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I heard this story on the radio while driving into work this morning.  I had hoped I had misheard the announcer when they said that health care workers had been verbally assaulted and in some cases physically assaulted while doing their jobs.

But sadly, no.

“Crowds of people opposed to COVID-19 vaccinations clogged the streets of Vancouver and demonstrated outside hospitals across B.C. on Wednesday afternoon, earning the indignation of some political leaders.

According to police estimates, thousands of demonstrators gathered outside hospitals in Vancouver, Kelowna, Kamloops, Victoria, Prince George, Nanaimo and in other Canadian cities.

The protests were organized by Canadian Frontline Nurses, a group founded by two Ontario nurses who have promoted conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and attended rallies in the U.S. for those who think the pandemic is a “fraud.” In posters for the event, dubbed “worldwide walkout,” the group urged supporters to “stand up for freedom” and “reject the tyranny of mandatory vaccines.”

Unbelievable.

 

 

  “Protesters carried signs with slogans criticizing vaccine passports as a form of discrimination and chanted “freedom” and “crimes against humanity.”

By the early evening, one health authority was reporting a physical assault against a health-care worker. Island Health’s president and CEO Kathy MacNeil said some of the protests on Vancouver Island had disrupted people’s safe access to health care.”

You can’t go to school without the mandated vaccinations.  This is just like that, public health mandates are good for society.  These people are protesting for the freedom to spread Covid-19 to others, because of their monumental ignorance and gullibility.

  “What happened to our health-care teams today is not acceptable to me nor to the people and communities they serve. Our health-care teams deserve respect and support, no matter what personal beliefs we hold.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix described the protests as “despicable.”

“The nature of the protest to disrupt people when they go to hospital, people who are going there for surgery or for other circumstances, or to visit loved ones or to be with loved ones when they pass away, to have a protest there is really not acceptable behaviour,” he said.”

It is not the people at the hospitals that are ‘ruining your freedom’ and ‘imposing tyranny’ on you.  Look at your political class.  They are making the call here and if you have issues with them, go protest at the legislature or city hall.  But stay the heck away from hospitals and health care workers who are doing their best (and have been doing their best for a very long time) to keep people alive during this pandemic.

The stupid people are now the deadly dynamos of this pandemic.

“We have a window of opportunity to rapidly accelerate vaccine uptake and close the protection gap in younger age groups.”

The number of cases in Canada each day grew from about 700 in early August, to almost 3,500 now. The vast majority of cases are among unvaccinated individuals, with Tam saying unvaccinated people are 12 times more likely to be infected and 36 times more likely to be hospitalized if they get infected.

New modelling released Friday showed if the current rate of transmission of COVID-19 remains the same, Canada could see more than 15,000 new cases a day by the beginning of October.

So, the ignorant are weeding themselves out of society, but at too great a cost for the rest of us.  It’s sad a I have to compile stories like this, I thought Canadians as a whole had a better grip on reality.

 

 

Canada is experiencing a fair amount of Covid fatigue.  The reception of news of the fourth wave seems like only a small ripple in the news.   Unsurprisingly the news isn’t particularly good.  The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel has gotten farther and dimmer as the delta variant of Covid 19 makes its rounds through the population.

“The country’s seven-day average for new daily cases is now close to 1,300 — an increase of nearly 60 per cent over the previous week, with cases ticking back up mainly in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

“We’re absolutely in the fourth wave,” said Dr. Peter Juni, who is the scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. “There’s no doubt about that.”

But unlike previous waves, which overwhelmed various hospital systems and led to catastrophic death in long-term care facilities, there is hope this spike won’t be quite so dire.”

Do we have the pandemic under control?  I think much of that answer to that will depend on how willing Canadians are to get fully vaccinated.

“High vaccination uptake across the country has changed the game: Roughly 60 per cent of Canadians are now fully vaccinated, and research continues to show leading vaccines offer high levels of protection from serious illness, even against the fast-spreading delta variant.”

