COVID in winter


in Canada, Daily updates, Politics, Psychology, Toronto

Toronto is returning to a partial COVID lockdown because of rising case numbers.

It has limited practical effect on me since I have been in isolation anyway since early March, only going out for groceries and socially distanced walks for exercise.

I suppose the pandemic and the public policy response will always be subject to multiple interpretations. I can’t recall any comparable disease control measures in my lifetime, so you could say that the world has responded with unprecedented energy. At the same time, the pandemic is a constant reminder of how many people put their own comparatively unimportant preferences (like for entertainment and variety) ahead of protecting themselves and others, limiting the effectiveness of public health measures and extending this entire unpleasant experience for everyone. Like climate change, the pandemic provides endless examples of people who begin with what they want to do and then choose beliefs which are compatible.

All told, the behaviour of governments and populations highlights how poorly human beings respond to slow and generalized threats, as opposed to the fast and personal kind. That’s not an encouraging precedent at a time when the future of humanity is in jeopardy if we cannot cooperate, moderate our selfish desires, and do what’s necessary to control the problem.

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. October 10, 2020 at 5:04 pm
. October 12, 2020 at 11:14 pm

Pandemic fatigue: More Canadians likely to visit family, friends during Thanksgiving than during Easter, poll finds | National Post

. October 25, 2020 at 5:10 pm

Ontario’s daily COVID-19 cases top 1,000 for 1st time, day after reaching previous high

Bulk of new cases reported in Toronto, York and Peel regions and Ottawa

. October 25, 2020 at 5:26 pm

77 fines issued, 7 people charged for breaking Canada’s quarantine rules during COVID-19

More than a million people have been required to quarantine upon entering Canada

RCMP officers issued the majority of the fines, which ranged from $275 to $1,275. Individuals can either pay their fine or contest it in court. Anyone charged — typically for a more serious offence — must appear in court.

Under the Quarantine Act, both Canadians and foreigners entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days, unless they get a special exemption.

. October 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm
. October 25, 2020 at 5:28 pm
. October 26, 2020 at 5:11 pm
. October 26, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Global report: Merkel says Germany faces ‘difficult months ahead’ in Covid fight

Chancellor says country is on verge of losing control as Europe death toll passes 250k

. October 26, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Survey uncovers widespread belief in ‘dangerous’ Covid conspiracy theories

False claims that pandemic is a hoax or was started deliberately are attracting adherents around world

. October 28, 2020 at 5:59 pm
. October 29, 2020 at 7:46 pm
. November 9, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Household spread of Covid-19 is common and quick, CDC study finds – CNN

. November 9, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Second wave will be ‘weeks and months’ of limiting contacts, but Trudeau says ‘blunt’ lockdowns unnecessary | National Post

. November 9, 2020 at 7:20 pm

Bank of Canada says economy will likely be scarred by COVID-19 until 2023 | CBC News

. November 10, 2020 at 3:59 am

Pfizer’s vaccine is an mRNA vaccine officially called BNT162b2.

It consists of genetic instructions on how to make the modified spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The genes are encoded in mRNA and packaged in lipid nanoparticles. Once the vaccine is injected into the body, human cells use the instructions to make copies of the spike protein for the immune system to learn to recognize.

The technology includes Vancouver-based Acuitas Therapeutics’s lipid nanoparticles to deliver the mRNA after it’s injected into our cells.

Another vaccine in Phase 3 trials that uses mRNA technology is Moderna’s (which has also been preordered by the Canadian government). Two others, CureVac’s and Arcturus Therapeutics/Duke-NUS’s candidates, are in Phase 2.

. November 10, 2020 at 8:26 pm

US Coronavirus: Expert predicts US could soon hit 200,000 daily cases as the country tops 10 million infections – CNN

. November 12, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Ontario rejected its own public health agency’s advice when it launched its colour-coded plan for COVID-19 restrictions

Thresholds in the final plan for “red” zone, for example, were four times higher than Public Health Ontario advised, says a member of the province’s health measures table.

. November 12, 2020 at 7:02 pm

Swedish surge in Covid cases dashes immunity hopes

Country has opted for light-touch, anti-lockdown approach since start of pandemic

. November 12, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Pfizer’s vaccine is also the first using a promising new technology. Many vaccines prime the immune system by introducing inert fragments of viral protein. This one gets the body to make the viral protein itself by inserting genetic instructions contained in a form of rna. Because you can edit rna, the vaccine can be tweaked should the spike protein mutate, as it may have recently in mink. This platform can be used with other viruses and other diseases, possibly including cancer, BioNTech’s original focus.

