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February 27, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Health Canada approves use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/astrazeneca-approved-1.5929050
"While it's less effective than the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines at preventing infection, the shot is 100 per cent effective in preventing the severe outcomes of COVID-19 — including serious illness, hospitalizations and death — the regulators said."

Canada is apparently now expecting another 6 million vaccine doses by the end of March - 5 weeks from now. Next question, can the provinces keep up with getting needles in arms? Ontario has already bailed on even trying, and abdicated responsibility to the 34 regional health authorities that they invented less than 2 years ago, and are still in transition from the 14 LHINs.

The vaccines are coming, but we're not out of the woods yet. We appear to be quite capable of being stupid enough to make this much, much worse before vaccines can bring transmission spread under control.

Muskoka put into immediate lockdown, North Bay Parry Sound remains in lockdown
https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/muskoka-put-into-immediate-lockdown-north-bay-parry-sound-remains-in-lockdown-3463431

Whatever's leading Legault to his decisions, it isn't science
https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/josh-freed-whatevers-leading-legault-to-his-decisions-it-isnt-science

Ditto for Ontario
Risk of a third wave of COVID-19 grows as infections rise and variants spread
https://www.waterloochronicle.ca/news-story/10339136-risk-of-a-third-wave-of-covid-19-grows-as-infections-rise-and-variants-spread/

Variants will likely make up 40% of Ontario's COVID-19 cases by mid-March, modelling predicts
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-february-25-2021-1.5927580

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Ottawa Hospital to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-hospital-to-manufacture-covid-19-vaccine-1.5324501

Ontario says counterfeit N95 masks may have been distributed to healthcare providers amid coronavirus pandemic
https://www.cp24.com/news/ford-government-warns-of-potential-counterfeit-n95-masks-in-provincial-stockpile-1.5326025

Rapid Testing Kit Use to be Expanded in Saskatchewan
https://swiftcurrentonline.com/local/rapid-testing-kit-use-to-be-expanded-in-saskatchewan

(Digital) Deception

Low turnout for vaccine in northern Alberta hamlet blamed on social media disinformation
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/fort-chipewyan-covid-19-vaccine-1.5925328

You may have been seeing some brief news items about GameStop stock prices in the past few weeks in the mainstream media. In all likelihood, this was part of a concerted and massive disinformation campaign. If you have any interest in this, and a few minutes to read this piece, it sets the larger context and how GameStop is simply a flashpoint for massive greed that is now poised to create a liquidity problem for U.S. equities generally. I'm not a professional investor, and I don't offer advice. I do believe there is a direct linkage between the general fall in stock prices and Bitcoin's price in the past few days due to the massive naked shorting now in play against the GameStop stock. I do believe history is being made here, right now.

Naked Short Selling: The Truth Is Much Worse Than You Have Been Told
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Naked-Short-Selling-The-Truth-Is-Much-Worse-Than-You-Have-Been-Told.html

If the situation with GameStop was normal, business as usual, you would not be seeing mainstream media stories about it, and platforms where retail investors operate would not be shutting down the buy buttons for only that one stock, and bot attacks would not be launched specifically on the forums where retail investors specifically discuss this one stock.

Bots hyped up GameStop on major social media platforms, analysis finds
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/bots-hyped-gamestop-major-social-155705038.html

Actually, I have spent some time reading a couple of these forums, and the bots are generally not hyping the stock. Instead, they are spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt and jaw-boning the stock price down, which is what the exposed hedge funds want, not what the retail investors want.

If you believe government and the institutions they regulate should be transparent, and that democracy should be more than getting to cast a single ballot once every four years, this is worth a few minutes of your attention. GameStop is a test case for who will own your pension.

Last week you may have read that the electricity systems collapse in Texas was due to wind turbines not working in the cold and failing to supply power to the grid. Spoiler alert: that wasn't the big problem - wind turbines work perfectly fine in Alaska.
Texas natural gas production fell by almost half during recent cold snap
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46896

Texas Power Grid Was Minutes From Collapse During Freeze, Operator Says
https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-power-grid-was-minutes-from-collapse-during-freeze-operator-says-11614202063

Graphic Shows What Percentage of Texas' Energy Is Renewable
https://www.newsweek.com/how-much-power-texas-renewable-coal-gas-wind-turbines-1570238

Why Did Texas’s Energy Grid Fail So Spectacularly?
https://www.curbed.com/2021/02/texas-blackouts-energy-grid-failure.html

Take care of you.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Respect other people's opinions even when they differ from your own.
As the late Larry King said, 'I never learned anything while I was talking.'

;-) “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”      ~ W.C. Fields

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 23, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in the U.S. this week, report says
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-leading-cause-of-death-united-states-this-week/

Canada to receive 640K vaccine doses this week with Pfizer, Moderna deliveries
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada-to-receive-record-640k-vaccine-doses-this-week-with-pfizer-moderna-deliveries

LeBlanc 'very confident' provinces can handle ramped-up vaccine delivery
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/dominc-leblanc-provinces-increased-vaccine-delivery-1.5922218

Personally, I don't share Minister LeBlanc's confidence in the big provinces. Ontario rolled out its roll-out plan for vaccinations yesterday. After weeks of whining about the federal government not delivering vaccines on their fantasy timeline, the provincial master plan for getting needles into arms is - punt - no plan. Apparently this is a real problem, so with no notice, the province has chosen to drop it in the lap of the 34 regional health authorities. That shouldn't lead to any confusion or mixed messaging, right?. Seriously, Doug? Perhaps the province could just step all the way out and let the feds deal directly with the regional health authorities.
Ontario says vaccine rollout up to local health units; Province reports 1,058 new cases
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/covid-19-ontario-reports-1058-new-cases-more-testing-clinics-opening-soon-in-ottawa

Also missing in action, Quebec's vaccination roll-out plan.
Can't find details on Quebec's vaccine rollout? You're not alone
https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/its-kind-of-disappointing-quebec-remains-quiet-on-vaccination-rollout

Ontario's vaccine rollout confusion is a deliberate political tactic
https://www.insidehalton.com/opinion-story/10336519-ontario-s-vaccine-rollout-confusion-is-a-deliberate-political-tactic/

Personally, I hope not - but the consistency in the mixed messaging, slow reaction, short-notice announcements and ignoring the advice of actual experts is disturbing for decision-makers with power. Still, I'm reminded of this quote attributed to Napoleon (also known as Hanlon's Razor): "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

We’re Just Rediscovering a 19th-Century Pandemic Strategy
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/02/bad-air/618106/

Canada's 'long-haulers' without family doctor need primary care: medical association
https://www.timescolonist.com/canada-s-long-haulers-without-family-doctor-need-primary-care-medical-association-1.24285108

U.S. reaches 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-reaches-500-000-deaths-coronavirus-n1257992

AstraZeneca vaccine review is in the 'final stages,' Health Canada says
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/astrazeneca-final-stages-1.5923177

COVID Vaccines Curb Hospitalization And Virus Transmission, According To New Studies
https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/covid-vaccines-curb-hospitalization-and-virus-transmission-according-to-new-studies/

COVID-19 in Sask: 43 per cent of long-term care residents now fully vaccinated

'Playing with fire': Alberta's R-value creeps back above 1, signalling higher infection rate
https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/albertas-r-value-creeps-above-1-as-province-logs-328-more-cases

B.C. records more than 1,400 cases of COVID-19 over three days, and 8 deaths
https://globalnews.ca/news/7655992/bc-coronavirus-update-feburary-22-2021/

What can cities learn from Kingston's COVID-19 response? A lot, it turns out
https://www.fr24news.com/a/2021/02/what-can-cities-learn-from-kingstons-covid-19-response-a-lot-it-turns-out.html

Brain fog is a real thing. Well-being columnist Jennifer Moss sheds some light on it
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/brain-fog-jennifer-moss-1.5920856

(Digital) Deception

Nova Scotia Health warns of contact tracing email scam
https://www.halifaxtoday.ca/coronavirus-covid-19-local-news/nova-scotia-health-warns-of-contract-tracing-email-scam-3446923

Australia was the first casualty of the big blackout lie blaming wind power – the US could be next
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/23/australia-was-the-first-casualty-of-the-big-blackout-lie-blaming-wind-power-the-us-could-be-next

A promising step forward on disinformation - Microsoft On the Issues
https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2021/02/22/deepfakes-disinformation-c2pa-origin-cai/

Chinese spies used hijacked NSA code in their hacking operations
https://nationalpost.com/news/chinese-spies-used-hijacked-nsa-code-in-their-hacking-operations

Nearly 30000 Macs reportedly infected with mysterious malware
https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/nearly-30-000-macs-reportedly-infected-with-mysterious-malware-1.5318164

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
"The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even
that Johnny can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know
what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling."
- Thomas Sowell
(If you want to substitute 'the former guy' for 'Johnny', I'll
understand.)

;-) Warning: you are about to exceed the limits of my medication.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 19, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Now that the vaccine deliveries for the two mRNA varieties to Canada (the only ones yet approved for use in Canada), it's no longer a headline story. But I thought people should know that Canada is receiving over 400,000 doses this week, and will receive at least another 400,000 a week from Pfizer and millions more from Moderna from now until the end of March - about 6 weeks from now. With continuing supplies ramping up until September.
Note that is story appears under the Politics banner, not Health.
COVID-19 vaccine deliveries back on track following weeks of delay, says Public Health Agency
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/covid-19-vaccine-update-feb-18-1.5918175

(A little ironic though that deliveries this week to Canada are delayed because of winter in Louisville, KY.)

Now it's over to the provinces to get vaccines into arms. I have seen news of inconsistent and changing 'priority lists', and oversized, highly centralized distribution centres. These strike me as an inappropriate approach for reaching the mass population without creating more infection risk for them getting to and from these centres, not to mention waiting in lines at the centres.

This might be a help with Canadian distribution to smaller centres, possibly eliminating the need for the super-cold chain delivery system for the 'last mile' of delivery.
BioNTech/Pfizer say vaccine can stand warmer temperatures
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-02-biontechpfizer-vaccine-warmer-temperatures.html

I am particularly concerned that I don't see priority lists that include all Canadians yet, noting those people who probably should not take either of the mRNA vaccines and how they will be covered when other vaccines become available, or booking systems to set up scheduled appointments to reduce crowding at the inoculation sites, especially while winter is still with us.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

U.K. gives go-ahead to expose healthy volunteers to COVID in world's first coronavirus 'human challenge' study
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/world/u-k-gives-go-ahead-to-expose-volunteers-to-covid-in-medical-trial/

As schools reopen in Ontario's hardest-hit regions, experts urge province not to lift COVID restrictions
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-school-reopening-toronto-peel-york-1.5914762

It's only 'the end of the beginning.' COVID-19 will be with us for years.
https://nationalpost.com/news/postpandemic/its-only-the-end-of-the-beginning-of-covid-19

What's behind the drop in COVID-19 cases in Canada and other parts of the world?
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/what-s-behind-the-drop-in-covid-19-cases-in-canada-and-other-parts-of-the-world-1.5313940
Hmmm, lockdowns and following health guidance are the keys? How about that? TANZANC.

(Digital) Deception

AAhhh, Facebook, the grift that keeps on taking.
Heads-up for Canadian agencies and businesses: if Facebook turns its misfires on Canada in the days to come, make sure you have created an alternate channel to communicate with your community.
Facebook's botched Australia news ban hits health departments, charities and its own pages
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/18/facebook-blocks-health-departments-charities-and-its-own-pages-in-botched-australia-news-ban

#BoycottZuckerberg: Aussies delete accounts en masse after Facebook blocks news feed
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/boycott-zuckerberg-aussies-share-hashtags-delete-accounts-after-facebook-blocks-news-feed
If you have the time and patience, I recommend you deactivate Facebook accounts, rather than deleting. There have been reports that deleted accounts have been re-created by others as identity-theft tools.

On Messenger, false information spreads undetected, unchecked
https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/false-information-undetected-unchecked-facebook-messenger-app

But we also give the disinformation megaphone to those with an agenda, while pretending they are neutral observers. In those cases, track record and refusal to correct a long-term narrative after being corrected many times are the clue to there being a disinformation campaign.
Really, Rex Murphy?
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/02/19/opinion/rex-murphy-texas-weather-wind-energy

Coronavirus conspiracy shows vast reach of Chinese disinformation
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/covid-19-conspiracy-shows-vast-reach-of-chinese-disinformation-1.5309394

Data loss, credential compromise up in phishing attacks in 2020, says vendor report
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/data-loss-credential-compromise-up-in-phishing-attacks-in-2020-says-vendor-report/442082

China and Russia ‘aggressively’ targeting Canadians, CSIS director warns
https://globalnews.ca/news/7629494/china-and-russia-targeting-canadians-csis-director/

Canadian vehicle rental service hit by ransomware
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/canadian-vehicle-rental-service-hit-by-ransomware/442384

Hacker poisons Florida water plant by remotely boosting lye level 100-fold
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/hacker-poisons-florida-water-plant-by-boosting-lye-level-100-fold

State of malware: 3 key findings in the latest Malwarebytes report
Spyware activity spiked in 2020, and the malware-as-a-service business model got more sophisticated.
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/state-of-malware-3-key-findings-in-the-latest-malwarebytes-report/

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is barred from Instagram over false coronavirus claims
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/02/11/world/covid-19-coronavirus#robert-f-kennedy-jr-instagram-covid-vaccine

Millions of Counterfeit N95 Masks Were Bought in 5 States, U.S. Says
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/us/n95-mask-fraud-investigation.html?nl=coronavirus-briefing&pgtype=Article&segment_id=51487

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
A really good, solid, sincere laugh can really lift the spirits.

;-) For those of you who don't want Alexa listening in
     on your conversations, they're making a male version ....
     it doesn't listen to anything.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 17, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

New Covid variant with potentially worrying mutations found in UK
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/15/32-cases-of-latest-covid-variant-of-concern-found-in-uk

B.C. officials detect first Canadian case of new COVID-19 variant sweeping the world
https://nationalpost.com/news/b-c-officials-detect-first-canadian-case-of-fourth-covid-19-variant-sweeping-the-world

Two Ottawa retirement home employees fired amid allegations of queue jumping for COVID-19 vaccine
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/two-ottawa-retirement-home-employees-fired-amid-allegations-of-queue-jumping-for-covid-19-vaccine-1.5312730

Why it might be best to avoid painkillers as a precaution before your COVID-19 vaccine
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/fever-reducers-covid-vaccinations-1.5912295

Rapid testing will add to strain on long-term care sector, advocate warns
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/rapid-testing-concerns-long-term-care-added-pressure-staffing-1.5912517

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

'Invisible killer': fossil fuels caused 8.7m deaths globally in 2018, research finds
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/feb/09/fossil-fuels-pollution-deaths-research?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

Limiting air pollution 'could prevent 50,000 deaths in Europe'
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/20/limiting-air-pollution-could-prevent-50000-deaths-in-europe

‘Transparency is critical’: buried report raises questions about oilsands bird monitoring program
https://thenarwhal.ca/alberta-oilsands-bird-monitoring-foi/

Somehow, the headline on this story isn't 'Cenovus reports over half-billion dollar operating loss for 2020Q4'.
Cenovus reports 2020 fourth-quarter and full-year results
https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/02/09/2172002/0/en/Cenovus-reports-2020-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-results.html

Chapter 11 filing for Asia Offshore Drilling
https://splash247.com/chapter-11-filing-for-asia-offshore-drilling/

How the Fossil Fuel Industry Convinced Americans to Love Gas Stoves
https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2021/02/how-the-fossil-fuel-industry-convinced-americans-to-love-gas-stoves/

150 years of spills: Philadelphia refinery cleanup highlights toxic legacy of fossil fuels
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-energy-refinery-cleanup-insight/150-years-of-spills-philadelphia-refinery-cleanup-highlights-toxic-legacy-of-fossil-fuels-idUSKBN2AG12O

Biggest US oil refinery shutting because of frigid weather
http://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/biggest-u-s-oil-refinery-shutting-because-of-frigid-weather-1.1563870

Frozen Wind Farms Are Just a Small Piece of Texas’s Power Woes
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/frozen-wind-farms-just-small-002954294.html

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
~Michele Ruiz

;-) If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at me. It's a low bar,
     but these days, take your moments of humour where you can get them.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 15, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Reporter: “Am I missing something here, or is this presentation actually predicting a disaster?”
Ontario health official Dr. Adelstein Brown: “No, I don’t think you’re missing anything.”
Modeling suggests COVID-19 cases in Ontario could rise in late February
https://nationalpost.com/pmn/health-pmn/modeling-suggests-covid-19-cases-in-ontario-could-rise-in-late-february

And at the same time as the modelling forecasts 'disaster', the king of mixed messaging Premier Ford announces lifting of pandemic health guidance restrictions, while also admonishing Ontarians to stay home, and cancelling March Break in schools as the more infectious COVID-19 variants are spreading through the province, all while vaccines are due to arrive in quantity in a matter of weeks. I wish the plague province premiers would stop whining about slow receipt of vaccines when they're not even prepared to give them a chance to increase immunity before unleashing the new variants on their citizens.

