What if a vaccine or "effective treatment" never comes?

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Aristotleded24
What if a vaccine or "effective treatment" never comes?

During the current covid crisis, many health officials have said we have to endure numerous restrictions on our daily movements, and things can only go back to normal if a vaccine comes. Some re-opening plans even take that as a new normal, and apparently now everyone is supposed to have OCD about cleaning all surfaces. And all of this has been decided for us, by medical professionals, without any democratic input from the citizens.

What if we never find a vaccine? Given the nature of coronaviruses, and that we still don't have vaccines for HIV or ebola, which are far more deadly and have been with us longer, that is a very real possibility. Think of what we've lost. Having to stand in certain spots in the grocery store is a nuisance, but pales in comparison to other measures. We can't sing in church anymore. There are no street festivals, street parties, folk festivals, concerts, or live entertainment. We are no longer supposed to hug our friends or family members, and even getting together with groups of friends is frowned upon these days. Weddings and funerals had to be live-streamed in the spring, and children were not to have live birthday parties. The ability to drop in somewhere is massively restricted, as for many gyms and pools, you have to reserve your spot ahead of time. What of things like sports clubs on university and college campuses, both varsity and intramural, which are an important social experience?

Now imagine that no vaccine ever comes. By a strict interpretation of health guidance, all of these things are now lost to us forever.

Is this something you are willing to accept?

NDPP

NEW - Chinese Phase 2 Trial Finds COVID-19 Vaccine is Safe and Induces an Immune Response

https://twitter.com/TheLancet/status/1285209554775617536

"Single dose immunisation with the vaccine induced rapid onset of immune responses within 14 days and significant humoral and cellular immune response within 28 days in the majority of the recipients...*"

There are a number of other vaccine contenders as well. One of these currently being tested by Oxford University has tentatively suggested even the possibility of a preliminary 2020 rollout. Things appear to be moving quite quickly and there is clearly official optimism about a positive outcome on the vaccine front.

Of course some unnamed US sources suggest alarming intelligence that Huwawei may be engineering tiny microchip probes  in the vaccine targeting precious bodily fluids which may have the effect of turning everyone taking the 'Kung Flu' innoculations into living, breathing, mobile  surveillance system slaves of the Communist Party of China. Only a complete boycott of Chinese goods to be replaced by good democratic (although more expensive) American ones,  and proactive 'defensive' military preparations on the part of the western 'rules-based-international order' (largely by USA - also expensive) can save us now. As the Hong Kong protesters well know: 'God Bless America!' 'President Trump, please save us from China!'

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:
NEW - Chinese Phase 2 Trial Finds COVID-19 Vaccine is Safe and Induces an Immune Response

You cannot know that with any degree of certainty about any vaccine after a short time frame as we are dealing with here. Think about what happens with the annual flu shot. We have lots of baseline data about the flu, there is lots of thought that goes into making it, and sometimes the shot that is given out in a given year doesn't even end up effective against the current strain in circulation. And that's against something we have a great deal of information about. We don't have that baseline information about covid, that will only come with time. Every projection for when we "might" have a vaccine is leaning towards the best case scenario. Our leaders counting on the best case scenario and not asking themselves, "what's the worst that can happen?" and planning against that in late winter and early spring is part of the reason we ended up in this mess in the first place.

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:
Things appear to be moving quite quickly and there is clearly official optimism about a positive outcome on the vaccine front.

There is also generally optimism among Maple Leafs fans from the start of October to about mid-March-ish. Remind me how well that works out for them.

Misfit Misfit's picture

You attack the media for being hysterical and sensational when it comes to covid and yet you put up thread after thread of fear mongering melodrama like this.

 

NDPP

Vaccine Ready?

https://youtu.be/mVvNw7JwnVc

"Russia has announced it has successfully completed trials of a COVID-19 vaccine..."

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Now imagine that no vaccine ever comes. By a strict interpretation of health guidance, all of these things are now lost to us forever.

The scenario you are describing, in which all the potential vaccines in development fail to provide an "out" from the pandemic, is a hypothetical "what if" at this point. I would err on the side of not projecting the current health advice too literally onto this hypothetical scenario, since we do not know whether the health officials would demand the indefinite continuation of current health guidelines under such a scenario, and to what extent governments would go along with that.

If we don't get a vaccine that gives us an "out" from the pandemic, we can respond at that point to whatever governments and health officials chose to do.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Left Turn wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Now imagine that no vaccine ever comes. By a strict interpretation of health guidance, all of these things are now lost to us forever.

The scenario you are describing, in which all the potential vaccines in development fail to provide an "out" from the pandemic, is a hypothetical "what if" at this point. I would err on the side of not projecting the current health advice too literally onto this hypothetical scenario, since we do not know whether the health officials would demand the indefinite continuation of current health guidelines under such a scenario, and to what extent governments would go along with that.

If we don't get a vaccine that gives us an "out" from the pandemic, we can respond at that point to whatever governments and health officials chose to do.

Exactly! Thank you.

Some viruses cannot get vaccines made that work but many viruses can and have been proven successful.

 

contrarianna

Aristotleded24 wrote:
What If A Vaccine Or "Effective Treatment" Never Comes?

It's a legitimate question but the answer is that it is extremely likely there will be successful vaccines .

The comparison to HIV and Ebola is not very useful.
HIV is not a coronavirus and behaves very differently.
Neither is Ebola a coronavirus but it does have a vaccine.

In the past coronavirus vaccines have been successfully developed for domestic and farm animals, but not humans.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7284272/

Profit and politically driven research and development has not been much employed, till now, for any human coronavirus.

Only  about 20% of the "common cold" are caused by coronavirus's, but the expensive development a vaccine that targets only one of the many causes is not a very profitable incentive.

four so-called common HCoVs generally cause mild upper-respiratory tract illness and contribute to 15%–30% of cases of common colds in human adults, although severe and life-threatening lower respiratory tract infections can sometimes occur in infants, elderly people, or immunocompromised patients....

