The case for herd immunity?

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Misfit Misfit's picture

People who test positive for antibodies yet never had any symptoms could simply have been false positive test results. Don't just blindly believe based on antibody testing that these people have ever had the virus.

https://www.cochrane.org/CD013652/INFECTN_what-diagnostic-accuracy-antibody-tests-detection-infection-covid-19-virus

Aristotleded24

That's quite possible. It will be interesting to see if any of these people identified as having anti-bodies end up becoming sick, and if so, how many and how serious.

kropotkin1951

The US response is obviously so much better than the Chinese or South Korean. Herd immunity is fine in a society where the view of their neighbours is the devil take the hindmost, or I'm all right Jack so fuck your elders I need a haircut.

Imagine going into a thread on herd immunity and reading gratuitous China slagging. Some things never change with Canadians who believe in exceptionalism but who think that they are progressive. Strange how none of you are calling for air strikes in the US to over throw the corrupt government. Don't we have a duty to protect those people from their government? Trump or Qaddafi who was more harmful?

Aristotleded24

Let's take a look at Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Similar populations, similar demographic composition. One province has more of its population in one place, but both have similar densities up North.

In the spring, Manitoba had very few cases. Saskatchewan had 3 different waves during this time. Now the situation isn't quite reversed to that extent, but Saskatchewan is now posting fewer daily new cases than Manitoba. Is this because Saskatchewan has a level of immunity within their population that Manitoba lacks?

Aristotleded24

The assumption behind many of the public health measures taken is that there was no immunity to covid among the population and that it started spreading among the human population when China first reported this to the WHO in late December. I believe we must re-examine this assumption. I think that this virus was moving among the human population since at least last fall before it was detected. There was a flu death in southern Manitoba last year that the survivors now want to take a second look at. That particular case happened well before any covid cases were confirmed in Canada, let alone Manitoba. Was that covid? Possibly. The World Health Organization has even asked countries to take a second look at last year's flu season. Even so, we are hearing anecdotal reports of people who got really sick with something last fall that they had a hard time shaking. Even Australia had a mild flu season. Was it the public health measures, or were cases that would have been considered flu any other year tested and marked for coronavirus?

If this contention is correct, then that means that there is more immunity to covid within the human population than what we originally believed.

Pondering

 Is this because Saskatchewan has a level of immunity within their population that Manitoba lacks?

No. We already know from other countries that it would take many years and many deaths to achieve herd immunity through letting it run rampant through populations during which time our health care system would collapse. 

You are asking Trump style questions. Would drinking bleach kill Covid-19? 

Absolutely yes. Drinking bleach does kill Covid-19, and the host with it. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

 Is this because Saskatchewan has a level of immunity within their population that Manitoba lacks?

No. We already know from other countries that it would take many years and many deaths to achieve herd immunity through letting it run rampant through populations during which time our health care system would collapse.

You mean after watching other countries and regions within these countries which were hit with a bad first wave while those countreis and regions which thought they beat covid are now experiencing second waves?

By the way, no one is advocating allowing the virus to spread rapidly through the population indiscriminately. The idea behind herd immunity is that the collective immunity of the population is enough to check the spread of the virus. Obviously allowing the virus to infect people who are more vulnerable is cruel. The practical problem with that is that anyone who dies from coronavirus cannot contribute to the overall pool of immunity within the population. People who survive covid can. So the basic idea is that if the virus moves among people who have a low risk of a bad outcome, their immunity helps keep the virus in check.

Pondering

There are no countries that think they can irradicate it permanently. We expect a second wave and maybe many waves until we can develop a vaccine. 

In Canada government and businesses are desperate to open up.  Schools are part of the test. They are hoping schools can be kept open during this wave and the rest. So far the signs are not looking great.

The path to reopening even though there isn't a vaccine is people physically distancing and wearing masks. if we are careful when in contact with other people we won't need to lockdown. 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Pondering wrote:
There are no countries that think they can irradicate it permanently. We expect a second wave and maybe many waves until we can develop a vaccine.

Wuhan has had no new cases of COVID since May. This shows that COVID can be eradicated in a relatively short time frame.

Canada's Atlantic provinces have eliminated community spread, there hasn't been any in those provinces since June.

These examples prove that COVID can be eliminated. If COVID hasn't been eliminated in a given juristiction, it's because that juristiction's government and health officials have made a deliberate decision not to take the necessary measures to eliminate it.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:
By the way, no one is advocating allowing the virus to spread rapidly through the population indiscriminately. The idea behind herd immunity is that the collective immunity of the population is enough to check the spread of the virus. Obviously allowing the virus to infect people who are more vulnerable is cruel. The practical problem with that is that anyone who dies from coronavirus cannot contribute to the overall pool of immunity within the population. People who survive covid can. So the basic idea is that if the virus moves among people who have a low risk of a bad outcome, their immunity helps keep the virus in check.

According to Jimmy Dore there was a study that showed that even people who had mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID wound up with biomarkers on their heart that are indicative of heart damage similar to that caused by heart attacks and strokes. That tells me that COVID is not something that desirable for anyone to get.

Which indicates to me that we ought to have done whatever it takes to reduce the number of COVID cases to the lowest level possible -- while ensuring that people don't starve and that emergency services continue to operate -- until COVID is elimiated.

Pondering

Wuhan locked people in their homes and buildings with guards and had drones going around telling people to go home. People needed written permission to be on the street. The Atlantic provinces sealed themselves off first from each other followed by bubbles. They still don't want anyone from Quebec. 

Are you advocating we go into a hard lockdown like Wuhan? 

I agree with travel restrictions. I don't think Canadians would tolerate a Wuhan style lockdown.

New Zealand thought they had it eradicated then they got a case they couldn't explain. 

Aristotleded24

Left Turn wrote:
Pondering wrote:
There are no countries that think they can irradicate it permanently. We expect a second wave and maybe many waves until we can develop a vaccine.

Wuhan has had no new cases of COVID since May. This shows that COVID can be eradicated in a relatively short time frame.

Canada's Atlantic provinces have eliminated community spread, there hasn't been any in those provinces since June.

These examples prove that COVID can be eliminated. If COVID hasn't been eliminated in a given juristiction, it's because that juristiction's government and health officials have made a deliberate decision not to take the necessary measures to eliminate it.

What happened in Wuhan was an extreme example. You have to essentially take everyone and lock them in their houses until the virus is gone, and I don't think that there is the stomach for that in the rest of the world.Even with the drastic measures taken in Wuhan, the virus managed to escape and spread around the world. It's true that some regions, like the Atlantic provinces, might escape the pandemic thanks to geography, leadership and luck, but as long as the pandemic rages, they are always vulnerable to the virus coming in. Everyone pretty much needs to be on board for an elimination strategy, however some countires (for example Sweden) have explicitly repudiated that approach. So say you managed to beat covid within your borders. What then? What if you have a large sector of your economy that is dependent on tourism and travel?

Left Turn wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
By the way, no one is advocating allowing the virus to spread rapidly through the population indiscriminately. The idea behind herd immunity is that the collective immunity of the population is enough to check the spread of the virus. Obviously allowing the virus to infect people who are more vulnerable is cruel. The practical problem with that is that anyone who dies from coronavirus cannot contribute to the overall pool of immunity within the population. People who survive covid can. So the basic idea is that if the virus moves among people who have a low risk of a bad outcome, their immunity helps keep the virus in check.

According to Jimmy Dore there was a study that showed that even people who had mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID wound up with biomarkers on their heart that are indicative of heart damage similar to that caused by heart attacks and strokes. That tells me that COVID is not something that desirable for anyone to get.

I'd like to read this study myself, because I have questions that might be answered by looking at it. They found biomarkers of damage to the heart and the brain. Did that co-incide with impaired function of both organs? We also know that covid spreads more easily among low-income communities of colour. People who live in poverty are generally less healthy to begin with. Did the study account for that?

Jimmy Dore has done great work exposing the corruption and hypocrisy in the Democratic Party (although his video mocking Biden's dementia was in bad taste) but he has been as eager to use fear of covid for clicks and views as anybody else.

Aristotleded24

How many people have been infected worldwide?

