Sunday, January 30, 2022

Lunatic Fringe?

I'm a bit of a social media addict, but I quietly wandered away from Facebook last summer when too many people I know in real life were making fun of people wearing masks. A quick peek back finds far too much support for this inane convoy making a mess of Ottawa. It's bad enough having to deal with that unnerving feeling in person, my blood running cold as it's explained to me that N95s are too uncomfortable to bother with, and that we have to make peace with death and the death of others. We have to live our lives!! The lack of concern for how overwhelmed hospitals are and childhood hospitalizations increasing has me reeling. 

And we can live our lives for so much longer, and with much greater pleasure from good health, if we get vaccinated, wear better masks, and keep buildings well ventilated. It's baffling to me the level of denial and the weird rationalizations people are making around the pandemic. I hear that, like me, people are terrified for their lives and the lives of our children, but denial just makes it so much worse. It IS possible to mitigate the risks and avoid the costs with just so little effort! 

Questionable numbers here, but estimates still show N95 give better protection.

The "truckers convoy" is a perfect symbol of misdirected discontent. I put it in quotation marks because most of this gang aren't truckers, and most truckers have denounce the whole shenanigans, with over 90% vaccinated. It's really a white nationalist grift and a distraction from worse events allowed to continue.  


Nobody's talking about schools today. But we're all back to normal despite the rise in cases, with claims that it's just mild now. On TVO recently, Dr. Colin Furness explained that Covid isn't like the flu even though it starts with respiratory symptoms: "This is a brain-invasive virus. . . . 100% of child cases, no matter how mild they are, show markers for micro-clotting. That can lead to loss of brain tissue." It's as contagious as measles, so this is NOT the time to give up and let 'er rip, or just learn to live with it. We've had over 1,000 deaths this month in Ontario.

Many countries are still on a Covid-Zero path, and here's how that's working for China:


Part of the problem is understanding statistics and how to read complex studies. I had one Twitter follower insist that the vaccinations cause heart attacks in fully 10% of teenagers, insisting that's the reasons the boosters haven't been approved by NACI. I looked at the study they linked, which found that, of 8.9 million vaccinated, there were 9,246 adverse reports, and of those, 9.3% were serious, almost half of them affecting the heart. My follower caught that "9.3% were serious" part and missed the context. If you do the math, it works out to 0.1% of those studied had any negative effects to the vaccines, and only 0.009% had a serious adverse effect (and only 0.004% had an issue with their heart). Compared to the effects of getting Covid, that's a risk we should all want to take. 

This follower is a reasonably intelligent person who just doesn't get the math of a study, so is using the information they found, a legitimate, peer-reviewed paper, to be better informed. Data-management should be a mandatory class, and a big part of it should be understanding numbers in studies and news reports. 

Right now, cases are very high, teens are about 10% of the caseload as far as can be tracked (which is much harder now that Ford's is on a "no data, no problem" kick), and many estimate about 10-20% of cases lead to long-Covid, which can have a permanent effect on their brain functioning. Right now in Ontario, about 0.5% of teen cases are ending up in the hospital. That might seem really small, but consider that only about 0.5% of kids who caught polio ended up paralyzed in any way. Just 1 kid in 200. It might not seem huge until you know someone in an iron lung or see so many more kids on crutches or in wheelchairs, or know someone who's died from it, and then people start to really got on board to stop this horrible disease! How about we fight to end transmission of Covid before our hearts break for all the sick children in our communities!

There are still people who look at fact that there are some vaccinated people in the hospitals and decide that vaccinations don't work. They need to contemplate this diagram for a while:


Governing organizations must be transparent about their motives, which is why the NACI is getting some flack for not clarifying why they're not allowing boosters for the 12-17 age groups. They've allowed boosters for the most vulnerable children, so it's not about protecting them from adverse effects. And Trudeau says we have tons. So what's the deal?? We're back in the building full time, regular classes, as if the pandemic were over, but almost none of our teenagers have the protection an 18-year-old would need to be considered fully vaccinated. 

Dr. Moore is a doctor, but his policies are way out of line with top research and with many other doctors, so his recommendations require further scrutiny. It would be so much easier to hold off opening the province until this wave gets back down the other side, but he's jumped the gun to declare us relatively safe despite the deaths of children in his province. 

Yes, drug companies are making money from vaccines, and that has some people nervous about their ulterior motives to get rich by insisting we need more and more boosters, but we don't just look to drug companies for advice on what to take and when. We look to carefully scrutinized peer review studies of what's most effective. Drug companies make money off Tylenol, too, but that doesn't stop us from using it as needed. The difference is that we can tell, pretty quickly, that Tylenol works, and we only know a vaccination works after we don't end up in the hospital. 


We need reminders from time to time, but freedom comes from regulations that enable us to interact within a huge society with relatively few conflicts. We have traffic lights so we don't have to constantly negotiate who should be where when driving and end up allowing the biggest and strongest to win every time. It makes for a much less complicated life to know you can walk outside with only a tiny chance that someone will be driving on the sidewalk. Similarly, masks DO filter out the virus and prevent transmission, so if we all wear them, it means we all have the freedom to go outside with a much smaller risk of getting a fatal and disabling virus. If freedom is defined by personal choice, and people feel they should be free to drive recklessly, it's a childish version of freedom that wants what it wants right now and is oblivious to the effects of others. Children need to learn to take others into consideration. Not masking puts others at risk, making us all less free.

Sure, masks aren't 100% effective, but just because people sometimes die in car accidents, it doesn't follow that we get rid of seatbelts. 


It's so painfully obvious that the convoy is not about vaccination mandates. Since the US has similar rules, even if Trudeau was somehow stripped of power from all this, they still couldn't go back and forth over the border unvaccinated. 

The organizers are affiliated with many racist groups (QAnon, anti-immigration groups, Soldiers of Odin, etc.), and the convoy can draw out the others who might support those initiative. The GoFundMe organizer is on the board of the Maverick Party. I've been to many protests, some all the way in Ottawa, without anyone raising money to cover the costs of transportation. Is it possible that the real purpose of it all is to get tons of cash - much of it foreign - in the hands of ordinary people who can then donate huge sums individually to the PC and PP, thus evading the laws around political donations?? Alternatively it's just a big scam by Lich & Dichter, who helped get things going and started the fund; they might try to keep all that money, in which case I'd feel a little sorry for the truckers who were taken, but just a little.

Some PC and PP politicians care about how they'll look by association, so there will be some serious spin coming: 

Already I've heard the retort: We can't be racists since some of us are from South Asia!! Buddy, if someone from Mars were waving a swastika or confederate flag, I'd call them racist too. 

Yesterday in a nutshell:

And this (I've been quoting it - glad to finally re-find it to give credit where it's due):

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well, it sells papers. or, does it anymore?

Canada’s MSM has crawled into a very deep hole. I don’t think they’ll ever crawl out.