The coronavirus pandemic


in Politics, Psychology, Science

I’ve avoided posting about the SARD-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 outbreak, largely because anything I say is redundant when the news is largely comprised of saturation coverage.

Two stories did stand out today though:

I saw this yesterday: Coronavirus could push half a billion people into poverty, Oxfam warns

Still, despite all the claims that this will be transformational and alter life forever, I am skeptical. We tend to engage in hyperbolic discounting, assuming that what’s happening right now is the most important thing in history. At the same time, we have a tendency toward historical myopia, forgetting things soon after they are over or even losing interest before they have ended. I’m not saying there won’t be echoes and cultural callbacks to the pandemic — especially if we do end up physically distancing from one another for another six months or more — but I do suspect that we’ll ultimately weave the memories of this pandemic into what we take to be normal, along with mad cow disease, SARS, AIDS, H1N1, Ebola, and all the other biological risks which have troubled us and altered our lives in recent decades.

For my part, I have been in social isolation since mid-March: probably the longest I have ever gone without intentionally meeting someone.

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

. April 9, 2020 at 10:03 pm

Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and the world on Thursday | CBC News

. April 10, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Canadians would not have backed strict pandemic measures in mid-January, says official | CBC News

. April 11, 2020 at 2:27 pm

WHO investigating reports of coronavirus patients testing positive again after recovery.

. April 11, 2020 at 9:20 pm

China and the Pandemic: Talking with Historian Timothy Brook

VIDEO: The government is clamping down, but anger grows among the nation’s educated.

. April 11, 2020 at 9:23 pm

Recovered coronavirus patients are testing positive again in South Korea | National Post

. May 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm

America is in a particularly tight spot. Parts of its government responded slowly to the pandemic to start with, and it now faces high levels of infection that are spread across the country. In response, a consensus is emerging among its scientists, economists and public-health officials that a massive increase in testing capacity—creating a system that can test millions of people a day for the virus—will be needed to get the place out of lockdown safely. A testing system of this kind has never been built before. It will be expensive, costing tens, possibly hundreds of billions of dollars in America alone. But it offers a way to return to something approaching normal life with a degree of confidence that the pandemic is under control.

The cost for all this? The Harvard group estimates around $15bn per month and that it would need to be in operation for a year or more, depending on when (and if) treatments and vaccines became available. That price tag may seem eye-watering, but lockdown costs far more. Estimates place the cost to America of the pandemic at up to $400bn a month. Given the alternative, building the largest medical-testing system the world has ever seen is a steal.

. May 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm

No masks allowed: stores turn customers away in US culture war

Shops around the US make headlines for denying entry to those wearing masks as protesters argue against preventative measures in the name of freedom

In the last few weeks a spate of American stores have made headlines after putting up signs telling customers who wear masks they will be denied entry. On Thursday, Vice reported on a Kentucky convenience store that put up a sign reading: “NO Face Masks allowed in store. Lower your mask or go somewhere else. Stop listening to [Kentucky governor Andy] Beshear, he’s a dumbass.”

Another sign was posted by a Californian construction store earlier this month encouraging hugs but not masks. In Illinois, a gas station employee who put up a similar sign has since defended herself, arguing that mask-wearing made it hard to differentiate between adults and children when selling booze and cigarettes.

. May 23, 2020 at 3:37 am
. May 23, 2020 at 3:38 am
Tristan Laing May 23, 2020 at 2:14 pm

I’m not going to take a position on the question of whether the pandemic “will” alter life forever, but I do think it offers us an experience which we can take, if we choose, as instructive and deeply helpful in our endeavours to confront other systems-level problems:

“This context gives us a new opportunity to think about what it means to be “individuals” in a society with deep systemic problems – such as but not limited to, poverty, racism, sexism, and a climate crisis. All of these problems require individuals to act, but none can be solved by individual action. This is not because of some wordplay to be explored between different senses of the term “individual” (i.e. individual as political vs indivdiual as consumerist), but rather because no amount of even “political action” can lead to the resolution of any systemic problem, at least not in any romanticizable sense of political action as “taking a stand”, as “having a new idea”, as “standing up for ones ideas”, etc. Such acts are necessary, but never sufficient conditions even for the resolution of a systemic problem on a small, local scale. Even if the systemic problem were, say, dishes building up in the kitchen of a small group house. Resolving such a problem may require someone to come up with a new idea of how to organize the dishes cleaning work, but ultimately, the problem will only be resolved if the users of the kitchen acquiece and obey the proposed system. Submission to an order us ultimately the only means of social success – as former manager of a large student co-operative system in Ann Arbor Michigan is credited with saying “Any system will work if people believe in it”.”

