Plague Update: Booster Shot For The Economy

I am so not impressed by the Sask Party’s response to COVID-19. Slow Moe took days to shut down schools in March after a pandemic was declared, and now he’s charging ahead without a plan to roll back to Stage 1 of a lockdown when kids start getting sick in the schools he’s forcing to reopen.

Meanwhile reports suggest the virus is airborne. There goes the idea that washing your hands is able to stop infection. Social Distancing with mask use while gathered indoors, is our best chance to wipe out the plague before a vaccine is in widespread use.

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: Are We Going To Give Up?

WHO wants people to be aware that there’s no assured victory against COVID-19. I still think it’s possible to eradicate it, but it will take a global effort that surpasses what we’ve tried thus far.

We, for one thing, definitely have to figure out what’s going on in cases of apparent reinfection:

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.

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!

Plague Update: Canada, Ontario, etc.

Ended up stumbling onto The Agenda, and this episode was great for anyone interested in the plague, or in city planning to respond to it.
If you want to be able to speak constructively about when we’ll start going back to work, restart the economy, or get back to normal, however you want to put it, you must listen to the first 10 minutes of this episode:

6 conditions to get back to normal, by the WHO:
-control transmission
-test and treat every case
-outbreak risks are minimized in specific places
-limit in schools businesses etc
-limit international spread
-individual communities are empowered to adapt.

The last question posted to the UofT guest was should there be an inquiry like after SARS. Answer was YES, but first action is to READ the SARS inquiry report so they don’t reinvent the wheel, and this time act on all the points to correct.

Next was Cathy Crowe, a Street Nurse who tried to get Toronto to declare a homelessness state of emergency prior to the COVID-19 plague hitting the big city.

Prior to the plague showing that all city resources could be directed at once to a life-and-death problem, only “lip service” was being paid to the homelessness crisis. “We need to align all the resources of the city to pave the way” -Sean G.

“The biggest problem is actually political” “You effectively can’t build an apartment building in 95% of Toronto” – Alex B.

Cathy notes the city lacks about 4-5000 hotel rooms, and the province or city should purchase hotels or apartment buildings that are not financially viable.

Average cost of a detached house in Toronto is over a million dollars! Not many people living in the city can afford that. Where are kids going to live in Toronto once they grow and move out of their parents’ homes.

Legalize rooming houses, and regulate them to help with affordability. Four-plexes should be the new minimum for new construction. People should be able to convert to duplexes.

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.

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.