Plague Update: Children Thrown Away Like Masks

One of the worst things to learn early in the pandemic was that Canada mismanaged its pandemic supply stockpile years ago, and wasted it. This almost certainly was part of the reason for the medical officials to first recommend against the public buying and using medical masks while in public, despite the common sense nature of wanting sick people coughing to have a mask on to contain the virus to some degree.

Expired N95 masks weren’t sufficient for front line workers in March when the government advised against general mask use when within 2m of strangers, but now teachers & students aren’t being given even expired masks to spend all day indoors to spread the plague.

The virus can harm the heart, and doctors are concerned about long-term damage. How the heart heals after COVID-19 could help determine whether a patient develops an irregular heartbeat.”

Do kids need to be protected from COVID-19 as if it was Polio or Smallpox? I think so.

The plot thickens, like your COVID-19 infected blood.

I’m not a typical human. I’m a mutant, zombie, cyborg — or a person who narrowly survived a cardiac arrest caused by a heart defect due to mutation, and have an implanted computer designed to restart my heart should it suddenly stop again. I also grew up in a village of only ~40 people, walked to school until Grade 8, home schooled in Grade 9, and was driven by school bus for an hour and a half a day, 50km away, for the rest of high school. I took a calculus class by satellite TV, faxing assignments in to Regina. I finished at the top of my class of 12 students.

My experience isn’t average. My siblings had very similar experiences of course, but most humans on Earth didn’t grow up like I did.

I give this background to explain why I don’t think a single different year of distance schooling is destined to harm most children’s education or social development. It might be more crucial to their development that we prevent them from contracting a potentially fatal disease that might require them to get computer implants like I have so they don’t keel over dead at 34 (like I did).

Do I trust the Saskatchewan Government to adjust to scientific data released in July that indicates the virus is airborne, and cleaning surfaces and hands won’t be sufficient to stop outbreaks in schools? It only took them half a year to adjust their opinion on masks being used in public. In another half a year, most students could have already acquired COVID-19 organ damage for the rest of their natural lives.

Before there was a mask shortage to at least partially excuse why medical experts oddly advised against them. They convinced me then. I almost brought it up with a friend walking by my desk in public, with a dust mask around his neck. I saw the same friend a couple weeks ago. He was in public, social distancing, but without a mask, indoors. It’s too large a leap to expect individuals to all mask up without government intervention. And I think it’s a leap to expect political pressure to not corrupt medical science for selfish reasons. I expect the Sask. Government to try and open schools as if everything is normal, because it’s run by amoral, corrupt, anti-science, Luddites and worse.

Plague Update: Post-lockdown

Even though everything isn’t re-opened, the Saskatchewan Government very much wants people to think and act as if everything is back to normal. They’ll deny that if asked. There’s no evidence of the Premier wearing a mask though to set a good example in public.

As a result, the infection rate started spiking upward here, and in BC and Alberta too. Infamously, the Texan and Floridian Goveronors who Right-Wing media were heaping praise onto for reopening their states, are faced with stuffing bodies into freezer trucks as there is a shortage of morgue space in the Lone Star State. Go to Disney World? Maybe not such a good idea.

Even though masks and lockdowns have been shown through science to save lives from COVID-19, what are the pressures on political leaders, particularly far-right ones, to reopen and oppose the use of masks?

I can think of the following reasons:

  1. Capitalist Greed
    -Professional sports leagues intend to force most of their players through peer pressure to participate in games that are unsafe. Some notable players have opted out, they’ve the financial means no doubt to forego a year or two of play, to give them and their family a better chance at remaining healthy until a vaccine is available to protect them instead of social distancing.
    -You’ve probably noticed that COVID-19 Deniers have popped up, and there’s a Venn diagram of them with Climate Deniers, yielding a near perfect circle. My theory for why this is, despite the Climate Deniers at first participating in lockdowns, is it took a few weeks for the Climate Denial Machine to be turned to the pandemic. As it became more clear that an economic crisis was underway, the kind not seen in generations or more, the capital holders who stoked the sort of misinformation that has manipulated people thinking CO2 is harmless “plant food”, changed gears to create doubt about the pandemic so people would go back to work rather than demand a Universal Basic Income so they could stay safe at home.
    Many people are back to making useless doo-dads, traveling around on vacations in fuel burning vehicles, and going to restaurants and bars. Larger realignment of daily life will need to take place to build a carbon negative economy, and having a taste of what it could look like in the polluted skies of our major cities like Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Paris was re-energizing opposition to fossil fuel supremacy. California has made more electric trucks and vans a requirement by 2024. That’s one election cycle away, and before the #carbonbudget is used up (we hope). That’s real legislative progress, except they don’t require a complete switch until 2045, which is too late.
  2. Male Chauvinism
    -From Brazil’s fascist leader, to Great Britain’s Brexit nationalist Tory leader, the countries that are faring the worst so far, have notably terrible leaders. These men like to project an air of male superiority and bravado, and their latest way of puffing up their chest is to heartily shake hands, and appear to be stronger than the virus. BoJo narrowly missed having his chest puffed up manually by a ventilator a few months ago.
    I don’t think you could describe Elon Musk as a Climate Denier, but he certainly has made really questionable comments during the plague in North America, so I’d chalk up those to this latter reason.

