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New data suggests nearly 40% of population of B.C., Ontario infected with Omicron

 

Almost half of Canadians may have caught COVID

 

Canada's COVID-19 immunity landscape has completely transformed since the emergence of Omicron — with new estimates suggesting that almost half of the population has been infected.

Researchers in B.C. analyzed thousands of blood samples in the Lower Mainland throughout the pandemic to track antibody levels in the general population, and found a massive shift in the level of infection in the past few months.

The B.C. data, provided in advance to CBC News, found close to 40 per cent of the population had antibodies from a previous infection in March, up from around 10 per cent in October. That number is even higher in children under 10, with nearly two-thirds now showing evidence of prior infection.

"Think about that — two out of three children," said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, a vaccine effectiveness expert and epidemiology lead at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control who led the research.

"Wow, something really dramatically changed and I think we know the name of that change … it's Omicron." 
 

Close to 90% vaccinated, infected or both

Skowronski said close to 60 per cent of those aged 10 to 40 also had antibodies from prior infection, and just under 50 per cent of those aged 40 to 60. There were slightly lower levels in those aged 60 to 80 — possibly because they were less socially engaged and vaccinated earlier.

The data also suggests almost 90 per cent of the population has had their immune system primed against the virus in some way — either through vaccination, prior infection or both.

Skowronski, whose research laid the groundwork for the decision to delay second doses in Canada, said we are in a "vastly different context" now than at the start of the pandemic, when we had basically "total population naivety" to the virus.

"It's about one in two, almost, of our population that have had evidence of infection," she said. 

And while the data provides a useful snapshot to estimate the level of infection in the community, she said it doesn't directly translate to exact population 
 

"We cannot say that this is an indication of protection or being exempt from future infections, especially when new variants arise. But a primed person is immunologically a prepared person."

While the data is preliminary and has yet to be peer reviewed or published, it is in line with emerging data from other provinces, like Ontario, where official estimates now show as much as 40 per cent of the population was infected with COVID-19 since December alone.

"We have had millions of infections in the last few months, most of them undocumented," said Dr. David Naylor, who led the federal inquiry into the 2003 SARS epidemic and now co-chairs the federal government's COVID-19 immunity task force.

"I would not be surprised if the true number is over 10 million nationally by the end of the sixth wave." 
 

Canada has become a variant magnet

Canada's COVID-19 immunity landscape is one of the most complex in the world due to our high vaccination rates, widespread transmission, delaying and mixing of doses and the fact we've been a magnet for variants — often with multiple circulating at once.

But does the protection we've gained from vaccines, prior infection and combined hybrid immunity mean the worst is behind us? Or could waning immunity to infection, the spread of new variants or some other pandemic curveball threaten another surge in the future?

"If there's a future variant that has infective advantages over Omicron, we can expect it to arrive and spread here," Naylor said. "That much is obvious from the last two years. SARS-CoV-2 goes pretty much everywhere at a brisk clip."

Canada's bold decision to delay and mix doses of COVID-19 vaccines led to strong protection from hospitalization and death, but the emergence of Omicron and its subvariants rendered them less protective against infection than previous virus strains.

A new Canadian preprint study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, found the effectiveness of just two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines was "excellent" against severe outcomes from COVID-19 up until September 2021.

That research follows another new study co-authored by Skowronski, and published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, that showed two doses of mRNA vaccines or AstraZeneca "gave substantial and sustained protection" against hospitalization from Delta, up to November 2021.

While vaccine effectiveness against severe outcomes has held up well, two-dose protection against Omicron infection fell dramatically in December, dropping to just 36 per cent, according to one Ontario preprint study, with boosters raising it to 61 per cent.

That significant hit to our population immunity underscored the need for boosters and left us highly susceptible to Omicron-fuelled fifth and sixth waves that have since ripped through the population.

'Complex' immunity landscapes

Tulio de Oliveira, the director of South Africa's Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, who led the research team that identified subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, said countries like Canada now have "very complex" immunity landscapes in the wake of Omicron
 

"What that means is that what one country sees with a variant and subvariant may be slightly different from which other countries see," he told CBC News in a phone interview. 

"But if population immunity is increased, especially through vaccination and boosting, that still should bode very well against not only Omicron, but potentially any new variant that may emerge."

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) strongly recommended boosting all adults and high risk children earlier this month, and de Oliveira said the most effective way to boost a population is before a new wave of infection starts.

Running out of territory' with current vaccines

While a high rate of vaccination and previous infection in Canada doesn't guarantee the worst is behind us, it's clear that it will continue to reduce the likelihood of severe outcomes from COVID-19 for the vast majority of Canadians.

But as the virus continues to evolve into new variants that are light years away from the original strain that the vaccines are targeted to, the push to update the formulations to target Omicron and other variants is top of mind.

"We need broader coverage from the vaccines. Much to my frustration, we're still aiming against a strain that's long, long, long gone," said Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunologist and professor at the University of Arizona.

"I understand the practical reality is these are the tools that we have on hand right now, but we're definitely running out of territory in terms of what we can expect these vaccines to do, given how different Omicron is than what the vaccines are aimed against."