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7204879/

Other human infective coronavirus such as MERS and SARS are more deadly than Covid-19 but have largely been contained (so far). Some effort has gone into developing  vaccines for these but the economic and political involvement are not the same as with Covid-19:

Front. Microbiol., 02 August 2019
Recent Advances in the Vaccine Development Against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus

....
Funding is the primary drivers in any vaccine developments. Many vaccines demonstrating promising results at the pre-clinical stage require additional investments from the government or the private industry to advance into clinical trials (Hakoum et al., 2017). However, government funding for clinical trials is rather restricted, whereas private industry is generally profit oriented, of which the market size and potential profits are of priority (Smith, 2000). Unlike other widespread diseases such as hepatitis and influenza, MERS cases are primarily reported in Saudi Arabia apart from the Korea outbreak (Gossner et al., 2016). Its relatively low occurrence is likely to limit the market size of MERS vaccines, leading to lower interest by the private funding bodies. Although three potential MERS vaccine candidates have advanced into clinical trials, they are currently in phase I/II. As completing the entire trials often take 10 years and above, they are unlikely to be commercially available in the coming 3–5 years....

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01781/full

 

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Feds need to double down to ensure universal access to coronavirus vaccines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with the leaders of seven developed and developing countries, co-signed a letter in the Washington Post on July 15, urging that less developed countries not be left behind in the manufacturing and distribution of such a vaccine.

The Canadian government has already pledged $850 million to the Global Coronavirus Response and $120 million to the WHO-led Access to Covid-19 Tools [ACT] Accelerator that was created to ensure equitable access to medical treatments.

The government has also committed more than $1 billion in support of a national medical research strategy including vaccine development, the production of treatments, and tracking of the virus.

The international scientific community is working co-operatively.

At least 17 vaccine candidates, including in Canada, are currently being tested on humans. With the exception of vague assurances by the odd CEO that vaccines will be affordable, major pharmaceutical corporations — focused on protecting their monopoly patents which ensure their ability to profit and price gouge — are not co-operating in the global endeavor. The concept of the public good is anathema to Big Pharma.

The pandemic has exposed Canada’s vulnerability with respect to essential medicines. Big Pharma, dominated by U.S. and European corporations, do not manufacture their treatments and vaccines in Canada. Furthermore, Canada was forced to import the bulk of necessary medical supplies, such as N95 masks, though domestic production has ramped up and the country is now producing 40 per cent of these supplies.

According to pharmaceutical expert Dr. Joel Lexchin, we do not have the capability to manufacture vaccines in Canada. Connaught Laboratories, the legendary Crown corporation, was sold off in 1989 to a French multinational.

The elimination of Canada’s compulsory patent licensing regime more than two decades ago — replaced by a drug pricing system run by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) — has resulted in Canadians paying the third highest prices in the world.

Under the 1989 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA, Canada surrendered its ability to impose compulsory licensing on patents as a way to prevent price gouging and support Canadian generic manufacturers.

Big Pharma’s dominance has been reinforced by the deferential "partnership" relationship with the regulator, Health Canada, undermining its public interest mandate. The relationship is characterized by an under-resourced regulatory agency stemming from years of budgetary cutbacks; diminished expertise in evaluating industry demands; and the corrosive influence of an agency dependent on industry funding of its drug-approval process. Companies pay 50 per cent of Health Canada's drug program, which could increase to 75 per cent.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more from above

quote:

Nor is Trump a friend to Canada. He tried to block the sale of pre-ordered N95 masks.

Remdesivir, a drug found to improve recovery rates in COVID-positive patients, is owned by U.S.-based Gilead Sciences Inc. In June, Gilead announced that the non-negotiable price for remdesivir in the U.S. is going to be US$390 per vial, which would amount to US$2,340 per five-day treatment course. The estimate is that remdesivir could be made for under US$1 per dose, less than one-quarter of one per cent of what Gilead will be charging. The White House followed suit with the announcement it had bought up the entire supply of remdesivir for the next three months.

Big Pharma is taking advantage of the pandemic to pressure the Canadian government to block, delay, dilute or reverse policies, legislation and regulations designed to provide Canadians with affordable access to essential medicines. Backed by the U.S. government, they have aggressively lobbied against three Canadian initiatives: the plan for universal pharmacare; the partial reinstatement of compulsory licensing; and the PMPRB’s overhaul of its method for calculating fair prices for prescription drugs. The U.S. Trade Representative’s latest annual report on foreign threats to U.S. copyright holders singled out Canada as a major concern.

In March 2020, the federal government passed the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, which brought back its ability to impose compulsory licensing of drugs in the event of a national health emergency. While Gilead has submitted an application to Health Canada for approval of its drug, compulsory licensing would allow another company, or a Crown corporation, to produce remdesivir without Gilead's permission, thus eliminating its control of supply and price. However, the act is only in effect until the end of September and the authorization is only for one year.

Big Pharma pushes back against threats to its monopoly patents

In 2015, the Liberal government committed to overhauling the PMPRB price-setting rules. The reform was estimated to save Canadians billions of dollars; it was seen as a first step toward a national pharmacare plan.

In its 2018 budget, the government announced the creation of a federal Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. The council issued its report a year later, recommending a program along the lines of Medicare and setting out a federal-provincial implementation timeline.

Big Pharma, along with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, launched an intense lobbying campaign opposing the plan. Their efforts are reinforced by the think tank echo chambers, including the Fraser Institute, Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Montreal Economic Institute— organizations that receive generous funding from U.S. billionaires and Big Pharma lobbies.

Big Pharma says that reform of the PMPRB-pricing rules will mean less research and development in Canada, fewer clinical trials, fewer new medicines and patients being denied the latest medications. None of these claims, according to PMPRB’s own research, are true.

PMPRB research has also exposed Big Pharma’s misinformation that price reductions cause drug shortages. Among its findings:

  • 90 per cent of drug shortages occur among non-patented drugs;
  • There is no clear association between lower prices in Canada and drug shortages;
  • There is no clear association between shortages and the price of medicines in Canada relative to other countries.

