It’s time to lift Covid restrictions. Canadians are clearly fed up. We seem to have done everything asked of us and despite these efforts, variants will be with us, perhaps always. So, let’s do the best we can by first getting our shots, wearing masks in crowded indoor environments, and get on with our lives.
Because Covid-19 is so infectious and can not be eliminated entirely, more and more epidemiologists believe it’s best to treat it as a background endemic illness.
In British Columbia Dr. Bonnie Henry, a strong advocate of “aggressive lockdowns”, is now suggesting Covid-19 and its variants be treated more like the flu. The soft-spoken former naval officer, managed a respected take charge attitude that avoided the carnage that took place in senior homes in Quebec and Ontario. “We have to change our way of thinking, much like we manage other respiratory illnesses,” In other words, remain isolated until you feel better.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa said residents should be treating Covid more like influenza.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam has changed her thinking, telling a House of Commons Health Committee, “herd immunity may not be achievable because the virus undergoes constant evolution.”
Alberta’s Jason Kenney says “After two years of this, we simply cannot continue…” European countries like Spain, France, Germany, Ireland and England, according to the National Post, “have seen their public health establishments signal a shift into the endemic phase.”
Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, an epidemiologist, uses the word “correct” for Germans to return to a normal life as soon as Omicron cases start to show a downward curve.
Denmark is lifting most of its Covid restrictions because they no longer consider it a “critical threat.” Hospitalization in that European country is still high, but the number in ICU is decreasing. And that is with 80% of the population fully vaccinated, about the same as Canada.
One of the drawbacks is the pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Moderna. They are reportedly producing 350 million doses per month, but focusing on selling expensive vaccines to wealthy countries only. This is not helping to close the global gap. At this rate, former head of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Friedman, estimates it would take another “three years to produce enough vaccines for everyone. Shameful.”
New variants will persist as long as the world is not vaccinated. Despite admitting this, the head of Pfizer says removing intellectual property is not the answer “Intellectual property is what created the thriving life sciences sector that was ready when the pandemic hit.”
There are alternatives. I mentioned one in a recent column.
“A patent free Covid vaccine at the Houston Children’s Hospital in conjunction with a local college. The hero is Dr. Peter Hotez whose team developed a vaccine to share with the world without personal profit…and 90% effective”.
And there is the US Army, working on a universal vaccine to end Covid pandemics and all new Covid-19 variants. Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, a coordinator at the Walter Reid Army Institute of Research says they have completed phase one, human trials “testing against all the different variants, including Omicron.”
For the first time at the United Nations some are pressuring big pharma, operating like a privileged corporation, to make an “omnibus vaccine” against variants that would replace boosters.
The vaccine issue spread to truckers entering and leaving Canada to the U.S. So-called Freedom Convoy 2022, seemed on the right road, initially. It reflected Canadians’ elevated level of frustration. But then a hard-core group did not leave Ottawa after the first weekend. We did not need the Prime Minister’s divisive and inflammatory “fringe group” comments. Leadership was needed but again, was not there. And Ottawa police clearly require training on how to avoid occupations of their city.
The scene morphed into something politically far right, if not anarchy. According to one organizer their mission was to “compel the government to dissolve government.” This smacks of an attempt to import the Jan 6th extremism into Canada. This is not us. Even if a mere 32% popular vote elected this government, democracy still rules in this country.
Conservative favourite, Pierre Poilievre will have the major task of kicking out the few extremists who manage to stamp a stain of disunity in the party.
The Olympics are supposed to celebrate “diversity and inclusion”. It mars watching when the country hosting the games is neither.
‘Daily Show’ Host Trevor Noah has a lesson for Spotify’s Joe Rogan: “Black people didn’t call themselves ‘Black.’ You understand that, right?”
Let’s privatize the CBC. It eats up $1.4 billion in taxpayer contributions with an Englishspeaking audience of less than 5%. With an extra $400 million promised, they just love the Prime Minister over there.
Premier Legault’s bigoted, anglicized “liberals”, showed his true colours.
Thank you to the convoy of truckers on the road, crossing the border to keep our food shelves stocked.
That’s What I’m Thinking