Friday 21 January 2022

Covid-19: What would you do?

Like you, I read the newspapers; I watch the news, and I’m bombarded with a myriad of opinions, statistics, and analysis meant to clarify the obscure and set me on the path of righteous salvation. However, from time to time, somebody says something that I know is not correct because of research I’ve done, or somebody says something that immediately throws up a red flag because it doesn’t make sense to me. How difficult is it to sort out the wheat from the chaff in this avalanche of conflicting ideas?

Full disclosure: I’m Canadian but I have American relatives so what I’m writing is about both Canada and the United States. And other countries, I imagine.

Micro vs Macro
I, like everybody else, see the world through my own eyes. My experience taints my worldview. That worldview is limited and more than likely does not include many details relevant to the big picture. I must be leery about proceeding with a course of action when I don’t know all the facts, and I must be disciplined in seeking out those facts. Like Wile E. Coyote, I don’t want to parachute out of an airplane only to pull the ripcord and have an anvil come out of my backpack.

I’m not an epidemiologist, a specialist in infectious diseases. I’m not a medical doctor. And I have no relative studies such as a PhD in biology. In taking care of my life and my health, I seek out expert opinions, getting a consensus including the pros and cons, weighing the risks involved, and proceeding with a course of action that I feel best represents the science of today aware of the limitations of our current science and knowing that tomorrow may bring a new breakthrough.

However, I recognise that my situation is not like everybody else’s. I can’t assume that the answer to my issues is the same as for other people. So, what’s the “right answer” in quotes? How to best handle the pandemic for the maximum benefit of everyone?

I’m not in charge. I’m not running the country or state or province or city. I only have to worry about myself so whatever maximum benefit I’m looking out for is just for me. But what if? What if I was or you, the reader, were put in charge of the whole show? How would we handle the pandemic response? It’s no longer a question of me, or a question of you, but a question of all the people of the nation, heck, of the world!

Jordan Peterson: Open the damn country back up!
Mr. Peterson is a Canadian figure of some controversy; he has his opinions, and he’s going to tell the world about them. He certainly isn’t the only one to propose throwing open the doors. Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has taken a full speed ahead damn the torpedoes approach to the dealing with the pandemic in his state.

In an opinion piece (National Post, January 10, 2022), Mr. Peterson explains the inconveniences he’s had to suffer due to restrictions related to the responses of various governments to Covid. “Because I am an entitled Westerner, accustomed to my privileges, I got whiny about it.” He goes on to explain a recent trip to the United States.

“I was recently in Nashville, Tennessee. No lockdowns. No masks. No COVID regulations to speak of. People are going about their lives. Why can that be the case in Tennessee (and in other U.S. states, such as Florida) when there are curfews (curfews!) in Quebec, two years after the pandemic started, with a vaccination rate of nearly 80 per cent?”

Good question. Why not? Why not throw open the doors and let ‘er rip?

Note the following chart as of 3pm, Jan 19/2022: (source WorldOMeters: Coronavirus)

Using the stat per million allows us to compare the different size populations on an equal plane.

Tennessee’s cases are 3.21 times that of Canada. Its deaths are 3.78 times that of Canada. Florida is 3.28 and 3.55 respectively. Canada currently shows 31,825 deaths. If Canada's numbers were like Florida, it would have 113,019 deaths. If it was like Tennessee, it would have 120,315 deaths. Note: As I go down the list of individual states, I see that Canada has less cases per million and less deaths per million than all of the states. I can’t help thinking that Canada is doing a better job than the United States, at least with the metric of human lives.

I must also add that Canada is listed as having 78% of its population fully vaccinated while the United States shows 62.6%. (stats as of this writing: source: Our World in Data)

Canada could open up like the United States but at what cost? How many more people get infected, get sick, require hospitalisation, or possibly die? What price do we collectively pay in terms of human life, so Mr. Peterson does not have to suffer his inconveniences? If throwing open the doors leads to more cases, that also means more sick time off, and does a lack of employees lead to even worse service?

