The case for herd immunity?

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Aristotleded24
The case for herd immunity?

So I stumbled upon this interview by David Katz. Essentially, the argument he makes is that we need to find out who is at risk for covid, allow life to go on as normal for people with low risk, and then gradually allow higher risk individuals back into the population as herd immunity increases. He also makes an argument for making sure people are healthy to begin with, which on its own would reduce the likelihood of bad outcomes from covid.

Interesting ideas I thought. The one caveat to that is that there are long-term complications arising in people who have had covid. Obviously it's terrible for the people who recovered, and I hope we can learn more about these complications and help people recover. My issue is the sensationalist aspect of the way it is covered, especially in the absence of emperical data about how many people experience these outcomes (however I would bet that age and poor health pre-covid play a big role). Somebody who had covid in the spring and still struggles with crippling fatigue is going to make the news. Someone who recovered and has no ongoing health problems will not. In this context, I find the Swedish experiment interesting. For months, people held it up as a failed example compared to its other neighbours. Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, and Finland have all experienced second waves to some extent. Sweden's curve has essentially followed the predictable pandemic curve that you would expect. That raises another uncomfortable possibility. Sweden, Italy, and New York all to varying degrees were hit hard with the first wave of the pandemic. New York and Italy have escaped their curves, and other than a few upticks here and there, their covid curves have remained flat. Will they survive the second wave, while other areas that avoided a first wave are hard hit? If so, that raises the uncomfortable possibility that the best way to deal with covid is to rip off the bandaid, allow it to work its way through the population (while doing what you can to protect vulnerable people) and then once it is over, things will be fine. It is true that people will die of covid, and that is tragic. It is also true that people will die of other things that don't make the news. I think back to what we were told at Easter that we should not have family gatherings for fear of spreading the virus. So many people will not be alive to see Easter 2021. Mainly eldery people, but even people in their 20s and young children also suddenly die of medical conditions they didn't know they had, and I think it's tragic that they would have had to spend their last Easter away from their families.

I know that issue is contentious, but I hope we can deal with the argument on the merits. I expect many to disagree with this approach, but I hope we can keep discussion to the facts without accusing anyone else of not caring about people who die from whatever cause.

Aristotleded24

Here is another potential problem with herd immunity that I can think of. Would we ever reach that threshold? Currently there are 8 billion people in the world, about 22 million of which were infected with covid. For the purposes of making the math easier, let's assume that 24 million of them will be affected by mid-September, which would mark 6 months from when the pandemic hit. Let's also make the optimistic assumption that it kicks in at 20%. That means that 6% of the world's population would be infected by the end of the year. It would take over 3 years for that many people to be infected at the current rate. Unfortunately for the prospects of herd immunity, some people who recover from covid now aren't going to be alive in 3 years, removing that immunity from the population. That raises a question of whether that threshold will even be acheived. And that's one of the more optimistic projections. If the herd immunity threshold is larger (say 30-70%) it not only takes longer to achieve but you still have the problem of people recovered from infections dying over an even longer period of time.

NDPP

Herd Immunity Won't Solve Our COVID-19 Problem

https://theconversation.com/herd-immunity-wont-solve-our-covid-19-proble...

"Trying to reach herd immunity without a vaccine would be a disastrous response strategy...Without a widely available vaccine, most of the population - 60%-80% by some estimates - must become infected to reach herd immunity. Millions would die..."

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:

Herd Immunity Won't Solve Our COVID-19 Problem

https://theconversation.com/herd-immunity-wont-solve-our-covid-19-proble...

"Trying to reach herd immunity without a vaccine would be a disastrous response strategy...Without a widely available vaccine, most of the population - 60%-80% by some estimates - must become infected to reach herd immunity. Millions would die..."

Interesting question. The one thing the article doesn't mention is a time frame. How long would it take to reach that threshold? If that were to happen within the next year, I agree that would be catastrophic. Suppose it takes longer for the infection rate to reach that threshold. Using my projection in the prior thread of 3% infection by September, assuming it spread through the population at the same rate, it would take 10 years to reach 60% herd immunity. So spreading that number of deaths over the larger time frame, as tragic as these deaths are, millions of deaths over 10 years (in a world population of 8 billion) is not, from the perspective of public health, as calamitous as them all happening at once. Especially when there millions of people around the world who die tragically each year from other things as well. Dr. Katz in the video mentioned diabetes which kills "millions" of people worldwide each year, while the death toll from covid, as of today, has yet to reach 1 million.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Artistotleded24 wrote:
Using my projection in the prior thread of 3% infection by September, assuming it spread through the population at the same rate, it would take 10 years to reach 60% herd immunity.

Surely by then we will have ended the COVID pandemic through a vaccine, no?

Aristotleded24

Left Turn wrote:
Artistotleded24 wrote:
Using my projection in the prior thread of 3% infection by September, assuming it spread through the population at the same rate, it would take 10 years to reach 60% herd immunity.

Surely by then we will have ended the COVID pandemic through a vaccine, no?

Counting on a hypothetical vaccine that we do not have and that may never come (think influenza, SARS, MERS, HIV, ebola) to get out of this pandemic is wishful thinking, not a viable strategy. We were also supposed to have flying cars and space colonies by now. How did that one work out?

Never mind you also have the problem of public buy-in. I have no intention of ever taking said vaccine, and I know I'm not alone in that.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Never mind you also have the problem of public buy-in. I have no intention of ever taking said vaccine, and I know I'm not alone in that.

I will be getting vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available to me. I'm not giving one inch to the anti-vaxxers (I also want to be able to go about my life without fear of getting COVID).

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Left Turn wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Never mind you also have the problem of public buy-in. I have no intention of ever taking said vaccine, and I know I'm not alone in that.

I will be getting vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available to me. I'm not giving one inch to the anti-vaxxers (I also want to be able to go about my life without fear of getting COVID).

Me too. I don't care how many people refuse to take a vaccine, that is their problem. Once I am immunized, I can go back to living normally.

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Never mind you also have the problem of public buy-in. I have no intention of ever taking said vaccine, and I know I'm not alone in that.

I will be getting vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available to me. I'm not giving one inch to the anti-vaxxers (I also want to be able to go about my life without fear of getting COVID).

Me too. I don't care how many people refuse to take a vaccine, that is their problem. Once I am immunized, I can go back to living normally.

For one, Doctor Tam has said that if a vaccine comes, we still don't go back to normal. One of the theories of going back to normal is that can only happen when enough people are vaccinated, and that public buy-in is not guaranteed. I'm also curious to konw why you believe a vaccine will be safe and effective in a context where there will be pressure to fasttrack this thing for the very purpose of getting life back to normal.

Furthermore, I'm curious, how long are you willing to wait for a vaccine? One year? Two years? Five? How do any of us know for sure we won't die of something else in that time? How much of life are you prepared to give up in the mean time? No more visits with family during that time? Suppose you have a friend that you usually see for lunch or dinner in a restaurant every few months, but you stop doing it because of the pandemic, and you assure each other you will meet up when this is over. What if said friend blows a major blood vessel suddenly? How are you going to feel then? It's like you want to fast forward through to the end of the pandemic, only to look back and lament all the time that was lost in the mean time. I think that's a sad way to live life and a waste of time.

