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COVID-19 News

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
In high risk settings I have no problem with the taking precautions, but outside high risk settings like hospitals and long-term care for the elderly, the risk of mortality from covid-19 is less than dozens of other hazards, and doesn't justify bringing in mandatory masks, vaccinations, and fining groups of people thousands of dollars for being on a picnic, and YES it has been going on, to the tune of over 15 million dollars in fines here in Canada, not to mention putting literally millions of people into a state of abject poverty, the death toll from which may exceed that of COVID-19.
I love you man, but I don't buy that at all. It's shut down the world economy for months. For that reason alone it has a special status.

Masks don't hurt people. Limiting group sizes doesn't hurt people. We could already have fully reopened if people would take fairly simple and reasonable precautions.

I don't wear masks everywhere, but I do put one on when asked to do so. No big deal.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I love you man, but I don't buy that at all. It's shut down the world economy for months. For that reason alone it has a special status.

Masks don't hurt people. Limiting group sizes doesn't hurt people. We could already have fully reopened if people would take fairly simple and reasonable precautions.

I don't wear masks everywhere, but I do put one on when asked to do so. No big deal.
I liked you post because I appreciate honest counterpoint. The part I'm wondering about is what you you don't "buy at all" when they're not simply matters of opinion. I'm actually a bit surprised, but perhaps when you consider the following:

Masks: Masks actually can hurt people, and increase health risks. Some people are not required to wear them for that reason. Outside of high risk settings there is very little evidence to support the idea that masks make much difference at all unless you're symptomatic, in which case you shouldn't be out anyway. Recent studies also show that transmission from asymptomatic carriers is "rare". Exactly how rare isn't known. Let's not also forget the increased garbage from all the masks, especially those lying around on the ground. I can't be the only one who's seen them. How healthy is that?

Groups: Limiting group sizes also hurts people, especially financially, not just from the closing down of major events, but also small businesses, and social groups who have been fined, not to mention that the right to peacefully gather has been a societal right that is highly valued in the free world. I would much sooner take my chances catching COVID -19 than give that up.

The Shut Down: Over the long term, the shut down may very well result in many more deaths than the disease. I've outlined those reasons backed by studies already more than once. Even the existing deaths blamed on COVID-19 are largely misleading because the vast majority have been in high risk groups where whatever put them in the high-risk group to begin with was going to kill them anyway, and if not that, then some other disease or condition ( usually some sort of pneumonia or organ failure ) probably would, and within a fairly short time span.

I know that sounds harsh, and I don't envy the politicians who have to grapple with those facts, but the stats here show that the majority of deaths from COVID-19 are in the age group of those who have already exceeded their normal life expectancy, which means most are in long-term care homes for the elderly, and no longer working anyway.

So how does that justify shutting down the rest of society and telling young healthy people who will probably get over COVID-19 fine if they get it, that they can't live their lives the way they normally do. Yes there are a few outliers who might get sick from the disease and might have a bad reaction and might die, but that doesn't justify the sweeping restrictions on the hundreds of millions ( billions ) of the rest of us.

Lastly, you might remember how they changed the term "social distancing" to "physical distancing" to be more politically correct because they didn't want to give the impression that people should "socially distance". The truth is that physical distancing is social distancing. Proximity and touch are hugely important facets of social interaction.

So let the high risk people wear moon suits and live in bubbles along with other immunocompromised people, and let normal people live normal lives instead turning everyone in the world into unwilling germaphobes ( or face the consequences ).
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The U.S. is an exception. In most other developed countries, the virus has been more or less held at bay because people did follow the guidelines. By not following the guidelines, many U.S. states have only made matters worse. More people impacted, more work days lost, more impact to companies already suffering.

The problem with young people with coronavirus is that they can infect their parents and grandparents, and that's a big issue here.

As with everything about this crisis, there is a whole lot of misinformation and no mitigation effort is at best more than partly successful.