Quote:
The World Health Organization on Monday estimated that roughly 10% of the global population has had the coronavirus, which suggests that widely used case trackers are a vast understatement of the real scope of the pandemic.

"Our current best estimates tell us that about 10% of the global population may have been infected by this virus," Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Program, told an executive board meeting on Monday.

Based on a global population estimate of 7.6 billion, it would mean 760 million people have been infected by the virus. The widely used Johns Hopkins University tracker stands at over 35 million reported infections.

The estimate varies by country, urban or rural settings and different groups of people, according to Ryan.

"What it does mean is that the vast majority of the world remains at risk," he said. "We know the pandemic will continue to evolve, but we also know we have the tools that work to suppress transmission and save lives right now, and they are at our disposal."

The estimate aligns with previous studies of the U.S. population that suggested relatively few people have antibodies, raising doubts about the idea of herd immunity.

Interesting data. The number of total infections is vastly higher than the official numbers have captured. Let's also assume a best-case scenario case fatality rate of 1%. That would mean under 8 million deaths from covid so far, but official counts are at 1 million. It's quite possible that the number of deaths is under-counted, but is it really feasible to believe that 7 million people died from covid worldwide without being accounted for? If the WHO's estimate is close to correct, could this mean that covid is not as lethal as we have been told? Is the WHO overestimating the number of people infected?

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Everyone pretty much needs to be on board for an elimination strategy, however some countires (for example Sweden) have explicitly repudiated that approach. So say you managed to beat covid within your borders. What then? What if you have a large sector of your economy that is dependent on tourism and travel?

What if you live on a planet that needs less air travel? You seem to think that going back to the old status quo would be a good thing. humans need to transition quickly or die.  COVID is just a minor annoyance compared to the chaos that is coming in the next twenty years as the planet burns and massive storms destroy vital infrastructure around the globe. We know the people of the US have FEMA to protect them, like it did during Katrina. The poor Chinese have an evil central government looking after their health and safety.

kropotkin1951

Here is a good article on how tourism on VI is trying to adjust.

“The big question is do we want to go back to what was or do we want to adapt and change?” Everett asks. “I expect this will be a decade or more of recovery.”

Without a doubt, this is a time of reckoning and big-picture thinking. The impact of 9/11 on global travel pales in comparison to COVID-19. However, in this crisis lies an opportunity to look forward, rather than strive for a return to the status quo of cheap mass air travel, over-saturation of popular destinations, and an extractive approach to tourism.

Most people in the sector acknowledge that some businesses simply won’t survive in a world where overseas travel has been substantially restricted. And therein lies an uncomfortable truth: that such a shift, or rightsizing, could indeed be better for the planet and communities over the long term. In this way, the pause has provided a chance for consumers to reflect on how they spend discretionary dollars in a way that supports and builds local community and economy, rather than, say, hopping on a plane for a cheap 10-day sun-destination getaway.

“We need to encourage British Columbians to explore their own province, and, on Vancouver Island, we need to get people to experience the diversity here,” Everett says. “It’s super-important to support local businesses and I hope that will be a positive outcome of COVID-19.”

https://cvcollective.ca/the-suspense-wont-kill-us/

Aristotleded24

If they can find ways to adjust and move forward that is a good thing. If people dependent on those industries for their economic survival feel like they are thrown under the bus, then they will kick and scream and resist the changes. That's the basic idea behind the just transition that we've been talking about on these fourms for years.

As for climate change, that is one of the big reasons that I am speaking out against the covid restrictions in the way I have been doing. The kind of community organizing, building support, and direct action that is necessary to deal with the problem simply cannot happen under the social distancing guidelines. That's especially true of the ban on large gatherings, when only large numbers of people in the physical streets is what really scares governments. That's why Minneapolis voted to dismantle their police department and kick police officers out of schools earlier this year. Not only that, but Amazon is also using the social distancing rules to thwart union organizing drives in its plants. As for disruption, I really don't think the architects of the lockdown and social distancing policies we are under will feel nearly the same impact from climate change as the rest of us will. They had the ability to isolate from the pandemic while poor people are at risk (while breaking their own rules when they find those rules inconvenient for them) and they will have the means to bunker themselves off while the rest of the world goes down in flames. Not only that, but with the overbearing guidelines that affect everything from travel to church to school to college to the office to even how many people you're allowed to have over at your place for Thanksgiving, average people are fighting over that instead of coming together to fight climate change.

kropotkin1951

I wish that but for the COVID restrictions average people would be coming together to fight climate change. Unfortunately without the COVID restrictions the average person would be full tilt bogey on a ride to hell in a hand basket, just like they were way back in March.

Aristotleded24

Average people worldwide took to the streets in record numbers just over a year ago to demand action on climate change. What the hell are you talking about?

Aristotleded24

We can't have the conversation about herd immunity without mentioning the Great Barrington Declaration:

Quote:

Sunetra Gupta, an infectious disease epidemiologist, has been a critic of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic lockdown strategy, arguing that the cost is too high for the poorest in society. She led a group which in March released a widely criticized modelling study suggesting that half the population of the United Kingdom might already have been infected with COVID-19,[10] and in September a study which argued herd immunity thresholds might be lower than expected due to pre-existing immunity in the population.[11] She was one author of a 21 September letter to the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, recommending shielding of vulnerable groups of people rather than the lock-down method of the British government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] On 7 October The Daily Telegraph published an opinion piece by Gupta entitled: "Life can go back to normal if we make it our common goal to achieve herd immunity".[6] Of the declaration's signatories, Gupta said: "we're saying, let's just do this for the three months that it takes for the pathogen to sweep through the population", arguing the situation would be only temporary.[4]

Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine whose research focuses on the economics of health care, co-wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal entitled "Is the Coronavirus as Deadly as They Say?", which claimed there was little evidence to support shelter-in-place orders and quarantines of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,[13] and was a lead author of a serology study released in April which suggested that as many as 80,000 residents of Santa Clara County, California might already have been infected.[14] The study and conduct of the research drew wide criticism.[15][16]

Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine and biostatistician, has defended Sweden's response to the pandemic[17] and along with Bhattacharya wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial arguing against testing the young and healthy for SARS-CoV-2.[18] Kulldorf told the National Post that people under 50 years old "should live their normal lives unless they have some known risk factor" while "anybody above 60, whether teacher or bus driver or janitor I think should not be working – if those in their 60s can’t work from home they should be able to take a sabbatical (supported by social security) for three, four or whatever months it takes before there is immunity in the community that will protect everybody".[4] He did not explain what people between these ages should do.[4] While Gupta has said in a promotional video that less vulnerable people should be allowed "to get out there and get infected and build up herd immunity", Kulldorff cautioned against deliberately seeking out infection; he said that "everybody should wash their hands and stay home when sick".[4] Kulldorf disagreed with criticism the plan would lead to more deaths, calling it "nonsense".[4] He said "fewer older people – not zero, but fewer old people – would be infected. But you’ll have more young people infected, and that's going to reduce the mortality."[4]

In the interests of fair play, this declaration also has its detractors:

Quote:

Writing for Science-Based Medicine, David Gorski said that the declaration was a form of astroturfing similar to that which had previously been used for AIDS denial and creationism advocacy, but this time being deployed for COVID-19 denial, and amounted in practice to an argument for eugenics. Gorski speculated whether the scientists fronting the declaration were simply being useful idiots for AIER or whether they were actively being "motivated more by ideology than science", but said that the practical effect was that the declaration provided a narrative of scientific division useful for political purposes.[27] The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), at whose meeting the declaration was launched, has been described as a libertarian thinktank that has received funding from the Koch Foundation and has previously supported climate change denial.[8][7]

Concerns about the declaration have been issued on behalf of the British Academy of Medical Sciences by its president, Robert Lechler.[28] Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, compared the declaration to "the messaging used to undermine public health policies on harmful substances, such as tobacco".[23] The British Prime Minister's Official Spokesperson said that while at 10 Downing Street "we have considered the full range of scientific opinion throughout the course of this pandemic and we will continue to do so", it was "not possible to rely on an unproven assumption that it is possible for people who are at lower risk, should they contract the virus, to avoid subsequently transmitting it to those who are at a higher risk and would face a higher risks of ending up in hospital, or worse in an intensive care unit."[29] The spokesman reiterated that the Chief Medical Adviser to the British Government and Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, had stressed that the effects on the rest of the healthcare system were already considered in the formulation of public health advice.[29]

