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COVID-19 News

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
I'm glad you decided to engage on this, because although we seem to have some very different views, we both respect the process by which differing views should be resolved. So it should be interesting to see how this unravels. I hope you're up to it. Also, although I don't agree with much of the way the pandemic has been managed, I personally have not broken any of the rules or restrictions in place.

For anyone who suggests that might be hypocritical of me, I will say that there is a difference between what the better approach might be, and one that works to some degree, but not as well. So if that's the boat we're in, then we still all need to do our part to make sure it is as effective as it can be, regardless of whatever else we might think. At least to a point, but I won't get into that now.
I think that's a fair response.
Whether or not lockdowns are or aren't more deadly than Covid depends on how we frame that debate, and what sort of data we allow. Are we going to only allow the subset of data that supports our particular frame of reference? Or are we going to consider the bigger picture?
How would you like to frame the debate?
To determine this in a fair minded way, I submit that if the main issue here is the cost in lives, then the considerations need to include the all the consequences of lockdowns and restrictions, and not only the issue of viral transmission.
I'm with you.
To do otherwise would be to insist on being willfully ignorant of factors other than viral transmission that contribute to loss of life. I don't imagine you would want to take the tunnel vision approach, but we might as well be clear on it. Otherwise there is no way to know tell who is right or wrong or somewhere in between.

Can we agree on this point before continuing that issue?
Sure.
That is split into two different issues: 1. Masks & 2. Lockdowns. So let's look at those two issues:
I'd just add vaccinations now. I hope you're in favour of rolling out vaccines quickly and encouraging people to get them?
Masks:

Masks may or may not do anything to prevent a COVID-19 infection. For example, where there is no virus, a mask is pointless, and no scientist can argue that. So the question then becomes: How many people are pointlessly wearing a mask at any given time? On top of that, how many people falsely believe that despite it being pointless, it is actually "protecting" them or anyone else?
The data there is fairly clear. Wearing a mask blocks up to 99% of the virus from being exhaled.
It's also not pointless if you're not infected, because it also helps block the virus from being inhaled, or from you touching a source of infection and then your nose or mouth.
A specific answer to this question is almost impossible to ascertain, but a little extrapolation on what we know from the data suggests that at any given time, the virus simply isn't present in the vast majority of individual situations where people are. It's not ubiquitously floating around in the air that everybody breathes. Therefore the vast majority of the time, it's totally pointless to be wearing a mask.
Say more? It can be transmitted quite effectively in the air. Especially in closed in places like airplanes, malls, etc where you are sealed in and breathing in everyone else's air.

Where I do disagree quite strongly with the lockdowns is on things like restricting outdoor ice rinks and the like. As long as you're socially distanced outdoors, it shouldn't be a problem. We still go skiing, and only wear masks in the lift lines and getting off the lifts (unless someone else is on the lift with us). Ontario shut down a ski hill, and that just screams nonsense to me.
However, we do know that there are certain places where there is a higher risk of exposure, but even in those situations there is no guarantee of exposure, and even if exposed, there's no guarantee of infection, or that a mask will prevent the infection, because there are other routes for infection besides simple breathing.
OK c'mon man. You know better than to think a guarantee of infection or a guarantee of non-infection is anything but binary thinking. This is the domain of probabilities, not certainties.
Nevertheless, there are reasonable grounds for people in high-risk situations to wear a mask, because given enough time, the likelihood of becoming infected will approach near certainty. Those places have been identified as medical facilities, long-term care facilities, jails, retirement homes, places where people are self-isolating due to being tested positive, etc.
Have you been to Chinook lately? Holy crap. That place seems like infection city to me.
However for the many millions of the rest of the population, their mask is at this very moment, doing them no good at all. In fact, it's contributing to a lower quality of life, unnecessary fear, and adding to the litter of garbage on the street along with cigarette butts, plastic bags, sanitary wipes, and used condoms.

Bottom Line: Masks are an obvious "Yes" in some places, but not in others, so only high-risk places should be included in any requirement that they be worn. That is sort of the way it is already, and the way it was before the enforcement came into play. So I don't see the justification for enforcement bylaws. Outside the designated high-risk areas, masks should be entirely voluntary.
Wait wait wait... who exactly is being hurt by wearing a mask again? If we would have worn them and restricted social gatherings before, these lockdowns probably wouldn't have needed to occur. They aren't in some other provinces.

As I told my brother in law, who likes to yell at people wearing masks when we're out, who exactly is being hurt by them wearing one? Or how are they hurting him, who doesn't want to? He's the one inflicting potential harm, and very real social harm by acting out.
Do Lockdowns Work:

Again, how exactly do we define "work" and by what standard are we measuring that? A leaky paddle boat will "work", but maybe a bridge will work better, and fewer people will drown along the way. I signed the Great Barrington Declaration as a concerned citizen because when we look at the bigger picture, lockdowns have the potential to cost more lives than the virus itself.

I have included in other posts, links to papers that say the same thing, as well as references to statistics on the number of deaths caused by poverty, and a WHO report on the effects of the lockdowns on poverty. These numbers are in the many millions worldwide. There are now over 50,000 medical & public health scientists and practitioners who also agree with this concern.

Therefore I'm sorry to say, that while lockdowns might "work", it's certainly questionable whether or not they're the best option. We can't even be sure that in the places where they have been alleged to have worked, that they had anything to do with the result. At best, those are only unverifiable correlations. It may be the case that other factors played a much more significant role.

Bottom Line: A Lockdown will obviously lower the risk of transmission of a virus that is present in a place that is locked down. However widespread lockdowns that affect low-risk places that we don't know have any virus at all aren't justifiable, especially when there is a very real possibility that widespread lockdowns may cost more lives from the indirect economic and social consequences than the virus itself.
I understand your reasoning.

So what would you do instead? We did a fairly close approximation of doing nothing in our province. Now we're fighting our way out of a big infectious cluster-f. So what would you do instead if you were Kenney?
Relatively few situations seem to fit that assumption. The evidence shows that higher numbers of serious cases, are in the high-risk facilities mentioned earlier, where despite taking the precautions, the virus has been transmitted between people living there, or has unintentionally migrated from there to others outside those facilities, due to carriers not being aware that they had been exposed.
I disagree. One of the primary sources of infections appear to have been through careless social gatherings. Which is exactly what is being targeted. Would you target migrations instead? Should I be unable to drive to Edmonton, or BC? If so, why would that be better than restricting social gatherings?
For those who are testing positive outside those high-risk areas, contact tracing has been very difficult. We simply don't know for sure how they were exposed, and therefore we don't know if masks or physical distancing were contributing factors or not. We can make an educated guess based on certain factors that are known, and make some broad assumptions, but when it comes to radically and negatively affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, we need to do better.
Contract tracing worked great when we had low infection rates. It's now gone far beyond our ability to do contract tracing simply because there's too many new infections per day to do it. So I struggle with this rationale.
Lockdowns are not caused by the virus, they are caused by the Government, so putting the responsibility for lockdowns on people instead of Government is a bit like blaming the victim, especially when a closer look at the consequences of lockdowns makes it very uncertain that they are the best route to take.
The only people being blamed are the people not doing what they're told with masks and social distancing as far as I'm aware. The lockdown was a response to the virus promoted by the global medical and scientific establishment and then accepted (or not) by the government we ourselves created. Kenney's just a guy like you or me. Well, that's being quite complimentary to the dude, but you get what I'm saying.
Not necessarily. Concern about whether or not you can feed your kids and put a roof over their heads because you can't work isn't childish at all. There are perfectly healthy families out there now who are losing their homes, people sleeping in their cars, people committing suicide.
I agree. Again, what would you replace it with? Part of the reason I agree with the lockdowns being harsh now is because then they'll end sooner, and we can all get back to business. Muck around with it like we did, and we're going to be in it for a lot longer.
Calling it childish is just a little too glib.
Is it, though? Debates about masks that are a minor inconvenience at worst, and debates about social gatherings respecting social distancing didn't work.