. May 26, 2020 at 1:58 am

Heraclitus says that we can’t ever step in the river twice; between footsteps the river changes – banks are washed away, new sandbars are formed, now more and later less water flows in from tributaries. But probably more profound is that we are not the same. Our bodies change, our minds change, we are transformed. Experience changes us; time changes us; we know more today than we did yesterday, or at least we hope so.

Anyway, you must define ‘normal’.

Epidemics of all sorts are ‘normal’.

I missed most of the polio scare of the 1940’s and 50’s, but I can remember my mother telling me one hot summer day that we were not going to go to the community swimming pool because there were ‘germs’. Turns out that my parents and their generation were terrified of polio – and with good reason. It was a long wait for a vaccine.

Going back, I had an uncle who died as an infant in 1935 because there were no antibiotics when he got sick. Just a few years later, with penicillin and sulfa drugs he might have survived.

Further back, four of my great uncles/aunts died in a measles epidemic in 1907. My grandfather just barely escaped that epidemic; fortunate for me that he lived and carried on the family. My great-grandmother died in 1917 during the Spanish Flu epidemic, but we don’t know if that was the cause. The family tree is full of large families, often 8, 10, 12 kids; seldom did all of them survive to adulthood.

Vivid in my memory when I was about 7, going to the High School cafeteria where everybody – kids and grownups alike – were given a sugar cube in a paper cup to take. It was the Sabin vaccine against Poliomyelitis.

Not long afterwards, on a visit to the family doctor, the nurse scraped a spot on my shoulder – there is still a small round scar there: smallpox vaccine.

As a child I had measles, mumps, chicken pox – now they tell me to get the shingles vaccine. Oh my.

In 1976, all of us at college lined up in the basketball gym to get the swine flu vaccine. It was supposed to be very deadly to young adults.

To see my grandchildren when they were little, I had to get more vaccinations to ensure I didn’t carry anything into their nursery. To travel overseas I had to get more vaccinations, written down somewhere. That and don’t drink the water.

On a family vacation my daughter hooked me with her fishing line, and I had to get a tetanus booster. That was about 15 years ago, and they tell me its time to get another one, just because.

I’m not to think that my immunity from smallpox is still active after all these decades.

Modern science and modern medicine. Wonder if I would have lived this long without it?

. May 27, 2020 at 5:35 pm

What the oilpatch thinks about the financial aid offered by Ottawa

Billions available, but some of it comes with strings attached

. May 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Chinese city plans to turn coronavirus app into permanent health tracker | World news | The Guardian

. June 3, 2020 at 8:00 pm

Sweden took a gamble on COVID. And it lost the bet badly

The country’s lax policies resulted in a death rate amongst the highest in the world, only ‘marginal’ economic benefits and no herd immunity

. June 4, 2020 at 1:17 am

Air pollution in China back to pre-Covid levels and Europe may follow

Cleaner skies were a silver lining of pandemic but data indicates air quality receding as lockdowns eased

. June 9, 2020 at 4:48 pm

France unveils $16.9bn aid package for its aviation industry

Rescued firms will be required to invest more and faster in electric or other lower-emission aircraft, government says

. June 19, 2020 at 7:57 pm

The economy will also suffer from scarring. Firms that adapt to covid-19 by cutting costs and finding new ways of working may increase productivity. But if people mix less after lockdowns lift or if they are idle for months on end, they will become detached from professional networks and may lose skills. America’s unemployed could face a lost decade (see Free exchange). Government schemes will save businesses in the short term, which is welcome. But those designed to preserve jobs risk eventually creating zombie firms that neither thrive nor go bankrupt, slowing the recycling of labour and capital.

. June 19, 2020 at 7:57 pm

With oil markets in turmoil, oil companies began reporting their earnings for the first quarter. BP’s underlying replacement-cost profit, its preferred measure of earnings, plunged. It also reported a hefty net loss, but remains committed to paying a dividend to shareholders. After reporting a sharp drop in its headline profit, Royal Dutch Shell reduced its dividend for the first time since the 1940s.

