament go along with that and then issue national dictates.  I don't think any of that would have been helpful, btw, but it did create 11 different rule systems for the public and media to obsess over

c. uncertainty.  we are learning stuff about the virus every day.  it appears that a significant proportion of people may be asymptomatic "carriers".  Virologists thought that was pretty much impossible, which appeared to be a reasonable assumption.  But...here we are.

d. fear. from all directions and directed at everyone and everything

e. weak social solidarity.  I haven't seen a dusk pot-banging in my neighborhood since Canada Day, at least.

f. extreme political polarization.  Nuff said.

g. human nature including complacency and smugness.  in the US there was markedly reduced economic and social activity a couple of weeks before the hammers started coming down.  at the same time, it is incredibly difficult for people to live like this.  Also, when some jurisdictions experience success they begin to feel invincible.  But BC and NZ show how fleeting that is

h. conspiracy theorists, deliberate misinformation, etc

We are in for a long, bad haul.  No one is going to escape the downstream effects.  I don't care how few cases you happen to have at any given moment.  Increasingly, I am thinking 2 years (from today), minimum, before we get back to a semblance of normal human behaviour. 

For a future pandemic, we could conceivably now say  "We have no idea how long this will last.  It could be years."  That kind of radical uncertainty was unimaginable in March 2020.  We are kidding ourselves if we think, for example, that the federal government could have just closed the borders in February. The public would have laughed it off or, worse, suspected their motives and not have trusted them again (as you yourself have done over the course of this pandemic).  We were not capable of truly comprehending the scale of this.  Perhaps we are now.  I'd say mixed.

Sorry.  In a truly dour mood this am.

 

Aristotleded24

I was thinking more about communication strategies that would have had greater buy-in for the public, but sure, I'll discuss some of the actual responses.

Regarding border closures in Februrary, remember that our own health officials as late as March 6 told us that the virus was low-risk. I also remember people were frustrated with the delay in closing the border to the US once the pandemic was declared. Even then, the quarantine strategy for people coming home was for CBSA to hand them a piece of paper asking them nicely to stay home and not go anywhere if they are sick. New Zealand and Australia did quarantine returning people, and had great success with that strategy. I believe that if Canada had followed a similar track that by now our daily new case count nationwide would be in the tens rather than in the hundreds. I also think the issue of travel between communities was mishandled. There were warnings from public officilas for people to avoid it. That led to things like notes being left on cars and cars from people with out-of-plate vehicles being vandalized. Okay, if travel is that dangerous, then close it down. New Brunswick had among the toughest border controls in the country. Now, the East Coast is essentailly covid free, minus the odd case here and there that is brought back in. BC, on the other hand, never closed its border with Alberta, which is where some of the current outbreaks can be traced back to. It's especially frustrating, because when BC started reporting less than 10 new cases when their curve was on a clear downswing, I don't know why they wouldn't have doubled down their efforts to squeeze that out when they had the chance.

The reason I am speaking out is that I am convinced that it does not have to go on for years and can be eliminated quickly.

I'm also not sure how applicable the lessons from covid are to the next pandemic. Each pandemic is different regarding the kind of disease, which organs it attacks, how it spreads, the lethality, and which age groups are more susceptible. Even the comparisons to the Flu Pandemic of 1918-1920 I don't think line up in all cases. That pandemic was highly influenced by the end of the First World War and things going on at the time that are not happening now.

pookie

Sorry to pull you into substance rather the communication.

I think the two are intermingled.  We had fairly clearly rules from March 13 on about strict lockdown rules (put aside whether you agreed with them) and we had pretty decent buy-in for 2-3 months.  That did vary across regions, I acknolwedge but at the federal level at those daily pressers the message was pretty clear (at least, to me).  That was combined with some really aggressive economic aid (again, putting aside flaws) that ensured that most people could contemplate staying home.

The border issue was tricky.  If the govt had been willing to lock out Canadian citizens it would have been much more straightforward.  I venture that it even would have withstood a Charter challenge at least during the peak crisis of the first wave (or Parl could have taken the extraordinary step of invoking the notwithstanding clause for least the section 7 violation - the mobility rights can't be overriden).  The govt could also have refused to repatriate Canadians.  (I always thought Trudeau's dictate to "come home" was dumb".)  Do you think that would have been a better route?  Should the feds have intervened in the provincial border limits (which, in my view, went beyond provincial powers)? ETA: Should they have taken people into health monitoring custody for two weeks upon return?