“The point is we can’t go back to normal,” said Juni. “Because we continue to have a challenge with the large proportion of people who remain unvaccinated.”

As usual, we have the crowd that arduously shout about how their personal freedom is being impinged upon by pubic health measures.  This is the segment of the population that will knowingly or unknowingly cause the pandemic to drag on for much longer than necessary.

“Unprotected individuals around the world have proven vulnerable to the highly contagious delta variant in recent weeks, with surges of cases — including serious infections and deaths — in areas of low vaccine coverage, ranging from entire regions in Africa to certain U.S. states.

“This is going to overwhelmingly be a disease of unvaccinated Canadians and under-vaccinated populations,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases physician and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force.”

The Delta variant is kicking the ass of un-vaccinated populations, not only in Canada, but world wide.  It is very much a personal responsibility/consequences issue.  It’s just that in this case the vaccine hesitant are, in my opinion, are acting irresponsibly and unfortunately the consequences can be quite dire.  No one should have to suffer intubation or the Long Covid when we have the means of preventing the majority of such outcomes.

“With early signs of a delta-driven wave beginning and the fall approaching, efforts to increase the proportion of fully vaccinated Canadians and reinforce individual precautions per local public health advice are crucial to reducing virus spread and lowering the risk of a resurgence that could lead to health-care capacity being exceeded this coming fall and winter,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, in a statement on Tuesday.”

Let’s make this pandemic as short as possible and continue to follow the best evidenced based public health practices.

 

 

 

I’m not buying it. The Alberta re-opening, as much as I want it to happen, is just too soon.

Stage 3: Two weeks after 70% of Albertans 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier) have received at least one dose. Effective July 1. All restrictions lifted, including ban on indoor social gatherings. Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain. The general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in limited and specific settings. More information will be shared prior to the start of Stage 3.

 

The UCP Alberta government has consistently placed it’s citizens in harms way.  Ignoring professional medical advice and best practices we have blundered through this pandemic.  Half measures have been par for the course leading to an overtaxed healthcare system and needless deaths.

And yet, here we are, about to go full hog-wild into the summer months with masking requirements being lifted and full indoor gatherings being give the green light.

There are already concerns in Ontario about a possible fourth wave

“On Friday I want to remind our residents that these first steps to reopening are not a full return to normal. We do have high first dose coverage but we have low second dose coverage and the science shows that only 33 to 50 per cent protection is afforded against the Delta variant with one dose. That protection may not be enough to forestall a resurgence if we reopen and re-engage too quickly,” Loh warned. “You can start to meet with people outside your home but continue to limit your contact and ensure that you’re following precautions.”

Ontario will enter the first step in its reopening plan as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, allowing retail stores to reopen at 15 per cent capacity and bars and restaurants to serve customers on their patios.

Loh did indicate that he believes Peel is ready for a partial reopening but he said that residents must remember that the Delta variant growing in the community “ahead of the rest of the province” and “will continue to grow.”

In fact, Loh said that the variant likely accounts for 30 to 35 per cent of all new cases in Peel Region already and is increasingly being observed in workplace outbreaks.

“The potential fourth wave is brewing right now and that’s why I think you’ve heard myself and Mayor (Patrick) Brown really pointing to the advice that we’ve received from the science table to accelerate second doses in communities that are seeing Delta variant activity, such as ours,” he said.

Brown calls on province to ramp up vaccine supply

Back in May the province directed 50 per cent of its vaccine supply to hot spot communities such as Peel but it has not yet committed to a similar strategy for second doses in communities experiencing a rise in Delta variant cases, despite calls from its own science advisory table to do so.”

Masking and maintaining sanitary precautions at least until October for me.

 

Statistics are a part of our lives.  Sadly, most people do not have a clue how they work and how they are to be interpreted.  Our conservative government here in Alberta continues to find unique and exciting new ways to  drop the ball when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.  The government has set up mass vaccination clinics in Calgary and Edmonton and both are ghost-towns.

