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Coronavirus_2020.01.28


Jaydee
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For people who think that all of the regulations that created this self inflicted madness won’t impact them.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/supply-chain-issues-pharmacists-what-to-know

I’m talking about the passive aggressive types who revel in ridiculing the “pure bloods” (new segregationist term for ya), the ones who demanded mandates, exclusions, and dismissal without recourse to unemployment benefits. The ones who did that without considering (even for a moment), how they would (or could) be effected. Your reliance on foreign countries for essential goods is, was and always will be a vulnerability and strategic threat to you.... that's you personally.  

It's a bad idea... you should keep doing it.

Edited by Wolfhunter
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National Post

Rex Murphy: After 21 months, our leaders are still flying blind through the pandemic

Rex Murphy  1 day ago
image.png.132218e760a51915db9357cd6ad1c146.png

Are governments managing COVID, or is COVID managing governments? I’m going with the latter..

It is almost a feat of memory to recall the early days of the pandemic when the call went out to tolerate restrictions for just “two weeks to flatten the curve.” When two weeks proved insufficient, the lockdowns continued.

 

Still, in those early days, most people were willing to take the hit, to circumscribe normal interactions, shut their businesses, leave their elderly relatives cloistered and unvisited, and comply with the harsher protocols. Hard it was, but Canadians are sensible and obliging.

Well, a couple of months swelled to several, then to a year, and now here we are 21 months later. What’s changed? More to the point: what’s improved? Well, we now have COVID passports, imperfect vaccines, a flurry of follies on when and where to wear a mask, and absolutely no idea what is next.

We find ourselves looking towards Christmas 2021, with more imperative edicts as to how we might be allowed to celebrate it: how many at the festive table, a face shield on baby Jesus in the creche and double-thick masks if plum pudding is to be served.

Every month brings a new “variant.” Are the variants limitless? Are the variants worse than the original? I sometimes wonder, when they run out of letters from the Greek alphabet, will they jump to Cyrillic? It’s hard to pronounce, but as an emphatic typography, it has the stern look our overseeing managers will appreciate.

Even the most obliging citizens continue to respect the advice of municipal, provincial and federal governments, but in private conversation rattle off doubts and frustrations about the policies and pronouncements of health and political authorities.

They don’t believe COVID is under control, or even understood in any fundamental sense, and they certainly do not believe that those in authority have a handle on it. They go along. But the going along is tepid, unconvinced, resentful and certainly not spined with any belief that the maskings and the mandates, the on and off lockdowns, and the waning vaccines are taming COVID.

I’m not speaking of those who go to protests, who reflexively resist government authority or the even more demented faction who talk to trees and expect a reply. I’m talking about average folks — mothers, clerks, taxi drivers and students — who are going along, but in a deeply subdued way.

We must ask some questions. Do our authorities really have an understanding of the problem? Or are they continuing to improvise as they go? If such is the case, governments should say so. Do not give false hope. Will any authority, in health or politics, make a definitive statement about when or how this COVID crisis will end?

What is the end game? Is there one? Will politicians declare the set of conditions that must be present for life to return to normal? What is the current projected timeline? Are we looking at another year? Two? Is this a permanent state of affairs? Is the extremely imperfect COVID “cure” worse than the disease? That is the question.

The normal rhythms of daily life are shot; commerce is desperately ailing; industries are failing; inflation is back and it will cut very deeply in the months ahead; energy supplies are in jeopardy; the supply chain is broken; the health of a multitude of citizens is not being attended to, doctors are on phone lines, surgeries delayed, emergencies rooms have turned into vast waiting halls; young people have lost out on their education; loved ones have been separated; travel is either a pain or a joke; the psychological injuries imposed by COVID regimes are not, and perhaps cannot, be measured. But they are massive and extreme.

