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my take on covid 19 response


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Just now, myata said:

The worth of all models is in how well they describe the reality. We had models" that predicted us 18,000 cases and in reality it was 3,500 thankfully. No another model is not the evidence. Probably millions of us were outdoors daily or almost in the last two months and how many cases could be confidently traced to being outdoors with reasonable distancing? I'm really tired of creative bullet shipping by so called experts it has to stop or the credibility of PH measures could drop below zero and it couldn't be good for anybody.

What would you propose?  

I didn't hear the CBC spot you are referring to, and have no opinion about the credibility of the information or the expert.   However, if this little bit of information is proven, without a doubt, to be true later, people would be up in arms because the government knew, but did nothing.  Just like "travel from Wuhan" - government didn't shut down travel fast enough from China, so they must've screwed up (never mind that Canada's cases came from the US and Europe).     

Simply put, you can't have it both ways in a pandemic where experts and governments are learning as they go.  Either they wait for that absolute proof and be "too slow", or they respond in some way to every study that comes out, and be accused of not having enough evidence, or lying or conspiring to turn us into a communist state.  

So what's your solution?  How exactly can the government avoid both acting too slowly and acting too quickly in an environment where information updates weekly, if not daily.

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46 minutes ago, dialamah said:

What would you propose? 

Of course it's not a secret what I propose: competence; honesty; openness; transparency. And common sense. Very likely, it would make the policies more effective than the opposite, that is scary nonsense, because people would understand the message, make sense of it, and follow it because it's clear, competent and makes sense.

And sorry I can't buy this "oh so new we're just learning piece". First, it's been 18 years (eighteen) past SARS-1; secondly we're in the second year of SARS-Covid, three waves and some evidence could have been collected if someone (in whose job description it actually belongs) took time off writing nonsensical orders and policies. No, one cannot have it both ways: claim expertise in the matter; and distance from all responsibility for the actions and outcome. The test of real expertise is not in preaching from above, but in the ability to create sound solutions; defend them in critical questioning; and deliver excellent results.

Edited by myata
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41 minutes ago, myata said:

Of course it's not a secret what I propose: competence; honesty; openness; transparency. And common sense.

It's been known for months that Covid came to Canada via the US and Europe.  Yet, you are still going on about "travel from Wuhan".  What good is all the competency, honesty, openness if people reject it because it doesn't fall in with their pet theories?  

45 minutes ago, myata said:

First, it's been 18 years (eighteen) past SARS-1;

Yes, we as a nation should have been better prepared, no argument there.  

46 minutes ago, myata said:

secondly we're in the second year of SARS-Covid,

Yes, and it's still a different virus than Sars-1, the common cold, the flu.  Mortality, infection rate and method, symptoms, long term effects - all new, all needing study.  

49 minutes ago, myata said:

three waves and some evidence could have been collected if someone (in whose job description it actually belongs) took time off writing nonsensical orders and policies.

Plenty has been learned about this virus.  These "nonsensical orders" have helped keep the virus from spreading even more, in Canada. Don't believe me?  Take look at Brazil, where there were no orders, nonsensical or not.

There has been plenty of evidence supporting social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and avoiding crowds.  PHO revolve around those three things, and have done consistently for months.  

57 minutes ago, myata said:

No, one cannot have it both ways: claim expertise in the matter; and distance from all responsibility for the actions and outcome.

Who is distancing themselves from actions and outcomes?  Gov says "stay home, wear a mask, avoid gatherings", some portion of the populace thinks these things don't apply to them, and somehow you think gov failed because some people are stupid?

1 hour ago, myata said:

The test of real expertise is not in preaching from above, but in the ability to create sound solutions; defend them in critical questioning; and deliver excellent results.

Define "excellent results".  Provide an example of a region that has achieved those excellent results, and describe how Canada could have achieved those same results, adjusting as needed for our culture, politics and geography.  

Can you do that?