That sounds a lot like a kid that doesn't want to take his medicine, and who blames the doctor for being sick. We need to buckle down and get through this.
That's a completely specious argument, but making it personal like that gives it an air of righteousness. The reality is that none of those people were any threat to your life at all, or for that matter, anyone else's. If they were such a big threat to anyone's life, why weren't they all falling dead on the street from COVID? Why aren't you dead right now?
That sounds like an argument from emotion, not reason. Are my reasons invalid because they have an (admitted) air of righteousness? How does that change the facts?
Studies show that if you get COVID, there's a 40-90% chance it would be so mild you don't even know you have it. Not to mention that so far as I know, you personally aren't in a high-risk group. So no. Those protesters were no threat to your "freedom to live" at all. But nice try. It would make a great sound byte for the propaganda machine.
Actually, they do. It's a superspreader event, man. That's what they are. That's what they look like. And they're geometric.

To me, they're akin to someone at a pro-gun rally shooting their firearms into the air, while claiming they "probably" won't hit anyone. It's stupid and pointless and foolish and needless. And they do cost lives, man. So no, I don't accept this criticism at all.
Something else to consider is what the protesters wanted. A significant number of poster boards were expressing a concern over the loss of their livelihoods and collateral loss of life as a consequence of the lockdowns. These are legitimate concerns, that from the point of view of someone who is facing eviction, and is wondering how they are going to provide for their family, is a much more direct threat to their lives than the virus.
And there I get the logic. However, the virus is here. We are not yet vaccinated. So therefore, all they did was prolong the lockdowns they're protesting against, and therefore working against themselves - harming everyone both economically and by spreading it more.
So their concern about their lives are no less valid than yours. The difference is that some bully bylaw officer can take them down and fine them. Which brings up the issue of the right of citizens to protest. The only reason that any of these restrictions are in place is because we're in an AEMA situation, otherwise none of these measures would have any legal validity.
Their concern is no less valid than mine. But their rationale certainly isn't. There is no underlying rationale for their actions except 'don't tell me what to do.' That's it. There's nothing more. There were no people carrying signs for something like 'reduce social distancing from 2M down to 1.5' or anything like that.

Section 2 of the Charter gives us the right to peaceful assembly. It wasn't peaceful - there was violence committed by the protestors. And they still willfully broke the bylaws.

If they would have protested with masks on and with social distancing (and without the Trump flags and ProudBoys and Sons of Odin), I wouldn't have cared at all. Because they wouldn't have been harming anyone except themselves.
So it's fair to ask if AEMA measures are really necessary. To answer that we need to have a closer look at just how bad the situation is, not how bad we thought it might get when we knew less about it. We now know that this is a disease is so mild that 40-90% of the people who get it don't even know they have it. There simply aren't masses of people dropping dead in the street from the virus.

The vast majority of the rest recover fine within two weeks, the majority of the the rest also recover without hospitalization, and that only a small percentage end-up in a hospital bed. Most of them also survive, and virtually all who don't are already suffering from something that any number of other things besides COVID could be what finishes them off.

The Province has thousands of available beds and we are not near capacity. People aren't dying in the street from COVID, but there are people dying in the street from pandemic management fallout. We're in an economic crisis, not because healthy people couldn't work if they wanted to, but because the government has forced them not to. These factors do not in my mind justifying AEMA measures.
Wow, we must be reading different news.
"Doctors says it's 'day-to-day survival mode' as Calgary ICUs stretch surge capacity"

Not really. Some of us are more well informed than others ( including yours truly ). For many others, a lot of fear based assumptions are being made that could be making things worse, not better. They are not childish offhanded opinions either. Again, read the WHO paper on this and consider that some 50,000 medical & public health scientists and practitioners also have the same concerns. It's not reasonable to think their concerns are baseless. Additional info that supports my present view is included elsewhere on this thread, and in some new posts below.
The concerns are real. Everything you're raising almost without exception is a real concern. Economically and socially this is devastating.
I'm not debating this. But I am saying that math is math. Viruses spread geometrically. It's what they do. We're roughly one doubling progression away from our healthcare being overswamped. One. Look at our infection rates, man - we're worse than some parts of the US!
We've just been through all that and it's far from that cut and dried.
What are you offering instead?
Hey, at least we're having the discussion right here. And at least we're healthy enough to have it. Like I said at the start, I haven't personally broken a single bylaw. I am doing my part, because even if it is a leaky paddle boat, it's the boat we're in, and we have to do our part to get to the other side. I also have a bad habit of sticking up for the oppressed instead of the PTB, which can make me unpopular with the majority.
Right.
But for me it's not a popularity contest anyway. It's perfectly fine for people to complain about public policy and offer what they think is a better solution, so long as they do it at the same time as they are doing their part. Dragging the boat down just because they don't like it isn't the answer. Hopefully now that the vaccines are on the way, they'll assist in stomping out the pandemic, and things will get back to normal by next summer.
Totally agree.
In the meantime, I hope you and your family stay well. Keep-up the conversation if it's not too draining for you.
You too, man.
I'm not sure where exactly it should go from here. My final thought to throw out there is the following:

We've heard that the reasoning for the AEMA measures is to "protect the system from being overloaded". We still have thousands of available beds, and at present, they're making sure we have even more. But then we'd need support staff to work them. Could it be that the Government has invoked AEMA measures to keep the numbers so low as to not need those 11,000 healthcare support workers they want to get rid of?
Maybe? But remember as well that those workers are paid for by our taxes - the same taxes that aren't going to be collected from our paycheques if we don't have any.
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When you have fourth epidemic its hard to stop the mutations . Tougher year coming and keep safe .
Ya, man I really hope the vaccines work against the new strain. You're in the UK right? Any thinking about that?
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Thanks for the great response!

