Given an 8% Protection Factor We Can Now Stop Wearing Masks

It surprised me how long it took for experts to agree that SARS-Cov-2 could be spread in aerosols.

On a cool, humid day I watched a person wearing a mask and saw a plume of vapour escaping their mask. I observed how far the vapor travelled and it was several feet. Had I stood nearby, the vapor, along with any virus particles it carried me, would have reached me and if it could travel through the other person’s mask, it could travel equally well through mine. This was the day I knew for myself that masks did little to retain aerosols.

But for those who would like a little more information, I’ll add there are studies that indicate surgical masks deliver a slightly higher level of protection. You have to be careful when looking at studies because I’ve noticed they like to combine hand washing with mask wearing and the result is different when only mask wearing is the factor.

If our masks are so airtight that we cannot expel the carbon dioxide our body is trying to get rid of when we exhale, then we will breath it back in, along with all the viral particles we may or may not have.

I’ve mostly ignored the numerous articles comparing different masks because I’m happy with my mask. I have faithfully followed the masking regulations, out of respect for those who see masks as important. The reason I’ve ignored the articles is because improving masks means adding more layers, more filtration systems, or closing all possible gaps in order to prevent air from escaping. Eventually we will suffocate if we can’t get air through our masks. Or at least we will become oxygen deficient. If our masks are so airtight that we cannot expel the carbon dioxide our body is trying to get rid of when we exhale, then we will breath it back in, along with all the viral particles we may or may not have. I prefer to breathe in fresh, clean oxygen so I try and limit my mask use. The only way to do this is to avoid going out as much as possible to places where masks are required.

I have put up with mask wearing because I didn’t want to major on the minors, so to speak. I told myself I am not significantly harmed by this mandate so I will tolerate it. I don’t believe that mask wearing is entirely harmless. I re-wore a mask once and re-caught the respiratory illness I had, making it last nearly three weeks longer.

I wear a mask out of consideration for others who have very strong feelings about masks, even if their beliefs are not supported by evidence. I just haven’t wanted to keep making a fuss about masks so I went along with the game.

I knew the real reason for wearing masks was to give a sense of security to the fearful. People who are afraid feel better if they can perform an action and do something visible that they feel will make a difference. I wish there was a least a placebo effect for masks, but I think studies will not prove this to be the case.

Our BC public health official, Dr. Bonnie Henry, is documented to have resisted mask wearing for the longest time, repeatedly, publicly, insisting they made minimal difference and could give a false sense of security. What changed? The data? The efficacy of masks? No. Opinion polls changed.

People were insistent on wanting to wear masks. They wrote articles. Businesses put pressure on health officials. People wanted regulations that could make them compel others to wear masks into their businesses and places of work so they could feel more secure. Eventually our respected Dr. Bonnie Henry caved. Literally. She went against what she had been saying for months.

I admit that at the beginning of the pandemic I was greatly reassured by Dr. Henry’s expertise, since she has had experience with pandemics. I thought we were especially privileged to have her on board in our province. But, sadly, we are not all impervious to external pressure. She was also the doctor who made a complete reversal of the famed headline of May 25, 2021, No vaccine passports in B.C’s future: Dr. Bonnie Henry. Here is what she said then,

“This virus has shown us that there are inequities in our society that have been exacerbated by this pandemic, and there is no way that we will recommend inequities be increased by the use of things like vaccine passports for services with public access here in British Columbia,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

These societal inequities were later exacerbated when she changed her mind. In other words she lied to us.

Below is the data about mask wearing, directly from the World Health Organization.

Global Influenza Programme: Non Pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risks and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza, document published by the World Health Organization in 2019. The downloadable file can be found on the WHO website.

In the document we read that according to the study there is a not significant “reduction of 8% in the face mask group regardless of whether or not hand hygiene was also enhanced (RR:0.92, 95% CI=0.75–1.12, I2=30%, P=0.40). The article adds, “the evidence was insufficient to exclude chance as an explanation for the reduced risk of transmission.

WHO: 2019 review of face mask RCTs (WHO report/annex)
https://swprs.org/face-masks-evidence/

The reason I am speaking out now is because Dr. Bonnie Henry has told us “everybody” will get the Omicron virus. There is no stopping it. It’s time to point out the obvious. Masks are just for show. I might add I just had Omicron myself this week.

The Real Reason Why Vaccine Mandates Were Not a Good Idea

I am trying to imagine a scenario in which vaccine mandates would be a good plan and it’s difficult to actually come up with any situation. If people were dying so rapidly that everyone knew we were doomed, and only those who were vaccinated lived, a mandate would not be required because people would be desperate and lining up and demanding the vaccine. Unfortunately, if we were in this dire situation, it is unlikely that a vaccine could be produced in time to save the planet.

Event 201, held in October of 2019 and hosted by The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation proposed a response to a theoretical pandemic. One part of the strategy to ‘diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences’ of a pandemic was to focus on the control of misinformation.

I think this part of the strategy has seen abuse. Information around the pandemic has been tightly controlled to the point of being misleading because of what has been omitted.

