Wednesday, September 7, 2022

It Ain't Over!!

Just a quick update on Ontario's Covid numbers, currently: 

In the words of Colin Furness, MISt PhD MPH:

"It's clear politicians from all parties won't act until there is public outrage. And there can't be public outrage if the public is in the dark."

Covid is still disabling and deadly, although the media would have you think otherwise.

We're not hearing anything about this, but more lives have been lost to Covid in Canada than in WW2, and in about half the time. In Ontario, looking at the period from August 14 to 31, Covid cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities are dramatically higher this year than the previous two Augusts combined

Hospitalizations:  80 in 2020;  406 in 2021;  1,034 in 2022

Fatalities:  24 in 2020;  87 in 2021;  207 in 2022

In Ontario, Covid is killing about 10 times as many people as automobile collisions, yet nobody's fighting against seatbelt laws or airbag regulations or traffic rules. We just do all that to keep ourselves safer because it makes good sense. Right?!  

Vaccines help keep people from getting a serious case, but they don't do enough to stop transmission. The effectiveness wanes over time down to almost nil after six months, so we should be at dose 4 by now, but, in Ontario...

Only 41% of children age 5-11 have had two doses of a COVID 19 vaccine.

Just 20.2% of children/teens age 12-17 have had three doses.

Ventilation and filtration in rooms to clean the air could really reduce transmission, but that's not going to happen in our schools this week. So all we have left are masks. N95 masks that fit well, work well to stop transmission! Please wear them everywhere you go, and get your kids to wear them too. 

ETA: From David Fisman (a bit expanded for clarity): 

At least 16 Ontario kids under 12 have died of covid during the pandemic. Of these, 13 died in 2022. Nine of those 13 had infection onset during the spring 2022 school term, after mandates were removed. We can't say for sure if they were school outbreak-associated because school outbreak reporting was cancelled by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

It's easy to catch BA.5:

It spreads like smoke, moving around plexiglass or loose surgical masks, crossing a room in minutes and lingering there for up to six hours. It can be spread in less than 15 minutes and further than six feet, even outdoors. AND it's sneaky because a third of cases are asymptomatic, so we can have it and spread it without feeling remotely sick ourselves... yet. We might still get LongCovid a few months later. BUT, it's diluted by fresh air, good filtration (HEPA or CR boxes), and stopped by well-fitting N95s. If you have to be in a room with others who have made the dubious choice not to mask, then wear your N95, sit near an open window, and demand a HEPA or CR box in the room - or just bring one in yourself!! 

Being sick with Covid is very different that a typical cold because even a mild case can lead to long term, possibly permanent, disability, and catching it more than once increases the risk of LongCovid. 

What to do with a close Covid positive contact or if you notice some symptoms (like a sore throat or coughing)?? 

Despite what Dr. Moore implies, you're still contagious even if your symptoms improve over 24 hours, and the Ontario school screener still says to stay home if you have any symptoms. Please isolate for five days, then do a rapid test (since about 50% of RATs show a false negative in the first five days). If it's positive on day six, isolate and test again daily starting on day eight until you get TWO negative tests, 24 hours apart. If it's negative, then keep masking in public and test again on day ten just to make sure. 

How to do a GOOD rapid test:

Wait for day six after a contact or any symptom, then swab both cheeks, then the back of the throat, then each nostril, for about five seconds each. For the nostrils, put the swab in horizontally

THIS is what personal responsibility looks like in the absence of Public Health - which is where we're at right now. 

Check out this doc for a thorough list of the most current studies on Covid along with testimonials, legal challenges, and more!

It's way too soon to live as if it's all over. Stay safe out there, kids! 

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