David Naylor, co-chair of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Immunity Task Force told the National Post: "obviously, the Great Barrington fix will excite the minimizers who pretend COVID-19 is not much worse than the flu and enliven the libertarians who object to public health measures on principle … So be it: they've been offside all along".[4] Naylor also pointed out that a study published in August in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine examined Sweden's "no-lockdown" policy's effect on herd immunity among the Swedish population, finding it did not improve herd immunity despite higher rates of hospitalization and death than in neighbouring countries.[4][30] According to Naylor, the policy advocated by signatories of the declaration would never be the "controlled demographic burn that some zealots imagine", and because of exponential growth of infections would lead to a situation where "with masses of people sick in their 40s and 50s hospitals will be over-run and deaths will skyrocket as they did in Italy and New York".[4] With the prospect of a vaccine available within months, Naylor questioned the logic of the Great Barrington strategy, asking: "why on earth should we rush to embrace a reckless prescription for a demographically-selective national 'chickenpox party' involving a dangerous pathogen".[4]

Aristotleded24

Is herd immunity really that crazy?

Quote:

Somehow, herd immunity has become a toxic phrase, which is strange, since it is a scientifically proven phenomenon just like gravity. Except for the occasional skier, people do not argue for or against gravity. Whatever strategy we use for COVID-19, we will eventually reach herd immunity, either with a vaccine, through natural infections, or a combination of the two.

So, the question is not whether we get to herd immunity or not. The issue is how to get there with the minimum number of casualties. We do not know what percent immunity to the coronavirus is needed to achieve herd immunity*, but we do know that if there are many older people in the group that is infected, there will be many deaths. On the other hand, if mostly young people are infected, there will be very few deaths.

I think the visceral reaction is against the notion that societies should do nothing and just let the virus spread unchecked throughout the whole population, thereby achieving herd immunity quickly, and killing a lot of older and vulnerable people along the way. The mere mention of “herd immunity” seems to conjure up this reckless, let-her-rip approach in people’s imaginations.

But herd immunity is something that simply happens with infectious diseases — when enough people have been infected (or vaccinated) and become immune, the pathogen is sufficiently blocked by the immune people that it can no longer spread in the population (although it doesn’t necessarily go extinct, due to newly susceptible people entering the population and importations of the pathogen from other human populations).

Herd immunity can be achieved by natural infection, effective vaccination, or a combination of the two. And the process of getting to herd immunity can be managed in such a way that the more vulnerable people are protected from infection while others help the population reach herd immunity, thereby minimizing the number of deaths.

Further, if many of us incorporate fairly sustainable measures like frequent handwashing into our daily lives, the proportion infected needed for herd immunity will be less than otherwise. Laissez-faire is certainly not the only way and certainly not the responsible way to get there.

*I posted a video by Kim Iversen where she discussed a report suggesting the herd immunity threshold could be as low as 20%.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Not a virologist but I think this latest article from The Lancet seems to make the concept of immunity to the COVID-19 virus post exposure and recovery quetionable:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30783-0/fulltext

Aristotleded24

If re-infection can happen with different strains, then how do the authors expect that a single vaccine will be effective against all of them? More importantly, if what this article says is true, then what is our exit strategy from this mess? There are lots of practicum programs that otherwise would be happening in this province that are on hold because of the pandemic restrictions. What if it takes years for a vaccine to happen? Should all these practicums wait until then? Finally, if the herd immunity theory is not reliable, then what other explanation is there for the fact that every European country that tried to suppress the virus is experiencing a second wave, while the rise in case count in Sweden, which didn't do the supression strategy, isn't seeing nearly the same rise in case count as the rest of the continent? How do you explain the fact that Saskatchewan had very high numbers compared to Manitoba, and yet today Manitoba soared past the 100 new case count while Saskatchewan's increase in case count now isn't nearly as high as Manitoba's?

Of course the idea of herd immunity should be scrutinized. That's why there is a question mark in the title of this thread rather than stating "herd immunity is the way to go." Unfortunately, I've seen many people who criticize that concept don't seem to be willing to question their own views. Furtheromre, the level of scrutiny, criticism, bullying, and character assasination that I've seen of scientists who advocate herd immunity never seems to be applied to the scientists who advocate supression. It was the models devised by Neil Ferguson of the Imperial College that formed the basis of the lockdown in the UK, and presumably influenced responses in other countries, including Canada. Not only does he have a history of making projections that are vastly overblown, but he himself had his girlfriend over at his place in violation of the lockdown policies he had a hand in influencing. So either deep down he doesn't believe the lockdowns were necessary, or he feels that the rules that govern the behaviour of regular people shouldn't apply to him. Not someone I want making public policy either way.

It looks like the window to suppress this virus closed a long time ago. Now we have to learn to live with it. The way we are currently living our lives is not sustainable, especially for businesses who fear they might be closed at a monent's notice because of tighter restrictions. So say the herd immunity thing won't work. What other viable solution is there to get us out of this mess that doesn't involve waiting for a potentially unsafe vaccine that may never come?

Bacchus

Total lockdown ala Wuhan style for North America

 

Aristotleded24

Edward Snowden said one of the drawbacks of that decision was that disabled children starved to death in their homes because their parents couldn't make it inside to feed them. Is that a price you are willing to pay? What plan do you have for business owners who would have to close during this time? People kill themselves over their businesses failing, do you have a mental health strategy in place for that? Do you have a clear timeline for how long you want this lockdown to last?

Besides, the lockdown raised many human rights concerns, and even if it was a viable strategy, I don't think that other countries would go for it. Sweden has clearly balked at the lockdown strategy, choosing instead to live with the virus. Right there is a viral reservoir waiting to infect the rest of the world no matter what.

As NDPP has pointed out, China has done extensive testing on their citizens, which probably explains its low case numbers, maybe even more so than the lockdown. That's also probably why large numbers of people gathered there for a festival while the rest of us have to passively wait for a vaccine to have large events. More freedom of movement in China than what we have here. That should embarass Western leaders who for decades have told us that China is an evil dictatorship while we live in a free country.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

The Great Barrington declaration, hyped by A24 upthread, is right wing propaganda pure and simple with no redeeming scientific value. Oncologist and science blogger David Gorski explains why in this post. The Great Barrington Declaration: COVID-19 deniers follow the path laid down by creationists, HIV/AIDS denialists, and climate science deniers

Pondering

Of the declaration's signatories, Gupta said: "we're saying, let's just do this for the three months that it takes for the pathogen to sweep through the population", arguing the situation would be only temporary.[4]

Yeah, to hell with the shortages of PPEs and health care workers. Forget that they die in higher percentages. They signed up to be martyrs. Forget that the economically deprived die in greater numbers. Pay no attention to that fact that many people do not have ethe option of isolating granny because granny is looking after the kids while mommy goes to work at a hospital laundry. We can use refrigerated trucks to store corpses while we catch up.

Sounds like a great way to find out if people become immune by catching it once and for how long they remain immune. 

While we throw caution to the winds for the middle class and below, the upper classes and the wealthy will remain in protected communities where they will also keep their servants. 

 

Aristotleded24

Michael Moriarity wrote:
The Great Barrington declaration, hyped by A24 upthread, is right wing propaganda pure and simple with no redeeming scientific value. Oncologist and science blogger David Gorski explains why in this post. The Great Barrington Declaration: COVID-19 deniers follow the path laid down by creationists, HIV/AIDS denialists, and climate science deniers

Please explain to me how simply posting the declaration along with a brief snippet outlining the arguments of its detractors is hyping a document. The flaw that I see in the arguments of people who want to supress the virus is they seem to be treating it as the only threat to human health that needs to be dealt with, and aren't even considering the negative impacts of the shutdown on local populations, or how by some estimates hundreds of millions of people are going to starve worldwide as a result of the lockdowns. Furthermore, this dogmatic insistence on "following the science" reminds me of how fundamentalist Christians dogmatically insist that their beliefs are true. I think one of the reasons that many in the viral supression camp are responding the way they are is because they don't have a viable exit strategy from the pandemic.