So much effort has gone into controlling the dialogue during the COVID-19 pandemic that people’s thoughts, if they have been following the media, are not truly original. We’ve been programmed as a result of a pre-determined narrative that has been fed to us, relentlessly.

My husband and I don’t have TV and Cable but we went out for his birthday to a restaurant with several TV’s on display and while we dined, every few minutes there was an image of a person having a needle put in their arm. First of all, it is an image that I find disturbing, but more importantly, I thought about the people who have seen this many more times than I have. I can’t imagine how many times this has come across the screen in the past couple of years, never mind the funding that has gone into this advertising.

When literally “everyone” is getting sick, regardless of vaccination status, it becomes increasingly difficult to push the vaccine as the solution to a pandemic.

What we are seeing now is new information coming out which doesn’t match the mainstream narrative and is creating confusion both among people without medical backgrounds and medical professionals. Questions are arising. Until now these were squashed pretty effectively but when literally “everyone” is getting sick, regardless of vaccination status, it becomes increasingly difficult to push the vaccine as the solution to a pandemic. Thankfully we do not see people dying at unprecedented rates. Some may say this is due to the vaccine, but even that is coming into question.

There are psychological and sociological reasons why vaccine mandates are a bad idea.

This brings me to the point of vaccine mandates.

There are psychological and sociological reasons why the vaccine mandates are a bad idea. I’m going to use a somewhat crass illustration. We take our dogs to the vet to get castrated. We don’t ask them. We do it for their good, or so we tell ourselves. Actually we are doing it for our convenience because we don’t want the responsibility of more dogs to care for, but none the less, we make the decision for them because we are the ones who know what is best for them. Ultimately, we are in a position to decide this on their behalf. We feed them, provide a home for them and care for them. We decide what sort of life they should have which is ultimately the kind of life we want for them. We don’t want a house full of dogs, because puppies grow up. So we implement the solution. And after a few days the dog gets over the pain and it appears that life for out pet goes on as normal.

A vaccine mandate is a little like that. It ignores the will of the people. It assumes a kind of unquestionable superiority.

This is not how people in society like to interact with one another. We have an aversion to bending unquestioningly and without options to the will of the other.

When one has the right to apply force, and the other is left without choice we understand this as victimization. It is not pleasant to be backed into a corner and threatened. It is definitely not good for the relationship.

If you have raised children you will have somewhat of an understanding of the dynamics here, but even if you do not have children, you will remember being a child. As a child, your parents tried to make decisions in your best interest. As children we accepted the decisions of our parents, sometimes reluctantly, but mostly we could see they were making choices for our good. Unless we were raised in a severely dysfunctional or abusive home, we knew they loved and cared for us and we could trust them.

The government and health authority assumed they could play the role of loving, caring parents and make decisions for us. However, the fact remains that these people are not our parents. They are our peers.

Peers consult with one another. Peers are open to alternate views. Peers respect each other’s choices. If you have a strong sense of self and healthy boundaries you quickly move on from a friend who thinks they can control you or make your decisions for you.

Dialogue and negotiation go into maintaining a trusting relationship. If you can sense there is a forgone conclusion being forced on you then dialogue begins to look like manipulation. Psychologically that is an abusive relationship. Most of us can sense this.

Many people are naively trusting. This is the majority that the government has relied on during this pandemic. These people do not spend time listening to alternative sources because they feel there is no need to do so. They trust the government. They trust the health authorities. They are afraid and need someone in charge to make decisions for them. They’ve been told that certain sources promote “misinformation” and believe that listening to them is potentially harmful. Rather than listening and determining this for themselves, they simply take the word of others and believe that these sources cannot be trusted and that they have malign motivations that are not in the best interests of the public.

I’ve listened to many sources during the pandemic and have tuned out many, but I’ve also thought to myself that if there was a grain of truth in among all the chaff then I wanted to find it. So I compared what I heard and weighed it. Fortunately I have more time than most, as a writer, to do this kind of “research.” Someone said to me, “Do you think you have some secret information?” Actually, I may have accessed information that others have not noticed, simply because I allowed myself to look.

During a pandemic people are afraid and typically we have a fight, flight or freeze response. There is really a very small percentage of the population who end up taking leadership roles or who end up seriously questioning the status quo. As a result, there is a small number of people who end up making decisions on behalf of the majority during a pandemic. Globalization and the WHO has meant we are much more on the same page than we might have been even a few decades ago. Someone I spoke to pointed out to me how all the world is saying the same thing, implying that this was evidence that the narrative was reliable. Maybe so.

I went back this week to why I have become suspicious even when all the voices are saying the same thing. I have a keen interest in parenting and so a number of years ago I wanted to know what the research showed regarding children and corporal punishment. It turns out that the research shows that mild, carefully and thoughtfully administered spanking positively affects children. I went back to the original resource to find this information, because all the news sources and articles, and there were probably hundreds, reported a different story. They all copied an article that had misinterpreted/misrepresented the actual research. If any of these journalists would have taken the time and effort to actually read the research they would not have written their articles in the way they did. That was the day I learned that we cannot simply gullibly accept what we are fed.