One of this government's problems is the refusal to engage in straight talk.  They never want to say "no" to anything and continually back down on criticism.  Even on something as minimal as noting that lying to obtain CERB is a crime.  They said it once or twice and Singh called them "disgusting".   Other world leaders have been much more blunt.  I am not sure how that would gone over, though.  The media would have had a field day.

I won't get into the science.  I am not as sanguine as you.  That said, I am increasingly of the view that we need to learn to live with the virus.  We cannot continue to limit human interaction and activity in this way.

kropotkin1951

Horgan has asked for help in telling young people to chill not party. I love the responses in this piece. I can assure everyone that indeed this has been and still is part of my COVID avoidance strategy.

“People of British Columbia!” he wrote, “Please do not go out to parties and BBQs and other large gatherings! The COVID is still out there! It’s more fun to hang out alone and smoke weed and watch movies and TV shows anyway! Do that instead! Thank you!”

https://www.tricitynews.com/news/stay-home-and-smoke-weed-seth-rogan-ans...

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Great analysis, Pookie. Thank you.

I think Horgan's idea was brilliant and as a public information campaign, it did not cost BC hundreds of thousand dollars. Ryan Reynolds does not want you to kill his mother - nuff said and Seth Rogan recommends chilling with some bud and maybe a show or two of his ;-) But seriously, there are many young people who are just not getting how serious theis situation is, at least from what I've seen and heard in Winnipeg. When certain bars and cafes opened up, young people flocked to them - congregated in close groups, dance and generally ignored any social distancing measures owners might have had in place. Lots of the new cases in this city have been people in their 20s and 30s.

Aristotleded24

Serious question about all the hand-wringing about young people doing the things young people normally like to do. How many of you, at that age, would have listened to people warning you to stay inside and to not party?

Be honest now.

Aristotleded24

As for the whole hiring celebreties, frankly I think that's condescending. Really, you think young people are that easily led that if a celebrity says to do something, they will listen and follow?

As for these parties, if it is safe enough to protest in large numbers as people were doing in June, it should be safe enough to go out dancing, just based on the numbers. I am far less interested in finger-waving, moralizing, and trying to control the behaviour of individuals than I am about promoting public health. While so many of us fell for the click-bait pictures and stories about parties, we are distracted from bigger picture issues, such as the plight of migrant workers and granting them permanent status. Or we're distracted from the fact that being a poor person of colour not only increases your chances of catching the disease, but of having a bad outcome. By the way, we've also forgotten about the outbreak in Brandon and that the UFCW has called for the Maple Leaf plant to be closed. I wonder why the corporate interests that control the media in this country don't want us to talk about that? Speaking of dancing and parties, if the health authorities believe that to be as much of a danger to public health as they claim, then they should close them down and risk the fall-out from doing so.

Aristotleded24

pookie wrote:
The border issue was tricky.  If the govt had been willing to lock out Canadian citizens it would have been much more straightforward.  I venture that it even would have withstood a Charter challenge at least during the peak crisis of the first wave (or Parl could have taken the extraordinary step of invoking the notwithstanding clause for least the section 7 violation - the mobility rights can't be overriden).  The govt could also have refused to repatriate Canadians.  (I always thought Trudeau's dictate to "come home" was dumb".)  Do you think that would have been a better route?  Should the feds have intervened in the provincial border limits (which, in my view, went beyond provincial powers)? ETA: Should they have taken people into health monitoring custody for two weeks upon return?

Yes, I think the government should have taken everyone into health monitoring upon return. I'm not sure how the law works, but I'm pretty sure the government could come up with some combination of a state of emergency and application of quarantine laws to support that move. Every major airport in the country is surrounded by nice hotels, so that would have been a perfect spot to place them. Let them skype their families back home before they are cleared to leave. Don't think of it as forced quarantine, but an all-inclusive 2-week paid vacation courtesy of the government.

pookie wrote:
I won't get into the science.  I am not as sanguine as you.  That said, I am increasingly of the view that we need to learn to live with the virus.  We cannot continue to limit human interaction and activity in this way.