. June 19, 2020 at 8:05 pm

Just 4,321 new cars were registered in Britain last month, a drop of 97% compared with April 2019, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The Italian and Spanish markets saw similar declines; in Germany registrations were down by 61% and in France sales fell by 89%. That stands in stark contrast to China, where, according to a Volkswagen official, the car market has rebounded.

. June 22, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Online poll finds 43 per cent of Chinese-Canadians faced threats over COVID-19

A new survey of Chinese-Canadians says 43 per cent reported being threatened or intimidated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online survey carried out by the Angus Reid Institute in partnership with the University of Alberta also found half report being called names or insulted due to the health crisis.

. June 25, 2020 at 6:06 pm

A “second wave” was never a good yardstick, because the “first wave” that struck the greater New York area this spring was a disaster beyond reckoning. Consider that New York City, population 8.4 million, saw more than 22,300 confirmed and probable deaths from COVID-19; one of Europe’s worst outbreaks, in the Lombardy region of Italy, population 10 million, saw about 16,500. In three and a half months, in other words, a new virus killed one in every 400 New Yorkers. Among the elderly, the toll was even worse: One in every eight New Jersey nursing-home residents died this spring.

. June 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm

Recent events have helped put the impact of individual action into perspective. Even at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April, with many countries in lockdown, daily global CO2 emissions fell 17% compared with 2019 levels. The drop is certainly major – emissions were temporarily comparable to 2006 levels – but the fact it was not even more gives an insight into how much deeper emissions cuts need to go than the lifestyle changes available to individual people.

. June 29, 2020 at 6:23 pm

No going back to normal after the pandemic? Don’t bet on it

After every crisis, great thinkers declare life will never be the same again. But don’t underestimate the pull of old habits

. June 29, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Military confirms 40 per cent of COVID-positive troops deployed to long-term care homes were asymptomatic

Proactive screening by the long-term care homes caught the asymptomatic cases

. July 1, 2020 at 5:46 pm

East Asian countries’ success in controlling the disease argues in favour of masks. In many of their cities, masks have been worn for years to protect against pollution or disease, so people covered their faces as soon as they got wind of covid-19. In the West mask-wearing is alien. And in all of the countries where mask-wearing is common practice, the epidemic was swiftly suppressed.

This is not incontrovertible evidence in favour of masks. Other factors distinguish those mask-wearing countries from bare-faced Western nations: some (such as South Korea) had rigorous track-and-trace systems; some (such as Japan) do not shake hands. And countries that adopted masks only recently (such as Germany) have successfully suppressed the epidemic.

. July 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm

All agreed that Trump’s limitations on travel from China, in late January, and from parts of Europe, six weeks later, made a bad situation worse. The Chinese “ban” was a further irritant to the Chinese government (despite Trump’s ongoing personal praise of Xi Jinping), and because it wasn’t absolute, some 40,000 U.S. citizens and others flew into American airports from China, with minimal testing, screening, or quarantine provisions. The ban might even have worsened the situation, by impelling Americans (who might have been exposed) to get back while they still could. The president’s advance notice of the partial European ban almost certainly played an important part in bringing the infection to greater New York City. Because of the two-day “warning” Trump gave in his speech, every seat on every airplane from Europe to the U.S. over the next two days was filled. Airport and customs offices at the arrival airports in the U.S. were unprepared and overwhelmed. News footage showed travelers queued for hours, shoulder to shoulder, waiting to be admitted to the U.S. Some of those travelers already were suffering from the disease; they spread it to others. On March 11, New York had slightly more than 220 diagnosed cases. Two weeks later, it had more than 25,000. Genetic testing showed that most of the infection in New York was from the coronavirus variant that had come through Europe to the United States, rather than directly from China (where most of the early cases in Washington State originated).

. July 1, 2020 at 7:14 pm
. July 6, 2020 at 10:26 pm
. July 7, 2020 at 9:48 pm
. July 8, 2020 at 3:11 pm
. July 8, 2020 at 6:58 pm

Canada’s public health agency warns threat of COVID-19 resurgence in Canada ‘not just hypothetical’

Epidemic is still ‘largely under control,’ says deputy chief public health officer

. July 14, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

Now medical researchers and supercomputers are turning genetics labs into virus detective agencies, looking first to find the novel coronavirus itself within blood samples from thousands of infected patients, and then comparing all of those isolated viruses to each other looking for places they differ.

Every close match will draw a line from patient to patient, ultimately painting a picture of how the virus spread.

