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The COVID-19 pandemic
(01-14-2022, 03:12 PM)ac3r Wrote: Thankfully most parents don't do this, so we rarely ever see outbreaks of diseases in school. I think the last major one in North America was an outbreak of measles in Minnesota a few years ago, primarily driven by the Somali community who live there. And well...Covid, but that's a whole new issue we're trying to fix.

(01-14-2022, 07:16 PM)ac3r Wrote: Why, though? There's enough immunity in our society to both prevent disease outbreaks for most pathogens (sans Covid-19) and grant people freedom to not vaccinate if they want. 

I think your second statement follows logically from your first statement, the problem is your first statement is incorrect. A quick Google search turned up two US measles outbreaks just in 2019, https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/02/...-outbreak/ and https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/06/...-outbreak/ . The latter article says the US was actually in danger of losing its measles-free status.

The anti-vaxx agenda has become far more prominent with Covid, but it existed well before, and was making steady gains. The pandemic has merely brought it to the attention of far more people, and IMO made it clear we need to fight back far more agressively.

I don't think we should be jailing people for failing to get vaccinated, but I have no problem with implementing stringent rules for participation in society. Making vaccines actually mandatory for school would be a good start. I'm okay with putting conditions on full participation in modern society, if you want to live in a cabin in the woods and homeschool to avoid vaccines that's your choice.
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True. I think the best way to tackle the problem is through education, which is seemingly what we've relied on in the past. Again, as a society that values and promotes freedom of choice, we need to maintain that. Taxes, jail, marginalizing people from society etc is such an extreme, reactionary and conservative approach to a problem. We've seen over previous century that educating people on vaccines - from using Sesame Street to having religions leaders like the Pope reach out to people - is the best approach we can do to maintain social order, public health and protect lives. But unfortunately, IMO anyway, this pandemic has shown once again how easily people can slip into supporting reactionary authoritarian measures as granting governments power over individuals.

We've basically hit the point where all of us (in Canada) who want to be vaccinated willingly have done so and we've also used controls to get holdouts vaccinated (passports, taxes, limitations etc) which have got such people to swallow their ideals and get it, but there's still always going to be a segment of the population that resists. To combat that, education is the best option, not coercion, because education is a strategy that has long term impacts that'll help out in the long term. Rounding up the unvaccinated and sticking needles into them (metaphorically speaking) isn't the solution to this, even if it would be the easiest way to accomplish it.

And in the end, if you and I or others are vaccinated, what are we fearing exactly? We're past the point of "Covid Zero" at least in the short term. It's going to be endemic like HIV and influenza. If the anti-vaxxers want to risk their health and life, that's their choice. If the vaccine works, then we who are vaccinated should have no concern. It doesn't stop transmission. A virus will mutate to simply spread and thus not kill as many people. The health care system will cope with the remainders, especially as things plateau. There is really only so much we can do without sliding into total medical and legal authoritarianism. If the so called humanists out there are so worried about life, then they should be focusing on developing nations, not worrying about ignorant Facebook users who won't take the vaccine and want to ostracize them from society. I could care less about an unvaccinated moron in the grocery store with me, I'm more worried about the billions of people living in the world who don't live in a society which can vaccinate the way we have. That's where the real danger and moral problems now rest.
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(01-14-2022, 01:40 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(01-14-2022, 01:12 PM)jeffster Wrote: As for weak-minded anti-vaxxers who get their information from FaceBook and radio talk shows -- that blame goes directly to the government and (social)media for allowing that shit in the first place.

Freedom of speech is one of our fundamental freedoms. As Evelyn Hall said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

We do have "Freedom of Speech" -- but that speech is limited. For example, someone promoting hate towards Jews, Muslims, minorities, LGBT+, etc, wouldn't be found on the radio. Same would apply social media, for example, with people encouraging suicide (this is a felony/indictable offence) for example.

We have a lot of leniency with what we can say, but it is, as it should be, limited when it comes to things like public safety and misinformation, especially if it can impact election results (see USA) and government policy.

Freedom of Speech (or expression) allows us, for example, at this forum, to have lively discussions. Yet at the same time, it also gives the right to the owner of this site, or a moderator such as yourself, to censor, redact or delete dangerous and damaging content.

Luckily this site isn't cesspool of idiots like what you might find on FaceBook, Reddit or alternative site. We have disagreements, opinions, and agreements on things, but for the most part, it OK.

