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  1. On another thread, there was an attempt at a reasonable discussion, but it unfortunately fell apart when a member became upset and resorted to dishonourable tactics. Almighty knows, I tried with ideas. While I'm willing to give someone patience, using fake gender-based accusations during a simple disagreement is not productive, so I'll start this one. This thread will begin by answering 20 Questions put forward by a Covid-19 Skeptic. Other things to come, later on. I prefer to focus more on the ideas and research I've come across, rather than my direct personal struggles. Quickly about the personal too, as an intro 😄 - I should mention that my busy work and longstanding trust in my family doctor have made it unnecessary for me to devote significant time to studying Covid-19. During the peak of the pandemic, I found myself working twice as much as I do now because many people were staying home and receiving government aid. This thread is about my search to confirm that I made the correct decision in trusting my physician. Doctors are doctors, engineers are engineers, and programmers are programmers, however it's not just about the job title. It's about the trust that has been built over years in my community with my doctor, who went to medical school and has the necessary qualifications to provide sound medical advice. If some of this research is out of date, please respond and will engage. However, if you are going to talk about my personal flaws that I volunteered and other low level language, will not engage, you can post, but will not engage you here, lots of other threads for that. --- --> / Series 1 responding to "1. Covid transmission: Those 'brilliant minds' couldn't even figure out the basics of viral transmission principles. Why didn't they perform experiments consisting of a control group?" A study conducted in Japan found that COVID-19 can spread through aerosols and respiratory droplets, even in outdoor settings, highlighting the importance of wearing masks to prevent transmission (source: The Lancet). Scientists have performed numerous studies on viral transmission principles, including the use of control groups. One such study conducted by the CDC found that individuals who had close contact with COVID-19 patients were more likely to contract the virus, providing evidence of person-to-person transmission (source: CDC). Earlier studies published in the journal Nature Medicine found that the virus can remain infectious in aerosols for up to three hours and on surfaces for up to three days, which supports the importance of wearing masks and maintaining good hand hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus. (source: Nature). https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2 Centrist's View (=) it's important to recognize that scientific consensus is not always perfect, and that the scientific community is constantly learning and adapting to new information. As I am not a Covid-19 fanatic, maybe some information above is out of date, but still more reality-based than the wild theories I have been hearing around. 😄While it's important to be critical of claims made by experts, it's also important to acknowledge the vast amount of research and expertise that has gone into understanding the virus and developing effective strategies for prevention and treatment. Additionally, it's important to balance public health concerns with individual freedoms and personal responsibility, recognizing that both are important for a functioning society. --- --> / Series 2 responding to "2. Asymptomatic spread: Surprise, surprise, they got this one wrong too. It took ages for them to realize that there is nothing such as an asymptomatic spread spread. But to be honest, I am convinced they knew that since the beginning." 1. The delay in recognizing the potential for asymptomatic spread was due in part to the novelty of the virus and the rapidly evolving understanding of its transmission dynamics. However, the scientific community has been actively studying the issue since early in the pandemic, and the research continues to refine the understanding of the role of asymptomatic spread. A study published in JAMA Network Open focuses on that. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2774707 2. This study from Nature found that individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 were able to transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms of the disease, or even if they never developed symptoms at all. This suggests that asymptomatic transmission of the virus is indeed possible. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0869-5 3. Centrist's view: It is important to acknowledge that during a pandemic, scientific understanding of the virus and its transmission can evolve as new evidence emerges. While the study cited earlier provides evidence for the possibility of asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19, it is possible that later in the pandemic, there was more information available on this topic. Please add to the conversation if you consider that my points are wrong. --- --> / Series 3 responding to "3. PCR testing: Flawed, over-sensitive, and generally misleading. Bravo, consensus! Bravo, Drosten! No test, no pandemic - which is why that PCR test was introduced." 1. A study conducted in Belgium, compared the diagnostic performance of four different PCR-based tests for Covid-19. The study found that all four tests had high levels of sensitivity and specificity, indicating that PCR testing is a reliable method for diagnosing COVID-19. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/jmv.26531 2. A study in South Korea found that widespread testing, including PCR testing, was crucial in controlling the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The study reported that aggressive testing, tracing, and isolation measures helped to reduce the spread of the virus, even without the need for strict lockdowns. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-exemplar-south-korea 3. Centrist's View: While it is true that some people have raised concerns about the accuracy and reliability of PCR testing, multiple studies have found that this method is an effective way to diagnose COVID-19. That being said, it is important to acknowledge that no testing method is perfect, and there may be some limitations to PCR testing. However, the medical community has been working hard to address any issues with testing accuracy. --- --> / Series 4 responding to "4. No early treatment: They were so adamant about waiting for the experimental shot that they discriminated against those who called for early interventions. Imagine if everyone was encouraged to take vitamin D, which would have caused a new record low for excess mortality while being in the middle of a dangerous pandemic!?" 