Covid in winter 2021–2

Partly in response to the predictable wave of infections from increased contact and travel during the comparatively unrestricted Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, Ontario has an exploding case count and is re-imposing restrictions on businesses and individuals.

I am fortunate in that all the work I need to get done is at home anyway. 2022 is the year the PhD must be completed, so the priority is getting a new draft shortened to the desired length and re-organized as directed as swiftly as feasible.


28 thoughts on “Covid in winter 2021–2”

  1. Reiner: I think that we are living in the hottest moment of this pandemic. This is the highest viral load this country has ever seen during this pandemic. To pretend that everything is open and we’re going to go about our business makes no sense to me.
    (We need to) tell the public that the next few weeks are going to be difficult, but we are going to get through it, and to help us get through it, everyone needs to wear a mask everywhere we go and we want people to work from home whenever they can.
    It’s difficult to imagine continuing to pack people into theaters. The notion that bars are open in New York City is just crazy to me. Our leadership has been unwilling to basically tell people that they have to do some hard things.

  2. This is what Ontario’s hospitals would look like if everyone was vaccinated

    The head of Ontario’s science table has revealed what the province’s health-care system would look like if everyone had at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

    “The health-care system would not be overwhelmed or at the brink of being overwhelmed if we had a fully vaccinated population,” Dr. Peter Juni told CTV News Toronto on Thursday.

  3. Premier Blaine Higgs said today the province will move to Level 3 of the government’s Winter Plan on midnight Friday until at least Jan. 30.

    The new restrictions include the closure of gyms, entertainment venues and indoor dining at restaurants.

    As well, residents can only gather with their household bubbles and indoor faith services are prohibited.

    Retail businesses can remain open with up to 50 per cent capacity and physical distancing.

  4. Grocery store closures loom amid labour, product shortages

    Grocery stores are struggling with rising labour and product shortages that experts warn could threaten Canada’s food security.

    Gary Sands, senior vice-president of public policy with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, says employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 protocols has hit about 30 per cent across Canada, and rising.

    Without access to rapid testing in many provinces, he says workers are repeatedly forced to isolate for a week or more after an exposure to COVID-19.

  5. Alta. restaurant ordered to close for accepting dog pictures instead of proof of vaccination

    A Red Deer, Alta., restaurant was ordered to close after an investigation found staff were not asking for proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test and instead accepting dog photos from customers to dine inside, Alberta Health Services said.

    In an order written to The Granary’s owners, Patrick Malkin and Rachael Willie, AHS said it received complaints that restaurant staff had allowed customers to dine in after they showed a picture of a dog and ID.

    Then, on Jan. 11, AHS said two test shoppers at separate times were able to enter The Granary after they showed a picture of a dog instead of their QR codes.

  6. Bowman said there will likely be many Canadians who choose to continue to wear a mask, not only out of safety concerns, but also out of “anger and frustration” for how “radicalized” the topic had become over the course of the pandemic.

    Bowman noted that COVID-19 and its subsequent restrictions have “divided” Canadians, and he said he worries choosing to wear a mask may become a choice related to one’s ideology and political beliefs, rather than a decision rooted in the science of public health.

  7. China’s government has ordered a province of 24 million people into lockdown as it tries to contain a Covid-19 outbreak that has spread to multiple locations.
    Authorities reported 1,437 new cases across the country, including 895 in Jilin province, which was put under lockdown measures. People living in the province have been banned from moving around, and anyone wanting to leave the province must apply for permission from police. Restrictions were already in place in two cities, Jilin and Changchun.

  8. “The actual number of new daily infections is likely 15,000 and 20,000, according to the science advisory table, with 3.5 million to four million people infected since Dec. 1.”

  9. “A steep drop in testing across much of the country has blurred the picture of how much the virus is circulating, yet other metrics such as wastewater data and hospitalizations suggest COVID-19 levels remain higher than at many other points in the pandemic.

    More than 4,000 Canadians are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, and although that total has been dropping from a January peak, it’s still the highest since April 2021 — and almost as high or higher than the peak of every other wave. “

  10. All these factors mean the US has no reason to think it will avoid a BA.2 wave with the same risks of severe disease in older people, those with other medical conditions and, as ever, the unvaccinated. After all, 1 out of every 6 Americans over 5 years of age still have not initiated a vaccine series, leaving a large target for a super-contagious virus. And once rekindled, community viral load will increase, reaching a density sufficient to overcome the waning immunity of older adults.

    In other words, sooner than later, it will — again — become a story of the unvaccinated and the damage they are inflicting on society by their stubborn refusal to protect their neighbors.

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