Discussion About Other Topics Split Off from Covid Vaccines in Canada

I hear there’s a sale on some really lightweight goalposts at Canadian Tire. Really portable and easy to move.

But when I go to Target, I can’t find those goalposts you mention at all!

(They must have been moved.)

I would again point out that you are conflating the public health officials who were advising governments at various levels to put restrictions in place, and healthcare workers who opined publicly that BLM protests were worth the transmission risk. The open letter you posted upthread as a cite for this is signed by lots of medical students, university professors, and practicing doctors and nurses, but I do not see that it was endorsed by any actual public health officials. But there are a lot of signatories, so perhaps I missed some?

Or perhaps you could provide a some cites of actual public health officials, you know, the same people who were recommending the restrictions those BLM protests were violating, saying that it was fine for the BLM protests to be violating those restrictions?

Or are you only asserting that there were some healthcare workers who supported BLM protests, and that alone is sufficient to undermine the trust of conservatives in the entire public health apparatus, because how dare they not be entirely monolithic in their take on pandemic response? I hope not, because that would be a really, really weak argument.

There was no one in my state whose work was outdoors who was shut down for more than a few days. The BLM protests were considered ill-advised (by our local public health officials) when they happened, but the peaceful protestors did not violate any local laws. I challenge you to find a single instance where BLM protests were taking place in a way that was then illegal for people working or worshipping. There were none in my state.

So your complaint sounds made up to me.

Yes, restaurants were closed for sit-down business. Yes, some stores were restricted to curb-side delivery. There were no BLM protests inside places like the inside places that were closed.

I would suggest that Sam look for better sources for his information, because the ones he seems to be relying on are poor at best.

What “intentionally misleading information about masks” was there? And what are the other examples of the CDS bringing “some of this on itself”?

While the CDC never quite said, “masks are useless”, their initial guidance gave that impression. The long version was “you don’t need to wear a mask unless you are sick or caring for a sick person”, but the popular version was, “you don’t need to use a mask, oh, and they are hard to use and you won’t do it right”.

They pushed the meaningless “6 feet” guideline long after there were many published reports of the virus spreading over longer distances.

They were very slow to even urge that places open windows, suggesting hand sanitizer, instead.

They dropped the mask recommendation suddenly, with little explanation. They did say, “follow local guidelines” without any suggestion of why a location might have a stricter guideline (such as high levels of local spread.) Instead, they basically says, “the vaccine makes you invincible”.

Here’s another (timely) example

(Not paywalled)

Matthew Seeger, a risk communication expert at Wayne State University in Detroit, said a lack of communication about breakthrough infections has proved problematic. Because public health officials had emphasized the great efficacy of the vaccines, the realization that they aren’t perfect may feel like a betrayal.

“We’ve done a great job of telling the public these are miracle vaccines,” Seeger said. “We have probably fallen a little into the trap of over-reassurance, which is one of the challenges of any crisis communication circumstance.”

Also, I have a bad feeling that masks aren’t very effective against Delta. They aren’t great against the cold. There were some math-heavy articles i read a while ago that modeled covid transmission and suggested that masks work better for covid than for many other respiratory bugs because it takes a lot of vital particles to catch it, compared to how many viral particles people tend to shed.

I think I’ll buy a few more respirator-rated masks…

Masks don’t work for rhinoviruses but they work well with coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

Well, the problem is, most of their complaints were “made up”. The people doing the complaining were largely the ones who simply refused to understand the context in which some decisions were made, because they wanted an excuse to do whatever they wanted. They had no real interest in understanding why X was allowed while Y was banned.

Take a look at the court case that went all the way to the Supreme Court, that argued it was unconstitutional to allow in-store grocery shopping while banning in-church religious services. They simply ignored all the ways in which those two activities were different, which is what made one acceptable (with some restrictions) and the other not.

You seem to primarily be talking about situations where people misinterpreted what they said, or where later information resulted in new guidelines.

None of this sounds like deliberately spreading misinformation at all. That’s a pretty strong claim. It sounds like they communicated some things poorly, and made some mistakes based on incomplete research, which is to entirely be expected with a new evolving thread with evolving research.

