The first step to solving a problem is naming it

Hong Kong has 7.5 million people.  BC has 5 million.  Hong Kong has 200 active cases of C-19.  BC has 2000.  In Hong Kong, 200 people have died so far.  Same for BC.  The population of Hong Kong is extremely concentrated in a small area (more than 7,000 per square km).  BC has 4.8 persons per square kilometre.  The Hong Kongese are handling the virus much better than we are and we are handling the virus better than most of the rest of Canada and way better than any part of the USA.  So, what is the difference?

Intelligence?

My Hong Kong friends are very polite when they give their opinion.  They do not want to insult us.  But they feel a bit less concerned about offending ‘Mericans.  “The ‘Merican people so stupid!  Trump is so stupid.  This virus will keep them very depressed for a very long time.”

“What could we do better?  Can we get as good as Hong Kong?”

“Simple.  Easy.  Everyone wear masks.  All the time.  Everyone.  Everywhere.  And then you have to test for the super carriers.  The super carriers are asymptomatic and don’t know they are super carriers.  We tested half the city and found 50 super carriers.  They are now isolated and being closely monitored.”    

“We can’t get tests.”

“So sorry.  Canadian people so stupid, too!  Ha ha!”  (My HK friends are wonderful people but our senses of humour differ somewhat from time to time).

Bottom line: we are not as good at dealing with this pandemic as we think we are.  And, worse than that, we are getting worse at it, not better.

Step one:  It is time to mandate masks all the time.  Duh!

I was not going to write about C-19 but the California wildfires prompted it.   Seems the government is saying that ‘they cannot stop the increasing wildfires in the future and that people will just have to learn to live with them.’  They say that because they put a large part of the blame on climate change and that is only getting worse.  Trump, of course, denies climate change.  So do most Republicans.  It is interesting how many different ways stupid can show up, eh?

Step two: it is time to remove stupid people from office.  Forever.  All the time.  Everywhere.  

I know that sounds like a rant or something but, think about it…..currently we have staggeringly stupid people not only in charge of our every day affairs but now they are influencing our very survival.

Stupidity is killing us.

A small example of that was all-too-evident at the hospital Sally attended for her knee operation.  The physio lab was filthy.  Literally sticky-with-drool filthy.  And, when that was brought to their attention, they said, “Oh, we have wipes on the wall there.  Feel free to wipe anything.”  That was the highly paid, degree-holding, professional staff.  The even-higher-paid administration said, “Oh, I know where the physio lab is but I have never been in it!”  We have systemic stupidity even at the local hospital level.

And now we are sending all the kids back to school.  OMG!!!  Think about it like this: doctors and nurses are sending their kids back to crowded classrooms with teachers!  Society’s ‘smart people’ came up with that plan.

This suggestion may be ridiculous but the situation is getting ridiculous.  I think we have to test for stupidity from now on.  It’s clearly an epidemic.  We can call it the Trump Virus, the Duh disease or the Stupid Sickness – whatever works for you.  

 

43 thoughts on “The first step to solving a problem is naming it

  1. You are correct that is why the cons voted in O’Toole who now has COVID-19 and is beating the drum of austerity. Austerity will not defeat Covid-19. The party of “no” needs to realize that Canada is at war with the virus and some of the citizens protesting their rights are not mentally fit to apprehend the danger of the virus as they blather about rights they do not have. Remember the Beastie Boy’s song “We got to fight for the right to party!” Banal, puerile and lacking in self consciousness. “They claim to have the right not to wear a mask and spread COVID-19 because “ They are not their brother’s keeper.” Interestingly spreading AIDS is a crime but spreading COVID-19 isn’t! Currently Hong Kong is a police state with very constrained liberties. Hong Kong and Canada are not moral equivalents. I’m certain that you do not want Canada to move to fascism but getting rid of the politicians will hasten the continued rise of the fascists. Think not, then look no further than the Canadian Army Rangers with its complement of subversive types like the “Sons of Ogden” wishing death and mayhem on our Country. Really? Prime Minister Carrie Lam of Hong Kong has overseen weeks of unrest in the streets with protesters treated brutality but she runs a better country than Canada? I feel very sorry for the Canadian yahoos who have “No fear” and desire “No Rules” flying their little black flags but…but…but their personal issues with authority and their spreading of COVID 19 and not listening is their ‘bad’ entirely. Blaming the messenger will not alter their selfish behaviours currently on the rise. Be safe, be calm be caring.