And most emphatically: the civil liberties of citizens have been pushed aside, abandoned, violated with scarcely a whimper from parliamentarians and the news media. Our once-celebrated Charter of Rights and Freedoms is shown to be a platitudinous vapour, a shield of fog and foam, most insouciantly violated when it is most needed.

We may accede to the conditions and regulations being laid down for us. But I would ask readers these questions: Do you think our various authorities, medical and political, are competently managing COVID and have a clear plan for a return to normalcy? Do you believe that our politicians — municipal, provincial and federal — really know what they are doing?

And the last one: are you feeling better now, more confident today, than you felt two years ago, when our leaders, so solicitously, asked for your help, just for two weeks mind you, to “flatten the curve?”

National Post

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National Post

Chris Selley: Liberals play more insulting pandemic games with our democracy

image.png.70d9b720daf73a2d0c17710a0617339f.png%7B© Provided by National Post Liberal politicians have been trying to score political points on the unvaccinated, Chris Selley suggests.

The COVID-19 pandemic and, perhaps even more so, the governments trying to cope with it have routinely made fools of optimists. Here in Ontario, it took three increasingly large waves of the virus and hundreds of days of lockdown before relatively good news scored a point: The late-summer wave was a fraction of what most experts projected, and while cases have since climbed past that peak, they are climbing slower than during previous waves.

Then along came Omicron. It’s possible this new variant might be a blessing: contagious enough to vanquish Delta, but causing less severe symptoms. I sure wouldn’t bet on it, though.

If there’s one thing Canadians can be pretty confident about, however — and your experience will obviously vary by jurisdiction — it’s that we will continue to have things pretty good, especially in terms of cases but also fatalities, relative to most other Western jurisdictions that also could not realistically seal their borders: the United States and Europe, most notably.

That’s not to diminish the toll COVID-19 has taken. But our relative plight has always been worth keeping in mind as we try to strike the balance between fighting the virus and keeping sane. The differences are astonishing.

South of the border, excluding tiny states without large population centres like Maine and Vermont, the most impressive statewide performance has been Oregon’s: 9,323 cases and 124 deaths per 100,000 population, versus the national average of 14,707 and 236, respectively.

The highest total case rate among Canadian provinces, Alberta’s, is much lower than Oregon’s: 7,365 per 100,000.

The highest total death rate is Quebec’s 135 per 100,000, which is slightly higher than Oregon’s. But second-place Manitoba is all the way down at 96. Ontario is way down further at 68, British Columbia further still at 46.

And then there’s Europe. Norway and Finland are far and away the continent’s best performers, yet Norway has seen more cases per capita than B.C., Manitoba and Ontario. Finland’s and Norway’s fatality rates are much lower than Canada’s. But in most of the rest of Europe, they have been staggeringly higher even than Quebec’s: 178 fatalities per 100,000 population in France; well over 200 in Britain, Italy and Belgium.

In future, I suspect experts will look on Canada as a success story among comparable countries — especially in terms of case containment. And I suspect they will credit our relatively strict lockdown measures, certainly relative to the U.S.

It’s only a theory, but I think Canadians themselves have far more to do with it. We are cautious people: Albertans and Saskatchewanians less so than Ontarians and Maritimers, it would seem, but cautious nonetheless. If every rule Ontario implemented had been framed only as a strong recommendation, I suspect the outcomes would have been worse — but not two or three or four times worse.

Remember: Lockdowns in Europe were in many cases just as strict or stricter than in Ontario and Quebec, and everything still went to hell. I seem to have more pandemic risk-tolerance than many of my Upper Canadian peers, but after spending a few hours in Madrid in February watching young Madrilenos jam themselves into bars and restaurants, all I wanted to do was hide under the bed in my Airbnb.

If our governments have let us down, and they have, then I think Canadians have picked up the slack. When there’s plague about, we tend to stay home. The case numbers bear that out.