As for fear of covid? Sure, fear is natural, especially if you are in a high-risk category. Taking precautions is one thing. But why act as if it has already killed you when you're still alive?

Regarding living in fear of covid, people's decision making isn't necessarily the greatest in a highly emotional state. I can give a few examples. If you wanted to go to the library, are you okay with a secuirty check point and having to leave your bag and personal belongings in a locker before going inside? That is currently the case at Winnipeg's main library branch, after a few alarming incidents in said branch resulted in a high number of calls to police. That security checkpoint has majority public support in Winnipeg. Or take the issue of stop-and-frisk. One of the challenges of eliminating said policy is people live in fear of being mugged at random, and they want the police to do whatever it takes to stop that from happeing. Or take the issue with West Nile virus. For the longest time, Winnipeg used to spray deadly chemicals to kill mosquitos, because people are afraid of a virus that maybe only infects 10 people out of 1 million each year.

The big difficulty of this conversation is that all of us are different in how we preceive risk and our tolerance of it. These are very challenging conversations to have, especially since there has to be some level of collective action in the face of covid. But at a certain point, in a free country, individuals must be free to make their own choices, and we need to accept that some people will make choices and take risks we don't agree with. The alternative is to structure a society where the government tells people what to do and the citizens obey without question.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

For one, Doctor Tam has said that if a vaccine comes, we still don't go back to normal. One of the theories of going back to normal is that can only happen when enough people are vaccinated, and that public buy-in is not guaranteed. I'm also curious to konw why you believe a vaccine will be safe and effective in a context where there will be pressure to fasttrack this thing for the very purpose of getting life back to normal.

Well, I'll have to continue to obey the rules, but I will be able to have a meal in a restaurant without putting my life in danger any more than normal for an old man. As far as safe and effective, I'll believe the experts on when that has been acheived, not politicians. By the way, you seem to swing back and forth between "the Powers That Be want us all to stay in lockdown forever" and the "the PTB want to move too fast on a vaccine to get things back to normal". You should probably choose one or the other.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Furthermore, I'm curious, how long are you willing to wait for a vaccine? One year? Two years? Five? How do any of us know for sure we won't die of something else in that time? How much of life are you prepared to give up in the mean time? No more visits with family during that time? Suppose you have a friend that you usually see for lunch or dinner in a restaurant every few months, but you stop doing it because of the pandemic, and you assure each other you will meet up when this is over. What if said friend blows a major blood vessel suddenly? How are you going to feel then? It's like you want to fast forward through to the end of the pandemic, only to look back and lament all the time that was lost in the mean time. I think that's a sad way to live life and a waste of time.

Life is full of risks, with the only certain things supposedly being death and taxes. (I'm not sure taxes are as inevitable as death. I think that is actually just a right wing talking point.) I find your hypothetical examples pointless. I have no idea how I will feel in the future, and I could just as well come up with contradictory hypotheticals which "prove" the opposite point. There is a reasonable chance that I will live long enough to see the end of this pandemic, as long as I don't catch it, and my current plan is simply to hold on as long as I can. Of course, I could die today, but my judgement is that I should plan for the possibility that I will continue living for another decade or so, while trying to be prepared for an earlier death, should that turn out to be my fate.

Also, you have a strong tendency, which you exhibit in this paragraph, to assume that others will have the same feelings you do about a given set of circumstances. This is just a mistake. I see the world quite differently than you do. For example, I find chatting with friends on Skype or similar video conference systems very nearly as good as meeting in person. That's just me, but for me, the extra benefit of meeting in person is much smaller than it is for you, so naturally my view on hypotheticals such as the one you set out is much different than yours.

Aristotleded24 wrote:

As for fear of covid? Sure, fear is natural, especially if you are in a high-risk category. Taking precautions is one thing. But why act as if it has already killed you when you're still alive?

Fear in general does not play a major role in my motivations. I am not afraid of death. I know this because when I was having a heart attack which I was aware could have resulted in my death within minutes, I felt no fear, just a sort of sad resignation. However, I am also not suicidal. I try to make decisions that will optimize both the length and quality of my life. Of course my efforts are much less than perfect, but I do not perceive myself as acting "as if it has already killed you" and I have no idea what makes you think I do.

Pondering

A lot of things make sense theoretically but do not work in the real world. In the real world the medical facilities get quickly overwhelmed.

We still have a radical shortage of PPE's. Anyone should be able to stock up on N95s so they can go visit grandma without infecting her. The main reason immunocompromised people have to be isolated is because there are insufficient PPEs.

The evolving information on covid-19's extended impact on the health of some, the discovery that it impacts many organs including the brain, tells me we have a lot to learn before experimenting with letting it loose.

It's true people die of all sorts of things but that isn't a reason not to wear a seatbeat. We are opening up, too fast in my opinion. Opening the schools in hotspots is being done recklessly when mitigating actions would not be that difficult to take.

At the moment it seems everything is opening up just with social distancing rules and masks required. Also no dancing, singing, or milling about. So everyone has to be seated. Not much fun but that is a paltry price to pay.

My heart goes out to all the small businesses and the employees of large ones whose businesses won't recover for years if at all. There will be many bankrupcies. I have already seen the sad signs of closures in my neighbourhood. But times change and along with them commerce. No more horse and buggy. No blacksmiths. No workers supplying the tools and harnesses etc. 

There are benefits to this disruption though for how long is questionable. It is giving us a moment when we are being forced to examine what we really want from life. Reducing air travel is a big bonus for the world. People are looking around closer to home. Snowbirds won't be moving to Florida for the winter and likely won't even leave Canada. Vancouver or Victoria are going to become popular I think.

I've just read there has been a massive influx of condos on the rent market which is driving rents down. Air Bnbs are not so profitable anymore. This is great news. Property inflation has been out of control for years.

What is it you suggest? That people not wear masks? That they don't socially distance? What is it you want to have happen that isn't happening now?

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
As far as safe and effective, I'll believe the experts on when that has been acheived, not politicians. By the way, you seem to swing back and forth between "the Powers That Be want us all to stay in lockdown forever" and the "the PTB want to move too fast on a vaccine to get things back to normal". You should probably choose one or the other.

Off the top of my head, I can name 3 experts (John Ioannidis, David Katz, Andres Tegnell) who disagree with the prevailing view of covid. In terms of covid, the science on something this new is not certain and is always changing. Note that at the same time the expert Dr. Fauci said covid posed a low risk, non-expert Trump advisor came to a different conclusion.

Michael Moriarity wrote:
By the way, you seem to swing back and forth between "the Powers That Be want us all to stay in lockdown forever" and the "the PTB want to move too fast on a vaccine to get things back to normal". You should probably choose one or the other.

Which misses that Dr. Tam has already said that a vaccine will not go back to normal, which negates the point about the vaccine to begin with. When you look at the big picture, the goal posts have been moving the entire time since the start of the pandemic. Even the instructions have from the authorities have been inconsistent. Yesterday Manitoba recorded its highest ever number of new cases. Much lower numbers were used as justification to close down in the spring, but we're not closing down (with the exception of areas around Brandon where the outbreak is now centred) this time?