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    • I know I come across as a smidge critical of institutions and I am. But that is not where the problem lies. The problem lies with those who are currently managing them. They get paid big bucks NOT to think and to, instead, maintain the dwindling status quo of the institution. Then get a pension.
      If I was to ‘invent’ a system of institutions, I am sure that I would do a better job – all humility set aside – but that would be primarily because I was starting from scratch and had the benefit of hindsight on my side. The ‘new’ is always better than the old when it comes to social responses for obvious reasons and the old gets hoary and set in their ways all too soon. That happens in the corporate world, too. “Keep on makin’ them buggy whips, they will come back in fashion, I just know it!” In true free enterprise, the old and the weak, the lame and the halt get culled out. But in institution-land the old and the stale simply ‘firm up’ their place at the trough. Just as humans die before or after 100, all institutions and corporations should be obliged to liquidate and start over from scratch. I was shocked when they did that to AT&T and yet, there was a ‘phone’ revolution that came right on the heels of that. When the TV airways were monopolized, the internet came about. The Phoenix WILL rise from the ashes.
      I know, I know, fat chance.
      The second best way is to fire the ‘old wood’ and get in ‘some new blood’ but that has been largely eliminated in and indebted society where the participants are so dependent on their jobs – whether they do them properly or not.
      My most radical but still inadequate suggestion is that we all go to a six or even four hour day. Or maybe a 3-day a week limit. That gives all the drones some time off, gets new people in, boosts employment, and shakes up the complacency. It’s weak but it might be a start. As for the politicians? Kinda the same – two terms maximum. NO pensions. You get elected, you serve, you leave and carry on somewhere else.
      That would all also help up the GDP and NOT require that the government give guaranteed incomes for nincompoops.

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    • Peter O’Toole, who has COVID-19, said in an interview with “The National Post,” Sept 24, 2020 that the Liberal spending on the pandemic must be targeted or it may lead to Canada’s bankruptcy. Mr O’Toole went on to say that he would continue to support pandemic spending. O’Toole did not say where he would cut and apply Conservative austerity measures. Mr O’Toole sat in Parliament when these pandemic measures became law so he ought to be aware that the supports are targeted. I hear that memory loss might be part the symptoms of the virus.

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  2. ALL Hail Step Two!!!
    .
    and I will vote YEAY! to the rest as well. Common sense is at Death’s door, and the ‘smart’ folk are dragging it through!
    .
    Amen Brother, I wish Us ALL the Best of Luck!

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    • Common sense in the common sense is really just simple in-situ logic with some regard for unintended implications. A person falls and it is just common sense to pick them up. But, if they fell because they were shot by a sniper atop a casino, then common sense suggests fleeing the scene. Everyone knows what common sense is but, like art or porn, you have to see it to know it. I have seen a LOT of nonsense passing as ‘procedure’, ‘policy’ or ‘protocol’. Those words cover a helluva lot of sin.

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      • Common sense is a cliche. Do you mean social responsibility in a civil society with people caring for each other? Compassion and civility for all?

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      • I do not think common sense is a cliche. Just because it is a ‘vague’ term and often needs defining in differing situations, it is still a ‘logic’, a thinking process, a set of assumptions and information that most people learn early and often. COMMON sense isn’t so much ‘common’ amongst many, many people but it should be. That means common sense is knowing that gravity works the way it does, centrifugal force works the way it does, valuables left untended are susceptible to theft and going to a hotel room at night with a big ugly warthog of a man is stupid. Common sense means knowing what most people already know even if it isn’t applied in every case. Getting drunk is common but it is not common sense. Speeding is common but not common sense. Eating too much…blah, blah, blah. In this definition, common sense is ‘common knowledge’ but with ‘reasonable application’ attendant. It is not enough to KNOW that someone will steal your wallet if left in a park bench, you also have to NOT leave it on the park bench. Now, with respect, I am spending no more time on exploring the nuances of the term common sense. D’ya know why? Because common sense suggests this is NOT the best use of my time.