Moderna announced new findings this week showing that a booster shot designed to target both the Beta variant and the original virus strain generated a better immune response against several other variants, including Omicron.

While that exact formulation will likely never see the light of day, it bodes well for the possibility of tailoring future mRNA shots to target multiple variants. But until we have updated vaccines, immunity from prior infection may work to fill the gap. 
 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/omicron-immunity-canada-covd19-vaccines-1.6428536

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I don't know the answers but some of my questions are now being considered without sanction and ridicule. It's about time I'd say.  

This deals with excess mortality in the under 45 demographic. All will be known in about 18 months... 

https://www.rebelnews.com/disquieting_death_toll_dissecting_canadas_all_cause_mortality

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Being with unvaccinated people increases COVID-19 risk for those who are vaccinated, study finds

 
 
 
 
MONTREAL - 

While remaining unvaccinated against COVID-19 is often framed as a personal choice, those who spurn the vaccines raise the risk of infection for those around them, a new study suggests.

The research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that vaccinated people who mix with those who are not vaccinated have a significantly greater chance of being infected than those who stick with people who have received the shot.

In contrast, unvaccinated people's risk of contracting COVID-19 drops when they spend time with people who are vaccinated, because they serve as a buffer to transmission, according to the mathematical model used in the study.

Co-author David Fisman, of the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana school of public health, said the message of the study is that the choice to get vaccinated can't be thought of as merely personal.

"You may like to drive your car 200 kilometres an hour and think that's fun, but we don’t allow you to do that on a highway partly because you can kill and injure yourself, but also because you're creating risk for those around you," he said in a recent interview.

Fisman said the idea for study came a few months ago amid the debate around vaccine passports and vaccine mandates.

"We thought what was missing from that conversation was, what are the rights of vaccinated people to be protected from unvaccinated people?" he said.

The conclusion, he said, is that "public health is something you actually have to do collectively."

"What we kind of concluded is that the decision to not be vaccinated — you can't really regard it as a self-regarding risk (because) you're creating risk for other people around you by interacting with them," he said.

The researchers used a mathematical model to estimate how many infections would occur in a population, depending on how much mixing occurred between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It found that when people mixed with people of a similar vaccination status, infection rates among vaccinated people decreased from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, and they increased from 62 per cent to 79 per cent among those who were vaccinated.

Fisman said that in real life, people tend to spend the most time with people who are similar to them. So, he said, even if vaccinated people are most likely to spend time with others who have received shots, they're disproportionately impacted when they spend time with those who haven't.

He said the arrival of more contagious COVID-19 variants, such as Omicron, have impacted both vaccine effectiveness and public faith in vaccination. But he said that even when vaccine efficacy was lowered to 40 per cent in the model and the reproductive rate was increased to account for a more contagious variant the overall conclusions were the same.

He said the study actually underplays the importance of vaccines in one way because it doesn't take into account how they vastly cut the chances of death and hospitalization.

Fisman said the results, from a purely "utilitarian" perspective, provide justification for the implementation of public health measures such as vaccine passports and vaccine mandates.

However, he acknowledges that a simple mathematical model doesn't fully reflect the real world or the diverse factors that must be taken into account when setting public health policy, including political considerations and public anger.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2022.

___

What questions do you have about Omicron?

With the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant of concern, labelled Omicron, CTVNews.ca wants to hear from Canadians with any questions.

Tell us what you’d like to know when it comes to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

To submit your question, email us at dotcom@bellmedia.ca with your name, location and question. Your comments may be used in a CTVNews.ca story.

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Remember this headline from a week (or so) ago? it made all the main stream media outlets. 70 percenters gobbled it up even though it made no sense from a high school biology perspective. It seemed to me (at the time) that you would have to take real liberties with the modelling in order to reach such an intuitively illogical conclusion: 

Being with unvaccinated people increases COVID-19 risk for those who are vaccinated: modelling study

Here's another perspective... I think it's worthwhile to look at these as they come up and make rational assessments as they do. In 18 months no one will care and "side by side analysis" of claims made and debunked (now) will be lost and forgotten. 

The modelling errors are glaring and they are made by smart people who know (or should know) better and that (to me) reeks of narrative.  We should collectively be very suspicious of a peer review process that would allow this sort of misinformation into the public domain, it's very similar to the techniques employed by the anti-gun and global warming lobby. 

If you don't believe those lobbyists (and suspect media complicity to boot) you should, as a minimum, be suspicious about many aspects of covid reporting coming from the same source you already (likely) consider tainted.  

https://www.rebelnews.com/immunologist_dr_byram_bridle_responds_to_flawed_study_used_to_justify_unvaccinated_segregation

Edited by Wolfhunter
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https://c2cjournal.ca/2022/04/the-evaporating-effectiveness-of-covid-19-vaccines-as-shown-by-the-newest-ontario-government-data/?fbclid=IwAR3xI_2ukVBwmcWu1Zmo2ooi3fA_6NDCm72TQyBZiEETec-wSSoIKMfXtjQ

Fairly extensive and in depth article on the present state of affairs re Covid.

