Friday, May 22, 2020
Vancouver Island has not had one new case of Covid-19 in two full weeks.
Since the virus arrived this island of 870,000 plus the residents of the Gulf Islands have had 126 cases. Five deaths. 25 hospitalized in total. One still remains in hospital.
Fourteen days. We seem to have flattened the curve but I don't know anyone who imagines this is over. Most are still self-isolating and, when they do go out, self-distancing, masked and some also gloved.
The washing and learning not to touch our faces has also caused a collapse in cases of severe colds, strep throats and other viral afflictions.
It's hard to argue with success.
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VI is pretty much the same as New Brunswick, although they have had no deaths there. In fact, with the exception of Ontario and Quebec, the rest of Canada has done remarkably well, with NS and our LTC home failure at one giant institution with 52 of 59 deaths bringing up the rear on a per capita basis. Too bad those two huge provinces account for 60% of the population. They'll still be on the First Wave in September, yet gaily re-open businesses today. NS is last to allow lockdown relief of all the provinces, btw. Everyone else is ahead of us by at least two weeks, although the logic here is sternly rigid on the safe side.
Alberta is the only place doing or that has done random testing allowing anyone who wanted a test to have one, which occurred this past week. Mid week results showed 3.6% positives. These are the unsymptomatic carriers, good for a month of virus shedding. Yet your Dr Henry is against such random testing, but I do not understand why.
I'd posit that these unknowns are the ones who will reignite and cause Wave 2 on Vancouver Island and elsewhere, because it isn't going to come out of thin air. Why not conduct random testing around Victoria to see if there are indeed significant unsymptomatics wandering around? Better to know than to guess.
As it stands, this new contact tracing app Trudeau is "strongly" recommending would be useless on Vancouver Island. No data to input if no new official cases and only a few actives left, all likely gone by month's end. Who cares who you came close to after that? No need to wear masks or social distance either on the face of it. Only the spectre of unsymptomatics are keeping yo fro returning to normal.
Why does Trudeau default to Amazon and effing Bezos to distribute supplies when we have Canada Post, and use foreigners like Apple and Google to run our surveillance data app? We hop into the arms of the biggest foreign billionaires shrieking with delight. Oh Daddy, thank you soooo much!
You can imagine who won't be downloading this app. Me. I turn off location on every new phone I've had. My business is my own. Google search thinks I'm in Montreal because that's Fido HQ. And I use DuckDuckGo anyway except to check on Google intrusion now and then.
The herd will likely download the app and chew their cud and moo. Not everyone has a phone, some by choice like my brother. If every official positive is socially disgraced by having every person who was in the same place as them texted a scary warning message, where are we? If the person was socially distancing anyway, it's a "false" positive which could put hundreds into two weeks of scary lockdown. If a positive decides to break quarantine, all they have to do is leave the phone at home. Who decides how far back to label the person was positive? Who decides when they've "recovered" and can be deleted from the list? Some $10 an hour clerk in California? Facebook has done such a great job eliminating racism with illiterate deciders.
Spare me this fascist surveillance horseshit. And open a national factory to make masks and PPE with the billions instead of propping up Alberta oil companies. Make a Canadian app instead of using American, if we really need one. Keep the data in Canada not in the cloud. If we did open a PPE factory, who would we call to design and run it? On the record so far, some damn Yankee. I could spit. We don't even trust ourselves at the top of our elite mob. They're semi-competent and expect we must be utter dolts.
Its interesting how much depends on local perspectives. Living in Ontario, albeit in a rural and lightly affected area, hearing all this talk of the second wave had seemed almost ridiculous to me....How can you speculate about a second wave when the initial wave isn't even over yet.
But looking at VI and NB....is it even fair to call the initial cases a wave given that there are so few. I don't know NB's numbers for hospitalizations, but 25 for all of VI doesn't qualify as a wave in my books, more like a trickle.
At first, I wondered why Amazon was picked. Then I figured it out: Amazon has bigger warehouse facilities than Canada Post.
.. a crystal ball with thousands of facets. An oracle that never shuts up. Too much information running through our heads. Too much disinformation spewed via MainMedia. Who to believe - Dr Tam or Tucker Carlson ? Trust Me (a fave)
By the by.. I do recall reading somewheres of 'tipping points' while I wrote of 'cascades' .. I think we're clinging to the edges right now.. and if th rive don't rise and the damn dam don't break might escape (cue the Gloria Gaynor track - I will survive!)
