Tuesday 25 January 2022

Covid: The Premise of the Anti's

I'm howling at the moon. I am but one person out of a global population of over 7.9 billion, and my voice is lost in a maelstrom of conflicting needs, desires, and opinions. Will common sense prevail? However, just what is the definition of common sense?

Today is Monday, January 24, 2022. I saw two headlines in Canadian papers this morning and created this meme to post on my social media. (FYI: I'm Canadian but write for both sides of the border.)

Note: The Canadian federal government implemented a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers. The United States has done the same thing. Even if truckers manage to get the federal government to reverse its position and remove the vaccine mandate, truckers still have to deal with the American rules.

It pays to be prudent. It is better to err on the side of caution. I keep pointing out that the people who are still alive love to whine about inconveniences in their life with no regard for the dead whatsoever. We're in the middle of a pandemic, a global health crisis. I want to help. I want to contribute. I wear a mask; I social distance; and I got vaccinated and boosted. Why would anybody not do the same for the good of their country?

On January 4, 2022, a blizzard made the I-95 in Virginia impassable, trapping thousands of people in their vehicles for over 24 hours. Needless to say, people were desperate for fuel, warmth, and food, and there were heartwarming stories of people helping people.

When 23-year-old Casey Noe noticed a bread truck among the stopped vehicles, she decided to reach out to the company, Schmidt Baking Company, to see if the food inside could be shared. Within 20 minutes, she said, the CEO himself called her, told her to hand her phone to the truck driver, and told the driver to release the bread to anyone who needed it. (NBC Washington, Jan 4/2022)

I don't believe people are inherently bad, but I do think they can be uninformed, misinformed, and sometimes stupidly shortsighted about anything in the world beyond the end of their nose. Desperate people do desperate things, and they can become cruel in their desperate attempt to save themselves.

The other day, I ran across this posting on social media.

This is where I roll my eyes. First off, this exemplifies Godwin's Law, the Internet adage which states that the longer a discussion goes on, the greater the chance somebody makes a reference to Nazi Germany. Secondly, we're not talking about disease carriers as a racist remark; we are talking about people who are actually infected with a contagious disease. I realize we all use hyperbole to make a point, but I find it hilarious when somebody screws up their metaphor by not carefully going through the logic of their comparison.

The Premise of the Anti's
Anti-mask, anti-closures, anti-lockdowns, anti-vaccine, the premise of the anti is that Covid is either an outright hoax or an overexaggerated problem; Covid is no worse than the common cold. Whatever the case, the past two years with all its restrictions in combating the pandemic have been unnecessary.

Okay, now let's see if I can summarize this tin foil hat, Qanon, conspiracy theory. Dr. Fauci, the FDA, the CDC, hospitals across America, doctors, nurses, other frontline workers such as paramedics including administrators, researchers, statisticians, etc., government workers at the federal, state, county and municipal levels, plus the countries of Canada, England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Nordic countries, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, China and Russia, etc. have all conspired to hoodwink us for the purposes of subjugating populations, controlling citizens, and consolidating power.

That premise is so utterly absurd, does it even merit the time I've devoted to writing the previous paragraph? I've politely sat through monologues given by people I would usually consider to be normal and sane, but now, in the midst of a global health crisis, have turned into wild-eyed, crazy, obsessives, spouting off the most unscientific, irrational mumbo jumbo. These people may be family, friends, or colleagues. Do they have any idea of how crazy they sound? I keep the peace by biting my tongue. I see no reason to engage them because I know they've crossed the line of rational debate and saying anything contradictory will only lead to an argument and bad feelings. Dear crazies: If you think the two of us get along, it's merely because I choose to keep my mouth shut; it's not because I think what you're saying is right.

I've read articles and seen videos of Karens and Kens (male Karen) flying off the handle, screaming, shoving, spitting, anything to express their outrage at the inconvenience of having to wear a mask. They seem to have no idea of how ludicrous they're being. Mom would be so proud of them.

Final Word
Anti-mask: These people do not understand respiratory droplets and the airborne transmission of infectious diseases. Anti-vaccine: These people do not understand herd immunity. Anti-lockdown: These people are not dead, have no idea of what's going on at the frontlines of ICUs, and are completely focused on the inconveniences of their lives as opposed to the life and death struggles of the disease. Out of sight, out of mind. I don't care about anybody else; I only care about me.

The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 lasted approximately 2.5 years and killed 675,000 people in the United States. At that time, the population of the country was round 105 million. Today it is 334 million, an increase of 3.18 times, meaning the comparative number of deaths today would be over two million. As of this writing just under nine hundred thousand people have died. I'm sure anybody would put forward modern medicine, hospital care, and vaccines as being the reasons for this diminished death rate, but I would like to add luck as a factor. Collectively, I'm not sure we were prepared: a lack of PPE (personal protective equipment), a lack of vaccines, disorganized distribution of materials, poor messaging and conflicting messaging, and a politicization of the pandemic response. Starting at the top, I would hold t**** criminally negligent for his downplaying of the pandemic for political purposes, and he still lost the 2020 election. His supporters, the Right, Fox News, etc. have followed his lead and done their best to propagate the idea that the coronavirus was nothing to worry about. We were lucky. We were goddamn lucky.

Truckers in British Columbia are driving to Ottawa to protest the government's cross-border vaccine mandate. That trip is 4,400 kilometres or 2,730 miles. The return trip will take weeks and cost thousands of dollars in fuel. I got my two doses of vaccine and my booster at the pharmacy Shoppers Drug Mart for free. Each time, I was in and out in under 30 minutes, including the time they wanted me to sit and wait after the shot to ensure I didn't have a negative reaction. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. This protest is absurd in light of what anybody is being asked to do. If they were truly concerned about their livelihood, why not get vaccinated?

The premise of the anti's is that there is no problem. Covid is a non-issue or at least, an overexaggerated one. Despite the advice of epidemiologists (experts in infectious diseases) everywhere, the anti's carry on as if nothing is happening. Personally, if it comes down to the choice between an anti and an epidemiologist, I'm going to take the epidemiologist. Dear Anti: The reason why you get to protest is not because of the freedom you enjoy in the country where you're living, it's because you're not dead. Think about that.

2022-01-27 Update
The truckers' convoy arrives shortly in Ottawa for a protest on Saturday, January 29, 2022. This morning, I read a headline stating that 70 people in Ontario died Thursday from Covid while 3,600 patients are in hospital. (CP 24, Jan 27/2022) Overall, the stats (source) show nearly three million cases in Canada and over 33,000 deaths. And what draconian government measure are the truckers outraged about? Getting vaccinated. We're all in this together, and health experts everywhere, I mean everywhere, have stated that vaccination is the best way to minimise the effects of the virus. Thirty-three thousand Canadians have died, too late to benefit from a vaccine, and the truckers expect me to sympathize with their protest. I'm sorry guys, but you're wrong. In fact, I'd say your protest desecrates the memory of the dead. You are so focused on yourselves, you're not considering your fellow Canadians.


I've jokingly put in the image of a coin toss but it's not random chance, it's not head or tails for choosing the right answer. There's science; there's logic; and there's expertise. Oh, and no tin foil hats!

my blog: Covid-19: What would you do? - Jan 21/2022
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?

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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