We’re alive
Time and time again, I’ve been amused at people complaining about this, that, and the other thing, not recognising that they get to complain for one simple reason: they’re not dead.

Confronted with such an idea, I see that people go one of two ways.

1. The pandemic is a hoax. Or at least, it’s been exaggerated. Covid is nothing more than a cold. Who cares? Deal with it!

2. I’m prudent. I want to err on the side of caution. I wear a mask. I social distance. I got vaccinated when told to do so, including the booster, and thus far, I’ve been lucky enough to be spared the disease or spared any serious consequences. Thank God. Kiss the ground.

Personally, I’m a number two. I believe that it pays to be prudent.

The dead don’t vote
There has been much criticism about American states who’ve “let ‘er rip”, no masks, no vaccines, basically no rules at all, just carry on as if life is normal. If problems crop up, we’ll deal with it. Yeehaw!

This odd thought occurred to me: The dead don’t vote.

Everyone wants a good economy, businesses open, people making a living, and everyone carrying on with their life as they want to. Those people are going to vote for whomever they perceive as returning their lives to normal. Those people are alive. The dead don’t vote.

Let ‘er rip! If the economy gets back on track, there are a lot of voters who are going to be pleased. Besides, Uncle Murray and Aunt Jenny already had a nice, long life so we’ll give them a nice memorial. Lose a family member? Thoughts and prayers; the economy before all else. Whether it’s conscious or not, Ron DeSantis may be merely focusing on the ballot box and ignoring all other considerations.

I don’t give a f*ck about anybody but me
As far back as the beginning of the pandemic, reporters were comparing the Far East to North America. In the Far East, there’s an attitude of putting the good of the community first: I wear a mask because I want to protect other people from my possible infection. They’ve been doing this for decades. But here in North America, the general trend is to put one’s individual freedom before all else. How many Karens have been filmed going ballistic at the slightest inconvenience?

From the beginning, I studied the science behind the pandemic, specifically how respiratory droplets contribute to the airborne transmission of infectious diseases. (details here) It all made sense. I’ve come to realize that the majority of people know nothing about this. Some don’t wear a mask because they think the whole thing is stupid. None of them know what a respiratory droplet is. It’s like they don’t know the science linking smoking to lung cancer, so they keep puffing away, oblivious to the danger to their health and the health of others. And on top of it, some people get royally pissed when they’re told they’re no longer allowed to smoke indoors.

I am concerned not just for myself, but for my family, my friends, and even strangers on the street. I would feel absolutely terrible if I found out I infected somebody, and as a consequence, I take all the precautions. However, those who don’t understand the danger, respiratory droplets, think more about their personal inconvenience than whether they’re potentially spreading a life-threatening disease.

Oh, and one more thing: herd immunity. I got vaccinated. I got boosted. I’ve contributed to the greater good. It’s not just about me, it’s about all of us. We’re all in this together.

Self-professed Know-it-alls
Joe Rogan is a comedian and a podcaster. He’s not an epidemiologist; he’s not a medical professional. But he is a good example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect: He completely overestimates his ability to understand the situation. He refuses to get vaccinated; he promotes alternative treatments for Covid, and he tries to talk knowledgeably about the pandemic. I looked at his promotion of ivermectin and with little effort, I discovered Joe had not done his homework and doesn’t understand the topic. (details here) I come back to this choice: Do I get medical advice from a podcaster who’s a comedian by profession or do I get it from somebody like Dr. Anthony Fauci, a career epidemiologist of forty years who’s advised seven presidents?

Whether Joe Rogan, Tucker Carlson, or somebody like Alex Jones, I see a phenomenon where the individual refuses to admit they don’t know what they’re talking about and refuses to back down, unable to say these words out loud: “I don’t know.”

I leave it to you the reader to decide if you’re going to follow these people but there is no way I’m going to tune in to any of these shows with their amateurish, uninformed, misinformed, unscientific, and sometimes just plain stupid analysis. They don’t understand they don’t understand. The less they know, the more convinced they are that they do know.