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11 hours ago, dialamah said:

Define "excellent results".  Provide an example of a region that has achieved those excellent results, and describe how Canada could have achieved those same results, adjusting as needed for our culture, politics and geography. 

Australia; New Zealand; Taiwan; South Korea; even Japan. Please be sparing with adjustments, as you may end up with one and only possible result.

Of course I'll do that, explain, outline and maybe even begin to achieve. And I'll start as soon as I'm paid the same fair compensation as our experts with the record of achievements that is easily observed. Yesterday for example, we called in the army.

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32 minutes ago, myata said:

Australia; New Zealand; Taiwan; South Korea; even Japan.

The UK is doing very well. I heard even that pubs have opened again. The sound of beer flowing from taps. Sounds like... freedom.

Edited by OftenWrong
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Street statistics-2: 1 : 41 (masks vs. no masks worn on the community recreational path, all users). The record was taken in the interval of approximately 20 minutes at approximately 11 am, no claims of generality are made. Statistical analysis was not performed. Chin masks counted  as no mask, however near-accomplished confusion of the part of the population can be seen as at least one practical achievement.

Looks like someone needs to start working on their credibility. I would suggest beginning with transparency, openness and honesty. Oh yes, and the competence almost forgot.

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2 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

The UK is doing very well. I heard even that pubs have opened again. The sound of beer flowing from taps. Sounds like... freedom.

We mindlessly accept quarantining vaccinated travellers in hotels and accept that our Chief Medical Officer pretends that being vaccinated makes no difference to a person's safety, as she hasn't said what is safe for vaccinated people to do.  The US CDC has said that vaccinated people can be together indoors unmasked.  Why the delay on guidance?   It's like the delay on vaccines.  Lots of wasted self-congratulatory rhetoric and dithering.  A clear pattern of behaviour is emerging.  

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There's a liquor store ~ 2 blocks from our house which is about 800 sq ft and has a capacity of 25 people.

The number of kids that can be outside in the sun on a 47,000 sq ft baseball diamond here is 12.

That's 3,928 sq ft per kid outside, and 32 sq ft per adult indoors. The kids literally need 122x as much room as adults, even though sunlight is one of the best virus killers there is.

Makes perfect sense, right?

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29 minutes ago, WestCanMan said:

Makes perfect sense, right?

Nothing much is new under the sun. Millennia back there was a caste of priests that performed strange (to an outsider's view) rituals to support its claim to absolute and unquestionable knowledge (and power). In other places they were called shamans.

And that's what pretty much any bureaucratic system without transparency; responsibility; critical questioning and control by the society evolves to almost invariably and inevitably.

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Surprise, surprise! Responding to the report by Ontario's auditor general on poor preparedness to the pandemics, the responsible" minister answered simply and honestly: but who could have expected it?

But seriously, who could?

Eighteen (18) years after SARS. The report on shortcomings and necessary improvements successfully procured ($ XY million taxpayer dollars paid to independent" contractor), filed, shelved, and forgotten. Done deal and like nothing happened. All ready to face the future. And then, it fell right out of the blue. Really.

In SARS-2002 epidemics Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Canada had some of the highest casualties in the world. In 2020 SARS-2020 pandemics some of these countries learned lesson and did much better in much more difficult circumstances. Guess which ones?

But not to worry! The report will be procured (millions of taxpayer dollars wasted), filed and forgotten. And all ready for the future. There's always the next time.

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On 4/27/2021 at 8:29 AM, myata said:

Australia; New Zealand; Taiwan; South Korea; even Japan.

Hell, you can add Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and even China to that list. They've all handled things well. Discounting China's numbers, which are clearly dishonest, Canada has had more deaths than all the rest combined.

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21 hours ago, Argus said:

Hell, you can add Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and even China to that list. They've all handled things well.

Singapore is a good example, as are Taiwan and Hong Kong while the reliability of data from authoritarian countries cannot be certain. Five countries had much higher casualties in SARS pandemic of 2002 than the rest of the world (i.e. almost twenty years back, or "oh so new"). Minus China, three of them learned the lesson and has much better outcomes with SARS-2 Covid. That leaves one with the second mediocre result in a row.