Coronavirus: Ontario’s infection prevention team sidelined due to politics, commission hears.
https://globalnews.ca/news/7636757/coronavirus-ontario-long-term-care-commission/

Canada is 'playing chicken' with COVID-19 by reopening while variants are spreading widely
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/variants-lifting-restrictions-second-opinion-1.5912760
This is a rigged game; Canadians will lose. You can't negotiate with a virus.

Canada is sleepwalking into a third wave, and it could be the worst one yet
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canada-is-sleepwalking-into-a-third-wave-and-it-could-be-the-worst-one/

Canada will get some [9 million] doses of Pfizer's vaccine earlier than scheduled: PM Trudeau
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-canada-idUSKBN2AC26J

Canada prepares for single biggest Pfizer vaccine shipment to date
https://globalnews.ca/news/7641170/covid-canada-vaccine-pfizer-delivery/

Speaking of distribution of vaccines in Ontario ...
Ontario Minister Merrilee Fullerton 'Regrets' Falsely Saying Vaccinations Done In Nursing Homes https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/long-term-care-homes-vaccinations-ontario_ca_6025918ec5b6d667582b8951

The track record in using rapid tests or simply keeping accurate data is not reassuring.
Millions of rapid COVID tests gather dust as some provinces use a fraction of their supply
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/rapid-tests-provinces-use-unused-1.5909702

'Just a sample of what's really happening': increased screening could reveal reality of variant spread in Canada
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/just-a-sample-of-what-s-really-happening-increased-screening-could-reveal-reality-of-variant-spread-in-canada-1.5307155

Newfoundland and Labrador postpones provincial election due to COVID-19 B.1.1.7 (UK) variant spreading rapidly after past success suppressing COVID-19 transmission.
N.L. election delayed for nearly half the province due to COVID-19
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/election-nl-staffing-shortages-1.5909976

P.E.I. confirms presence of coronavirus variant first found in U.K.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-covid19-briefing-feb-13-1.5913595

Canada’s vaccinations are lagging U.S., U.K.. Why experts say that shouldn’t be the focus.
https://globalnews.ca/news/7635461/coronavirus-vaccination-canada-world-united-states-united-kingdom/

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

While suicide rates in Canada in 2020 did not spike as some had predicted, we had another category of deaths which also rose last year - drug overdoses.
B.C. saw a record 1,716 people die from illicit drug overdoses in 2020
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/02/11/news/bc-saw-record-1716-people-die-illicit-drug-overdoses-2020

Alberta neared 1,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2020 by the end of November
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/alberta-neared-1000-opioid-overdose-deaths-in-2020-by-the-end-of-november/ar-BB1dCfvs

2020 a brutal year for fatal drug overdoses in Saskatchewan
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/2020-fatal-drug-overdoses-1.5869927

Overdose deaths in Ontario climb by up to 40% since pandemic started: Chief Coroner https://toronto.citynews.ca/2020/09/24/overdose-deaths-in-ontario-climb-by-up-to-40-since-pandemic-started-chief-coroner/

New data shows extent of opioid crisis across Canada
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/10/01/news/new-data-shows-extent-opioid-crisis-across-canada"

Sask. medical students join doctors, nurses calling for rethink of vaccine rollout plan
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/medical-students-join-doctors-nurses-rethink-vaccine-plan-1.5912768

Health-care workers speak out about being harassed on social media
https://www.newmarkettoday.ca/coronavirus-covid-19-local-news/health-care-workers-speak-out-about-being-harassed-on-social-media-3422612

Roche arthritis drug cuts deaths in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, study suggests
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-treatments-tocilizumab-1.5910509

Tam takes aim at COVID-19 'infodemic,' urges vigilance over misleading online content
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/theresa-tam-covid-19-infodemic-1.5914178

Facebook has launched a new crackdown on vaccine misinformation. Experts say it doesn't go far enough.
https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-anti-vaxx-misinformation-crackdown-robert-f-kennedy-inadequate-2021-2

COVID-19 'long-hauler' calls for greater availability of antibody tests in B.C. to determine spread of virus
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/covid-19-long-hauler-calls-for-greater-availability-of-antibody-tests-in-b-c-to-determine-spread-of-virus-1.5912623

These Three Things Are More Likely to Make Someone a Superspreader
https://www.sciencealert.com/these-three-things-are-more-likely-to-make-someone-a-superspreader

Here's why that second coronavirus shot can be such a doozy
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/here-s-why-that-second-coronavirus-shot-can-be-such-a-doozy-1.5307115

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
There are 3 kinds of men.
The one that learns by reading.
The few that learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
~ Will Rogers

;-) Scientists say the universe is made up of protons,
     neutrons and electrons.
     They forgot to mention morons.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 11, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

The roots of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine shortage go back decades
https://theconversation.com/the-roots-of-canadas-covid-19-vaccine-shortage-go-back-decades-1547924

Opinion: Poor choices in vaccine prioritization and its unethical provision are troubling front-line doctors like me
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/opinion-poor-choices-in-vaccine-prioritization-and-its-unethical-provision-are-troubling-front-line-doctors-like-me

Ottawa retirement home manager suspended after allegations his wife received vaccine instead of front-line staff
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ottawa-retirement-home-manager-suspended-after-allegations-his-wife-received-vaccine-instead-of-front-line-staff

Virus Variant First Found in Britain Now Spreading Rapidly in U.S.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/07/health/coronavirus-variant-us-spread.html?pgtype=Article&segment_id=51257

Really, with the three major active variants all now present in Ontario, why wouldn't we arbitrarily start re-opening everything in a haphazard manner that's confusing govenment officials, just before the mass vaccination program could actually be rolled out?
Because all the reasons.

Ontario likely to be hit by 'ugly' third wave of COVID-19 around April, expert says https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-likely-to-be-hit-by-ugly-third-wave-of-covid-19-around-april-expert-says-1.5303510

AstraZeneca says vaccine against new Covid variants may take six months
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/11/astrazeneca-says-vaccine-against-new-covid-variant-may-take-six-months

With the spread of more infectious variants, Germany extends its lockdown by at least a month
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/02/10/world/covid-19-coronavirus#with-the-spread-of-more-infectious-variants-germany-extends-its-lockdown-by-at-least-a-month

Variants: distribution of cases data
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-variants-genomically-confirmed-case-numbers/variants-distribution-of-cases-data

5 factors that could dictate the success or failure of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout
https://theconversation.com/5-factors-that-could-dictate-the-success-or-failure-of-the-covid-19-vaccine-rollout-152856
I'll add one more: lifting health guidance restrictions before the vaccines have a chance to take effect.

After police charged a man with forging COVID test results at Pearson, a Peel doctor worries travellers could try to ‘game the system’
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/02/10/after-police-charged-a-man-with-forging-covid-test-results-at-pearson-a-peel-doctor-worries-travellers-could-try-to-game-the-system.html

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Many assumed suicides would spike in 2020. So far, the data tells a different story
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/suicides-alberta-bc-saskatchewan-canada-2020-no-increase-1.5902908

Ottawa Board of Health votes to press premier to guarantee paid sick leave for all
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ottawa-board-of-health-votes-to-press-premier-to-guarantee-paid-sick-leave-for-all

When it only takes 'seconds' to become infected with COVID variants, how do you protect yourself?
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/when-it-only-takes-seconds-to-become-infected-with-covid-variants-how-do-you-protect-yourself

Doctors who contracted COVID-19 at a bonspiel dug into how they got it. Here's what they found.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/bonspiel-superspreader-edmonton-covid-1.5907514

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Commit random acts of kindness and practice senseless displays of beauty.
Imagine if you made someone else smile, even if you can't see it.

;-) If you can't laugh at yourself,      let me do it.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 7, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Nurses hardest hit by mental health impact of pandemic, survey says
https://www.newmarkettoday.ca/coronavirus-covid-19-local-news/nurses-hardest-hit-by-mental-health-impact-of-pandemic-survey-says-3355208

How healthcare workers came to feel 'expendable'
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55937864

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

(Digital) Deception

Cyberfraud is a growing concern for small businesses as the pandemic forces them to digitize
https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/media/news-releases/cyberfraud-growing-concern-small-businesses-pandemic-forces-them-digitize

Ottawa Perogies becomes the victim of fake online reviews
https://www.iheartradio.ca/580-cfra/news/ottawa-perogies-becomes-the-victim-of-fake-online-reviews-1.14514492
Another form of digital ransoming of small businesses. I guess I'll have to go buy some perogies. The hardships I endure in combating digital deception. But seriously, be supportive of the small businesses you want to see survive, because the fake lockdowns are killing small businesses and rewarding big retailers. If you have time on your hands, go check out the web presence of local businesses, and if you see unwarranted storms of unfavourable reviews, respond with something honest, and if possible, use your real name. Anonymity is the internet armour of the nefarious.

The 24-year-old founder of 2 crypto hedge funds overseeing $100 million admits to fraud
https://www.businessinsider.com/stefan-he-qin-admits-fraud-crypto-hedge-funds-100-million-2021-2
Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund Founder Admits to Massive Fraud
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-04/cryptocurrency-hedge-fund-founder-pleads-guilty-to-fraud

The future of online disinformation following Trump’s departure
https://finance.yahoo.com/video/future-online-disinformation-following-trump-165246997.html

No wonder conspiracy theories are suddenly everywhere — our social media platforms reward inflammatory content
https://www.thestar.com/business/technology/opinion/2021/01/23/my-old-friend-started-posting-conspiracy-theories-on-facebook-how-can-we-help-the-truth-compete.html

Listen Carefully to What Facebook Isn't Saying About Apple's Upcoming Privacy Change. It's the Only Part that Matters.
https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/what-facebook-isnt-saying-about-apples-upcoming-privacy-change.html
You are the product.

Clearview AI violated privacy rights of Canadians with facial recognition tech, say privacy commissioners
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/clearview-ai-violated-privacy-rights-of-canadians-with-facial-recognition-tech-say-privacy-commissioners/441698

At some point, I will be writing something about the GameStop / Reddit-WallStreetBets / Hedge Fund Shorts story and the misinformation / disinformation campaign currently in play. I have not done enough research yet to write the piece, but I can tell you today that mainstream media (MSM) are engaged and are not providing an honest or fair accounting, and are pushing up the noise level. A couple of examples. There is a media meme complaining that a self-selecting group of mostly small retail investors are acting in concert without transparency to game the system. Sadly for the MSM, this is incorrect.

This 'group' publicly posts its internal conversations live in real-time on the Internet. You want to know what this 'group' is thinking? Just open up their conversation platform in your web browser and read it (I have done - do an Internet search on 'wallstreetbets'). That's about as transparent as I can imagine. Perhaps more so than some people will be comfortable with - some of the content is not rated for general audiences. This 'group' is largely chaos, so if they're driving a concerted strategy which is bringing down hedge funds, you have to figure out what kind of house of cards the hedge funds are.

There's plenty of manipulation going on (e.g., trading platforms preventing customers from buying stocks, assymetric trading halts, trading permitted by large firms while retail investors are locked out). Second example, the real strategists in the world's financial circles are pushing their message via all channels, and the seams are showing.

In this article, which Google delivered to me at random, the author couldn't even take the time to get the name of the company/stock at the centre of the story correct.
COMMENTARY: How WallStreetBets is disrupting financial markets — and possibly permanently
https://globalnews.ca/news/7622629/wallstreetbets-game-stop-stock-market/

"These retail investors aren’t part of an organized movement trying to transform the workings of the financial market. Yet, as the *GameSpot* saga exemplifies, their online interactions have reshaped the power dynamic between retail and institutional investors. WallStreetBets Redditors helped propel GameStop’s stock price to soar, forcing a halt in trading." The company's name is GameStop, not GameSpot. And it's not the real game that's being played here. I suspect we'll eventually see that this story is about 'casino capitalism' taken to an extreme, and some greedy and powerful market manipulators caught with their shorts down. By some small retail investors.

There's another meme playing in the MSM late last week and into the weekend: the GameStop shorting story is over. I don't think that's true. That's why the story needs time to be written.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Commit random acts of kindness and practice senseless displays of beauty. Imagine you made someone else smile, even if you can't see it.

;-) Keep calm and masks on.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 6, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Today, Canada will almost certainly surpass the 800,000 cases mark. It recently passed 20,000 deaths. Simple math: 2.5% of Canadians who are diagnosed with COVID-19, die. That looks better than the over 6% figure from the first wave, but it does not yet include the potential consequences from the new variants being discovered, and they're all going to arrive in Canada - if they haven't already - because our border crossing controls have been farcical. The 2.5% number also doesn't include the consequences of people who are labelled 'recovered', but end up with new chronic health impacts or become 'long-haulers'.

The vaccine alternatives for people with compromised immune systems
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2021/02/the-vaccine-alternatives-for-people-with-compromised-immune-systems/

Researchers engineer a tiny antibody capable of neutralizing the coronavirus.
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-tiny-antibody-capable-neutralizing-coronavirus.html

What Canada could do to take advantage of the lull in COVID-19 vaccine shipments
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-19-vaccine-shipments-lull-1.5901457

The Pandemic Broke the Flu
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/02/covid-19-flu-season/617924/

Australia crushed the pandemic. Canada didn’t. Why?
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-australia-crushed-the-pandemic-canada-didnt-why/

Again, TANZANC. It works. Fake lockdowns do not. You cannot negotiate with a virus.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Canada is 'doing it right' with vaccine strategy: Novavax CEO
http://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/canada-is-doing-it-right-with-vaccine-strategy-novavax-ceo-1.1558603

What is COVAX and why is Canada getting backlash for receiving vaccines from it? https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/covax-explainer-canada-backlash-1.5902072

The political noise here in Canada is deafening. If Canada had simply put the money in and not drawn its entitled share of vaccines, the opposition would be howling that the government is abdicating its responsibility to Canadians. Picking the G7 vs. the G20 or OECD nations conveniently leaves New Zealand off the list, which is also taking their allotment of vaccines from Covax. New Zealand is a TANZANC star, so following their example is likely a good idea.

No one should be surprised that a massive new venture is not hitting every optimistic time-point on a fantasy schedule. Especially in the historically underfunded area of mass health-care, and which crosses multiple national borders. This week, Canada is expecting a resumption of shipments from Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Let's see if the plague provinces can step up this time to deliver effectively and quickly to Canadian arms, unlike the case this past December.

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

Denouncing 'Handouts to Big Oil,' Biden Calls on Congress to End $40 Billion in Taxpayer Subsidies for Fossil Fuels
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/01/27/denouncing-handouts-big-oil-biden-calls-congress-end-40-billion-taxpayer-subsidies

Next step, the U.S. will put a tariff on all Canadian-sourced oil and refined products because as the owner of a major oil pipeline, the Canadian government is providing an unfair subsidy advantage to Canadian oil products. Just like softwood lumber - again and again and again.

Incidentally, Canada and the U.S. (and the rest of the G20) all signed an agreement in 2009 to ELIMINATE subsidies to the fossil carbon industries. Since then, Canada has increased subsidies to the sector. This new stance by the new U.S. President is a massive game-changer for the world. Canada might want to get with the program, even if just by starting with not giving more new taxpayer-funded subsidies to the mostly foreign-owned oil and gas industry. Like funds for cleaning up abandoned oil wells, which the industry promptly gamed anyway.

Employment Transitions and the Phase-Out of Fossil Fuels
https://albertapolitics.ca/wp-content/uploads/Employment-Transitions-Report-Final.pdf
Just go read pages 4 and 5 (Summary and Main Findings).