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  3. The dragging out of the old tropes like “They kept on making buggy whips” and never changed ! Balderdash, is said with all due respect. The capitalist out sourced buggy whips to the People’s Republic of China along with many other items. Thus gutting out the American middle class. I assume you might be a fan Capitalism or perhaps not. On the value of our institutions I guess we might not be on the same page regarding the value of our institutions in preserving our liberties. My motto is do not leave home without our Canadian liberties intact. Stateless persons face a tough time getting into Canada. Remember Forest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does! Pandemic deniers of Canada, roll a big fat one and consort with “skulls. Risk hazards and endangerment and blame our institutions. Personal responsibility is so “old school!” COVID 19 is just a big scam spread by the doctors. There is no cure for stupidity. Dave these observations are not directed towards you.

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    • I’m sure Saudi Arabia has put all those “buggy” whips ……. personally I’d whip the horse not the buggy since (if you’ll pardon the cliche) I prefer the Horse BEFORE the cart)….. but to each his own…..
      Old, used horse whips rebranded in Saudi Arabia….put to good use maintaining religious order.
      Which begs the Saudi executioners question
      “Does anyone know where I can buy a scimitar?

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  4. You might or you might not be offering a defence of the term “common.” You might as well make a case for the common. You know that your experience trumps the common sense of most people. The common sense that forms militias, builds bunkers, ignores sound medical advice, mocks Covid-19 warnings, claims rights they do not possess, ignores science and supports mendacity. I am certain that you do not support any of these products of a common sense way of thinking. I’ll leave with a grrrrrrrrr and I’m tired of these equivocations.

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    • Apologies if we’re boring you..
      Common sense says you don’t spit on a cop while protesting.
      Common sense says if you’re rioting you might get arrested.
      Common sense says “ball cock valve” isn’t sexist.
      Common sense says the govt shouldn’t spend more money than it has.
      Common sense says to me that Trudeau is another vote pandering liar.
      Common sense says people are tired of constantly being told what ( and how) to think.
      Common sense says prepare for the future because it may not be the same as the past.
      Common sense says dont spend all your money on cigarettes and tattoos.
      Common sense says save money for a rainy day because CERB and UBI are hideously expensive Liberal vote bribes.

      Alas, common sense is , sadly, not too “common”.

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  5. I like the idea of max 2 terms, and then leave, no pension. If I don’t do my job properly in business, I am fired, and get a little money paid. So if I am stupid or behave stupid, I am kicked out. And that’s how it should be in politics. Now, after elections, the politicians just divide the jobs amongst themselves, making sure a-every one gets a well paid seat and a nice pension. Same in top business, they just sit in each other’s board of directors and get large paychecks….
    So why not govern our countries by ” a counsil of wise”, to be re-elected every 4 years

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    • Politicians come and go but through transitions of governments the civil service mostly remains the same. It is the Civil Service that carries out past and current government programmes. Musical chairs with politicians will not change much. There is little altering in the philosophy of political parties. The party of “No” will spread doom and gloom no matter who represents them in parliament. Dark, dire and committed to constraining liberties.

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  6. You are exactly correct. Common sense is ‘not common.’ What passes for common at times Is appalling. I fail to see any common sense in shaming, blaming, scapegoating, discrediting, undermining and venting one’s spleen on the perceived sources of life’s problems. I’m reminded of the words of Pogo who said something like this, “I have met the enemy and he are us.” Others have said, “We are our own worst enemies.” Or the big one, “Doing the same thing and expecting different results.” When it rains singing, “Rain, rain go away” does not stop the rain.

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  7. Back when I was in my 20’s i realized that society was already trapping us. First buy a car usually with a small loan, sign a rental lease for accommodation next 25 year mortgage for a house and on and on. That is why I escaped at least for a few years. You want another worry check out on netflix The Social Dilemma we are already being manipulated by AI.