As for it being "right wing?" If the left-wing position is that viral supression is necessary, then I disagree with that position, and if you want to call me a right-winger for that, have at it. It's true that some of the big economic players involved have backed right-wing causes, (it's particularly ironic that for decades they have lobbied against the kind of public health-care system that would have provided care for sick people in the US and kept their numbers under control) but many of these right-wing think tanks also criticized foreign US military adventures and argued for the legalization of drugs. The Christian Coalition also took out a joint ad with Moveon.org in 2006 to support Net Neutrality. Is opposition to imperialism, legalized drugs, and Net Neutrality suddenly anathema because people we consider our ideological enemies have signed onto it? Are labour unions all of a sudden bad if a former Heritage Foundation flunkie supports them?

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
Yeah, to hell with the shortages of PPEs and health care workers.

How does it logically follow? How is opening things up a little more contrary to lobbying for more PPE?

Pondering wrote:
Forget that the economically deprived die in greater numbers.

Coronavirus isn't the only thing that kills people. Under times of stress, people turn to unhealthy coping habits including smoking, drinking, and bad eating. This causes or exaccerbates chronic diseases that end up being fatal. Businesses go under, and people kill themselves over that. Post-secondary practicums for programs here in Manitoba are on hold, without any indication of when they might come back. Next spring? A year from now? 2 years from now? These restrictions on practicums could very easily scuttle young people's careers, chances to get married, have children, do their thing, and have control over their lives, and people kill themselves over that too. The incomes of people insisting on these measures are not threatened by the shut-down, and that is real pain they are ignoring as they demand society shut down because the feel scared. It's no different than many people on the right demanding more police presence and harsh prison sentences to feel safe, and anyone who doesn't agree is heartless who doesn't care about the victims of violent crime.

Pondering wrote:
Pay no attention to that fact that many people do not have ethe option of isolating granny because granny is looking after the kids while mommy goes to work at a hospital laundry.

First of all, that work has already been going on througout the pandemic, and I'm sure that families in that situation have already talked about that and how to keep each other safe. Second of all, that could be an argument for children do go to school so granny doesn't have to take care of them. Third of all, most of the grannies who are getting sick and dying from covid are doing so in elder care homes. In south Asia, for example, families tend to live across generations under one roof. That includes granny. They also have done very well against the pandemic, in many cases without strict lockdown measures, so perhaps we can learn from them on how to truly keep granny safe.

Pondering wrote:
We can use refrigerated trucks to store corpses while we catch up.

A baseless fearmongering technique which is not in any way backed up by data or facts at all. Check the worldometers page. Throughout much of Europe and even in Canada, the death curve for covid is not nearly as high now as it was in the spring, even though many places are experiencing a surge in covid that is far higher than what happened in the spring.

Pondering wrote:
While we throw caution to the winds for the middle class and below, the upper classes and the wealthy will remain in protected communities where they will also keep their servants.

The current restrictions have done more to protect the middle class than the delivery drivers, Amazon workers, and meat packing plant workers who are working overtime to cater to their demands and increase in online shopping patterns. It's not an either-or thing. We need to understand that covid is a health risk, and manage that alongside everything else we have to deal with. But people are getting anxious. We were told it would only be 3 weeks in April to flatten the curve. Well, the hospitals are far less busy with covid patients now than they were in the spring, and there still is no plan. People want to know when this is going to be over. You can see that pent-up anxiety in the recent lockdown protests in Germany, New Zealand, and Australia. As flawed as the Barrington Declaration is, it does offer a way out of the pandemic. None of its critics have offered a viable way forward, and their views are not subject to the same scrutiny and questioning that those behind the Delcaration are. The fear is that eventually people are just going to say, "I want this thing to be over and I'm willing to risk the covid consequences," which will put pressure on politicians and bring about the scenario that nobody wants to see, which is a rise in covid deaths that was preventable.

Bacchus

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Edward Snowden said one of the drawbacks of that decision was that disabled children starved to death in their homes because their parents couldn't make it inside to feed them. Is that a price you are willing to pay? What plan do you have for business owners who would have to close during this time? People kill themselves over their businesses failing, do you have a mental health strategy in place for that? Do you have a clear timeline for how long you want this lockdown to last?

Besides, the lockdown raised many human rights concerns, and even if it was a viable strategy, I don't think that other countries would go for it. Sweden has clearly balked at the lockdown strategy, choosing instead to live with the virus. Right there is a viral reservoir waiting to infect the rest of the world no matter what.

As NDPP has pointed out, China has done extensive testing on their citizens, which probably explains its low case numbers, maybe even more so than the lockdown. That's also probably why large numbers of people gathered there for a festival while the rest of us have to passively wait for a vaccine to have large events. More freedom of movement in China than what we have here. That should embarass Western leaders who for decades have told us that China is an evil dictatorship while we live in a free country.

 

Didn't say I was for it, just that it was effective

NDPP

Trump's 'Herd Immunity' Policy and Right-Wing Terror

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/10/14/pers-o14.html

"On Tuesday, Newsweek reported that two Trump administration officials said the White House supports the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement advocating the mass infection of the population with COVID-19 through a policy of 'herd immunity.' The implementation of this policy would mean death on a massive scale..."

Aristotleded24

Bacchus wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Edward Snowden said one of the drawbacks of that decision was that disabled children starved to death in their homes because their parents couldn't make it inside to feed them. Is that a price you are willing to pay? What plan do you have for business owners who would have to close during this time? People kill themselves over their businesses failing, do you have a mental health strategy in place for that? Do you have a clear timeline for how long you want this lockdown to last?

Besides, the lockdown raised many human rights concerns, and even if it was a viable strategy, I don't think that other countries would go for it. Sweden has clearly balked at the lockdown strategy, choosing instead to live with the virus. Right there is a viral reservoir waiting to infect the rest of the world no matter what.

As NDPP has pointed out, China has done extensive testing on their citizens, which probably explains its low case numbers, maybe even more so than the lockdown. That's also probably why large numbers of people gathered there for a festival while the rest of us have to passively wait for a vaccine to have large events. More freedom of movement in China than what we have here. That should embarass Western leaders who for decades have told us that China is an evil dictatorship while we live in a free country.

 

Didn't say I was for it, just that it was effective

Fair enough. I think this gets to the heart of the problem is that we seem to think if we just do this one thing (whatever that one thing is) then life can return to normal. Whether you take the Wuhan approach of supressing the virus entirely, or the Trump approach of having everything open with no restrictions, or anything in between, there is going to be damage done regardless of the course of action taken. I think the intent behind those who started the Declaration, flawed as it may be, is to have this conversation in a holistic context taking into account all aspects of public health and then finding a way forward that minimizes damage across the board, both from coronavirus and any restrictions designed to stop the spread.

Aristotleded24

I just read the piece posted by Michael. What a trash piece. It does go into the areas like AIDS denial, evolution, and climate change denial. Of course those positions are all wrong, and should be called out. But we also have decades of data on each of those topics, data based on actual observation and measurement. Covid has been with us for less than a year. How can that be held to the same standard? We are still learning about covid. Even if the majority of sicentists are opposed to the Declaration, so what? A majority of experts in the 1950s and 1960s would have said that the institutionalization of mentally ill people was required for their own good as well as that of the rest of society. We look back on that position with horror now. He also pays lip service to the idea that lockdowns and restrictions cause other problems, but does not propose his own solutions. He mentions testing and tracing, but that isn't reliable in all circumstances. Some scientists who question that we can reach herd immunity naturally are saying that it can't happen without a vaccine. Except our immune system has evolved for millions of years alongside many pathogents, and often does a good job handling them. Yet in spite of this, we still get colds more than once. We have to have the flu shot each year because the flu changes constantly. If the natural immune response, which is well-evolved, is insufficient to prevent future infection, how do we expect to be able to make a vaccine to do the job? Finally, he makes a charge that Guptra is "politically naieve" or "useful idiots." He has his opinion, but who does he think he is to level such charges and insults towards those who disagree with him? Who appointed him the arbiter of what was true and what wasn't? Why isn't Neil Ferguson, whose projections influenced the response of governments around the world, not being scrutinized nearly as much even though he has been wildly wrong on this topic in the past?