The draft regulations amending drug-pricing methodology were made public in late 2017, with the final regulations published in August 2019. The changes included removing the U.S. and Switzerland, which have the world’s highest drug prices, from the list used to compare international prices.

Draft guidelines implementing these regulations were introduced in November 2019. The industry lobby again pushed back. It also launched a court challenge in September 2019, claiming that some proposed regulatory changes were outside the regulator's mandate. Extended consultations with mainly industry, or industry supported, stakeholders led to a revised set of draft guidelines in June 2020. The PMPRB announced that the final guidelines will be made public in September 2020, with the implementation of regulations taking place January 1, 2021.

Trudeau’s support of international collaborative efforts to address the coronavirus crisis are commendable. However, the government should be making it a condition that any intellectual property or products that result from Canadian public funding be made available at affordable prices in low- and middle-income countries.

kropotkin1951

I find this whole debate interesting. I will not be the first to lineup for a vaccine. I have never gotten a flu shot in my life and I am looking at this the same way. I will likely let others take it and just practice safe living until I see some real life results.

Misfit Misfit's picture

We need another Connaught Laboratories.

NDPP

"US Government agrees to pay Pfizer and BioNTech $1.95 billion for 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine."

https://twitter.com/i/events/1285913276698644484

Pondering

It's a fair question. It is within the realm of possibility. Even now we speak of flattening the curve so the health care system can bear the load not eradicating it and there is no guarantee a vaccine will work longterm.

I imagine would get much more accustomed to mask wearing in public. Many more people would die or become severely incapacitated. It would shorten lifespans. It would mean an end to large events.

P.S. The alternative would be accepting mass graves and bodies stored in trucks.

kropotkin1951

The answer is clear and that is wear a mask. Private businesses can refuse entry for lots of reasons, no shoes, no shirts no mask no service seems a normal restriction on the right to enter a private business. As a macabre aside, if we have good tracing of mini outbreaks a business that allowed mask less customers could be made civilly liable for the illness or deaths of people infected from the unsafe contact at their establishment.

Ken Burch

Can you live with it, Aristotleded24, if the answer to that question is "then we have to keep social distancing and people have to wear masks indoors"  Can you accept that letting people pretend this is no big deal is simply not an option?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

This virus spreads astonishingly fast and it is becoming abundantly clear that it not just the old, frail and immune compromized people that have to be careful. One exposure is enough to unwittingly spread the virus to countless of others, especially if you're not taking percautions. We are lucky that there are so many workarounds to mostly stay safe and those on the frontlines that work with vulnerable people on the street seem to be doing a good job of ensuring that the homeless population is not decimated by this virus.

Aristotleded24

Left Turn wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Now imagine that no vaccine ever comes. By a strict interpretation of health guidance, all of these things are now lost to us forever.

The scenario you are describing, in which all the potential vaccines in development fail to provide an "out" from the pandemic, is a hypothetical "what if" at this point.

How is this a hypothetical scenario projected onto the future when this is currently our default reality?

Left Turn wrote:
If we don't get a vaccine that gives us an "out" from the pandemic, we can respond at that point to whatever governments and health officials chose to do.

This is the exact scenario of the boiling frog. The goalposts for the end of the pandemic have kept moving since mid-March, and continue to move. This is exactly how governments attack people's rights. The measures brought in during the Bush Administration immediately after 9/11 were supposed to be temporary. How did that work out? I am absolutely astounded that anyone on the left would advocate a "wait-and-see" approach to any "temporary" expansion of government power. We need to be having these conversations now.

Ken Burch wrote:
Can you live with it, Aristotleded24, if the answer to that question is "then we have to keep social distancing and people have to wear masks indoors"  Can you accept that letting people pretend this is no big deal is simply not an option?

Mask wearing I have come around to support as it seems to be very effective in cutting viral spread without causing too many disruptions. Keeping social distancing I am now not okay with. To fight this thing, there has been a non-stop onslaught about the idea that we have to be scared of everyone else and limit how much we go out and what we do. The pandemic continues to claim events that many people in Winnipeg enjoy, and health inspectors have given out fines for pretty trivial things in the name of stopping covid. If, in order to stop covid, you need to squeeze out all the joy and fun, be scared that anyone and everyone around you can make you sick or vice-versa, and live in a cold world where people are no longer friendly and affectionate with each other, then what's the point of life?

laine lowe wrote:
This virus spreads astonishingly fast and it is becoming abundantly clear that it not just the old, frail and immune compromized people that have to be careful. One exposure is enough to unwittingly spread the virus to countless of others, especially if you're not taking percautions. We are lucky that there are so many workarounds to mostly stay safe and those on the frontlines that work with vulnerable people on the street seem to be doing a good job of ensuring that the homeless population is not decimated by this virus.

I am very disappointed that public health officials have joined a campaign to scare people into believing that if they don't sanitize every surface every 5 minutes they are going to die from covid rather than talk about public health, and the social determinants of health, such as poverty. If we addressed the social determinants of health such as poverty, not only would the transmission of covid be redued, but also the comorbidities that increase the likelihood of a bad outcome. In terms of the homeless population, social service agencies have had to drastically change their delivery to meet the social distancing requirements. The limits on how many people can gather indoors and outdoors raise the possibility of agencies having to turn people in need away because there are too many of them. This is already a problem when the weather is nice. What happens when it's 20 below, and the drop-in can't accept more people because health officials have limited indoor capacity in the name of "safety?"

Take a look at the countries that are winning the covid fight and those that are not. Look to see if there is an association between things like quality public health care, quality public services, and economic inequality and where the countries are classified according to this model.

The covid pandemic was a teachable moment to have this discussion about public health and the social determinatns of health. Unfortunately public health officials missed that opportunity.