Hmmm, if governments stop giving taxpayer money to oil and gas companies, and they have to make a profit by selling their product at a price that reflects real costs, that will drive the prices for heating oil, diesel, gasoline, etc. way up. Not a good place for petroleum companies, when electricity generation from wind and solar can already beat new-build natural gas and existing coal and nuclear on straight price per kWh. With electricity prices set by a floor from renewable energy sources and the price of advanced batteries coming down, the writing is also on the wall for gasoline and diesel as dominant transportation fuels. Which could lead to this sort of thing ...
Shell's Profits Plunge 87% In 2020
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Shells-Profits-Plunge-87-In-2020.html

Somewhere way back in time, I wrote a short piece demonstrating that oil and its derived products were the lifeblood of 20th century industrialized human civilization. Similarly, the lifeblood of the oil industry is money, and lots of it. It's increasingly capital intensive, with a lot of up-front investment for exploration, drilling, shipping, refining and distribution, with more for corporate PR, twisting political agendas and green-washing. It's one thing if governments stop increasing their subsidies and gifts. It's actually a bigger deal if the big banks stop providing the loans. Banks expect to get their money back on a loan, with interest. If they think their loan principle is at risk, they don't make the loan. That seems to be what's happening more frequently in the past few years. The loans are big. If there were a few significant defaults, even a big bank could have liquidity issues. That was the recipe for the 2008 financial crisis that was built on sub-prime mortgages and credit default swaps, and led to the biggest financial bail-out of the financial sector by taxpayers in history. As consumers and taxpayers, we're still paying for that, world-wide. But it does make you wonder, what if the banks stopped seeing the oil industry as a printing press for money.

European Lenders Exit Amazon Oil Trade After Scrutiny by Campaigners https://amazonwatch.org/news/2021/0124-european-lenders-exit-amazon-oil-trade-after-scrutiny-by-campaigners

If that domino falls, who knows what could happen next for the oil industry, especially the higher-risk portions of the 'extreme oil' sector (like offshore drilling, bitumen ...)

Oil’s decline will weaken its political influence
https://energypost.eu/oils-decline-will-weaken-its-political-influence/

Then watch for the oil industry to skirt even more of its obligations, like back-loaded plans for cleaning up abandoned wells, tailings ponds, brownfields and other contaminated sites. And expect more spills as staffing levels and maintenance are reduced in cost-cutting moves.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
You can play the blame game, and use up time energy and create only enmity, not progress. Or,
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

;-) During COVID, I keep in touch with some people so they stay sane.
     Actually, using me as the measuring standard, it's pretty easy
     for them to believe they're doing fine.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 4, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Dear health officials: could you please stop using the word 'surveillance' for the gathering of useful data? I'm sure you consider it a useful shorthand, but not for the lay audience. What you mean for those of us who don't speak epidemiology or infectious diseases is: testing, recording, data analysis, forecasting, contact tracing, trend reports ... Not only does 'surveillance' have a completely different and negative connotation in plain English, this is also an opportunity for you to message these key elements of what it takes to successfully address virus transmission suppression. So far, transmission suppression has been the best tool we have to keep people healthy during the pandemic, and it will work on the new variants, even if those reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Most importantly, in my opinion, fewer infected people means few chances for virus mutations and further transmission.

I wasn't the only one to link COVID-19's endless fake lockdown syndrome to the movie Groundhog Day. Here's a thing that struck me. None of the pieces I saw made this connection. The way the protagonist broke the cycle. He eventually used the time to acquire new skills, learns to control how he reacts to events beyond his control, and learns to care about others and not just himself. Sound familiar? COVID restrictions suck. What are you doing with it?

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

After a Rocky Start, Novavax Vaccine Could Be Here by Summer
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/health/vaccine-novavax.html

Long-term care outbreaks, deaths reveal how badly we undervalue seniors and people with dementia
https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-dementia-long-term-care-homes-1.5871981

Anyone else remember the 'iron rings? It seems so long ago, in COVID-years.
'We need to put an iron ring around our seniors and other vulnerable populations': Ford
https://www.qpbriefing.com/2020/03/30/we-need-to-put-an-iron-ring-around-our-seniors-and-other-vulnerable-populations-ford/

Ontario won’t make Feb. 5 goal of vaccinating all LTC, high risk retirement residents
https://toronto.citynews.ca/2021/02/02/ontario-wont-make-feb-5-goal-of-vaccinating-all-ltc-high-risk-retirement-residents/

Where's the rest of the plan? Critics ask about Ottawa-based PSW training pilot
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/wheres-the-rest-of-the-plan-critics-ask-about-ottawa-based-psw-training-pilot

Remembering The Journalists Fooled By Doug Ford’s Pandemic Disguise
https://readpassage.com/remembering-the-journalists-fooled-by-doug-fords-pandemic-disguise/
"In Ontario, there have been more than 260,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 6,000 deaths thus far. Ontario is also lagging far behind on vaccination rates compared to other provinces in Canada, which as a whole is performing poorly on a global scale."

Doctors call for systemic change to tackle burnout among health-care workers
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-feb-2-2021-1.5897412/doctors-call-for-systemic-change-to-tackle-burnout-among-health-care-workers-1.5897645

The COVID-19 Tracking Project [U.S. only]
https://covidtracking.com/

Climate Change

Court rules France failed to respect its climate change goal
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/france-climate-change-goal-1.5899025
We need more than symbolic victories to tackle climate change. A government cannot be answerable only to itself between elections when there are annual targets to be measured against. Perhaps if there was a financial penalty to be paid to an international fund with a mandate to achieve real rogress on GHG emissions reductions. The amounts would have to be sizable so as to motivate real action in future years.

Canada pledges to strengthen 2030 climate targets. How ambitious should we be?
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/02/04/analysis/canada-pledges-strengthen-2030-climate-targets
Canada has NEVER achieved a climate change mitigation goal it has set for itself. It also needs some additional short-term motivation to make real progress. Clearly, doing it for the future survival of our grand-kids isn't enough. Perhaps financial penalties which could only be spent by Denmark would help, or giving up all claims to Han Island.

Huge methane emission rise follows extreme rainfall in East Africa
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-huge-methane-emission-extreme-rainfall.html

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-to-be-more-efficient-with-your-time-and-energy-mens-journal/

;-) My body is a temple.
     Ancient and crumbling, probably cursed or haunted.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


February 2, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

We live in a world of uncertainty. The gig economy means precarious employment. Disinformation drives political outcomes. Climate change is destabilizing weather patterns, which affects crop yields.

Why would it be different with a pandemic virus which we have seen for about a year, and is now mutating - as viruses do? Can the mouthpieces please just get over themselves about the reality that the vaccines aren't all already approved and supplied quantities aren't showing up on the most fantasy-based optimistic schedule possible?

The two major variants of concern are in Canada, likely because we imported them with a traveller. And we don't even know who or when because we could not be bothered with testing at points of entry. As for data for decision-making ...
Why Canada doesn’t know how many COVID-19 cases are linked to travel https://theconversation.com/why-canada-doesnt-know-how-many-covid-19-cases-are-linked-to-travel-154321

We're not just keeping health officials out of the decision-making process, apparently we're even keeping them out of the information loop until the public gets the announcements at photo-ops first.
Public health kept in the dark about provincial announcements, OPH report suggests
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/public-health-kept-in-the-dark-about-provincial-announcements-oph-report-suggests

We should be doing testing on all arrivals, because we likely can't trust test results provided from originating countries.
Criminal rings are selling fake COVID-19 test certificates at international airports, police warn
https://nationalpost.com/news/criminal-rings-are-selling-fake-covid-19-test-certificates-at-international-airports-police-warn

Outside the Atlantic bubble and the North, our elected leaders have chosen fake lockdowns to pander to the business sector.

We know what works to prevent virus transmission. A lot of Canadians have been doing their part for almost a year now. Day after Groundhog Day (movie reference). It's boring, it's tedious, it's hard to sort through the terrible and occasionally contradictory information hash, it causes daily inconveniences and for some, real hardships. For some it means facing a real hazard every time they just go to work. Some have fallen ill, and some have died. With time, the frustration mounts, and the anger is real when the entitled take advantage.

But the good news is that we DO know what works until the vaccine arrives.

This is what a real lockdown looks like. It's triggered by a single case.
Australia Puts Perth In Lockdown Over One Covid Case
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/31/world/perth-covid-lockdown.html
It looks like this ... "essential reasons like exercise, medical needs and shopping for groceries. Restaurants, bars and gyms will shut and mask-wearing will be compulsory in public. Schools, which were scheduled to reopen this week after the term break, will remain closed."

The vaccines we are starting to roll out now - well before the original optimistic
target of 2022 - appear to be phenomenally effective.
The vaccine news continues to be better than many people realize
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/briefing/vaccination-myanmar-coup-rochester-police.html

Canada on verge of deal to produce COVID-19 vaccines domestically
https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/canada-on-verge-of-deal-to-produce-covid-19-vaccines-domestically-1.5291835

Idea from two Hamilton ultrasound technologists results in the creation of extended face shields
https://www.chch.com/idea-from-two-hamilton-ultrasound-technologists-results-in-the-creation-of-extended-face-shields/

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

NYT Update
https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?nl=coronavirus-briefing&segment_id=50781&uri=nyt%3A%2F%2Fnewsletter%2F09bd795f-2454-5056-b4b1-3fa6416fecdb

Worrisome New Coronavirus Strains Are Emerging. Why Now?
https://www.wired.com/story/worrisome-new-coronavirus-strains-are-emerging-why-now/

But this is how we continue to treat the 'front-line heroes'.
Tens of thousands of essential B.C. workers still waiting for ‘pandemic pay’: union
https://www.citynews1130.com/2021/01/31/panemic-pay-healthcare-workers-delay/

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
The vaccines are coming. Wait your turn, and stay healthy until then (and remember it takes about a month for the full immunity to take effect).

;-) A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology
     courses. She started her class by saying,
     'Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!'
     After a few seconds, Little Larry stood up.
     The teacher said, 'Do you think you're stupid, Larry?'
     'No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!'

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 30, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Even the mainstream news media devoted a few seconds to the GameStop story on Friday. For the most part, they recycled old memes and got the core of the story wrong. Pity. But it was a distraction from COVID, winter and other gloomy news. Anyway, a bunch of retail investors (yes, small INVESTORS using their own money) shared some information about a weird thing they saw on a publicly traded stock, and decided to go after the big hedge funds and turn the tables. And it worked well enough that some big Wall Street hedge funds started overtly manipulating the market to disadvantage small investors and advantage themselves, and ironically, started calling for government regulation to restrain the operation of the 'free market' to protect them. But, in my view, we need to remember who started this adventure: a hedge fund.
The Hedge Fund Genius Who Started GameStop’s 4,800% Rally Now Calls It “Unnatural, Insane, And Dangerous”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2021/01/26/the-hedge-fund-genius-who-started-gamestops-4800-rally-now-calls-it-unnatural-insane-and-dangerous/
Something else the mainstream media got wrong - they think yesterday was the end of the story. I think we'll learn in the next few weeks that isn't true.
And this is why anybody really cared.
Wall Street titans lose more than US$70B amid Reddit frenzy that fuelled GameStop and others https://globalnews.ca/news/7604866/short-position-losses/

As entertaining as that was, here's what I really wanted to share from this in the context COVID-19. A lesson on dealing with the unpredictable (like the spreading of a virus or a meme about buying a stock to burn short sellers), and what exponential growth looks like.

If you were prescient and bought this stock at $4 back on January 2, 2020 - (in the before times), and now you see it selling for over $300 a share, that would be an indicator of great success. Similarly, if you're a virus, and your population of infected hosts goes up by a factor of 90, you might also consider this to be a success (or going viral, if you wish). However, if you're one of those infected hosts who gets sick or dies, your perspective is likely different.

New variants of the COVID-19 virus have the potential to turn the horizontal line to near vertical, like on the graph. Both the ones we have now identified, and the ones yet to come as we keep increasing the pool of hosts and mutation opportunities.

Think of the labels on the right axis of the graph not as dollars but cases of infection per 1000 people. 5 is bad, but barely manageable; 350 per thousand definitely is not manageable - it's a catastrophe. As for 'ramping up' to deal with that level of illness, it's not remotely possible.

Stay home, wash your hands, wear a decent mask - correctly, wait your turn for the vaccine.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Should you double up on your face masks? Experts weigh in.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/should-you-double-up-on-your-face-masks-experts-weigh-in-1.5286423

I'm all for getting guidance from health experts. I notice that health professionals dealing with COVID-19 on the front lines are not looking to double-mask. They're using better masks and face shields. It's still tough to find N95 and better masks for private citizens, but face shields are readily available online.

As long-term care falters, Ontario should ramp up funding for home care, community services, advocates say
https://www.northumberlandnews.com/news-story/10319383-as-long-term-care-falters-ontario-should-ramp-up-funding-for-home-care-community-services-advocates-say/

Ontario Vaccinations over-reported
https://https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/data-error-means-completed-ontario-covid-19-vaccinations-only-half-of-what-was-reported/ar-BB1daNiV

The numbers are in: Canada’s COVID-fighting efforts are among world’s worst
https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/the-numbers-are-in-canadas-covid-fighting-efforts-are-among-worlds-worst/

A Rural County in Georgia Vaccinated Teachers. The State Suspended Vaccine Shipments to Punish Them.
https://www.motherjones.com/coronavirus-updates/2021/01/a-rural-county-in-georgia-vaccinated-teachers-the-state-suspended-vaccine-shipments-to-punish-them/

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Seriously (see above).
Take care of you.

;-) Today I was a hero.
     I rescued some beer that was trapped in a bottle.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 29, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Both Canada and the U.S. are seeing a slow downward trend in new COVID-19 cases being reported. Not so much in the number of deaths. Canada will likely hit the 20,000 deaths mark over the coming weekend.

In the U.S., it's likely worse than you think.
Undercounting of Covid-19 deaths is greatest in pro-Trump areas, analysis shows
https://www.statnews.com/2021/01/25/undercounting-covid-19-deaths-greatest-in-pro-trump-areas-analysis-shows/
Bad data drives bad decision-making.

We have seen the aftermath when people in authority ignore or flaunt the rules around health measures, or jumping the queue to get the vaccine for themselves. Setting the better example makes it more acceptable for others to do the same. You, too, can be a leader. We need more real leadership these days.
People Follow COVID Rules When Their Friends Do. And More Science News.
https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/01/26/Science-Journals-Following-COVID-Rules/

Consider this quote out of the U.S.:
“I’m hearing from a lot of people that one of the reasons why they’re really hunkering down now is that it would be a shame to get a severe Covid case while waiting to get the vaccine,” Dr. Lee Harrison, the chairman of a local health board, told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week.
COVID-19 Update: As Pa. cases decline, did state avoid post-holiday surge?
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2021/01/25/covid-19-coronavirus-pennsylvania-allegheny-county-pittsburgh-cases-deaths-vaccine-doses-health-data-pandemic/stories/202101250070

Memes like Bernie Sanders’ mittens spread through networks the same way viruses spread through populations
https://theconversation.com/memes-like-bernie-sanders-mittens-spread-through-networks-the-same-way-viruses-spread-through-populations-153418
If COVID-19 is a forest fire - where we spend decades drying the forest and leaving fuel on the floor - then think of the virus-spread countermeasures as fire-breaks and fire-fighters, the vaccines as water-bombers. In the case of COVID-19, we're still building the fleet of water-bombers, while the first few have been delivered. Which do you think is doing the heavy lifting today: vaccines where only the very first delivered so far could be providing any degree of immunity, or the boring stuff that works?