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    • Yeah. Sal and I watched it. What I find interesting about an otherwise terrifying documentary is how ‘effective and efficient’ (for their own purposes) they are at figuring what motivates us and such and yet, we have psychiatrists and psychologists who have been at it for decades without success. What does THAT say? Does it say that motivated by profit and greed, untrained geeks can ‘get to you’ but unmotivated academics cannot?

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      • Just finished reading Mary Trumps Book about Uncle Donald…….
        It confirmed what my opinion of Trump was decades ago….long before impressionable idiots voted him in as President……
        A boorish bullying braggart …. nothing more.

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    • Thanks. You are right. But so many people think Bonny Henry is so fantastic, I didn’t want to open that can of worms. I think Dr. Henry is good in an institutional kinda way – staying inside the box, so to speak. But still effective.
      Plus she was thinking to the extent that she was ahead of the pack on masks and such. But she was NOT the hero depicted – not to me. She and Dix did not make a major difference (if one COULD have been made). They are $300,000 a year ‘mouthpieces’ for the system and, to be fair, the system is the best we have at any given moment.
      But it is not good enough. The system is hoary. It is old. It is stale. It is status quo-as-she-goes for the healthcare monopoly. I consider the healthcare-Pharma industry spoiled and elitist (almost corrupt) but still better than starting from scratch. I give ’em a C. Maybe a C+. But ‘change’, ‘innovation’, ‘free-thinking’ and ‘motivated’ to do better is simply NOT there. And, in the hospitals, CARE is missing. It is sometimes there in individuals but even then, those individuals are brainwashed by the system they invested in and are often thwarted and blocked by the institutions they then belong to. I know a brilliant surgeon who was expertly trained by the system and does fabulous work – he is thinking of quitting to become a carpenter BECAUSE the system is so stupid. I know another few health care professionals who are mental. Literally. Crazy and ineffective and useless. But OMG – do they have a soft touch of doing nothing except going to meetings. Our system is way better than the US but NOT as good as many 3rd world countries.
      This topic is a ‘firecracker’ with so many thinking that, because our system is free, it is great. It is NOT free. And it is NOT great. But this topic is holy. This topic is NOT one we can sanely talk about. To talk critically about our healthcare system is considered blasphemy.

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      • I get your metaphor for the failure of an institution or a business summed up in the figurative term, they continue making buggy whips. ‘Making buggy whips’ is a metaphor coined in the 1960’s. It is not intended to be taken literally true. Literally the BC Medical System is not a failure. The BC Medical System is under funded no doubt. Recently a number of young people gathered and ignored medical advice and several caught Covid-19. When interviewed said, “I smoke, I drink, I do drugs and I choose to put myself at risk for Covid-19. These young people feel at liberty to make ill advised choices. We have a society where one can make bad judgements and the consequences if any will follow. I’m a bit challenged to see a link from a bad decision by an individual possibly leading to social isolating or even death to be the fault of someone in the government?

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      • Two different issues. You KNOW we have more than one issue, right? Well, a ‘disturbed’ generation is one of them. Institutions primarily focused on keeping themselves going is another. Oddly, neither is to blame. If you get a top job in a hospital, you try your best to ‘keep the ship afloat’ and being the same. You become institution-focused because that is why you were hired. They hired you because you BELIEVE in the system. If you are born into or choose a group of aberrant peers, you will suffer from that, too. The culture will be dysfunctional and take you down with it. Those results are ‘secondary’ or even tertiary issues to the primary one of the constant need for renewal, refreshing or rebuilding. It is no accident that our natural world is constantly being razed and rebuilt, killed and re-born, set ablaze so the ashes can fertilize new growth – it is natural. But, like fire suppression in the forests, all we really do is postpone the natural cycle and we do it so that some people can make money (logging companies). Think of that as the model.

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  8. @anonymous
    “Do you mean India? Lots of horses there. Saudi needs camel whips but they roll their own.

    *******

    Errrrr, never heard of Arabian Horses?
    I believe Saudi’s use small sticks to prod and whip those foul tempered “ships of the desert” and not whips….but your fantasy is your fantasy.

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  9. The on-line encyclopedia ‘Whip-o-pedia claims that a India has many draft horses whereas the Saudi Arabian pure blood horses have champagne tastes and don the harness rarely. As to what one uses to whip one’s camel…the sky is the limit. It probably involves something quirky.