Aristotleded24

Not to worry, because with a vaccine, all will be well:

Quote:

Dr. Theresa Tam used her briefing on Tuesday in Ottawa to temper expectations about the speed and effectiveness of a vaccine. She reiterated the importance of physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and mask-wearing, and attempted to dissuade any notion that a vaccine will make life go back to the way it was in a couple of months.

"We can't at this stage just put all of our focus [on a vaccine] in the hopes that this is the silver bullet solution," said Tam.

"We're going to have to manage this pandemic certainly over the next year, but certainly [we are] planning for the longer term of the next two to three years during which the vaccine may play a role but we don't know yet."

Tam said it's unclear at this stage how effective a vaccine will be. She said key questions remain about the degree and duration of immunity a vaccine will provide, the dosage that will be needed and whether it will prevent people from getting infected altogether or simply prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization.

So after fearmongering that only a vaccine would bring an end to the pandemic and allow life to go on as normal, she essentially says that with a vaccine, nothing changes from what we are currently seeing? Then what's the point of a vaccine in the first place.

This should expose the end game right here. This was never about public health or public safety. It was an opportunity for the governments to use a health scare to gain more control, and by all accounts, it has worked so far. It's not a coincidence that this information is being highlighted at the same time that the country is taking a major downturn in the number of new cases. They can distract us from the actual numbers and keep us afraid. I am astounded by the lack of even basic public knowledge about public health, social determinants of health, and emotional manipulation and psychological terrorist techniques. A population that understood all of these things would certainly not have tolerated the trainwreck response to covid that has taken place in Canada.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I find this whole debate interesting. I will not be the first to lineup for a vaccine. I have never gotten a flu shot in my life and I am looking at this the same way. I will likely let others take it and just practice safe living until I see some real life results.

You're not alone:

Quote:

Survey results released on Tuesday from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute found half of Canadians say they have no reservations and are ready to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it's available. 

But 32 per cent — roughly a third of respondents — say they'd likely wait a while. Another 14 per cent don't want to get a vaccine at all.

...

Then there's typically a larger group of people who are somewhat hesitant to get vaccinated. In the case of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, their concerns are often based on safety, given the unprecedented speed of the research — which is crunching what typically takes a decade into less than two years.

Among the third survey respondents who want to hold off on getting a vaccine, 76 per cent said they're worried about side effects.

"Those people are not strongly opposed," Dubé said. "But they have questions and fears."

Medical community shouldn't 'blame and shame' skeptics

Hamilton, Ont., resident Amanda Perino counts herself among them.

Typically, the mother of two considers herself "pro-vaccine," with both her children getting all the standard shots for measles and other illnesses. But in the case of an eventual option for COVID-19, she's warier.

"I just have reservations on long-term effects," Perino said. "We don't even know what the long-term effects of COVID are, either. I just don't know if we know enough about the virus itself to have a vaccine that's safe."

If you think the anti-vax problem is bad now, wait until reports of people with the vaccine getting sick or having serious side effects come out. Both of these things are going to happen. It's not going to matter even if these cases turn out to be a small portion of people vaccinated. These stroies are going to take off like wildfire and people are going to lose confidence in the medical profession.

kropotkin1951

Aristotleded24 wrote:

If you think the anti-vax problem is bad now, wait until reports of people with the vaccine getting sick or having serious side effects come out. Both of these things are going to happen. It's not going to matter even if these cases turn out to be a small portion of people vaccinated. These stroies are going to take off like wildfire and people are going to lose confidence in the medical profession.

There is no chance that the various vaccines that are being rushed into human trials are all going to be safe. Some will be and some will not be. Without the regular controls there will be an abundance of stories of side effects from the first willing guinea pigs to sign up to take part in big pharma's rush to profits.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

If you think the anti-vax problem is bad now, wait until reports of people with the vaccine getting sick or having serious side effects come out. Both of these things are going to happen. It's not going to matter even if these cases turn out to be a small portion of people vaccinated. These stroies are going to take off like wildfire and people are going to lose confidence in the medical profession.

There is no chance that the various vaccines that are being rushed into human trials are all going to be safe. Some will be and some will not be. Without the regular controls there will be an abundance of stories of side effects from the first willing guinea pigs to sign up to take part in big pharma's rush to profits.

Let's also not forget that since we were told that a vaccine would be necessary to return to normal, which is what everybody wants, there will be massive pressure to release these vaccines without doing the proper safety trials. It's true that big pharma would want to profit off vaccines, but even government run vaccines might fail as governments hastily release vaccines in an attempt for positive PR for stopping coronavirus.

I agree with what you said about how simple it is about wearing a mask. Apparently 80% mask wearing would reduce transmission by 90%, which if continued would effectively stamp out the virus. But even in the less optimistic scenario where the virus hangs around, as many health experts claim it will, masking up is far more certain and creates less disruption than a shut-down-open-up cycle, and is far safer than vaccines.

kropotkin1951

Strange how humans have dealt with plagues with masks and the washing of hands for centuries now but somehow our modern politicians had to debate whether it would help.

pookie

Aristotleded24 wrote:

This should expose the end game right here. This was never about public health or public safety. It was an opportunity for the governments to use a health scare to gain more control, and by all accounts, it has worked so far. It's not a coincidence that this information is being highlighted at the same time that the country is taking a major downturn in the number of new cases. They can distract us from the actual numbers and keep us afraid. I am astounded by the lack of even basic public knowledge about public health, social determinants of health, and emotional manipulation and psychological terrorist techniques. A population that understood all of these things would certainly not have tolerated the trainwreck response to covid that has taken place in Canada.

I have my own concerns about how much of this has been handled and I think you've raised important points throughout the last five months.   Where I get off the train is the idea that govt secretly wants to keep us locked down for "control".  What, exactly, do you think govts get out of maintaining the current situation that outweighs the enormous fiscal damage that presents them with a continuing public policy nightmare?  It would seem that neo-liberal, capitalist principles (to quote many here) would suggest that their biggest interest lies in getting us out and about, producing and consuming, as soon as possible.  (Indeed, those who take an especially maleovelent view of govt might go further and see them as actually happy about, or at least indifferent to, the propsect of the pandemic ravaging the weaker among us.)