I’m sure you can’t have helped noticing how news sources tend to parrot one line. It is because they often have one source. Let’s say that source is the WHO. The whole world has access to what the WHO is communicating, so, understandably that will be the message that most of the world hears. And as I’ve already demonstrated, journalists can be lazy about doing research.

There is a comparatively small number of people, leaders in their own right, who don’t swallow everything. For some reason they don’t entirely trust the “step-parents” so to speak—the ones who have stepped into the parental role. We see this in about, what? 15% of the population?

People are waking up to the possibility that allowing pharmaceutical companies to make decisions for us far into the future in terms of an indefinite number of boosters might not be a good thing.

Initially we were comforted by news from our government leaders and directives from health officials whom we saw as legitimately working on our behalf to mitigate a bad situation. But now, after two years, we have so much more information to fit into the picture. People are waking up to the possibility that allowing pharmaceutical companies to make decisions for us far into the future in terms of an indefinite number of boosters might not be a good thing. Clearly something is not working as advertised. And to add to the suspicion is the fact that the definition of vaccine was broadened mid-pandemic. Here is the comparison:

From 2015 to August 31, 2021 a vaccine was defined as “a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease” and vaccination was “the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.”

The new definition for the vaccine now reads, “A preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases,” while vaccination is “the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease.”

Epoch Times

The real reason mandates are not a good idea is that they can end up creating the worst scenarios in a society. The worst scenario is when we report our neighbours and when this means we turn on one another and can no longer trust those who desire to live peacefully beside us.

I’m going to use another analogy. If your neighbour is playing loud music, at first you tolerate it. Then you decide you can no longer tolerate it and you deliberate what you will do about it. Maybe wait it out. Maybe there is a birthday party, a one time occasion and you can let it pass.  But then you realize there is no party, so you go over and ask if they might turn the sound down a little. You ask in your calmest tone. We’ve done this on a number of occasions and the result has always been positive. People are accommodating because they are neighbours too. We’ll all do better if we get along.

Now if you went over and told your neighbour you didn’t like their choice of music and demanded that they stop playing it, then they would look at you like you were crazy. And you would be the crazy one because in our society people have the freedom to play whatever music they choose.

Asking people to wear masks is like turning down the music.

Social distancing is like turning down the music.

Even staying home when you’re sick, is like turing down the music.

A harmonious society is important to the world. It is probably the most important thing in the world.

But vaccine mandates force people to change something very basic about themselves. Vaccines will change what happens inside their body. We are not the same after taking a vaccine and that is the whole purpose of the vaccine. Medically speaking, it is the desired outcome that the vaccine will have a long term “protective” impact. While some people are ready to change their music, others are not. Some are more concerned about the impact on their body than receiving “protection.” I believe we need to respect this. If we sacrifice a few for the good of many, where do we draw the line? I do not see this as a good idea. Maintaining respect for individual music choices is very important to a harmonious society and a harmonious society is important for the world. It is probably the most important thing in the world. We do not become more harmonious by picking on one another and singling out people, turning people against others and name calling.

We live in a condo and have seen interactions between neighbours that have not always been acrimonious. We have been the go-between at times. We’ve employed various means of communication and suggestions for adaptation. One neighbour in particular was a source of agitation for others since they are recently immigrated and don’t understand the culture fully. The people beneath them complained persistently about thudding noise to the point where restraints were put on communication as the relationship became increasingly tense. One day the neighbour appeared at our door and wanted us to see what he had done in his suite. He had put a large plush carpet on the floor. This suggestion had been made at one time. He had a broad smile on his face and to see him happy to have come up with a resolution in his own time was very satisfying, after literally years.

Mandates do not meet the ultimate end goal of good relationships….Mandates have given people justification for turning on each other.

The reason why mandates are not a good idea is mandates do not meet the ultimate end goal of good relationships that are essential in a well-adjusted society. Ask any coach what makes a good team and they will tell you cooperation. Mandates have given people justification for turning on each other. Rather than negotiating, we make “demands.” In the case of the man who installed the carpet, patient understanding brought about a positive outcome.

It’s Time to End the Vaccine Mandates

I walked toward the Superstore entrance to pick up a couple of bottles of sparkling grape juice for our Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner with our son and his wife. It was a clear, crisp, Sunday morning, the kind of morning when I should be in church, but that has rather gone by the wayside with COVID-19. I noticed a woman sitting on the concrete, in a slightly recessed corner. leaning against a concrete wall, wrapped in a blanket. Nearby was a loaded shopping cart with an over-sized beige dimple foam on top of luggage and other things. She looked like she was crying and I stopped to talk to her.

She really was crying as she told me she was wet and cold and miserable. She coughed and her nose was running. Her eyes were bleary. Drugs, yes.

I chatted with her, trying to understand her situation and then suggested we meet at Burger King where I called every resource I could think of to find a shelter for her. I wish I could say I found a place that would take her. One place asked if she was of aboriginal descent. No. Did that make a difference? Would they turn away a woman based on her skin color?