Mainstream media, be it radio, social media, papers, etc., have a responsibility to uphold certain standards to ensure their listeners/viewers are being given accurate and true content. But it's missing right now. And that's a problem.
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(01-15-2022, 12:49 AM)jeffster Wrote:
(01-14-2022, 01:40 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Freedom of speech is one of our fundamental freedoms. As Evelyn Hall said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

We do have "Freedom of Speech" -- but that speech is limited. For example, someone promoting hate towards Jews, Muslims, minorities, LGBT+, etc, wouldn't be found on the radio. Same would apply social media, for example, with people encouraging suicide (this is a felony/indictable offence) for example.

We have a lot of leniency with what we can say, but it is, as it should be, limited when it comes to things like public safety and misinformation, especially if it can impact election results (see USA) and government policy.

Freedom of Speech (or expression) allows us, for example, at this forum, to have lively discussions. Yet at the same time, it also gives the right to the owner of this site, or a moderator such as yourself, to censor, redact or delete dangerous and damaging content.

Luckily this site isn't cesspool of idiots like what you might find on FaceBook, Reddit or alternative site. We have disagreements, opinions, and agreements on things, but for the most part, it OK. 

Mainstream media, be it radio, social media, papers, etc., have a responsibility to uphold certain standards to ensure their listeners/viewers are being given accurate and true content. But it's missing right now. And that's a problem.

Completely agree.
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(01-14-2022, 09:39 PM)ac3r Wrote: And in the end, if you and I or others are vaccinated, what are we fearing exactly?

I’m surprised to see a smart person like you saying something so dumb.

As everybody should know by now, some people cannot be vaccinated, and as you yourself point out, the vaccine is not 100% effective at preventing infection. So what we’re fearing is that we could catch the disease from some jackass who isn’t vaccinated yet (and maybe isn’t wearing a mask either) and pass it along to somebody in our household who cannot be vaccinated. That’s what we fear.

And we have a right, as a society, to mitigate that by keeping those who are unvaccinated by choice away from the rest of us.
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(01-15-2022, 11:07 AM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(01-14-2022, 09:39 PM)ac3r Wrote: And in the end, if you and I or others are vaccinated, what are we fearing exactly?

I’m surprised to see a smart person like you saying something so dumb.

As everybody should know by now, some people cannot be vaccinated, and as you yourself point out, the vaccine is not 100% effective at preventing infection. So what we’re fearing is that we could catch the disease from some jackass who isn’t vaccinated yet (and maybe isn’t wearing a mask either) and pass it along to somebody in our household who cannot be vaccinated. That’s what we fear.

And we have a right, as a society, to mitigate that by keeping those who are unvaccinated by choice away from the rest of us.

I also fear having some medical emergency and not being able to get an ambulance or a bed in a hospital. You know, because those things are happening right now. Or needing some medical procedure and not being able to get it.

And frankly, I have a little bit of fear of the civil unrest that may result from an increasingly insane world, where sociopaths who knowingly and intentionally endangered their community are pandered to by our politicians (both north and south of the border).
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The main thing about mandatory/coerced vaccines is that it's also an emergency situation, and rights are conditional on there not being an emergency. We had conscription in this country historically, after all. Your rights didn't go so far when there were Nazis to fight. Now the issue is that there is no hospital capacity.

(01-14-2022, 01:40 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(01-14-2022, 01:12 PM)jeffster Wrote: As for weak-minded anti-vaxxers who get their information from FaceBook and radio talk shows -- that blame goes directly to the government and (social)media for allowing that shit in the first place.

Freedom of speech is one of our fundamental freedoms. As Evelyn Hall said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

As jeffster pointed out, it has limits, and has often never been truly free, so that we haven't had to deal with the full fallout of full free speech. Like, in the 50s, sure, you could say anything (if you were a white male), but you would get zero traction unless the big networks or newspapers picked it up. Social media changes that calculation, which is not all bad, but which is a problem due to misinformation. There's that line about a lie being halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.

(01-14-2022, 06:20 PM)Lebronj23 Wrote: https://www.google.com/amp/s/globalnews....ry-11/amp/

I thought this was interesting. I wonder why they just decided to change their reporting? Seems like all the data given before was inflating numbers.

‘46% of current hospital admissions marked with covid, were admitted for other reasons, but just happened to test positive while in there’

Antivax - “I told you so!’