But will it be any better next time? Why and how?

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On 5/1/2021 at 8:24 AM, Argus said:

Hell, you can add Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and even China to that list. They've all handled things well. Discounting China's numbers, which are clearly dishonest, Canada has had more deaths than all the rest combined.

You might be interested in a FrontLine documentary, "The Virus that Shook the World", pretty interesting take on China and how they handled the virus.

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Midway update to end of this months when the models with the experts predicted up 18,000 new cases daily.

1."Ontario sees fewest new COVID-19 cases in almost 7 weeks": 2071. First of all, if not excellent and timely policy (see below) then what? Are the models (and experts) expected to describe and find solution in this, or some other alternative reality? Question is valid even more now. How can we get the answer?

2. Not the expert policy. The only difference of this "stay at home" from not stay at home before (and in some regions only) is closure of restaurants with "non-essential" stores, and schools (excluding pure publicity stunts - with significant cost to taxpayers like "closing" borders). Of the first was never indication that it can be any significant source of the problem unlike many other well known sources. And of the second it has been suggested for a while (actually a long one) that it CAN be a significant source in the absence of effective measures (excluding stick it on and repeat public health advice three times with closed eyes while stomping and turning on one foot) and contrary to strong advice of many experts". All is brilliantly confirmed in the latest public health experiment.

3. The neighboring province, Quebec had less strict policy and did not close borders. It had fewer cases too.

No, not the excellent policy. More like for some reason the virus is oblivious to bureaucratic creativity and heartfelt preaching and moves according to its own rules and laws that we failed to understand and grasp once again. Could be because understanding and effective response requires responsibility, sound thinking and effective execution but all we could come with was bureaucratic just do the same and hope for a different outcome?

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The stay at home order is in effect in Ontario until June 2.  We should see daily cases fall below 1000 and a significant drop in hospitalizations and deaths by then, justifying outdoor dining, on-site education, outdoor recreation, and reduced capacity on-site shopping, finally.

We’ll have around 60% of adults vaccinated with at least one shot by then and likely get to universal vaccinations for adults and perhaps even ages 12 and up before the end of June.  That will bring us close enough to herd immunity (70% of population receiving first vaccine by end of June) to justify lifting most restrictions.  It certainly justifies indoor dining, the opening of bars, increasing indoor capacity at all commercial enterprises, and the opening of the border by the Canada Day weekend.

If Covid and vaccination rates follow this trajectory and we don’t see such reopening policy changes, that’s an unjustifiable infringement of freedom and a gratuitous abuse of business.  Alberta may be in a worse position than Ontario for Covid rates, but I doubt they’ll maintain restrictions longer than Ontario.  The rest of the country will be ready for reopening by then as well.  

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10 hours ago, Zeitgeist said:

The stay at home order is in effect in Ontario until June 2.  We should see daily cases fall below 1000 and a significant drop in hospitalizations and deaths by then, justifying outdoor dining, on-site education, outdoor recreation, and reduced capacity on-site shopping, finally...

And it went down to virtual zero last summer without vaccinations and herd immunity. Wishful thinking and finger in the sky, 6 thousand... 18... and why not 45 or 100 thousand, who's the next with higher projected number and severity of the next lockdown like is there a logical limit? is not a replacement for intelligent analysis and sound and effective action.

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10 minutes ago, myata said:

who's the next with higher projected number and severity of the next lockdown like is there a logical limit?

The useless and harmful lockdowns are all they have, and in principle there is no limit. If the vaccines don't work, if the variants escape, there is no limit to how long they can keep the whole society under house arrest.

Unless of course the people finally get fed up and get some torches, and form a posse. Then we go after the bloody rich...   ;)

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Apparently the average person has gained 15 pounds since before covid-19. That's the average. A huge number.

Also apparently 10% of people have gained MORE THAN 50 POUNDS. Tell me this is healthy and good.

