Monday, October 16, 2023

Trapped by our Insouciance

George Monbiot's article today is the perfect rant for our times. It's pretty much what I've been screaming into the void for the past while, but, thankfully, he has a large audience.

Monboit shames us with this, 

"When we forget the virus, we forget clinically vulnerable people trapped by our insouciance. Some can scarcely leave their homes as the danger to them of infection is so great. . . . Many who suffer [Long Covid] reported a lower quality of life than people with stage 4 lung cancer."

Yet my university will not grant accommodations if a student (like me) won't physically attend a class--that's always recorded and posted online--because the class is full of people who will not heed a gentle request to mask, and which requires daily group work, unevaluated, in which three or four people, a foot away, speak directly at their face. The CO2 in the room is regularly over 1200 ppm. Some people are perfectly capable of doing all the work of the program to a high standard, but just not in that room in that way. Sucks to be them (us). 

And we don't give a shit about harming healthcare workers despite desperately needing them right now. Monbiot continues,

"Symptoms of long Covid 'had an impact on health as severe as the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury.' Some doctors are unable to work, to care for their children, cook, perform basic arithmetic, even brush their hair. Some are now facing the loss of their homes, bankruptcy and destitution. Though most caught the virus in the line of duty, they've been bright-sided, sacrificed to the officially sanctioned delusion that it's over, and we should all get on with our lives. They must wish they could."

"For some people, going to hospital may now be more dangerous than staying at home untreated."  

The frustrating part is THIS IS ALL PREVENTABLE!!! We have all the tools we need. 

"Masks work, especially if they're N95 respirators or equivalent. They work best when everyone uses them, and are kept on throughout the time we spend in an enclosed space. This is because the aerosols that carry the virus can keep circulating in a room, long after they've been exhaled."

And we can add in more filtration in rooms and germicidal UV light. Many parents are literally dying to put a CR box in their kids' classrooms, for free, but they're still forbidden due Nobody's really sure, but, so far, we haven't had a single incident of one spontaneously bursting into flames.

We also need to keep testing in hospitals and reporting. But now hospitals are telling people not to test. They don't want to know.

In the U.K. 

"The government is stockpiling vaccines rather than deploying them. It's senseless for two reasons. First, because it should be maximising protection before the full autumn surge begins; second, because by the time they're used, new mutations could render them worthless."

In the U.S., they rolled out vaccines right away, made them available everywhere, and only 2% of people got one. Thank the anti-vax movement for that and all the misinformation from the government and media claiming the vaccine is the magic elixir at first, then claiming the virus is so mild that vaccines are unnecessary. Now Pfizer is undergoing "cost-cutting measures as sales for Covid-19 products plummet," which could mean these vaccines might not be manufactured at some point. It's not cost effective.

And in Canada, we're not allowed to begin getting vaccinated until November unless very old, very young, or immunocompromised. A few people have just walked in to empty clinics and gotten one anyway as some public health units have a 'don't turn anyone away' policy despite the provincial rules. Good on them. 

And for the love of god, stop counting your vaccines. It doesn't matter if you had two or eight. What matters is that you had one within the last six months!

People still think it's enough to isolate only if very sick, specifically with a high temperature, forgetting or maybe completely unaware that most transmission comes from people when they don't have any symptoms of illness at all. Much of this push to go to work sick is to do with the lack of sick days at many workplaces, which has to change no matter what. Schools that are worried about attendance (because it's tied to funding) are telling parents to send kids even if they have a runny nose, sore throat or mild cough. Monbiot says,

"Were you to devise a formula for spreading the disease as far and wide as possible, you could scarcely do better than this." 

"There's plenty of masking going on, but not the kind that prevents infection. The government is masking its failure to get to grips with this virus. It's masking the fact that, thanks to three years of such failures, Covid-19 is now a constantly evolving endemic infection likely to kill or disable many thousands every winter. It's masking the ableism its rhetoric has encouraged: the other and blaming of those who contract the disease, driven by the widespread but wholly mistaken belief that fit and healthy people don't catch it. It's masking the cruelty of a system that shuts down the lives of clinically vulnerable people. These facts - and these people - are treated as social embarrassments, locked in the government's moral attic like a relative with a mental illness in Victorian England. They're the country's family secret. That coughing noise upstairs? Nothing that need concern you."

Thank you, George!

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