Her name was Amanda. She had been homeless since Spring. She told me about the jobs she’d had and about her husband who was also homeless. They were sleeping in a tent and she hadn’t seen him for a day and was worried. Her two children were staying with a relative.

When she started rolling a joint in the restaurant and began to look restless I told her I needed to go. At home I finally got through to the one shelter that had given us some hope by asking us to call back, and call back again in an hour–and then call in another hour. I hurried out to find Amanda, but she was gone. I texted her but there was no response. She was able to find her phone cord and charge her phone at the Burger King when we were together. That had lifted her spirits a little. She had no phone plan, so could only call when she was able to get connected to wifi.

It’s been exceptionally cold on the coast this past week, and I’ve wondered about people like Amanda who can freeze outside. There are emergency shelters open, but not everyone is comfortable using them. The other night our building’s fire alarm went off. I didn’t want to go out in the freezing cold, even for a few minutes till the fire brigade arrived. It turned out that a side door was ajar and there was evidence of someone lighting a fire to do drugs. They must have left in a hurry when the alarm went off.

I’m thinking about this as I read the December 31 National Post headline, Unvaccinated workers who lose jobs ineligible for EI benefits, minister says.

Employment and Social Development Canada has issued a notice to employers enforcing vaccine mandates to help them fill out records of employment, a document needed to apply for EI benefits.

The department said if an employee doesn’t report to work or is suspended or terminated for refusing to comply with a vaccine mandate, then the employer should indicate that they quit, took a leave of absence or were dismissed-potentially disqualifying them from collecting EI.

National Post

As I read this I see something that is preventable. We can prevent more people from becoming homeless.

We can prevent it by not firing them, dismissing them, and refusing their final lifeline of support–Unemployment Insurance.

Our bureaucrats are creating issues. They don’t appear to care if more people end up on the streets. They don’t seem to notice that their policies are causing a crisis in our health care, as the staffing shortage they have created causes more burn-out of over-worked medical workers. We don’t know how desperate things will need to get for them to relinquish their obsession with data and begin to take a sensible and human approach. Does the health system have to collapse entirely? They can’t blame it on the unvaccinated. They can blame it on their obsession with meeting a vaccine quota. Where did the promise go of needing only 80 per cent of the population, or whatever it was, to be vaccinated? We are long past that.

I am fully vaccinated and I have vaccine regret. Since getting the vaccine my health has deteriorated to a frightful state. I’ve had heart problems, breathing problems, neurological problems with my arms and legs, constant UTI’s, vaginal bleeding, discolouration of my skin going from purple to white. And it’s getting worse by the month. Now I supposedly have fibromyalgia….inflammation in my arms is going into my hands. My husband has developed melanoma–skin cancer–since his vaccine, on the arm where he was vaccinated, but he is refusing to look at the possibility that the two may be related.

I’ve done a little research, as we do when we have health problems. It seems the spike protein is the culprit, causing inflammation. It’s not disappearing as fast as it was supposed to and it is going places it was not meant to go. Two medical professionals have, off the record, I’m sure, said to me that they are seeing a lot of this…symptoms I’ve described. So don’t be so hard on people who don’t want to get the vaccine.

All that accompanies vaccination is preventable if we allow people to choose. It’s time to realize we cannot escape the virus in its various forms but we still have a choice around vaccine injury. Or some of us do. I would like to be numbered among those who give others the option to choose, especially now that it is so apparent that the vaccinated can spread the virus too.

We are not going to vaccinate ourselves out of this.

While the Omicron variant rages–and it’s really no worse than the common cold–we are encouraged to get our 4th booster shot. Due to the stress of so many vaccinated people now getting sick, the isolation period has been reduced to five days. All of this is beginning to look rather random.

Fully vaccinated people are getting sick of the virus in droves. Can somebody define insanity for me, please? A few people are waking up and putting two and two together, namely, we are not going to vaccinate ourselves out of this. So stop the mandates. Mandates are evidence of the type of systemic oppression which disregards the possibility that people can think for themselves. It disregards the possibility that people need to be given the option to choose an outcome that differs from what those in authority want for them. Mandates are causing untold suffering for our country.

Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of society in the finest sense of the word.

Göran Persson, Prime Minster of Sweden

A friend posted this quote on Facebook: Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will be there for one another as fellow members of society in the finest sense of the word.

Lest we forget, the healthcare workers who were dismissed for not getting the vaccine were also the ones who put their lives at risk throughout the pandemic when there was little to no protection for them. Regardless of their views around the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, they deserve our compassion and support. It is unthinkably cruel that our government leaders, along with our top health leaders, have turned on them.

And if we are all honest, the vaccine is not that safe or effective. As this CTV News article, published on December 31, states, there are “520 long term care staff with the virus” in Ontario. And as we know, they are all vaccinated. And they are all infecting others.

So the rationale in keeping the unvaccinated out of the workforce is falling apart completely. Never mind the punitive action taken by our government to refuse EI to those who were fired.

I repeat: The vaccinated are spreading the virus. Vaccine mandates and firings and refusal of EI should all stop, immediately. Let’s stop this tunnel vision and turn this world back to a time when we appreciated the contributions of our helpers. By this time we have enough evidence of the destructiveness of these mandates to our relationships, our livelihoods and our communities.