And, no, it hasn't been demonstrated that lockdowns, social distancing and masks have increased deaths. They, in fact, save lives.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
The U.S. is an exception. In most other developed countries, the virus has been more or less held at bay because people did follow the guidelines. By not following the guidelines, many U.S. states have only made matters worse. More people impacted, more work days lost, more impact to companies already suffering.
The VAST amount of work days lost are from the mandatory shutdowns. Had people followed the normal guidelines for any other type of transmissible disease and stayed home when sick, that would have been just as effective, and there would have been no need for a lockdown.
The problem with young people with coronavirus is that they can infect their parents and grandparents, and that's a big issue here.
There have been guidelines for people with transmissible diseases to stay away from high risk populations including the elderly since before the COVID-19 lockdowns. So that's nothing new. The elderly can be put over the edge by a common flu or cold. They need special treatment and that's where the main focus should have been, not locking down the rest of the country.
As with everything about this crisis, there is a whole lot of misinformation and no mitigation effort is at best more than partly successful.
I agree that there's been a lot of misinformation.
And, no, it hasn't been demonstrated that lockdowns, social distancing and masks have increased deaths. They, in fact, save lives.
You're only looking at the problem through a narrow lens. I posted the WHO figures on the estimates of increased poverty from the economic collapse caused by the lockdowns, along with the studies that correlate mortality rates with poverty a lack of education. I also posted the numbers for those issue inside the USA. Those numbers all exceed the number of deaths from COVID-19 alone.

Saying they don't count is like saying that a nuclear explosion only kills 10,000 people, and ignoring all the rest who die of radiation exposure, fire, and loss of the necessities of life. There's a bigger picture that's been ignored while the doctors who are influencing decisions are only looking through their microscopes at the virus alone.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
I liked you post because I appreciate honest counterpoint. The part I'm wondering about is what you you don't "buy at all" when they're not simply matters of opinion. I'm actually a bit surprised, but perhaps when you consider the following:

Masks: Masks actually can hurt people,
No they can't.
and increase health risks.
No they don't.
Some people are not required to wear them for that reason.
I've never seen anyone exempted, but I've seen people try to claim they are.
Outside of high risk settings there is very little evidence to support the idea that masks make much difference at all unless you're symptomatic, in which case you shouldn't be out anyway. Recent studies also show that transmission from asymptomatic carriers is "rare". Exactly how rare isn't known. Let's not also forget the increased garbage from all the masks, especially those lying around on the ground. I can't be the only one who's seen them. How healthy is that?
They slow the spread of infection rather obviously, especially with things like covid-19, where you can be asymptomatic but infectious for days.

Groups: Limiting group sizes also hurts people, especially financially, not just from the closing down of major events, but also small businesses, and social groups who have been fined, not to mention that the right to peacefully gather has been a societal right that is highly valued in the free world. I would much sooner take my chances catching COVID -19 than give that up.
Sure, it hurts people. But hurting people with Covid hurts more. Look at the US - they've reopened way too early, and now they're going to have to start all over again. We're nearly through it up here, hopefully. Why undo a multi-month shutdown a few weeks or months too early?

The Shut Down: Over the long term, the shut down may very well result in many more deaths than the disease. I've outlined those reasons backed by studies already more than once. Even the existing deaths blamed on COVID-19 are largely misleading because the vast majority have been in high risk groups where whatever put them in the high-risk group to begin with was going to kill them anyway, and if not that, then some other disease or condition ( usually some sort of pneumonia or organ failure ) probably would, and within a fairly short time span.
Nah. I've seen studies like that, but the numbers just don't work out. There are secondary problems - my uncle passed away when the whole thing first hit, partly because he didn't want to go into the hospital because he thought they'd have bigger things to worry about.

there are problems with lockdown - and it is time to ease the restrictions (which is what's happening). But people also need to be reasonable, including not fearmongering about masks.

Masks are safe. Period. My mask protocol is to put one on if the business asks me to. It's no big deal. It certainly isn't a safety risk to me to wear one. Nor is it some kind of argument against my freedom or an assertion of control over me.