Pondering

We have decades and more experience with viruses so we understand the general parameters of transmission so we know where to look for variances. Covid-19 was never a complete mystery. We know for sure that viruses can be unpredictable. Having a virus once does not mean a person is immune. We know, for example, that while it does aerosolize it isn't the the same extent as measles. We know that symptomless people can be carriers and we know what that leads to with other contagions. We know that people with certain conditions or older are more likely to die or have serious complications but that young healthy people can be struck down or be left with dibilitating symptoms indefinitely. 

We know what health care resources we have and what the strengths and weaknesses are. 

We get it. There are pros and cons to lockdowns, semi-lockdowns and no lockdowns. We understand how much damage lockdowns are doing economically and for the mental health of vast numbers of people

You do not seem to understand that the main goal of the government is to prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed by many people getting it all at once. If that happens we know that the system will break down because we don't have the capacity. We are trying to keep a balance in which people with other illnesses like cancer can be treated and surgeries can go forward.

Even if your experts are right and the fastest way to get through this is just to open up to reach herd immunity faster we can't do it because we don't have sufficient medical personnel. We do not have enough beds, doctors, nurses and orderlies to cope with that approach.

So, Canada is not trying to stop it dead. Canada is accepting we will continue to have new cases every day and often in large numbers and that people will die because we are not locking down like Wuhan and other places did. We are just trying to keep the rate of infection low enough to keep our ICUs and operating rooms available for other patients.

 The decisions the government is making on opening up or shutting down are entirely dependent on hospital capacity in the region concerned. If there is no threat to hospital capacity the government opens up more. When they see the numbers going up they know at which point the percentage of people who will have to be hospitalized will threaten hospital capacity a few weeks down the road. They know those numbers because Canada has had 9 months of experience tracking the spread right here in Canada. 

How we manage Covid and deciding how much to open up is 100% dependent on the capacity of the health care system. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
You do not seem to understand that the main goal of the government is to prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed by many people getting it all at once.

If it's that simple, then it's time to declare mission accomplished. Take a look at the rate of hospitalizations in Ontario. They are nowhere near what they were in the spring, even though the province is currently grappling with a second wave. While hospitalizations are trending upwards in BC this week and that is of concern, it still is not as high as it was in the spring time, and that is with BC adding more new cases now than it was in the spring time. Furthermore, the most number of active cases right now are people in the 20-40 year age range, which is the exact demographic that is least likely to need hospital intervention. There are certain regions where increasing case counts are a concern, for example communities among the St. Lawrence River, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver, and we should make it a priority to get tests and staff up to accomodate increasing case load. But it is manageable if adequate resources are dedicated, and we are nowhere near the apocalyptic doomsday scenarios that were described in the spring time. It's true that we don't have a lockdown and things are opening up, but there are still other restrictions that should be lifted (for example, workplaces that aren't currently accepting students for practicum should start doing so, and maybe having practicums will help alleviate the staffing shortage in the medical profession that people are so concerned about). "Live with the virus" is the new mantra. Unfortunately what I see to me resembles more a hide-under-the-bed-until-it-goes away approach.

Pondering

The mission is being accomplished. When cases go up so do restrictions and when cases go down so do restriction. Focusing on hot spots is working in terms of the goal of not overloading hospitals.

It makes no sense to stop doing what is working.  This is how it will and should be until we reach herd immunity either through vaccination or having had Covid assuming that does make people immune. 

Until then restrictions will go up and down by region depending on that particular region's hospital capacity and infection rate. 

I am hoping we will be over it by 2022 but it might not be.  The answer will still not be overwhelming hospitals and letting "the weak" die off. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
When cases go up so do restrictions and when cases go down so do restriction. Focusing on hot spots is working in terms of the goal of not overloading hospitals.

And that makes it very hard to do business in that climate, not to mention the fear that that inspires is not good for mental and physical health.

Pondering wrote:
I am hoping we will be over it by 2022 but it might not be.  The answer will still not be overwhelming hospitals and letting "the weak" die off.

Your insistence in using the "overwhelmed hosptials" talking point flies in the face of the facts. All throughout Europe, even as the new case count has risen, the death count has remained flat. Even Italy, which has an elderly population, was actively turning people away from the hospital due to scarce resources, and is undergoing a massive second wave, is only seeing a fraction of the number of people needing ICU care that they needed in the spring time. Furthermore, as of right now, the bulk of the cases are in the 20-40 age range, not exactly the weakest of the bunch.

2022 is your estimated time line? There are many workplaces here in Manitoba that are not accepting practicum students at the moment. That is hampering the ability to finish education. These restrictions on practicums should absolutely be lifted, and there is no valid reason to block access to practicum students until 2022 or beyond. Keep in mind, the delay in practicums has a very real chance to rob young people of the very same life opportunities to establish careers, get married, have children, and pursue other interests that the elders we want to protect have already enjoyed. Let's find a strategy that protects our elders while allowing their grandchildren and great-grand children the same chances at life they had.

Pondering

Canada is not in lockdown. Atlantic Canada is fully open.  Many regions don't have any restrictions. Even in hotspots schools are staying open. If we see that hospitals are managing and not getting the expected uptick in patients the government will loosen up farther. 

There are strict rules right across Europe so no, the hospitals are not being overwhelmed. That is the whole point of having restrictions.

The death rate is going down because we know more about how to treat this particular virus that doesn't mean it is benign enough to lift all restrictions. 

You constantly bring up issues like the practicum in Manitoba that that are competely immaterial. Everyone accepts that there are many people suffering in many ways because of the lockdown. You have made that point amply. We get it. There are trade-offs. You could litterally cite thousands of examples of people being harmed by the lockdown. 

Yes, I keep bringing up the hospital situation because it is the reason for the lockdown. 

Everywhere that hospitals are not overwhelmed either don't have covid spreading in significant numbers. Everywhere covid is spreading there are lockdown which explain why hospitals are not overwhelmed. 

This is the reality. We know how many doctors, nurses and beds that are available. We know the patterns of transmission. We know that the numbers going up precede the deaths by a month or more. We can project what will happen to hospitals if we don't act. 

We don't wait until the hospitals are overwhelmed to prove the math because we don't need to. The math is really easy. In fact it's arithmatic not math. No Xs and Ys. 

If the virus is getting less deadly then the hospitals won't get the numbers expected. Then we will have new numbers that will change the arithmetic. 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
There are strict rules right across Europe so no, the hospitals are not being overwhelmed. That is the whole point of having restrictions.

In many cases, lockdowns and increased restrictions came about as the infection curve began to fall on its own.

Pondering wrote:
You constantly bring up issues like the practicum in Manitoba that that are competely immaterial. Everyone accepts that there are many people suffering in many ways because of the lockdown. You have made that point amply. We get it. There are trade-offs. You could litterally cite thousands of examples of people being harmed by the lockdown.

This here is a perfect example of the lack of empathy that I am hearing from those who argue that current restrictions are either necessary or should be stricter. It sure as hell is anything but immaterial to those people whose practicums are disrupted. It's quite galling that people arguing for these restrictions demand that society bend over backwards to accomodate vulnerable people, and yet you try and point out the costs of restrictions, and the response is, "well, to bad so sad for you, deal with it and suck it up." Many of the young people partying aren't in regular close contact with vulnerable people. Should they have the right to say, "the risks of covid are immaterial to me, let me do my thing, go out, and party?"

Pondering wrote:
Yes, I keep bringing up the hospital situation because it is the reason for the lockdown.

No, that is not the reason for lockdown. The reason for lockdown is that last year working class people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to demand economic justice for the working class and action on climate change. The covid pandemic, with scaremongering tactics about hospitals that will overflow and turn people away unless everybody stays home, were just the excuse that was used. Except in a few very specific circumstances where specific places had their own problem, that was never even a remote possibility. The projections that governments used to base their policies on were wildly exaggerated.