Why?

 

(**edit – It has been brought to my attention that this comparison is more like orange to apples than oranges to oranges – The type of clot and severity are on quite different scales.  However, a better comparison would be the possible chance and complications from the AstraZenca vaccine versus the chance and effects of being infected with Covid 19 or one of its variants and the complications involved.  The vaccine is the better choice.)

Because people don’t want to die of AstraZeneca vaccine related blood clots.  How likely is that to happen?  Roughly the risk is 1 in 250,000.

Scary, right?

The risk of getting blot clots from another injection – Between 3 and 9 people out 10,000 will develop blood clots on the birth control pill.

Yet Birth Control pills are still widely prescribed and used in society with not a great deal of hoopla.  That being said, this what the vaccination centre looked like here :

 

“The mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Edmonton Expo Centre can administer 7,000 shots per day, if operating at full capacity.

On Wednesday, it did 280.

The rapid-flow clinic is solely offering the AstraZeneca vaccine and only to Albertans aged 55 to 64. An Alberta Health Services spokesperson said the Expo clinic did not run at full capacity this week because a slow uptake was expected for the shots.

On its opening day on Monday, the clinic administered 1,632 doses. That dropped sharply the next day to 520. As of Thursday mid-morning, AHS said around 400 people were booked for the day.

Another mass clinic at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre is also facing low appointment numbers after it opened last week.

“The first day we were doing about 5,000. Right now, we have bookings for between 500 and 1,000 people,” Dr. Cheri Nijssen-Jordan, AHS’s vaccine task force co-lead, said in an interview with the Calgary Eyeopener on Thursday.”

The targeted people in the demographic are small in society and are afraid of the AZ vaccine – because blood clots(?).

“Nijssen-Jordan said part of the issue is hesitancy brought on by reports of extremely rare blood clots occurring in people who have received AstraZeneca, also known as Covishield.

On Wednesday, Health Canada announced it had completed a safety review and found that AstraZeneca is safe, and that Canadians over 18 shouldn’t hesitate to take it if offered.

Eligibility is still limited to those over 55 for the time being as the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is still reviewing research and hasn’t updated its recommendation. An Alberta Health spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that the province is following NACI’s recommendation and will continue to only offer AstraZeneca to Albertans aged 55 to 64.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said Thursday that the province’s Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization would discuss expanding the age eligibility this week.”

So because of statistical illiteracy we have viable vaccinations sitting on the shelf while not all essential and front line people have been vaccinated.

The UCP government has added fruitless dithering to its already terrible record of dealing with the pandemic in this province.

 

[Source: cbc.ca]

 

 

 

 

 

Organized religion makes people stupid.  This is a tale of a church and congregation in Alberta that kept going without following any public health guidance, as if we were not in a pandemic and that everything was right as rain.  Reminds me of the religious wisdom available circa 1347:

Not exactly the best strategy for dealing with an infection disease.  Yet, in the here and now of 2021 the religious persist.

“AHS [Alberta Health Services] said it has attempted to work collaboratively with the church for months to address ongoing public health concerns.

Steps taken before Wednesday’s physical closure include:

  • An order issued by AHS on Dec. 17 requiring the church to comply with restrictions ordered by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
  • A Court of Queen’s Bench order obtained Jan. 21 requiring the church to comply with the previous order.
  • A closure order issued Jan. 29 requiring closure until compliance with the restrictions was attained.
  • On March 27, AHS sent a letter to Coates providing him with information on the continued spread of COVID-19.
  • Last week AHS invited Coates to meet virtually to discuss the risks presented by COVID-19, but the church has not provided any dates to meet.

GraceLife Church “has decided not to follow these mandatory restrictions, nor have they attempted to work with AHS to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” AHS said in the media statement.”

Finally GraceLife church was shut down.

“Alberta Health Services has closed GraceLife Church in Parkland County west of Edmonton.