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Also, you have a strong tendency, which you exhibit in this paragraph, to assume that others will have the same feelings you do about a given set of circumstances. This is just a mistake. I see the world quite differently than you do. For example, I find chatting with friends on Skype or similar video conference systems very nearly as good as meeting in person. That's just me, but for me, the extra benefit of meeting in person is much smaller than it is for you, so naturally my view on hypotheticals such as the one you set out is much different than yours.

So let's give each person the choice to engage in the world as they see fit.

Michael Moriarity wrote:
I do not perceive myself as acting "as if it has already killed you" and I have no idea what makes you think I do.

I perceive you to have supported things like lockdowns and speculating about scenarios about a virus that to this point has yet to infect 1% of the country's population.

Ken Burch

The problem is nobody can "engage in the world as they sit" with regards to Covid WITHOUT potentially endangering everybody around them.  That's why, at a bare minimum, we HAVE to get as close to universal masking in shared spaces as is humanly possible.  And really, nobody has a valid reason to refuse to mask in shared spaces- nobody is harmed by masking.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I think I've had enough of this conversation with you, A24. Ta ta.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
A lot of things make sense theoretically but do not work in the real world. In the real world the medical facilities get quickly overwhelmed.

That hasn't happened anywhere in Canada. Here in Winnipeg, there were stories about how empty our emergency rooms were, to the point that doctors were begging people to come in if they were sick. As bad as it was, it was only a minority of jurisdictions in the industrialized world that were overwhelmed. Sweden, which was criticized heavily for taking a softer approach to covid, was not one of those systems.

Pondering wrote:
The evolving information on covid-19's extended impact on the health of some, the discovery that it impacts many organs including the brain, tells me we have a lot to learn before experimenting with letting it loose.

I'll be honest, I haven't been following that too closely. With millions of people infected, it's no surprise that you will have people with long term consequences. Obviously that's a tragic situation, but I don't find that particularly persuasive. "World-class university athlete suffers chronic fatigue 6 months after covid" will get headlines, "middle-aged man goes on to life as normal after covid" will not. I would like much more information about that before making an opinion, and I have many questions. For example, what percentage of people experience long-term problems? How long does it take for such problems to come up? Is there something that makes covid patients more susceptible to long-term problems, for example severity of infection, prior health conditions, age, gender, or anything else? This is information we need. The video I mentioned upthread does not talk about this problem, so long-term impacts of covid (as I conceded in one of my posts) is an argument against this idea.

Pondering wrote:
It's true people die of all sorts of things but that isn't a reason not to wear a seatbeat. We are opening up, too fast in my opinion. Opening the schools in hotspots is being done recklessly when mitigating actions would not be that difficult to take.

Yes, but I wear a seatbelt and obey the laws of the road when I drive. That still doesn't eliminate my risk completely. If the government wanted to ensure lives were saved, driving would be banned. It is allowed, so people are allowed to take risks.

Pondering wrote:
What is it you suggest? That people not wear masks? That they don't socially distance? What is it you want to have happen that isn't happening now?

I've already come out in favour of mandatory mask wearing indoors. I would also recommend people wear masks and be a little more selective when listening to the news about covid. I would also recommend people take walks outside every day, and then they might see that the world is not as bad and scary a place as the news makes it seem.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
The problem is nobody can "engage in the world as they sit" with regards to Covid WITHOUT potentially endangering everybody around them.  That's why, at a bare minimum, we HAVE to get as close to universal masking in shared spaces as is humanly possible.  And really, nobody has a valid reason to refuse to mask in shared spaces- nobody is harmed by masking.

Check the civil liberties thread in the Canadian politics section, where I indicate that I support mandatory mask wearing.

NDPP

Corbyn Was 'Lectured' by Johnson Government on 'Herd Immunity' and Said Nothing

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/24/corb-a24.html

"...Corbyn and his Shadow Secretary for Health were involved in discussions with the Tories who told him explicitly that theirs was a murderous policy of allowing the coronavirus unchecked in the population with the supposed aim of eventually arriving at herd immunity. He describes this as 'eugenic', that is, a fascistic policy for the deliberate elimination of a supposedly undesirable section of the population for the supposed betterment of the species, in this case a vast swathe of the working class, especially the elderly, infirm and otherwise vulnerable..."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The herd immunity argument is a non-starter for me. It has strong whiffs of survival of the fittest as applied to social darwinism that led to the Eugenics Movement. In this day and age, someone in their 60s might be more physically compromised than their younger age cohorts but it doesn't mean that they cannot live a decent life for the next 20-30 years. And yet the herd theory would easily sacrifice their full life potential - like sending a horse to the glue factory. And what about the other victims - the ones that live in impoverished, over-crowded conditions with less access to medical care. Are they too much of a burden to look out for? Is it their lot in life to die sooner than later from COVID-19 rather than waiting for other detrimental health conditions tied to the socio-economic determinents of health to set in?

Of course our quality of life has been impacted. Some have lost their jobs or have to deal with reduced hours thus earning much less than they did. That is a hardship for sure but as long as we as a society are willing to ensure that it doesn't leave people destitute, we can try to move on. As for socializing, human contact is important and far more effort is being made to ensure that people who are isolated in nursing homes or hospitals get much needed comfort from family and close friends. For the rest of us, we do have the luxury of phones and internet, including video texting options to keep connected. Plus we can carefully gather with others within safe conditions to socialize. Of course the new normal is nowhere as much fun as life was before but we have made adustments like this throughout the decades. Kids roamed freely unsupervised for the longest time until enough bad shit happened that that is no longer happening. Safe sex wasn't a thing until HIV/AIDS hit hard in the 80s. High security in airports requiring that you be there at least 2 hours sometimes more to catch a flight was not a thing before 9/11. Things change and we adapt. Just cherish the memories of when things were different and count yourself lucky that you lived through those times without consequences.

Ken Burch

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
The problem is nobody can "engage in the world as they sit" with regards to Covid WITHOUT potentially endangering everybody around them.  That's why, at a bare minimum, we HAVE to get as close to universal masking in shared spaces as is humanly possible.  And really, nobody has a valid reason to refuse to mask in shared spaces- nobody is harmed by masking.

Check the civil liberties thread in the Canadian politics section, where I indicate that I support mandatory mask wearing.

OK...I saw that...but then, in this thread, you were talking about letting everyone approach using protective measures "as they see fit".  Could you elaborate on what is covered under the "as they see fit" language?

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:
The problem is nobody can "engage in the world as they sit" with regards to Covid WITHOUT potentially endangering everybody around them.  That's why, at a bare minimum, we HAVE to get as close to universal masking in shared spaces as is humanly possible.  And really, nobody has a valid reason to refuse to mask in shared spaces- nobody is harmed by masking.

Check the civil liberties thread in the Canadian politics section, where I indicate that I support mandatory mask wearing.

OK...I saw that...but then, in this thread, you were talking about letting everyone approach using protective measures "as they see fit".  Could you elaborate on what is covered under the "as they see fit" language?