Also note that the "with COVID" people sometimes have conditions aggravated by COVID and wouldn't actually be there if COVID wasn't there. Also, once you have COVID, it makes hospital treatment much harder, because now you have a thing that needs to not spread to other patients. So, true to some extent, but still putting huge pressure on the hospital system.

(01-14-2022, 07:38 PM)JoeKW Wrote: Herd immunity for measles requires 95% of the population to be immune so it doesn't take too many people to get outbreaks going again. Some more 'granola' areas in the US have fallen below the threshold and started seeing measles outbreaks again in recent years. This was, of course, back before Covid19 and when antivaxers were mostly hippies.

Not just that. Someone pointed to other examples. Auckland had some measles outbreaks before COVID as well.
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(01-14-2022, 06:20 PM)Lebronj23 Wrote: https://www.google.com/amp/s/globalnews....ry-11/amp/

I thought this was interesting. I wonder why they just decided to change their reporting? Seems like all the data given before was inflating numbers.

‘46% of current hospital admissions marked with covid, were admitted for other reasons, but just happened to test positive while in there’

Reading the article a few times, and reading data footnotes on the government pages, I think the reporting on hospitalized case counts has NOT changed. They are simply reporting how those cases were admitted.
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Numbers are out...

Current 7-day Covid-19 cases per 100k

• Durham Region Health Department 757.0

• Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services 627.5

• Lambton Public Health 615.4
• City of Hamilton Public Health Services 602.9
• Peel Public Health 596.3
• Chatham-Kent Public Health 596.3
• Windsor-Essex County Health Unit 577.4
• Halton Region Public Health 577.0
• York Region Public Health 545.0
• Eastern Ontario Health Unit 527.0
• Niagara Region Public Health 511.3
• Brant County Health Unit 501.9
• Public Health Sudbury & Districts 462.8
• Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit 458.4
• Middlesex-London Health Unit 446.9
• Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit 429.8
• Thunder Bay District Health Unit 429.4
• Toronto Public Health 426.3
• Northwestern Health Unit 368.4
• Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health 355.9
• Southwestern Public Health 340.4
• Ottawa Public Health 335.7
• Hastings Prince Edward Public Health 322.9
• Porcupine Health Unit 322.4
• Renfrew County and District Health Unit 321.3
• Peterborough Public Health 306.1
• Algoma Public Health 300.6
• Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit 289.5
• Timiskaming Health Unit 250.8
• Grey Bruce Health Unit 242.5
• North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit 228.9
• Huron Perth Public Health 228.3
• Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health 226.6

• Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit 191.1

• TOTAL ONTARIO 477.7
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When it comes to those who remain unvaccinated, this is what I think the government should do:

Start to tally those who are being hospitalized, either with, or because of, Covid, and breakdown the numbers for those who are unvaccinated, and figure out the 'why'. Who are these?

How many are anti-vax? These folks need re-education.

How many have a history, or family history, of contradictions to the vaccine - but unable to get vaccination exemption for whatever reason? This would be a legit concern.

How many are homeless? Why are PHU's still missing this group?

How many are immigrants? Why are PHUs still missing this group?

How many are indigenous? We have to accept that some of these people won't get vaccinated no matter what, due to mistakes of current and past governments.

How many are from low-income? Why are PHU's still missing this group?

How many of these are 'tuned out' or 'out of the loop'? How do we better convey the messaging of vaccination? Many of these people are shut-ins, perhaps they have little to no family or friends, and simply are unaware of what's happening or what to do about it. Especially true to those with social anxiety disorders and other mental health disorders.

Speaking of: How many have mental health disorder? A segment of the population that is missing from the general population and likely not getting vaccinated, and only going to the hospital once they're on their deathbed, so to speak.

What we need is a detailed accounting of all in the hospital/ICU who are unvaccinated to figure out how we can maximize our vaccine.
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(01-15-2022, 01:21 PM)jeffster Wrote: When it comes to those who remain unvaccinated, this is what I think the government should do:

Yes, this makes a lot of sense. Figure out exactly, with specificity, what is going on, and address the issues based on that detailed investigation. As you suggest, there are lots of groups that may need special effort to reach.

Quote:How many are indigenous? We have to accept that some of these people won't get vaccinated no matter what, due to mistakes of current and past governments.