No?

Aristotleded24

pookie wrote:

Aristotleded24 wrote:

This should expose the end game right here. This was never about public health or public safety. It was an opportunity for the governments to use a health scare to gain more control, and by all accounts, it has worked so far. It's not a coincidence that this information is being highlighted at the same time that the country is taking a major downturn in the number of new cases. They can distract us from the actual numbers and keep us afraid. I am astounded by the lack of even basic public knowledge about public health, social determinants of health, and emotional manipulation and psychological terrorist techniques. A population that understood all of these things would certainly not have tolerated the trainwreck response to covid that has taken place in Canada.

I have my own concerns about how much of this has been handled and I think you've raised important points throughout the last five months.   Where I get off the train is the idea that govt secretly wants to keep us locked down for "control".  What, exactly, do you think govts get out of maintaining the current situation that outweighs the enormous fiscal damage that presents them with a continuing public policy nightmare?  It would seem that neo-liberal, capitalist principles (to quote many here) would suggest that their biggest interest lies in getting us out and about, producing and consuming, as soon as possible.  (Indeed, those who take an especially maleovelent view of govt might go further and see them as actually happy about, or at least indifferent to, the propsect of the pandemic ravaging the weaker among us.)

No?

Hi pookie, it's nice to hear from you and I hope you stick around. I really appreciate that you have taken the time to hear out my point of view, and have asked your questions by approaching me in good faith. To answer your questions, remember what happened last year? Large numbers of people all over the world took to the streets to demand justice for working class people, take action on climate change, and in this country, respect its first peoples. Masses of people in the streets scares governments. It's just too convenient that, with large numbers of people wanting to express that anger, suddenly they have a reson they want everyone to stay home. As for damage to the country's finances? We have seen that in the US, the government simply doesn't care and is running up the deficit to enrich the wealthy elite who control the system, and we've seen governments here continue to try and bail out fossil fuels. What does the government get out of this? For one thing, it's much easier to keep track of everyone. With almost all interaction digitally mediated via video-conferencing and payments being made electronically, there is basically no space people can go without Big Brother watching them. As more people feel the impacts of climate change and income inequality, these tools will be ready to use by the government to stamp out protesting. One of the counters of opressive government or corporate power is for people to talk to each other, gather together, and organize. That ability is hampered with public health restrictions. It's true that some sectors of the economy, for example tourism, have been hit very hard. Other sectors of the economy are doing well. Tech companies are gaining influence, as everybody moves their lives online, from school to work to everything else. Do you think they want the schools to open up? Amazon is also doing well at the expense of brick and mortar stores. The larger businesses have the capital and access to credit to ride out the storm that smaller businesses don't. So in many ways, consuming hasn't gone down, it's just changed shape. Finally, if you look closely, the data shows that the pandemic is currently ravaging the weaker among us even under lockdown. While we are "safe" in our homes and having everything delivered to us, someone else has to work to give us what we need. They will continue to endure said risks for us. This leads to a 2-tiered society where those with access to the Internet can have all their needs met from the comfort of their home away from the dangers of the outside world, while those not so fortunate are dealing with those dangers.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Strange how humans have dealt with plagues with masks and the washing of hands for centuries now but somehow our modern politicians had to debate whether it would help.

Even more embarassing when a profit-driven anti-worker corporation takes more decisive steps to protect public health than our politicians:

Quote:

Walmart Canada will require all customers and staff to wear a mask or other type of face covering in its stores nationwide, starting Aug. 12.

The company says the move is the latest safety measure it is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Health Canada has identified that, when worn properly, a person wearing a mask/face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets," corporate affairs manager Felicia Fefer said in an email to CBC News.

Aristotleded24

And the goal posts move yet again:

Quote:

The World Health Organization does not expect widespread vaccinations against COVID-19 until the middle of next year, a spokesperson said on Friday, stressing the importance of rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.

None of the candidate vaccines in advanced clinical trials so far has demonstrated a "clear signal" of efficacy at the level of at least 50 per cent sought by WHO, spokesperson Margaret Harris said.

Russia granted regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine in August after less than two months of human testing, prompting some Western experts to question its safety and efficacy.

U.S. public health officials and Pfizer Inc. said on Thursday a vaccine could be ready for distribution as soon as late October. That would be just ahead of the U.S. election on Nov. 3 in which the pandemic is likely to be a major factor among voters deciding whether President Donald Trump wins a second term.

"We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year," Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva.

If you track the spread of covid against the 1918 flu pandemic, by the time the vaccine is ready according to this timeline would be when we would expect the current pandemic to have burned itself out. What will be the point of a vaccine then?

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

And the goal posts move yet again:

Quote:

The World Health Organization does not expect widespread vaccinations against COVID-19 until the middle of next year, a spokesperson said on Friday, stressing the importance of rigorous checks on their effectiveness and safety.

None of the candidate vaccines in advanced clinical trials so far has demonstrated a "clear signal" of efficacy at the level of at least 50 per cent sought by WHO, spokesperson Margaret Harris said.

Russia granted regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine in August after less than two months of human testing, prompting some Western experts to question its safety and efficacy.

U.S. public health officials and Pfizer Inc. said on Thursday a vaccine could be ready for distribution as soon as late October. That would be just ahead of the U.S. election on Nov. 3 in which the pandemic is likely to be a major factor among voters deciding whether President Donald Trump wins a second term.

"We are really not expecting to see widespread vaccination until the middle of next year," Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva.

If you track the spread of covid against the 1918 flu pandemic, by the time the vaccine is ready according to this timeline would be when we would expect the current pandemic to have burned itself out. What will be the point of a vaccine then?

Covid is not an influenza. It is a corona virus. The common cold can sometimes be a corona virus.

We can't assume Covid 19 will ever burn out. It may be with us permanently given the widespread distribution.

If we are lucky and it burns out then we will have a ton of vaccines we don't have to use.

