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“Ok…I am ready to share whether anyone wants to read or not.
I am far more of a qualitative researcher than quantitative. I like themes and patterns. Swabbing today uncovered a theme I guess I didn’t expect. Yes there were lots of kids.
Tons of Close Contacts that created stress and confusion for families. There were a lot of 20-somethings who had friends test positive and most of them were unvaccinated. That wasn’t a surprise either. There were more unvaccinated than I anticipated and in groups I wouldn’t have expected. I did my darnedest to answer questions and hear concerns about this.
Maybe I swayed one which is a win no matter what.
But what became so evident was how so many aspects of this pandemic are dividing FAMILIES. The dangerous narrative Jason Kenney and the UCP have perpetuated that COVID isn’t a big deal if you’re healthy or younger has begun to show itself in the basic day to day functioning of families.
A parent with their under 12 child needing to get swabbed because grandparent came for dinner sick knowingly and it turned out to be Delta. The pain and anger was palpable and intruding into the marriage of these parents. Watching tears stream down mom’s face as she explained why they were there was excruciating because she understood the selfish risk the child had been placed in. A grandson and his grandmother being tested as he lived
in her home as well as his parents’ who had both recently tested positive and he was beside himself that he may have passed it on to gramma unknowingly.
He was angry at his unvaccinated parents. But when he described how ill his dad was, we had to discuss the need to seek medical
attention before it was too late. Likely another admission to hospital by my estimation. A father asked me how they might convince their teenage son to get vaccinated when there was so much misinformation at his disposal that fueled his fears. We sat for 20 minutes talking about strategies and questions to pose. He was desperate for a way to convince his child to do as they had and protect himself. He admitted that until his son was alienated from things he enjoyed because he wasn’t vaccinated, he didn’t think he would get it.
You see, these constant shifts over the last year created solely and purposely by Kenney have created imbalance at every level. It is exactly as he wants it to be. Because with imbalance comes distraction and with distraction comes Kenney’s ability to remain unaccountable. While families are struggling
to remain in tact with their heads’ barely above water, Kenney ignites kindling of a million little fires. It destroys the fibre of community.
That is what I saw today. I saw families in crisis. NOT because of COVID itself but the misinformation and anger and distrust that this government has planted and cultivated since day one. We only need to look to the east coast to see how doing things the “other way” could strengthen community and family resolve. We are a province divided…but today I witnessed how, like the crisis in our health system, the lack of empathy, compassion and leadership as caused a crisis in families.
There is a such a deep need for guidance and comfort right now. The vaccine debate is just another reflection of the turmoil that has been orchestrated in Alberta. What I witnessed today was people desperate for definitive compassionate leadership.
Desperate.
It will get worse before it gets better. This I know. I need to believe it WILL get better though. I need to.”

I am ashamed of my province.  There so much stupid going on around the pandemic and getting vaccinated.  The stupid people, of course, are now clogging up the ICU’s province wide bumping other life saving procedures and surgeries off the table.  We face a nursing shortage and devastating work attrition within the profession.

Then we have MLA’s who have stuff like this posted on their Facebook.

“David Shepherd, the NDP critic for health, is calling for Pitt’s removal from the government caucus for “undermining Alberta’s vaccination efforts on social media.”

Pitt is not the lone Airdrie-area UCP MLA to make social media posts that appear to be at odds with government policy.

Earlier this week, Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie issued an apology letter to his constituents where he apologized for the province’s reintroduction of public health restrictions after the provincial government declared earlier this summer that Alberta would be ‘Open for Summer’ and ‘Open for Good’.”

Let’s make Intubation Great Again is the new UCP slogan.

 

I’m getting dizzy for the amount I’ve been shaking my head in disbelief and amazement. :(

  Political practice in the US often seems to centre around everything but the facts of any given issue.  The pandemic being one of the most obvious examples.

So, we ignore the real-world material evidence of what Denmark is doing with their Corona Pass and continue to prevaricate in our approved left/right ideological ways.

Can we just be pragmatic for once with a touch of utilitarian goodness on the side?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

David Rovics writing for Counterpunch describes the pandemic angle of the left/right folly that is occurring in the US and to a certain extent, Canada.