In an emailed statement to CBC News Wednesday morning, RCMP confirmed they were on scene, assisting AHS as they closed the church under Section 62.1 of the Alberta Public Health Act.

As of 8:30 a.m., police vehicles and unmarked SUVs were blocking entrances to the church parking lot. 

In a media statement, AHS said it “physically closed” the church and has prevented access until the church “can demonstrate the ability to comply with Alberta’s chief medical officer of health’s restrictions.”

It only took a year and a bit to nip this cluster of superspreaders in the bud.  Our current government has demonstrated repeatedly (until now) that it will not enforce public health regulations so we should not be surprised with the length of time involved with this particular case of religious inanity.

The United Conservative Party of Alberta has consistently chosen the ‘middle road’ when it has come to policy decisions between keeping the economy open and locking down the province to combat the COVID19 virus.  The result has been a roller coaster of half measures and half steps that instead of getting the transmissibility rate down to 0 we are following the historical pattern – experiencing first, second, and now third waves of infection (with a fourth coming as in the USA, because of the dithering of the government).

The Gracelife debacle illustrates how the government in pandering to its ‘base’ is only prolonging the epidemic in Alberta, and ultimately, allowing more people to unnecessarily die.  It is policy position that is illogical, science denying, and morally unconscionable.

Unfortunately for Albertans, this is par for the course for this government so fully expect the shit-show to continue.

 

[Source: cbc.ca]

 

 

 

This is an example of what happens when a society loses its base set of common values.  Healthcare professionals are leaving or being chased out of small rural communities because they are espousing the evidenced based protocols (wearing a mask) that are based on the best available medical knowledge during a pandemic.

Living in Canada we are not immune to segments of society that have been inoculated against evidence based medicine – witness the anti-mask rallies being held in my home province.  But, as in most cases, the United States is well ahead of us in terms of committing to stupid actions based on political ideology rather than empirical fact.   (Although we’ve gone off the rails with bullshit laws and pending laws like bill C-16 and bill C-6 {8} ), those are another post)

 

The virus infecting thousands of Americans a day is also attacking the country’s social fabric. The coronavirus has exposed a weakness in many rural communities, where divisive pandemic politics are alienating some of their most critical residents — health care workers.

“The values of hard work, the value of community, taking care of your neighbor, that’s what small towns shout from the rooftops, this is what we’re good at. We are salt of the earth people who care about each other,” Darnauer says. “And here I am saying, then wear a mask because that protects your precious neighbor.”

But Darnauer’s medical advice and moral admonition were met with contempt from some of her friends, neighbors and patients. People who had routinely buttonholed her for quick medical advice at church and kids’ ballgames were suddenly treating her as the enemy and regarding her professional opinion as suspect and offensive.

[…]

“Hard things should bring us together,” Darnauer says. “And instead, this hard thing has driven a wedge between us.”

That wedge is splitting off health care workers from communities that desperately need them.

More than a quarter of all the public health administrators in Kansas quit, retired or got fired this year, according to Vicki Collie-Akers, an associate professor of population health at the University of Kansas. Some of them got death threats. Some had to hire armed guards.

“These are leaders in their community,” Collie-Akers says. “And they are leaving broken.” Collie-Akers notes these professionals also leaving at a terrible time. The pandemic is still raging. Vaccines still need to get from cities to small towns and into people’s arms; public health officers are as important as ever.

[…]

“In community after community, after community, all I hear about is workforce, workforce, workforce losing clinical staff, trying to attract clinical staff into these communities. It is taking up the full time of our members right now,” Morgan says.

Closing rural hospitals, Morgan says, cuts health care to places where residents tend to be older, sicker and poorer than average.

[…]

Merrett says towns that let pandemic politics drive medical professionals away are choosing what he calls “toxic individualism” over the common good”

 

People seem to be willing to die for their beliefs, even when they do not correspond to reality.  The pandemic has brought to the forefront the necessity of a set of shared common values for a society to function properly, as we can see the evidence of what a fractured combative society entails.

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