Worse, Pfizer’s shots need to be stored at temperatures of -70°C or even colder, far beyond the scope of your local chemist. The company is building an ultra-cold chain, but the logistics will still be hard. The vaccine comes in batches of at least 975 doses, so you need to assemble that many people for their first shot, and the same crowd again 21 days later for a booster. Nobody knows how many doses will be wasted.

. November 12, 2020 at 9:27 pm

Limiting Indoor Capacity Can Reduce Coronavirus Infections, Study Shows – The New York Times

. November 13, 2020 at 9:37 pm

Officials beg Torontonians to stop socializing with those not in their households — including outdoors

. November 14, 2020 at 5:07 pm

Figures compiled by Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table estimated the percentage of virus outbreaks — sometimes defined as two or more people being infected from the same source — in different types of venues.

The largest chunk, 27 per cent, were in long term care and retirement homes, at 27 per cent, followed by schools and day cares, at 22 per cent. Others included restaurants, clubs and bars, 6.5 per cent, stores 5.6 per cent, and gyms at 3.3 per cent.

Before it ended most contact tracing last month, Toronto Public Health found that 18 of 45 outbreaks during a week in September were in restaurants and bars.
Montreal’s health department also tracked outbreaks of COVID-19. Shops of various kinds represented the largest source – 50 out of a total of 151 – followed by the service industry, including bars, gyms and hotels, with 26 outbreaks.

. November 21, 2020 at 11:45 pm
. November 22, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Most coronavirus cases are spread by people without symptoms, CDC now says – CNN

. November 22, 2020 at 6:36 pm

Fauci says Canada ‘getting into trouble’ as COVID-19 cases surge worldwide

. November 23, 2020 at 9:01 pm

More than 1 million people traveled by plane in the US in one day, despite CDC COVID-19 guidelines – ABC News

. November 26, 2020 at 12:22 am

Ontarians should only celebrate holidays with people in their own home, province announces

. November 26, 2020 at 12:29 am

Ontario university students and faculty say online learning is hurting educational experience | CTV News

. December 3, 2020 at 5:26 pm

Efforts To Slow The Spread Of COVID-19 Plummeted Over The Summer, Survey Finds : Shots – Health News : NPR

. December 3, 2020 at 11:48 pm

Biden to ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days

Obama, Bush and Clinton pledge to film themselves getting Covid vaccine

. December 3, 2020 at 11:50 pm

Turkey’s COVID-19 explosion brings harsh restrictions

With more than 30,000 new daily infections, President Erdogan says he had no choice but to ‘minimise human mobility’.

. December 14, 2020 at 7:27 pm

U.S. could see more coronavirus deaths per day than 9/11 for months, CDC chief warns – National |

. December 14, 2020 at 7:28 pm

Covid in Europe: Death tolls soar and hospitals struggle as containment unravels – CNN

. December 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm

Montreal police issue more than $400,000 worth of tickets at anti-mask demo

The demonstrators took to the streets Sunday afternoon to express their displeasure with pandemic regulations such as mandatory mask wearing and physical distancing.

. December 21, 2020 at 12:06 pm

More Than A Million People Flew In The U.S. Yesterday, TSA Reports : NPR

. December 21, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Police will fine people leaving Covid tier 4 areas without reason | UK news | The Guardian

. December 21, 2020 at 12:24 pm

King of Sweden blasts ‘failed’ Covid strategy in rare royal rebuke | World news | The Guardian

. December 21, 2020 at 12:32 pm

Toronto’s top doctor urges people to call out friends, family who plan to break COVID-19 holiday rules |

. December 21, 2020 at 12:38 pm

L.A. teachers express dismal views of distance learning – Los Angeles Times

. December 21, 2020 at 12:38 pm

All Canadians who want a shot will be vaccinated by September 2021, public health agency says | CBC News

. December 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm

COVID-19 has now killed more Albertans than last 10 flu seasons combined | CBC News

. December 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm

CSIS warns of threats to vaccine distribution chain | CBC News

. December 30, 2020 at 3:12 pm

When is the general public expected to receive a vaccine?

Much of that depends on the province or territory. In Ontario, retired general Rick Hillier, the head of the province’s vaccination distribution task force, said he believes “we can get into a lot of mainstream Ontario by later July.”

But other provinces, such as Alberta, have pegged the fall of 2021 as the beginning of the third phase, when the general population will receive the vaccine.