I know that sounds harsh, and I don't envy the politicians who have to grapple with those facts, but the stats here show that the majority of deaths from COVID-19 are in the age group of those who have already exceeded their normal life expectancy, which means most are in long-term care homes for the elderly, and no longer working anyway.

So how does that justify shutting down the rest of society and telling young healthy people who will probably get over COVID-19 fine if they get it, that they can't live their lives the way they normally do. Yes there are a few outliers who might get sick from the disease and might have a bad reaction and might die, but that doesn't justify the sweeping restrictions on the hundreds of millions ( billions ) of the rest of us.

Lastly, you might remember how they changed the term "social distancing" to "physical distancing" to be more politically correct because they didn't want to give the impression that people should "socially distance". The truth is that physical distancing is social distancing. Proximity and touch are hugely important facets of social interaction.

So let the high risk people wear moon suits and live in bubbles along with other immunocompromised people, and let normal people live normal lives instead turning everyone in the world into unwilling germaphobes ( or face the consequences ).
Not even going to touch that man because just look at that covid party link I posted. One misinformed or careless person can infect hundreds. This isn't like cancer or auto deaths; the problem here is geometric escalation. Math is math, and geometric progression of disease is a big part of this risk.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
I posted the WHO figures on the estimates of increased poverty from the economic collapse caused by the lockdowns,
Here's two core problems:

1. dead people can't work or buy stuff;
2. the disease has a geometric progression profile which means it's extremely easy to get out of control quickly and very difficult to get back under control.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Here's two core problems:

1. dead people can't work or buy stuff;
Neither can people with no money. In fact the poor have a very high mortality rate. COVID-19 might catch-up temporarily, but when the backlash from the added poverty caused by the economic collapse due to the lockdowns hits, it could be much worse than had things been done differently. Millions of people are already suffering from it, COVID and non-COVID victims alike.
2. the disease has a geometric progression profile which means it's extremely easy to get out of control quickly and very difficult to get back under control.
That's interesting. However it doesn't change the stats for those who contract it, and COVID-19 doesn't appear to be even close to any sort of apocalyptic plague. Not everyone gets it, and not everyone who gets it even knows they've got it. The vast majority of people recover and if it weren't for the lockdowns, they could have been back to work by now. The rest are high risk and ... you've heard all this already right?
 

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
It is, however, more than 10 times as lethal as the flu, and it can leave ongoing symptoms for lungs and the hearts of those who recovered.

As it stands, medical facilities in the worst affected areas of the U.S. are nearly overwhelmed. They don't have the capacities, and they are running out of critical protective gear for healthcare people. They don't even have enough capacity in the morgues to store bodies.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Neither can people with no money. In fact the poor have a very high mortality rate. COVID-19 might catch-up temporarily, but when the backlash from the added poverty caused by the economic collapse due to the lockdowns hits, it could be much worse than had things been done differently. Millions of people are already suffering from it, COVID and non-COVID victims alike.
people negatively impacted by the economy can potentially regain their financial foothold. Dead people can’t. I’m not sure where the debate comes from?

again, I think it’s time to reopen smartly in Canada.


That's interesting. However it doesn't change the stats for those who contract it, and COVID-19 doesn't appear to be even close to any sort of apocalyptic plague. Not everyone gets it, and not everyone who gets it even knows they've got it. The vast majority of people recover and if it weren't for the lockdowns, they could have been back to work by now. The rest are high risk and ... you've heard all this already right?
The US is a good example of how to get this wrong. And of course, they have the double whammy of not having public healthcare to deal with it.