NDPP

[quote=Aristotleded24]

No, that is not the reason for lockdown. The reason for lockdown is that last year working class people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to demand economic justice for the working class and action on climate change. The covid pandemic, with scaremongering tactics about hospitals that will overflow and turn people away unless everybody stays home, were just the excuse that was used. Except in a few very specific circumstances where specific places had their own problem, that was never even a remote possibility. The projections that governments used to base their policies on were wildly exaggerated.

[quote=NDPP]

"A new daily increase in COVID-19 patients admitted into critical care this week is a spike not seen in Ontario since June, according to new data obtained by CBC News. That rise follows weeks of publicly reported provincial numbers showing a growing number of Ontarians are hospitalized with the viral disease - prompting alarm among clinicians at several already-overflowing hospital sites about another influx of patients. 'My hospital's in surge today. There are more patients who need beds than there are beds available,' said Dr Michael Warner, Medical Director of Critical Care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto..."

Ontario Experiencing Spike in New COVID-19 ICU Admissions not seen since June, Data Shows

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-experiencing-spike-in-new...

Pondering

Aristotleded24] The reason for lockdown is that last year working class people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to demand economic justice for the working class and action on climate change.  </p> <p>Where was that? Certainly not in Canada. Shutting down over Covid to prevent the working class from demanding justice would be totally ineffective because eventually restrictions would have to be lifted. Things were certainly not at the point of shutting down the economy to avoid a revolt.  Demonstrations have continued under covid. </p> <p>As long as you think the above there is no point in discussion because you are a conspiracy theorist no different than a climate change denialist. You simply refuse to acknowledge the facts on the ground. </p> <p>[quote=Aristotleded24 wrote:
It sure as hell is anything but immaterial to those people whose practicums are disrupted. It's quite galling that people arguing for these restrictions demand that society bend over backwards to accomodate vulnerable people, and yet you try and point out the costs of restrictions, and the response is, "well, to bad so sad for you, deal with it and suck it up."  

No we should try to help them as best we can but letting a deadly virus run wild is not an option. You don't believe that it is a deadly virus and continue to try to convince us of that but the facts are not on your side. This is what is going on in Europe, not an unexplained decline. 

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-on-the-brink-of-disaster-e...

France imposed curfews while other European nations are closing schools, cancelling surgeries and enlisting student medics as overwhelmed authorities face the nightmare scenario of a COVID-19 resurgence at the onset of winter.

With new cases hitting about 100,000 daily, Europe has by a wide margin overtaken the United States, where more than 51,000 COVID-19 infections are reported on average every day.

It is not a hoax. Here in Montreal nurses are refusing to do forced overtime this weekend because they are burned out and the situation is getting worse because many are quitting causing the hospital to be more short staffed. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 Should they have the right to say, "the risks of covid are immaterial to me, let me do my thing, go out, and party?" 

No because if they catch it they can spread it even if they don't have symptoms and don't personally visit old people. They can pass it to a friend or worker who serves them or a person on public transit. Those people then spread it farther. Not one health care worker, or anyone for that matter, should be put at risk because people want to party. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:
 ​The covid pandemic, with scaremongering tactics about hospitals that will overflow and turn people away unless everybody stays home, were just the excuse that was used.

Medical professionals are not nefariously working with politicians throughout the 7 continents to frighten people into submission. Nurses are not lying about being exhausted from the first wave and unwilling to work through another. 

Orderlies and nurses are dying at 10 times the rate of the general population. 

Aristotleded24 wrote:
The projections that governments used to base their policies on were wildly exaggerated. 

It doesn't matter. We have what doctors and nurses are telling us about conditions. We have numbers telling us where it is going up and down throughout the entire world. We are going by facts on the ground not what politicians are telling us. 

The governments are very much at fault for letting this get out of hand and for continuing to be so inept and for resisting basic income which would help so many desperate people and for failing to prepare for homeless people for the winter. For not producing enough PPEs and still being short of testing supplies and labs. I am disgusted that the government is not taking this opportunity to do a New Green Deal. It is ridiculous that they didn't do a better job reopening schools. It was stupid not to put check points on the bridges to Montreal when it was first identified here. Not blocks, just checkpoints to ensure there is a valid reason to be leaving the island. It wouldn't have had to be for long. We could have been part of the Atlantic bubble.

I can think of countless failures by government that have made the situation much worse than it needed to be. I do not have faith that they have learned much. Still not a reason to let a deadly virus run wild. 

Aristotleded24

NDPP]</p> <p>[quote=Aristotleded24]</p> <p>No, that is not the reason for lockdown. The reason for lockdown is that last year working class people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to demand economic justice for the working class and action on climate change. The covid pandemic, with scaremongering tactics about hospitals that will overflow and turn people away unless everybody stays home, were just the excuse that was used. Except in a few very specific circumstances where specific places had their own problem, that was never even a remote possibility. The projections that governments used to base their policies on were wildly exaggerated.</p> <p>[quote=NDPP wrote:

"A new daily increase in COVID-19 patients admitted into critical care this week is a spike not seen in Ontario since June, according to new data obtained by CBC News. That rise follows weeks of publicly reported provincial numbers showing a growing number of Ontarians are hospitalized with the viral disease - prompting alarm among clinicians at several already-overflowing hospital sites about another influx of patients. 'My hospital's in surge today. There are more patients who need beds than there are beds available,' said Dr Michael Warner, Medical Director of Critical Care at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto..."

Ontario Experiencing Spike in New COVID-19 ICU Admissions not seen since June, Data Shows

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-experiencing-spike-in-new...

Do you have any Toronto-specific data? The webpage for the Ontario government shows much higher hospitalization and ICU cases in the spring than we are dealing with now, so somehow the system was able to accomodate more people. Granted, the data is province-wide, but with Toronto as a major urban centre and a major covid hotspot, I imagine that most of the data would represent what happened in Toronto. I'm not saying I don't believe this individual doctor, but I want to know more of what is going on because the data I have seen so far do not suggest a system on the brink.

Aristotleded24

Pondering]</p> <p>[quote=Aristotleded24 wrote:
 The reason for lockdown is that last year working class people took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to demand economic justice for the working class and action on climate change.  

Where was that? Certainly not in Canada.

Many places in Europe that are shutting down right now had a great deal of social unrest. Furthermore, First Nations people in Canada rose up and protested with rail blockades last year and into the winter.

Pondering wrote:
Shutting down over Covid to prevent the working class from demanding justice would be totally ineffective because eventually restrictions would have to be lifted.

Except that the can of lifting restrictions keeps being kicked further down the road. First it was 3 weeks to flatten the curve. Now Manitoba is under a colour-coded system where currently restrictions prevent the kind of demonstrations that happened last year. It's a very effective psychological and manipulative tactic to hold out hope that things will return to normal, only to yank that hope away. If you had told everybody in mid-March that we would be living like this at this point this year, pandemic or no people would not have accepted it. Even if their intentions are to shut things down, they are not stupid enough to come flat out and say it.

Pondering wrote:
Demonstrations have continued under covid.

Not nearly to the same extent as they have before. When was the last climate strike march anywhere in Canada?

Pondering wrote:
As long as you think the above there is no point in discussion because you are a conspiracy theorist no different than a climate change denialist. You simply refuse to acknowledge the facts on the ground.

If calling me a conspiracy theorist makes you feel better that certainly is your right in a free country. I don't know what that has to do with climate change.

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
It sure as hell is anything but immaterial to those people whose practicums are disrupted. It's quite galling that people arguing for these restrictions demand that society bend over backwards to accomodate vulnerable people, and yet you try and point out the costs of restrictions, and the response is, "well, to bad so sad for you, deal with it and suck it up."  

No we should try to help them as best we can but letting a deadly virus run wild is not an option.

So do you have any concrete, practical ideas to "help as best we can" that don't involve potentially waiting for years for this thing to burn out?

Pondering wrote:
You don't believe that it is a deadly virus and continue to try to convince us of that but the facts are not on your side.