It depends on where you set the standard. Even before covid, people were afraid of all kinds of things. If you set the standard just at someone being afraid, then you would never do anything. Let's take swimming pools, for example. Despite the fact that they are chlorinated, they are full of germs, and some people are afraid of that. Should we have banned people swimming in pools before? To take another example, the spread of covid from church choirs has been in the news lately. How do we know that before covid, a young choir pefromer didn't pick up a flu and inadvertently give it to a more vunlerable familiy member? As I said, we are all different in what we perceive our risk of covid infection to be. Take the issue of going to restaurants. I'm perfectly fine with going, other people are not. Why not let each of us make the choice as we see fit? That's the price of living in a free country is that people get to things you disagree with. Or to take another example, smoking. I don't think people should smoke, but they do. Sometimes people even smoke around other people (think parents who smoke at home with their children in the house and the windows closed) to the point that their choices actively harm others. That has major health care system costs and should be discouraged, but are we comfortable with the police-state 24-7 surveillance tactics that would be necessary to stop that from happening, if we wanted to outright stop it from happening? Of course I don't have to permit that in my living space, but that is a decision each person makes for his or herself without asking my permission. The health problems with smoking are well known, but people still make that choice.

Have you ever asked yourself what life would be like if we turned everything over to the health professionals to tell us what we couldn't do based on their recommendations? For one, if dermatologists had their way, nobody would ever go to the beach. Neurologists and pediatriciains might remove all play structures for children to play on. You could probably find a whole other slew of risks. But it's not the doctor's job to protect your health. The doctor's job is to provide information, and it's up to you what to do with that information. Yes, as I said, some collective decisions need to be taken and some collective sacrifices may need to be made. It's not an either-or thing with every person out for him or herself or total control of the population. There is a line to be drawn somewhere, and at some point, you either have to live and let live, or accept the government deciding things for you and it is your job to obey.

Does that clarify things?

Aristotleded24

laine lowe wrote:
The herd immunity argument is a non-starter for me. It has strong whiffs of survival of the fittest as applied to social darwinism that led to the Eugenics Movement.

That is absolutely not what I am advocating. Judging from the comments on the thread, it seems that people haven't even bothered to check and see what Dr. Katz actually said on the topic. (If you're pressed for time, here is a shorter interview with Bill Maher that summarizes what he said in the hour long video upthread.) I encourage everyone who has posted in this thread to view either one of these things, but essentially here is what I belive his argument boils down to: covid is a threat to public health, alongside many other threats to public health, so we need to do what we can to reduce the overall harm to public health from covid and all other threats.

laine lowe wrote:
And what about the other victims - the ones that live in impoverished, over-crowded conditions with less access to medical care. Are they too much of a burden to look out for? Is it their lot in life to die sooner than later from COVID-19 rather than waiting for other detrimental health conditions tied to the socio-economic determinents of health to set in?

Of course the problems of public health related to poverty are very real. We have been talking about these problems in this online community for well over a decade. They were a problem long before the covid pandemic, and unless challenged, they will continue to be a problem long after the covid pandemic is over. Serious question: How does telling everyone to stay home, wash their hands, and wear a maks actually address these bigger problems of public health? Drs Tam and Henry have made some noises in this pandemic about having a more humane strategy around drug usage. Other than that, where have the chief medical officers of health been on this very topic? Has Brent Roussin said anything about improving overall public health? We have a major meth problem in Winnipeg right now. I just did a google search, and could not find any indication that he has backed up calls for a safe injection site. Yet meth is a major driver of crime in Winnipeg, and more people in Winnipeg have been murdered this year already than people who have died from covid province-wide. If you can find a news article about Roussin talking about any important health issue in Manitoba pre-covid, I would like to see that, because I could not. We know that meat packing plants are a major vector of covid spread. That is something that I myself have talked about. Right now Brandon, home to a major meat plant, is the site of a major covid outbreak. Workers have called for the plant to be shut down, and that is something that I am in full support of. Why haven't our provincial health officials, the same ones who closed businesses and imposed restrictions on personal movement in the name of "safety," backed them up on that?

Quote:
Dr. Brent Roussin announced 17 new COVID-19 cases in the province at a news conference on Friday afternoon, and confirmed eight cases involving workers at what he referred to as a business in Brandon.

Roussin did not name the business, but Maple Leaf Foods had previously confirmed eight cases at its pork processing plant in the city.

"All cases appear to have contracted the virus outside of the workplace," Roussin said. "To be clear, there is no evidence of workplace transmission at this time."

Following Roussin's press conference, Maple Leaf Foods released an update saying two more employees at the plant had tested positive, bringing the total as of Friday afternoon to 10.

This is exactly the frustration that I have with how this conversation has played out on these threads. I would have expected people on the left to have an understanding of the big picture of public health and to resist the temptation to individualize the problem and start moralizing about what individuals should or should not do. To recap what has happened this year, many churches when they open are not allowing people to sing, major events in the province (such as Dauphin Countryfest, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, Winnipeg Folk Fest, Winnipeg Fringe Fest, Manyfest, Dakota Nation Winter Fest and Ag Days 2021, and the list is not comprehensive) have been cancelled, and there are no Jets, Blue Bomber, Goldeyes, or Wheat Kings games happening for a long time, and no concerts happening at the MTS Centre. How has cancelling all of this made a positive impact on anyone's lives?

laine lowe wrote:
As for socializing, human contact is important and far more effort is being made to ensure that people who are isolated in nursing homes or hospitals get much needed comfort from family and close friends. For the rest of us, we do have the luxury of phones and internet, including video texting options to keep connected.

Excessive screen time has many negative impacts on health, both individually and collectively. There are very important aspects of in-person human interaction that cannot be replicated in a digital medium. You are also correct to say that it is a luxury. Many people cannot afford such a luxury, so moving our lives onto a digital medium excluses these people. There are also privacy concerns, as everything that happens online is tracked. There was also a small uprising in the spring about proposed city cuts to public spaces like pools, libraries, and community centres. Well, if we don't do any public events and just live our lives online, then there is no justification for maintaining such public spaces, and cities will close them down.

laine lowe wrote:
Of course the new normal is nowhere as much fun as life was before but we have made adustments like this throughout the decades. Kids roamed freely unsupervised for the longest time until enough bad shit happened that that is no longer happening.

Some of that was based on perceptions of how dangerous things were for children that were not backed up by the facts. One of the biggest threats to children's safety has always been, and continues to be, abuse at the hands of their primary care givers. This is just one of the many examples of how things people are afraid of are not necessarily those things which pose the biggest risk. Furthermore, there is evidence that sheltering children to the extent to which we've been doing in the last few decades is detrimental to their mental health. Sure sometimes the new normal is more restrictive, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's for the better.

laine lowe wrote:
High security in airports requiring that you be there at least 2 hours sometimes more to catch a flight was not a thing before 9/11. Things change and we adapt.

It's funny that 9/11 was brought up in this context. The US government responded by doing things like the Patriot Act and surveillance. At the time it seemed like such a big change. Now that we are so accustomed to these privacy violations, things revealed by Snowden and Assange, or the implimentation of facial recognition technology at MLCC stores in Manitoba happen and we just shrug and accept it. Should we just accept that, or should we have been a bit more skeptical and challenging of these changes when it could have made a difference? Not all changes are good. It's one thing if drastic measures have to be temporarily taken to lessen the immediate threat of covid. But having large-scale decisions made for us (such as the colour-coded covid system recently put in place in Manitoba) about how we organize our lives without any democratic input from citizens is not something I'm okay with.