 

Who Knew What, When, What Did They Do, and Why?

Like Ottawa, Canada’s provincial governments all imposed various vaccine mandates of their own – whether for patrons to enter restaurants, for family members to visit nursing homes or for individuals to hold jobs in government, hospitals or certain industries. But while the provinces one-by-one began to lift vaccine mandates soon after the Freedom Convoy headed for Ottawa in February, and as it became ever-harder to deny that the Omicron variant was breaking through the vaccines en masse, the federal government doubled-down – and still shows little sign of relenting.

This behaviour begs several questions. If the situation warrants lifting various restrictions and vaccine mandates in provinces all across Canada, why should they remain at the federal level? If we are making evidence-based decisions and “following the science,” as is ceaselessly claimed, why the difference in policy, direction and even rhetoric between the jurisdictions? Is the evidence different at the federal than the provincial level? Is science different in Ottawa than in the provincial capitals?

Since much of the information regarding the ineffectiveness of the vaccines was in the public domain before the January 15 imposition of the truckers’ vaccine mandate and even more has become available since, the following questions arise:

  1. Did officials in Health Canada or the Public Health Agency of Canada not have this information by January 15? If that is the case, it suggests federal public health officials are incompetent, since it is part of their job to stay current with relevant epidemiological data.
  2. Did federal officials have this information but, for some reason, decline to brief the Minister of Health? If so, this suggests a serious deficiency in decision-making in the federal public health bureaucracy’s senior ranks.
  3.   Who knew what, when, why and how? Given that the evaporating effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines was becoming evident by January, did federal health officials not brief Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos (shown) and, in turn, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on this data? Were they kept in the dark, or did they just not care? (Source of photo: The Canadian Press/ Adrian Wyld) Did federal health officials brief the Minister of Health but the Minister of Health not brief the PMO? If so, this suggests the Minster of Health is incompetent and should be fired.
  4. Did the Minister of Health brief the PMO but the PMO did not brief Trudeau? If so, this suggests that at least some elements of the PMO behaved nefariously and should be identified and removed.
  5. Did the PMO brief Trudeau but Trudeau imposed the mandate anyway? If so, this raises genuinely disturbing implications.
  6. Why do the federal (and some provincial) mandates persist in spite of the ever-growing amount of data that has become publicly available since January 15? This question encompasses all the preceding cases but with four months of consistent – indeed, worsening – data available rather than just one, and thus carries the same implications only with greater urgency.
 

None of these cases is particularly reassuring with respect to the “good government” requirement of Canada’s Constitution.

B772AE78-A136-4557-897F-F1EE979E6670.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

"...the Government of Ontario stopped posting data in the form used for the previous analysis, preventing direct comparison between that period and the most recent three months."

These efforts (not this specifically but it's a good example) was, or clearly should have been, a strong clue. I've always maintained that high school biology, math and statistics was all you needed to ask questions and filter the answers for grains of truth. Suppressing those questions and de-platforming Phd's who attempted to answer them was nothing short of shameful.

And it certainly wasn't accidental, the media was AWOL at every step and at every turn. In fact, they wrote, choreographed, produced and directed the ridicule efforts that 70 percenters gobbled up like voracious wolves.

That was always the key for me personally... people who simply could not discuss the issue at a basic level making patently ridiculous statements that were completely incoherent in the face of high school level biology. 

Frankly, I'm no longer interested in what happened... we have a pretty good idea. I want to know the why aspect of it. 70 percenters need to see the before and after collages and squirm in their chairs a bit. They need to acknowledge what a bloody dangerous force they became, and they need to learn from this and resolve to do better next time.

And the reason it's important is that there will be a next time. If, for example, unvaccinated blood supplies become a critical factor in public health at some point in the future, I now fear what these people are capable of.

Anyone who might choose to ridicule that particular position should pause for a moment and reflect on the self inflicted madness currently on offer across the board... and ask themselves WDYTWGTH

 

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Covid Reality

COVID-19 is killing fewer people, but Quebec still reporting dozens of deaths daily

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MONTREAL — Percylla Battista said she last spoke to her sister, Maggie Quart Robitaille, a week before Quart Robitaille tested positive for COVID-19.

"She was feeling pretty good," Battista said in a recent interview. "She didn't think she would get COVID because she had already been vaccinated four times."

 

But on April 13, Quart Robitaille died at age 82, less than two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. She was among the 3,325 people reported to have died in the province from the novel coronavirus since the Omicron wave started in mid-December.

While vaccination and improved treatment have made COVID-19 less deadly, Quebec reported Saturday that there have been15,000 deaths attributed to the pandemic in the province — the most in Canada. Quebec's death rate also remains the highest in the country, at 174 deaths per 100,000 people. In Ontario, there have been 86 deaths per 100,000 people. Across Canada, there have been 102.

Simona Bignami, a demography professor at Université de Montréal who studies population health, said less attention is being paid to people who have recently died of the disease, like Quart Robitaille, compared to those who died during the pandemic's first wave, which killed more than 5,686 people.