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

COVID-19 cases down in Ontario but variant 'a significant threat' to curbing spread, new modelling shows
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-modelling-update-january-28-1.5891378

Data Hint B.1.1.7 Could Be More Deadly Than Thought
https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/data-hint-b-1-1-7-could-be-more-deadly-than-thought-68383

Why The UK Variant of SARS-CoV-2 Could Be More Deadly
https://www.sciencealert.com/why-scientists-think-the-uk-variant-of-sars-cov-2-could-also-be-more-deadly

Brazilian Researchers Tracking Reinfection by New Virus Variant
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/944748

Why you might want to start wearing better masks — even outdoors
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/masks-coronavirus-variants-canada-1.5890893

Nurse says stressed-out health-care workers nearing 'breaking point'
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/nurse-says-stressed-out-health-care-workers-nearing-breaking-point-1.5285825

Canada’s nursing home workers are nearing catastrophic levels of burnout
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canadas-nursing-home-workers-are-nearing-catastrophic-levels-of/

To Avoid an Outbreak, China Cancels Lunar New Year for Millions of Migrants
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/world/asia/china-coronavirus-new-year.html

Insurance claim denials leave some COVID-19 sufferers planning 'for the worst'
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/insurance-claim-denials-leave-some-covid-19-sufferers-planning-for-the-worst-1.5284932

'The tip of the iceberg': COVID long-haulers facing financial ruin
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/the-tip-of-the-iceberg-covid-long-haulers-facing-financial-ruin

N.Y. Severely Undercounted Virus Deaths in Nursing Homes, Report Says
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/nyregion/nursing-home-deaths-cuomo.html

Ontario COVID-19 vaccinations only half of what was reported because of government data error
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-covid-19-vaccinations-only-half-of-what-was-reported-because-of-government-data-error-1.5285935

Here’s how the coronavirus turns the body against itself
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/world/heres-how-the-coronavirus-turns-the-body-against-itself.html

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
And then you get GameStop, BlackBerry shorting adventures and migrating a website and email to new servers. Busy days. Events beyond your control seem to conspire and arrive in groups. We have a lot of lessons to learn from the past year, not all about coronavirus.
But be open to seeing the opportunities that often accompany upheaval.

;-) COVID-time: After Monday and Tuesday,
     even the calendar says W.T.F.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 26, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Provinces sitting on billions in unspent emergency funds as COVID-19 rages
Money for health care, long-term care, housing and essential worker supports left on the table
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/news-releases/provinces-sitting-billions-unspent-emergency-funds-covid-19-rages
Picking just 2 points from the highlighted study's findings that make me cranky:
* N.L, P.E.I., Que., Ont., Sask. and Alta. are sitting on billions of unallocated COVID-19 contingency funds built into their budgets
* Alberta is getting $1,200 more federal support per person than any other province, yet is leaving money on the table

Take your blood pressure meds and have relaxation techniques ready before reading the 50-page report.
Picking up the Tab
A complete accounting of federal and provincial COVID-19 measures in 2020
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/thetab

There are a couple of interactive maps here.
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/multimedia/picking-tab
If you can't be bothered to click through the provinces and territories to absorb the data, the labels for the 2 main interactive graphics are blunt:
"The provinces are leaving COVID-19 dollars on the table" and
"The feds are doing most of the spending" (92% feds, 8% provinces combined total)

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Made-in-Canada coronavirus vaccine to begin human clinical trials Tuesday
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-19-vaccine-providence-1.5887613

Merck abandons two vaccines in clinical trials
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/25/world/covid-19-coronavirus#merck-abandons-two-vaccines-in-clinical-trials
This is why we wanted a lot of vaccine candidates to be researched and tested. They weren't all going to be successful. Even before we gave COVID-19 over a 100,000,000 infections to test out its own mutations. And somehow, we're whining about having access to the winners. A year before the original forecasts said we should expect to have any.

Where the lopsided economic impact of COVID-19 in Canada goes from here
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/covid-coronavirus-economic-recovery-inequality-1.5886384

Canada did not retain the lessons from SARS. The world did not heed the MERS warning. Will we be smarter after COVID-19? Will we ensure adequate domestic supplies of quality PPE? Will we develop real plans for really suppressing virus transmission, do sufficient levels of testing of both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals? Will we develop a real plan for delivering vaccinations efficiently, effectively and equitably?
The coronavirus 10 times more deadly than Covid
"In northern Kenya, researchers are working to prevent a dangerous coronavirus – Mers – from jumping from camels to humans again. But climate change is making their job more difficult."
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210122-the-coronavirus-10-times-more-deadly-than-covid

Climate Change

API Bows To Biden On Methane Emissions
https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/API-Bows-To-Biden-On-Methane-Emissions.html

Climate change: Earthquake 'hack' reveals scale of ocean warming
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54193334

Coalition quietly adds fossil fuel industry leaders to emissions reduction panel
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/23/coalition-quietly-adds-fossil-fuel-industry-leaders-to-emissions-reduction-panel

Net Zero Emissions Would Stabilize Climate Quickly Says UK Scientist
https://cleantechnica.com/2021/01/04/net-zero-emissions-stabilize-climate-quickly-uk-scientist/

Divestment Year In Review 2020 From CleanTechnica
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/12/31/divestment-year-in-review-2020-from-cleantechnica/

Avoid hydrogen for heating homes, urges energy efficiency coalition
https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/avoid-hydrogen-for-heating-homes-urges-energy-efficiency-coalition/
The push for hydrogen in Europe by the oil and gas industry is crossing the line into misinformation territory.

Analysis: A lot of hot air? Investors snap up hydrogen stocks in green frenzy
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hydrogen-stocks-analysis-idUSKBN29P0LH
I have said before, there is a hyprogen buzz bubble happening. I'm not buying. But if you have the risk-taker urge and can figure out when to get out before the bubble bursts, have at it.

Green or blue?: Quebec eyes overtaking Alberta to emerge as Canada's hydrogen hub
https://financialpost.com/technology/green-or-blue-quebec-eyes-overtaking-alberta-to-emerge-as-canadas-hydrogen-hub
Wrong question. Start at "Why Hydrogen?" If you get past that, discard 'blue', 'grey' and 'black' varieties. We can't afford the additional emissions from an inefficient fuel cycle, or the taxes our governments are going to keep spending on the mirage to prop up the oil and gas industry.

Warning: shameless self-promotion follows.
If you really want to dig into the hydrogen subject, I can recommend a good book. Won awards, got good reviews. However, the greatest tribute to its value in the discussion is that it has not been openly attacked by the hydrogen lobby, but was recommended as a text book on energy systems by the U.S. DOE.
Current Amazon worldwide rankings - which look pretty good for a book published 15 years ago, let alone in Canadian non-fiction.
Best Sellers Rank:
     #1,586 in Nuclear Engineering (Books) (Which is funny, because there isn't even a whole chapter on nuclear.)
     #58,454 in Technology (Books)
Available as an e-book at ($6): https://www.iuniverse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/126185-The-Emperor-s-New-Hydrogen-Economy
(If you find a website claiming to provide the ebook for free, it's a scam, probably identity harvesting.)

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
It's harder if we're being short-sighted and stupid.

;-) Some days, there aren't enough curse words.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 25, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

The U.S. has surpassed 25 million COVID-19 cases and will likely pass 430,000 deaths today. The U.S. President has said the situation will get worse before it gets better.

I guess it's easier for plague province premiers to complain about a week of missed deliveries of vaccine they aren't paying for than to actually address the new health issues for many of their residents resulting in part from inadequate prevention measures by those same governments.
60% of COVID-19 long-haulers say government is 'absolutely ignoring them,' Marketplace questionnaire finds
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/covid-long-haulers-seek-help-1.5881170

U.K. variant confirmed at Barrie, Ont., care home where 41 have died
https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/mobile/u-k-variant-confirmed-at-barrie-ont-care-home-where-41-have-died-1.5279379

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

B.C. quietly updates number of U.K., South Africa variant cases as researcher raises concerns
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/b-c-quietly-updates-number-231857714.html
"But Andrew Longhurst, a doctoral student at Simon Fraser University and a health policy researcher, said that if some cases are not travel related it suggests variants could be spreading in the community unchecked — a situation he says should be addressed urgently."

You don't want to fall into that three per cent category': Toronto ICU doctor reflects on year of treating COVID-19 patients
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/you-don-t-want-to-fall-into-that-three-per-cent-category-toronto-icu-doctor-reflects-on-year-of-treating-covid-19-patients-1.5280040

Food banks aren’t meant to be long-term solutions in a pandemic: experts
https://globalnews.ca/news/7593808/food-insecurity-foodbanks-last-resort/

Schools Re-opening

What you need to know about elementary and secondary school classes this week in Ottawa and eastern Ontario
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/what-you-need-to-know-about-elementary-and-secondary-school-classes-this-week-in-ottawa-and-eastern-ontario-1.5280217

Ontario teachers' unions call for 'specific benchmarks' to trigger moves to in-class learning
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-teachers-unions-call-for-specific-benchmarks-to-trigger-moves-to-in-class-learning-1.5259630

Give the Students a Round of Applause
https://www.thenation.com/article/activism/students-2020/

4 steps to teacher recovery from compassion fatigue and burnout during COVID-19 and beyond
https://theconversation.com/4-steps-to-teacher-recovery-from-compassion-fatigue-and-burnout-during-covid-19-and-beyond-151407

Teachers are on the front lines with students in the coronavirus pandemic
https://theconversation.com/teachers-are-on-the-front-lines-with-students-in-the-coronavirus-pandemic-149896

As the UK variant and SA mutation are becoming more prevalent, and early data suggests they have a higher transmission rate and target people under 20 years of age more aggressively than the original SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, we need to reconsider the idea that in-class learning was relatively low-risk and other potential harm factors outweighed the infection risk. We also need to get past the widespread idea that schools are somehow not part of 'the community' when we discuss community spread.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Humans are social creatures. Life is a team sport. If COVID is leaving you with time on your hands, you can use that time to build your network, to provide the team you'll need for the next adventure.

;-) “It's better to be kind than to be right.”
     ~ Anne Lamott

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 24, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Today, the world will likely hit 100,000,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. About 1 in 78 people on the planet.
And due to lack of testing, asymptomatic infections and political under-counting, that number is likely low.

The virus was originally noted for killing the elderly and immune suppressed. It's going after hardier targets with time.
2 Albertans in their 20s among the 13 COVID-19 deaths reported Saturday
https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/2-albertans-in-their-20s-among-the-13-covid-19-deaths-reported-saturday-1.5279564

At least 1 in 3 COVID-19 infections are asymptomatic, study suggests https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/at-least-1-in-3-covid-19-infections-are-asymptomatic-study-suggests-1.5279433
Yes, we still need a LOT more testing, and to keep up health preventative measures guidance, because we don't know who is contagious and spreading based on reported symptoms. (I'm still wearing my face shield and curtain when I have to go out - mostly to the grocery store.)

Which makes this very good news indeed - if the plague provinces will actually shell out a nickel to protect their citizens.
Spartan Bioscience says rapid COVID-19 test has Health Canada's approval
https://obj.ca/article/techopia/spartan-bioscience-says-rapid-covid-19-test-has-health-canadas-approval

Being in a hurry to administer vaccines does not justify doing it wrong. Not only was the combination outside of vendor recommendations, the intervening period between injections doesn't match either vaccine.
Woman with dementia accidentally given Pfizer vaccine after receiving Moderna dose: daughter
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-mother-dementia-covid-19-vaccines-1.5885397

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

New COVID-19 variant can evade immunity, research suggests
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-new-covid-19-variant-can-evade-immunity-research-suggests/

Treatment for those who are infected with COVID-19, not a preventative
Quebec researchers say they have found an effective drug to fight COVID-19
https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/quebec-researchers-say-they-have-found-an-effective-drug-to-fight-covid-19-1.5279310

Canadian researchers find COVID-19 antibodies last for months, likely years
https://globalnews.ca/news/7589668/canadian-researchers-coronavirus-antibodies/

'It's garbage': Infectious disease expert debunks 'Facts Not Fear' COVID-19 flyer
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/it-s-garbage-infectious-disease-expert-debunks-facts-not-fear-covid-19-flyer-1.5277814

Huge fire erupts at the world's largest manufacturer of coronavirus vaccines
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/huge-fire-erupts-at-the-worlds-largest-manufacturer-of-coronavirus-vaccines

PPE

The Wealthy Barber bumps into problem solver Amber French and a PPE marketplace arises
https://financialpost.com/executive/executive-women/good-things-happened-when-the-wealthy-barber-bumped-into-the-problem-solver

London company among 12 winners of sustainable, Canada-made supply challenge
https://globalnews.ca/news/7593399/london-company-among-12-winners-of-sustainable-canada-made-supply-challenge/

B.C. company set to begin first Canadian production line of cup-moulded respirator masks
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/novo-textiles-coquitlam-bc-medical-surgical-mask-n95-production-1.5882211

Indigenous manufacturer answers the call for made-in-Canada PPE
https://www.sudbury.com/around-the-north/indigenous-manufacturer-answers-the-call-for-made-in-canada-ppe-3273663

Outbreak results in increased PPE waste at a central Alberta dump
https://www.reddeeradvocate.com/news/outbreak-results-in-increased-ppe-waste-at-a-central-alberta-dump/

London fashion brand receives $2M to recycle PPE
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/lifecycle-ppe-london-ontario-1.5879488

Manitoba hospitals using PPE linked to overseas factories with forced labour allegations
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/ppe-manitoba-workers-forced-labour-1.5876824

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Judge others favourably. You never know what battle they are fighting.
More true than ever during the pandemic.

;-) Everyone has a plan, until they're punched in the mouth.
     ~ Mike Tyson

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 22, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

If you want to get a handle on the Ontario COVID-19 situation based on the perspective of a real health expert, take the time to listen to this interview with Dr. Adelstein (Steini) Brown, followed by André Picard. It starts at the 22:40 mark in the audio link below, and runs about 23 minutes.
Transcript and audio link here:
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-jan-21-2020-1.5881908/january-21-2021-episode-transcript-1.5883221

New variant behind massive COVID-19 outbreak at Ontario LTC home
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/new-variant-behind-massive-covid-19-outbreak-at-ontario-ltc-home-1.5277505

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Ontario rejects extension for probe into LTC homes after commission blames province for ‘significant delays’
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-commission-seeks-extension-on-care-home-investigation-as-it-struggles/

World News – CA – Internal government documents reveal how Ontario has “watered down” its strategies to keep COVID-19 out of classrooms
https://thecameroontoday.com/news/world-news-ca-internal-government-documents-reveal-how-ontario-has-watered-down-its-strategies-to-keep-covid-19-out-of-classrooms/

Mr. Premier, bring your firecracker: COVID-19 requires two-prong approach to sick days
https://www.simcoe.com/opinion-story/10314209-mr-premier-bring-your-firecracker-covid-19-requires-two-prong-approach-to-sick-days/

If it feels like I'm picking on the OPC and Ontario Premier a lot, it's because they have the job of managing this health crisis - not anyone else. Health is a provincial jurisdiction, and in other areas where other parties (e.g. federal government) have offered to provide anything but lots more money, they have been told to stop interfering. So, as I see it, the provincial government, which will not defer to health experts on making health decisions, owns this mess. I would happily bring out commentary from other Ontario political parties - noting they have no authority - if I could find any. I would be happier still if the current governments in the plague provinces would stop providing content that needs to be called out.

Climate Change

Canada underestimating methane emissions from orphan wells by as much as 150%, study finds
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/article-canada-underestimating-methane-emissions-from-orphan-wells-by-as-much/

World's oceans continue to warm, despite reduced carbon emissions
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-01-17/World-s-oceans-continue-to-warm-despite-reduced-carbon-emissions-X641fgLHqw/index.html

The planet is dying faster than we thought
https://www.livescience.com/ghastly-future-global-crises.html

New research suggests 1.5C climate target will be out of reach without greener COVID-19 recovery plans
https://theconversation.com/new-research-suggests-1-5c-climate-target-will-be-out-of-reach-without-greener-covid-19-recovery-plans-151527

Small modular reactor plan bolsters nuclear industry's future, but renewables could address energy issues now
https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-small-modular-reactor-strategy-1.5869623
SMRs are not a clean energy solution, and even if they were, they won't be ready in time to help address the climate change problem we are facing today. There are off-the-shelf solutions ready today that will make a positive difference in mitigating planetary warming, at much lower cost to taxpayers.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Your moods are contagious. Share positive energy.
In your life, who are you drawn to? Grumpy Gus or Positive Pat?
Which do you think we need more of during the pandemic?