Douglas Fir Premier

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Of course the problems of public health related to poverty are very real. We have been talking about these problems in this online community for well over a decade. They were a problem long before the covid pandemic, and unless challenged, they will continue to be a problem long after the covid pandemic is over.

Anecdotally, based on conversations I've had with fellow disabled folks on social assistance, there's been a collective sense of despair that has really spiked in recent months, as this crisis has made it clear how truly little our lives matter - not just to those in power - but to the general public too. CERB was what really did it for a lot of us. Setting aside whatever flaws and gaps were ultimately revealed once it was actually rolled out, the takeaway for many of us was what it implicitly made clear. We are destitute not because governments can't afford to provide us with an adequate level of support. Rather, we are destitute because that is all our fellow Canadians believe we deserve.

Suddenly out of work due to COVID? Here's $2000/month to keep you afloat. Sorry it's not more than that, but hopefully that will cover most of your basic needs.

Out of work due to disability? You get to try to survive on a fraction of that.

Anecdotally again, there seems to be a growing sense that people are hoping for us to hurry up and die. I can't think of a single person on social assistance who holds out any hope that life will become anything other than incresingly more difficult with each passing year. Politicians refuse to even mention it, and it seems like only those of us who are directly affected are even trying to raise the issue. Even once militant anti-poverty groups like OCAP have - in recent years - devoted more passion to opposing the idea of basic income progams than they have in actually fighting to raise disability and welfare rates. As a result of this hopelessness, I've noticed a big uptick in talk of both suicidal ideation and general misanthropy within the community since COVID. 

Pondering

What is being imposed on people in Canada right now (or in the recent past related to Covid) that you object to?

I'm sure you have heard the phrase "your liberty to swing your fist ends where my nose begins".

The only real freedom is the freedom to be a hermit. If you want to live within a community of people then you must respect the desires of the whole. For example, noise ordinances infringe on my right to blast music at 3am and that doesn't hurt or endanger anyone. People can wear earplugs.

Most of us consider Covid a good deal more dangerous than the flu. Polls indicate that Canadians are highly supportive of public health measures and want more not less. People are angry at those who refuse to quarantine and parents are leary of sending their children to school.

We have individual rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution and a well-respected Supreme Court that in my view makes very balanced decisions. Aside from that communities have the right to make collective decisions. The people who don't like them have a right to leave and find or create a different community.

Aristotleded24

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Of course the problems of public health related to poverty are very real. We have been talking about these problems in this online community for well over a decade. They were a problem long before the covid pandemic, and unless challenged, they will continue to be a problem long after the covid pandemic is over.

Anecdotally, based on conversations I've had with fellow disabled folks on social assistance, there's been a collective sense of despair that has really spiked in recent months, as this crisis has made it clear how truly little our lives matter - not just to those in power - but to the general public too. CERB was what really did it for a lot of us. Setting aside whatever flaws and gaps were ultimately revealed once it was actually rolled out, the takeaway for many of us was what it implicitly made clear. We are destitute not because governments can't afford to provide us with an adequate level of support. Rather, we are destitute because that is all our fellow Canadians believe we deserve.

Suddenly out of work due to COVID? Here's $2000/month to keep you afloat. Sorry it's not more than that, but hopefully that will cover most of your basic needs.

Out of work due to disability? You get to try to survive on a fraction of that.

Anecdotally again, there seems to be a growing sense that people are hoping for us to hurry up and die. I can't think of a single person on social assistance who holds out any hope that life will become anything other than incresingly more difficult with each passing year. Politicians refuse to even mention it, and it seems like only those of us who are directly affected are even trying to raise the issue. Even once militant anti-poverty groups like OCAP have - in recent years - devoted more passion to opposing the idea of basic income progams than they have in actually fighting to raise disability and welfare rates. As a result of this hopelessness, I've noticed a big uptick in talk of both suicidal ideation and general misanthropy within the community since COVID.

Thank you for sharing your perspective, Doug. I will quibble that there is an actual debate among the left as to whether basic income is actually good or whether it's a way to undermine social programs without helpling people in need. Having said that, if organizations are spending more energy opposing an idea than proposing something that will help, that is absoultely a problem.

We have paid lip service to "the vulnerable" throughout this pandemic. It is nice to hear the perspective of someone who fits that category. I'd like to hear more from you as this crisis unfolds.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
What is being imposed on people in Canada right now (or in the recent past related to Covid) that you object to?

In my own province, there is a colour-coded alert system that won't move down to green without a vaccine. I oppose the idea that there should never be a concert, sporting event, street party or anything like that without a vaccine. I oppose the idea that unelected medical officials have apparently made that choice for us without our democratic input. I oppose petty fines handed out to businesses in the name of stopping covid, when pre-pandemic there were many unsafe things and labour laws violations happening that nobody cared about. I oppose the idea that if I want to go to a library, gym, or pool that there are time limits so that the staff can clean. I oppose that nearly all workplaces are required to clean surfaces every so often moreso than before, when I'm not sure if that does any good or just makes people feel good.

Pondering wrote:
I'm sure you have heard the phrase "your liberty to swing your fist ends where my nose begins".

On the other end, there's the expression that those who give up essential liberties for some security (George Carlin would go even further and say that it's the illusion of security) deserve neither. More extreme, there's also the expression give me liberty or give me death. Of course there is a balancing act between these 2 expressions.

Pondering wrote:
The only real freedom is the freedom to be a hermit. If you want to live within a community of people then you must respect the desires of the whole.

How far should that be taken? For example, by that logic, why build an elevator in a school for a minority of students in wheelchairs if the majority can walk the stairs no problem?

Pondering wrote:
For example, noise ordinances infringe on my right to blast music at 3am and that doesn't hurt or endanger anyone. People can wear earplugs.

If that's true, maybe noise ordinances should be dialed back so that the police can focus on more serious crimes.

Pondering wrote:
Most of us consider Covid a good deal more dangerous than the flu. Polls indicate that Canadians are highly supportive of public health measures and want more not less. People are angry at those who refuse to quarantine and parents are leary of sending their children to school.

That is because the media has been talking about covid non-stop and elevating scary stories. Would people be as afraid of it if it wasn't in the news all the time? As for the fact that people support public health measures? In a time of crisis, people generally support measures they believe will keep them safe. In the aftermath of 9/11, people supported blatant civil liberties violations as a means to protect from terrorists. This climate of fear was so powerful that even Saint Bernie of Sanders voted for Bush's Authorization of Military Force. In 2014 in the aftermath of the Ottawa shooting, Canadians overwhelmingly supported Bill C-51. Following a number of police-related incidents, Winnipeg's main downtown library installed airport-like screening at the entrance. You were not allowed to take any bags with you inside the library. Those restrictions have majority public support in Winnipeg.

When it comes to public perceptions about what people are afraid of, I do not find that persuasive at all. Very often, what people are afraid of is not in line with what poses actual risks to safety. I'm far more interested in data and facts. Stop telling me that covid is a scary thing and that I should feel scared of it. Just give me the facts about covid. Tell me what is going on, what we need to do about it, and why.