It's understandable, Bignami said in a recent interview, that people are trying to regain some sense of normalcy. But in doing so, she said, "there has been, unfortunately, less emphasis on the people who continue to die of COVID-19."

While COVID-19 deaths tend to be concentrated among people who are 70 and over, Bignami said that over the past year, the proportion of people between 50 and 69 who have died has risen. 

According to Quebec's public health institute, 12.9 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in the province during the fifth wave that began in December involved people aged 50 to 69, up from 7.8 per cent during the first wave. During the ongoing sixth wave, 9.1 per cent of deaths have been among people aged 50 to 69.

But Bignami said governments aren't releasing enough data about who is dying, information that's essential for risk assessment as the pandemic continues.

"Is it still the case that the deaths are concentrated among the unvaccinated? What is really the burden of mortality among those who are vaccinated and what is the actual mortality risk if one is vaccinated with two doses versus three doses?" she asked. "The only country that has done extensive studies of this has been Israel."

Dr. Rodica Gilca, a medical epidemiologist at the province's public health institute, said the biggest change in pandemic-related mortality has been its decline.

According to the institute's data, there have been more than 104,000 confirmed cases during the current wave of the pandemic, which began in mid-March, and 660 deaths. 

"We see that it has decreased and that it's really decreased in all age groups," Gilca said in a recent interview. "We're seeing the most significant decrease in the oldest people."

People with multiple other conditions, older people and those who are unvaccinated remain the most likely to die from the disease, she added.

Quebec's interim public health director, Dr. Luc Boileau, has acknowledged that the province has seen a "huge" number of deaths linked to COVID-19. Quebec's high death toll, he said last Thursday, is explained by the fact the province counts a COVID-19 death as any death involving someone who has the disease.

He said a government study from January indicated that around 30 per cent of the official COVID-19 deaths in the province's hospitals involved people who tested positive for COVID-19 but whose principle cause of death was not the disease. He said about 40 per cent to 50 per cent of official COVID-19 deaths in the province involve people who had the disease but who died of other causes.

"The lethality rate has dropped continuously since the first wave," Boileau said. "The vaccinations and the medical services that they're offering inside our hospitals are very good, so that's why we're observing the lethality rate going down and down and down, which is great."

But, for Battista, the death of a family member is a sad reminder that the pandemic isn't over. 

"I'm going to miss our phone calls, our chit chats and gossip and all that stuff," Battista said, adding that she'll remember her sister as an avid reader, an oil painter and a crafter who was fond of knitting and crochet.

While governments may be trying to move past the pandemic, Battista said she's still taking precautions. 

"I firmly believe that we're all going to get COVID If we aren't careful, and those of us who are older all have some kind of (health) issue," Battista said. "We're more vulnerable. I just can't understand how governments have rescinded all the measures that they were taking to keep us healthy." 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2022. 

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Ontario College of Physicians suspends rural family doctor for 'inappropriate' COVID-19 treatments, advice

New slate of allegations against Phillips, including 'interference with the testing of an infant for COVID-19'

Tue May 03, 2022 - CBC News 
by Casey Stranges

dr-patrick-phillips-covid-19-college-of-

Quote

'Phillips drew a comparison between pandemic-related public health measures and the treatment of people with disabilities in Nazi Germany.'

Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) has temporarily suspended the licence of Dr. Patrick Phillips, a physician whose social media comments promoting misinformation during the pandemic landed him before a disciplinary committee. 

Phillips, who worked as an emergency room physician in Englehart, Ont., had previously been called before the college's disciplinary committee to answer to allegations of misconduct. 

The allegations are, at least in part, connected to Phillips's statements on social media, where he once had a sizeable presence. Nearly 40,000 users followed him on Twitter before his account was suspended. 

In one instance, in a series of tweets on Sept. 25, 2021, Phillips drew a comparison between pandemic-related public health measures and the treatment of people with disabilities in Nazi Germany.

He has also called Ontario's vaccine certificate system "illegal" and claimed it would be used to "deny medical care, food, banking and shelter" to unvaccinated people.

In a video posted to the Reddit group LockdownSkepticism, Phillips appears in a video questioning the risk of asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 as "negligible to non-existent." 

"It is alleged that Dr. Phillips engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct and failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession in relation to his communications, including communications on social media and other digital platforms, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues," the CPSO's website said.  

In a statement to CBC News, a spokesperson for the college said that its Investigations, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) ordered Phillips be handed an interim suspension order. 

The committee said Phillips was allegedly "incompetent in relation to his patient care and reporting adverse events following immunization." 

Allegations against Phillips, listed on the notice of hearing issued by the CPSO's discipline tribunal, include:

  • Interference with the testing of an infant, who was not his patient, for COVID-19;
  • Inappropriate reporting of adverse events following immunization;
  • Inappropriate management of patients/other individuals in relation to COVID-19 vaccines and in relation to COVID-19 treatment and prophylaxis, including inappropriate prescribing; Inappropriate provision of medical exemptions in relation to COVID-19;
  • Inappropriate communication with patients/other individuals in relation to COVID-19 vaccines, treatment and prophylaxis;
  • Unprofessional conduct and communications at his hospital workplace, including failure to follow hospital protocols.