. January 4, 2021 at 6:39 pm

Post-secondary student stress high ahead of another virtual semester | Calgary Herald

Giving people false hope about the pandemic isn’t ‘balanced’ – it’s dangerous | Coronavirus | The Guardian

26 Belgian retirees die after visit by volunteer Santa Claus who tested positive for COVID – CBS News

Hospitals risk being overwhelmed because of holiday COVID-19 rule-breakers – The Globe and Mail

. January 5, 2021 at 1:23 am

Modelling by Caroline Colijn of Simon Fraser University suggests that without a strategy shift, Canada will likely experience a third wave this spring, with a potential of over 9,000 cases a day, provoking a third round of lockdowns in late March/early April.

. January 14, 2021 at 6:37 pm

Why months of ‘Stay Home’ messaging didn’t work in Ontario –

. January 14, 2021 at 6:47 pm

US Coronavirus: More than 90,000 Americans could die of Covid-19 in next three weeks, CDC forecast shows – CNN

Milan January 16, 2021 at 11:55 pm

3 arrested, 18 failure to comply charges laid amid Toronto anti-lockdown protests

. January 21, 2021 at 9:37 pm

As one of the papers due to be presented at the conference explains, covid-19 is likely to reshape people’s beliefs about the world in ways that will complicate the already daunting task of restoring beleaguered economies to health.

The authors build a model in order to assess how this effect on beliefs might influence the recovery from covid-19. After a very severe initial economic shock from the pandemic, output recovers but does not return to the previous growth trajectory. Part of that long-run depressing effect can be accounted for by “capital obsolescence”: the fact that some of the existing capital stock can no longer be used as efficiently as before, or at all. Office space, for instance, may be used less intensively, as a precaution. But people also revise down their expectations of the return on future investments because they expect pandemics to become more likely. This leads to less investment, other things equal, and slower growth. In the long term GDP is as much as 4% below its pre-crisis level. The authors reckon that the present discounted value of losses associated with capital obsolescence and changing beliefs may be as much as ten times larger than the cost of the initial shock. And most of the long-term loss stems from revisions to beliefs.

. February 1, 2021 at 7:41 pm
. February 1, 2021 at 7:43 pm

Long pandemic could add to extremism, decline in democracy: Defence Department report | CBC News

. February 1, 2021 at 7:44 pm
. February 11, 2021 at 1:59 pm

Lancet gives the nod to Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, giving a beleaguered Putin a soft-power victory | CBC News

. February 12, 2021 at 8:03 pm

Coronavirus: pandemic is likely here to stay, says EU health agency chief | South China Morning Post

. February 17, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Perceived lack of enforcement is splintering public will to follow health measures, experts fear

. February 19, 2021 at 1:12 pm

‘Wildly unfair’: UN boss says 10 nations used 75% of all vaccines | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera

. March 1, 2021 at 3:10 pm

US coronavirus: All our recent progress with Covid-19 could be wiped out by variants, CDC director says. ‘Please stay strong’ – CNN

. March 5, 2021 at 2:52 pm

‘When will it end?’: New data suggests COVID-19 could become endemic

. March 10, 2021 at 11:28 am

A year after Canada’s 1st COVID-19 fatality, health officials reflect on pandemic death toll | CBC News

. March 14, 2021 at 10:52 am

10 arrested, over 140 tickets given as thousands protest in Montreal against pandemic public health measures

. March 14, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Ottawa sees highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases since Jan. 23

. March 15, 2021 at 8:27 pm

TORONTO — Ontario has entered a third wave of COVID-19, the province’s hospital association says.

In a tweet published on Monday, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) said that variants of concern are steeply rising and the number of patients in intensive care is trending upwards.

“We’re now in wave three,” the OHA said, adding that “strong adherence to public health measures is urgently needed to prevent overwhelming hospitals.”

. March 17, 2021 at 1:04 am

Ontario’s independent COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said earlier Tuesday that two thirds of the province’s 34 public health units are now experiencing exponential growth of COVID-19 cases and declared that a third wave had arrived. On Monday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams said Ontario appears to be at the “base of a third wave” of infections

. March 17, 2021 at 11:56 pm

Ford warns Ontarians to be ‘very cautious’ after COVID-19 third wave declared in province | CTV News

. March 18, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Provinces aren’t using COVID Alert app properly or widely enough, says report

Report says only 5% of people who test positive are given the code to register results

. March 19, 2021 at 5:14 pm

Ontario’s COVID-19 mistake: Third wave started because province went against advice and lifted restrictions, Science Table member says

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