;-) “I not only use all the brains that I have,
     but all that I can borrow.”
     - Woodrow WilsonI can't see.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 21, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

If the plan is to beat COVID-19 with vaccines, they need to work.
Quebec vaccine plan may be rethought after troubling Israeli data, says provincial advisor
https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/quebec-vaccine-plan-may-be-rethought-after-troubling-israeli-data-says-provincial-advisor-1.5275234

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Here's what the province should do now to make LTC homes safer: Ontario Medical Association
https://www.sootoday.com/coronavirus-covid-19-sault-ste-marie-news/heres-what-the-province-should-do-now-to-make-ltc-homes-safer-ontario-medical-association-3273078

Vaccination rates of Ottawa long-term care workers unknown because of tracking 'issue'
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/vaccination-rates-of-ottawa-long-term-care-workers-unknown-because-of-tracking-issue

'I really am totally speechless': With about half of Ontario LTC residents still not vaccinated, experts question province's priorities
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/01/20/i-really-am-totally-speechless-with-about-half-of-ontario-ltc-residents-still-not-vaccinated-experts-question-provinces-priorities.html

Local rapid COVID tests a 'game-changer,' but not accessible at all long-term care homes
https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/local-rapid-covid-tests-a-game-changer-but-not-accessible-at-all-long-term-care-homes

As each day passes, it's harder and harder to believe that the Ontario Ford government is taking the pandemic and lives of Ontarians seriously, and treating it as more than theatre for consumption by voters.

(Digital) Deception

On January 20th, 2021, Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. I understand that a significant number of Americans were stunned to see this happen. This was not the PLAN they had been told would happen. They were lied to, massively, repeatedly and continuously, and their lives may be ruined as a result.

The new President said, in his speech:
"And, yes, the truth.
Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson.
There is truth and there are lies.
Lies told for power and for profit.
And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders - leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation - to defend the truth and to defeat the lies."

QAnon is mortally wounded. But the right’s conspiracy theories will never die https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/20/qanon-is-mortally-wounded-rights-conspiracy-theories-will-never-die/
Those who have used lies for profit and to increase their power must be held to account for their conscious actions, or we are simply inviting a repeat by those who have learned to deceive even more effectively.

Hackers abusing this perfectly innocent Windows 10 feature to infect machines https://www.techradar.com/news/hackers-abusing-this-perfectly-innocent-windows-10-feature-to-infect-machines

Another supply chain attack: Infected IObit promotion installs ransomware https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/another-supply-chain-attack-infected-iobit-promotion-installs-ransomware/440997

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
When you encounter an obstacle, think like water. Water is flexible, patient and powerful.
Adjust, and move around, over, under and through to reach your objective.

;-) Sometimes when I close my eyes ...
     I can't see.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 20, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

What's different about the coronavirus 'variants of concern' flagged by WHO
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavirus-variants-concern-canada-1.5879223
It appears that giving SARS-CoV-2 a big pool of hosts and transmission paths has led to more opportunities for mutations. Who'd a thunk it? Oh, right - EVERYONE.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Number of young people hospitalized due to COVID-19 increases
https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/news/number-of-young-people-hospitalized-due-to-covid-19-increases-1.24269265
Youth does not confer immunity.

B.C. health officials haven't found a single case of seasonal flu spreading in the community this winter
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/influenza-remarkably-absent-in-bc-covid-19-pandemic-1.5878835
Flu season has been stopped in its tracks this winter
ttps://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/flu-season-start-no-cases-nova-scotia-canada-covid-19-1.5878189
COVID-19 is not the flu. COVID-19 is killing thousands of Canadians. The flu has essentially disappeared in Canada this year, likely due to the health prevention measures put in place to suppress COVID transmission.

And now we know why Doug Ford was huffing and puffing and blustering about the delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveries yesterday. Diversion.
Member of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination task force resigns after travel outside country
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/member-ontario-covid-19-vaccination-distribution-task-force-travel-resignation-1.5879831
Two more public officials step down following international travel
https://globalnews.ca/news/7587601/london-area-officials-covid-19-international-travel/
Sigh. For those of you where a week delay in getting vaccinated is a significant problem, there is this advice. Stay home. Practice physical distancing. Wash your hands regularly with soap, properly. If you have to come in contact with people outside your bubble (e.g. picking up or delivering medications or groceries), wear a suitable mask, properly. It's radical, but for the most part it seems to work. Like vaccines.

Airborne-particle experts explain how to stay safe from new highly contagious coronavirus strain
https://www.oregonlive.com/coronavirus/2021/01/airborne-particle-experts-explain-how-to-stay-safe-from-new-highly-contagious-coronavirus-strain.html
If you think that's not enough protection against the airborne virus, I still recommend more extensive coverage. https://econogics.com/c4c/
I wore mine today.

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

Energy firms misled Alberta regulators on cleanup of well sites
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-energy-firms-misled-alberta-regulators-on-cleanup-of-well-sites/

Alberta inquiry-commissioned reports downplay climate crisis, veer into conspiracies, critics say
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/01/15/news/alberta-inquiry-reports-downplay-climate-crisis-critics

Canada might already be over-piped: Eric Nuttall
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/canada-might-already-be-over-piped-eric-nuttall~2120903

Big Oil’s flagship plastic waste project sinks on the Ganges
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-environment-plastic-insight/big-oils-flagship-plastic-waste-project-sinks-on-the-ganges-idUSKBN29N024

Has Prince Charles’ Nature Pledge Become A Platform For BP To Greenwash Oil Spills?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nishandegnarain/2021/01/17/has-prince-charles-nature-pledge-become-a-platform-for-bp-to-greenwash/

There's A Big Hole In The Argument That Ditching Fossil Fuels Will Kill Jobs
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/big-hole-argument-ditching-fossil-fuels-kill-jobs_n_6001d297c5b62c0057bcc973?ncid=NEWSSTAND0001

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
An organized life is a calmer life. Allow time for distractions, and try to keep them in their assigned time slots. If you are working on something important and need to focus, book time in your calendar just for it. Then, as you have to deal with other things which need immediate attention, tell your panic stress to back off - there's time scheduled for the big thing.

;-) I always wanted to be somebody, but now I
     realize I should have been more specific.
     ~ Lily Tomlin

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 19, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Here are the 2 stories that struck me in the past couple of days. First, there are still those who believe the pandemic is a hoax, somehow orchestrated in concert by every government in the world to push their communist/socialist/libertarian/unfettered capitalism/democratic/authoritarian agendas. Now, that's a unifying force on a level our species has never seen, and simply isn't true. But here's an isolated indicator of how much impact the pandemic is having on death counts.

Air quality regulator temporarily suspends cremation limits for LA County amid 'backlog' from pandemic
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/18/us/california-crematoriums-limit-suspension-coronavirus/index.html

We're hitting some bumps on the road to getting vaccinations out to Canadians. That's to be expected. This is new ground for the world, trying to get a new set of vaccines invented, tested, trialled, reviewed, approved, moved to mass production, distributed (hyper cold-chain is new at this scale), and then the logistics of creating temporary but appropriate venues, staffing and tracking those who get their shots to ensure they get both doses for the mRNA vaccines and more. That's a lot of moving parts and a lot of players to get into place for something we haven't done before. Flu shots are small change compared to this undertaking, and have had decades to get to their current level of maturity. So it really doesn't help when those mishandling their part choose to focus on deflecting blame and create more mixed messaging, rather than just solving the problems.

Health-care workers bristle at suggestion they’re slow signing up for vaccine
https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/vaccine-call-out-rankles-doctors-who-criticize-communications

Vaccine rollout statements from Alberta government cause confusion for health-care workers
https://globalnews.ca/news/7579542/alberta-covid-19-vaccine-appointment-callout/
'“There’s people calling and saying there’s no vaccine then getting the call and saying yes there is but they have to travel a couple of hours to get it. It’s been pretty clear that there’s chaos and disorganization in terms of rolling it out,” [Danielle Larivee, first vice president of the United Nurses of Alberta] said.'

There's some irony in the largely pro-business plague provinces slamming the federal government over not GIVING them enough vaccines when the supply bottleneck for the approved vaccines is the for-profit pharmaceutical companies. Yes, the supply side is bumpy, but also way ahead of any schedule being forecast just six months ago. The 'last-mile' of delivery to arms needs to take that uncertainty into account. That's a lesson we should have learned from the roll-out of testing, which is still uneven and generally (in my opinion) not happening at the scale which would be appropriate.

The target is the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The tools at our disposal are preventive health measures, education, communication and cooperation until the vaccines are fully distributed. Work the problem.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

'We're not recovering': 'Long Haulers' say they're still experiencing COVID symptoms months later
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/health/medical/we-re-not-recovering-long-haulers-say-they-re-still-experiencing-covid-symptoms-months-later/ar-BB1cRTzt

‘I’m scared’: Coronavirus long-haulers claim they’ve been left to fend for themselves
https://globalnews.ca/news/7558364/coronavirus-long-haulers-10-months-later/

Canadian researchers looking into COVID ‘long-haul’ effects
https://healthydebate.ca/2020/12/topic/covid-long-haul-effects

Symptom Duration and Risk Factors for Delayed Return to Usual Health Among Outpatients with COVID-19 in a Multistate Health Care Systems Network — United States, March–June 2020
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6930e1-H.pdf

Most provinces count 'long-haulers' as 'recovered. They don't break out the 'long-haulers' as a distinct category.

Vaccines will make a difference eventually, but until then, you don't want to be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Even those under the age of 30 are not immune from these long-term effects.

Immune system 'remembers' coronavirus for at least 6 months: study
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/immune-system-remembers-coronavirus-for-at-least-6-months-study-1.5271359

Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/canadians-who-have-had-covid-19-should-still-get-the-vaccine-experts-say-1.5271230

‘Precarious work is a health hazard’: When staying home isn’t an option
https://globalnews.ca/news/7577119/coronavirus-stay-home-order-workers-covid19/

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Judge others favourably. You never know what battle they are fighting.
More true than ever during the pandemic.

;-) Craziness doesn't run in my family.
     It gallops.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 18, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

This is post #256 on COVID-19. 2**8. Let's hope I don't get to 2**9 here. It's good to understand how exponents work. But, in the context of of COVID-19, also frightening.

Canada did pass the two milestones I feared over the weekend, even with incomplete reporting. Over 700,000 confirmed cases and 18,000 deaths. Sadly, the 'leadership' in the plague provinces have scope to make it worse by continuing to botch messaging, foul up vaccination programs, play favourites and further erode trust in our health authorities and experts.

Diagnosing the failures of COVID-19 communication in Ontario [13-minute audio segment]
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-193-fresh-air/clip/15819122-diagnosing-failures-covid-19-communication-ontario

Rexdale siblings help to fight COVID-19 in their neighbourhood with care packages [5-minue video]
https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1844410947639
I admire the initiative and community spirit displayed here, but why isn't this being done by public health?

How the spread of coronavirus variants could completely change the pandemic in Canada
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/coronavirus-variants-canada-1.5875629

The Atlantic bubble was not only a good idea, but a blueprint for dramatic change
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/edward-riche-atlantic-bloc-1.5874814

With a population of 7.5 million and physically attached to China, Hong Kong has suffered only 163 deaths from COVID-19 and reported less than 10,000 cases. Despite effectively being in a low-grade civil war where democracy is pitted against the wishes of the Chinese government.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Over 200 long-term care homes haven't paid PSWs $3 per hour temporary wage increase
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/over-200-long-term-care-homes-haven-t-paid-psws-3-per-hour-temporary-wage-increase-1.5269713

Montreal: In latest scramble to fill dire nurse shortage, Quebec asks doctors to help
https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/in-latest-scramble-to-fill-dire-nurse-shortage-quebec-asks-doctors-to-help-1.5269546

Ontario inspectors find 36 stores violating COVID-19 rules during big-box safety blitz
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-inspectors-find-36-stores-violating-covid-19-rules-during-big-box-safety-blitz-1.5270432

Ontario Employers Say These Workers Are 'Essential.' But The Employees Disagree
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/ontario-workers-essential-work-from-home_ca_6001af91c5b62c0057bc8b21

The COVID-19 PCR Test Is Reliable Despite the Commotion About Ct Values
https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/covid-19-critical-thinking/covid-19-pcr-test-reliable-despite-commotion-about-ct-values

Canada has secured more vaccine doses per capita than anyone else, but it’s been slow to administer them
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/canada-coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-slow/2021/01/14/80617754-49f3-11eb-a9f4-0e668b9772ba_story.html

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
If you're facing a big, intimidating problem, break it down into manageable, solvable pieces. Then, attack one of the smaller pieces. As the old riddle goes: how do you eat an elephant?
One piece at a time. Feed the village.

;-) Here’s something to think about:
     How come you never see a headline like
     ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?
      ~ Jay Leno

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 16, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

It's been a while since I've had a look at the infection numbers in any depth. It's such an energy-suck these days.

Canada will likely pass 700,000 confirmed cases today, and 18,000 deaths tomorrow. The slightly positive trend line on new cases is so short it could be aberration, especially if the UK, SA and Brazil variants start to appear in Canada at in increasing rate. By late Friday afternoon, over 500,000 vaccine doses have been injected, and at least 26,000 people have had the second dose.

In the U.S., there are over 24 million confirmed cases; over 7% of the entire population of the country. There have been over 400,000 deaths. The 7-day moving average as of yesterday was 3,384 deaths per day.

Worldwide, we have exceeded 94 million cases and 2 million deaths. That's a death rate of over 2% if someone is infected. It appears we're getting better at keeping people alive, when hospitals aren't overwhelmed. We've had lots of practice. In fact, far too much.

South Korea was a leader in suppressing the virus until mid-November 2020, and then lost control. Even so, with a population over 50 million, they have reported a total of 71,241 cases and 1,217 deaths. With 1.3 times the population of Canada, South Korea has only 1/15 the number of deaths.
Leadership decisions matter.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

C.D.C. Warns the New Virus Variant Could Fuel Huge Spikes in Covid Cases
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/15/health/covid-cdc-variant.html

Nova Scotia embraced rapid testing for COVID-19 months ago. Why have other provinces been so slow?
https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/nova-scotia-embraced-rapid-testing-for-covid-19-months-ago-why-have-other-provinces-been-so-slow
(Nova Scotia is part of TANZANC. What do they know that the plague provinces seem unable to grasp?)

Climate Change

How carbon capture technology can add to the emissions problem

If the objective is to produce clean, (net-)zero-GHG electricity, carbon capture doesn't quite hit the mark, and it isn't even on the economically competitive list anymore except for the fact that taxpayers pay for carbon capture projects, while unsubsidized inherently clean technologies (e.g. efficiency upgrades, conservation, wind turbines, photovoltaic panels) are now winning power supply bids over subsidized fossil fuels like coal, oil and recently even over natural gas - in Alberta.

Decoding the Hype Behind the Natural Gas Industry's Hydrogen Push
https://www.desmogblog.com/2021/01/14/decoding-hype-behind-natural-gas-industry-hydrogen-push
I have said all this before, but now here's somebody else with the hydrogen reality message.

Be very careful if you choose to invest in the hyprogen bubble, and read the Nikola hydrogen truck story first. If long-term taxpayer support is removed, the hyprogen bubble will collapse.

The Canadian government's recently announced "Hydrogen Strategy for Canada" starts with a $1,500,000,000.00 gift from taxpayers. That won't be the end of the tab for Canadian taxpayers.
https://www.canada.ca/en/natural-resources-canada/news/2020/12/minister-oregan-launches-hydrogen-strategy-for-canada.html
Like much of the hype, it creates a green smokescreen for blue and grey hydrogen.

But here's the rub, in my opinion: "...low-carbon and zero-emission fuel technology as a key part of our path to net-zero carbon emissions by *2050*".

Offshore wind and green hydrogen don't mix: Rystad
https://splash247.com/offshore-wind-and-green-hydrogen-dont-mix-rystad/

Let me add one more reality to counter the current hyprogen bubble. The UNFCCC says we now have less than 10 years to turn the GHG emissions direction around. 'Green' hydrogen won't be a serious factor by then. None of the mirages speak to significant implementation before 2030. Canada's target is 2050. In the meantime, the blue/grey hydrogen infrastructure in place (over 99% of hydrogen production today) will make the GHG emissions situation worse through the next 10-30 years or more, if we follow through on the hydrogen mythology.