As long as they stay away from the rest of us! Also, same comment as for anybody else: who are these people who distrust the medical establishment when it tells them to get a vaccine, but are happy to show up at the hospital for intensive care? The consistent position is to eschew the vaccine, and then stay home and get alternative medical care when Covid hits and intensive care is indicated.
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Yes, first step should be to understand the demographics of the unvaccinated. And, ideally, ask them why they did not get vaccinated. With that data, it should be possible to determine steps to improve the situation for all such groups -- indigenous or otherwise.
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(01-15-2022, 11:07 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: I’m surprised to see a smart person like you saying something so dumb.

As everybody should know by now, some people cannot be vaccinated, and as you yourself point out, the vaccine is not 100% effective at preventing infection. So what we’re fearing is that we could catch the disease from some jackass who isn’t vaccinated yet (and maybe isn’t wearing a mask either) and pass it along to somebody in our household who cannot be vaccinated. That’s what we fear.

And we have a right, as a society, to mitigate that by keeping those who are unvaccinated by choice away from the rest of us.

Then maybe we need to rethink our strategy. The vast majority of this country is vaccinated and the vast majority of us are healthy enough to survive the disease with no issues.

So, why are we still holding the majority hostage because a minority of morons won't or can't get vaccinated (not calling the latter morons, mind you)? What ever happened to the "Iron Ring" around LTC homes and other vulnerable populations? Why are we not simply putting resources into protecting those who can't be vaccinated due to medical reasons? This appears to be why Quebec is now hoping to tax the unvaccinated - their leaders have realized that it is futile to keep doing what we keep doing, so we should make it harder for people not willing to cooperate. And how long should we keep enacting rolling lockdowns of businesses and schools? Or forcing the marginalized - the Indigenous and other minority communities, the homeless, the mentally ill, the poor - to keep suffering because they don't trust or understand what is best for them? Do you understand how many people have lost their jobs in the last 2 years? Or have turned to alcohol/drugs? Who have begun to suffer psychiatric issues? Who have overdosed on opiates? Who have lost their homes and are now living on random couches, shelters or in tents? How many kids are suffering by not being able to be social in their most important developmental years? Billions of lives have been ruined all around the planet and it isn't just because they or they knew someone who died, it is much more complex than that. Actually think about it for a moment...there is so much more suffering going on outside of what you or your immediate social circle (family/friends) are feeling and so much of that suffering is not directly a result of the virus (infection/disease), but rather due to people losing their jobs, their hope, their faith, their friends, their family and so on.

So, isn't it better to start focusing on how we can protect the more vulnerable people out there by both protecting and isolating them (aka a so called "Iron Ring"), then allow the healthy people to begin to return to normality so we can have more people and resources to pool together to improve things? Why are we containing the majority, rather than the minority? How long do you really want to continue living like this? Mind you, I totally acknowledge that our health care system is fucked up, but that's a different issue that isn't going to be fixed right now...that's going to take decades. But we could be preventing a hell of a lot more hospitalizations by protecting the vulnerable and continuing to ban willful anti-vaxxers from doing anything but grocery shopping, rather than locking everything and everyone down over and over and over again.

Feel free to question my intelligence if you want, but if you support all of this bullshit at this point - when we are one of the most developed nations and most vaccinated nations on the planet - then I question yours if you still believe this strategy that we've been using for 2 years straight is the answer. IMO, we need to rethink how to handle this. What we are doing is NOT working. It's not like this is yersinia pestis we're fighting - it's a virus that has an ever so slightly higher mortality rate as seasonal influenza. At this point, the vulnerable are dying because they are not being protected correctly. Instead of banning healthy muscle freak gym bros from going to the gym, figure out a way to prevent this virus from getting into places where such vulnerable people can get it.
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(01-15-2022, 07:53 PM)ac3r Wrote:
(01-15-2022, 11:07 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: I’m surprised to see a smart person like you saying something so dumb.

As everybody should know by now, some people cannot be vaccinated, and as you yourself point out, the vaccine is not 100% effective at preventing infection. So what we’re fearing is that we could catch the disease from some jackass who isn’t vaccinated yet (and maybe isn’t wearing a mask either) and pass it along to somebody in our household who cannot be vaccinated. That’s what we fear.

And we have a right, as a society, to mitigate that by keeping those who are unvaccinated by choice away from the rest of us.