What facts am I missing? Estimated odds of surviving the virus are anywhere between 95-99%. We have a global population of nearly 8 billion people, and the number of people infected has not reached 1% of that. Thousands of new cases in countries of millions of people is a fraction of the population.

Pondering wrote:
Here in Montreal nurses are refusing to do forced overtime this weekend because they are burned out and the situation is getting worse because many are quitting causing the hospital to be more short staffed.

We have also had problems with forced overtime for nurses here in Manitoba. The solution is for governments to act on that and fix it.

Pondering wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
 ​The covid pandemic, with scaremongering tactics about hospitals that will overflow and turn people away unless everybody stays home, were just the excuse that was used.

Medical professionals are not nefariously working with politicians throughout the 7 continents to frighten people into submission. Nurses are not lying about being exhausted from the first wave and unwilling to work through another. 

Orderlies and nurses are dying at 10 times the rate of the general population.

And the same governments that underfunded our health care systems in the first place are using these medical professionals as pawns to beat people over the head and scare them into submission, and a compliant media establishment echos that instead of seriously holding them to account for their failures. It's a very effective manipulative technique that the politicians use, as evidenced by the reactions when people talk about this. Once you take the time to understand emotional manipulation, gaslighting, psychological warfare, and emotional blackmail, even someone with a basic understanding of how that works can see right through these politicians.

Certainly the input of professionals on the ground is vaulable and should be taken into account, but simply holding up individual anecdotes does not constitute an argument. For example, I'm sure many people in Winnipeg have been robbed, mugged or beaten at random while downtown. I could highlight their stories, and that would create an impression among the public that this is likely to happen to anyone who goes downtown, when the truth is that it isn't. It reminds me of how the media in Winnipeg is able to find people who were crippled from West Nile virus (a virus that maybe infects 10 people per year in Manitoba, with a population of 1.3 million) and then all of a sudden people are scared and insisting on spraying toxic chemicals throughout the environment to deal with this practically negligible threat to health.

Aristotleded24

Back to the Barrington Declaraion, here is an interview with 3 of the signatories that anyone can watch and judge for themselves if they are interested.

NDPP

Re 'The Barrington Declaration'

The John Snow Memorandum (The Lancet)

https://www.johnsnowmemo.com

"Once again we face rapidly accelerating increases in COVID-19 cases across much of Europe, the USA and many other countries across the world. It is critical to act decisively and urgently. Effective measures that suppress and control transmission need to be implemented widely, and they must be supported by financial and social programmes that encourage community responses and address the inequities that have been amplified by the pandemic.

Continuing restrictions will probably be required in the short term to reduce transmission and fix ineffective pandemic response systems, in order to prevent future lockdowns. The purpose of these restrictions is to effectively suppress SARS-CoV-2 infections to low levels that allow rapid detection of localised outbreaks and rapid response through efficient and comprehensive find, test, trace, isolate and support systems so life can return to near-normal without the need for generalised restrictions. Protecting our economiess is inextricably tied to controlling COVID-19. We must protect our workforce and avoid long-term uncertainty.

[China,] Japan, Vietnam and New Zealand to name a few countries, have shown that robust public health responses can control transmissions, allowing life to return to near-normal, and there are many such success stories. The evidence is very clear containing community spread of COVID-19 is the best way to protect our societies and economies until safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics arrive in the coming months. We cannot afford distractions that undermine an effective response; it is essential that we act urgently based on the evidence."

Pondering

This was the last massive demonstration: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49856860

And it motivated Trudeau to double down on balancing the economy with the environment.  Long term these demonstrations do have an impact in elevating the issue in the public mind but there is no immediate effect. If a response is needed they ban straws to prove how concerned they are about the environment. The powers that be are not concerned enough by mass demonstrations to shut the economy down. Do you imagine that the Liberals are doing this with the support of the Conservatives and the NDP and the grand majority of  working health care professionals in Canada? That is a helluva a big conspiracy so yes your theory is ever bit as ridiculous as climate change denialists. 

It takes three years to train a nurse. How do you expect the government to "fix it" for tomorrow? 

Your arguments consist of:

  • Referencing fringe professionals that are either crackpots or have political motives.
  • Denying that the medical system is overwhelmed or at risk of being overwhelmed. 
  • If you acknowledge the pressure on the system your answer is the government should "fix it" as if they have a magin wand. 
  • Arguing that Covid isn't that bad, the death rate is going down, young people are not sufficiently at risk, therefore lifting restrictions and keeping vulnerable people out of the way thereby not overwhelming the hospitals.   
  • Inferring that people are irrationally afraid
  • Using the experience of one region as if things going well in one place means they will also go well everywhere else. 

Regardless of anything else going on in the world, Canadian hospitals are close to capacity and can't deal with a biiger wave. Even a wave the same size would stress the system farther. 

I can tell you why politicians are passing emergeny restrictions on us. Because they know nothing could be worse politically than allowing deaths to pile up.

I would not be surprised if many Trump voters are too sick to vote in person Nov. 3rd. 

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:
Re 'The Barrington Declaration'

The John Snow Memorandum (The Lancet)

https://www.johnsnowmemo.com

"Once again we face rapidly accelerating increases in COVID-19 cases across much of Europe, the USA and many other countries across the world. It is critical to act decisively and urgently. Effective measures that suppress and control transmission need to be implemented widely, and they must be supported by financial and social programmes that encourage community responses and address the inequities that have been amplified by the pandemic.

Continuing restrictions will probably be required in the short term to reduce transmission and fix ineffective pandemic response systems, in order to prevent future lockdowns. The purpose of these restrictions is to effectively suppress SARS-CoV-2 infections to low levels that allow rapid detection of localised outbreaks and rapid response through efficient and comprehensive find, test, trace, isolate and support systems so life can return to near-normal without the need for generalised restrictions. Protecting our economiess is inextricably tied to controlling COVID-19. We must protect our workforce and avoid long-term uncertainty.

[China,] Japan, Vietnam and New Zealand to name a few countries, have shown that robust public health responses can control transmissions, allowing life to return to near-normal, and there are many such success stories. The evidence is very clear containing community spread of COVID-19 is the best way to protect our societies and economies until safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics arrive in the coming months. We cannot afford distractions that undermine an effective response; it is essential that we act urgently based on the evidence."

It's very easy to sit behind a computer, do a simluation, and then say what should be done. The real world is often much more complicated. The biggest issue with an elimination strategy is that everybody needs to be on board for that to happen. Sweden has made it abundantly clear that this is not their approach, which means some of the virus will be around for a long time. If elimination is your goal, I don't know why Japan is considered a success, considering that they had a second wave. Most of the countries that are considered to have responded well to the pandemic are islands, which are much easier to control. Montenegro is the only country land-locked country that eliminated the disease within its borders for a time. Other countries tried lockdown, and many that did were hit much harder with the second wave. And there are many lessons we can learn. We can learn from China about how to rapidly build up health system capacity for increasing infectious diseases. We can learn from New Zealand, with its agressive policy of quarantining incoming visitors, and contact tracing. We can learn from Sweden, with its effective messaging and clear consistent policies about what its people can expect in the long term. But maybe the fact that these scientists can name so few success stories speaks to the practical impossibility of eliminating the virus.

Speaking of the virus, reading that confirmed the issue I had with the eliminate-covid-at-all-cost crowd, which isn't taking into account the complexities of viruses, human behaviour and health which most models can't account for. I was also put off by their promise to vet the signatures and limit the signatories to people they consider to be "real" scientists. This smacks of high elitism to me, as if the scientists feel they alone should be dictating public policy without any input from the people who will be affected.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
This was the last massive demonstration: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49856860[/quote]

Last year long before the pandemic started. Which proves my point.

Pondering wrote:
And it motivated Trudeau to double down on balancing the economy with the environment.  Long term these demonstrations do have an impact in elevating the issue in the public mind but there is no immediate effect. If a response is needed they ban straws to prove how concerned they are about the environment.

And with no demonstrations happening, there is no pressure being applied.

Pondering wrote:
Do you imagine that the Liberals are doing this with the support of the Conservatives and the NDP and the grand majority of  working health care professionals in Canada?