CBC Sudbury reached out to Phillips for comment via social media but did not receive a response.

A date for the tribunal is expected to be set in the coming weeks.

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A recap from the BBC

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Covid: World’s true pandemic death toll nearly 15 million, says WHO

By Naomi Grimley, Jack Cornish and Nassos Stylianou
BBC News

Published
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Cremation sites in India struggled with the number of dead

The Covid pandemic has caused the deaths of nearly 15 million people around the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates.

That is 13% more deaths than normally expected over two years.

The WHO believes many countries undercounted the numbers who died from Covid - only 5.4 million were reported.

In India, there were 4.7 million Covid deaths, it says - 10 times the official figures - and almost a third of Covid deaths globally.

The Indian government has questioned the estimate, saying it has "concerns" about the methodology, but other studies have come to similar conclusions about the scale of deaths in the country.

Graphic showing the breakdown of global excess deaths, with 57% male and 43% female as well as showing middle income countries having the highest proportion of excess deaths at 81%

The measure used by the WHO is called excess deaths - how many more people died than would normally be expected based on mortality in the same area before the pandemic hit.

 

These calculations also take into account deaths which were not directly because of Covid but instead caused by its knock-on effects, like people being unable to access hospitals for the care they needed. It also accounts for poor record-keeping in some regions, and sparse testing at the start of the crisis.

But the WHO said the majority of the extra 9.5 million deaths seen above the 5.4 million Covid deaths reported were thought to be direct deaths caused by the virus, rather than indirect deaths.

A chart showing by how much excess death are higher than official reported Covid deaths, with Egypt at the top with 11.6 higher, India second with 9.9 times higher and Pakistan third with the excess death toll eight times higher

Speaking about the scale of the figures, Dr Samira Asma, from the WHO's data department, said "It's a tragedy.

"It's a staggering number and it's important for us to honour the lives that are lost, and we have to hold policymakers accountable," she said.

"If we don't count the dead, we will miss the opportunity to be better prepared for the next time."

Alongside India, countries with the highest total excess deaths included Russia, Indonesia, USA, Brazil, Mexico and Peru, the WHO figures suggest. The numbers for Russia are three-and-a-half times the country's recorded deaths.

 

The report also looks at the rates of excess deaths relative to each country's population size. The UK's excess mortality rate - like America, Spain and Germany - was above the global average during 2020 and 2021.

Graphic showing the excess deaths rate by country based on WHO estimates, with Peru at the top on 437, Russia on 367 and South Africa on 200. The global average is 96 and China, Japan and Australia show up as having registered negative excess deaths

Countries with low excess mortality rates included China, which is still pursuing a policy of "zero Covid" involving mass testing and quarantines, Australia, which imposed strict travel restrictions to keep the virus out of the country, Japan and Norway.

The academics who helped compile the report admit their estimates are more speculative for countries in sub-Saharan Africa, because there is little data on deaths in the region. There were no reliable statistics for 41 out of 54 countries in Africa.

Statistician Prof Jon Wakefield, from Seattle's University of Washington, helped the WHO and told the BBC: "We urgently need better data collection systems.

"It is a disgrace that people can be born and die - and we have no record of their passing.

"So we really need to invest in countries' registration systems so we can get accurate and timely data."

 

More on this story

 

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Posted (edited)

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rupa-subramanya-indias-courts-get-it-right-on-vaccine-mandates-and-canada-doesnt

I can't imagine federal mandates being removed until the last of the military and RCMP administrative releases are concluded.

I don't know the numbers (and can't speak for the RCMP), but when they come out don't be fooled, it will be under a thousand and it will represent only those members who forced the system to kick them out.

The number of members who opted for "voluntary release" simply to avoid recorded warning, counselling  and probation and administrative release on their records (for life) will not be included in the numbers you're going to hear. Nor will the numbers include reservists IMO, they will dodge the issue altogether.

Don't even bother asking how many experienced pilots (ironically with degrees in molecular biology) were lost. If you don't already know, you never will.... 

Anyway, that's what I'd do if I was a lying fraud with no moral compass... it's what makes them so predictable.

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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China bolts people inside their homes to keep COVID at bay 

In the province of Hebei, those who refuse to hand over their keys so they can be locked in from the outside are being bolted in

Chinese officials are bolting residents shut inside their homes to prevent them spreading COVID. Public health workers used wires to barricade doors and installed iron bolts in order to lock people in, according to videos circulating on Chinese social media.

 

The videos were the latest sign of an increasingly draconian set of lockdowns that have triggered rare public dissent in China. The country is one of the few places in the world that still follows a strict “zero COVID” policy.

 

The measures are applied to those who refuse to hand over their apartment keys so they can be locked in from the outside, according to the independent publication Caixin Global.

