Thursday, January 19, 2023

Leading by Example or What's Good for the Goose...

This is about the Davos World Economic Forum, ending tomorrow. Social media is all atwitter with the incredible precautions they pulled off. Check out their rules here. It's three pages (!!!) of Covid rules and mitigations. Some highlights here:

"To create a safe environment at the Annual Meeting 2023, the Forum is working with the world's leading health experts and virologists. . . . The Forum strongly recommends that participants are vaccinated with the latest available vaccines and take a COVID-19 test before travelling to Davos. Participants are required to get tested in one of the Forum testing centres after arriving . . . with a PCR test. . . . If you fail to conduct a test, your badge will automatically be deactivated. . . . . Masks and disinfectants will be available throughout. . . . State-of-the-art ventilation systems have been installed"

And their masks are FFP2, similar to our N95s. They're not fooling around! On top of the PCR test, "Rapid antigen tests will be available free of charge . . . If you do not feel well, please take a self-tests."

Here's a photo being widely discussed. Notice the HEPA filter on the left, and the fact that this dude on the right has his coat on because window were opened to add to their amazing ventilation system. Ventilation is additive, kids! 

And I think it's fantastic that they're taking such precautions. Absolutely fantastic!!

But... it makes it extremely, super-duper clear that they all know precisely what's necessary to keep people safe in any indoor public setting. It's very clear they know that Covid isn't over, and they're actively avoiding it. 

I mean, good for them, right?! They should definitely do all this. 

But what about us? The plebs are stuck paying for masks and now rapid tests, which are no longer available for free at stores in my region. We have to beg for HEPA filters in the room and plead to be allowed to open a window. There's no security detail to take away parents threatening to destroy our lives and come to our house to destroy our children's lives because we opened a flippin' window half an inch during class when the CO2 monitor read over 2000ppm!

I think I'm still a little traumatized by that one.

Now imagine if we didn't just protect the most wealthy and powerful in our world, but the most vulnerable! Imagine if we protected our children like this, with magic badges that don't let people access the building if they haven't gotten a recent negative test. And not just rapid tests for this lot - they've got PCR tests. That sounds expensive to scale it up, I know, but we did just dump half a million dollar into snowmobile trails, and $4.4 billion seem to still be unaccounted for otherwise, so I think we can scrounge up the cash if we want to - if we really care about protecting kids.  

To quote Social Murder is Still Murder (@_shelse_),

"Every single time you leave your house without a mask, you play into their propaganda and make it that much easier for them to keep you too weak, too sick, and too tired to do anything about it while your wages remain stagnant and they increase the cost of food, fuel, and privatize your fucking healthcare. This is disaster capitalism at its finest, and we're sleepwalking into it. 

I want all our schools to be Davos safe.

But at least now we've got some signage at the schools in my region: 

And we still provide free masks, but they're loose surgical masks or far worse. And the big education campaign I was hoping for is a weekly post on social media to remind people that masks will help. Each time it links to the original news story about my motion passing in December. I started piggybacking on them to provide actual information, like how masks work. I'll focus on one thing each week even though anything the board tweets gets stomped on by haters. This is what we're working with to protect our most precious citizens. 

If you haven't felt like a secondhand citizen yet, this might be the thing that does it!

ETA: You can hear this post discussed at VoicEd Radio here, from about 51:30 to the end.


Cap said...

I made the mistake of clicking on your "weekly post" link. The replies to the WRDSB message are a barrage of anti-mask nonsense. Naturally, none of them give any links to the studies they say outline the harms of mask wearing. Do these people also insist their dentists and surgeons take off their masks?!

This brings up the biggest problem around public health mask messaging: masks prevent the transmission of disease to others much better than they protect the wearer. That's why, for over a century, medical staff have worn masks around open wounds. But the public health message is invariably framed as "wear a mask to protect yourself." Recent CDC messages point to a study that showed people who consistently wore masks were less likely to catch Covid by 52% for cloth masks, 66% for surgical masks and 83% for N95-type masks. It's an appeal to self-preservation, instead of an appeal for teamwork to protect each other, and especially the most vulnerable. The self-preservation messages don't work when the media consistently downplay the risks of new variants as "mild," and almost everyone has by now experienced Covid. There's no shaming people into not protecting themselves.

As I'm sure you already know, University of Waterloo study looked at things the other way around. It found that "high-efficiency masks, such as the KN95, still offer substantially higher apparent filtration efficiencies (60% and 46% for R95 and KN95 masks, respectively) than the more commonly used cloth (10%) and surgical masks (12%), and therefore are still the recommended choice in mitigating airborne disease transmission indoors." And as you say, ventilation is key, with researchers finding that "even relatively low air-change rates... lead to lower aerosol build-up compared to the best performing mask in an unventilated space." So mom's homespun advice to open the window a crack turns out to have scientific validity. We've got to start looking out for each other instead of looking out for number one, and opening a window isn't such a big ask.

Marie Snyder said...

Yes, Cap, we've gone down the familiar individualistic path of provoking only concern for oneself instead of trying to up our game and provoke a collectivist approach that acknowledges how our actions affect others and requires we care about the people in our communities. Maybe that sounds too much like communism! It's been a frustrating three years knowing that we have the necessary tools, but being dissuaded or actually prevented from using them. If only we could all be #DavosSafe!!

(And never read the comments on board posts! I respond there, then never look back.)