‘Groggy climate giant’ slowly awakening from under Arctic Ocean
https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/news/article/groggy-climate-giant-slowly-awakening-from-under-arctic-ocean

Pollutants and other aerosols trigger more intense thunderstorms
https://physicsworld.com/a/pollutants-and-other-aerosols-trigger-more-intense-thunderstorms/

Climate change: Earthquake 'hack' reveals scale of ocean warming
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54193334

The New Green Building Revolution Uses Timber to Build 'Plyscrapers' That Save Tons of CO2
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/wooden-skyscrapers-called-plyscrapers-set-to-transform-the-construction-industry/

How biodiesel EV chargers could connect remote locations
"https://thedriven.io/2021/01/15/how-biodiesel-ev-chargers-could-connect-remote-locations/
Also note that portable solar EV chargers are already in production and for sale off the shelf.
https://beamforall.com/

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Today, be kind to yourself and others. Tomorrow, repeat.

;-) Ahhhhh .... That moment of contentment when the first sip of coffee touches my soul.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 15, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

As of this morning, over 475,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada, and roughly 25,000 people have had their second dose which should boost their immunity within a couple of weeks.
The trick is to keep taking preventative measures so they don't get infected in the next few weeks, and to stop possible spread as vaccination immunity does not mean you are not spreading the virus. That's the good news ...

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Why a mask and social distancing are still needed, even if you get the shot
https://theconversation.com/covid-19-vaccine-rollout-why-a-mask-and-social-distancing-are-still-needed-even-if-you-get-the-shot-152351

Johnson & Johnson's 1-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Promise in Early-Stage Trials
https://time.com/5929675/johnson-johnsons-1-shot-covid-19-vaccine-shows-promise-in-early-stage-trials/

Johnson & Johnson confident of March rollout for its COVID-19 vaccine, still aims for 1 billion doses in 2021
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/international-business/us-business/article-johnson-johnson-confident-of-march-rollout-for-its-covid-19-vaccine/

A shot in the arm: pharmacies say they can speed up Canada's vaccination efforts
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker-vaccine-rollout-pharmacies-1.5871971

WHO team in Wuhan tracks coronavirus origins as new variants rack up cases
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/who-team-in-wuhan-tracks-coronavirus-origins-as-new-variants-rack-up-cases-1.5267831

Coronavirus infection gives five months' immunity but won't prevent transmission: study
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/video-coronavirus-infection-gives-five-months-immunity-but-wont-prevent/

Ventilation report adds to mixed messaging on spread of COVID-19
https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/01/13/ventilation-report-adds-to-mixed-messaging-on-spread-of-covid-19.html

Why months of 'Stay Home' messaging didn’t work in Ontario
https://www.macleans.ca/society/health/why-months-of-stay-home-messaging-didnt-work-in-ontario/
The COVID messaging contained a preponderance of confusing and unhelpful information, known in common parlance as BS. The results were disastrous.

Doug Ford’s ‘unlockdown’ reveals his true agenda
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/01/14/doug-fords-unlockdown-reveals-his-true-agenda.html

Hidden camera reveals 'appalling' conditions in overseas PPE factory supplying Canadian hospitals, expert says
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/marketplace-overseas-personal-protective-equipment-manufacturing-working-conditions-1.5873213

Toronto's Population Declined So Much Recently That It Actually Set A Record
https://www.narcity.com/en-ca/news/toronto/torontos-population-declined-so-much-recently-that-it-actually-set-a-record

(Digital) Deception

Does this news explain why Bitcoin prices spiked last week starting Jan. 5th, and then dropped again? Should we be concerned that there is a fresh spike starting January 13th?
Far-right groups received large Bitcoin payment ahead of U.S. Capitol riot: report
https://globalnews.ca/news/7577631/us-capitol-riot-bitcoin-far-right/
If so, what are the prospects for the price of Bitcoin if governments actually crack down on U.S. domestic terrorism and get serious about combating cybercrime?

Critics denounce 'climate-change denialism' reports commissioned by Alberta inquiry
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-inquiry-reports-commissioned-critics-1.5873580

Cyber Security Today – The DarkMarket criminal website shut down, hacker gets 12 years in jail, digital currency thefts and more
https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/cyber-security-today-the-darkmarket-criminal-website-shut-hacker-gets-12-years-in-prison-digital-currency-thefts-and-more/440713

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
“Lots of people wait around "for the right time". People don't know that there is no such thing as a right time. Time is never right nor wrong. The only negative factor of time is that you can lose it and the only positive factor of time is that you can seize it.”
~ C. JoyBell C.

;-) Silence is golden.
     Unless you have kids, then silence is just suspicious.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 14, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Day one in Ontario's new state of emergency - COVID-19 'lockdown' theatre, next act
Spent some time today explaining to out of province customers that the new 'lockdown' will have zero impact on what little business I still have since the Ides of March 2020. In practical terms, no impacts on daily life compared to yesterday just following the health guidelines in effect for about 10 months now.

I think I'm going to start calling our Christmas tree and wreath the Lockdown Tree and Lockdown Wreath. I figure we could use some additional brightness (literal) and joy for the next four weeks of darkness (figurative). If you're thinking I'm just putting off the task of taking down the tree and other bits of decoration, I won't argue the point.

Spent hours trying to figure out what the new Ontario rules are and what they really mean. I don't have the energy left to look at numbers. If you want them ...

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

'An absolute gong show': Employees working from home get COVID-19 shot ahead of Toronto doctors, front-line workers
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/an-absolute-gong-show-employees-working-from-home-get-covid-19-shot-ahead-of-toronto-doctors-front-line-workers-1.5264203

Toronto Mayor John Tory is, like many people, confused by Premier Doug Ford's new lockdown rules
https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2021/01/13/toronto-mayor-john-tory-is-like-many-people-confused-by-premier-doug-fords-new-lockdown-rules.html

Premier's messaging: construction work will be curtailed in new lockdown. Reality:
Construction emerges relatively unscathed by expanded Ontario lockdown, stakeholders say
https://canada.constructconnect.com/dcn/news/associations/2021/01/construction-emerges-relatively-unscathed-by-expanded-ontario-lockdown-stakeholders-say

Government of Ontario: Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Provincewide Shutdown
https://files.ontario.ca/moh-enhanced-provincewide-shutdown-2021-01-12-v2.pdf
Go to page 23 to see start of construction exemptions. If you can't find a loophole for your project, you're not really trying.

Montreal woman says officer insisted on searching her lunch bag during curfew stop
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-police-quebec-curfew-1.5870961

Seven Quebecers test positive for COVID-19 despite first vaccination, heightening questions over delayed boosters
https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/seven-quebecers-test-positive-for-covid-19-despite-first-vaccination-heightening-questions-over-delayed-boosters-1.5265389

Sinovac’s vaccine proven safe and effective in several countries
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1212727.shtml
Note source.

Doctor from New Brunswick develops safer, reusable N99 mask
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/mask-doctor-rene-caissie-1.5870250

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

Please take 10 minutes and read this article. It's an eye-opener.
Special Report: Explosive Documents Reveal BP Behind Toxic Mauritius Oil Spill
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nishandegnarain/2021/01/06/special-report-explosive-documents-reveal-bp-behind-toxic-mauritius-oil-spill/
Excerpts:
'Newly released documents reveal that BP was behind the toxic oil involved in the Mauritius oil spill in the Indian Ocean last year. Even more troubling are revelations that BP formally blocked the investigation into the fuel that was being used on board the large Japanese bulk carrier.'

'On August 18, Australian officials were sufficiently concerned about the oil. “The oil is toxic to humans as one of its major components will be a mixture (as much as 30-50%) aromatic polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) of various sorts, all of which are highly acutely and chronically toxic to people and marine life. If not removed from the marine environment, any remaining oil will take a long time to break down and become small sources of long-term chronic ecotoxicity.”'

Now, remember that while the international oil industry sent in minimal response equipment well after the spill event, Mauritians who were not trained in oil spill response waded into the ocean with artisanal oil booms to prevent further spread of the spill, and came in direct contact with large quantities of the toxic VLSFO. Local first responders will be on scene first. They should be trained and equipped for the hazards.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/smartness-redefined-dr-gopinath-chandroth/

;-) Some men say that women should come with instructions.
     What's the point of that? Have you ever seen a man
     actually read the instructions??

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 13, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Per the COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker, about 1% of Canadians have received at least one dose of the vaccine (either Moderna or Pfizer-BionTech) as of yesterday. PEI leads at 2.6% of their population with at least one dose injected.
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html

Feds publish coronavirus vaccine distribution list, painting rollout picture for coming months
https://globalnews.ca/news/7569093/coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-delivery-list-website/

Ontario to receive at least 814,125 additional doses by the end of February.

The Ontario provincial government decides to ignore a lot of health advice and continue with 'COVID theatre'. Yesterday, the Premier declared a new emergency, lockdown-lite guidance now deemed to be orders, and fines will be levied, presumably to increase government revenues. Construction work will be allowed to continue. New interpretation of 'essential' vs. 'non-essential construction' work to be provided later? No mention of paid sick leave, which many health experts have recommended as a measure to reduce virus spread. Classes will continue on-line. Retail remains open under specific protocols.

Ontario declares emergency amid surging COVID-19 cases as Canada buys more vaccines
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-canada-ontario/update-2-ontario-declares-emergency-amid-surging-covid-19-cases-as-canada-buys-more-vaccines-idUSL1N2JN1OX
"Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people's mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings for these purposes, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home."

From my perspective, that looks an awful lot like the pre-existing guidance. Restaurants, retail, etc. can remain open with restrictions, which don't seem to have changed (e.g. no dining in, only pickup and delivery for restaurants). Really, what's changed? More fines and enforcement? No mention of improved communications to the public. No mention I could see of further restrictions on out-of-country or additional travel restrictions or additional screening measures for incoming travellers from outside Canada. Three weeks ago, that was the Premier's whipping post for the big jump in new cases, totally unsupported by data. Evictions will continue. Additional space for shelters for the homeless to provide the requisite physical distancing is not mentioned. Pandemic pay premiums for public-facing jobs not mentioned. Additional provision of PPE for workers and public not mentioned.
Take care of you.

Doug Ford made his choice. And he knows who to blame — you
https://www.theifp.ca/news-story/10307231-bruce-arthur-doug-ford-made-his-choice-and-he-knows-who-to-blame-you/

The timing is also suspect. For real benefit a real lockdown should have been implemented in October-November, before 'flu season' to really suppress the virus level and transmission. While a couple of days don't make a trend, we seem to have seen a peak in Ontario for new cases on January 8 - exactly 2 weeks after Christmas.
see https://covid19on.ca/assets/images/image03.jpg

This trend was visible to people like me before yesterday's announcement. Presumably, the provincial government has better data and analysts at their disposal.

As you may recall, the Premier set us up so that Christmas would be a super-spreader event by invoking the sham lockdown on Boxing Day, despite advice to make it effective before Christmas Day. Since the January 8th peak, we have seen a slow but fairly steady decline in new cases (though there has also been a marked decline in the number of tests done during the same period).

New Zealand reported 3 new cases on January 11th. Canada reported 7,892 new cases the same day, and 136 deaths. New Zealand has not recorded a COVID-19 death since September 16th. TANZANC.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Japan has found a new Covid variant. Here’s how it compares to virus strains in the UK, South Africa
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/11/japan-covid-variant-how-it-compares-to-strains-in-uk-south-africa.html

Sinovac's vaccine efficacy less than 60% in Brazil trial -report
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-coronavac/sinovacs-vaccine-efficacy-less-than-60-in-brazil-trial-report-idINKBN29G14W

Why did Ontario COVID-19 rates surge after Christmas? New cellphone mobility data offers some clues
https://www.toronto.com/news-story/10305304-why-did-ontario-covid-19-rates-surge-after-christmas-new-cellphone-mobility-data-offers-some-clues/

Health-care workers battled burnout before COVID-19 — now it's even worse, experts warn
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/health-care-workers-burnout-covid-19-1.5869072

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Seek out inspiring people. I met Marcelo da Luz in 2012. The Power of One can be amazing!
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/man-pulls-solar-powered-car-to-ottawa-1.1275095
https://www.xof1.com/

;-) Cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while
     eating Oreos.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 12, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Canada moved past 17,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Monday. The U.S. has tallied up over 375,000 deaths.

NL Reports No New Cases of COVID-19 on Monday
https://vocm.com/2021/01/11/covid-update-jan-11/

This is what a major sporting event looks like in Australia in recent weeks: the stands are full of paying spectators. (November 23, 2020)
"The State Of Origin fixture is arguably the biggest occasion on the rugby league calendar. Though coronavirus has decimated the live sporting events across the globe, the 2020 chapter proved to be like what was held in a pre-COVID world."

Australia reported 10 new cases of COVD-19 on Jan. 10. Canada: 7,816.

TANZANC: it works.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Quebec doctor’s death by suicide sends shockwaves through Canada’s medical community
https://globalnews.ca/news/7569318/coronavirus-doctor-karine-dion/

COVID-19 case numbers suggest growing disparity between provinces
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/01/10/news/provincial-covid-19-case-numbers-growing-disparity

B.C. surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 deaths as province adds 1,475 new cases
https://globalnews.ca/news/7568869/bc-coronavirus-update-jan-11-2021/

Doug Ford, take note: ‘stay home’ messaging under COVID-19 means nothing for workers without paid sick days
https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/01/12/doug-ford-take-note-stay-home-messaging-under-covid-19-means-nothing-for-workers-without-paid-sick-days.html

Climate Change

Fortress Fossil Fuel is warming up it's megaphone to convince Canadians that they can't afford the federal government's 'carbon tax' going up in annual increments. What we really can't afford is the damage that will come if we don't seriously address climate change globally, which puts the natural gas industry in the cross-hairs of real action, followed by the oil industry. The reality is, the feebate system is the 'free-market' tool that industry said they wanted years ago, rather than caps on production. The proposed system is phased in over years, giving consumers time to adjust, and the numbers stretching out into the future give a certainly and stability for financial analysis that the oil industry certainly doesn't offer its customers for its products. One thing you can count on, the sooner you make the investments to shift from gas and oil to sustainable energy, the sooner you'll be reducing ongoing related costs.

How homeowners can save energy, money from the feds' climate plan
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/12/29/news/homeowners-save-energy-money-federal-climate-plan
Some of these projects can be partly or fully DIY. Vaccines may mean your unplanned COVID-19 extra time at home may come to an end in a few months.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Right this minute, what is the biggest problem or injustice in your view of the world?
In the next five minutes, come up with ONE thing YOU can do about it. Only one.

;-) COVID-world - lockdown reality:
     My hairstyle is called: I tried.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 11, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

In Ontario, the new COVID modelling numbers are so bad the provincial government is leaking them out day by day in advance of the 'official' release to reduce the impact and outrage they are expecting when the numbers finally become known.
Ontario's new COVID-19 modelling to show ICUs full by early February: sources
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-covid-19-cases-modelling-lockdown-doug-ford-1.5868165

Perhaps we could start with locking down the Ontario Cabinet and government caucus, instead of having them roam around the province doing in-person self-promotion stops, and help them focus on destroying the coronavirus instead of the environment, which was clearly their focus in December - just last month.

Thailand is starting to see a surge in new cases, but until mid-December 2020 was doing very well with only 4,246 cases and 237 deaths out of a population of roughly 70 million people. Preventive measures work pretty well, unless you let your guard down.

Yesterday, Nova Scotia reported zero new COVID-19 cases. Ontario: 3,945 Quebec: 3,127. TANZANC: it works.

The UK has now overtaken the US for the most new cases reported per day.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

'No evidence' of community-spread influenza this season: report
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/no-evidence-of-community-spread-influenza-this-season-report-1.5260407
Again, COVID-19 is 'not just the flu'.

We must be on guard for vaccine horror stories
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-we-must-be-on-guard-for-vaccine-horror-stories/
The anti-vaxxers are still looking for any story to bolster their message. There will be cases where people have reactions to the vaccine injections, but assuming causality from rare and anecdotal correlations (e.g. vaccine unsafe because person killed in traffic accident after injection) don't help us make good decisions.

