Glimpses of life in The Covid-19 Era

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The present pandemic is not a crisis that will go away. It has brought in a whole new era, The Covid-19 Era.

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*THIS PANDEMIC BRINGS OUT UNTRIED CURES AND DISINFORMATION

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Anti vaxxers: Behold your gods and goddesses! They have feet of clay.

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*PANDEMICS BRING OUT ANTI-SCIENCE MOVEMENTS

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The Antiscience Movement Is Escalating, Going Global and Killing Thousands

Rejection of mainstream science and medicine has become a key feature of the political right in the U.S. and increasingly around the world

Antiscience has emerged as a dominant and highly lethal force, and one that threatens global security, as much as do terrorism and nuclear proliferation. We must mount a counteroffensive and build new infrastructure to combat antiscience, just as we have for these other more widely recognized and established threats.

Antiscience is the rejection of mainstream scientific views and methods or their replacement with unproven or deliberately misleading theories, often for nefarious and political gains. It targets prominent scientists and attempts to discredit them. The destructive potential of antiscience was fully realized in the U.S.S.R. under Joseph Stalin. Millions of Russian peasants died from starvation and famine during the 1930s and 1940s because Stalin embraced the pseudoscientific views of Trofim Lysenko that promoted catastrophic wheat and other harvest failures. Soviet scientists who did not share Lysenko’s “vernalization” theories lost their positions or, like the plant geneticist, Nikolai Vavilov, starved to death in a gulag.

Now antiscience is causing mass deaths once again in this COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in the spring of 2020, the Trump White House launched a coordinated disinformation campaign that dismissed the severity of the epidemic in the United States, attributed COVID deaths to other causes, claimed hospital admissions were due to a catch-up in elective surgeries, and asserted that ultimately that the epidemic would spontaneously evaporate. It also promoted hydroxychloroquine as a spectacular cure, while downplaying the importance of masks. Other authoritarian or populist regimes in Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines and Tanzania adopted some or all of these elements.   
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Now, a new test of defiance and simultaneous allegiance to the Republican Party has emerged in the form of resisting COVID-19 vaccines. At least three surveys from the Kaiser Family Foundation, our study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, and the PBS News Hour/NPR/Marist poll each point to Republicans or white Republicans as a top vaccine-resistant group in America. At least one in four Republican House members will refuse COVID-19 vaccines. Once again, we should anticipate that many of these individuals could lose their lives from COVID-19 in the coming months.

Historically, antiscience was not a major element of the Republican Party. The National Academy of Sciences was founded in the Lincoln administration; NASA in the Eisenhower administration, and PEPFAR (U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), PMI (President’s Malaria Initiative) and the NTDs (neglected tropical diseases) program were launched in the George W. Bush Administration. I was a professor and chair of microbiology at George Washington University, based in Washington, D.C., during the 2000s and worked closely with members of the Bush White House to shape these programs.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-antiscience-movement-is-escalating-going-global-and-killing-thousands/

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*PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT (PPE)

No item has come to signal the era of COVID-19 like the face-mask. Now a common sight and a necessity for daily life, this simple yet effective device is the unsung hero of the COVID-19 response, playing a crucial role in helping protect health workers and reducing community transmission.

Unloved, but a life-saver – we must value PPE

04 October 2021 by Jeremy Farrar and Peter Sands

No item has come to signal the era of COVID-19 like the face-mask. Now a common sight and a necessity for daily life, this simple yet effective device is the unsung hero of the COVID-19 response, playing a crucial role in helping protect health workers and reducing community transmission.

Thus far, the world has spent billions of dollars on personal protective equipment (PPE), which has saved millions of lives. Yet no one loves it: mask mandates generate political controversy; wearing PPE can be hot and uncomfortable; we all like to see each other’s faces.

While much of the noise around PPE revolves around its use in reducing community transmission, perhaps its most vital role is in protecting health workers. Repeatedly exposed to the virus as they care for others, health workers have suffered much higher rates of infection and death than the population as a whole. Some studies have suggested health workers have been 10 times as likely to be infected with COVID-19 compared to the public and that severe and potentially deadly infections are seven times as likely among health workers.

Quite apart from the moral imperative to protect those who risk their lives to care for us, there’s a compelling practical argument. If health workers are infected, health facilities become super-spreading locations. In the early phases of the pandemic close to half of people infected by COVID-19 were infected in a health facility. Moreover, if a large proportion of a health facility’s staff become infected, care standards drop and mortality soars. You simply can’t run a hospital properly if a quarter or more of your staff are off sick or isolating. As the Delta variant causes new devastating waves of infection across the globe, it is vital that we don’t forget the crucial role of PPE in protecting health workers, even when fully vaccinated.

Whether to protect health workers or reduce community transmission, enabling people to go to work or schools to open, hygiene measures, good ventilation and PPE continue to play a crucial role in our response to the pandemic.

Read more:

https://www.theglobalfund.org/en/blog/2021-10-04-unloved-but-a-life-saver-we-must-value-ppe/

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*THE SUIT IS GOING AWAY

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*IT IS COMMON TO SEE ANTI MASKERS AND ANTI VAXXERS COMPARE MASK AND VACCINE MANDATES TO THE NAZI ERA

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Belle Jarniewski leaned back from her computer, seething with anger after she finished watching a video on Reddit showing a Winnipeg restaurateur accosting public health enforcement officers.

“I’m still shaking after listening to that rant. That was unbelievable,” she said.

The video shows Shea Ritchie, the owner of Chaise Lounge locations on Corydon Avenue and Provencher Boulevard, speaking with officers giving him tickets on Sept. 24 for allowing diners who choose not to be vaccinated to dine inside his restaurant.

“If they’re so dangerous, shouldn’t we be identifying them with something bright, like a yellow star?” Ritchie says in the video, which he filmed and posted to his personal Facebook page and that has since been circulating on social media.

“Why don’t you put them in a camp until they finally comply?”

Belle Jarniewski, executive director of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, says it is ‘unconscionable’ to compare vaccine mandates and passports and other COVID-19 restrictions to the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Jarniewski, the executive director of the Jewish Heritage Centre and a member of the Canadian delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, said this type of rhetoric has become more rampant during the pandemic. 

“We’ve seen these anti-vaxxer protests that are trying to compare the restrictions for COVID to the Holocaust,” she said. “I have to say, he’s gone much further than anyone I personally have seen or heard about.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/vaccine-mandates-holocaust-comparisons-1.6200527

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