How do we live with the virus then? It's not yet Labour Day, and the pandemic is already claiming events in 2021. Mabye the situation is still at the stage where we have to cancel such large events. But to basically never have large events like this again? No more sports, folk festivals, concerts, theatre, live performance, or street festivals ever again? Obsessively cleaning every surface every 5 minutes? To me, that doesn't sound like living with the virus, rather living in fear of it. In talking to Bill Maher, Dr. David Katz stated that there needs to be a middle-ground between hunkering and bunkering or letting grandma die.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

As for the whole hiring celebrities, frankly I think that's condescending. Really, you think young people are that easily led that if a celebrity says to do something, they will listen and follow?

As for these parties, if it is safe enough to protest in large numbers as people were doing in June, it should be safe enough to go out dancing, just based on the numbers.

...

Speaking of dancing and parties, if the health authorities believe that to be as much of a danger to public health as they claim, then they should close them down and risk the fall-out from doing so.

I agree that the corporate media likes to control the message so I will answer you other concerns and question.

Horgan to his credit did not hire any celebrities he merely encouraged them to amplify the government public health message about social distancing. The response I posted shows how dumb an idea that is. I did  think that Ryan Reynolds' voicemail that was in the article highlighted your point, if you didn't listen to it you should, it is quite amusing.

However I disagree about relative risk factors based primarily on numbers. Being in a walking protest of thousands where 80 to 90 percent of the people are wearing masks is far less risky than a couple of dozen people in a backyard singing drunkenly into each others faces.

Your last argument is rather disjointed. If a practice is risky that is independent of whether or not banning it would require a police state to enforce it.

I am not sure what I would have done as a young adult but I have grand kids and my siblings also have kids that are in  that demographic. My grand kids aged 14 to 21 are taking it seriously and trying to follow the bubble theory of limiting their contacts. The party hardy cohort are not doing so well but they are at least avoiding the elders in our family.

We need good public health messaging. I live in a tourist town and it is hard to see how most people are taking any really stringent measures at this point. On Vancouver Island it will take about ten hospital cases with a death or two before people again wake up and start taking personal responsibility. The more people that follow mask wearing and social distancing and the more acceptable it becomes the sooner that good public health practices become the norm.

I personally think that were I live we are in a "phony war" period and COVID is coming for the lowlands in September and October.

eastnoireast

i think young people grasp, at a subconsious level anyway, the high bullshit factor involved in the covid "response" and the ruling-age cohort as a whole. 

covid is here to stay, why would it go away?   maybe if we all hope really hard or something?   or maybe some evil mega corp will pull an effective and safe *vaccine** (those are sparkles in case your wondering) out of their ass and make it freely available for all 8 billion people in the world, over the next coupla months?

can't/won't feed everyone, or stop burning dead dino's, or killing and displacing millions.  hell, we won't even divest from evil.   you got an rrsp?  then you're invested in and profit from evil, and YOU are part of the problem.

most young people face a life of declining opportunities, working shit jobs to tread water, constant survelence, a ruined planet, and being warehoused when your old.  if that.

they see the utterly incompetent self centered racist greedy elite-serving bullshitters masquarading as their elders and leaders.

how many people die of hunger every year?  preventable diseases?  bad water?  bad air?  bad governance?  WAR?  poverty? 

all of which continues apace, or accelerates, with covid/lockdowns.

party on, i say, while you can.  you are not the problem.  yet.

what?  grandma might get sick?  as if we as a society give a shit about grandma, except when it comes to spending gobs of money in the last couple years of life (~85% of a person's lifetime health care costs are in last 1-2 years of life).  and we only do that because most of it flows to health companies.  and trickles down to our rrsp's. 

covid is here to stay.  we created it, or in the very least the ideal conditions for it.  we're going to continue to loose people to it, just like we do to every other fucking disease and war and human fuckup that we not only put up with but actively support and often benefit from.

we are out-of-control biological beings in a finite biological world who think we are above nature; as soon as that majic bullet hits our collective veins we can get back to normal - you know, lib/con, dem/republican, pipelines, war, netflix, plastic crap, vacations down in hot and troubled places (hat tip lizband) and limitless growth.

covid is real, it's a problem, and i do actually care about grandma.  it wasn't my idea to stick her in filthy boring understaffed underpaid for-profit warehouses.   holding society hostage with faux grandma concern is not a solution. 

take reasonable steps, slow it down, protect the vulnerable, support everyone, AND STOP DOING THE SHIT THAT GOT US HERE, like supporting bullshit politics, bio-warfare research, unfettered world travel, trashing the environment, and systematically fucking over billions of our fellow humans.

party on.  pay attention.  learn from the flailing society you are inheriting.  and change it. 