“So when it comes to public health measures necessary to get a pandemic under control, much of the public is skeptical. They may be described as skeptical about vaccines, but I’d say it’s a skepticism, if that’s the right word, that far transcends any particular thing like that. It’s more a generalized skepticism of anything the government — any government, or particular ones, depending — might propose.

The far right is horrified by the idea of what in Denmark is known as a Corona Pass — a form of ID that verifies you have been vaccinated and have tested negative, in order to be allowed to do things like fly in a plane with other people, sit down in a cafe, attend a festival, etc. Through widespread vaccination and the use of the Corona Pass system, Denmark has thus far avoided the fourth wave of the pandemic that is killing so many people, especially in countries like the US, India, and Brazil.

But we can’t do that kind of thing, we hear from voices on the right, because maybe the virus doesn’t exist, or maybe the vaccine causes more sickness than the virus does, or even if the virus does exist and vaccines are good generally, these vaccines haven’t been tested enough, and if they have, people shouldn’t be required to take them, because that’s an infringement on their God-given individual rights. Their freedom to live free means they might have to die free, which is better than obeying a government mandate. And then add to the mix the fact that the only government mandates in the US that exist with regards to this pandemic so far are completely piecemeal, local, and therefore ineffective.

And then from the corners of the left we hear that having information like our vaccination status publicly available to the relevant authorities is the next step towards total control of everything by Big Brother, and as soon as we all have submitted to the magnetic strips on our ID cards, the next step are those FEMA concentration camps that the Spectrum always agree are waiting for all of the dissidents. Which dissidents will end up in those camps would be the main point of contention on the Spectrum.”

Fascinating stuff from the Edmonton Journal:

 

 

“Premier Jason Kenney did not condemn weekend anti-mask rallies on Monday, saying the right to protest is constitutionally protected.

Saturday anti-mask protests in both Edmonton and Calgary drew crowds of hundreds after new provincial rules were introduced last week that ban private indoor social gatherings and limit “private social” outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 10 people in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In question period Monday, Kenney highlighted the legal right to demonstrate.

“We ask Albertans to be responsible in their actions … obviously when it comes to the constitutionally protected right to protest,” said Kenney.”

 

Let’s take a peek at where “ask[ing] Albertans to be responsible in their actions” has gotten us:

Personal responsibility (en masse) isn’t fucking working Mr.Premier.

 

Mr. Kenney did you perhaps wish to stop pouring gasoline on this particular fire?

 

“NDP Leader Rachel Notley said Kenney needs to call out the “irresponsible” behaviour of demonstrators.

“To those people who purposely and knowingly put themselves, their families, their communities at risk, this week you owe an apology for your extreme selfishness to every bleary-eyed exhausted nurse, doctor, and health-care worker in this province who is fighting day and night to fight this pandemic,” she told reporters before question period.

Instead of condemning those who attended, Kenney asked Albertans to be responsible.

“We would ask people not to engage in large-scale protests, and if they do so, please wear masks,” said Kenney, adding enforcement of any measures under the order Hinshaw signed is up to police, not the government.”

I am glad one of our political leaders understands the nature of public health and the ramifications of tacitly condoning behaviour that spreads the virus.  The NDP government of Alberta was far from perfect, but they at least understood that people are the basis of our society and public orders to protect their health are necessary actions during times of crisis.

 

“Kenney has resisted calls to issue a province-wide masking mandate, last Wednesday saying in a Facebook live event that a province-wide mask mandate could be counterproductive.

Kenney cited a rural MLA who told him more people are wearing masks in the local grocery store, but that “a lot of these folks who are doing that now, they’d take it off the moment the government tells them to wear it.”

Yes, because catering to the ‘muh-freedoms’ crowd during a pandemic is going so amazingly well.  I’m not going to let this one go folks – Jason Kenney is catering to his base over the well being of Albertans during a pandemic that is spiralling out of control.  When will we act?  When the hospitals are all bottled-necked?  When the field hospitals are full? When there are dead in the streets?