it’s an order of magnitude more contagious and an order of magnitude more deadly. Plus, there are long term issues to deal with - some that get this never fully recover.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
people negatively impacted by the economy can potentially regain their financial foothold. Dead people can’t.
It's not simply a matter of the death count, and the math on the stats shows an increased number of deaths from the economic collapse, the long term effects of which could be worse than from the disease itself. Those people are just as dead as those who were killed directly by the virus, not to mention the other stats I posted which indicated the demographic of those highest at risk.
I’m not sure where the debate comes from?
It's not a debate. It's an observation. Look at the numbers yourself.
again, I think it’s time to reopen smartly in Canada.
What defines "smartly". If the actual numbers matter, then what should have happened is increased protection, containment, and support for high risk and active cases, while the rest of society went on with business as usual. A shotgun approach lockdown affecting billions of people and throwing millions into abject poverty isn't "smart". The people whose deaths result from that are just as dead as those killed directly by the virus.
The US is a good example of how to get this wrong. And of course, they have the double whammy of not having public healthcare to deal with it.
I don't think anyone has got it 100% right. There's still more we're learning.
It’s an order of magnitude more contagious and an order of magnitude more deadly.
An order of magnitude from what? I posted a number of hazards and causes of mortality that are higher. Many people have symptoms so mild they don't even know they have it. The vast majority of the rest recover. Those who don't recover are in high-risk groups, and if what put them there doesn't kill them, there are a host of other far more common hazards and diseases that could. We just had the stats released here not long ago saying the vast majority of deaths from COVID-19 are people who have exceeded their normal life expectancy.

Right now as we speak, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. One person dies every 37 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that's 1 in every 4 deaths.

This is from: Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) - Statistics and Research

"Once a country experiences a rapid outbreak of the disease it can only respond with one of two bad alternatives: leaving the pandemic unchecked would mean that a very large share of the population would get sick and many would die. But the indirect impacts that result from the alternative – the containment measures of shutting down public life – also lead to widespread suffering: these include higher unemployment, lower production (and therefore increasing rates of poverty), and likely also higher mortality from other causes."

I'm not the only person in the world who is looking at the indirect risks as mentioned above. Also, when someone with heart disease who gets COVID-19 dies, what did they really die from? Where's the stats on how they count that? Much of the "high-risk" population are already dying from why they're in a "high-risk" population to begin with. Why should a terminal case of something else be counted as a death from COVID-19 just because they happened to catch COVID-19 before kicking the bucket?

Plus, there are long term issues to deal with - some that get this never fully recover.
We can find sad cases no matter which way we look at the situation and the long-term mortality rates are not limited to the damage done solely by the virus, but from the indirect impacts mentioned above, for which I provided numbers for consideration. There's a bigger picture, that has nothing to do with the virus and face masks or physical distancing. It also warns of many deaths.

Anyway, nobody who watches this thread can do anything about the problem anyway, even if they see what I'm saying. Just abide by the lockdown, don't gather in close groups, trade your freedom for a plan that's destroying millions of peoples lives, and be happy with the government collecting millions of dollars in germaphobe fines from perfectly healthy people who are enjoying each other's company. So long as that's all happening we've got nothing to worry about. It's the "smart" plan :p.

I've got to get off this subject now. It's bad enough dealing with it out there. I've got more songs to record and a ton of housework to do. Also gotta find a guest for tomorrow. The one we had lined-up bailed for health reasons.
 
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USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
No they can't ... No they don't ... I've never seen anyone exempted, but I've seen people try to claim they are.
It depends on the place where the bylaw is written. City hall is contemplating a mandatory masks bylaw, complete with fines and exemptions, but interestingly, the police don't have to wear masks, or seatbelts, and it seems they don't have to obey the rules of the road half the time either. Here's some people who've had a tough time with their mandatory masks.

1594789384495.png

Claims are made that so long as everyone follows "proper" procedures, masks are perfectly safe. But those procedures mean a new mask every time you put one on, otherwise bacteria and other pathogens and allergens can grow or linger in them and cause problems. That is according to the doctors who I have heard talk about it. How realistic is that for the entire population? Not very. They're going to use and re-use and many will end-up on the ground, even worse than we see them now.