Pondering wrote:
We have individual rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution and a well-respected Supreme Court that in my view makes very balanced decisions. Aside from that communities have the right to make collective decisions. The people who don't like them have a right to leave and find or create a different community.

There has been some rumblings about travel restrictions being tested in court, but nothing has actually come of that yet. Let's actually test these restrictions in court and see what actually happens.

NDPP

Douglas Fir Premier wrote:

 

Anecdotally, based on conversations I've had with fellow disabled folks on social assistance, there's been a collective sense of despair that has really spiked in recent months, as this crisis has made it clear how truly little our lives matter - not just to those in power - but to the general public too. CERB was what really did it for a lot of us. Setting aside whatever flaws and gaps were ultimately revealed once it was actually rolled out, the takeaway for many of us was what it implicitly made clear. We are destitute not because governments can't afford to provide us with an adequate level of support. Rather, we are destitute because that is all our fellow Canadians believe we deserve.

Suddenly out of work due to COVID? Here's $2000/month to keep you afloat. Sorry it's not more than that, but hopefully that will cover most of your basic needs.

Out of work due to disability? You get to try to survive on a fraction of that.

Anecdotally again, there seems to be a growing sense that people are hoping for us to hurry up and die. I can't think of a single person on social assistance who holds out any hope that life will become anything other than incresingly more difficult with each passing year. Politicians refuse to even mention it, and it seems like only those of us who are directly affected are even trying to raise the issue. Even once militant anti-poverty groups like OCAP have - in recent years - devoted more passion to opposing the idea of basic income progams than they have in actually fighting to raise disability and welfare rates. As a result of this hopelessness, I've noticed a big uptick in talk of both suicidal ideation and general misanthropy within the community since COVID. 

NDPP wrote:

Thanks for telling it like it really is. The situation is beyond barbaric.  Comfortable Canadian 'progressives' rarely help anyone but themselves. Virtue-signalling if that, is as good as it gets.  The class war is clearly on and the surest way to lose it is not to know you're in one. Time to fuck things up and shake the magic money tree until they notice poor folks are mad as hell and won't take it anymore.

kropotkin1951

Many of Canada's poor elders fell in the first wave because the conditions that they live in are inhumane. That is our social safety net.

Before COVID the health care system killed my disabled brother with a combination of neglect and disdain. He would get sick and then go to a hospital and be there for weeks and when he got out a raft of services would be supposedly put in place and then when he got home they disappeared in a month or two and then the cycle started again. If you want really bad treatment in a hospital present them with a card that says you are on social assistance.

He had subsidized housing in a coop and he still couldn't live on the pittance the province provided him before his death at 59. The idea that $2000 is the floor and our disabled people and seniors never have received that amount speaks volumes to the level of wilful blindness among Canadians.

Bacchus

Im sorry Krop. That is just such a sad waste of human life

kropotkin1951

Bacchus wrote:

Im sorry Krop. That is just such a sad waste of human life

Yes it is very sad. BC is having a commission on the treatment of indigenous people n our health care. The only thing worse than being on welfare to many in the system is to be indigenous. The racism runs  even deeper than the classism. This thread is about herd immunity and people like my brother will be the first culled from the herd if we let the pandemic play itself out in the general population. BC's indigenous communities have been isolating themselves and restricting people coming in because they don't want to be herded during this pandemic like so many pandemics that have hit the peoples of the West Coast.

Aristotleded24

Are we closer to the threshold than what we originally believed?

Quote:
Epidemiologists call the level where the epidemic ends the “herd immunity” threshold. Herd immunity does not mean that the virus has completely disappeared, only that it can no longer infect a critical mass of people and become an epidemic again.

...

A growing number of scientists believe the threshold for herd immunity may be much lower. Some predict it might be 40 percent. Others say it could be as low as 20 percent — meaning that the epidemic will burn out after only 1 in 5 people is infected with and recovers from the virus.

And real-world evidence — from Sweden, from Sunbelt states like Arizona, and now from the Brazilian city of Manaus — provides very encouraging evidence that the immunity threshold may be well below 50 percent. Sweden, Arizona and Manaus don’t have much in common, but in all of them, the epidemic burned out relatively quickly, without hard lockdowns, and after a relatively low number of people were infected based on antibody tests.

If we can actually reach herd immunity after 40 percent or less of the population is infected, far fewer people will die than the early forecasts, even without lockdowns. And if the best-case estimates of 20 percent or less are correct, we may be closer to the end than the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic. It’s still too early to be certain — but maybe for the first time since March, we have real reason to hope.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Not to be too superstitious, but I sure hope my husband and I are not part of the 1 in 5 new optimistic count of herd immunity - he just won a $500 voucher for legal services for writing 2 last wills and testaments.

Pondering

There is a verified case of a man in the US getting the virus twice. He tested negative twice and the second time it was a different strain. So much for herd immunity.

Sweden didn't have as hard a lockdown as other places but there situation seems similar to what ours is now.  This article explains what it was/is like in Sweden.

https://icds.ee/en/covid-19-policy-in-sweden-disaster-or-object-of-admir...

One problem is that when measures work some people take it as proof the measures weren't needed.

I do agree that we didn't necessarily need to go as far as we did but with a deadly disease we knew and still know little about better to be safe than sorry.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I'm of the opinion that any communities with confirmed COVID cases ought to be forced into a WUHAN style lockdown until there are no longer any confirmed COVID cases in those communities.

I also believe that had Canada taken this approach to COVID beginning in March, that Canada would have eliminated COVID by now. Note that WUHAN has had no cases of COVID since May, meaning that they eliminated COVID in the span of 4-5 months. That we have not done likewise, is a policy failure.

Pondering

Responding to post 25

Aristotleded24 wrote:
In my own province, there is a colour-coded alert system that won't move down to green without a vaccine. I oppose the idea that there should never be a concert, sporting event, street party or anything like that without a vaccine. I oppose the idea that unelected medical officials have apparently made that choice for us without our democratic input. 

I see that you are coming from a libertarian perspective. It is our elected government that makes the choice not medical officials.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
I oppose the idea that if I want to go to a library, gym, or pool that there are time limits so that the staff can clean. I oppose that nearly all workplaces are required to clean surfaces every so often moreso than before, when I'm not sure if that does any good or just makes people feel good.

In Quebec I don't think they are required to clean more than before. They choose to in order to reassure the public which is a valid choice.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 How far should that be taken? For example, by that logic, why build an elevator in a school for a minority of students in wheelchairs if the majority can walk the stairs no problem? 

Because the majority have decided that the needs of people with mobility limitations should be addressed. Medicare, therefore me, pays for cancer treatments even though I don't have cancer.  We pay collectively for things which we believe could just as easily happen to us or to someone in our family or even out of simple human decency especially if the condition is seen as being through no fault of their own.

Pondering wrote:
For example, noise ordinances infringe on my right to blast music at 3am and that doesn't hurt or endanger anyone. People can wear earplugs.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 If that's true, maybe noise ordinances should be dialed back so that the police can focus on more serious crimes. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 That is because the media has been talking about covid non-stop and elevating scary stories. Would people be as afraid of it if it wasn't in the news all the time? 