 

This UCP government is acting irresponsibly and sentencing Albertans to death by COVID-19.  There is no place from them in office, I hope the people of Alberta (especially the rural areas that keep voting conservative) see this.

   Is a sub gig worth the health of your family?

That main question that has been going through my head as of late, since school has started.  I’ve been very lucky to be able to attend schools I know that also happen to have very stringent health protocols.  But I won’t go somewhere new, where I don’t know the people or the lay of the land.  Even with the familiarity and risk reduction, the chance to be infected isn’t zero.

The other side of the coin is, of course, I’m a big fan of eating and keeping up on the bills that, through some dark magic, continue to arrive and require my fiscal involvement even when deep into a world pandemic.

Being Canadian, I had access to the CERB, which while available provided income to keep the home-fires going and remain safely at home with minimal exposure.  I haven’t been more proud of a Canadian Federal government for taking such bold steps to keep its population safe.

Yet, as the second wave comes, the fiscal reality of the government’s finances may dictate that there will be no relief available.  It is very possible that the schools, and thus my employment, may become unavailable for an undetermined length of time.

So then given the uncertainty of future work should I take more risks and work now because no work may be the only option open in the future – but if I catch the virus now I may be out for months recuperating with added negative of possibly killing my vulnerable family members.

This sort of risk drenched future is hell on risk averse individuals such as myself.

I’ll do my best and hope that it is enough for whatever scenario we happen to fall into.

 

*sigh*

 

 

 

 

I am hoping we do not have to learn about how bad the second wave is before it is too late.

History (Straight from Wikipedia)

Timeline

First wave of early 1918

The pandemic is conventionally marked as having begun on 4 March 1918, with the recording of the case of Albert Gitchell, an army cook at Camp Funston in Kansas, United States, despite there likely having been cases before him.[24] The disease had been observed in Haskell County in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the US Public Health Service‘s academic journal.[25] Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick.[26] By 11 March 1918, the virus had reached Queens, New York.[citation needed] Failure to take preventive measures in March/April was later criticised.[27]

As the US had entered World War I, the disease quickly spread from Camp Funston, a major training ground for troops of the American Expeditionary Forces, to other US Army camps and Europe, becoming an epidemic in the Midwest, East Coast, and French ports by April 1918, and reaching the Western Front by the middle of the month.[24] It then quickly spread to the rest of France, Great Britain, Italy, and Spain, and in May reached Wrocław and Odessa.[24] After the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Germany started releasing Russian prisoners of war who then brought the disease to their country.[28] It reached North Africa, India, and Japan in May, and soon after had likely gone around the world as there had been recorded cases in Southeast Asia in April.[29] In June an outbreak was reported in China.[30] After reaching Australia in July, the wave started to recede.[29]

The first wave of the flu lasted from the first quarter of 1918 and was relatively mild.[31] Mortality rates were not appreciably above normal;[32] in the United States ~75,000 flu-related deaths were reported in the first six months of 1918, compared to ~63,000 deaths during the same time period in 1915.[33] In Madrid, Spain, fewer than 1,000 people died from influenza between May and June 1918.[34] There were no reported quarantines during the first quarter of 1918. However, the first wave caused a significant disruption in the military operations of World War I, with three-quarters of French troops, half the British forces, and over 900,000 German soldiers sick.[35]

Seattle police wearing masks in December 1918

Deadly second wave of late 1918

The second wave began in the second half of August, probably spreading to Boston and Freetown, Sierra Leone by ships from Brest, where it had likely arrived with American troops or French recruits for naval training.[35] From the Boston Navy Yard and Camp Devens (later renamed Fort Devens), about 30 miles west of Boston, other U.S. military sites were soon afflicted, as were troops being transported to Europe.[36] Helped by troop movements, it spread over the next two months to all of North America, and then to Central and South America, also reaching Brazil and the Caribbean on ships.[37] From Freetown, the pandemic continued to spread through West Africa along the coast, rivers, and the colonial railways, and from railheads to more remote communities, while South Africa received it in September on ships bringing back members of the South African Native Labour Corps returning from France.[37] From there it spread around Southern Africa and beyond the Zambezi, reaching Ethiopia in November.[38] The Philadelphia Liberty Loans Parade, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 28 September 1918 to promote government bonds for World War I, resulted in 12,000 deaths after a major outbreak of the illness spread among people who had attended the parade.[39]