I think that's a fair response. How would you like to frame the debate? I'm with you. Sure ...
Thankfully, we actually agree on most points, so let's try to take the rest in smaller chunks.
I'd just add vaccinations now. I hope you're in favour of rolling out vaccines quickly and encouraging people to get them?
I advocate voluntary vaccinations limited to specific ages and risk groups. This is pretty much what the situation is now. So I'm fine with it. There are a number of articles on it I posted earlier including the scientific paper from the test studies. Personally, they raise enough of a concern for me to avoid the vaccine, the details of which we can get into later if you want.
The data there is fairly clear. Wearing a mask blocks up to 99% of the virus from being exhaled. It's also not pointless if you're not infected, because it also helps block the virus from being inhaled, or from you touching a source of infection and then your nose or mouth.
Agreed. However the point I was making is that first the virus has to be present. If it's not. It's pointless, and the evidence does not indicate the virus is ubiquitous. There are only places of relatively higher or lower risk. Therefore the presumption that anyone who is not wearing a mask is either getting or spreading the virus is false. Unless they are in a high risk area, the likelihood of them being exposed is also very small, and even if they are exposed the chances of infection are small, and even if they are infected, the chance of any serious health issues is also very small.
Say more? It can be transmitted quite effectively in the air. Especially in closed in places like airplanes, malls, etc where you are sealed in and breathing in everyone else's air.
Given the above, I think that higher risk places should have the option of mandating masks of their own accord, and that people should have the right to voluntarily wear masks if they feel like it. I don't believe in the bylaws or the fines.
Where I do disagree quite strongly with the lockdowns is on things like restricting outdoor ice rinks and the like. As long as you're socially distanced outdoors, it shouldn't be a problem. We still go skiing, and only wear masks in the lift lines and getting off the lifts (unless someone else is on the lift with us). Ontario shut down a ski hill, and that just screams nonsense to me.
It's called Coronaphopbia, and it affects people who are already germaphobes, as well as those who were borderline before all the fear mongering in the news. Now political decisions are being made to appease the coronaphobes, who have become dominant on the political landscape, and backed by tunnel vision science rather than critical thinking on a more holistic level. They accuse others of only being concerned about themselves, when it's actually the other way around.
OK c'mon man. You know better than to think a guarantee of infection or a guarantee of non-infection is anything but binary thinking. This is the domain of probabilities, not certainties.
Exactly, and whenever we have we convicted people of crimes based on probabilities rather than actual crimes, there has been discontent. We put up with very few examples ( seat belts, insurance, impaired driving ). When it comes to an epidemic, or pandemic, there could be sufficient reason to invoke emergency measures ( which is what this is ), but in this case, the data shows the initial danger was far less than was assumed. See some of the other postes where there are actual statistics.
Have you been to Chinook lately? Holy crap. That place seems like infection city to me.
I've been to Chinook. The only thing I got was a sore dry eye from the goddamned mask. I could hardly wait to get out of there. I'm just not as afraid of infection as you seem to be. That being said, I don't want to get it either, and I do my part.
Wait wait wait... who exactly is being hurt by wearing a mask again? If we would have worn them and restricted social gatherings before, these lockdowns probably wouldn't have needed to occur. They aren't in some other provinces.
Whether or not the lockdowns were necessary before or even now is a matter of debate and I have taken on the side of The Great Barrington Declaration. That's where the real debate is. From what I can tell, the lockdowns are livelihood and economy killers that overall contribute to the loss of lives, most probably to the extent that they cause more of an overall problem than they solve.
As I told my brother in law, who likes to yell at people wearing masks when we're out, who exactly is being hurt by them wearing one? Or how are they hurting him, who doesn't want to? He's the one inflicting potential harm, and very real social harm by acting out.
I think that people should not be harassed for wearing masks. If they want to put on a mask it should be entirely their right to do so, and it should not be construed as some sort of political statement or condemnation of other people's belief that they shouldn't be forced under threat of law, to wear one.
I understand your reasoning. So what would you do instead? We did a fairly close approximation of doing nothing in our province. Now we're fighting our way out of a big infectious cluster-f. So what would you do instead if you were Kenney?
Like I've said many times now. I signed the Great Barrington Declaration.
I disagree. One of the primary sources of infections appear to have been through careless social gatherings. Which is exactly what is being targeted. Would you target migrations instead? Should I be unable to drive to Edmonton, or BC? If so, why would that be better than restricting social gatherings?
I don't think we need to disagree here so much as accept the data, and the data clearly shows that the largest infections and deaths have come from high-risk locations like long-term care facilities etc. This doesn't mean that group gatherings cannot themselves become a high risk. However if they don't consist of high-risk individuals who are going to clog the hospital system, then all they need to do is self-isolate for 14 days, and contribute to the herd immunity.

Revisit the vid I posted on the progress of the Swedish model, and consider how that would look if they'd just protected the vulnerable better at the start. How this plays out in the long run is where all the numbers will matter. Managing the virus alone is only one factor in a much bigger picture.
Contract tracing worked great when we had low infection rates. It's now gone far beyond our ability to do contract tracing simply because there's too many new infections per day to do it. So I struggle with this rationale.
The rationale is that the failure of contact tracing means we we're making assumptions about lockdowns that have certain sweeping negative ramifications, but uncertain positive ramifications, and a possibility of them doing more harm than good in the long run. Therefore before these AEMA lockdowns became a strategy, there should have been far more convincing data to support them.
The only people being blamed are the people not doing what they're told with masks and social distancing as far as I'm aware. The lockdown was a response to the virus promoted by the global medical and scientific establishment and then accepted (or not) by the government we ourselves created.
As you can see from the 50,000 plus signatures of scientists and medical professionals on the Great Barrington Declaration, the authors of which are PhDs, not everyone agrees with the "medical establishment". The "establishment" has been known to be wrong on more than one occasion in history, and I believe it's lockdown strategy has the serious potential to be one of them.
Again, what would you replace it with? Part of the reason I agree with the lockdowns being harsh now is because then they'll end sooner, and we can all get back to business. Muck around with it like we did, and we're going to be in it for a lot longer.
And again, we could have done this all without lockdowns in the first place, and therefore saying because they failed the first time is a good reason to keep using them doesn't make any sense.
That sounds a lot like a kid that doesn't want to take his medicine, and who blames the doctor for being sick. We need to buckle down and get through this.
Perhaps there were some people who fall into the category you suggest. But I wasn't there. I didn't talk to them. I don't know what the specific individuals reasoning was, or even if they had any. I do however think it's entirely safe to assume, given the prevalence of "Put Calgarians Back To Work" signs, that many were concerned about their ability to pay their rent and feed their families. That should not be equated with some kid who doesn't take his medicine.
That sounds like an argument from emotion, not reason. Are my reasons invalid because they have an (admitted) air of righteousness? How does that change the facts?
The fact is that unless you were there, exposed to the virus, and then infected, and then came someplace close to dying from it, blaming protesters for endangering your life is totally unsupportable.
Actually, they do. It's a superspreader event, man. That's what they are. That's what they look like. And they're geometric.
A superspreader event assumes that the virus is in the group. So far as I know, there is no evidence linking any infections to the protest. But even if there were, to endanger your life, it would have to get from there to you and actually make you sick. Honestly, if you were sitting at home watching it on TV, what are the chances?
To me, they're akin to someone at a pro-gun rally shooting their firearms into the air, while claiming they "probably" won't hit anyone. It's stupid and pointless and foolish and needless. And they do cost lives, man. So no, I don't accept this criticism at all.
And if at the pro-gun rally there was no evidence of guns or anyone firing them into the air, then what? Besides that, even if there were guns, they'd be equivalent to nerf guns. Sure, with enough of them going off, and nobody wearing eye protection, someone would probably choke on one and die, or end-up in the hospital, or some oldtimer would have a heart attack. Actually come to think of it, a nerf gun rally would probably be even more dangerous.
And there I get the logic. However, the virus is here. We are not yet vaccinated. So therefore, all they did was prolong the lockdowns they're protesting against, and therefore working against themselves - harming everyone both economically and by spreading it more.
Again, the "they" you are talking about when you say "they prolonged the lockdowns" should be the government, not the citizens. The Lockdowns are an AEMA restriction. To look at this issue in a balanced way, blaming the citizens for lockdowns they don't want makes no more sense than blaming them for no lockdowns when they do want them.
Their concern is no less valid than mine. But their rationale certainly isn't. There is no underlying rationale for their actions except 'don't tell me what to do.' That's it. There's nothing more. There were no people carrying signs for something like 'reduce social distancing from 2M down to 1.5' or anything like that.
Again, that's being glib. I have no doubt that many of the protesters sincerely believed their livelihoods and lives, including the health of others is being negatively impacted by lockdowns. And that doesn't even touch on their right to peacefully express their concern about it.
Section 2 of the Charter gives us the right to peaceful assembly. It wasn't peaceful - there was violence committed by the protestors. And they still willfully broke the bylaws.
If somebody got violent ( and weren't just defending themselves ) then they should be charged with whatever violence related crime is applicable. You know me well enough that I don't support violence. But that also goes both ways.