Recovery from Moral Injury

In Canada we set aside November 11 as Remembrance Day. Flags are lowered and there are ceremonies across the country honouring veterans, along with a minute of silence at 11:00 a.m. This year I was deeply moved as I read two articles posted on Facebook by relatives of veterans. One relates to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, in the First World War. The other is about the D-Day Battle at Normandy, in World War II. Both were turning points.

It struck me that many of the men on the beaches of Normandy only had field experience and, as was reported, “were already in the boats when they learned it was no exercise” that awaited them. Only four of the eleven member company of Abe Goertzen (below) returned.

As we commemorate Remembrance Day I think of those who gave their lives and the loved ones they left behind. I think of the ones who returned and try to comprehend what soldiers endured. I know I will never fully understand.

In an article by Charlotte Cuthbertson, in the Epoch Times, entitled, After War, the Journey Home Takes a Lifetime, we read that the community has to share responsibility for what happened in a war. Psychotherapist Ed Tick, who has worked with veterans for 45 years, puts it this way, “You acted in my name, I paid the bills, I sent you. You didn’t do this on your own. And it wasn’t your decision, you were doing it representing me and our country, and you thought you were protecting me. So I take responsibility for you. And for whatever you did, and I’ll carry it with you, and I’ll help you come home.”

As a community we often don’t even begin to know how to help veterans return home. This became very clear to my husband and me some years ago when we discovered a veteran deceased in his room on Remembrance Day. He lived in the townhouse complex we managed. We were alerted to something being wrong when the tenant beneath him called to tell us the music had been on all night in the suite above him. The tenant seemed distressed earlier in the week and related some of his wartime experience in the Korean War to my husband. We were deeply concerned, but didn’t know what to do beyond offering compassion and lending a listening ear.

Moral injury is defined as a wound to the soul caused by participation in events that violate one’s deeply held sense of right and wrong.

After the War The Journey Home takes a lifetime – Epoch Times

The Epoch Times article outlines six therapeutic steps to recovery from wartime trauma and it is worth the read. It points out that moral injury is the most difficult to process. From the article, “Moral injury is defined as a wound to the soul caused by participation in events that violate one’s deeply held sense of right and wrong.” According to Tick, “Even witnessing morally questionable acts will cause moral injury….Moral injury is at the heart of PTSD.”

The article states, Moral injury symptoms include profound shame, guilt, betrayal, grief, and alienation.

In the words of Dr. Tick, “We really have to get our warriors in service and our veterans afterward to feel safe and secure so they can deeply explore their own conscience and their own value system and how they feel about what they did. And then give them opportunities for restoring and recovering those more esoteric moral dimensions of their being.” Tick relates the moving story of healing that happens when he takes vets of the Viet Nahm war back to Viet Nahm where they meet their fellow “warriors.”

What stood out for me was the view that veterans do not become normal citizens but are instead warriors. “Traditional cultures didn’t call somebody a warrior until they could carry the experience without traumatic breakdown. Because warriors are supposed to become community elders and leaders and teachers after service,” states Tick.

I recently heard Jordan Peterson allude to the necessity of a higher “spiritual” experience in the context of recovering from addiction. This revelation draws a person out of the depths to a higher plane of experience. I see a similarity of experience here as veterans view themselves as unique contributors to society.

…war is brought about by those who violate their consciences and do unconscionable things. When there is an aggressor there is correspondingly the defender.

As I contemplated moral injury, I was reminded of the words of Jordan Peterson, in Beyond Order, Twelve More Rules for Life, where he stresses the importance of not doing anything that would make you “contemptuous of yourself” or that makes you “weak and ashamed.” In other words, “Don’t do anything that violates your conscience.”

Wartime causes men to violate their conscience. I venture to say war is brought about by those who violate their consciences and do unconscionable things. When there is an aggressor there is correspondingly the defender.

While we are privileged to live in a society where we are not compelled to violate our conscience, we want to value this freedom and guard our hearts and minds to avoid moral injury and its devastation. There is an old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Read the article for more insights. As the title states, After War, the Journey Home Takes a Lifetime.


Follow-up on my recent article

As a writer I am always interested in learning from other writers and so I want to acknowledge a writer I admire whom I have observed to frequently have an unusual clarity and the ability to bring a broader perspective. Compare my recent “outrage” article to this reasoned one. There is a place for outrage, but reason should follow. Read Pandemic Disruptions Give Reason for Optimism by Jane Menton.

4000 Health Care Workers in BC, Canada, Told By Health Minister to “Get a New Job”

On October 26, British Columbia Health Minister, Adrian Dix, told over 4000 unvaccinated health workers to get a new job. They have been terminated.

“throughout the pandemic these individuals risked their lives and were regarded as heroes”

The BC Area article states, While many in the community celebrate the departure of those workers, accusing them of being ‘against science’ or not wanting to get over this pandemic, others have tried to remind us that throughout the pandemic these individuals risked their lives and were regarded as heroes; they risked their livelihoods and careers over making this choice for themselves.