If it doesn't burn out, which is far more likely, vaccines, assuming we get one that is effective, will be an important tool among others.

This virus is so serious it shut down Mecca probably for the first time in history. It isn't a hoax. Governments are not over-reacting.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

What will be the point of a vaccine then?

..to make drug cartels billions of course.

NDPP

The question posed by the thread title has been redundant for some time, as anyone following this topic will know.

Dr John Campbell, Coronavirus Update, Sept 3, 2020

https://youtu.be/d-oQI2RoXPI

Vaccines soon - an overview/explanation of the most promising candidates

 

Respected British Medical Journal The Lancet Publishes Study Showing Russia's 'Sputnik V' COVID-19 Vaccine to be '100% effective'

https://on.rt.com/appg

"The world's first registered COVID-19 vaccine successfully produced antibodies in all the participants in early-stage trials according to a study published in The Lancet..."

Expect rollouts to begin late this year and early next.

 

Aristotleded24

NDPP wrote:
The question posed by the thread title has been redundant for some time, as anyone following this topic will know.

Dr John Campbell, Coronavirus Update, Sept 3, 2020

https://youtu.be/d-oQI2RoXPI

Vaccines soon - an overview/explanation of the most promising candidates

 

Respected British Medical Journal The Lancet Publishes Study Showing Russia's 'Sputnik V' COVID-19 Vaccine to be '100% effective'

https://on.rt.com/appg

"The world's first registered COVID-19 vaccine successfully produced antibodies in all the participants in early-stage trials according to a study published in The Lancet..."

Expect rollouts to begin late this year and early next.

You're expecting me to believe that a vaccine against a virus that is this new to us developed in under a year will be safe to roll out? How effective is the annual flu shot?

NDPP

Yes. Several actually according to  peer-reviews in The Lancet.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

You're expecting me to believe that a vaccine against a virus that is this new to us developed in under a year will be safe to roll out? How effective is the annual flu shot?

The effectiveness will depend on how close a match there is between the influenza strains this year's flu vaccine protects against, and which strains end up circulating in Canada's flu season.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/flu-vaccine-covid-19-twindemic-what-you-n...

It is very unlikely that a Covid-19 vaccination wlll be a magic bullet that eradicates from the face of the Earth. It has taken over a half a century to eradicate polio and it could still be lurking in distant corners of the planet.

Again, the idea is to keep it at a dull roar so the health care system can cope. We are simultaneously exploring treatment approachs and still learning about the effects on the various organs of the body. It is possible that over time the virus will get far less deadly as its survival depends on having living hosts. If that is the case then maybe we are wasting a lot of time and effort. It is better than the possible alternative if we don't put in the time and effort.

I don't believe in a worldwide conspiracy that would get the powers that be together to close Mecca (first time in history?) and cancel major league sports (first time in history?) and schools across the developed world (first time in history?) if it were not absolutely necessary to keep all the worker bees alive.

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:
I don't believe in a worldwide conspiracy that would get the powers that be together to close Mecca (first time in history?) and cancel major league sports (first time in history?) and schools across the developed world (first time in history?) if it were not absolutely necessary to keep all the worker bees alive.

It's not the first time in history that sports leagues have been cancelled. The Stanley Cup was cancelled in 1919 because of the flu pandemic. There are also countless examples of schools remaining open in countries that did well with the pandemic, so the idea that the schools had to close down is ludicrous.

Pondering

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Pondering wrote:
I don't believe in a worldwide conspiracy that would get the powers that be together to close Mecca (first time in history?) and cancel major league sports (first time in history?) and schools across the developed world (first time in history?) if it were not absolutely necessary to keep all the worker bees alive.

It's not the first time in history that sports leagues have been cancelled. The Stanley Cup was cancelled in 1919 because of the flu pandemic. There are also countless examples of schools remaining open in countries that did well with the pandemic, so the idea that the schools had to close down is ludicrous.

Schools are reopening now with (inadequate) modifications depending on the community/province. Now that people are going back indoors cases are rising in Quebec. So far so good in that around 150(?) schools have recorded cases but they haven't turned into outbreaks. That's not a lot of schools out of thousands. I think about half are in the Montreal region. I think it is a big help that Ontario is at least allowing parents the choice of distance learning.

We will only know the outcome of this experiment in October/November. We may not get much warning if it goes south, but it might not go south.

I agree that the government is still handling this really poorly failing to take into account human needs beyond not catching the virus. For example you mentioned special needs children who are already underserved. Other medical treatments that didn't get done. Addicts that died. Escalation of domestic violence.

In other ways I hope there will be some permanent improvements in the care of the elderly. The homeless are also making a stand in Montreal, refusing to go to shelters. There is a movement demanding that the Royal Vic Hospital, a massive public building, remain publically owned and be used for social needs, in part as housing for the homeless. It would be ideal. It is huge.

I fully support the closing of large events that cause people to visit and disperse widely. It makes sense to have bubbles. Had Montreal put checkpoints at every bridge to slow traffic enough to discourage travel the rest of Quebec might have been able to avoid lockdown.

Schools are opening so why aren't offices allowed to reopen more fully. In Montreal they are allowed 25% but they are only hitting 10%. This implies the problem is not keeping people out of the offices. Grocery stores have stayed open without major outbreaks. Some offices will be closing permanently because they have discovered it has more benefits than drawbacks. That leaves the potential for offices that need to remain open to occupy more space. Downtown Montreal can't survive without more people and even then I think it has permanently changed. I think it will get much easier to find parking.

The cities brought this on themselves by failing to make city life attractive and commuting pleasant.

MegB

While I won't partake of the first round of vaccines (assuming there will be one, which I think is likely) I will vaccinate when I feel the safety of it outweighs the possibility of death or permanent disability from the virus. I get a flu shot every year, knowing that it is not effective against all strains and that immunity needs to be restored on an annual basis. Vaccines aren't a magic bullet and immunity is a fickle thing. I had chicken pox twice as a child and whooping cough after being vaccinated against it. 