COVID-19 infection vs. vaccination: Which is better for immunity?
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/vaccination-infection-covid-19-immunity-1.5865984

Does vitamin D combat Covid?
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/does-vitamin-d-combat-covid/ar-BB1cCL0n

(Digital) Deception

The reset starts now.
A Truth Reckoning: Why We’re Holding Those Who Lied For Trump Accountable
https://www.forbes.com/sites/randalllane/2021/01/07/a-truth-reckoning-why-were-holding-those-who-lied-for-trump-accountable/?sh=13bd11705710
I have tried to stay away from the Trumpolitik here, as it did not need another megaphone. However, as so much of the COVID-19 disinformation found roots or fertile ground in the same base, I applaud the idea a swing toward holding the liars to account, instead of rewarding them.

Scientists fought coronavirus, now they face the battle against disinformation
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/28/scientists-fought-coronavirus-now-they-face-the-battle-against-disinformation

EU top diplomat accuses Russia of spreading COVID-19 disinformation to sell its vaccine
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/eus-borrell-accuses-russia-of-spreading-covid-19-disinformation-to-sell-its-vaccine

A Century After Phony Flu Ads, Companies Hype Dubious Covid Cures
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/business/media/dubious-covid-cures.html
If you make your way through this article, you'll find a reproduction of an advertisement by the Ottawa Electric Co.

Never say ‘fake news!’ Plus other advice from Taiwan on countering disinformation.
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/12/24/never-say-fake-news-plus-other-advice-from-taiwan-on-countering-disinformation.html

A data-based dismantling of Jason Kenney's foreign-funding conspiracy theory
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/10/03/analysis/data-based-dismantling-jason-kenneys-foreign-funding-conspiracy-theory

Harper government's extensive spying on anti-oilsands groups revealed in FOIs
https://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/harper-governments-extensive-spying-anti-oilsands-groups-revealed-fois

Department of Homeland Security: China using TCL TVs to spy on Americans
https://www.tomsguide.com/news/tcl-wolf-dhs-china-bashing

Kingold Jewelry secures US$2.8 billion in loans with gilded copper bars, in latest fraud that embarrasses China, irks US
https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3091185/kingold-jewelry-secures-usus-28-billion-loans-gold-plated-copper

Facebook bug exposed personal information of Instagram users
https://mobilesyrup.com/2020/12/20/facebook-bug-exposed-personal-information-instagram-users/

4 Ways to Prevent a SolarWinds-Style Hack From Hitting Your Small Business
https://www.inc.com/kiersten-todt/4-ways-to-prevent-a-solarwinds-style-hack-from-hitting-your-small-business.html

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Is there an official - someone with any degree of power - who has done something that really irks you? Say some holiday travel hyprocrisy as an example? Take 3 minutes, find their email address, and let them know. Vent a little (but not a lot, be civil).
Then, think of an official you think has been doing a good job, find their email, and send them a heartfelt thank you. You'll blow their minds, make their week, and encourage them to keep up the kind of action that has been benefitting you.

;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn3KWM1kuAw
     Silly robots. Too early for a victory dance over the humans.
     Robots are based on computers, and computers can get viruses, too.
     Also, so far, robots are repaired by humans.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 10, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Canada COVID-19 Saturday (weekend reporting means numbers are likely undercounts).
8,125 new cases; total over 650,000.
126 new deaths; 16,833 cumulative.
Active cases: 81,670

UK sees record daily COVID deaths, London hospitals on brink
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-london-idUKKBN29D1NZ
"Khan said there were parts of London where 1 in 20 people had the virus."

With a population of 98 million, Vietnam has reported a total of 1,514 cases of COVID-19 and 35 deaths through the entire pandemic. Vietnam is not an island, and it shares a long border with China. Our elected leaders chose the paths we are on wherever we live.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

76 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients experience symptoms six months later: study
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/76-per-cent-of-hospitalized-covid-19-patients-experience-symptoms-six-months-later-study-1.5259865

Doug Ford, in a COVID trap of his own making, needs more than desperation to get us out
https://www.newhamburgindependent.ca/news-story/10304872-bruce-arthur-doug-ford-in-a-covid-trap-of-his-own-making-needs-more-than-desperation-to-get-us-out/

Climate Change

Today's weather report brought to you by climate change
Strongest low in the world heading towards Alaska
https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/news/article/trongest-low-in-the-world-heading-towards-alaska

Snow blizzard kills 4, brings much of Spain to a standstill.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/snow-blizzard-kills-4-brings-much-of-spain-to-a-standstill-1.5260251

Snow traps 1,000 drivers in frozen traffic jam
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55359771

Sea-level rise from climate change could exceed the high-end projections, scientists warn
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-rising-sea-levels-worst-case-projections/

CO2 levels this year '50 percent higher than 18th century'.
https://phys.org/news/2021-01-co2-year-percent-higher-18th.html

2020 ties with 2016 as world's hottest year on record [in spite of pandemic]
https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/copernicus-hottest-year-1.5865911

Exxon Holds Back on Technology That Could Slow Climate Change
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/exxon-holds-back-technology-could-152606182.html

Proposed wind farm near Brooks would be largest in Canada
https://medicinehatnews.com/news/local-news/2020/12/24/proposed-wind-farm-near-brooks-would-be-largest-in-canada/

For CO2 Reduction From Existing Buildings, Heat Pumps Are Better Than Efficiency
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/12/28/for-co2-reduction-from-existing-buildings-heat-pumps-are-better-than-efficiency/

It's an interesting piece. However, given the premise that the objective is to reduce GHG emissions more than it's about simple financial payback, I disagree with the headline conclusion. The better solution is to do both, but do the big efficiency changes first, and then shift to the heat pump, in a relatively short time period (say 2 years). I 'm not going to debate the detailed numbers, I'm just laying out some broad thoughts.

If the power goes out, the efficiency gains will still be working for you when the heat pump can't.

Sizing a heat pump to fit the load is an important factor in how efficient the heat pump will be in operation. Lots of short duty cycles due to an oversized unit will shorten life. It's entirely possible that in a house built to a 1970s or earlier code can reap enormous heating cost savings from a super-insulated attic upgrade, weather-sealing and going to energy-efficient windows and doors. Those changes are relatively inexpensive, and can reduce heating energy demand by half or more on an annual basis. It did for us. Which means we have historically had problems finding a furnace or central air conditioner sized small enough for our needs. If we had bought one before our upgrades, it would be oversized for our needs now.

The typical energy efficiency upgrades can be DIY projects, meaning you can reduce the labour costs.

In my opinion, the big win at the end is the shutting down of the natural gas connection, which cuts the fugitive emissions associated with that consumption, and the continuing shifts to greening the grid which make the heat pump a lower GHG choice year after year.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Find something small to finish. Take something off your 'to-do list', and enjoy the sense of accomplishment.

;-) COVID-world - where a trip to the grocery store now feels like
     a solo mission behind enemy lines.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 9, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Canada reported over 9,200 more cases on Friday. The world will likely exceed 90 million cumulative cases today, and 2 million deaths this coming week. It's not 'just the flu' or a 'left-wing media hoax'.

Almost 7% of the U.S. population has been infected now. Over 1 in a 1,000 have died of COVID-19. Over 300,000 new cases were reported on Friday - a single day. The average U.S. COVID-19 death count over the past 4 days has been over 4,000 per day. Four thousand DEATHS per day.

On Friday, Taiwan reported 828 cases. That's their total for the entire pandemic, not a single day. Taiwan has suffered a total of 7 deaths from COVID-19, and none during the second wave. That's because Taiwan has some adults in the rooms where important decisions are being made.

A new data point to track - vaccination doses delivered. There is going to be confusion here as the provinces are not being consistent about reserving 2nd doses for those getting their first dose, so the best we can measure is injections given, not full courses of vaccinations.

As of late Friday, Canada has administered at least 261,234 doses.
https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html
That link also provides a chart showing progress by province and territory.

This is a cause for tempered celebration, not rancour. The metric to measure against is not having every Canadian vaccinated today. Remember, a year ago, we were still thinking this was isolated in China, not a pandemic. Six months ago, we were hoping for vaccines by late 2022. Today, we're injecting tested and approved vaccines - with more in the pipeline - into arms as quickly as supplies and provincial delivery systems permit. That is amazing!

A year from now, politicians and mainstream media in Canada will be whining about how much the federal government spent to obtain the vaccine supplies. That's what normal looks like in Canada, and it's OK, so long as the whiners acknowledge how lucky they are to be among the survivors, in part because those vaccines were purchased and delivered.

For the near future, in my opinion, a province with smart leaders would be posting daily the number of vaccinations delivered by priority list category. It's going to be a huge morale boost when they can post 90%+ vaccinated in the top tier, then the second tier, and so on. That's a recipe for a diet of good news for one facet of the COVID-19 catastrophe, and if managed correctly, an incentive for people to stick to preventive measures that work until they can be vaccinated and have time for the immunity to take effect.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Majority of Canadians in recent poll support stricter COVID-19 lockdowns, hefty fines for rulebreakers
https://nationalpost.com/news/majority-of-canadians-in-recent-poll-support-stricter-covid-19-lockdowns-hefty-fines-for-rulebreakers

I wonder how much of these poll results are driven by anger at recent high-profile rule breakers being caught and exposed. I worry that we are mistaking draconian measures taken too late, for the leadership that was missing from May to November 2020 in the plague provinces. We are in a health emergency. We do need to take strong counter-measures against the virus. We also need to understand what works against the spread of the virus, and how we got to this sorry state in most of Canada.

We knew the second wave was coming. Our health officials knew it would be worse than the March-June 2020 episode because it would get a full winter to wreak havoc. We knew it would be world-wide. But, for the most part, our plague province elected 'leadership' did little to prepare. Many will point fingers at the federal government - it's an easy target and officials there admit their response has not been perfect. Yet, some parts of Canada managed to do much better for their populations (the ANC of TANZANC) than the plague provinces. That is worthy of study, so we can learn what worked, and should be emulated elsewhere. TANZANC: the lessons are out there.

On a positive note, the vaccines are starting to get to the arms of Canadians who want them. So far, we're resisting the call for forced vaccinations. We are recognizing there are people who probably should not take the vaccine, or at least the first two approved for use in Canada.

It appears the volumes will be increasing this month and in the near future for those 2 vaccines, and more are yet likely to be approved in weeks to come. It appears that the provinces are now ramping up their vaccine delivery capacity. Instead of whining about a pipeline which may be empty for a day or two, they should be building a delivery system that copes with that world-wide uncertainty, and will be able to embrace the AstraZeneca/UK vaccine when it arrives, and the Johnson&Johnson vaccine, and then others still in trials. Canadians need to see an approach to vaccinations that implies competence (e.g. a published plan that takes uncertainty into account), not panic (e.g. finger-pointing). Don't turn the vaccines miracle into another catastrophe. Keep reinforcing the message that we need to suppress the spread of infections until the vaccines are here in sufficient quantity and had time to take effect. Let's understand why there will be priority lists, and that with early vaccinations, there come obligations.

Let's also keep front-of-mind, the first injection does not confer immunity. Even after the second injection and time for it to take effect (weeks), the efficacy rates are not 100%.

Yes, you can still get infected with COVID-19 after being vaccinated. Here's why
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/yes-you-can-still-get-infected-with-covid-19-after-being-vaccinated-here-s-why-1.5259495

We have already seen the stories of individuals who got the first shot, and then became sick with COVID-19. That's to be expected where we gave the infection the second-wave head-start. Also be prepared to hear about people who got both shots, and then got sick with COVID-19. The vaccine will not be effective for everyone; we expect it not to work for about 1 in 20 based on the data from the trials.

No unexpected side-effects from COVID-19 shots given in Canada so far: Health Canada
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/no-unexpected-side-effects-from-covid-19-shots-given-in-canada-so-far-health-canada-1.5258977

Post-infection coronavirus immunity usually robust after 8 months, study shows
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/post-infection-coronavirus-immunity-usually-robust-after-8-months-study-shows/2021/01/07/d7d369a6-511a-11eb-b96e-0e54447b23a1_story.html

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
Need a personal resolution for 2021? How about making an
effort to elect and appoint adults to positions of power?

;-) COVID-world - COVID-19 health messaging sounds
     a bit like my parents when I was a child.
     You're grounded. Wash your hands. Again, properly this time.
     Don't touch that. Eat your (vitamin D) vegetables.
     No, you can't go play with your friends.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 8, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Canada surpassed 16,500 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday. World-wide that number is over 1.9 million.

Ontario - sigh - on Thursday reported new single-day records for new cases (3,519) and deaths (89) and 10,452 people hospitalized with COVID-19, a 5% jump from the day before. Given the typical 2-week incubation period, we should start seeing the results of Christmas gatherings this coming week.

The shocking truth about this virus is that Canadians aren't being shocked enough
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-the-shocking-truth-about-this-virus-is-that-canadians-arent-being-shocked-enough

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 misinformation is the best 2021 New Year’s resolution
https://theconversation.com/stopping-the-spread-of-covid-19-misinformation-is-the-best-2021-new-years-resolution-152739

Alberta health minister, top doctor address COVID-19 vaccine 'misinformation' circulating online
https://globalnews.ca/video/7557654/alberta-health-minister-top-doctor-address-covid-19-vaccine-misinformation-circulating-online

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

1 In 3 Ontario Nursing Homes Now Have COVID-19 Outbreaks
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/ontario-long-term-care-outbreaks_ca_5ff31831c5b65a922910149e

Ontario preparing to transfer hospital patients out of regions worst-hit by COVID-19
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-transfer-patients-1.5865452
The cynical part of my brain read this as ensuring that no part of Ontario, no matter the measures they took or what success they had in controlling virus spread, will now have plenty of it transferred to them via patient transfers from heavily affected regions. This is precisely the opposite of the previous 'iron ring' containment plan which has failed to protect long-term care homes in Ontario in particular. For contrast ...

Some Places Are Beating COVID-19. How All of Canada Can, Too
https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2020/11/16/Some-Places-Beating-COVID-Can-Canada/ TANZANC. It works. Check the data.

'They're not machines': Deaths of health-care workers underline the strain of COVID-19
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/they-re-not-machines-deaths-of-health-care-workers-underline-the-strain-of-covid-19-1.5258509

Why Canada's seniors need the coronavirus vaccine so urgently
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/seniors-coronavirus-vaccines-variant-urgent-1.5863190

Pfizer study suggests vaccine works against virus variant
https://apnews.com/article/international-news-coronavirus-pandemic-coronavirus-vaccine-3094dd3cc91b4a20780402476cdcb5ae

Two Chinese cities sealed off to squash virus outbreak
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-chinese-cities-virus-outbreak.html
Expect new shortages of PPE as China will once again restrict exports. This is why we needed to be ramping up domestic production through the first wave and summer, but apparently have not on a large scale. Watch for a repeat of the March-May 2020 international bidding wars, scams, and counterfeits.

Vitamin D supplementation found to reduce COVID-19-related mortality, says study
https://www.news-medical.net/post.aspx?id=859657f6-3646-4e64-8cc5-8c517291e644

PPE

Ontario government didn't replenish PPE stockpiles before COVID-19: LTC commission
https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-government-didn-t-replenish-ppe-stockpiles-before-covid-19-ltc-commission-1.5257756

Nurses call for more access to PPE as new COVID-19 strain reaches B.C.
https://www.citynews1130.com/2020/12/28/b-c-nurses-new-strain/

This Montreal man is cleaning up the city one mask at a time
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/masks-montreal-litter-picking-up-1.5854878

The Most Popular Mask May Also Be the Least Effective, Study Finds
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/most-popular-mask-may-least-181351492.html

Lack of PPE contributes to outbreak
https://blackburnnews.com/windsor/windsor-news/2020/12/16/lack-ppe-contributes-outbreak/

Researchers find cheap, easy way to disinfect N95 masks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP12rd5Q_fU

Thousands of shipping containers of surplus PPE moved to railway station after blocking up ports
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/12/18/thousands-shipping-containers-surplus-ppe-moved-railway-station/

Canadian Inmates Have Made 821703 Face Masks During The Pandemic
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/canada-prison-labour-covid-face-masks_ca_5fdd1a5ac5b6e5158fa70360

Pandemic sewing surge is a chance to rediscover the practical arts
https://theconversation.com/pandemic-sewing-surge-is-a-chance-to-rediscover-the-practical-arts-148246

Businesses faced ruin from the pandemic. Then Canada came calling for vital supplies
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/covid-peacetime-industrial-mobilization-1.5845781

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
If you're not feeling lonely, you likely know someone who is. Reach out with a phone call, a text, an e-mail or drop a note in a mailbox.