I cannot imagine how people could be celebrating the departure of health workers.

This loss of skill will not only affect nurses in hospitals, but numerous areas of health care.

Here is a breakdown by region as reported in Kelowna Now.

  • British Columbia-wide: 4,090 unvaccinated, 2,626 partially vaccinated
  • Interior Health: 1,369 unvaccinated (7%)
  • Northern Health: 376 unvaccinated (5%)
  • Island Health: 678 unvaccinated (3%)
  • Fraser Health: 644 unvaccinated (2%)
  • Vancouver Coastal Health: 522 unvaccinated (2%)
  • Providence Health: 122 unvaccinated (2%)
  • Provincial Health Services: 496 unvaccinated (2%)

Note that Interior Health is losing around 7% of their healthcare workers. The list does not include the 1,1996 long-term care or acute care workers who were suspended without pay on Oct. 12, as reported by CTV News Vancouver, bringing the total to over 6,000 workers.

A CBC article related that B.C.’s Minister of Jobs and Economic Recovery, Ravi Kahlon, said the B.C. government will invest in the health-care system to mitigate any challenges that arise from workers choosing not to get vaccinated and, ultimately, being let go.

In the same article Troy Clifford, president of the Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC, estimates that up to 200 of 4,500 paramedics in the province risk job loss. 

The ambulance shortage in BC was felt keenly during the summer heat wave as reported by The Globe and Mail in the article, ‘This isn’t a heat wave issue’: B.C. paramedics say there’s a systemic crisis in emergency care.” Here is an excerpt:

At least 719 people died in a week during the heat wave, three times what the BC Coroners Service says would be normal for that period. BC Emergency Health Services did not activate its emergency coordination centre until the day the heat began to subside.

“Our entire pre-hospital system collapsed, and it collapsed with warning that it was going to collapse,” a Greater Vancouver paramedic, who Global News is not identifying to protect his employment, said in an interview Friday.

The paramedic told Global News that one of the major problems first responders have faced for years is the requirement to stay at hospitals with the patients they are transporting until beds or nurses are available.

He said that often results in delays of 30 minutes to several hours, during which they are unavailable to take urgent calls.

“We have eight paramedics at any given time that are held at (Vancouver General Hospital), that are held at Burnaby General, because the nurses are overwhelmed with the amount of patients coming in,” he said.

Back in February of 2021, Vancouver City News reported a paramedic shortage that left 29 ambulances unstaffed on a weekend and increased urgent wait times to one hour and non-emergency calls up to 16 hours. A woman who had fallen on a sidewalk and broken her hip would be considered non-emergency.

Troy Clifford blames failures in recruitment and retention, a situation which hasn’t happened overnight and highlights issues with BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), responsible for running the ambulance service, and Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), the health authority that BCEHS falls under.

Nurses are overwhelmed at hospitals when ambulances arrive because hospitals are short of nurses. I am interested hearing just how the province plans to “mitigate” this exodus of workers. Since it takes 4-5 years to train an R.N., perhaps we can have an increase in nurses in five years. It’s unlikely that we will recruit nurses from other countries and leave them short, but it could happen. Throughout the pandemic our nurses have travelled to the U.S. to work, as they did beforehand. Maybe some of these nurses can be recruited.

And this is not a new problem. It is a “long-standing problem exacerbated by COVID-19,” according to a July 16, 2021 article in The Globe and Mail, entitled, Canadian nurses are leaving in droves, worn down by 16 merciless months on the front lines of COVID-19. Hospital beds have been closed, emergency hours scaled back and operating rooms shuttered. The Ontario government offered $75,000 bonuses to attract experienced out-of-province critical care nurses.

“We’ve seen nurses leave and leave and leave,” said Bernard Mathieu, an emergency physician at Montreal’s Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. “We see new, fresh nurses come in for orientation who decide not to stay because they see the quality of life they’re being offered is terrible.”

The article says that in Manitoba, more than 60 emergency doctors from three hospitals in Winnipeg sent a missive to the province, warning of epic levels of burnout. “Many senior experienced nurses in our EDs have resigned, while many others are planning to leave,” the letter said. “Morale and staffing are at all-time lows. We view the situation as critical, unsustainable and in need of immediate action.”

The reassurance from the Minister of Jobs and Economic Recovery regarding mitigating the problem is anything but reassuring.

Viewing An Example of Biased Journalism

We have a strong political divide and it’s not healthy. But this is not about politics. It is about journalism. Having said that, journalism has become political. Nothing has exposed this as well as the Trump election and his failure to be re-elected. This piece points out not only bias, but complete loss of journalistic objectivity.

When it is only acceptable to write one view, then journalism becomes suspect.

When it is only acceptable to write one view, then journalism becomes suspect. It trespasses the high journalistic standard–the code of objectivity–which is ultimately the foundation of public journalistic trust.

You’ve all seen them–the articles covering Trump’s claim of American election fraud. Maybe the election was stolen. Maybe it wasn’t. But one thing I know. It’s not up to journalists to print a verdict before the evidence is examined and tried in court. However, this is what happened, right out of the election gate, and we all witnessed it.