To your post.. If I was President of British Columbia.. I would rapidly ensure islands served by ferries only board people who had been tested at the dock that day. Much like PEI and their causeway.. ie utilize the chokepoints. I would also insist Elected local, provincial and federal Public Servants remained in their jurisdictions.. thus require them to fulfill their PRIME DIRECTIVE.. not some 'whipped' or partisan fluffwalk.. scrambling for votes.. or to deter votes
Also.. I would insist we hear out the 'adults in the room'.. re Medical or Educational aspects.. and tell the partisan wanks & pundits to F OFF. I need the opinions of Rex Murphy or Lord Black like I need holes in my head.. ie NOT. When we are eating and discussing family matters I do not let dogs bark for attention (nor do I feed them at the table..)
We have cold hard facts before us.. if only we would collect our wits. Fundamental Problem Solving does not include letting noyz overwhelm our hearing or thinking processes.. Turn of the noise.. tune in fact, common sense, tried and true methadology.. and add dollops of reason, ethics & purpose.
PS - Mound - I dropped out of Coursera and a Yale Degree.. circumstances took over (not enuff time) and so far.. remain 'happy' anyway.. so I cannot lend you my notes. Instead, I dedicate 10 minutes per day to hilights of Mr Ed (the talking horse) and the Beav from Leave It To Beaver.. either which are more useful & wise than the vast majority of Elected MP's in Canada Eh
BM, I remember Doug Ford saying he had one or more companies in Ontario ready to churn out N95 masks. Since a key element of those is a layer made of cedar pulp which is produced by a mill near a town aptly named, Cedar, we might be good to go. I agree that every nation has to treat stockpiles of such gear as a strategic necessity, one to be produced locally and not in a country that still holds two of our citizens in jail, hostages and freely uses its purchasing power to whipsaw our agricultural industry. And, yes, has been the source of many of the major pandemics of the last hundred years.
Gordie the second-wave business is based on the history of pandemics going back to the Black Death. All have at least two. A few have three or more waves.
When the Covid-19 story came out and the WHO vacillated on whether to call it a "pandemic" I didn't know what the term really meant. So I started with the US CDC, then went to the UK equivalent and on to Health Canada. After that I moved to Google searches of some of the major medical web sites. That's where I first encountered this business about waves.
I also learned the reason this is called a Novel Coronavirus. It's new. It's different. Pandemics are all somewhat unique. They have some common characteristics and a few major distinctions. For example, ebola, while very deadly is not readily transmissible, contagious. Ebola is contracted by direct contact with an infected person's bodily fluids and causes you to bleed out internally. Covid-19, by contrast, is highly transmissible but not as lethal.
Now, do you know how many people I've spoken with, some pretty highly educated, that have any idea of what pandemics are much less how Spanish Flu, Avian Flu, H1N1, SARS, MERS, and Covid-19 differ? To date, not one. You might think that something having such an immediate impact on our daily lives would have piqued their curiosity but, sadly, no.
Maybe it's like climate change. There are things, especially threatening problems, that send many plunging their heads, neck deep, in the sand. Even when the basic information is readily available, many people just don't want to know. And a lot of those are susceptible to the inevitable social media nonsense that spreads even faster than the virus itself and sow suspicion of authority when authority is most needed.
We fail to recall that our government, like so many others, declared the pandemic a "national emergency." We don't understand that determination is more than two words strung together. The Trudeau government declared climate breakdown a national emergency on day and then, before 24 hours had passed, greenlighted the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion. It seems the government doesn't attach much significance to the term either.
When Covid-19 began spreading through Canada, I took a fresh read of the national Emergencies Act. I'm still wondering why the feds haven't invoked its provisions to prepare us for a major climate event. My sense of it is that each successive government has chosen not to risk the consequences of steering Canada to a new path rather than bear the risk of riling the natives. So be it but expect to pay for that sooner or later.
Rumley, why does Amazon make extensive use of Canada Post for their deliveries? I have no idea.
Sal, I've been coming across articles describing how the pandemic has been co-opted into America's festering culture wars. The ugly old nonsense about rabid crowds waving protests signs and "Trump-Pence 2020" placards spilled over into the pandemic pasture with thugs masked up and toting AR-15s to storm state houses while those they inspire assert their constitutional right to enter Costco without donning a mask or even, in one case, shooting a store security guy. Yesterday's Guardian had an item about bars and shops in the US that now bar anyone who chooses to wear a mask. About a week ago I came across an item of evangelical pastors who defied the authorities, held services as usual, caught the virus and died. I guess that's Gawd's way of rapturing them up to his side. There have been reports of congregations that exercised their Gawd-given rights to load the pews in which half of them came away infected.
If people are so desperate to reject society on a medical threat what chance does America have when the next big thing hits? How will the lunatic half react when the dreaded 'second wave' (that pandemic records show can be considerably worse than the first) hits America? Who will they lash out at? How rabid will be their response next time? At what point will this boil over into something far uglier than anything we've yet seen?
Not only Vancouver Island, so are the Maritime Provinces ,Newfoundland doing well. Central Canada could do well to follow. But then, not many followed what South Korea did except Germany.
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