Knowing how the virus spread will show where there were weaknesses in public health measures early on, said McArthur. Being able to keep divining genetic codes from samples will mean when there are flare-ups of cases, they can be quickly compared to each other to see if they’re all related or are coming from multiple sources.

. July 14, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Winter wave of coronavirus ‘could be worse than first’

Asked to model a “reasonable” worst-case scenario, they suggest a range between 24,500 and 251,000 of virus-related deaths in hospitals alone, peaking in January and February.

To date, there have been 44,830 official deaths in the UK, but this has slowed with 1,100 in July.

The estimate does not take into account any lockdowns, treatments or vaccines.

And the scientists say: “The risk… could be reduced if we take action immediately”.

. July 20, 2020 at 6:53 pm

In London, Madrid and New York deaths this year have been more than twice what they usually are in the same months. It took more than three months for global cases to reach a million; the last million came in less than a week.

Yet even in the countries with the worst outbreaks, just 5-15% of people have been infected. They may be immune to future infections, at least for a while, but with most of the population still susceptible, getting back to life as usual is impossible. The disease would again grow rapidly. Hospitals would soon be overwhelmed. A recent study published in the Lancet, a medical journal, estimates that about 4.5% of people infected by covid-19 globally are likely to become so ill they require hospitalisation. By comparison, less than 8% of Americans have to stay overnight in hospital in any normal year.

. July 20, 2020 at 10:11 pm

B.C. warned of potential for ‘explosive growth’ as 102 new COVID-19 cases from over the weekend announced | CBC News

. July 22, 2020 at 10:33 pm

Lobby for N.L. oil industry aid falls flat with ‘crickets’ from Ottawa

Exploration and development incentives unlikely, says industry association

. July 23, 2020 at 1:30 pm

‘It feels like it’s over’: Psychology prof explains rise in COVID-19 among young people

. July 24, 2020 at 11:35 pm

Without A Vaccine, Researchers Say, Herd Immunity May Never Be Achieved

A growing number of researchers think until there’s an effective vaccine, the coronavirus will simply persist in the population, causing illness indefinitely. Better to squelch the spread instead.

. July 26, 2020 at 4:46 am

Greta Thunberg says EU recovery plan fails to tackle climate crisis | Environment | The Guardian

. July 26, 2020 at 11:06 am
. July 30, 2020 at 5:55 pm

The 2nd wave is coming. Here’s what public health experts say we should expect

. July 30, 2020 at 5:56 pm

US GDP contracted by a record-shattering 32.9% pace last quarter – ABC News

. August 2, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Given public opinion, economist Moshe Lander said it would be “political suicide” for Canadian politicians to contemplate reopening the border right now. 
“As long as Canadians don’t feel safe, then why force open that border when there’s no strong political logic to doing it?” said Lander, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal. 
He predicts a possible border reopening in middle to late 2021 — if there’s enough confidence at that point that the virus is under control.

. August 2, 2020 at 2:56 pm

“This push to open schools is guaranteed to fail,” says Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and molecular virologist, and the dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. I’ve been corresponding with Hotez, and with several epidemiologists, over the course of the pandemic, and have noticed a starkness in their views in recent weeks. “The social-distancing expectations and mask requirements for the lower grades are unrealistic,” Hotez told me. “In communities with high transmission, it’s inevitable that COVID-19 will enter the schools. Within two weeks of opening schools in communities with high virus transmission, teachers will become ill. All it will take is for a single teacher to become hospitalized with COVID and everything will shut down.”


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Hotez has good reason to be pessimistic. There were 68,605 new cases in the United States yesterday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The seven-day average has stayed above 60,000 new cases per day since July 13. Reaching 100,000 cases per day, once seen as an apocalyptic, worst-case-scenario warning from Anthony Fauci, is no longer difficult to imagine. Indeed, my conversations with epidemiologists in recent days were all strikingly dark. They agreed: Schools should not risk reopening, probably not even for the youngest children, in the coming weeks.

. August 2, 2020 at 5:10 pm

Australia’s Victoria declares ‘state of disaster,’ locking down millions in Melbourne as virus cases soar

“Where you slept last night is where you’ll need to stay for the next six weeks,” Andrews said, announcing a curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. beginning Sunday evening and moving Metropolitan Melbourne into stage four lockdown measures.

In that part of the state, only one person per household will be allowed to leave their homes once a day — outside of curfew hours — to pick up essential goods, and they must stay within a 5 kilometer radius of their home. Melburnians had already been under strict measures for most of July after the area was identified as the epicenter of Australia’s second wave.