_that's your responsibility.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I disagree about relative risk factors based primarily on numbers. Being in a walking protest of thousands where 80 to 90 percent of the people are wearing masks is far less risky than a couple of dozen people in a backyard singing drunkenly into each others faces.

That may have been the case in Vancouver, but when I saw pop-up anti-police protests here in Winnipeg, it looked to me like many protesters were not keeping their distance. Even factoring in the walking and the protest being outside, if I was to choose to attend a large protest or a small backyard barbeque with a few neighbours, I would go with the barbeque. Yet the protests happened, as did a few backyard gatherings I'm sure, and not only did we not see a spike, but Manitoba made it half-way to eradicating the virus within its boundaries last month. So covid is not inevitable.

Or the idea that it was too dangerous for children to have actual birthday parties? Let's set aside the evidence that children are at low risk both for contacting and spreading the disease. Why not instead, have the party, give them facemasks to colour, and do the party social distance style with fun activities that keep the children physically separated while they learn about the physical space around them? It would also be good for their physical development as well.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Your last argument is rather disjointed. If a practice is risky that is independent of whether or not banning it would require a police state to enforce it.

If the police state actions result in said activity not happening, that eliminates the risk.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
We need good public health messaging.

I agree, and I'm arguing that we have seen very little of that from our health officials. It wouldn't surprise any of us on these boards that poor people of colour are more likely to contract and then die from covid than well-off white people. Why isn't addressing poverty and housing treated with the same urgency as the need to wash down every surface every 5 minutes? Speaking of washing everything down, do we know how the chemicals in the cleaners are compromising our health? How about the problem of increasing waste as face masks and gloves are being trashed in larger numbers? Or even talking about the importance of exercise? That improves the respiratory and immune systems, which are the exact body systems that are under direct attack from covid? Why not encourage people to be as healthy as they can be, which reduces their risks of needing medical care for other reasons, and thus frees up resources for covid patients?

The difficult thing that has not been addressed is the issue of risk. In terms of the covid risk, there are differences among people not only in their objective risk, but also their perception of and tolerance to it. Navigating these differences when overall public health depends on what we do is very challenging, as we have seen. Yes, we should be considerate of others in our actions. However, at some point, it is up to individuals to decide what risks they want to take. It's not the doctor's job to forbid me from shaking hands with someone. The doctor's job is to tell me that shaking hands is risky. Whether or not I want to take that risk is up to me and the other person.

Finally, the more we argue amongst ourselves about selfish individuals who don't care about others, the more the politicians who let this mess happen are off the hook for it.

kropotkin1951

"Let's set aside the evidence that children are at low risk both for contacting and spreading the disease." I prefer to try to keep up with the ever unfolding scientific evidence. As more scientists sturdy more populations from different aspects we get a clearer picture. I for one am not totally surprised that the most effective prevention measures are basically ones humans have practiced during pandemics for millennia. That includes covering ones mouth and face in public and restricting oneself to ones family as much as possible. Hand washing with soap has been known as the best disease transmission prevention measure for at least a century. Where I live like in most of Canada the virus is not very prevalent however the nature of this beast has shown in other places that a two week period can change everything. I wonder if one of the reasons Canadian politicians and public health officers are not emphasizing masks is because we are hewers and haulers not manufacturers. It amazes me when I see pictures from all over the modern world with everyone having proper masks unlike us who live in one of the least developed counties, when it comes to manufacturing.

Children under age 10 were roughly half as likely as adults to spread the virus to others, which is consistent with several other studies from Europe and Asia that have suggested that young children are less likely to get infected.

However, children in middle and high school were even more likely to infect others than adults were, according to the study.

Researchers acknowledged that the first person in a household to develop symptoms is not necessarily the first to have been infected. They also noted that the study may have underestimated the number of children who transmitted the virus within their households as kids are less likely than adults to show symptoms. It is still unclear how asymptomatic children spread the virus.