From Europe, the second wave swept through Russia in a southwest-northeast diagonal front, as well as being brought to Arkhangelsk by the North Russia intervention, and then spread throughout Asia following the Russian Civil War and the Trans-Siberian railway, reaching Iran (where it spread through the holy city of Mashhad), and then later India in September, as well as China and Japan in October.[40] The celebrations of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 also caused outbreaks in Lima and Nairobi, but by December the wave was mostly over.[41]

American Expeditionary Force victims of the Spanish flu at U.S. Army Camp Hospital no. 45 in Aix-les-Bains, France, in 1918

The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much more deadly than the first. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. October 1918 was the month with the highest fatality rate of the whole pandemic.[42] In the United States, ~292,000 deaths were reported between September-December 1918, compared to ~26,000 during the same time period in 1915.[33] Copenhagen reported over 60,000 deaths, Holland reported 40,000+ deaths from influenza and acute respiratory disease, Bombay reported ~15,000 deaths in a population of 1.1 million.[43] The 1918 flu pandemic in India was especially deadly, with an estimated 12.5-20 million deaths in the fall months of 1918 alone.[31]

Third wave of 1919

In January 1919, a third wave of the Spanish Flu hit Australia, where it killed 12,000 following the lifting of a maritime quarantine, and then spread quickly through Europe and the United States, where it lingered through the Spring and until June 1919.[12][44][45][41] It primarily affected Spain, Serbia, Mexico and Great Britain, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.[46] It was less severe than the second wave but still much more deadly than the initial first wave. In the United States, isolated outbreaks occurred in some cities including Los Angeles,[47] New York City,[48] Memphis, Nashville, San Francisco and St. Louis.[49] Overall American mortality rates were in the tens of thousands during the first six months of 1919.[50]

Fourth wave of 1920

In spring 1920, a fourth wave occurred in isolated areas including New York City,[48] Switzerland, Scandinavia,[51] and some South American islands.[52] New York City alone reported 6,374 deaths between December 1919 and April 1920, almost twice the number of the first wave in spring 1918.[48] Other U.S. cities including Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Minneapolis and St. Louis were hit particularly hard, with death rates higher than all of 1918.[53] Peru experienced a late wave in early 1920, and Japan had one from late 1919 to 1920, with the last cases in March.[54] In Europe, five countries (Spain, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Switzerland) recorded a late peak between January-April 1920.[51]

I hope the Edmonton Public School Board takes notice

 

“SS: What health and safety measures are your school district and you taking for the reopening of school?

MKS: As of this writing, our district has delayed its start by 2 1/2 weeks for faculty and 4 weeks for students. Required temperature checks daily for staff and students (if temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, individual must go home). Designated room for sick students.

Students will report half Mon and Wed, the other half, Tues and Thurs, and alternate Fridays. Masks are required for adults and for students in grades 3 thru 12. No visitors on campus. At my high school, three lunches, I believe, in a partitioned cafeteria. Scheduled bathroom breaks. Staggered class change. Reserved seating on the school buses. Deep cleaning of facilities each day (evening?), with teachers cleaning their classrooms before school, after school, and between classes. (To limit movement and cleaning, students will follow a block-styled schedule of 110 minutes per class for three classes and 53 minutes for the last class of the day. Desks 6 feet apart; teacher has a designated space and is encouraged to move around room as little as possible. District is also providing Chromebooks to all students, and teachers will be using Google Classroom as the principal teaching and learning platform.

I have also purchased two HEPA air filtration machines for my classroom. I also have purchased scrubs (allowed this year for teachers because scrubs are easy to wash), goggles (2 pair), face shields (2), and masks (multiple). The school will also provide all of these to staff (except goggles), as well as gloves and gowns for staff and masks for students (if needed). The school will provide cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer for staff and students.”

Will it be enough?  Hard to say.

 

 

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