;-) COVID-world - Reasons to love working from home:
     1) You have work.
     2) You have a home.
     Everything else is a bonus.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 7, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Yesterday, 4 Americans died during the invasion of the Capitol building in Washington DC.
4,100 Americans were reported to have died of COVID-19. A new single-day record. This is no longer newsworthy.

Both were enabled by widespread disinformation propagated by politicians, mass media and social media. There is a duty on those with power to use it legally, ethically and wisely. The failures are many.

2 charged with assault of Walmart clerk who asked customers to wear masks: RCMP
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/walmart-face-masks-dawson-creek-bc-rcmp-assault-charges-1.5861990

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Immune but infectious: Can someone vaccinated against COVID-19 still spread the virus?
https://globalnews.ca/news/7559408/health-matters-covid-19-vaccine-immune-but-infectious/
"El Sahly was one of the lead investigators for Moderna’s late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial. She says the novel coronavirus can live in the nasal passage for weeks, meaning a vaccinated person could still infect others, even if they don’t get sick."

The second wave is a privilege pandemic, fuelled by Canadians who see COVID-19 as someone else's problem
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-second-wave-is-a-privilege-pandemic-fuelled-by-canadians-who-see/

The fast-spreading mutant COVID-19 strain is a '2021 nightmare': researchers
https://nationalpost.com/news/the-fast-spreading-mutant-covid-19-strain-is-a-2021-nightmare-researchers

California funeral homes run out of space as COVID-19 rages
https://www.stltoday.com/news/national/california-funeral-homes-run-out-of-space-as-covid-19-rages/article_17b17f68-3a83-5d2c-8ffd-41058bf3c764.html

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

Geopolitics Of Nuclear Generation Delayed Renewables By Decades To Fossil Fuel Industry Benefit, Our Detriment
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/12/28/geopolitics-of-nuclear-generation-delayed-renewables-by-decades-to-fossil-fuel-industry-benefit-our-detriment/

Canadian LNG is full of hot air
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/12/11/opinion/canadian-lng-development-full-hot-air
This article quotes the methane global warming potential multiplier relative to CO2 as 86 over a 20 year time frame. We don't have 20 years to turn things around on GHG emissions per the UNFCCC, which is perennial optimistic. Methane is most potent in its first 10 years in the atmosphere, so the figure we should be using in such discussions is 130.
[See graph at https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2383.0;attach=106920]

That number changes the conversation around fugitive emissions, which are increasingly being proven to be much higher by 3rd party observations than the gas industry has reported. Given that the typical life of methane in the atmosphere is about 10 years, an immediate, focused effort on eliminating methane storage and transport would pay huge dividends in terms of climate change mitigation by 2030. A requirement to flare methane emissions from oil production rather than vent them would also bring big benefits.

Two other initiatives would also have massive benefits: deep energy efficiency retrofits to our existing building stock, followed by a shift from oil and gas heating (space and water) to air-source heat pumps, either on a district basis or by individual building.

Methane is more dangerous than carbon dioxide — the gas index can help
https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/531983-methane-is-more-dangerous-than-carbon-dioxide-the-gas-index-can

Coal Continues To Take It On The Chin As Investors Flee
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/12/20/coal-continues-to-take-it-on-the-chin-as-investors-flee/<
Let me repeat, global coal use is not declining out of any good-hearted desire to reduce catastophic climate change and improve the chances for survival of our species. Coal consumption is declining because it is now more expensive than natural gas for heating and solar and wind power for electricity generation.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
And then January 6, 2021 happened in Washington, D.C.
And Salem, Oregon; Atlanta, Georgia; Salt Lake City, Utah; Topeka, Kansas; Phoenix, Arizona; Little Rock, Arkansas; Tallahassee, Florida; Madison, Wisconsin; Columbia, South Carolina; Santa Fe, New Mexico ...
Bad information leads to bad decisions.

"The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth."
 Mitt Romney 2021.01.06

;-) COVID lockdown activities:
     I have removed all the bad food from the house.
     It was delicious.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 6, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

Quebec headed for full lockdown, curfews beginning Saturday: report
https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/quebec-headed-for-full-lockdown-curfews-beginning-saturday-report

Bodies stored in refrigerated trailer after morgue in London, Ont., reaches capacity
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/bodies-stored-trailer-london-1.5861544

Ontario Opens 1st Field Hospital As Health-Care System Pushed To Limit
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/burlington-ontario-field-hospital_ca_5ff47f56c5b6fd331111525c

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/12/virus-mutation-catastrophe/617531/

Pfizer pushes back after Quebec delays second vaccine doses; saying data doesn't exist
https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/pfizer-pushes-back-after-quebec-delays-second-vaccine-doses-saying-data-doesn-t-exist-1.5254882

Climate Change

How a $20 bill could be worth close to $308
https://www.corporateknights.com/channels/leadership/how-a-20-green-new-bill-could-be-worth-close-to-308-16007064/

A climate success story: How Alberta got off coal power
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-a-climate-success-story-how-alberta-got-off-coal-power/
Spoiler alert: sticks and carrots still work.

Geothermal discovery could launch green revolution for energy industry
https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1837280835770

Researchers Find a Way to Pull Carbon Out of The Air And Turn It Into Jet Fuel
https://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-find-way-to-pull-carbon-out-of-the-air-and-make-it-jet-fuel
Or you could grow plants and make biofuel, while improving the soil for subsequent food crop rotations. The proposed process requires additional energy to create the fuel, and so far, direct-air capture of CO2 from the air is also an energy consuming process. Unless all that energy comes directly and indirectly from zero-GHG sources, it's an exercise in futility. Drop-in biofuels are an off-the-shelf technology today, which can be net-zero-GHG.

How a 'tree mortgage' scheme could turn an Indian town carbon neutral
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/dec/28/how-a-tree-mortgage-scheme-could-turn-an-indian-town-carbon-neutral

I was the lone Canadian media reporter inside the world climate summit
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/11/23/opinion/i-was-lone-canadian-reporter-inside-world-climate-summit

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
COVID-19 has been hard on humans. But it has been something of a bonus for dogs and cats in animal shelters as we seek companionship in pets now denied many of us staying at home.
Appreciate the victories, however small and transient. But watch for the downsides.
2020 has also been a bumper year for Ukrainian puppy mills to export sick animals, a number of which have died in transit.

;-) I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road
     and not be questioned about their motives.
     - unknown

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 5, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

After 7 consecutive days of reporting more than 50,000 cases per day of COVID-19, driven by the recently discovered 'UK variant', the UK is going back into lockdown.
Britain plunged into third national lockdown as of midnight as COVID-19 variant surges
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/britain-plunged-into-national-lockdown-as-of-midnight-as-covid-19-variant-fuels-resurgence

Canada has moved past 600,000 cases and 16,000 deaths. All related rates are rising nationally.

There's some magical thinking going on about the powers of the vaccines, which we seem generally incompetent to actually deliver now that they are available. People actually have to be inoculated for them to work. And because we have given the novel coronavirus so many hosts to work with, due to inaction driven by disinformation, the mutations are happening.

U.K. scientists worry vaccines may not protect against coronavirus variant found in South Africa
https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/covid-19-vaccine-south-africa-variant-1.5860585

What part of "don't get infected" and "take preventative measures" do people - including elected officials - not understand? What part of all the numbers going the wrong way doesn't spur truly effective action by our political 'leaders'? Does anyone think the current numbers mean the 'plan' to date in the plague provinces is working?

New 'near zero' COVID approach needed in Canada, argues group of academics
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/2021-canadian-shield-covid-approach-1.5859101

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

This Is How to Vaccinate the World
https://read.nxtbook.com/ieee/spectrum/spectrum_na_january_2021/this_is_how_to_vaccinate_the_.html

Scientists urge provinces to take action to curb aerosol spread of COVID-19
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/experts-ask-provinces-update-health-guidelines-covid-aerosol-airborne-transmission-1.5860809

Six Nations sets up online booking system for COVID-19 tests
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/six-nations-of-the-grand-river-booking-covid-19-1.5860506

New Year’s resolution tips for 2021: Focus on getting to the end of COVID-19
https://theconversation.com/new-years-resolution-tips-for-2021-focus-on-getting-to-the-end-of-covid-19-151769

Some small businesses are adapting - and thriving - through the pandemic
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-some-small-businesses-are-adapting-and-thriving-through-the-pandemic/

Six ways to ‘reboot your brain’ after a hard year of COVID-19 – according to science
https://theconversation.com/six-ways-to-reboot-your-brain-after-a-hard-year-of-covid-19-according-to-science-151332

Haroon Rashid - A Poem
https://miro.medium.com/max/700/1*31hkMB5evUCBn72RYjuI3g.jpeg

For more on the poem: https://medium.com/@authorharoonrashid/we-fell-asleep-in-one-world-and-woke-up-in-another-suddenly-disney-is-out-of-magic-paris-is-no-a3bbdf8c5ff4
For more on the author: https://medium.com/@authorharoonrashid
For the Acquired Deficit Disorder generation, click here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqRlWjeqoPw
http://goodnewsplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/VID-20200824-WA0009.mp4?_=1
https://youtu.be/iqjASIegN0g
and an Internet search will find a dozen other variants.

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
At the end of each day, before you go to sleep, write down at least thing you are going to do tomorrow.

;-) Recently, out driving on an errand, I was passed by a vehicle doing
     considerably more than the speed limit and partly in my lane.
     In the past, I would have had some choice names to mutter about the
     event.
     Now, I just say to myself, "probably a provincial Cabinet Minister".

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 2, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

We got to 2021, but we haven't beat COVID-19 yet. Canada has moved past 15,600 deaths, the U.S. over 350,000, the world over 1.8 million.

All those daily figures are accelerating.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

The 'UK variant" increasingly looks like cause for serious concern. The UK has reported over 50,000 new cases per day for 4 days in a row - over 212,000 cases in 4 days. The higher transmission rate may not be the only alarming issue for the new variant, now detected in at least 53 countries - including Canada and the U.S.

It appears to impact those under 20 years of age to a greater extent than the original SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Letting the virus spread, providing more hosts and jumps, increases the chances of mutations.

New COVID-19 variant growing rapidly in England
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/211793/new-covid19-variant-growing-rapidly-england/

Look after yourselves, those near you and those you love. We're not all in this together.

Calgary MLAs Nixon, Fir also travelled to U.S. over holidays
https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/calgary-mlas-nixon-fir-also-travelled-to-u-s-over-holidays

From maskless BBQ to Rod Phillips' secret holiday, COVID-19 is revealing a broken social contract
https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/10300007-shawn-micallef-from-maskless-bbq-to-rod-phillips-secret-holiday-covid-19-is-revealing-a-broken-social-contract/

“Those of us who don't die are going to quit”: Overwhelmed hospitals and the nurse who lost hope
https://www.salon.com/2021/01/01/those-of-us-who-dont-die-are-going-to-quit-overwhelmed-hospitals-and-the-nurse-who-lost-hope_partner/

These numbers reveal a worrying trend in Ontario long-term-care home deaths
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/01/01/these-numbers-reveal-a-worrying-trend-in-ontario-long-term-care-home-deaths.html

Fortress Fossil Fuels Highlights/Gaslights

The world's oil industry claims it has a world class system for cleaning up oil spills.
Read this article, and decide for yourself.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nishandegnarain/2021/12/30/hope-amid-an-oil-spill-the-artisanal-boom-movement-that-sparked-a-social-revolution-in-mauritius/

Possible damage is being downplayed in latest Alberta oil pipeline leak
https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2020/12/30/possible-damage-is-being-downplayed-in-latest-alberta-oil-pipeline-leak/
Closing out 2020 with another episode from the oil industry playbook ...
Energy regulator reports spill of about 400,000 litres of produced water from Alberta pipeline
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-energy-regulator-reports-spill-of-about-400000-litres-of-produced/

New study shows Deepwater Horizon oil spill larger than previously thought
Toxic and invisible oil spread well beyond known satellite footprint, fishing closures https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200212150202.htm

Mauritius Oil Spill Occurred As Ship’s Crew Went Off Track In Search Of Phone Signal – Report
https://www.marineinsight.com/shipping-news/mauritius-oil-spill-occurred-as-ships-crew-went-off-track-in-search-of-phone-signal-report/
My guess: a shrinking oil industry squeezing costs will lead to more shortcuts and maintenance fails, causing more oil spills in future, even as oil production and consumption volumes fall.

UN probes global shipping over toxic fuels
https://thenationonlineng.net/un-probes-global-shipping-over-toxic-fuels/

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
It isn't only you. It's grinding away on all of us. So be a contrarian, and smile at people instead of giving into the natural desire to growl. Smiles and laughter are also contagious, and a lot better for us than COVID-19.

;-) Dear Father Time Chronoware,
     Please provide a replacement for my Year 2020.0 game. I have played
     it to the end, and it appears it cannot be won, as it has a virus.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


January 1, 2021

COVID-19

Warning: these posts are for 'adults'; people with the ability to think for themselves, take responsibility for their actions, and prepared to work for the greater good. If that isn't you, remember to wash your hands and face with soap regularly and don't touch anything. Stay home. The Internet has plenty of content to entertain you.

It's a New Year, but it's the same old stories. More cases, more long-term negative health effects for survivors, more deaths, lots of people who still think and promote the idea the pandemic is a hoax, don't follow health guidance and break isolation/quarantine orders, or feel that their money or position of power exempt them from the rules imposed on others. Clearly, we're not all in this together. The mixed messaging, confusion and disinformation is killing people.

Here's to ending two pandemics in 2021: COVID-19 and disinformation. Each of us can do our part to stop the spread of both.

For current COVID-19 numbers, go to
https://epiforecasts.io/covid/posts/national/canada/
and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/ .

COVID-19 News Items

Big for-profit long-term-care companies paid out more than $170 million to investors through Ontario's deadly first wave
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/12/26/big-for-profit-long-term-care-companies-paid-out-more-than-170-million-to-investors-through-ontarios-deadly-first-wave.html

Dividends still went out even after soldiers marched in to long-term care homes
https://nationalpost.com/news/world/dividends-still-went-out-even-after-soldiers-marched-in-to-long-term-care-homes

Long-Term Care Is 'Dangerous.” What's Ontario's Plan For Alternatives?
https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/ontario-home-care-alternatives_ca_5fdbab0cc5b6094c0ff0682b

Not-for-profit long-term care homes face uncertain future after 2020
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/long-term-care-homes-not-for-profit-1.5855329

Pleas to follow public health rules, from Quebecers who know what happens when you don't
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-covid-19-please-follow-the-rules-1.5852395

Sona Nanotech Receives CE Mark Approval for its Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test
https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/sona-nanotech-receives-ce-mark-140800305.html
"Halifax, Nova Scotia--(December 31, 2020) - Sona Nanotech Inc. (CSE: SONA), (OTCQB: SNANF) (the "Company", "Sona") a developer of rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests, has been granted CE Mark status for its rapid, COVID-19 antigen test."
An antigen test checks for an active infection. The saliva version of the antigen test is less invasive than the nasal swab test, and can be performed on-location to provide results within minutes, and no need for sending swabs to remote labs to produce and later report results. Could be useful at airports as part of the pre-boarding security screening, or for visitors to hospitals and long-term care residences - when we get to that stage again.

Carleton athletes connect with isolated seniors during pandemic
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/carleton-university-athletes-ravens-seniors-mental-health-1.5838748

How the founder of Suppli hopes to fix Toronto's takeout waste woes
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/12/30/news/toronto-takeout-waste-suppli-reusable-containers
Learn more at: https://www.mysuppli.ca/

Life is hard. It's harder during the pandemic.
It's official. If you're reading this, you survived 2020. Medals will be awarded when we are allowed to meet in groups again (no, probably not).

;-) Please take your clothes out of your wardrobe regularly,
     air them and allow them to stand in sunlight.
       Recent anecdotal evidence shows that clothes kept in
       wardrobes during lockdown will shrink.

Injection beats infection. But we gave infection a big head-start.
Spread knowledge, not the virus.
Stay well, stay safe, stay sane, stay home if you can.
We're not done yet, but that day is getting closer.
With thanks to those making the effort, every day, for us all.


For earlier entries, see earlier blog file.
For the current blog, see the Econogics Blog.

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