I made up the following meme to succinctly explain what I mean:

A doctor tells a smoker about the danger of lung cancer. The smoker says he’ll try menthols, slims, cigarillos, or vaping, just anything but stopping to smoke. I’ve heard people angrily yelling about their rights, and how they alone have the right to make decisions about their health and body. According to the CDC, over 90% of children are vaccinated against the measles before they are 24 months old. (CDC Immunization) How funny that a bunch of people who seem to be okay with the childhood vaccination program our entire society has set up for our mutual benefit suddenly become medical experts.

Big Pharma
Oh, geez. Here we go again. People hate big anything. Unfortunately, they seem to be incapable of making the distinction between big good and big bad and end up labeling anything big as bad. Shut ‘em all down! Oh, wait! Now, where do I get my One-A-Day multiple vitamins?

Candace Owen, conservative personality, is so anti Big Pharma; she’s stated she will never take a vaccine. (But she will take colloidal silver. Daily Beast, Dec 27, 2021) I’m sorry this female Don Quixote can’t distinguish between big and true bad. (See next)

Oxycontin and the opioid epidemic is frightening. Do I label the Sackler family as evil? (Wikipedia: Sackler Family, Opioid lawsuits)

Martin Shkreli raises the life-saving drug Daraprim from $13.50 US a pill to $750, and now the imprisoned former CEO must return $64.6 million in profits as well as being barred from the pharmaceutical industry for life. (CBC Jan 15/2022)

Bad things happen. We all must be vigilant and hold bad people accountable. However, big unto itself doesn’t necessarily equate to bad.

There is such a distrust among some people for anything related to “the system”, business, government, education, expertise, etc., they have come to reject any advice including vaccines. They focus so much on the bad, they are now incapable of seeing any good. There are only liabilities, no benefits.

Final Word
I get the final word? Fat chance! I’m sure you’ll all be arguing about this long after we turn out the lights and go home. I’ve noted that the dyed in the wool conspiracy theorists love to call me a libtard, a sheeple. Do your own research! I did, and you’re wrong.

We’re in the middle of an unprecedented global health crisis. We’re all scared. We want answers, and we want them now! And we are so desperate we are willing to do desperate things such as listening to people we would, in other circumstances, dismiss as unworthy.

Anti-vaxxer Christopher Key advises his followers to drink their urine to ward off Covid. (USA Today, Jan 11/2022) Do I shake my head at the absurdity of this suggestion, or do I shake my head at the absurdity of people trying this?

I still chuckle at the White House briefing on April 23, 2020, when t**** suggested injecting disinfectant as a means of combatting the coronavirus. (NBC News, YouTube 1:16) Dr. Birx is sitting off to one side and the expression on her face makes me think she’s wishing the earth would open up and swallow her. I laughed when I saw this meme:

To be fair, if you inject disinfectant into your body, you will not likely die of Covid-19.

The messaging during this crisis has been wrong, disjointed, conflicting, and sometimes stupid. Let me add that I start at the top: I believe t**** should be held criminally negligent for downplaying the severity of this crisis for political purposes which, by the way, failed to get him re-elected. Rex Tillerson was right: Donnie is a f*cking moron. (Daily Kos, Jan 17, 2022) Hundreds of thousands of Americans needlessly died because a significant percent of the population followed their leader and did not take Covid seriously. It continues to this day with vaccine hesitancy, making it that much more difficult to achieve herd immunity which only prolongs the agony.