I don't mind the lack of public consultation - medicine isn't a democracy and I'm not a medical professional - and I don't suspect some nefarious government plot to control us. The vast majority of us are so willingly compliant that there's no need for an extra layer of mass control. 

Aristotleded24

MegB wrote:
I don't mind the lack of public consultation - medicine isn't a democracy and I'm not a medical professional - and I don't suspect some nefarious government plot to control us. The vast majority of us are so willingly compliant that there's no need for an extra layer of mass control.

That's true, but medical science isn't always settled or cut-and-dried. Often there is ambiguity and uncertainty. It is also not immune from political and economic influences. This becomes evident when there is ambiguity and competing interests have different stakes in certain medical views prevailing. Look at the number of children who are prescribed ritalin or people who are on anti-depression or anti-anxiety medications.

It's true that sometimes the medical profession has to step up and say, "I know what we're saying is unpopular, but it's the truth." Very often, however, there is an arrogance and lack of empathy in their communication, and people begin to lose trust. Often times, medical professionals are their own worst enemies when communicating with the public.

Aristotleded24

Whoops!

Quote:

A front-running team in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine has put its late-stage trial on hold after a reported "unexplained illness" in one of the trial volunteers. Here's what that means for the quick development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

What kind of vaccine trial got put on hold?

The trial was a Phase 3 clinical trial for a vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

...

Why was the trial suspended?

AstraZeneca reported Tuesday evening that there was a "potentially unexplained illness" in one of its trials in the U.K.

That triggered a "standard review process," intended to ensure safety when that happens.

While the trial is suspended, the incident will be investigated by independent reviewers not involved in the trial itself.

What kind of illness was it?

AstraZeneca said Wednesday that the patient had neurological symptoms associated with a spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis, but a final diagnosis was still pending as more tests are carried out, Reuters reported.

That involves localized inflammation of the spinal cord, which can cause symptoms such as weakness, loss of sensation or even paralysis of the arms and legs. It can be caused by autoimmune diseases, viral, bacterial or fungal infections or parasites, but it has also been reported as potentially a rare side effect of vaccinations for diseases such as hepatitis B, influenza or measles-mumps-rubella.

However, researchers who have studied it note that it's difficult to confirm or exclude the link between the disease and vaccination, since it can occur coincidentally due to other causes after vaccination.

The U.S.-based Mayo Clinic said that the association so far is not strong enough to warrant limiting any vaccine.

MegB

Aristotleded24 wrote:

MegB wrote:
I don't mind the lack of public consultation - medicine isn't a democracy and I'm not a medical professional - and I don't suspect some nefarious government plot to control us. The vast majority of us are so willingly compliant that there's no need for an extra layer of mass control.

That's true, but medical science isn't always settled or cut-and-dried. Often there is ambiguity and uncertainty. It is also not immune from political and economic influences. This becomes evident when there is ambiguity and competing interests have different stakes in certain medical views prevailing. Look at the number of children who are prescribed ritalin or people who are on anti-depression or anti-anxiety medications.

It's true that sometimes the medical profession has to step up and say, "I know what we're saying is unpopular, but it's the truth." Very often, however, there is an arrogance and lack of empathy in their communication, and people begin to lose trust. Often times, medical professionals are their own worst enemies when communicating with the public.

I think you're confusing science with the sociopolitical buzz around science. You don't have the former without the latter for the most part, but at the same time there is what is provable - or currently unprovable - outside the buzz. It's true, what is known and provable is maleable - we continue to explore and define what were previously thought to be immutable scientific truths. But there is, after some study and experimentation, some increasing of knowledge.

I suppose I just find the endless handwringing over what is fact, what is spincycled fact and what is patently false with COVID boring and irrelevent. I just have a hard time with the fact that this relatively small threat to our comfortable Western lives has any relevence in comparison to how precariously most people on the planet live, with or without a deadly and super-contagious coronavirus. How brutal their everyday lives are, how contracted their life expectancy. On the best of days. Let's keep some perspective.

Aristotleded24

MegB wrote:
I just have a hard time with the fact that this relatively small threat to our comfortable Western lives has any relevence in comparison to how precariously most people on the planet live, with or without a deadly and super-contagious coronavirus. How brutal their everyday lives are, how contracted their life expectancy. On the best of days. Let's keep some perspective.

I totally agree with this. The World Health Organization has warned about many threats for decades that we have ignored. We are only paying attention to covid because it has threatened our comfort. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for someone in the developing world to watch the current global response to covid while other threats in the developing world have been ignored.

As of today, we are just over 28 million covid cases worldwide (on a planet of over 8 billion people) and this virus has an estimated fatailty rate of 1%. Imagine if covid had by now infected 57 million people with a fatality rate of 35%, but the disease was confined to south Asia and Africa. Would we notice it that much in our part of the world?

Bacchus

The WHO never has more than one pandemic in a day. Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast

And yes thats a modified quote. Points if you can guess it

kropotkin1951

MegB wrote:

I suppose I just find the endless handwringing over what is fact, what is spincycled fact and what is patently false with COVID boring and irrelevent. I just have a hard time with the fact that this relatively small threat to our comfortable Western lives has any relevence in comparison to how precariously most people on the planet live, with or without a deadly and super-contagious coronavirus. How brutal their everyday lives are, how contracted their life expectancy. On the best of days. Let's keep some perspective.

I wish that our government would get a different perspective when it comes to our opioid crisis. The answer is clear but the resolve is lacking because the BC NDP hierarchy is moralistically against drugs, except of course for their aides that snort coke and smoke pot.

In Canada’s west coast province of British Columbia, deaths from overdoses of drugs have hit record levels in May and June.

In May there were 170 overdose deaths, June recorded 175, which is a new record and represents a 130 per cent increase over June 2019. The total number of COVID deaths this year in the province is 189, with no new deaths reported compared to a total of 728 overdose deaths this year.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:

MegB wrote:

I suppose I just find the endless handwringing over what is fact, what is spincycled fact and what is patently false with COVID boring and irrelevent. I just have a hard time with the fact that this relatively small threat to our comfortable Western lives has any relevence in comparison to how precariously most people on the planet live, with or without a deadly and super-contagious coronavirus. How brutal their everyday lives are, how contracted their life expectancy. On the best of days. Let's keep some perspective.