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  10. Yes after time some organizations become rule bound or institutionalize. I recently was admitted to hospital for suspected Covid-19. I hardly recognized the place with all of the changes that had been made. The most impressive one was the high level of cleanliness, the attentiveness of staff, X-rays, blood tests, physical examinations, and a prognosis. ‘’Go home and isolate for two weeks and if your symptoms get worse report back here. Check your temperature and if you can not breath act quickly. What changed? No sitting around in a waiting room. No waiting for six hours. Why no foot dragging? I suspect that you will disagree with my surmise regarding why the hospital now had a fast track figuratively speaking. The purse strings were loosened and levels of staffing increased to meet the demands of Covid-19. Rather than a petrified old fossil, the old lady upped her game. The old broad had a plan and metaphorically “with all hands on deck some pulling in the same directing” put a slightly flawed plan in place to meet the pandemic crisis. Marking holistically and not criterion referenced the BC Health System deserves an A. On a criterion reference scale they had some bumps along the way like the challenges around personal protection equipment, and folks saying, “Give me Liberty or death.” But heaven on earth remains aspirational. Isn’t?

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    • Well, that is GOOD to hear!!! Clean hospitals!? To be honest, my latest expressed impressions are largely prompted by our latest experience and, as you know, I am still annoyed and continue to be so (long story). But, if they have upped their game, then I should shut up until I go back and see for myself (yes, a bee-line to the physio department). Sorry that you ‘got that close’ to C-19. Close is more than close enough. Especially if you are a senior. Good luck on the two week wait to see how it turns out.

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  11. This thread has now lapsed into history and this comment might never see the light of day (which is perhaps just as well), but I’ll make it anyway.

    And no, I do not purport to know when the stupidity curve will flatten. But we must keep trying. With any luck, those of us who persist in conducting ourselves as though stupidity were a virtue will be taken out by C-19. Maybe that is nature’s plan.

    This morning I came across this bit of tripe. It opens with the words:

    We, Belgian doctors and health professionals, wish to express our serious concern about the evolution of the situation in the recent months surrounding the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    You can see where THAT is going. I read the whole, long diatribe, and it actually seemed to make some sense. I consider my intelligence level to be slightly above that of a paramecium, yet I thought I saw some merit in the scandalous bit of prose. How depressing.

    https://docs4opendebate.be/en/open-letter/

    It’s probably just more fake news. Not written by or endorsed by even one doctor from Belgium or anywhere else. Probably the product of some reptilian brain with access to a keyboard.

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  12. This thread has now lapsed into history and this comment might never see the light of day (which is perhaps just as well), but I’ll make it anyway.

    And no, I do not purport to know when the stupidity curve will flatten. But we must keep trying. With any luck, those of us who persist in conducting ourselves as though stupidity were a virtue will be taken out by C-19. Maybe that is nature’s plan.

    This morning I came across this bit of tripe. It opens with the words:

    “We, Belgian doctors and health professionals, wish to express our serious concern about the evolution of the situation in the recent months surrounding the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

    You can see where THAT is going. I read the whole, long diatribe, and it actually seemed to make some sense. I consider my intelligence level to be slightly above that of a paramecium, yet I thought I saw some merit in the scandalous bit of prose. How depressing.

    This site Dave has here is very astute at preventing the proliferation of stupidity. So it won’t allow me to post much that would allow anyone to find the Belgian doctors’ “open letter” to which I refer. But, if you want to read for yourself the subversive message, look for something along the lines of”

    docs4opendebate.be/en/open-letter/

    t’s probably just more fake news. Not written by or endorsed by even one doctor from Belgium or anywhere else. Probably the product of some reptilian brain with access to a keyboard.

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    • I opened the link, read most of it. Don’t believe it. Methinks it is a troll, albeit an educated and eloquent one. The dickhead can write.
      But even if there are SOME doctors thinking the global response to Covid is overblown, so what? I think the opposite is true. I do not think they are doing enough. So – where does that leave us? Anonymous ‘doctors’ vs Dave? Equally as credible opinions. Anonymity cancels credentials claimed. In my mind, that letter is just a red herring at best, something to ignore, shrug off and attribute to trolls most likely.