I’m not American. I hope the election wasn’t stolen. But how can I know, if nobody is willing to examine the evidence, much less give it credibility?

From the perspective of the media, election fraud is completely preposterous. The obvious bias of journalists, supported by–probably encouraged by–the news outlets, is almost laughable, but for the implications. Journalism that is influenced can be corrupted. When the public feels that journalism is influenced, it loses confidence in the reporting of news. In recent years there has been a shocking erosion of public trust in media.

I’ve taken an article printed on various new sites such as The Guardian, the Business Insider and The Washington Times for my illustration of media bias. The articles look much the same and there are numerous similar articles in print, with different angles, regarding the US election.

The article headline is Steve Scalise, No 2 House Republican, refuses to say election was not stolen. Below is the complete article with my personal observations in bold.

In a television interview aired Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, Scalise, the House’s second-ranking Republican, stood by Trump’s lie (should be “claim”) that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud.
By Hope Yen – Associated Press – Sunday, October 10, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House’s second-ranking Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, repeatedly refused to say on Sunday that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, standing by Donald Trump’s lie (should be “claim”) that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud.
More than 11 months after Americans picked their president and almost nine months since Biden was inaugurated, Scalise was unwilling during a national television interview to acknowledge the legitimacy of the vote, instead sticking to his belief that the election results should not have been certified by Congress.


“I’ve been very clear from the beginning,” he said. “If you look at a number of states, they didn’t follow their state-passed laws that govern the election for president. That is what the United States Constitution says. They don’t say the states determine what the rules are. They say the state legislatures determine the rules,” the Louisiana congressman said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Pressed by moderator Chris Wallace on whether the election went beyond a few irregularities to be considered “stolen,” Scalise responded: “It’s not just irregularities. It’s states that did not follow the laws set which the Constitution says they’re supposed to follow.”
Trump left office in January a few weeks after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in a violent riot in an attempt to prevent Congress from formally declaring Biden the winner. (placed here for effect)

As Trump mulls a 2024 presidential bid, he has been intensifying efforts to shame – and potentially remove – members of his party who are seen as disloyal to his bogus claims (should leave out bogus) that last year’s election was illegitimate. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who is vying to become speaker if the GOP takes control after the 2022 midterm election, continues to defend Trump and his false assertions (should leave out false).
At a rally Saturday in Iowa, Trump spent almost 30 minutes arguing falsely (should leave out falsely because this is inserting a belief of the author) that he had won Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds stood by and welcomed his return to their state.

In fact, no election was stolen (appropriate wording would be, “According to….no election was stolen”) from Trump. His former attorney general, William P. Barr, found no evidence of widespread election corruption. Allegations of massive voting fraud also have been dismissed by a succession of judges and refuted by state election officials and an arm of the Homeland Security Department during the Trump administration. (A good journalist would dig into this and also include information from those bringing the allegations. There is a story here.)

Scalise on Sunday appeared to be referring to the legal argument, made in several lawsuits backed by Trump before and after last November’s election, that the Constitution gives the power of election administration exclusively to state lawmakers. (What exactly does the Constitution say? Why not a quote here?) The suits sought to invalidate a number of pandemic-era accommodations including expanded mail voting that were put in place by governors, state election officials and judges. (Did Trump have a case, based on the Constitution? Was there any question of legality here? We need more information. We rely on journalists for this information.)

The high court ultimately turned away the cases, declining to rule on the matter. There’s no indication in any of the suits (not one example is given of a suit…bad journalism) that changing the COVID-19 accommodations would have altered a state’s election results.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who is serving on a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, on Sunday slammed Scalise for spreading Trump’s “Big Lie.”

“Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the election was stolen,” Cheney tweeted. “Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic.”

END OF ARTICLE

It is the responsibility of journalists to present evidence and then to trust the public to have the intelligence and insight to come to a reasonable conclusion.

“Journalists and the news outlets have the responsibility to tell the American people what to believe.” –False

The beauty of the article is that the last two paragraphs reveal the logic of the writer. We might rephrase, “Journalists and the news outlets have the responsibility to tell the American people what to believe.” This, of course, is false. It is not the role of journalism, in a democratic society, to push a certain narrative. We see this happening in totalitarian states where news sites and journalists are the propaganda arm of the government and must tout the party line, or face consequences.

Readers want information. We want to be able to trust journalists to give us both sides. We want to examine the evidence for ourselves. We don’t want to be told what to believe. And we would like to see journalists’ opinions reserved for Commentary and Opinion columns.

Who Won the American Election?

Remarkably, opinion pieces of journalists, passing as news, flowed off the press and refuted claims of election fraud before any evidence was formally presented, much less investigated. In the absence of the kind of reflection and insight that might serve as a caution, journalists remained oblivious to their diminishing reputation and public credibility. Ratings for public news channels have never been so low.

Journalism has become a sad reflection of an element of society that cares less about investigative reporting and more about controlling the narrative. The currant narrative is clearly that there is no election fraud. Period. Even though, prior to the election, both Democrats and Republicans repeatedly questioned the integrity of election processes.