This only makes governments’ shambolic, insulting performances on so many files more frustrating — including in some cases their commitment to the basics of democracy. The House of Commons and Senate quite rightly went to great expense setting up remote and “hybrid” options to keep the business of democratic accountability going … yet in the midst of one of the country’s greatest-ever domestic crises, and with billions of dollars shooting out the Peace Tower like a firehose, the House of Commons sat for just 86 days in 2020. The average in recent non-election years has been 120 or more.

On Thursday, House Speaker Anthony Rota ruled that the House of Commons Board of Internal Economy — which is controlled by the Liberals — had overstepped its bounds in barring unvaccinated MPs from sitting in the House unless they could provide a medical exemption. Only the House as a whole can decide to restrict access to members, he determined, siding with the Conservatives, who can now refer the matter to a committee or move to censure the board.

It will go down in history as a brief, insignificant procedural story. But it’s part of a much larger and greasier story: Liberal politicians trying to score political points on the unvaccinated.

It’s an incredibly unwise strategy considering how hesitant many Canadians to add their and their children’s immunity to the herd. When Canadians think of anti-vaxxers they likely think first of the cartoon villains: the baffling, cultish but small minority who storm Canadian Tires unmasked as if they were liberating Holland, who draw parallels between pandemic restrictions and the Holocaust, who protest outside hospitals and harass diners at COVID-compliant restaurants.

The vast majority of the vaccine-hesitant, especially when it comes to their younger children, aren’t anything like that. It’s hard to think of a more efficient way to potentially radicalize them than by denying their duly elected MPs their full privileges to represent them in Parliament — even if they test negative every single day.

To the extent Canadians are united in the war against COVID-19, they have proven themselves pretty good soldiers, willing to follow even questionable orders. A serious, fully functioning democracy isn’t much to ask in return.

• Email: cselley@nationalpost.com | Twitter: cselley

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Monclonal antibodies (Regenerons) have been shown to be very effective  in treating Covid, but our inept government has been slow getting it into the country just as they were with the vaccines.

Canada has 9000 doses whereas the US has 3 million.

Here is a report from Global.    

https://globalnews.ca/news/8218172/canada-regeneron-monoclonal-antibody-covid-treatment/

From that report:

The Regeneron antibody cocktail, a combination of drugs used to treat COVID-19, is flying off the shelves in the United States.

70c8fc80The U.S. has purchased nearly three million doses at a cost of around US$2,100 each — much higher than a typical dose of COVID-19 vaccine — and is making the treatment available to patients for free, said the manufacturer.And the World Health Organization endorsed on Friday the medication for some patients at high risk of hospitalization.

But in Canada, this and other drugs, known as monoclonal antibody treatments, are hardly being used — even though doctors say they would be a useful addition to their COVID-fighting arsenal.

“This new antibody cocktail is the one that is probably the most promising for people with mild COVID-19 and also seems to be promising for people who are hospitalized with COVID-19, who are naïve to the virus: so they haven’t been vaccinated or they haven’t been infected before,” said Dr. Amol Verma, a physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto.These drugs are a direct shot of antibodies targeting the virus that causes COVID-19, he said, designed to help people who have already been infected better fight it off, and lessening the chance that they may have to be hospitalized.
 
'It did wonders'

Some patients say the treatments made a huge difference in their lives.

Joyce Wachsmuth, of Eau Claire, Wis., and her husband were infected with COVID-19 in January. A breast cancer survivor, she had never felt so much pain.

When doctors at the local Mayo Clinic told the 67-year-old that she and her 70-year-old husband were prime candidates for what was then an experimental drug treatment with monoclonal antibodies, she jumped at the opportunity, she told the Associated Press in August.

Wachsmuth said she felt relief just two hours after the one-hour drip treatment.

“It did wonders. It kept us off the hospital and off the ventilators,” said Wachsmuth, who has since been vaccinated.

 

From everything that we know so far, and we have several studies on this, it’s remarkably effective,” said Dr. Andrew Morris, an infectious diseases physician at Sinai Health and University Health Network and professor at the University of Toronto.

