Sunday, November 13, 2022

Viral about that Virus

I posted a mini thread yesterday that exploded about the Delphi Consensus:

It hit a million impressions in just 24 hours, and it's still going strong. I'm so glad I turned off comments early on after I got slaughtered by trolls on a different post yesterday - almost 500 random comments mainly from people with fewer than 10 followers and almost entirely American based, lots of gun-lovers. It's the wild west on Twitter since Musk fired most of the staff. 

A couple people, including one of the authors of the study I referenced, didn't get that the 1/2 at the end of that first tweet means there's a second tweet, and reprimanded me for not including the link to the source material. Cake found it just fine!

It's funny that I tweeted almost exactly the same thing last week, and I explained further details of the paper here just over a week ago too, and neither got any attention. Maybe this is a sign that we're finally ready, that we want to end the healthcare crisis with masks, and that we are excited that there's consensus of almost 400 experts from over 100 countries around the world that we should strap one on for safety! It might, just maybe, mean we're turning a corner.

I had a few DMs of interest. One said they read the report and couldn't find anything about masks, so I gave them some help:
From Table 3: "Infection rates tend to increase when government discontinue social measures, including non-pharmaceutical interventions, regardless of the level of vaccination. Wide use of high-filtration and well-fitting facemasks (for example, N95...) is important to reduce transmission, particularly in high-risk settings. Most countries have not adequately protected children throughout the pandemic." There are also numerous places they discuss a Vaccine PLUS policy which implicitly includes N95s.
Another asked: 
I was wondering - have you come across an expert consensus on what we need to be doing about K-12 schools? There's a worry about schools becoming a mass contagion site, and if I remember correctly, many of those kids are too young to qualify to get vaccinated. So does expert opinion lean towards remote learning? Or is masking enough to make schools reasonably safe? Or do experts recommend additional mitigation measures?
I responded: 
That's the only report that has a huge group of people looking for consensus on anything. They say (table 6): "Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the workplace, educational institutions and centres of commerce should remain a high priority, reflected in public health guidance and supported through multiple social measures and structural interventions (for example, work/schooling policies, ventilation, air filtration, facemask wearing)." So we could extrapolate from that that we need to acknowledge that it's airborne, that vaccination isn't enough (especially when too young), and the need for N95s on everyone at least. Upper room UVGI and HEPA systems would help to clean the air, but are costly. Masks would be the cheapest way to stop the spread. 
To come to an optimal place between best learning and safety from disease, masks would be preferable to lockdowns. I don't believe lockdowns are mentioned in the report, but I might just be missing it. BUT masks only work with public buy-in, which is hard to come by in Ontario. It's unfortunate Ford/Moore won't do more to clarify the need for mandatory masking beyond urging us to "do the right thing." You can email/call Ford and Moore and your MPP to let them know it's important to you, though!!  
And a couple people talked about me in the third person: Here she goes again. She should be locked up. She's a pychopath [sic]. No elected official should have comments turned off. She only cares about covid, nothing about schools. She should never be put in an elected position in the first place. Etc. 

I just blocked those. I made my stance clear from the start of my campaign that, yes, I am that covid chick. The fact that I was voted in means that people in my region want someone who cares about stopping the spread of a virus sitting at the table. And my DMs were open for comments, or haters can also reach me by email. I'm happy to chat, but I want to avoid hundreds of trolls flooding my notifications, thanks. 

Because, here's the thing: NOTHING will help kids succeed in school if we're letting a virus spread enough that there are more dangerously sick children in need of care than can fit in our ICUs. COVID is disrupting classes with rotating illnesses and too many kids gone for weeks at a time to easily proceed through the curriculum. Do you wait for more than 5 kids to make it to class? Or do you forge ahead and let the rest try to catch up, individually teaching them over lunch as they return?? OR do you require N95s on all people in schools, the way we require shirts and shoes, so we can stop the rampant spread of viruses and keep kids in class, so they can start to focus on learning again???


Now I'll try Facebook (yikes!).


Lorne said...

I see that the Ottawa-Carleton school board is set to debate whether or not masking should be reinstated for its students. Any plans to introduce such a discussion in your board as a new-elected trustee, Marie?

Toby said...

From your posts I know that you and the experts recommend N95 masks. Where do you buy them? None of the local pharmacies sell them. I don't think I have ever seen one. For a while Superstore had a reasonably good KN95 but they dropped that in favour of a dust mask. The following link shows a good example of the problem.

There are no walk-in pharmacies on the list. There are Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Rona from which I would expect a dust mask but not a medical one.

Experts may recommend N95 masks but corporate Canada does not.

Marie Snyder said...

@Lorne - I'm looking into what's possible. I'm glad Nili is in there first so I can see how far that gets. It could be the thing that opens it up in all boards. In Waterloo, a motion was raised just to discuss masks last June and didn't get any support - so they weren't even discussed. I was planning to try to bring in a motion to educate all kids - being we're a bunch of schools and all - but Nili has made me consider going hard out of the gate to require masks in all schools. BUT that could also backfire spectacularly. I'm in a wait-and-see phase. I'm not officially a trustee for another week.

Marie Snyder said...

@Toby - I buy N95s online from United Canada - a box of 20 3M Aura 9205s are $36. I just use 5/month (using a plank of wood with 5 screws in it to rotate one/day of the week), so a box can last me four months.

Owen Gray said...

It's amazing, Marie, that so many people seem to be constitutionally unable to do the simplest things.

Marie Snyder said...

It is, Owen. But I don't blame them in the face of so much misinformation. The false concept of "immunity debt," used to prevent mask use, has some intelligent people I know trying to get sick - or getting their children sick intentionally!! People should be arrested for spreading such dangerous concepts, but here we are! Can't wait to get to the cottage five minutes faster!!