Plague Update: Frugality Saves Itself

It’s become trendy to be thrifty. Frugal, even.
There’s always been a case for being frugal, but now it’s more apparent to a society facing supply chain disruptions from an unsure labour market and contracted globalism.

Have you started a Victory Garden this year? When there were social events, did you ever attend a Repair Cafe, to fix your slightly broken electronic device, or sew a tear in a jacket (like I have at the Regina Public Library)? As the article points out, there are many ways to be frugal, and not all of them lead to actual hording which obviously needs to be avoided for various reasons.

Plague Update: POStmedia Shows Its Soul

How ghoulish is our national post anyway? That’s kind of rhetorical, because we all know now they’d rather see bodies piled high in the streets like in Ecuador, than risk giving a poor person a hand-up during the worst global economic and health crisis of perhaps a over half a century.

People will be dying by the scores in the second wave we all don’t want to accept is coming, regardless of what we all are likely to do.

Moe still plans to force some frivolous things open in early May while our R-naught has dipped below 1. It’ll jump back over 1 most likely in a few days or weeks, meaning that each infected person will on average spread the virus to more than 1 other person.

Is Oil Profitable? Negative.

Effing petroleum-heads and their cockamamie get-rich schemes have left us holding the bag.

We’ve got former Premier, and current Premier a-holes making total asses of themselves to defend their long held positions of stupidity and ecocide.

Look at this guy saying to put more gas on the fire in an effort to get the inferno under control.
Some rats know when to keep their mouths shut.
Look at Mr. Former Premier with his hand still out for more.

The best way to make money in oil now? Do like I’ve been saying for years, and Leave It In The Ground!

BoJo Unwell, Like The Economy And Environment

Boris Johnson is at death’s doorstep. This would otherwise be an unremarkable point, except he’s inexplicably the Prime Minister of the UK.

It turns out to be a bad idea to ignore the best advice by the world’s best epidemiologists and doctors.

We’re all familiar with politicians ignoring the advice of scientists, it’s just rare that we so quickly see the consequences of that haughtiness bite one of them so squarely in the ass.

If someone puts the economy before the survivability of our species and public health systems, they’re unfit to lead. This isn’t new, I’ve felt this way about leaders long before Greta Thunberg got well deserved global press for pointing that very obvious point out so clearly to so many.

Post From the Past: Tesla vs. Ford GM

https://twitter.com/mims/status/848971911975636992

https://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-overtakes-gm-to-become-most-valuable-u-s-auto-maker-1491832043

These tweets brought to you by April 3rd, 2017, the past when I wrote this blog post, and probably have since forgotten about it.

UPDATE Nov. 20, 2018, Mims deleted his tweet, sadly, so I don’t see the prediction he made any longer.

ADDED: I think it must have been a comment about Tesla not being worth as much as Ford and GM in reality.
“What Is Tesla Really Worth?
Auto maker rivals Ford, GM in market cap; profits are far behind
By Charley Grant
Updated April 16, 2017 11:13 p.m. ETTesla Inc. is valued as though it will soon conquer the U.S. auto market. Now, it has the small task of actually doing so.Tesla shares have been unstoppable ahead of the Model 3 launch, having gained 40% this year. The upstart auto maker is more valuable than Ford and slightly less valuable than General Motors on a market cap basis. The crux of the excitement is the all-electric Model 3 sedan that Tesla says will start at $35,000. Production is scheduled to begin this summer.

“UPDATE April 3, 2020:I can’t believe the future is here. Recommended reading provides the answer to my claimed prediction from 2017:

Imagine Alberta Without Kenney

Imagine an Alberta government not under investigation for election fraud?
One that doesn’t fire tens of thousands during a pandemic so Ottawa can pay them instead? A provincial government which doesn’t bail out sub-$4/barrel oil to the tune of billions, while cutting doctors’ pay.

UBI Universal Basic Income would allow people to stay home, and flatten the curve of infected plague carriers during a lockdown, and would save thousands of lives this year. Lots of climate change mitigation efforts save millions of lives in nebulous other years, but UBI saves people TODAY. What in the GD Hell are people arguing against it for? They hate people surviving if they didn’t directly earn less money than most people pay in taxes in half a year?

#LockDownNow To Spare Lives

This is interesting, and packed with references to explain the assumptions.
Canada is being too soft on the new coronavirus, and we’re paying the price in the long run. For example, it’s not “essential” for post secondary education to continue this semester(, but we probably can with all but a handful of people making trips to the office). It can’t stop entirely everywhere, there may be research underway that’s critical to stopping this pandemic, or the next one.
It’s not essential that grocery stores remain accessible to public shoppers, they could have orders of essentials filled by hand-washed and masked professionals.
We could be sending every adult $2000+ to their bank account this month, so they can pay bills online or on the phone, and not have to leave their home.
Dragging out this half-hearted social distancing instead of preparing Canadians to lock down for a couple weeks in April, is probably a mistake we’ll come to regret.