The draconian new rules were spurred by more bleak COVID-19 figures. Seven new deaths were announced on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 123, and there have been 11,557 confirmed infections.

In addition, Andrews said the state has 760 “mystery cases,” where “we cannot trace back the source of that person’s infection.”

. August 5, 2020 at 5:31 am

Social circles of 10 people will likely last until 2021, Ontario premier says | CTV News

. August 5, 2020 at 5:35 am

Physical distancing, mask-wearing could be in place for 2-3 years even with vaccine, Tam warns | CBC News

. August 5, 2020 at 5:40 am

Victoria police given ‘extraordinary powers’ to enforce Covid-19 restrictions | Australia news | The Guardian

. August 5, 2020 at 5:44 am

US firearms purchases skyrocket during pandemic, according to FBI records – CNNPolitics

. August 5, 2020 at 5:44 am

Countries once praised for their handling of coronavirus are struggling to deal with new outbreaks – CNN

. August 5, 2020 at 5:47 am

Global remittances could drop by $108bn in 2020, new report shows | News | Al Jazeera

. August 7, 2020 at 12:30 am

US coronavirus: ‘This epidemic is now out of control’: Why social distancing and face masks aren’t enough – CNN

. August 7, 2020 at 12:30 am

“You have to do more than just wear masks and keep social distancing. You have to minimize your contact with as many people as possible,” ACCESS Health’s Haseltine said.

“It’s not that complicated. But it is hard to do psychologically. It’s hard to do sociologically. And it’s extremely hard to do for young people.”

. August 9, 2020 at 9:22 pm
. August 9, 2020 at 9:28 pm
. August 10, 2020 at 12:26 am

Covid-19: only half of Britons would definitely have vaccination | Coronavirus outbreak | The Guardian

. August 11, 2020 at 2:40 pm

San Quentin’s death toll translates to a mortality rate of about 767 people dying out of every 100,000 persons.

If that same rate occurred across California, that would translate to a staggering 300,000 deaths statewide — many times larger than California’s cumulative death toll of more than 10,400. Nationally, that would be equivalent to 2.5 million deaths; the current cumulative U.S. death toll is more than 163,000.

. August 11, 2020 at 2:45 pm

And Sweden appears to be nowhere near herd immunity, with only 7% of the population testing positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, “leaving them far from reaching natural herd immunity in the population,” according to a commentary by two virologists in Switzerland, published in the journal Lancet. “Most of the population appears to have remained unexposed to [the coronavirus], even in areas with widespread virus circulation.

“In light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable,” the commentary said, written by Isabella Eckerle and Benjamin Meyer.

. August 19, 2020 at 11:13 pm

No plans to change course in B.C. as COVID-19 rebounds to peak levels. Here’s why. | CBC News

. August 20, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Laurentian University suspends admissions to 17 programs

Laurentian University is suspending admissions to 17 programs as it grapples with a deficit and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for postsecondary institutions.

The programs no longer accepting students include anthropology, archeology, geography and a host of others from business to music, languages and mathematics. Many are in French, which may limit the options of the roughly 20 per cent of the university’s 6,000 students who are francophone.

The suspension means new students will not be admitted to those programs, but the university said returning students will be able to complete their courses. The 17 programs have had low enrolment in recent years, according to Laurentian president Robert Haché. He said only 49 students are currently enrolled across all 17.

Laurentian, located in Sudbury, was among the first Canadian universities to warn that the pandemic and the risk of an enrolment drop posed a threat to institutional viability. It’s in a region with a smaller university-aged population and is among the schools most threatened financially by the pandemic.

But Mr. Haché said the decision to suspend these programs was not primarily driven by COVID-19.

“There’s a natural cycle of academic renewal that happens at universities over time. These programs have been low-enrolment programs for a number of years,” Mr. Haché said.

“We’re trying to have programs that are attractive to our students and have market demand. If they have chronically low enrolment then that’s not the case.”

. August 22, 2020 at 4:37 pm

Coronavirus will be with us forever, Sage scientist warns

Coronavirus will be present “forever in some form or another”, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has said.

Sir Mark Walport said people would need to be vaccinated at regular intervals.

His comments come after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said he hoped the pandemic would be over within two years, as the Spanish flu had taken two years to overcome.

Sir Mark said denser populations and travel meant the virus spread easily.