 

The videos sparked outrage online, where it was pointed out that the measures risked endangering people’s lives as they would have been unable to leave their homes in an emergency.

 

 

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/china-bolts-people-inside-their-homes-to-keep-covid-at-bay?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=broadsheet_promo&fbclid=IwAR3ZBBfPCTeikLJpmuUhof2hIGoQ0rgnSvF5FNZZ-_lI92JsAjdCgGe2gXY#Echobox=1651784522

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Posted (edited)

Quote of the day.

POOF, a resurgence of "my body my choice" (It's been curiously AWOL for the last two years.)

POOF, the off label use of veterinarian grade drugs is no longer worthy of ridicule:

Left-wing news outlet, VICE posted a “do it yourself” abortion guide on Tuesday, with details on creating DIY “abortion pills” made with ingredients used to treat horses with stomach ulcers. 

VICE’s “Motherboard” account wrote on Twitter, “Misoprostol is relatively easy to acquire from veterinary sources, since in addition to medically inducing abortions, it's also used to treat ulcers in horses” 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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3 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Quote of the day.

POOF, a resurgence of "my body my choice" (It's been curiously AWOL for the last two years.)

POOF, the off label use of veterinarian grade drugs is no longer worthy of ridicule:

Left-wing news outlet, VICE posted a “do it yourself” abortion guide on Tuesday, with details on creating DIY “abortion pills” made with ingredients used to treat horses with stomach ulcers. 

VICE’s “Motherboard” account wrote on Twitter, “Misoprostol is relatively easy to acquire from veterinary sources, since in addition to medically inducing abortions, it's also used to treat ulcers in horses” 

 

803FE553-325C-439F-98FF-28D1674B8207.jpeg

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Remember all the criticism and outright ridicule of Sweden? 

WHO admits Sweden had fewer COVID deaths per capita than most of Europe

Sweden famously did not enforce the same strict lockdowns as the rest of the continent.

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23 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

Remember all the criticism and outright ridicule of Sweden? 

WHO admits Sweden had fewer COVID deaths per capita than most of Europe

Sweden famously did not enforce the same strict lockdowns as the rest of the continent.

What odds on on the Prime Minister or Minister of Health (or equivalent) responsible for that decision gets nominated for the Nobel Prize or Time-Person-of-the-Year award?  You know, for savings all those lives.

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52 minutes ago, Airband said:

Ontario ice cream maker tarred by 'lies' from anti-vaxxers, this time after doctor's 'nice' tweet

"it just seems sad to be honest with you."

 

The problem is that there's no cost to an anonymous person for tweeting/posting/emailing wrong information that harms someone else.  I should mention that this is not restricted to the Right - of course we know that.

I don't know the solution and certainly am not onboard with the government policing it.  In real life if you shoot off your mouth and spout nonsense you get the eye-rolls and social disapproval from those you are speaking to.  For most people this is enough to cause some pause before speaking but when it's electronic and anonymous there is no limiting factor at all.

I've read somewhere, an obviously not-serious solution, would be that a copy of everything you send/post is sent to your spouse, your mom and your religious congregation leader.  Of course not everyone has a spouse, mom or religious congregation leader or one that would care but the point being made is that if one's online activities, attitudes and posting was made public to your close circle that it might put the damper on the more inappropriate fringe.

 

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United States passes one million Covid deaths

By Bernd Debusmann Jr
BBC News, Washington

Published
11 minutes ago

The US has passed more than one million Covid-related deaths, says the White House.

President Joe Biden said the country was marking "a tragic milestone" and each death was "an irreplaceable loss".

It's the highest official total in the world - although the World Health Organization believes the true death toll may be much higher elsewhere.

The US has also recorded more than 80 million Covid cases, out of a 330 million population.

The first confirmed case was reported on 20 January 2020, when a man flew home to Seattle from Wuhan in China.

The 35-year-old survived, after 10 days of pneumonia, coughs, fever, nausea and vomiting. But deaths began to be reported just a few weeks later.

Complete article can be viewed here:  United States passes one million Covid deaths - BBC News

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Posted (edited)

Lush cosmetics store kicks out disabled child over inability to wear a mask 

I doubt you'll find this in the liberal media but thank goodness for doxing.

Yet another company for the bad bunny list.The child in question had a valid medical exemption presented to the Lush staff prior to eviction... It was a while ago, but the incident occurred in Edmonton.

IMO, doxing is about the only worthwhile thing liberals have given us in years, at least it's the thing I heartily endorse and want more of.

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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43 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Lush cosmetics store kicks out disabled child over inability to wear a mask 

I doubt you'll find this in the liberal media but thank goodness for doxing.

Yet another company for the bad bunny list.The child in question had a valid medical exemption presented to the Lush staff prior to eviction... It was a while ago, but the incident occurred in Edmonton.

IMO, doxing is about the only worthwhile thing liberals have given us in years, at least it's the thing I heartily endorse and want more of.

 

Not in the liberal media but:

Lush cosmetics store kicks out disabled child over inability to wear a mask - Rebel News

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TOP STORY  

 

Even as his government stubbornly ignores local and national trends toward lifting mask mandates, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is proving extremely willing to go maskless himself — provided it happens on foreign soil.