No, and it is scary because Covid 19 remains an unknown entity and difficult to control. No one is certain which measures we are taking are necessary and which are not. I have never been in an accident in which I was protected from harm by a seatbelt. Each individual time I get in a car I am always confident I'm not going to be involved in an accident, because after all, I never have been. As an adult I know that there is some chance I will be in an accident and it is not a big deal to wear a seatbelt. I am also free to not wear it and pay fines when I get caught.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 As for the fact that people support public health measures? In a time of crisis, people generally support measures they believe will keep them safe. In the aftermath of 9/11, people supported blatant civil liberties violations as a means to protect from terrorists. 

They have every right to do so. Collective decisions don't have to be right to be valid. We protect against the tyranny of the majority through constitutional rights. Being a Quebecer I know all about the tyranny of the majority. The promotion of French in Quebec seems to be all about sticks with no carrots to be seen. The use of the notwithstanding clause should have been a red flag to all progressives. It was the natural precursor to Bill 21. Wait, am I arguing your point? Now I'm confused.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
   In 2014 in the aftermath of the Ottawa shooting, Canadians overwhelmingly supported Bill C-51. Following a number of police-related incidents, Winnipeg's main downtown library installed airport-like screening at the entrance. You were not allowed to take any bags with you inside the library. Those restrictions have majority public support in Winnipeg.

Why would you have a problem with that? I might agitate for free lockers.

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 When it comes to public perceptions about what people are afraid of, I do not find that persuasive at all. Very often, what people are afraid of is not in line with what poses actual risks to safety.  

There is no objective "right" in deciding how much risk is too much risk. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:
I'm far more interested in data and facts. Stop telling me that covid is a scary thing and that I should feel scared of it. Just give me the facts about covid. Tell me what is going on, what we need to do about it, and why.  

There I agree. I think the reason we have some people paranoid and others lackadaisical is because they have tried to make rules while giving us too little information as to the real reasoning. In my opinion the reason they emphasized that young people were less at risk but had to comply to protect granny was to manipulate them into being more careful but still going to work.

Yes kids need school but that isn't the reason the schools were opened. The real motivation was so parents could get back to work.

Right now I would be saying...This could be with us for a few years. We may develop a vaccine but we don't know that it will work or how long it will work for. It may be less deadly for younger people but we don't know the ramifications for long haulers and even seemingly healthy young people have died. The fact remains that we can't stay shut down indefinitely. A lot of responsibility must fall on the shoudlers of the individual. It isn't a law to wear a mask everywhere it is a civic duty.

 

 

 

 

 

Aristotleded24

Left Turn wrote:
I'm of the opinion that any communities with confirmed COVID cases ought to be forced into a WUHAN style lockdown until there are no longer any confirmed COVID cases in those communities.

I'm shocked that anyone on this forum could support such blatantly authoritarian measures when they would never be supported in any other circumstances.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I believe the lockdown measures in Italy were similarly strict at least at the start of their alarming outbreak. They seem to be doing better than France or Spain, or the UK, where I guess less stringent tactics were taken. So is it equally authoritarian in Italy or does that accusation just come with the general assessment that China is an authoriarian state in your view?

Aristotleded24

It's an authoritarian measure no matter where it happens. But even in Italy's case, they did the lockdown, and their health system was still knocked over. France and Spain did not have such measures, and seemed to do better than Italy at first. Both France and Spain have had significant resurgences, Italy has not.

That gets to the uncomfrotable question at the heart of this thread. It looks like once the virus makes its way into the population, with or without a lockdown, a big spike in cases is inevitable. That spike may come in a month, a year or a decade, but it seems to be just waiting for when restrictions are released. If that's the case, what is the least bad way to move forward?

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:
That gets to the uncomfrotable question at the heart of this thread. It looks like once the virus makes its way into the population, with or without a lockdown, a big spike in cases is inevitable. That spike may come in a month, a year or a decade, but it seems to be just waiting for when restrictions are released. If that's the case, what is the least bad way to move forward?

If a region stays in lockdown until COVID is completely eliminated, then there will be no COVID in the region unless it is reintroduced from outside the region, which may or may not happen. If, however, a lockdown is only maintained until the curve is flattened but COVID not eliminated, then there can be a post-lockdown spike in COVID cases. Mask wearing, physical distancing and limiting social contact (for those who can) does appear to reduce the extent of post-lockdown COVID spread (regardless of how much spread there was before and during lockdown), but doesn't appear to be able to eliminate COVID on it's own.

We may well be on our way to COVID becoming endemic -- of it becoming something we have to deal with forever, as with the flu -- if we don't get a vaccine. I argue that this would ammount to a policy failure whereby we essentially gave up on the pandemic and decided to value Capitalism over public health.

 

NDPP

Herd Immunity is a Dangerous Strategy for Tackling COVID-19

https://www.technologynetworks.com/immunology/news/herd-immunity-is-a-da...

"...According to Stuart Ray MD, professor of medicine at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, rushing toward herd immunity by ignoring risky behavior in the hope that infected people will survive, become resistant and reduce the susceptible population is an approach that will increase deaths and disability and should be avoided...The results of Sweden's decision to attempt herd immunity were disappointing and devastating..."

Ken Burch

NDPP wrote:

Herd Immunity is a Dangerous Strategy for Tackling COVID-19

https://www.technologynetworks.com/immunology/news/herd-immunity-is-a-da...

"...According to Stuart Ray MD, professor of medicine at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, rushing toward herd immunity by ignoring risky behavior in the hope that infected people will survive, become resistant and reduce the susceptible population is an approach that will increase deaths and disability and should be avoided...The results of Sweden's decision to attempt herd immunity were disappointing and devastating..."

The herd immunity concept also implies that some significant percentage of the population of whatever region/state/province/nation we are discussing owes it to the polity as a whole to "take one for the team".   

 

Pondering

laine lowe wrote:

I believe the lockdown measures in Italy were similarly strict at least at the start of their alarming outbreak. They seem to be doing better than France or Spain, or the UK, where I guess less stringent tactics were taken. So is it equally authoritarian in Italy or does that accusation just come with the general assessment that China is an authoriarian state in your view?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/04/01/coronavirus-covid-1...

In late February as coronavirus infections mounted in Wuhan, China, authorities went door-to-door for health checks – forcibly isolating every resident in makeshift hospitals and temporary quarantine shelters, even separating parents from young children who displayed symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how seemingly mild. 

Caretakers at the city's ubiquitous large apartment buildings were pressed into service as ad hoc security guards, monitoring the temperatures of all residents, deciding who could come in and implementing inspections of delivered food and medicines. 

Outside, drones hovered above streets, yelling at people to get inside and scolding them for not wearing face masks, while elsewhere in China facial-recognition software, linked to a mandatory phone app that color-coded people based on their contagion risk, decided who could enter shopping malls, subways, cafes and other public spaces. 

No democratic government has had a lockdown like that. Canada hasn't come even close.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

That gets to the uncomfrotable question at the heart of this thread. It looks like once the virus makes its way into the population, with or without a lockdown, a big spike in cases is inevitable. That spike may come in a month, a year or a decade, but it seems to be just waiting for when restrictions are released. If that's the case, what is the least bad way to move forward?