So, what would you do if you were in charge? It pays to be prudent. It is better to err on the side of caution. Personally, I’m following the science, and while it ain’t perfect, so far, it hasn’t advised me to pee into a cup and drink it.


my blog: Dear Antivaxxers: What about my rights? - Jan 7/2022
Over and over again, I’ve heard you rally against vaccines. This is a violation of your individual freedom, and you should be the one making your own medical decisions. Vaccine mandates are out of the question. Fine. But what about my rights? How come you keep talking about your rights but don’t bother about the rights of anybody else?

my blog: What I learned from parents who don't vaccinate their kids | Jennifer Reich | TEDxMileHigh - Dec 3/2021
Jennifer Anne Reich is an American sociologist, researcher and author at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research interests include healthcare, adolescence, welfare, and policy. Her work on vaccine hesitancy gained widespread attention during the 2019 measles outbreaks. She is the author of three books and numerous journal articles.

my blog: Aaron Rodgers: I’m disappointed but I’m not surprised. - Nov 18/2021
The stink is about Aaron Rodgers (b 1983), quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL).

my blog: Ivermectin: I'm not taking medical advice from Joe Rogan. - Nov 9/2021
From the outset of the pandemic, the supposed antiviral properties of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin has been bandied about left, right, and center. Even if expert sources of information like the CDC and the FDA said not to use it, people, especially those on the right led by Fox News, kept pushing ivermectin “propaganda”. Has anybody read the science, and if they did, did they understand what they were looking at?

my blog: What the heck is a respiratory droplet? - Nov 7/2021
You step outside on a cold, winter day, and you exhale. You see your breath. The cold has condensed the bits of moisture in the exhaled air and formed a mist. When you exhale, you’re not only breathing out air but dampness from your lungs, your mouth, and your windpipe . Those bits of moisture are called respiratory droplets.

my blog: Masks: How We Hate Change - Sep 28/2021
To mask, or not to mask, that should not be a question. I have to shake my head at all the protests against masks and vaccines. We hate being told what to do, even if it’s for our own good.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone who uses the term "anti-vaxxer" in its intended politicized manner as you do is either ignorant or a putrid establishment shill.

With Covid-19 it all comes down to this...

"If you've ever wondered whether you would have complied during 1930s Germany, now you know." -- Banner of a Covid-19 protester

Rather than smugly (falsely feeling "superior") and misleadingly pointing the finger at the "bad Germans"... NOW the REAL truth ABOUT NEARLY EVERYONE ANYWHERE is likely confronting nearly everyone because nearly everyone is conforming with the insane establishment mandates.

While at it let's continue with real truths...

The saying goes “SEEK the truth and you shall find it” –and NOT that you find the truth by passively ACCEPTING what authorities tell you is the “truth” like herd animals unthinkingly obey their shepherds' orders. Yet almost nobody ACTIVELY SEEKS the truth, they only PASSIVELY ACCEPT as “truth” what the (medical, religious, political) authorities tell them and so become UNthinking members of "herd stupidity."

Do YOU actually SEEK the truth or are you a mindless member of "herd stupidity"?

Check out “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room –The Holocaustal Covid-19 Coronavirus Madness: A Sociological Perspective & Historical Assessment Of The Covid “Phenomenon”” at

You can ONLY see the official lies IF you SEEK the truth.... it means you must LOOK "behind the curtain" (a major lesson revealed in the Wizard of Oz film you probably have never learned or never cared to learn) -- behind the official narratives.

"The inhumane abominations, issued by the highly credentialed professional class of psychopaths-in-control and their lauded sycophantic minions, of “No Jews Allowed” and “No Colored People Allowed” of yesterday is the “No Unvaccinated People Allowed” of today." (from cited article above)

If your employer (even educational or federal employers) wants you to take a Covid vaccine give him/her one of these form letters of exemption found at

One of the ways psychopaths show their hate for the public is by rubbing the public's stupidity in their own faces. Eg with the letters of "omicron" an alleged Covid variant you can spell "moronic"... And indeed most of the public NEVER recognizes their stupidity as the believe, trust, and follow any explanation or demand of the psychopaths-in-power.

And further speaking of stupid herd people not getting the glaringly obvious truth/ie not getting the constant onslaught of BIG lies of the official authorities......

"2 weeks to flatten the curve has turned into...3 shots to feed your family!" --- Unknown