"The role of household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 amid reopening of schools and loosening of social distancing underscores the need for a time-sensitive epidemiologic study to guide public health policy," the study said.

The study explained that older kids are more likely to spread the coronavirus at a greater rate partly because of their height. Younger children are more likely to exhale less air and exhale closer to the ground where there are fewer people to infect, according to the study.

Researchers also noted that older kids are less likely to be as hygienic as adults are and could be more contagious since they may not be taking proper precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The study said that older kids are also more likely to socialize without following physical distancing guidelines than adults.

The study reported that maintaining public health guidelines including handwashing, physical distancing and efficient contact tracing remains "the most viable options for prevention" in future waves of COVID-19 infections as schools prepare to reopen.

The study’s authors warned that the reopening of schools may increase new COVID-19 outbreaks started by children.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/children-over-age-10-spread-co...

kropotkin1951

Here is a great communication video explaining how BC is making its decisions. I think that BC is doing many things right but then they seem to be trying to stick to science and pandemic basics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=AtimhWdyX50&feature=emb_...

Pondering

I agree with Aristotle's first post 100%.

They are still not communicating effectively. In Quebec we are getting stupid "all for one" messaging. Mask information is still wrong. Instructions given are for wearing a mask if you are in a sick room. N95 is still promoted as the "best mask" which it is not. I don't see surgeons wearing N95 when doing surgery because it is not best for doing surgery. It is best when working in an environment that is heavily contaminated or could be and/or spending a lot of time with infected people. For general wear the N95 is extremely uncomfortable and should be replaced every time you remove it.

Other masks are almost impossible to seal completely unless you are using medical tape and they don't need to seal 100% to be effective.

Catching covid is almost 100% dependent on the viral load in the air. A surface would have to have a heavy load to infect a normal person who hasn't had their immune system severely weakened.

Covid is not really arosolized. It is to some extent, but not so much as to classify it with smallpox and measles which travel much farther and stay in the air longer. If someone with Covid coughs while wearing an unsealed fabric mask it won't "contain" the virus in the sense of being in an official "clean room" but it won't be propelled nearly as far. So, if you are also wearing just a fabric mask but you are say, 2 feet away, it is extremely unlikely that  you will become infected from that single event. If you are working  with or near the person all day, like in a meat packing plant, then you could be infected even from touching items immediately after the infected person used them then touching your mouth or nose.

It is not like bacteria or mold that lives and spreads without a human host. Covid can't "grow" on a box. That is why you don't have to fear amazon boxes or your groceries.

There is likely no danger from covid on elevator buttons. The air in the elevator is far more likely to be a problem IF someone infected is having a coughing fit.

Covid 19 is like sperm. Technically 1 sperm can get you pregnant but in practice if a man has a low sperm count he is considered infertile.

I could get hit and killed by a car while I am walking on the sidewalk. It happens but I still go out and walk on sidewalks because I don't want to live in a padded room. I dance so I have good balance but I still use the grab bar to steady myself in the shower because why not?

The really big takeaway from all of this is don't breath other people's air if you can avoid it and if you can't avoid it don't do it for long. Hence, the masks.

People need the information to make judgement calls. Instead the government went from "you can't see anyone outside your house" to "time to send the kids to school."   After that they started to allow "bubbles" but even then did a poor job of explaining.

From two weeks in if your household and the next door household were both practicing social distancing and being careful while out it would have been fine to have close contact with people you trust to be equally cautious.

We could be living this for years. The government should be worried that some people are getting fatigued and others are paranoid and don't want to go back to work or school. It is because of the rampant misinformation, exageration, and minimization of threat depended on what the government wants to manipulate us into doing.

What we need is an education campaign teaching people about viruses, bacteria and mold explaining the differences in how they behave so people can make their own value judgements based on their personal circumstances and tolerance for risk.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I for one am not totally surprised that the most effective prevention measures are basically ones humans have practiced during pandemics for millennia. That includes covering ones mouth and face in public and restricting oneself to ones family as much as possible.

What about single people who don't live with any immediate or extended family, or those whose family situations are bad for whatever reason? Furthermore, most of the cases of covid in New York City that required hospitalization were contacted from people who lived in the same household.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I wonder if one of the reasons Canadian politicians and public health officers are not emphasizing masks is because we are hewers and haulers not manufacturers. It amazes me when I see pictures from all over the modern world with everyone having proper masks unlike us who live in one of the least developed counties, when it comes to manufacturing.