 

On May 8, the prime minister was in Ukraine, a country that saw only 45 per cent of its adult population fully vaccinated on the eve of the Russian invasion. There were hugs with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, handshakes with Ukrainian officials and tightly packed indoor press events. In not one image can Trudeau be seen wearing a mask.

 

Compare that to two days prior, when Trudeau visited Hamilton, Ont. for a photo op with recently arrived Afghan refugees.

 

Of Hamiltonians over the age of 12, 84.4 per cent are “fully vaccinated.” At the time Trudeau visited, everything from hospital admissions to case rates to wastewater data showed that the city’s COVID rates were in steep decline. What’s more, Trudeau has himself received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. He also has natural immunity from a COVID-19 infection in January.

 

Despite all this, Trudeau spent the entire visit wearing a mask. Not an N95 mask as per the latest Public Health Agency of Canada recommendations, but a loose-fitting surgical mask whose utility has been increasingly questioned ever since the rise of more transmissible COVID-19 variants such as Omicron.

 

It’s far from the first time that Trudeau has observed one set of masking rules for Canada, and another while abroad.

 

In October 2021 Trudeau was photographed at a maskless bar gathering in the Netherlands along with the country’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Later that month, Trudeau was sporting a face mask outdoors on the grounds of Rideau Hall in advance of a cabinet swearing-in ceremony. The disparity was despite comparable case and vaccination rates between Canada and the Netherlands at the time.

 

In March, Trudeau was maskless while meeting and shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth II. A month later, during a trip to Kitchener, Ont. to promote his new federal budget, Trudeau could be seen wearing a mask during outdoor events.

 

On April 24, Trudeau posted an image to social media celebrating the birthday of his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Both of them were pictured wearing face masks while on swings together, although as a married couple who share the same household, they’ve presumably spent the entire pandemic in the same COVID-19 bubble.

 

This is all happening as Trudeau’s government stubbornly bucks both local and international trends towards abandoning extraordinary measures related to COVID-19.

 

While provincial governments have lifted almost all of their COVID-19 mandates, Ottawa hasn’t budged on strictures that even at the height of the pandemic were seen as among the world’s most stringent.

 

This includes a blanket ban on air and rail travel for any Canadian over the age of 12 not showing proof of vaccination, as well as a continuing vaccine mandate for federal public servants. ban on government employment for the unvaccinated. Airports and rail stations remain some of the only public venues in the country where masking and vaccination status is still subject to government order.

 

While Canadian public health officials justified the imposition of these measures as a key tool to curb transmission, epidemiologists are questioning their utility as more transmissible COVID variants are proving able to spread among the unvaccinated and in spite of masking.

 

“The justification behind vaccine mandates is that they help prevent transmission. But this does not seem to be the case any longer, with the Omicron variant,” reads a recent op-ed by McMaster University infectious diseases physician Zain Chagla published in the Globe and Mail. Chagla called for a complete dismantling of Canadian vaccination and quarantine mandates for travellers.

 

Continuing federal orders are also putting Canada increasingly out of step with the international community. Masks have been optional on U.S. flights for nearly a month after a similar federal mandate was struck down by a U.S. district judge. The U.K. began backing off on in-flight masks in March. The European Union is dropping mask mandates in its airports next week.

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About 11 per cent of admitted COVID patients return to hospital 

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A new study offers a closer look at possible factors that may lead to some hospitalized COVID-19 patients being readmitted within a month of discharge.

At roughly nine per cent, researchers say the readmission rate is similar to that seen for other ailments, but socio-economic factors and sex seem to play a bigger role in predicting which patients are most likely to suffer a downturn when sent home.

Research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at 46,412 adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in Alberta and Ontario during the first part of the pandemic. About 18 per cent -- 8,496 patients -- died in hospital between January 2020 and October 2021, which was higher than the norm for other respiratory tract infections.

Among those sent home, about nine per cent returned to hospital within 30 days of leaving, while two per cent died.

The combined rate of readmission or death was similar in each province, at 9.9 per cent or 783 patients in Alberta, and 10.6 per cent or 2,390 patients in Ontario.

For those wondering if the patients were discharged too soon, the report found most spent less than a month in hospital and patients who stayed longer were actually readmitted at a slightly higher rate.

"We initially wondered, 'Were people being sent home too early?' ... and there was no association between length of stay in hospital and readmission rates, which is reassuring," co-author Dr. Finlay McAlister, a professor of general internal medicine at the University of Alberta, said from Edmonton.

"So it looked like clinicians were identifying the right patients to send home."

The report found readmitted patients tended to be male, older, and have multiple comorbidities and previous hospital visits and admissions. They were also more likely to be discharged with home care or to a long-term care facility.

McAlister also found socio-economic status was a factor, noting that hospitals traditionally use a scoring system called LACE to predict outcomes by looking at length of stay, age, comorbidities and past emergency room visits, but "that wasn't as good a predictor for post-COVID patients."