I don't agree with the bylaws and fines either, or the violence that the law can get away with. Simply standing a little closer than some bylaw says is allowed isn't violence, and neither is refusing to show ID so a bylaw officer can ticket you. But dragging you downtown and throwing you in jail is. I don't care if the bylaw gives them the right to do it or not.
If they would have protested with masks on and with social distancing (and without the Trump flags and ProudBoys and Sons of Odin), I wouldn't have cared at all. Because they wouldn't have been harming anyone except themselves.
I get what you're saying. But to be fair, you have to separate those out from the others with good intentions. Or at least as an individualist and a peaceful anarchist, that's the way I look at it.
Wow, we must be reading different news.
"Doctors says it's 'day-to-day survival mode' as Calgary ICUs stretch surge capacity"
Yes, it's interesting how the stats are trotted out. The numbers I gave were overall Province wide, and the problem areas were where patients were refusing to be transferred or couldn't be transferred to other facilities where there was more room.
The concerns are real. Everything you're raising almost without exception is a real concern. Economically and socially this is devastating.
I'm not debating this. But I am saying that math is math.
Interestingly, it's the math that first alerted me to the concern. First I looked at the number of poverty related deaths prior to the pandemic. It was over 250,000 a year before the lockdowns. Immediately I could see that the lockdowns were going to have a direct affect on this number, not just during the pandemic, but for years after, and that didn't even include the other factors, such as mortality rates from the loss of other medical and support services.

So if math matters to you, then we need to do all the math and not just what pertains to deaths as a direct cause of the virus. And BTW, even those numbers cannot be relied on because of the way they are counted.
Viruses spread geometrically. It's what they do. We're roughly one doubling progression away from our healthcare being overswamped. One. Look at our infection rates, man - we're worse than some parts of the US!
Infection rates aren't the concern because the vast majority of those infected will be fine. Many won't even know they ever had it in the first place. So forget about infection rates among the general population, and look at the cases that end-up needing medical intervention. Then we see that they are the same segment of the population that is already at high-risk from other factors, mainly old-age, and that if they are given special attention, the rest of the citizens should be able to go on living relatively normal lives.

Shutting down the livelihoods of millions upon millions of perfectly healthy people, who even if they were infected, would be just fine within two weeks, is not the way to protect a relatively few well identified high-risk people. It just doesn't make sense from a humanitarian or economic perspective.
What are you offering instead?
Like I've said many times now. I signed the Great Barrington Declaration. A lot of that may become moot now that the vaccines are coming. But the damage to healthy peoples lives is going to take a lot longer to recover from. Many will never recover. Hundreds of thousands of businesses across North America have permanently closed, affecting tens of millions of lives. At present, it looks like history will consider these lockdowns as one of the worst decisions ever made.

Then again. I could be wrong. I've changed my views a couple of times as new info has come in. It might also be the case that in some places the cost of lockdowns is something that was tolerable. But generally speaking it's a solution for the affluent. There will be a cost for us for sure, but for poorer nations it will be far worse. You can read the stories I've posted here, or if you really want to investigate it for yourself, just Google:

Google: lockdowns do more harm than good

PS: And tell your brother in law to settle down :p . Maybe try using the leaky paddle boat analogy. I don't agree with all these measures, but if I have to put up with them, I damn well want to make it to the other side. And he should be respectful of other people's right to wear masks if they want to.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Check the graph below (for some reason it won't embed).

That spike is when we started the new lockdown enforcement in Alberta. It's since declined. Look at the colours leading up to it - all few restrictions. When restrictions are off, you get more cases and deaths. When they're on, they decline.
That's pretty stark evidence right there, isn't it?
It might look at it at first, but there's another analysis of a similar graph made on cases in the UK in a video I posted. First of all case numbers aren't really relevant because most people don't end-up in a hospital bed. Secondly, the way deaths are counted is misleading. Thirdly, there is no comparison with deaths from collateral causes. For example British Columbia recorded more deaths from overdoses than COVID, and health experts were blaming those deaths on the compromised resources due to the lockdowns.
That works well - when we have a vaccinated population. We don't. Instead, we have wing nuts on my own block throwing parties during covid. Now I didn't call the cops on them, but I wouldn't have blamed others for doing it. These kind of social gathering super-spreader events are a big part of the problem.
I'm glad you were civil enough to not to call the police. If they were all young low-risk people, then for them COVID is less of a threat than the flu or even a common cold, which means that if they spread it amongst themselves, their just contributing to herd immunity. The problem is if they don't take the proper precautions when encountering people who are high-risk, and spread it to them too.
Why is it shallow? It's straightforward. Does that make it wrong?
Forgive me. I don't mean to imply that because your view on masks is a simple common-sense, case-closed, issue that should be adhered to for the common good, that you are a shallow person. I respect your view far more than someone who simply thinks it's too much of a bother and could care less about the welfare of others.

However there is a third view, which is that unless one is in a location where there are high-risk individuals, the use of a mask to prevent the spread of infection may be lowering the rate of natural herd immunity, thereby prolonging the suffering of those affected by lockdowns and other emergency measures.