The government is using the health care workers as pawns in a power game to hold the country hostage and say that bad things will happen unless we believe the government. It's a basic emotional blackmail technique.

And yes, shame on the Liberals, Conservatives, BQ, NDP, and Green parties that not one of these MPs had the guts to stand up, try and pump the brakes, and say, "whoa, this is very drastic what you're asking us to do, are you sure it's necessary?"

Pondering wrote:
That is a helluva a big conspiracy so yes your theory is ever bit as ridiculous as climate change denialists.

You proudly defended your choice to vote for the Liberals in 2015 even after it was explained to you repeatedly that the Liberal platform on climate change was trash compared to what the NDP and the Greens were offering at the time. So for you to attack my arguments by bashing me over the head with climate change denialism I consider to be disingenous, hypocritical, and sleazy.

Pondering wrote:
It takes three years to train a nurse. How do you expect the government to "fix it" for tomorrow?

It would have been best if they had properly funded health care services in the first place. The next best thing they can do is to start now. I know the army recently helped out with care homes in some parts of the country. Surely they must have some medical capacity that can be used to support our front-line civilian staff until either the pandemic goes away, more staff come onboard, or a combination of both.

Pondering wrote:

This was the last massive demonstration: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49856860

And it motivated Trudeau to double down on balancing the economy with the environment.  Long term these demonstrations do have an impact in elevating the issue in the public mind but there is no immediate effect. If a response is needed they ban straws to prove how concerned they are about the environment. The powers that be are not concerned enough by mass demonstrations to shut the economy down. Do you imagine that the Liberals are doing this with the support of the Conservatives and the NDP and the grand majority of  working health care professionals in Canada? That is a helluva a big conspiracy so yes your theory is ever bit as ridiculous as climate change denialists. 

It takes three years to train a nurse. How do you expect the government to "fix it" for tomorrow? 

Your arguments consist of:

  • Referencing fringe professionals that are either crackpots or have political motives.

Doesn't say much for your debating tactics if this name-calling is all you can do. Can you name any of the doctors I have referenced? What specific things have they said that makes you think this? Why is it fair game to accuse the professionals I reference as having political motives, but that question is never asked of the professionals who support your viewpoint (many of whom are on the government payroll, by the way)?

Pondering wrote:

  • Denying that the medical system is overwhelmed or at risk of being overwhelmed.

I have referenced actual data regarding the number of covid hospitalizations in Ontario and BC that clearly shows that the number of covid hospitalizations is a fraction of what it was in the spring time. If you have actual data that contradicts me I will happily take a look.

Pondering wrote:

  • Inferring that people are irrationally afraid

Very often they are. I see this happen in Winnipeg whenever there is a spike in violent crime or a mosquito tests positive for the West Nile virus.

Pondering wrote:
Regardless of anything else going on in the world, Canadian hospitals are close to capacity and can't deal with a biiger wave. Even a wave the same size would stress the system farther.

See above about using military medical resources to cope if need be.

Pondering wrote:
I can tell you why politicians are passing emergeny restrictions on us. Because they know nothing could be worse politically than allowing deaths to pile up.

What is the foundation of this belief that bodies would pile up if nothing was done. Is it models like this one?

Quote:
A report by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), an economics think tank, says early COVID-19 death toll projections were grossly exaggerated.

In mid-March, professor Neil Ferguson with the Imperial College of London made a series of projections, including one that predicted upwards of 326,000 Canadians would die as a result of COVID-19 if mitigation measures weren’t put in place. With physical distancing and lockdown measures in place, he predicted that toll could be reduced to 46,000. 

The Canadian economy shut down quickly after these models were released.

So presumably had everything locked down hard, the death toll would have been around 46, 000. Yet since provinces have opened up, we have seen preventable outbreaks in schools, hospitals, care homes, jails, and meat packing plants. Despite all of these blunders, after 7 months the death toll still stands at less than 10 000 people. That looks to me like an exaggeration. Having said that, it is a free country and you are free to believe what you choose.

By the way, deaths have been piling up for decades without reprecussions. People freeze to death or have drug overdoses in the streets, and suicide is a crisis on First Nations in this country. We're only reacting to covid because the middle class, for whom news reports like these are tailored, are scared it would happen to them. Everything else just happens to other people so it flies below their radar.

NDPP

COVID-19: The Case Against Herd Immunity

https://twitter.com/Consortiumnews/status/131752549011

"Marcello Farrada has studied Sweden's response to the virus and advises countries everywhere to reject the neoliberal model and survive instead."

"By mid-May 2020, only 13 percent of the carehome victims had received treatment at Swedish hospitals.' The elderly and frail must be very terrified in these care homes by this policy of the great targeted cull of the population by eugenicists thinly masked as cultural progressives."

https://twitter.com/AwkwardOrchid2/status/1317556318236889089

Perhaps Canada has been borrowing some of the Swedish LTC 'best practices' of this 'great targeted cull.'

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:
COVID-19: The Case Against Herd Immunity

https://twitter.com/Consortiumnews/status/131752549011

"Marcello Farrada has studied Sweden's response to the virus and advises countries everywhere to reject the neoliberal model and survive instead."

"By mid-May 2020, only 13 percent of the carehome victims had received treatment at Swedish hospitals.' The elderly and frail must be very terrified in these care homes by this policy of the great targeted cull of the population by eugenicists thinly masked as cultural progressives."

https://twitter.com/AwkwardOrchid2/status/1317556318236889089

Perhaps Canada has been borrowing some of the Swedish LTC 'best practices' of this 'great targeted cull.'

Deaths concentrated in elder care homes has been a feature of this pandemic throughout the world regardless of how individual countries responded. Even Swedish authorities have admitted failure in this regard, so I don't know what your point is. Some things worked, some things did not, and it's a very complex situation.

By the way, people dying technically isn't "herd immunity," as when someone dies this person has no lasting immunity that it can contribute to the population.

By the way, if Sweden did so badly overall, why have there not been any recent public demonstrations against the covid measures? Germany, New Zealand, and Australia were considered to be success stories, yet each country saw anti-lockdown protests in the last 2 months.

Aristotleded24

Ken Burch wrote:
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".

Ken I highly recommend people watch this video and at least hear out what the doctors are saying. It's not a mater of conscription but combining ideas about public health messaging, interventions, and even possibly state support for various things. In this picture, you might have a college student who likes to party, a 30-something professional who works from home, a 60-year old meat-packing plant worker with paid time away from the plant (maybe even a generous early retirement package, which would create job openings for younger people, job openings younger people badly need these days), or an 80-year old choosing to hug their grandchildren. I think that approach is much more respectful of people and doesn't generate nearly the level of pent-up resentment now, or the polarazation between the "you don't wear masks you don't care if people get covid"-"well, you want to close everything down you don't care if my business goes under" camps that we have seen. Furthermore, we ask young people (particularly in your home country) to go overseas in war to risk their lives, disability, and PTSD for the sake of their country. Why is it suddenly wrong to allow them to do something much closer to home? Judging from the many stories and social media posts about parties and such, I don't think you would have a hard time finding conscriptees anyways.

To look at this another way, the virus is out there waiting for *someone* to infect, whether it happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or a decade from now. Judging from what I know of other people's age and what they have posted about their health status, I believe my risk of needing medical intervention should I get covid is much lower than many people here. We also know that viral infections, no matter the intervention, generally follow an up and then a down curve. "Flattening the curve" doesn't prevent infection, it simply means an upslope that is not so steep so that health care systems can cope, and "crushing the curve" is often impractical. Isn't it better that I take the risk (of course following proper quarantine and isolation protocols should a test confirm me positive) the downslope of the curve arrives much sooner, and then that becomes overall safer for everybody? I could also argue that this approach also counts as flattening the curve. Let's not think of the curve as the number of people who are infected, but instead the number of people who need hospital and ICU beds. The virus is out there, it is going to get someone somehow, and there will be an up and a down curve. All over the world, elder care homes have been almost the number one hotspot for the disease. We can expect a large percentage of these cases to require medical care. Wouldn't viral cicrulation among a younger, healthier population less likely to require such interventions result in such a flatter curve as well?

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