I also note I can’t find any expert saying that the six-feet rule is useless. Nor do I find experts saying masks are not helpful against the delta variant.

The idea around masks, as I understand it, is that they trap the droplets that contain the virus, greatly reducing the amount of virus that gets spread. It also reduces the velocity of the droplets and/or aerosols that get through. That’s where the six feet rule helps. Droplets basically don’t get that far, and the aerosols are more spread out.

I can’t see how, just because the virus can be spread via aerosols, that means actions to reduce droplets don’t help. We know that, the lower the viral load, the less likely you are to get severe disease. Delta may reduce the viral load needed for infection, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying to reduce viral load.

Plus there’s the extra protection for those of us who are vaccinated that likely more than balances it out. The chance of severe disease has been shown to be reduced by 85-90%. Masking and social distancing would then further reduce risk, I would think, by reducing how many viral particles reach you in the first place.

The six foot rule was based on the idea that the virus wasn’t truly “airborne” and would drop to the ground quickly enough that staying 6 feet away would protect you. It was bad science from the very start.

Now, it has a practical benefit of lowering the density of people, which does reduce the total viral load in a room.

There was an interesting piece on the radio about why the WHO insisted the virus was carried on droplets too large to be airborne when other branches of the WHO regulate similarly sized particulates as airborne pollution. It stems, historically, from research into tuberculosis, which is airborne, but which needs to get very deep into the lungs to infect, and so only spreads via very small particles. So doctors had a different vocabulary than the rest of the world. This combined with the WHO not wanting to recommend expensive masks and PPE to poor countries, and the result was that world health officials were extremely slow to give useful advice on, for instance, preventing the spread of covid in hospitals and nursing homes.

But as for deliberate… The CDC has pretty much admitted that it wanted to discourage non-medical-workers from using the limited supply of masks. They did that by communicating in deliberately vague and misleading ways.

Neither do i. And I’m still wearing masks. That was me expressing a fear, not trying to state facts. We’ll know more in a few months. My feeling about masks is that wearing one is cheap, and won’t do me any harm, so I’ll keep doing it. (I do wash my hands after handling my masks.)

Here’s a thread on the efficacy of masks, by the way

Reading the latest entries, I’m more optimistic about the efficacy of masks going forward.

One of the problems with the CDC is that instead of disseminating facts they engage in ‘messaging’, which is basically propaganda. That’s the kind of crap that leads them to selectively report facts, change their ‘guidance’ not when the facts change but when the messqge needs it, etc. This may work a bit in the short term, but in the long term the inconsistent messaging destroys confidence and trust.

There’s a thin line between the two:

Fact: prior to delta, vaccinated people rarely shed enough virus to be infectious

Messaging: fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks in most settings.

I would also have preferred if they had published the fact, not the message. But I can see the temptation to publish the message.

This is a real problem, but the CDC has a dual mission, and the two parts are in conflict:

  1. Provide information about diseases needing to be controlled
  2. Train the populace in behaviours that will result in disease control.

#2 requires messaging, marketing, propaganda, whatever you want to call it, because most people are going to need the data interpreted for them, and they’re going to need all sorts of incentives to change their behaviours.

The CDC was run by and report to people desperate for the actual reality to be false. You can not divorce the Trump administration from the CDC messaging and claim the institution was at fault - a fish rots from the head

If the CDC only did data, then you’d just need another entity to explain what that policy meant. It would seem that would fall on politicians, as they’d be implementing policy. But we saw how many messed that up completely.

The only time I think the CDC completely messed up was with the no masks for vaccinated people. I think they actually dropped the ball there, and forgot that the things they said would inform policy. They ignored the human element of how what they said would mean that places would stop requiring masks for everyone.

It honestly seemed like they could have used a PR person and someone who understood human behavior better to help inform them of what would happen. So many of us were able to predict it, so why couldn’t they?

In no small part because the CDC has absolutely nothing to do with enforcing the law regarding street demonstrations.