Remember, that lockdowns are a trade-off. They explained this way back at the start. By now most of the population would be immune, but there may have been overloads in medical centers. That's why the lockdowns went into force. However the disease turned out to be less deadly than was feared. Yes some health centers have been operating at overcapacity, but the lockdowns have been partly responsible for that as well, maybe not as much as the virus, but there are contributing factors.
How is it not already about both? If we would have locked down sooner, we could open up sooner. If we would obey the by-laws, this all would be over soon.
My dad is in the maritimes right now, freely hanging out with his girlfriend's family without restrictions because they took this thing seriously. We didn't, and now we're going to pay the price for longer and have it be harder, when our economy is already severely impacted.
Then again, had there been no lockdowns at all, then lockdowns would not have been an issue, the economy would be fine, and the system may or may not have been overloaded beyond our ability to cope, but even if it was, we could have adapted, and in the long-term, there's a good chance more lives would be saved by not having the collateral damage from the lockdowns.
I agree with your opening statements, but look at that chart above. The response hasn't been balanced at all. It's been a fear response, with Kenney afraid to anger his base - the same kind of Neo-con base that Trump enjoys. In my opinion, of course.
It's also reflects at least in-part, the sentiment as the Great Barrington Declaration, which has nothing to do with politics, but the analysis of highly educated medical professionals of differing political backgrounds. That being said, I never voted for Kenny anyway, and I get what you're saying about it being an old-boys Conservative power base.
I'm not so sure about that. We are going to be looking at this for years to be sure. We're going to dissect the mistakes, I'm sure. But I'm confident the biggest mistakes we made will be tied to a failure to respect science and medicine.
Again, if you respect science and medicine, then the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration are PhDs from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford, and more than 50,000 other scientists and medical professionals agree with them:


It's like many people believe that an uneducated layperson posting on Facebook about their opinion is the same or better than someone with the education and experience about this stuff. That's not at all directed at you - but squarely at the people protesting along with their ProudBoys and Sons of Odin compadres that were there in full force. When you know that white nationalists are on your side, you know you're on the wrong side.
Can't argue that. However the scientists who authored the Great Barrington Declaration don't appear to be racist at all. In fact two appear to be ethnic.
 
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marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Agreed. However the point I was making is that first the virus has to be present. If it's not. It's pointless, and the evidence does not indicate the virus is ubiquitous. There are only places of relatively higher or lower risk. Therefore the presumption that anyone who is not wearing a mask is either getting or spreading the virus is false. Unless they are in a high risk area, the likelihood of them being exposed is also very small, and even if they are exposed the chances of infection are small, and even if they are infected, the chance of any serious health issues is also very small.
So... how do you know if it's present or not? I know you know how the math works, but it raises to a probability of someone having it the more people that gather because it multiplies. The more people you're in contact with, the higher the odds. Any one of them could have it and not care (as is the case with some of my in-laws) or they simply didn't know they have it (because of the extended delay to onset of symptoms).
Given the above, I think that higher risk places should have the option of mandating masks of their own accord, and that people should have the right to voluntarily wear masks if they feel like it. I don't believe in the bylaws or the fines.
That's exactly the experiment we ran. Again, look at those graphs. Low/no restrictions - cases increase geometrically.
Exactly, and whenever we have we convicted people of crimes based on probabilities rather than actual crimes, there has been discontent. We put up with very few examples ( seat belts, insurance, impaired driving ). When it comes to an epidemic, or pandemic, there could be sufficient reason to invoke emergency measures ( which is what this is ), but in this case, the data shows the initial danger was far less than was assumed. See some of the other postes where there are actual statistics.
I'm simply not buying it, Randall. Let's use drunk driving as an example. Odds are actually staggeringly high that if you drive while intoxicated, nothing will happen. The vast majority of the time, nothing goes wrong.

The problem is that when something goes wrong, it goes very very wrong, and it impacts other people. We have the same effect here with Covid. We don't allow for drunk driving, have random check stops, and you lose your ability to drive when caught. Why is this any different?
I've been to Chinook. The only thing I got was a sore dry eye from the goddamned mask. I could hardly wait to get out of there. I'm just not as afraid of infection as you seem to be. That being said, I don't want to get it either, and I do my part.
Again, not afraid at all. I'm in a low risk category, as is my family. Just trying to do my part so we can get on with the business of life and put this behind us.

But I also hate the mall, Chinook especially. Damn apple store.
Whether or not the lockdowns were necessary before or even now is a matter of debate and I have taken on the side of The Great Barrington Declaration. That's where the real debate is. From what I can tell, the lockdowns are livelihood and economy killers that overall contribute to the loss of lives, most probably to the extent that they cause more of an overall problem than they solve.

I think that people should not be harassed for wearing masks. If they want to put on a mask it should be entirely their right to do so, and it should not be construed as some sort of political statement or condemnation of other people's belief that they shouldn't be forced under threat of law, to wear one.
Again, not wearing a mask is akin to driving drunk in my opinion. That only changed when MADD made the social stigma of driving drunk so severe that the rates went down.

I think we should do the same thing. A bylaw is a bylaw. If you don't like it, go into politics.
Like I've said many times now. I signed the Great Barrington Declaration.

I don't think we need to disagree here so much as accept the data, and the data clearly shows that the largest infections and deaths have come from high-risk locations like long-term care facilities etc. This doesn't mean that group gatherings cannot themselves become a high risk. However if they don't consist of high-risk individuals who are going to clog the hospital system, then all they need to do is self-isolate for 14 days, and contribute to the herd immunity.
Herd immunity isn't working. Interesting that you reference Sweden next, where it isn't working: Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
Revisit the vid I posted on the progress of the Swedish model, and consider how that would look if they'd just protected the vulnerable better at the start. How this plays out in the long run is where all the numbers will matter. Managing the virus alone is only one factor in a much bigger picture.
Swedish model isn't working. Period.
The rationale is that the failure of contact tracing means we we're making assumptions about lockdowns that have certain sweeping negative ramifications, but uncertain positive ramifications, and a possibility of them doing more harm than good in the long run. Therefore before these AEMA lockdowns became a strategy, there should have been far more convincing data to support them.
Contact tracing worked when infection rates are low. It can't work when infection rates are high for logistical reasons. It's partly why we need the lockdowns. We're chasing our tails on this one.
As you can see from the 50,000 plus signatures of scientists and medical professionals on the Great Barrington Declaration, the authors of which are PhDs, not everyone agrees with the "medical establishment". The "establishment" has been known to be wrong on more than one occasion in history, and I believe it's lockdown strategy has the serious potential to be one of them.
We ran an experiment in Alberta. It failed. Again, look at the graphs. It's quite clear.
And again, we could have done this all without lockdowns in the first place, and therefore saying because they failed the first time is a good reason to keep using them doesn't make any sense.
Prove it. It's not working in areas without lockdowns. So how can you make that claim?
Perhaps there were some people who fall into the category you suggest. But I wasn't there. I didn't talk to them. I don't know what the specific individuals reasoning was, or even if they had any. I do however think it's entirely safe to assume, given the prevalence of "Put Calgarians Back To Work" signs, that many were concerned about their ability to pay their rent and feed their families. That should not be equated with some kid who doesn't take his medicine.
Gotta run... will respond to the rest in a bit.
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I heard on the local news that New Zealand had reported zero active cases, but then I went to verify that and apparently, that's not the case.

 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
So... how do you know if it's present or not?
Exactly. So what justifies the presumption that anyone is guilty?
I know you know how the math works, but it raises to a probability of someone having it the more people that gather because it multiplies. The more people you're in contact with, the higher the odds. Any one of them could have it and not care (as is the case with some of my in-laws) or they simply didn't know they have it (because of the extended delay to onset of symptoms).
So we convict people of a crime based on the probability that they might be a virus carrier? That's a hard sell. A lot of fear is needed to get people to go along with it. So I'm not surprised that some people aren't behind it.
That's exactly the experiment we ran. Again, look at those graphs. Low/no restrictions - cases increase geometrically.
As I've said before, case numbers aren't the concern, it's how many become a burden on the system. If we want to talk graphs, then remember where the whole "flatten the curve" slogan came from. It was case of a relatively short spike in cases that might overwhelm the healthcare system, leading to relatively fast natural immunity within the population, versus a prolonged period of lower cases that for sure don't overwhelm the healthcare system.