They also say they do almost zero good unless you're the one who is spreading the virus, in which case you just shouldn't be out anyway. The most they can do for you is prevent some random infected person from transmitting it to you by coughing directly in your face without a mask, and even then you would pretty much have to decontaminate everything you're wearing because it's more likely to be spread by contact with a contaminated surface than from airborne transmission. Did I forget to mention only certain types of hospital grade masks actually stop the virus?
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
More than a third of the people who test positive have no symptoms. They can infect people right and left and not know they are spreading a contagious disease unless they are tested and contact tracing is done to find the victims.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
More than a third of the people who test positive have no symptoms.
If more than a third of people who test positive have no symptoms, how bad is it really?
They can infect people right and left and not know they are spreading a contagious disease unless they are tested and contact tracing is done to find the victims.
That would include the another 33% of "victims" with symptoms so mild they don't know they have it. The vast majority of the rest will recover fine. The few who don't recover fine will still recover, and those who don't are in high-risk categories, most of whom according to stats here have exceeded their normal lifespan already or are that close to dying from any number of other complications anyway, and are in locations where masks are worn routinely around them already.

Besides that, only medical grade masks actually stop the virus itself. The rest if worn properly help some by preventing people from touching their face, and by trapping airborne particles that might carry the virus. Most transmission is done by touching surfaces, not by breathing it in unless you get closer than a meter to an infected person who is coughing on you or breathing right in your face.

I'm so sick and tired of COVIOD-19 that half the time I wish I would catch it so that I can get it over with. Let me either get it and become immune or die, because living in a germaphobic police state isn't my idea of living. And if it were really as bad as living in a post apocalyptic disease world, that wouldn't be any better either.
 
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marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
It depends on the place where the bylaw is written. City hall is contemplating a mandatory masks bylaw, complete with fines and exemptions, but interestingly, the police don't have to wear masks, or seatbelts, and it seems they don't have to obey the rules of the road half the time either. Here's some people who've had a tough time with their mandatory masks.

View attachment 7904

Claims are made that so long as everyone follows "proper" procedures, masks are perfectly safe. But those procedures mean a new mask every time you put one on, otherwise bacteria and other pathogens and allergens can grow or linger in them and cause problems. That is according to the doctors who I have heard talk about it. How realistic is that for the entire population? Not very. They're going to use and re-use and many will end-up on the ground, even worse than we see them now.

They also say they do almost zero good unless you're the one who is spreading the virus, in which case you just shouldn't be out anyway. The most they can do for you is prevent some random infected person from transmitting it to you by coughing directly in your face without a mask, and even then you would pretty much have to decontaminate everything you're wearing because it's more likely to be spread by contact with a contaminated surface than from airborne transmission. Did I forget to mention only certain types of hospital grade masks actually stop the virus?
If you're using a disposable mask, use it for a day or two and dispose of it - like you'd do with, say, disposable underwear.

If you're using a cloth mask, wash it after using it for a day, just like your underwear. Even cloth masks reduce the spread. That's what is desired here - to reduce the infections below the nominal transmission rate that leads to geometric progression. I.e. "flatten the curve."

What's the big deal?
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
If more than a third of people who test positive have no symptoms, how bad is it really?
Pretty bad, actually. That's the nightmare scenario - high contagion over a lengthy period and low detection rates because it's not obvious.
That would include the another 33% of "victims" with symptoms so mild they don't know they have it. The vast majority of the rest will recover fine. The few who don't recover fine will still recover, and those who don't are in high-risk categories, most of whom according to stats here have exceeded their normal lifespan already or are that close to dying from any number of other complications anyway, and are in locations where masks are worn routinely around them already.
Are you really giving the "let them die" argument? Really? Current projections say 200,000 dead in the US before this wave alone is over. That's two Red Deers. Plus ongoing chronic health issues for some that recover.

What we need is a vaccine. And until we have that, what we need is to limit the spread.

Besides that, only medical grade masks actually stop the virus itself. The rest if worn properly help some by preventing people from touching their face, and by trapping airborne particles that might carry the virus. Most transmission is done by touching surfaces, not by breathing it in unless you get closer than a meter to an infected person who is coughing on you or breathing right in your face.
All or nothing thinking - if you can't stop it, shouldn't you at least slow it down? The best way to stop it is to self-isolate - if that's what you want, then do that. You can't infect people you're not around.