Then maybe we need to rethink our strategy. The vast majority of this country is vaccinated and the vast majority of us are healthy enough to survive the disease with no issues.

So, why are we still holding the majority hostage because a minority of morons won't or can't get vaccinated (not calling the latter morons, mind you)? What ever happened to the "Iron Ring" around LTC homes and other vulnerable populations? Why are we not simply putting resources into protecting those who can't be vaccinated due to medical reasons? This appears to be why Quebec is now hoping to tax the unvaccinated - their leaders have realized that it is futile to keep doing what we keep doing, so we should make it harder for people not willing to cooperate. And how long should we keep enacting rolling lockdowns of businesses and schools? Or forcing the marginalized - the Indigenous and other minority communities, the homeless, the mentally ill, the poor - to keep suffering because they don't trust or understand what is best for them? Do you understand how many people have lost their jobs in the last 2 years? Or have turned to alcohol/drugs? Who have begun to suffer psychiatric issues? Who have overdosed on opiates? Who have lost their homes and are now living on random couches, shelters or in tents? How many kids are suffering by not being able to be social in their most important developmental years? Billions of lives have been ruined all around the planet and it isn't just because they or they knew someone who died, it is much more complex than that. Actually think about it for a moment...there is so much more suffering going on outside of what you or your immediate social circle (family/friends) are feeling and so much of that suffering is not directly a result of the virus (infection/disease), but rather due to people losing their jobs, their hope, their faith, their friends, their family and so on.

So, isn't it better to start focusing on how we can protect the more vulnerable people out there by both protecting and isolating them (aka a so called "Iron Ring"), then allow the healthy people to begin to return to normality so we can have more people and resources to pool together to improve things? Why are we containing the majority, rather than the minority? How long do you really want to continue living like this? Mind you, I totally acknowledge that our health care system is fucked up, but that's a different issue that isn't going to be fixed right now...that's going to take decades. But we could be preventing a hell of a lot more hospitalizations by protecting the vulnerable and continuing to ban willful anti-vaxxers from doing anything but grocery shopping, rather than locking everything and everyone down over and over and over again.

Feel free to question my intelligence if you want, but if you support all of this bullshit at this point - when we are one of the most developed nations and most vaccinated nations on the planet - then I question yours if you still believe this strategy that we've been using for 2 years straight is the answer. IMO, we need to rethink how to handle this. What we are doing is NOT working. It's not like this is yersinia pestis we're fighting - it's a virus that has an ever so slightly higher mortality rate as seasonal influenza. At this point, the vulnerable are dying because they are not being protected correctly. Instead of banning healthy muscle freak gym bros from going to the gym, figure out a way to prevent this virus from getting into places where such vulnerable people can get it.

Oh Jesus christ this is ignorant.

Again, I don't know why you aren't hearing this.  We've had multiple code red paramedic situations in the region in the past week. This means if you call 911 and say "I'm dying please help"...they might as well send a hearse.

Healthy people need healthcare too. And this magic idea that we can somehow segregate the vulnerable parts of society (and never mind that isolation might harm them too) has never and can never work. Just because you want a unicorn doesn't mean they exist...those "muscle freak gym bros" are at the same gym as the nurse who takes care of my grandmother.

If seasonal influenza hospitalized 1% of people who get it and had an R value in 3-6 range, you better fucking believe we'd be more worried about it.

Can we do better, absolutely, but this idea that we can just do what we did before and it'll be fine so long as we somehow make the vulnerable people go sit alone in their rooms for the rest of their lives is magical thinking.

Honestly, I'm done with this pandemic, but I'm especially done with the bad takes I've been hearing for 2 friggin years.
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(01-15-2022, 07:53 PM)ac3r Wrote: IMO, we need to rethink how to handle this. What we are doing is NOT working. It's not like this is yersinia pestis we're fighting - it's a virus that has an ever so slightly higher mortality rate as seasonal influenza. At this point, the vulnerable are dying because they are not being protected correctly. Instead of banning healthy muscle freak gym bros from going to the gym, figure out a way to prevent this virus from getting into places where such vulnerable people can get it.

To be fair, I think it was working pretty well with delta. Omicron is harder because it's much more transmissible and breaks through the vaccine much better. I don't know what the ideal Omicron strategy is apart from keeping it out. It is possible that an actual lockdown would work, but it seems like people here wouldn't go for that.
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