People have stepped up and made their own. The real reason that masks aren't emphasized is that they could actually end this pandemic, and that is a problem for 2 big reasons. The first reason is, how is the government supposed to maintain control over the citizens without the fear that their schools, workplaces, churches, mosques, synagogues, lodges, temples, universities, colleges, gyms, bars, restaurants, live theatre, favourite festifals, bars, community centres, or anything else could be closed down at a moment's notice? The second reason is, if we beat covid before Thanksgiving (which I maintain is still technically possible, although that window is closing as well) how can the drug companies profit off a vaccine that is not necessary?

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
I agree with Aristotle's first post 100%.

As the song says, the times are truly changing from what was happening last spring. It feels much better that you and me are both fighting the pandemic instead of each other.

Speaking of fighting the pandemic, I've noticed your province's new covid cases have fallen off recently. Congratulations, and I hope that downward trend continues. As a Quebec nationalist would say, "vive le Quebec covid-libre!"

Aristotleded24
kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

The real reason that masks aren't emphasized is that they could actually end this pandemic, and that is a problem for 2 big reasons. The first reason is, how is the government supposed to maintain control over the citizens without the fear that their schools, workplaces, churches, mosques, synagogues, lodges, temples, universities, colleges, gyms, bars, restaurants, live theatre, favourite festifals, bars, community centres, or anything else could be closed down at a moment's notice? The second reason is, if we beat covid before Thanksgiving (which I maintain is still technically possible, although that window is closing as well) how can the drug companies profit off a vaccine that is not necessary?

Wow I am gob smacked at the logic in this.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Here is a great communication video explaining how BC is making its decisions. I think that BC is doing many things right but then they seem to be trying to stick to science and pandemic basics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=AtimhWdyX50&feature=emb_...

I have lost a great deal of respect for how BC has handled this thing in recent weeks. There was a time when, on the downswing of the first curve, BC was recording new case numbers in the single digits. Why in God's name wouldn't you try and squeeze out the virus at that point when you have a chance? There has not been one day since this pandemic started that BC recorded no new cases, in contrast to Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces. Hopefully the new contact tracers they just hired will help. I've been all about the numbers this entire time, and to me the numbers coming out of BC are inexcuseable, especially when other places have not only beaten their curves but kept the numbers down over a long time.

kropotkin1951

I guess it depends on size. In every country on the globe some parts have done better than other areas. It seems there are complex geographical and cultural forces at play. In BC we have various health regions that have larger populations than some provinces. I live in one on Vancouver Island that has had its first new case in weeks, local rumours say that might have been someone at the RCAF airbase. Factors that might be in play where I live include a major reshuffle of various military assets at our local airbase plus the civilian side of the airport has regular flights and charters from Northern BC and Alberta to service our industrial camp workers as well our highway borders with the East are not sealed off. Fort Mac and other oil patch workers go to Kelowna or Vancouver or even Edmonton or Prince George to party not to Brandon or Winnipeg. The BC NDP is a pro-oil industry party and that remains its biggest problem including in its COVID response.

I think the schools opening in September is going to drive new cases across the country and the politicians are going to be in for a rough ride.

Aristotleded24

If work on the big projects was responsible for spreading covid to the point of representing a major public health risk, then I agree they should have been shut down. Weren't some of the early outbreaks with the second wave associated with travel between Alberta and BC? Why was the border between Alberta and BC never closed? It would have saved a great deal of headaches for people with foreign licence plates who went to their cars and found negative notes or that their cars had been vandalized.

And why the handwringing about "this is a risk to spread covid," "that is a risk to spread covid?" Are we looking for something that is absolutely risk-free? That doesn't exist, and I think that mixed messaging is part of the problem. I think that either activities should be allowed to go on and we accept that, or if the facts demonstrate that a particular activity is a huge risk to public health, public health should step in and ban said activity and risk whatever public blowback arises from that.

I disagree about the schools. The East Coast is effectively safe enough to open up to its residents within its borders. Perhaps for the rest of us, school can move outside until Thanksgiving, thereby allowing education to continue in more innovative ways and reduce the risk of covid spread.

kropotkin1951

Q  "Why was the border between Alberta and BC never closed?"