I'm so sick and tired of COVIOD-19 that half the time I wish I would catch it so that I can get it over with. Let me either get it and become immune or die, because living in a germaphobic police state isn't my idea of living. And if it were really as bad as living in a post apocalyptic disease world, that wouldn't be any better either.
Ya, I've been there man. Same deal. At the same time, I've seen lots of positives. Been working from home since this whole deal hit. Loving the family time, and my commute is stumbling down the stairs in my bathrobe to make coffee. Technology has come so far. Teachers and students have been forced to sort out remote learning, and my kids have taken to it. Having everything online possible can be good. There are other silver linings, and a hell of a lot of creative ways to keep businesses and life going. It's interesting.

Again, I'm not saying it's good, I'm just saying there's some good in this giant ball of crap.

You OK man?
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Are you really giving the "let them die" argument? Really?
Not at all. It's a matter of perspective. I'm saying that all reasonable precautions needed for minimizing the risk to those who are actually at high risk of dying should be taken while those who are at very low to no risk of dying should weather the storm and keep the ship afloat. By allocating resources to those who really need it, and avoiding more deaths from the indirect consequences of sinking ( or almost sinking ) the ship, mortality rates can be reduced on both sides of the equation.
Ya, I've been there man. Same deal. At the same time, I've seen lots of positives. Been working from home since this whole deal hit. Loving the family time, and my commute is stumbling down the stairs in my bathrobe to make coffee. Technology has come so far. Teachers and students have been forced to sort out remote learning, and my kids have taken to it. Having everything online possible can be good. There are other silver linings, and a hell of a lot of creative ways to keep businesses and life going. It's interesting.

Again, I'm not saying it's good, I'm just saying there's some good in this giant ball of crap.
Hey I'm glad to hear you're doing well, and it is really good to hear that you are being optimistic, and you're right that if you want to take extra precautions for yourself to reduce you and your family's chance of exposure, you should certainly have that freedom. I'm just looking at the bigger picture and doing some basic logic and math to see whether or not sweeping social changes backed by hard line enforcement are really the best solution.
You OK man?
You know me. When I dig in on something, I can be very persistent. So can you, and I certainly respect that. Outside of this discussion, I also respect physical distancing and sometimes wear a mask depending on the situation. I live alone, am healthy, rarely socialize, and at very low risk of mortality even though I'm over 60. I'm more likely to get hit by lightning ( especially this year it seems ) than unknowingly infect anyone or die from COVID-19.
 
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Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
This table let's you check the rate of infections in Canada.

It is doing far better than the U.S. with a much lower rate of positives among the tests.


I'd love to visit Canada, but they won't let me pass the border without a quarantine.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
This table let's you check the rate of infections in Canada.

It is doing far better than the U.S. with a much lower rate of positives among the tests.


I'd love to visit Canada, but they won't let me pass the border without a quarantine.
Even if the borders were open, the sentiment here regarding Americans is not good. The ball being dropped regarding Covid is the main reason - we took a giant hit to shut down and now are reopening carefully. Infected Yanks coming up here willy-nilly could totally undo that and set us back to square one or even worse - like what's happening in many states down there.

But the anti-Trump sentiment up here is also becoming fairly anti-Americans in general. For me & my family, we've declared the USA off limits... permanently. Not due to Covid, due to Trump and the insanity that made Trump happen. The response the BLM by the police state is absolutely insane. The blatant racism, sexism, and classism is just wild. Our yearly Maui and Vegas trips are now done and dusted. I'll only set foot in the US if my job requires it now. And I'm doing what I can within my line of work to reduce our integration with the US.

I do not think Canada's relationship with the US will ever be the same again. I do not consider the US Canada's ally any longer, and likely never will again. And I'm not alone.

I love many Americans and many American cities. Don't get me wrong. But politically, I just can't deal anymore.
 
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