Tuesday, September 13, 2022

How Much Harm is Immoral?

If you know something you're about to do could potentially harm people, and the only reason you're doing it is for your own convenience, then wouldn't we largely agree that this behaviour is immoral? Like being about to drive home drunk because it will be really annoying to have to come back to get your car later. That's just wrong, right?? Even if we've driven drunk before and successfully made it home without incident, we get that we were just lucky that time. Most of us seem to get that, anyway. 

What about the bystanders? If you watch someone stagger to their car and struggle to fit the key in the ignition, but you say nothing despite knowing they could end up killing someone, then you're in that chain of wrongdoing. You've got to say something at least. Try to get them to give up the keys. Right?!

Yup, this is about masks. 

So many parents are emailing and tweeting about their kid being the only one in the room with a mask. Even teachers aren't wearing them. It's like sending kids into traffic with a seatbelt firmly in place, knowing all the other drivers are shitfaced! That seatbelt can only do so much to protect them. 

But maybe you don't really know that Covid has the potential to harm right now because politicians and media have convinced so many that Covid ended. Then check this out:

The number of hospitalizations in Ontario this summer were more than double the previous two summers combined:

The current valleys in our rates of hospitalization this year (March and June) in Ontario are higher than the peaks from September to November last year. Remember how much we cared about stopping Covid last September, with everyone in masks and only two classes per day to reduce contacts?? WE COULD STILL BE DOING THAT!!  (That steep incline starting late December? Merry Christmas!)

My city's current wastewater data (the orange line) doesn't get near the previous peaks! Ignore the purple line after January since we stopped tracking cases after that, so numbers are artificially low. 
So, now you know that Covid isn't over. In fact it's much, much worse. Sorry, but you can't claim ignorance anymore. 

Even worse, for every 10 people you know who have had it already, at least one (but as many as 3) will likely get Long Covid and be permanently disabled by this disease. Who's going to help them financially when they can no longer work? Who's going to cook and clean for them? Or for you, if the odds aren't in your favour? Or are we all in this on our own, at the you do you stage of societal evolution? Do we want to be? 

Something we all definitely knew last year and the year before but have relinquished to the back of our minds is that a good 30-45% of cases, depending on the variant, are completely asymptomatic. YOU can have Covid right now without knowing it, without having any acute symptoms of illness - although you can still end up with chronic Long Covid a few months from now. That's why Covid spreads so well in our communities. 

It's so simple to stop transmission if everyone just wears a flippin' well-fitting N95, that it's heartbreaking and dumbfounding to me that people don't wear them everywhere they go. If you don't believe masks do anything significant to prevent transmission, then check out this thread of evidence.

And parents emailing me and tweeting are saying the same thing. "I'm going to have to take my kids out of school to keep them safe." Yup. This plays beautifully into Ford's scheme to show how bad public schools are and privatize the lot of them! Clever man. The masks didn't come off because Covid is over. It's not. They came off because it's useful to Ford. 

Show everyone that you get the bigger picture. Wear an N95 whenever you leave home.

I wrote a longer version of this at 3 Quarks Daily: "On Bad People."  that asks, in a roundabout way, how do we embed a general awareness in society that not wearing a mask in public is immoral and unconscionable, like we did with drunk driving? I'm not pulling my punches anymore. We're about to lose an entire generation of kids to this disease. Wear a mask for safety; the life you save could be your own! 

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