Ans  "The BC NDP is a pro-oil industry party and that remains its biggest problem including in its COVID response."

Its impossible to close those two borders and run the fracking industry in the Peace country that is completely integrated with the Alberta industry not to mention building a gas pipeline and the Canadian taxpayer owned TMX.

Few southerners have any idea what goes on in the Peace region, and even fewer will ever see it for themselves. For all the hype about liquefied natural gas (LNG) the last few years, not many of us seem to know where it all comes from.

One thing I can tell you is if fracking was going on in Vancouver or Toronto, people would’ve put a stop to it ages ago. After visiting local communities near Dawson Creek, B.C., it’s hard to believe their story has not been told.

Flying over the countryside is the only way to fully grasp the scale. Fracking infrastructure blankets the region from the Alberta border to the Rocky Mountains. Gas plants, compressor stations, well pads, flare stacks, pipelines, wastewater ponds — it just goes on and on and on. I was horrified at just how much farmland and wilderness have been lost to fracking infrastructure.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/08/13/opinion/british-columbias-di...

Aristotleded24

So to go further with my idea in the thread, what if Dr. Tam and the Chief Medical Officers of health had taken over the national airwaves for a few hours on Sunday March 15? Covid is very complex, and scary headlines in the news about covid-covid-covid don't really give time for all that complexity to be explained. Think about what happens every time the major TV networks are taken over to cover a major event as it unfolds. What if they planned a block of several hours on this particular Sunday (or at least before sending everybody into lockdown) to introduce themselves, walk people through the complexities of the situation, explain what the options are, and invite questions and feedback from the public live on air? I think an approach like that could have helped illuminate everything, from people understanding why measures had to be taken to understanding the negative ramifications of said actions. That might have been more persuasive in getting us all on the same page, addressing the frustrations and fears that everyone had, and we could have gone forward more calmly as a nation (and not run out of toilet paper in the process).

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

So to go further with my idea in the thread, what if Dr. Tam and the Chief Medical Officers of health had taken over the national airwaves for a few hours on Sunday March 15? Covid is very complex, and scary headlines in the news about covid-covid-covid don't really give time for all that complexity to be explained. Think about what happens every time the major TV networks are taken over to cover a major event as it unfolds. What if they planned a block of several hours on this particular Sunday (or at least before sending everybody into lockdown) to introduce themselves, walk people through the complexities of the situation, explain what the options are, and invite questions and feedback from the public live on air? I think an approach like that could have helped illuminate everything, from people understanding why measures had to be taken to understanding the negative ramifications of said actions. That might have been more persuasive in getting us all on the same page, addressing the frustrations and fears that everyone had, and we could have gone forward more calmly as a nation (and not run out of toilet paper in the process).

Yes. They spend too much time trying to manipulate us into behaving certain ways instead of genuinely educating so people could make their own judgements.

The likely reason transmission goes down in summer is because we are outdoors not because it is hotter. We should focus more on ventilation and the wisdom of sealed buildings and recirculating air endlessly. Backyard BBQ probably not all that dangerous with not too many people and some reasonable social distancing/mask wearing.

The really big takeaway on Covid 19 is don't breathe other people's air.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
The likely reason transmission goes down in summer is because we are outdoors not because it is hotter. We should focus more on ventilation and the wisdom of sealed buildings and recirculating air endlessly. Backyard BBQ probably not all that dangerous with not too many people and some reasonable social distancing/mask wearing.

I'm actually very scared of outdoor skating rinks not opening in the winter time. With fewer things for people to do outside, they will spend more time indoors in recycled air, thus making the likeilhood of sickness worse. Also, not exercising reduces respiratory system function, which increases the likelihood of a bad outcome if you do get sick.

Aristotleded24

eastnoireast wrote:
what?  grandma might get sick?  as if we as a society give a shit about grandma

While we do have a responsibility to protect and watch out for our elders, many elders I know with grandchildren are prepared to sacrifice a great deal for their descendants. They want life to be better for their offspring. I'm not sure that they would want their descendants to sacrifice their prospects and their futures for their sake.

By the way, if we do care about grandma, why are so many grandmas and grandpas forced to work to help provide for their families? Many grandmas and grandpas are in the work force for that reason even though their bodies are not necessarily capable of doing so. Why are they doing that instead of spending time with their families?