He also said the world population was now much larger than in 1918.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Mark said that, in order to control the pandemic, “global vaccination” would be required, but coronavirus would not be a disease like smallpox “which could be eradicated by vaccination”.

. August 30, 2020 at 3:19 pm
. September 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm
. September 9, 2020 at 10:43 am

NPR Poll: Financial Pain From Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Much, Much Worse’ Than Expected

In America’s four largest cities, at least half of people say they have experienced the loss of a job or a reduction in wages or work hours in their household since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. That’s the finding of a new poll published Wednesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

. September 16, 2020 at 2:12 pm
. September 16, 2020 at 6:16 pm

Trump and US global image plunge during pandemic, survey finds | Trump administration | The Guardian

. September 16, 2020 at 7:05 pm

Covid-19 ‘could be endemic in deprived parts of England’ | World news | The Guardian

. September 18, 2020 at 5:20 pm

Israel enters unpopular second Covid lockdown | World news | The Guardian

. September 18, 2020 at 5:20 pm
. September 21, 2020 at 2:34 pm

UK faces exponentially growing COVID death rate, scientists warn

UK, which faces a second lockdown, is among several European countries facing rising coronavirus cases.

. September 21, 2020 at 11:15 pm

1st elementary school in Ontario closes after students, staff test positive for COVID-19 | CBC News

. September 22, 2020 at 5:12 pm

Canada’s top doctor warns of sharp rise in COVID-19 cases if Canadians don’t follow guidelines | CBC News

. September 22, 2020 at 5:13 pm

Covid: Sturgeon announces Scotland-wide ban on household visits | UK news | The Guardian

. September 26, 2020 at 10:50 pm

As caseloads spike in four provinces, Trudeau warns that pandemic will be worse this fall | CBC News

. September 26, 2020 at 10:51 pm

Avoid all social gatherings as COVID-19 community transmissions rise, health minister urges Quebecers | CBC News

Google News – Follow COVID-19 isolation rules or face $5,000 daily fine: Ottawa’s top doctor

. October 1, 2020 at 4:50 pm
. October 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm

In some parts of Toronto, COVID-19 positivity rates are shooting up to numbers we’re used to hearing about in some American states — where testing is sparse and prevention measures aren’t as strong.

According to provincial data provided by the Toronto Star, two thirds of the city has a test-positivity rate that is higher than three percent.

To put that in perspective, New York city just shut down non-essential businesses where positivity rates were above that critical benchmark.

But in four small pockets across Toronto, the number of tests coming back positive soars to more than 10 per cent.

. October 6, 2020 at 9:53 pm

COVID Alert app notification halts play at curling tourney in Kitchener-Waterloo hub | CBC Sports

. October 6, 2020 at 10:16 pm

Ottawa’s health system ‘on verge of collapse’ chief medical officer warns, urging stricter COVID-19 prevention | Ottawa Citizen

. October 6, 2020 at 10:16 pm

Humpback whales seize chance to sing in Alaska’s cruise-free Covid summer | Environment | The Guardian

. October 6, 2020 at 10:57 pm

Jason Miller: Trump campaign adviser says rally protocols won’t change after President’s coronavirus diagnosis – CNNPolitics

. October 8, 2020 at 8:02 am

Ontario is experiencing a seven-day average of more than 600 cases per day, up sharply from a seven-day average of fewer than 100 cases per day at the start of August.

The province has also been struggling to tackle high demand for testing and an existing backlog of more than 55,000 tests. Most contact tracing efforts in Toronto have been suspended because of the dramatic rise in infections.

Against that backdrop, Ontario officials are now encouraging household-only celebrations for Thanksgiving while saying people who live alone can pair up with one other household.

. October 9, 2020 at 4:05 pm

Canada Covid surge: Residents urged to stay home as second wave widens – CNN

. October 12, 2020 at 10:29 pm

Covid reinfection: Man gets Covid twice and second hit ‘more severe’ – BBC News

. October 12, 2020 at 11:13 pm

China to test entire city of Qingdao after COVID-19 cases emerge | China | Al Jazeera

. October 15, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Europe’s daily Covid deaths could reach five times April peak, says WHO | World news | The Guardian

. October 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm

Coronavirus: sharing too much information on pandemic may have a negative impact on family relationships, Hong Kong survey finds

* HKU research on 4,914 people finds pandemic is the most common phone chat topic for nearly 80 per cent of respondents

* Study results also show elderly people are less likely to check facts before sending information on the health crisis to others

. October 20, 2020 at 6:30 pm

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