Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Are We Being Manipulated to Ignore Covid?

Recently @LauraMiers wrote:

"When people finally realize they're being manipulated--that repeated Covid infections cause permanent organ damage and autoimmunity, dramatically shorten life spans, exacerbate all re-existing issues, and lead to a markedly decreased quality of life--they're going to be furious. The "Urgency of Normal' people are running out of arguments so they're attacking those of us who have been disabled by the virus, and accusing us of being on par with anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. Classy. At the same time, articles like this one by an 'Urgency of Normal' representative seeks to convince people their valid concerns about the brain shrinking,  organ destroying, bat virus are overblown. Back to work! This is really sick." 

In an article in The Irish Times, "'Living with Covid' is Empty Sloganeering in Need of a Plan," Anthony Staines and Daniel Carey take a similar stance when writing about the reality of living with few protective measures: many deaths, tandeming infections in families, repeated reinfections despite vaccinations, and a large number of people out of work at any given time, which will effect the economy both within families and in the country.

"Tracking of the intensity of government measures . . . puts Ireland above Mongolia (bottom of 185 countries) in terms of the intensity of protective measures in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Dr. David Nabarro from WHO described the Irish Government's removal of its citizens' Covid-19 protective measures as 'brutal.' We know that Covid-19 singles out poor people, older people, and people with existing illness for the worst outcomes. We have no plan for these people as we 'live with Covid.' Antiviral medications may be helpful, but their overall effect remains uncertain. It's very clear that transmission cannot be stemmed by appeals to individual responsibility. . . . Litigation is the inevitable response to the failures of this policy approach . . . and litigation over the desperately lonely deaths in nursing homes is expected. . . . The alternative is a simple and actionable one: keeping the proven protective measures that have served us very well--vaccines and masks--and investing the modest amount needed to maintain excellent air quality in indoor settings. . . . Specifically, this means pushing vaccine uptake as high as possible; wearing N95 masks in crowded indoor settings . . . including air filtration in schools, pubs, theatres . . . masks are cheap and surprisingly effective.

I've heard two conspiracy-sounding arguments for removing mandates: The nice one is that they think more people will shop and buy things, go to bars and concerts and restaurants more without a mandate, thus saving the economy. The nasty one is that they are improving the economy with a cull of the old, young, and disabled, closer to the Holodomor than the holocaust, but still shockingly grievous either way. But we really don't know that's the case. It's possible, I guess, that Ford and Moore really do believe we don't need to wear masks in indoor public spaces because the ICU isn't as full today as it was at some random and moveable baseline point.

Dr. Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine in the US, wrote of "The Covid Capitulation" with the subheading that sums it up: As the virus accelerates its evolution, humans retrogress. 

"The CDC propagates delusional thinking that community levels are very low (as my friend Peter Hotez called the 'field of greens') while the real and important data convey that transmission is very high throughout most of the country. . . . It is conveniently feeding the myth that the pandemic is over--precisely what everyone wants to believe."

Without mask mandates, just accepting we'll all get it, we have mutations that are evading immunity to the point that "multiple Omicron subvariants are outcompeting one another. . . . Based on its immunological profile, it [BA.2.12.1] should be called SARS-3." And the mutations are creating a greater reduction in vaccine effectiveness since they can't keep up. "We are seeing people with 4 shots who are getting breakthrough infections, even at 1-2 weeks from their most recent shot, when there should be the maximal level of neutralizing antibodies induced. That's not a good sign." But, even worse, reliance on vaccines as the only solution has left us without a safety net as they weaken and fail while we wait for better options. Topol is hoping a regular nasal spray will help, and he wants all hands on deck to create and distribute one.

My doodled rendition of the situation! 

He writes, 

"With that handwriting on the wall, how could our government legislators turn their backs on funding critical initiatives to get us through the pandemic? This is frankly absurd. . . . We're not just looking at running out of vaccines and antiviral medications [or watching them lead to rebound cases]. Congress should immediately allocate for an Operation Warp Speed (OWS)-like initiative to bring nasal vaccines over the goal line. . . . We absolutely need an aggressive stance to get ahead of the virus."

We can't get to zero Covid, but at the very least we need to aim for zero Covid deaths instead of the current rate of ten times the number of seasonal flu fatalities. We need to keep wearing N95s and hope for better, stronger vaccines. And we need governments everywhere to take more preventative action to save our lives.