What too few people were looking at are the incidental consequences of the prolonged approach that as indicated in previous links, may outweigh the benefits of the lock down approach. You keep mentioning the math. People who are very smart have already done that. And the people who have been critical of them have not provided sufficiently valid counterpoint to justify themselves ( at least that I've seen ).

In short, the graphs are missing some important variables, like the lines that keep going up over time that indicate the fallout from prolonging the measures that affect people's lives and livelihoods. The virus isn't the only factor that affects lives. Literally millions are suffering from lockdown fallout, and it's as if they're being written-off as inconsequential, just collateral damage. They should not be forgotten.
I'm simply not buying it,
And I'm not selling. This is a discussion that has the potential to push our understanding of the issue forward significantly.
Randall. Let's use drunk driving as an example. Odds are actually staggeringly high that if you drive while intoxicated, nothing will happen. The vast majority of the time, nothing goes wrong.
The relevant idea in your analogy is that some behavior should be punishable simply because something bad might happen. This can have some weight depending on the various factors involved.
The problem is that when something goes wrong, it goes very very wrong, and it impacts other people. We have the same effect here with Covid. We don't allow for drunk driving, have random check stops, and you lose your ability to drive when caught. Why is this any different?
Car crashes and viral infections differ in a number of ways, but if we're concerned with the central issue described above, then we're getting into some very interesting territory, which is why I like the way you think. I'll make an effort to come back to this later after going through the rest of your response.
Again, not afraid at all. I'm in a low risk category, as is my family. Just trying to do my part so we can get on with the business of life and put this behind us.
Same here. But that doesn't mean "getting on with the business of life" all along by handling things differently wouldn't have been a better choice for millions of people over the longer term.
But I also hate the mall, Chinook especially. Damn apple store.
I used to love the mall until the mask bylaw. Now I can't wait to get out of there. It has ruined every shopping experience ( for me ).
I think we should do the same thing. A bylaw is a bylaw. If you don't like it, go into politics.
Are you saying there should be no such thing as the right of concerned citizens to question the actions of their elected representatives? Somehow I don't see you getting onboard with that. Then there's just how far we should allow everyone to bend the rules. How authoritarian is justifiable to you? Isn't dragging someone off and fining them $1000 sufficient :p ?
Herd immunity isn't working. Interesting that you reference Sweden next, where it isn't working: Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
The concept of herd immunity is being misrepresented in such articles by implying it is a strategy. That is not the case. Herd immunity is a stage in the life cycle of an epidemic or pandemic. It is like the finish line. The question is: If you can't opt out of the race, would you sooner get to the finish line faster or slower? And what are the consequences for both?
Swedish model isn't working. Period.
Did you watch the video I posted about it? There's lots of numbers there for you to consider. So I don't think it's that cut and dried. Every system could be improved upon ( IMO ). My main focus is on the enforcement of lock downs and mask bylaws. IMO these should both be voluntary and the system should be reinforced to handle increased cases over a shorter term, rather than dragging it out over time.
Contact tracing worked when infection rates are low. It can't work when infection rates are high for logistical reasons. It's partly why we need the lockdowns. We're chasing our tails on this one.
Yup.
We ran an experiment in Alberta. It failed. Again, look at the graphs. It's quite clear.
Not as clear as it seems. Graphs need a context and a set of data. I was looking at data from respiratory deaths dating back to 1999, and it was pointing toward supporting what I've been getting at, but more data is needed before it can be confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt. It's a lot of work. I wish I had a team of people who could get access to the info we really need.
Prove it. It's not working in areas without lockdowns. So how can you make that claim?
We need to identify exactly was the "it" is there and compare the relevant points to the data, and then ask how that compares to the alternatives. If by "it" we're talking about case numbers, then case numbers aren't really the concern. Presently case numbers are up, but hospitalizations have levelled off.

Therefore if the majority of citizens with the virus aren't experiencing symptoms that need serious medical attention, why are we in an AEMA Emergency lockdown? This speaks back to the original point about impaired driving. First of all, there is an inherent risk in all driving, so let's use that as a baseline. Now to improve on the analogy, let's remove intoxicants from the equation and replace it with age.

This is a closer analogy because in both cases deaths from the cause are proportional to the age of the subject. In the case of old people, their reflexes are about as responsive as an impaired young person's. So what is the solution we use for that? It's simple. We keep old people out from behind the wheel, while letting young people who aren't affected to the point of impairment, take the risk as part of their daily business.

The virus works the same way. Based on reflexes rather than behavior, and all else being equal, old people are at a high risk of crashing, while most young people aren't. Either way there is a risk when driving, but young people accept the risk in order to put a roof over their heads, and dinner on the table. In doing so they also drive the economy. Both sides of the equation are then better off than shutting both of them down.

The way this seems to boil down is that we need more fine grained data, and that has been difficult to get. That's where the brick wall is. We'd need a small team and some kind of political clout to get the data and properly analyze it. At present the available data only justifies the concerns, but when millions of lives are on the line, that concern ought to be taken a lot more seriously than it is ( IMO ).
 
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Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member

The Wuhan files - Leaked documents reveal China's mishandling of the early stages of Covid-19​


 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
A surprising number of famous people have been infected. Here's a list that did not include one of the latest, talk show legend Larry King, who had been hospitalized for a week with COVID-19 when CNN first revealed the story:

I'm not surprised. It's like the politicians up here who tell everyone to stay home while they go on vacations to Hawaii. Affluent people have a sense of entitlement or that the rules don't apply to them, and in many ways they're right, so they get used to behaving that way, but a virus doesn't acknowledge any of that sort of privilege. They're just like little self-replicating nano-mines, and if they get into your system, it makes no difference to them what your ideology is.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
Exactly. So what justifies the presumption that anyone is guilty?
Uh, what? Covid is a disease, not a criminal act. The (current) criminal act would be not obeying the by-laws, not having or not having covid. Just like (I think) it's a crime to knowingly have unsafe sex while you have AIDs without disclosing it. The crime isn't having the disease, it's spreading it.

Can we start here? We have so many conversation topics going in one post that it's difficult to nail down.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Uh, what? Covid is a disease, not a criminal act.
The bylaws have been created on the presumption that individuals charged with the offense(s) are guilty of intentionally contributing to the spread of the disease when there may be no evidence that any of them actually are. I find this very problematic.
The (current) criminal act would be not obeying the by-laws, not having or not having covid. Just like (I think) it's a crime to knowingly have unsafe sex while you have AIDs without disclosing it.
The analogy there doesn't correspond because intentionally spreading a disease you know you have is entirely different than making the assumption someone might be spreading a disease they don't know they have.
The crime isn't having the disease, it's spreading it.
Accordingly, if there is no evidence that a person is knowingly spreading a disease, then they should not be assumed to be guilty of doing so.
Can we start here? We have so many conversation topics going in one post that it's difficult to nail down.
True. I think perhaps a better use of time would be to:

1. Get the fine grained data needed to create an accurate picture of the situation.
2. Determine which ways of interpreting that data make the most sense.
3. Compare that to what we're being told.
4. Then decide from there if it's worth putting-up with until it resolves itself, or doing something proactive about it.