They represent an increase is stochastic death, due to obesity and health effects. In this case, millions of people are now obese in Canada who were not before Covid-19. Tell me this is healthy and good.

But because the stochastic deaths are "hidden", they are invisible and not being reported.

The revolution will not be televised. Will not be televised...

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2 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

The useless and harmful lockdowns are all they have, and in principle there is no limit. If the vaccines don't work, if the variants escape, there is no limit to how long they can keep the whole society under house arrest.

Me too curious how long this one-way conversation could go on before something happens. Or is it happening already? In the neighborhood statistics experiments, the compliance with the thoughtful measures is consistently in single-digit percents. We should really hope that vaccines will work.

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Vaccines are working and once a solid majority of the public has received at least one vaccine, the hospitalization and death rates will fall to the levels (or below) of flu, heart disease, etc.  We’ll be there by late June.  There is no justification for continued restrictions and border closures at that point.  Perhaps masking indoors for people who aren’t vaccinated is a reasonable final restriction, but even that should be voluntary.  At that point it should be on individuals to take precautions based on self-assessment of risk.  Masking for unvaccinated children in schools may be necessary, but should be at the discretion of parents in September.

Maintaining mandatory restrictions after universal vaccines are available and 70% of the population has had at least one vaccine is oppressive, pure and simple.  Don’t accept arguments to the contrary. Yes there will continue to be hundreds, perhaps thousands of cases after that, but there will be fewer hospitalizations and far fewer deaths.

We must get back to normal, unrestricted life very soon and no later than summer.  People are facing other serious health problems resulting from restrictions, not to mention the social-emotional and educational problems, which are enormous.

Most healthy people have been able to fight Covid 19 all along but have made sacrifices to protect the vulnerable.  Now that the vulnerable are vaccinated, the justification for that sacrifice is dwindling rapidly.  Enough is enough.

Edited by Zeitgeist
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Some weeks back I noticed the signs in the local greenspaces, "masks recommended outdoors" and "required within 2 m of amenities". Came up seemingly in a single night, no explanation no communications. Now a few weeks on, looks like all are gone just as quietly. I did not notice any effect on the public but here's the thing: something or some one does it. Designs and signs orders, installs them then takes them away. And being paid for it.

And that means that someone is paying for it. And for the benefits; and pension plans; and overheads; and pandemic equipment and training; and coffee breaks. Wonder, who is paying for it, and why? Like what has it done for those who are paying?

Edited by myata
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In very soon a year and a half of the pandemics, third such event in a row in close to two decades (SARS, 2002; MERS, 2006; Covid, 2019) there is not a clearly defined criteria how to manage the situation including what is lockdown, how long can it be, when to enter it or not, and exit it. Nope, all ad hoc based on some decision by somebody somewhere based on some models. The same ones that predicted up to 18,000 cases by around this time? Heavens know or we can hope they would.

The objective could have been this: minimize the impact on the society without interrupting or disrupting its essential functions. Simple and clear. Minimize casualties and severe cases; essential services have to stay open; life needs to go on.

This would translate to clear and accurate communications, information not convolution and confusion; this would require actual work and practical results in securing places of higher risk, not only promises, discussions and commissions. Top notch, most effective treatment of severe cases with adequate capacity (isnt' that what public CEOs are paid for?) And it would involve knowing the situation in detail and currently, rather than relying on finger in the sky "models", now confirmed fact.

Yes we know of course somewhere, somehow it is possible. But so difficult and would require XYZ billions and ZY years. Surely we can find a better option.

Edited by myata
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In other words we should have done what we’ve always done. Those things you listed are reasonable common-sense approach that understood the balance between trying to mitigate virus harm versus societal harm.

Somehow this time around the vaccine fanatics got their foothold on the messaging. Those who have certain financial interests have wanted this sort of thing for a long time. They finally got it. They use the internet to control all of us through a fear filled, propaganda campaign.

And now that pandora’s box has been opened...

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