1. While some studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation may have potential benefits for preventing and treating respiratory infections, there is insufficient evidence (unless you can present some new studies) to support the use of vitamin D as a treatment for COVID-19. A meta-analysis published in the BMJ found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infections, but the studies included in the analysis were not specific to COVID-19. Additionally, a study published in JAMA found that high-dose vitamin D supplementation did not significantly reduce hospital length of stay, ICU admission, or mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.It's important to note that while vitamin D may have potential benefits for overall health, in my opinion, it should not be viewed as a substitute for COVID-19 vaccinations or other medical treatments. https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583 2. Several European studies have examined the efficacy of early treatments for COVID-19, including the use of antivirals such as remdesivir, and monoclonal antibodies such as bamlanivimab and casirivimab/imdevimab.A study conducted in France found that early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin did not improve clinical outcomes or reduce mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Another study conducted in the UK found that treatment with remdesivir did not significantly reduce mortality or hospital stay in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.In contrast, monoclonal antibody therapies have shown promising results in reducing hospitalization and death in high-risk COVID-19 patients. A study conducted in Germany found that treatment with bamlanivimab reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Another study conducted in the UK found that treatment with casirivimab/imdevimab reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.While early treatment is important, it's crucial to rely on evidence-based medicine to determine the most effective and safe treatments for COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody therapies have shown promising results in reducing hospitalization and death in high-risk COVID-19 patients, while other treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir have not shown significant benefits in clinical trials. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2012410 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2109682 3. A centrist view would recognize the importance of early treatment for COVID-19, while also acknowledging the limitations of such treatments. Consulting with a healthcare provider (family doctor) is crucial in determining the most appropriate course of treatment based on individual circumstances. --- --> / Series 5 will be responding to "5. Fatality rate: Wildly overestimated (thanks to the fraudulent PCR test), causing unnecessary panic, which most likely caused the observed excess mortality. Great job, guys." *This will air in a few days, as information gets circulates better when is released gradually. 😎 Thank you.
  2. Lab Leak Most Likely Caused Pandemic, Energy Dept. Says. The conclusion, which was made with “low confidence,” came as America’s intelligence agencies remained divided over the origins of the coronavirus. via New York Times (Full Read) https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/26/us/politics/china-lab-leak-coronavirus-pandemic.html ---> This is about the only thing that I could compromise on regarding Covid-19 theories, was open since the beginning that some CCP agent was stressed out, paranoid that the State is watching his every move, and leaked it by accident. ---> Anything further theory than this, I am suspicious.
  3. Great Britain ends all vaccine mandates. Canadians, oppose your government’s totalitarian policies. Defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms! https://apple.news/ARXBSHRF9SFiLyITAYziCQA
  4. After three months of distance learning that saw low student participation and put parents in the impossible position of teaching their kids while trying to work from home, the Province of Ontario is now proposing three options for September: return of all students to daily school with careful health hygiene, 100% distance learning, or a hybrid that divides all students into two cohorts that attend on alternate days/weeks. While it looks like 100% distance learning is off the table unless there's a big surge of Covid-19 cases or a local outbreak, the hybrid model seems to be the one being promoted by the Province. I believe this would be disastrous for both education and the economy. There's no way to get workplaces up and running on a full-time basis if parents cannot do their work without having to take care of their children at the same time. A part-time return to school would put working parents, including educators, in a very compromising position, having to either watch their children for half of the work week while trying to do their jobs or scramble to find daycare at the same time as thousands of other parents. Such a plan would not be safer than full-time school for students, as many of these children would be in daycares with students from multiple schools, presenting a greater health risk than having students attend one facility with the same children all week. The poorest families with the most precarious employment would be hardest hit by a part-time school schedule, having to pay for daycare or make the choice of risking losing their jobs in order to take care of their kids. We know that a learning model that is exclusively distance-learning from home is bad for student engagement, socialization, and education outcomes. We also know that having everyone return to school in a safe way than includes the necessary social distancing is a challenge without reducing class sizes and ensuring there is additional classroom space in schools. However, this can be done without substantial new hiring or budgetary increases. We need to accept a few conditions in order to make daily return to school possible. I propose, for staffing reasons, that non-classroom teachers (librarians, planning time teachers, French as a second language teachers, and a proportion of special education teaching staff) become regular classroom teachers throughout the remainder of the pandemic, so that class sizes can be reduced. While this may reduce the number of special education teachers available to provide segregated classes for special needs students, we were moving to a more inclusive special education model and classroom teachers will be better positioned to support special needs students with smaller class sizes. In order to have this kind of schedule, certain curriculum will have to be provided online, such as FSL. However, it would protect on-site learning for the core curricula of literacy, numeracy, science, and even geography and history (Social Studies). Phys. Ed would be taught within the classroom or outside where possible. This schedule requires that teachers take their planning time at home, as teachers would not be getting their own planning time coverage from non-classroom planning time teachers during the school day. The planning time and FSL teachers would teach regular classes. This schedule would shorten the school day, not only because of the planning time teachers would be taking at home, but also because this shorter school day eliminates the need for an afternoon recess, and for safety reasons, the lunch hour should be shortened, probably to 30 or 40 minutes. Unstructured periods like recess provide too much opportunity for breaking social distancing guidelines. Reducing recess time doesn’t impact instructional time. Shorter recesses could be taken in the regular classroom. Teachers could take their classes outside as long as classes don’t combine. Another sticking point for having all students in elementary schools at the same time is lack of space for social distancing, especially if class sizes are capped at an arbitrary number of, say, 15. If non-classroom teachers’ rooms are freed up (libraries, gyms, conference rooms, etc.), there will be additional spaces available for classes. There should not be an arbitrary class size cap, but rather a formula of students to square footage, so that social distancing is maintained no matter the class size. For example, a class of 28 students could easily be accommodated in a library or gym. Most elementary schools would be able to safely social distance all of their students if all of their available school spaces were used and non-classroom teachers took regular classes. In exceptional circumstances, some classes would have to be relocated to other schools, board-owned facilities, or leased facilities (adult-learning centres, high schools, banquet halls or sports facilities that cannot open until the final phase of reopening, etc.). School boards are able to implement such measures if they are given some basic criteria to follow, and they can do this without increasing budgets, as long as there is flexibility in allocations. If parents were shown such a plan and assured that social distancing and the necessary cleaning and safety measures will be taken, most students would return to school on a full-time basis, albeit with a shorter school day. It's also advisable for staffing purposes to get a short-term commitment from parents as to whether or not they intend to send their children to school, for a time frame of say 2-3 months at a time. That way schools will have a firm basis upon which to divide students and staff classes. It’s only fair to ask this commitment from parents for budgeting purposes. Such a plan would be sustainable if the pandemic continued for many months or even years. It could be flexible and adjusted for periods of distance learning if there are surges or local outbreaks of Covid-19. It's important to have a clear process for return to school that maximizes safety while returning as many students to school on a daily basis as possible, so that students are not robbed of opportunities and families are not put under unnecessary additional stress, financial or otherwise. Thoughts?
  5. We have seen excesses at play from members and factions within the police authorities, kneeling on the neck of a subdued black man, hitting a 70 year-old white man in the face with a baton, shooting a twenty-something indigenous woman based on the police claim that she became aggressive with a knife. These stories of police brutality arrive in the context of a pandemic that has hit poor, crowded communities hardest, many with large racialized populations. In communities that struggled to begin with, hit hard recently by Covid-19, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that police brutality against such peoples can only ignite a powder keg of pent-up anger and frustration. Obviously no one in a protest should destroy private property or hurt innocent people. Meeting a misuse of power with a misuse of protest is an unreasonable solution to oppression. The questions must now be asked. What systemic policies continue to exist that enable oppression? What must change in policing and public policy to prevent the misuse of power? I’ll put forward a few policies that I think should immediately change: -end all use of force against peaceful protesters -end the criminalization and use of law enforcement against drug use (not including large scale drug dealing), prostitution (both in the provision and use of such services), drinking in public, and assembling in any sized group (including groups not practicing social distancing) -end the harassment of people suffering from mental health problems or who are inebriated (and not harassing or hurting anyone) -redirect funding used to enforce laws against the above mentioned behaviour towards inner city economic development and mental health programs -end carding of people who are not committing a crime -ensure that all police are equipped with mini cams that must be active during all forms of law enforcement -refocus law enforcement on protecting people from violence, theft, and other clear crimes intended to hurt people What do you think must change?
  6. Canadians won’t be able to return to life as they knew it before the novel coronavirus pandemic until a vaccine is available, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. “Normality as it was before will not come back full-on until we get a vaccine for this… That will be a very long way off,” the prime minister said during his daily news conference on Canada’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
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