"Including things like socio-economic status, male sex and where they were actually being discharged to were also big influences. It comes back to the whole message that we're seeing over and over with COVID: that socio-economic deprivation seems to be even more important for COVID than for other medical conditions."

McAlister said knowing this could help transition co-ordinators and family doctors decide which patients need extra help when they leave the hospital.

On its own, LACE had only a modest ability to predict readmission or death but adding variables including the patient's neighbourhood and sex improved accuracy by 12 per cent, adds supporting co-author Dr. Amol Verma, an internal medicine physician at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

The study did not tease out how much socio-economic status itself was a factor, but did look at postal codes associated with so-called "deprivation" indicators like lower education and income among residents.

Readmission was about the same regardless of neighbourhood, but patients from postal codes that scored high on the deprivation index were more likely to be admitted for COVID-19 to begin with, notes Verma.

Verma adds that relying on postal codes does have limitations in assessing socio-economic status since urban postal codes can have wide variation in their demographic. He also notes the study did not include patients without a postal code.

McAlister said about half of the patients returned because of breathing difficulties, which is the most common diagnosis for readmissions of any type.

He suspected many of those problems would have been difficult to prevent, suggesting "it may just be progression of the underlying disease."

It's clear, however, that many people who appear to survive COVID are not able to fully put the illness behind them, he added.

"Looking at readmissions is just the tip of the iceberg. There's some data from the (World Health Organization) that maybe half to two-thirds of individuals who have had COVID severe enough to be hospitalized end up with lung problems or heart problems afterwards, if you do detailed enough testing," he said.

"If you give patients quality of life scores and symptom questionnaires, they're reporting much more levels of disability than we're picking up in analyses of hospitalizations or emergency room visits."

The research period pre-dates the Omicron surge that appeared in late 2021 but McAlister said there's no reason to suspect much difference among today's patients.

He said that while Omicron outcomes have been shown to be less severe than the Delta variant, they are comparable to the wild type of the novel coronavirus that started the pandemic.

"If you're unvaccinated and you catch Omicron it's still not a walk in the park," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.

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More Americans could be asked to mask up again amid renewed COVID challenges

Some experts fear a new wave of COVID-19 could be emerging in the U.S.

The Associated Press · Posted: May 18, 2022 2:08 PM ET | Last Updated: 27 minutes ago
 
workers-wearing-masks-inside-a-new-york-
Workers are seen wearing protective masks at a New York City store on Tuesday. The COVID-19 pandemic could get worse in the U.S. in the weeks ahead, officials said Wednesday, and more people could be advised to again wear masks indoors. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The COVID-19 pandemic could get worse in the U.S. in the weeks ahead, officials said Wednesday, and more people could be advised to again wear masks indoors.

Increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are putting more of the country under guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that call for masking and other infection precautions.

For an increasing number of areas "we urge local leaders to encourage use of prevention strategies like masks in public indoor settings and increasing access to testing and treatment," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said at a White House briefing with reporters.

However, officials were cautious about making concrete predictions, saying how much worse the pandemic gets will depend on several factors, including to what degree previous infections will protect against new variants.

Last week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha warned in an interview with The Associated Press the U.S. will be increasingly vulnerable to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn't swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments..

The pandemic is now two and a half years old. And the U.S. has seen — depending how you count them — five waves of COVID-19 during that time, with the later surges driven by mutated versions of the coronavirus.

A fifth wave occurred mainly in December and January, caused by the Omicron variant, which spread much more quickly than earlier versions.

New wave on the horizon?

Some experts are worried the country now is seeing signs of a sixth wave, driven by an Omicron subvariant. On Wednesday, Walensky noted a steady increase in COVID-19 cases in the past five weeks, including a 26 per cent increase nationally in the last week.

Hospitalizations are rising also, up 19 per cent in the past week, though she said they remain much lower than during the omicron wave.

In late February, as that wave was ebbing, the CDC released a new set of measures for communities where COVID-19 was easing its grip, with less of a focus on positive test results and more on what's happening at hospitals.

Walensky said that more than 32 per cent of the country currently lives in areas with medium or high COVID-19 community levels, including more than nine per cent in the highest level, where the CDC recommends that masks and other mitigation efforts be used.

In the last week, an additional eight per cent of Americans were living in a county in medium or high COVID-19 community levels.

Officials said they are concerned that waning immunity and relaxed mitigation measures across the country may contribute to a continued rise in infections and illnesses. They encouraged people — particularly older adults — to get boosters.

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Posted (edited)

Rupa Subramanya: Liberals slow to realize vaccine mandates are past their best by date 

Time for the Trudeau government to end its vaccine mandate for federal employees

70 percenters will tell you it's about the science and those arguing against the mandates have fallen into the trap of using science as a counter argument... It's not even about that IMO.

It can't happen until the last of the military / RCMP administrative releases are processed and those folks are fired. There may be a few federal civil service members still hanging on as well (not sure about them). 

Once the people who need to be fired are gone, they will relax the mandates.... I can't imagine it being before that.

 

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