But although he thinks it’s useful, Morris said, “In Canada, we just don’t have enough of it.”

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada has received 6,000 doses of the antibody cocktail, with another 3,000 doses due to come in October — far less than the U.S.’s order of 3 million doses.

Almost every province Global News contacted reported limited supply, with some like New Brunswick saying the treatment wasn’t available at all.

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Almost seems as if it couldn't possibly be true. I hope this is fake news, a completely made up story and both participants are actors.

You would have to handcuff me to the sink 24 hours a day.

It's a really bad idea... we should do it too:

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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A good summary between now and 100 years ago.

https://www.govexec.com/management/2021/02/1918-pandemic-provides-warning-about-covid-19s-future/172078/

1918 Pandemic Provides Warning about COVID-19’s Future

Even if we start to see a decrease in COVID cases, a study of the 1918 influenza pandemic suggests a spike could occur in late 2021 or early 2022.

FEBRUARY 17, 2021

The 1918 influenza pandemic provides a cautionary tale for what the future may hold for COVID-19, says Siddharth Chandra.

After a decade studying a flu virus that killed approximately 15,000 Michigan residents, Chandra, a professor in the James Madison College at Michigan State University, saw his research come to life as he watched the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was so surreal,” says Chandra, who has a courtesy appointment in epidemiology and biostatistics. “All of a sudden, I was living my research.”

Using influenza infection and mortality data on Michigan from 1918-1920, Chandra identified four distinct waves. The first large peak was in March 1918. “After a second spike in cases in October 1918, the governor instituted a statewide ban on public gatherings,” Chandra says. “Much like the restrictions that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

After three weeks, the number of cases decreased and the ban was lifted, which led to another peak in December 1918. “The ban didn’t stop the spread of the flu. It just delayed the spike in cases,” he says.

A chart shows the timeline of the four distinct 1918-1920 pandemic waves This graph shows the four distinct waves. Wave #1 March 1918 (Spring 1918 Wave), #2 October 1918 (Fall 1918 Wave), #3 December 1918 (Winter 1918 Wave), and #4 February 2020 (Winter 1920 Wave). (Credit: MSU)

Chandra mapped the data showing the peaks and spikes in cases from October 1918 and December 1918 and tracked flu virus case growth by county over time. In October, counties in the southern part of the state and near the Mackinac Straits had the highest numbers but by December, the highest numbers of cases were in the heart of the state.

The most surprising piece of data came 18 months later in February 1920, when a statewide explosion of cases created a massive spike even larger than the one in October 1918. For Chandra, it is an educated guess as to the reasons for this delayed increase.

 
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“Assuming it’s the same influenza virus, World War I ended in 1918 and the men were coming home to their families,” he says. “We had a mobile agent that brought the virus home to infect family members, which would explain the increase in cases among children and the elderly.”

Unfortunately, there is not a way to confirm this, Chandra says. “We would need samples from patients in 1920 from across the state. Then, we would need to compare those with samples from patients in 1918 from across the state, and that’s not likely to happen.”

The weather may have also been a factor since cool temperatures with low humidity likely provided optimal conditions for the virus to live and spread. Another factor that played a role was the absence of a vaccine.

“In 1918, there was no hope for a vaccine. In 2021, we have a vaccine available,” he says.

One of the key insights from the 1918 pandemic that can inform the public health response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is the number of people susceptible to the virus, Chandra says. Which means that it is possible that a spike like the February 1920 one will occur in late 2021 or early 2022.

“So many people will remain susceptible until they get vaccinated,” Chandra says. “Bad things can still happen a year or two from now even if we see a decrease in the number of cases now. We still have over 200 million people walking around who are susceptible to the virus, including myself.”

The study appears in the American Journal of Public Health. Additional coauthors are from James Madison College and Michigan State University.

Source: Michigan State University

Original Study DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2020.305969

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