Prevent large crowds in close contact to limit spread. Try to open the schools while ramping up testing capacity and the production of PPEs.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

That gets to the uncomfrotable question at the heart of this thread. It looks like once the virus makes its way into the population, with or without a lockdown, a big spike in cases is inevitable. That spike may come in a month, a year or a decade, but it seems to be just waiting for when restrictions are released. If that's the case, what is the least bad way to move forward?

Prevent large crowds in close contact to limit spread. Try to open the schools while ramping up testing capacity and the production of PPEs.

Is there an exit strategy to this? Or do the Winnipeg Blue Bombers go down in history as the last team to ever win a Grey Cup? The Stanley Cup was cancelled during the 1918 pandemic, but with far less knowledge about viruses and ability to track then than we had now, the Stanley Cup returned and was handed out again.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

That gets to the uncomfrotable question at the heart of this thread. It looks like once the virus makes its way into the population, with or without a lockdown, a big spike in cases is inevitable. That spike may come in a month, a year or a decade, but it seems to be just waiting for when restrictions are released. If that's the case, what is the least bad way to move forward?

Prevent large crowds in close contact to limit spread. Try to open the schools while ramping up testing capacity and the production of PPEs.

Is there an exit strategy to this? Or do the Winnipeg Blue Bombers go down in history as the last team to ever win a Grey Cup? The Stanley Cup was cancelled during the 1918 pandemic, but with far less knowledge about viruses and ability to track then than we had now, the Stanley Cup returned and was handed out again.

The exit strategy is to open up slowly while watching how quickly the virus spreads while at the same time working on vaccines and treatments. We could be six months away from a full reopening or 6 years. We just don't know yet because we can't predict the future of the virus. What we do know is if we start massive gatherings many people will get sick and die including health care workers  and our hospitals will be overwhelmed.

Health care workers have a responsibility to the public but the reverse is also true. They didn't volunteer to die so people could go to massive concerts and sports events.

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Or do the Winnipeg Blue Bombers go down in history as the last team to ever win a Grey Cup?

..it's not only the media that exaggerates and fear mongers. those who support herd immunity do so as well. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

That gets to the uncomfrotable question at the heart of this thread. It looks like once the virus makes its way into the population, with or without a lockdown, a big spike in cases is inevitable. That spike may come in a month, a year or a decade, but it seems to be just waiting for when restrictions are released. If that's the case, what is the least bad way to move forward?

Prevent large crowds in close contact to limit spread. Try to open the schools while ramping up testing capacity and the production of PPEs.

Is there an exit strategy to this? Or do the Winnipeg Blue Bombers go down in history as the last team to ever win a Grey Cup? The Stanley Cup was cancelled during the 1918 pandemic, but with far less knowledge about viruses and ability to track then than we had now, the Stanley Cup returned and was handed out again.

The exit strategy is to open up slowly while watching how quickly the virus spreads while at the same time working on vaccines and treatments. We could be six months away from a full reopening or 6 years. We just don't know yet because we can't predict the future of the virus. What we do know is if we start massive gatherings many people will get sick and die including health care workers  and our hospitals will be overwhelmed.

Health care workers have a responsibility to the public but the reverse is also true. They didn't volunteer to die so people could go to massive concerts and sports events.

Fair enough. I don't think now is the time for media articles to speculate about things like the cancellation of the 2021 CFL season or the idea that we will never have a festival again. Personally, I think that with all of these events cancelled, we should just let them go for now and cross our fingers for next year. To me, speculating about such things as not having a 2021 CFL season is just kicking people while they are down. No point in fussing over what is finished, I say. Let's move on, and if the next CFL season has to be cancelled, I say that's far enough down the road that we can deal with that when it comes up and not worry about it right now.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:
I don't think now is the time for media articles to speculate about things like the cancellation of the 2021 CFL season or the idea that we will never have a festival again. Personally, I think that with all of these events cancelled, we should just let them go for now and cross our fingers for next year. To me, speculating about such things as not having a 2021 CFL season is just kicking people while they are down. No point in fussing over what is finished, I say. Let's move on, and if the next CFL season has to be cancelled, I say that's far enough down the road that we can deal with that when it comes up and not worry about it right now.

I agree completely.

Aristotleded24

One thing that is missing from the herd immunity conversation is the issue of anti-body tests. Since there have been blood tests and samples from the general population, anti-body test results suggest a far higher percentage of people have been infected with covid than the test results would suggest. Obviously this means we are closer to the stage of herd immunity than we realize.

There is one drawback to this, however. Upthread I mentioned that one of the drawbacks of herd immunity is dealing with long-term health impacts of people who are infected. Does this mean that people who have antibodies but never felt sick need to be monitored for such impacts?

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

laine lowe wrote:

I believe the lockdown measures in Italy were similarly strict at least at the start of their alarming outbreak. They seem to be doing better than France or Spain, or the UK, where I guess less stringent tactics were taken. So is it equally authoritarian in Italy or does that accusation just come with the general assessment that China is an authoriarian state in your view?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/04/01/coronavirus-covid-1...

In late February as coronavirus infections mounted in Wuhan, China, authorities went door-to-door for health checks – forcibly isolating every resident in makeshift hospitals and temporary quarantine shelters, even separating parents from young children who displayed symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how seemingly mild. 

Caretakers at the city's ubiquitous large apartment buildings were pressed into service as ad hoc security guards, monitoring the temperatures of all residents, deciding who could come in and implementing inspections of delivered food and medicines. 

Outside, drones hovered above streets, yelling at people to get inside and scolding them for not wearing face masks, while elsewhere in China facial-recognition software, linked to a mandatory phone app that color-coded people based on their contagion risk, decided who could enter shopping malls, subways, cafes and other public spaces. 

No democratic government has had a lockdown like that. Canada hasn't come even close.

Furthermore Edward Snowden, someone who isn't a fan of authoritarian governments of any stripe, had this to say about China's response:

Quote:
ow, when we look at the counterexample that you have here of an authoritarian society of China, we go, well, what if South Korea took a Chinese example here? Would they have been more effective in halting the spread of the virus if they had just welded people into their homes, right? If they had changed people’s doors, turned off the elevators, you know, blocked the stairways, set up cameras outside the homes, you know, said people can’t leave without a special pass from the government, all of these things, it’s not clear that that would have been more effective. In fact, I think there’s a very strong argument that it actually would have been worse.

When you look at the example of China, we need to understand that given the Chinese Communist Party and their, shall we say, tenuous relationship with factual reporting, it is very possible that the response to the pandemic and the manner in which it was taken in China caused more harm than what would have happened in a South Korean style response. We have direct, documented cases where they chain the doors to people’s house. They wouldn’t allow them to go home from the hospital. And they had dependents at home. Children with disabilities and things like that who literally starved to death in the absence of their caretakers.

Aristotleded24

Since I started this thread, I took a second look at the numbers, and realized that my calculations in my initial post are way off. At 8 billion people in the world, 1% of that would be 80 million. The official worldwide numbers haven't even reached half that number. That throws off the calculations in that post, and assuming that the infection spreads at a constant rate, means herd immunity is even farther away than these calculations would indicate.

Pondering

I wasn't promoting China's approach. I was pointing out that our "lockdowns" are not really lockdowns. They are slowdowns. Nor did Sweden stay open. They also limited the size of gatherings and citizens took voluntary precautions.

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