The problem is that I know you're busy and don't really have the time to get into it that deep. I've approached a couple of groups composed of concerned business people, but haven't got a response. Danielle Smith on QR-77 makes some good points and is about the only media person challenging what we're being fed. Maybe I'll see if any of these protesters have the wherewithal to take a more analytical approach instead of simply stomping around protesting.

BTW I've run into a couple of those who are way out there on the virus denier one-world govt. population control, plandemic conspiracy train. So if you think I'm a bit controversial, these people are completely bats in the belfry by comparison.

In the meantime we could probably discuss theory on what constitutes justice, moral behavior, and how that should apply to the legal system, but I'm not sure how much good it can actually do apart from being interesting as a conversation.
 

marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
The bylaws have been created on the presumption that individuals charged with the offense(s) are guilty of intentionally contributing to the spread of the disease when there may be no evidence that any of them actually are. I find this very problematic.

The analogy there doesn't correspond because intentionally spreading a disease you know you have is entirely different than making the assumption someone might be spreading a disease they don't know they have.

Accordingly, if there is no evidence that a person is knowingly spreading a disease, then they should not be assumed to be guilty of doing so.

True. I think perhaps a better use of time would be to:

1. Get the fine grained data needed to create an accurate picture of the situation.
2. Determine which ways of interpreting that data make the most sense.
3. Compare that to what we're being told.
4. Then decide from there if it's worth putting-up with until it resolves itself, or doing something proactive about it.

The problem is that I know you're busy and don't really have the time to get into it that deep. I've approached a couple of groups composed of concerned business people, but haven't got a response. Danielle Smith on QR-77 makes some good points and is about the only media person challenging what we're being fed. Maybe I'll see if any of these protesters have the wherewithal to take a more analytical approach instead of simply stomping around protesting.

BTW I've run into a couple of those who are way out there on the virus denier one-world govt. population control, plandemic conspiracy train. So if you think I'm a bit controversial, these people are completely bats in the belfry by comparison.

In the meantime we could probably discuss theory on what constitutes justice, moral behavior, and how that should apply to the legal system, but I'm not sure how much good it can actually do apart from being interesting as a conversation.
What's the real difference between knowingly spreading something and purposefully not stopping something you might have from spreading? I could see if you tested negative recently (say in the last 24 hours or something) making a case for not needing to wear a mask... but how do you know you have it or not without being tested?

To me, that's a bit like deciding deciding you can drive impaired because you're convinced you're not going to get into an accident. Or without insurance. And then if you do, expecting the healthcare system to patch you up. Along with everybody else you might injure along the way. How is this different?

Alternatively, and very much offhandedly, I could decide to walk down the street punching people. They probably won't die, and probably won't suffer more than minor injuries in a way that likely compares fairly well with covid mortality rates. So why can't I do that? Why don't I have the freedom to walk up to people and swing my fists the way I want to?

I think for me it comes down to reasonableness. What's reasonable to you is clearly different than what's reasonable to me. And to me, attempts to rely on people's reasonableness in our province clearly crapped the bed. So I guess we're getting what we deserve, and need bylaws. That's where I sit... if people were reasonable, rational, and took their personal accountabilities seriously, we wouldn't need most bylaws, including the mask bylaws.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
What's the real difference between knowingly spreading something and purposefully not stopping something you might have from spreading?
There's a huge real difference, because the first part presents a definitively real transmission. The latter does not. The latter is like saying there is a real possibility you might run over somebody on the way downtown, therefore if you get in your car and drive you are guilty of maybe running someone over.
I could see if you tested negative recently (say in the last 24 hours or something) making a case for not needing to wear a mask... but how do you know you have it or not without being tested?
Exactly my point. Without evidence, why assume guilt? That doesn't mean that there aren't any reasonable grounds for safety policies based on probabilities, but it's a matter of degree. We take many risks on a daily basis that can affect ourselves and others, without the need for an Emergency Measures Act coming into play.

Essentially, it's our tolerance for risk without intervention that determines how free a society is. Yes there are obvious boundaries, but there needs to be a balance based on objective reasoning, and I'm one of those people who tend to tend to question authority in order to ascertain just how objective and reasonable they are.
To me, that's a bit like deciding deciding you can drive impaired because you're convinced you're not going to get into an accident. Or without insurance. And then if you do, expecting the healthcare system to patch you up. Along with everybody else you might injure along the way. How is this different?
First of all, we've been through the impaired driving analogy already and it is plain to see that the age based analogy is far better. Maybe you missed that? On the issue of auto insurance: Auto insurance is a mandatory specific risk based compensation system that is integrated with our healthcare system to some degree.

Consequently, what your analogy suggests is that there should also be mandatory insurance for the specific risk of walking around breathing because everyone is a germbag who might infect another person and cause a drain on the healthcare system, forgetting that we already pay via taxes into exactly such an insurance system.

So is this extra layer of authoritarian enforcement really necessary? That is my question, and when one looks at the evidence, there's plenty of reason to be critical of it.
Alternatively, and very much offhandedly, I could decide to walk down the street punching people. They probably won't die, and probably won't suffer more than minor injuries in a way that likely compares fairly well with covid mortality rates. So why can't I do that? Why don't I have the freedom to walk up to people and swing my fists the way I want to?
In your rationale above you're equating personal intent to harm someone directly with your own actions that you are aware of and can directly control, as opposed to having no intent to harm anyone as a result of actions you're unaware of that are to some extent within your indirect control.

So the question is whether or not the measures within your indirect control e.g. sanitizing, and living a fairly clean lifestyle, are considered reasonable enough? I would contend that given what we know about COVID-19 invoking the Emergency Measures Act and basically confining everyone to house arrest unless they need groceries under threat of fines and jail for non-compliance is not reasonable.
I think for me it comes down to reasonableness. What's reasonable to you is clearly different than what's reasonable to me.
Seems that way. My position is backed by PhDs from Harvard, Stanford, & Oxford, along with over 50,000 scientists and others in healthcare and medicine. It's also backed by several academic papers. They're all in this thread. So by now there should be very little doubt left that my position is entirely reasonable.

But that doesn't automatically mean your position isn't reasonable. Knowing you to some degree, I believe you genuinely have people's welfare at heart. So here's where that boils down for me:

I believe it's reasonable for people to protect themselves to whatever extent they are comfortable with, provided it doesn't degrade the lives of others around them, and that it's also reasonable to allow people the freedom to take risks that not only affect them, but possibly others as well, sometimes even knowing it will do harm to others e.g. certain combat situations and competitive sports, because sometimes that's the only way people can survive, enjoy life, or get anything done.

Think about it. Risk tolerance is what drives a society forward, scientifically and technologically, and provides a major portion of our entertainment. Consequently, shutting everything down because of fear has the very real possibility of costing far more in lives and quality of life than the virus itself.