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  13. I suppose they are “anonymous doctors”, although the “open letter” does have appended to it a very long list of (alleged) signatories. I googled a few and they appear to be real doctors. I suppose the open letter author just picked up a directory of doctors and cribbed the names. I was not able to see real signatures and do a smear test to see if signed in real ink. So that settles it. All a fraud.

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    • Maybe not. Maybe it is legit. But, nowadays, who knows? Nowadays everything is ‘fake’. And, since it is all guesswork now, I am inclined to ‘guess’ the way I have. But, honestly? Who knows? Who really cares? The ‘let’s get back on track’ crowd is real. Hell, even our very own doofuses in the Health Ministry are pushing to normalize. I see no logic in opening schools, bars and convention centres without having REAL steps in place to keep everyone disease free. But that’s just me. SSSOOoooooooooo many people want to get the merry-go-round spinning again….let ’em do it! Darwin and God will sort it out.

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  14. Dave it just might be that opening schools allows for social tracing which is key to identifying the pockets of the disease in the community. My premise is that schools were opened to have a gradual spread of Covid-19 and trace It back to its community location. Lockdowns will not lead to herd immunity. But social tracing, and the health protocol will help curb this disease. I recently went to a gym that required signing in and out. But on the list I noticed names such as Mickey Mouse. You might call using non de plumes ‘chicken stuff.’ Schools will take their rolls seriously but elsewhere…a moot point.

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    • A good point – there MAY be a method in the madness, I suppose. T’would be interesting to know. Have they said that? To my mind, the system you describe still puts people in harm’s way. What if a kid goes to school, gets covid and goes home to Grandma who then gets it and dies. They KNOW all that because they can effectively trace. Would that be considered successful? “Too bad about Grandma but we got here in record time?”

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      • The sad point is that it might be the case that the home had the COVID 19 and this case only came to light when the child was found to have the COVID-19 symptoms at school by the teacher following protocols. If a child attends school with symptoms others in the home might also have cases too.

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      • Again – good point – but it still makes for uninformed, unconscious ‘experimenting’ or discovery by way of ‘sampling’ households and using teachers in a front-line way. If they want to get this under control, being sneaky and vague isn’t the way. They need to mandate a test for everyone in the province except, in that instance, they find the ones that have it but STILL do not know the ones who may have it a week later. In other words, even the most extreme intervention has weaknesses. I hate Trump in every way but one thing now seems clear to me: they will never get this under control. And that applies to everywhere simply because we travel and the bug comes with us. His irresponsible approach may be a major part of the reason for that but, regardless, if they can’t constrain and cure it, they may as well just factor in 000’s of additional deaths every year. Don’t forget: C-19 this year will be C-20 next or C-21 the year after by mutation. This puppy has found a home.

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  15. I sent you an answer but it disappeared mysteriously but probably it is my fault. I have full and complete faith in my recent medical treatments but I no reason to think that that our medical system is perfect. Nor do I think that we have a Zombie system shuffling forward unconsciously not knowing how to fight Corvid 19. But you do not think we have Zombie medical system do you?

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    • No. I do not. Zombie is too harsh a word. But I do think we have a bunch of spoiled brats who get paid well but work little. There is simply NO excuse for dirty hospitals and there is no reason to think the ‘cleaning staff’ is all we need. We need everyone in the system to CARE about healthcare. And. more to the point, we need less meetings, less CYA and more actual, real work that has real results.

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  16. When I was seriously ill part of my treatment was IV therapy. The maintenance of sanitary conditions involved the nurses constantly washing and sanitizing all surfaces. All the instruments used in wound care were sanitary and single use. As you are aware the danger of cross contamination was a constant concern and protocols were in place to control the spread of pathogens. The cleaning staff were not part of maintaining the sterile conditions in wound care and IV therapy. The nurses kept the conditions sterile. The nurses were not dismissive of their responsibilities. I hope you never have to undergo IV therapy and Wound care. I do not have a jaundiced view of my hospital care which saved my life. I am deeply appreciative.

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