I’ve watched several hearings that presented claims of misdemeanours in elections— sending/receiving ballots from dead voters, voters with parking lot mailing addresses, voters who don’t exist. Whether this was intentional, is virtually impossible to prove. Intention would imply fraud. This is called “rigging” the election.

Of course, we want to believe that nobody would stoop to undermine the American election process by endorsing non-existent voters, or duplicate voters, or voting in place of others, or incentivized voting, or voting of non-citizens. If it happened, and these turned out to be predominantly Democrat voters, we are assured, by the same journalists who insisted there was no voter fraud, that it was on a small scale of only a few thousand, not enough to change the election outcome.

At the close of an article that vehemently denies evidence of election fraud, a journalist concedes that the level of fraud is at best insignificant. There were not enough irregularities to change the election result.

And so, with the consolation that the fraud that happened was insignificant, because it didn’t affect the outcome, public attention is steered away from the glaring truth of a compromised electoral system. The same journalists who declared there was no fraud a few weeks earlier, have moved us to the acceptance of “irrelevant” fraud.

As the hearings progressed, with their “irrelevant” allegations, the opinions of journalists progressed as well. When testimonies came forward presenting more substantial evidence, the witnesses themselves became “irrelevant” and the story was not about the allegations but about Giuliani’s hair dye running down his face. Lawyers who shied away from participating in the hearings were touted as evidence of a sinking ship, with no hint at other possibilities, like their livelihoods being threatened.

If I were in charge of Republican allegations of election fraud I would have gone about this differently. But of course it is too late now. I would have focused only on evidence that does not require witness corroboration and only on such evidence as would change the election outcome. Too much time has been wasted on proving that the election process can be manipulated. There was never a need to be prove this at all. The real question is, was the level of manipulation able to change the outcome? In other words, did the American vote count?

There is still another equally disturbing problem with journalism surrounding the election, besides misrepresentation and manipulation. This is silence. Silence when there is a real issue to report. Like the lawsuits filed by Sidney Powell. Silence when voters rally by tens or hundreds of thousands in support of the president. Silence about the actual significance of only Republican watchers not being allowed to observe ballot counting.

One can’t help but speculate that journalists who are willing to suppress the voices of half the population of America might also be willing to cooperate to suppress the votes of these same American citizens. Meaning, of course, the loss of a democratic election process. It will require a level of fearlessness journalism, and integrity we have not seen up to this point, to uncover what actually happened in the American election.

One Week Away From Election Date

I am Canadian, and it has been quite a show south of the border. One week from Election Day. I think I can safely say that the media has done us no favours with its unconcealed bias against the American president. Even in Canada, it has not escaped my notice that our Liberal Prime Minister has taken frequent opportunity to slight the president.

I am waiting for President Biden to right all the wrongs that have been blamed on Trump, beginning with the stopping of flights from China when knowledge of the Coronavirus first emerged. My only question is why he is waiting to stop the rioting until he is president when apparently one word from him could put an end to the violent protests.

The resistance to Amy Barrett becoming a Supreme Court Judge has erased my innocence. I thought courts were impartial. I also thought, at one time, that you shouldn’t be able to tell how a journalist votes by the comments they make and the articles they write. Has anyone besides me noticed how journalists choke and are unable to report on a single positive move of current American leadership?

I grieve for the younger generations who have to witness the adults at each others’ throats. What has happened to civility? I think we have a bigger problem than systemic racism. It’s systemic hatred.

And how do we fix that? My Bible tells me that hating another is equivalent to murder and worthy of the same punishment. Maybe we could start with that thought.

“It doesn’t make sense, after 10 days, putting the kids in self-isolation.”

At a time like this it is critical that we have confidence in our health authorities and respect their directives. CTV News reported in an article yesterday that Elsie Roy Elementary School in Vancouver had a case of Covid-19 and ten days later parents received a letter requiring students to isolate for four remaining days, back-dating to the last day of exposure.

As one mother pointed out, until this time the children “were in school, they were everywhere, going outside, just living our lives normally.” In other words, students had opportunity to spread the virus for ten days.

The delayed response is at best evidence of a system that is clearly not working and at worst a sign of negligence and incompetence.

The delay in response by the Vancouver Health Authority is disconcerting on its own, but the directive to isolate for the last four of fourteen days indicates a weakness in the interpretation and application of isolation guidelines.

The directors could have explained the ten day delay to parents and assured them this would not happen again, but to send families into isolation for four days is totally futile at this point. Anyone can see that. It adds insult to injury to parents who find out too late the risk they were exposed to, and then are required to respond like puppets to an unreasonable order.

The delay in response by the Vancouver Health Authority is disconcerting on its own, but the directive to isolate for the last four of fourteen days indicates a weakness in the interpretation and application of isolation guidelines. Even if we can ignore the delayed response time, this lack of judgment is difficult to overlook.

It is precisely this kind of decision making that causes people to lose confidence in health authorities. It would be advisable to investigate how such a lapse in judgment happened and to consider a possible change in management. This is not a time when we can afford to lose public confidence in health authorities.