Saturday, October 15, 2022

The New Wave

Barry Hunt, an engineer in Ontario, explains the difference with this next wave of Covid. Full disclosure, he works at Prescientx in the manufacturing and distribution of respirators, CO2 monitors, etc. to pay the bills. That doesn't change the truth of what he writes: 

I know this wave, Wave 8, seems like the same old same old, but this time it's different. 

We used to have a respite between waves during the summer for people and hospitals to recharge and regroup prior to the fall and winter onslaught. This time we didn't. We used to finish a wave before we started the next one. This time we're starting a new wave on top of the current wave. We used to start a new wave with <1000 daily cases (in Ontario). This time we're starting with 40,000. We used to start a wave with a single dominant variant. This time we have variant soup. We used to be confident our new monoclonal antibodies would be effective against a new dominant variant. This time we aren't. We used to be confident one more vaccine boost would overcome immune evasion. This time we're not. We used to have low hospital occupancy and spare hospital capacity at the start of a wave. This time we don't. 

We used to have mandatory masking in place. This time we don't. We used to have remote learning options in place. This time we don't. We used to have confidence we can meet the capacity challenge in our hospitals. This time we don't. We used to have risk, case and outbreak data by school, by region, by province. This time we don't. We used to have Federal income supports in place for people and businesses. Now we don't. We used to take Covid seriously. Now we don't. We used to be afraid of the acute phase of Covid. Now we aren't. We used to think the acute phase was the only concern. Now we know better. Mid-Covid and Long Covid are just as harmful, in many ways more so, to people, their families, businesses and the economy. 

So now what can we do to save hospitals from crashing and schools from closing? Wave 8 is already here. What can we do in a hurry? A couple of ideas:

  • Deploy 2M kids' size Health Canada authorized respirators to school kids. After all, schools are the primary driver of community cases. 
  • Deploy 100,000 highly protective easy-sealing reusable respirators to teachers. After all, they are more vulnerable to hospitalization and death and have a big impact on class availability.
  • Make universal respirator use mandatory in hospitals and LTC for staff, visitors and voluntarily for patients. After all, healthcare is the other major driver of cases and healthcare workers are existentially invaluable to the system.
  • Monitor CO2 levels / ventilation in real time across every classroom in the province, and target improvements where needed. 
  • Mandatory masking in public places until cases are lower. Set minimum standards - respirators for high-risk, minimum medical masks for all others.
Do these measure sound drastic? They're not. Minor inconveniences and minor investments. On a scale of 1 to 10, they're a 2 compared to the health and economic consequences of inaction. And the inconvenience of wearing a mask is TEMPORARY. I'd like to stay healthy, live a long happy life, and I want that for my friends and fellow citizens too. I'd like hospitals and schools and public spaces to be safe, the economy and businesses to flourish, and kids to excel in school.

Let's make it happen. 

I made a poster including much of this information, that might help get the word out!


the salamander said...

Excellent Post - A DO NOT MISS !
It HURTS to read.. but it HELPS 🦎

Marie Snyder said...

Hunt said it well!