Being inundated with fear that keeps us isolated inside our homes, forces us not to socialize, kills livelihoods, reduces our quality of life of and causes collateral damage and death on top of the direct effects of the virus, makes me personally feel that those authoritarians enforcing this situation are a bigger problem than those who question their authority ( yours truly included ).

I would personally sooner take the risk of getting COVID-19 myself, and maybe dying, than living in this kind of society. The only thing that keeps me from becoming an activist instead of an analyst, is the assumption that it's all temporary, and if we just do our part, we'll get through it.
And to me, attempts to rely on people's reasonableness in our province clearly crapped the bed. So I guess we're getting what we deserve, and need bylaws. That's where I sit... if people were reasonable, rational, and took their personal accountabilities seriously, we wouldn't need most bylaws, including the mask bylaws.
I think that I'd switch out "personal accountability" with "personal responsibility" and focus accountability more on government than individuals. But then again, I'm a peaceful anarchist who believes in as much personal freedom as we can get without disaffecting others.
 
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marduk

quelling chaos since 2352BC
There's a huge real difference, because the first part presents a definitively real transmission. The latter does not. The latter is like saying there is a real possibility you might run over somebody on the way downtown, therefore if you get in your car and drive you are guilty of maybe running someone over.

Exactly my point. Without evidence, why assume guilt? That doesn't mean that there aren't any reasonable grounds for safety policies based on probabilities, but it's a matter of degree. We take many risks on a daily basis that can affect ourselves and others, without the need for an Emergency Measures Act coming into play.

Essentially, it's our tolerance for risk without intervention that determines how free a society is. Yes there are obvious boundaries, but there needs to be a reasonable balance based on objective reasoning, and I'm one of those people who tend to tend to question authority in order to ascertain just how objective and reasonable they are.

First of all, we've been through the impaired driving analogy already and it is plain to see that the age based analogy is far better. Maybe you missed that? On the issue of auto insurance: Auto insurance is a mandatory specific risk based compensation system that is integrated with our healthcare system to some degree.
Why is it better? It involves a choice, and the primary consequence of the decision making is how hurt other people get. I don't like the age based analogy, because age isn't a choice.
But let's go back to insurance, because it's mandatory if you're going to drive on public roads, and it's there primarily to protect other people from you accidentally harming them.
Consequently, what your analogy suggests is that there should also be mandatory insurance for the specific risk of walking around breathing because everyone is a germbag who might infect another person and cause a drain on the healthcare system, forgetting that we already pay via taxes into exactly such an insurance system.
Sure, why not though? Isn't that kinda what public healthcare is? And the fact that we all pay for it kinda does mean that we should innately care what other people do that could harm others... or even themselves. Like, say, smoking. I would be just fine with smokers paying more for Alberta Health Care. Or obesity. Or other high risk lifestyle choices.
So is this extra layer of authoritarian enforcement really necessary? That is my question, and when one looks at the evidence, there's plenty of reason to be critical of it.
Why not? I mean, who exactly is it harming? Please don't fall back on the old tired 'slippery slope' kinda argument.
In your rationale above you're equating personal intent to harm someone directly with your own actions that you are aware of and can directly control, as opposed to having no intent to harm anyone as a result of actions you're unaware of that are to some extent within your indirect control.
Just like with auto insurance, right? Same deal. Maybe we could have "I don't want to wear a mask" insurance? (I'm kidding).
So the question is whether or not the measures within your indirect control e.g. sanitizing, and living a fairly clean lifestyle, are considered reasonable enough? I would contend that given what we know about COVID-19 invoking the Emergency Measures Act and basically confining everyone to house arrest unless they need groceries under threat of fines and jail for non-compliance is not reasonable.
Again, the charts above are exceptionally clear evidence in my mind that those things aren't reasonable enough. Without the bylaws, cases spiked to 3x what they were when we locked down the first time. With the bylaws, they come back down. Kinda QED, isn't it?
Seems that way. My position is backed by PhDs from Harvard, Stanford, & Oxford, along with over 50,000 scientists and others in healthcare and medicine. It's also backed by several academic papers. They're all in this thread. So by now there should be very little doubt left that my position is entirely reasonable.
Is it though? I mean, the rest of the world broadly thinks it's unreasonable. I know that's an appeal to authority kinda argument, but so is your argument, so even though those people agree with you, more seem to agree with me, so... I'm not sure that gets either one of us anywhere, because as we both know, the majority can be wrong. Or it can be right.
But that doesn't automatically mean your position isn't reasonable. Knowing you to some degree, I believe you genuinely have people's welfare at heart. So here's where that boils down for me:

I believe it's reasonable for people to protect themselves to whatever extent they are comfortable with, provided it doesn't degrade the lives of others around them, and that it's also reasonable to allow people the freedom to take risks that not only affect them, but possibly others as well, sometimes even knowing it will do harm to others e.g. certain combat situations and competitive sports, because sometimes that's the only way people can survive, enjoy life, or get anything done.
Right. That's the social contract. I'm with you.
Think about it. Risk tolerance is what drives a society forward, scientifically and technologically, and provides a major portion of our entertainment. Consequently, shutting everything down because of fear has the very real possibility of costing far more in lives and quality of life than the virus itself.
I'm also with you. I also practice martial arts (before covid), and my risk tolerance is actually quite high. My concern is not fear for myself or even really my family, who is all healthy, but for the math of the situation - geometric progression due to the 1.1+ infection rate.
Being inundated with fear that keeps us isolated inside our homes, forces us not to socialize, kills livelihoods, reduces our quality of life of and causes collateral damage and death on top of the direct effects of the virus, makes me personally feel that those authoritarians enforcing this situation are a bigger problem than those who question their authority ( yours truly included ).
Sure. My view is that if we take the lockdown seriously, and do it harshly, it will be over sooner. Which means we can all get back to whatever normal is going to look like after this. Dragging our heels on this likely means that we will have more damage to undo, like very slowly peeling a bandaid off. Might as well rip that sucker off and get on with things.
I would personally sooner take the risk of getting COVID-19 myself, and maybe dying, than living in this kind of society. The only thing that keeps me from becoming an activist instead of an analyst, is the assumption that it's all temporary, and if we just do our part, we'll get through it.
Right, but it isn't your risk really to take here, isn't it? Couldn't the same line of thinking apply back to "you're willing to take the risk that you're going to go bankrupt or die if you get sick" (therefore privatized healthcare) or "you're willing to take the risk of driving without insurance and going bankrupt" (therefore no need for car insurance), etc. Kinda the US-style far-right individualism that's reaching it's conclusions right now. All of that conveniently forgets that no person is an island, right? What I do to myself actually does impact you slightly through the economy and other factors, and sometimes what I do to you impacts you directly (if I injure you in an auto accident without insurance).

I think that I'd switch out "personal accountability" with "personal responsibility" and focus accountability more on government than individuals. But then again, I'm a peaceful anarchist who believes in as much personal freedom as we can get without disaffecting others.
I'm good with switching that out, it's fairly analogous to what I was trying to say. As far as being a peaceful anarchist, I'm good with that as well. My first big boy job performance review literally said (in writing) "He's a self-reliant anarchist" so I guess I've spent some time there myself ;)
 

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