I wish that our government would get a different perspective when it comes to our opioid crisis. The answer is clear but the resolve is lacking because the BC NDP hierarchy is moralistically against drugs, except of course for their aides that snort coke and smoke pot.

In Canada’s west coast province of British Columbia, deaths from overdoses of drugs have hit record levels in May and June.

In May there were 170 overdose deaths, June recorded 175, which is a new record and represents a 130 per cent increase over June 2019. The total number of COVID deaths this year in the province is 189, with no new deaths reported compared to a total of 728 overdose deaths this year.

I agree. Here in Winnipeg the problem drug is meth, which has been responsible for increased crime (we set a record for homicides last year), the fear that comes with it, and restrictive measures even pre-covid.

Aristotleded24

Will we have much choice once a covid vaccine comes out?

Quote:

You walk toward the arena, ready for a big game, tickets in hand. But what you see is a long line wrapping around the corner of the building and a bottleneck at the entrance as people search their pockets and purses for a small piece of paper. To be cleared to enter, you’ll also need that document—proof that you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccination.

This is the future as some experts see it: a world in which you’ll need to show you’ve been inoculated against the novel coronavirus to attend a sports game, get a manicure, go to work, or hop on a train.

“We’re not going to get to the point where the vaccine police break down your door to vaccinate you,” says Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University’s School of Medicine. But he and several other health policy experts envision vaccine mandates could be instituted and enforced by local governments or employers—similar to the current vaccine requirements for school-age children, military personnel, and hospital workers.

...

The mandates can be directed toward customers, as well. Just as business owners can bar shoeless and shirtless clients from entering their restaurants, salons, arenas, and stores, they can legally keep people out for any number of reasons, “as long as they’re not running afoul of any antidiscrimination laws,” says Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, a professor of health and vaccine law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, some experts think states will require targeted industries to enforce vaccine mandates for their employees, especially those we’ve come to know as “essential workers.”

...

Even the general public could be incentivized to get vaccinated. “Oddly enough, the best way to impose a mandate is to reward people with more freedom if they follow that mandate,” Caplan says. For example, with proof of inoculation, you would be able to attend a sporting event “as a reward for doing the right thing,” he says. “And I can imagine people saying, If you want to go to my restaurant, my bowling alley, or my tattoo parlor, then I want to see a vaccine certificate, too.”

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The answer is clear and that is wear a mask.

If it's that simple, why has Edmonton been a covid hotspot for the last few weeks? Edmonton has had a mandatory mask bylaw on the books with a high level of compliance.

Pondering

I can imagine people saying, If you want to go to my restaurant, my bowling alley, or my tattoo parlor, then I want to see a vaccine certificate, too.”

That would be a huge infringement on our rights. Everyone would have to show ID to do anything. 

If it's that simple, why has Edmonton been a covid hotspot for the last few weeks? Edmonton has had a mandatory mask bylaw on the books with a high level of compliance.

A single measure is not enough. Are bars and restaurants open? How about schools? Are people having private parties? Answered my own question....

As of Oct. 8, those in the Edmonton zone are asked to keep indoor family and private social gatherings to no more than 15 people....

In the past week, Hinshaw said. About 36 per cent – or two out of five – new cases were infected by a close contact. Twenty-six per cent were linked to active outbreaks.

No one ever claimed that wearing masks in public places is a complete solution. 

 

Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

I can imagine people saying, If you want to go to my restaurant, my bowling alley, or my tattoo parlor, then I want to see a vaccine certificate, too.”

That would be a huge infringement on our rights. Everyone would have to show ID to do anything.

Sounds like we agree on something.

People on the far right have always gone on about the imminence of mandatory vaccinations. The fact that this was posted in National Geographic said to me that someone is seriously considering this as our new future, so I think it should be addressed.

There are a number of other problems as well. One of the points constantly raised to challenge the anti-vax position is that if everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated, that herd immunity protects people who cannot receive the vaccinations. What of people who can't be vaccinated against covid for medical reasons? Will they be excluded from such venues? Not only that, but if this goes ahead, do you not think there is going to be a massive problem of people trying to used forged vaccination records? What would an outbreak related to someone's use of a forgery do to public confidence and the level of fear people experience?

Aristotleded24

More vaccine troubles:

Quote:
Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson said Monday it has paused the advanced clinical trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers.

"Following our guidelines, the participant's illness is being reviewed and evaluated by the ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as well as our internal clinical and safety physicians," the company said in a statement. ENSEMBLE is the name of the study.

"Adverse events -- illnesses, accidents, etc. -- even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies."

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine arm is developing the shot. The company did not say what the unexplained illness was, but one point of clinical trials is to find out if vaccines cause dangerous side effects. Trials are stopped when they pop up while doctors check to see if the illness can be linked to the vaccine or is a coincidence.

Maybe we should reconsider our strategy of waiting for a vaccine before having our lives back? Doesn't look to me like vaccines are going to be ready for use any time soon.

Aristotleded24

With questions about how long immunity against covid lasts, that has major implications for the viability of a vaccine. If our own immune systems, which were designed to provide long-lasting protection against pathogens (think chicken pox, for instance) can't provide permanent protection against covid, any vaccine we try to develop in the coming months and years will not be effective over the long term. Suppose you need booster shots after a year. You then have a situation where there is massive demand, plus the time, energy and resources that need to go into producing, distributing, and administering these boosters. Is all of this really wise, or should it be directed at providing care for people with other medical conditions, rather than constantly vaccinating otherwise healthy people against this disease?

NDPP

#WearAMask (and vid)

https://twitter.com/Schadi_CRS/status/1317845726257401856

"Wear a mask. Is it really too much to ask?"

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