ETA this thread by Dr. David Berger, an ER doctor in Australia, 

"The mood is changing rapidly in Australia. The dissonance between what people have been told ('It's over,' 'It's mild,' 'It's just a cold') and what they are actually experiencing (hospital collapse, schools closing, personal and family experiences of severe illness), combined with more and more evidence in the public domain of severe short and long-term effects (hepatitis in kids, long covid, etc.), means that the fiction that we are 'back to normal' and 'the pandemic is over' cannot be sustained. It will shortly collapse like the house of cards that it is and perhaps then, after the election on Saturday, we can start to rebuild public trust and take the measures to suppress transmission which this novel, sever and deadly infectious agent demands. 

One more thing - people presume that whichever state public mood is in at the time will be the permanent state in which it will remain. But that is not so. We have seen tremendous swings in the public mood during the pandemic, from one pole to the other, and we will again. What is happening now is not sustainable and people will not stand for it much longer. The minimisers know the mood is changing and that's why they have been back-pedalling furiously in the last couple of weeks. All I can say is they'd better speed up." 

Too bad we suck at looking at other countries for guidance and to develop a more prescient response!!  


Bill Malcolm said...

Sums up my feelings exactly.

"Living with Covid". What a farce ....

The same lame slogan trotted out all over the Western world. It's as though a switch was flicked back about the beginning of March by some high and mighty despot, and all governments quailed before it, except China.

We also get almost zero facts, the same piddlingly small quantity everywhere delivered once a week. Number of PCR infections LAST week (no mention of positivity rate), Number of people who croaked LAST WEEK, Number of new hospital admissions LAST WEEK, Number of new people admitted to ICU LAST WEEK. That's your lot.

In Nova Scotia, our vaunted Chief Medical Officer of Health who ran a decent Covid Zero ship until mid-December last, has now twice recently publicly said "I don't make the rules!" to reporters wondering how the hell knocking off two or three people a day for months now, means there's no mask mandates. All he says is, beyond declaiming responsibility in that roundabout way and emphasizing that he cannot legally disclose his advice to government, is WEAR YOUR MASK (my emphasis added) and keep your distance in public. Well, so it's pretty darn obvious he doesn't really agree with the official line. But the politicians everywhere answer to THE MAN, whoever in hell that singleton or cabal is that apparently runs things for fun and profit, and the hell with people.

Our figures for certified infections are gradually going down. The reason is simple. As my friends and relatives succumb one by one, it's that almost nobody bothers to get the real test any more. A RAT is all they use, if that. When reporters do screw the positivity rate out of the bureaucrats every now and then, we find it's well over 30%, truly pandemic status, and yet it's hard to get a PCR test. People just suffer through the disease, hope it won't be bad. In public, the usual mindless core of utter dopes wander around maskless, more and more each time I venture out. They seem to be young adults and obvious Con voters in the main.

So I get up really early and shop with the other old crocks wearing masks and hope for the best. And there's no end in sight of this bullshit. I got my fourth jab, and I know the vaccine's for the original original Covid-19 and thus about useless for Omicron variants. Been saying so for months, it was so obvious. I regard the shot just as something that MIGHT help, and it's easy to get, because nobody much is getting a jab any more, so why not wander over to the pharmacy and mindlesly get a further jab. It won't hurt my cause.

I guess I now officially believe in a conspiracy theory. Kill off the old folks and before that make their life a complete misery by not keeping public gathering mask mandates in place.

I see no other interpretation to make other than SOMEONE and governments are in cahoots on this, it's so uniform across Western society. They all spoke with the same voice and all at the same time. There is no other interpretation I can put on the situation other than we're being had.

The role of government is to first and foremost to protect their public, I'm told. Well, forget that for Covid.
people will have to be dropping like flies before anyone in power "notices" anything this coming fall.

Marie Snyder said...

Yes, Bill, it really does seem like they flipped a switch all at the same time to get rid of mandates. I wouldn't be surprised if the Koch Network were behind that move. It certainly all feels a little fishy. And it was unnerving the first time it dawned on my, near the start of it all, that I wasn't in a group worthy of protecting. Most of us aren't, but it's a shock when it all becomes crystal clear. I can't get a 4th shot here, but we might make a trip to Quebec for that. Why the provinces all have different rules is beyond me. What a mess this is!

David said...

We're not really "living with Covid" but surviving it. It's not "living well with Covid". I think we're still in survival mode because many of the things we rely on are at a reduced level. My coworker's husband had to return to work. He fights wildfires. He got covid from a colleague who got it from his kid, who got it at school the entire wildlife service center had lost its ability to respond for a week (lucky that BC it's so wet this year).

Marie Snyder said...

We could survive so much better if we kept precautions in place - particularly in school. I'm curious about the survival skills of a species willingly walking into this mess. You'd think we'd be smarter than this!