It is becoming increasingly hard to know what information to believe, on all sides of the political spectrum, and in terms of what rigorous science would point us to.
Please bear in mind that what follows below are my musings. They are meant to provoke thought and discussion amongst people who choose to read this post. I am NOT saying I have any corner on what is True, or What Needs to Be Done, or the like – Except to say that I would hope people who read this will use their critical faculties, their logic and their gut instincts to consider the information. I heartily invite discussion and input, and challenge, of the Information, based on the most solid information you can gather.
If you are just going to label, attack and insult myself, or anyone else responding to this post, you will be blocked/deleted.
Yesterday, I looked up Covid figures on the World-O-Meter: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries (See screen captures of some charts, at the bottom of this post).
As with so many parameters of note around appropriate measures in response to the COVID-19 virus, there have been widely-reported challenges to the veracity and reliability of the PCR testing, especially with higher number of cycles in the testing (>35) to amplify the genetic material being tested for. Other detailed studies I found say that it is very reliable – but then there are some provisos for effective interpretations and application of those results. See this study from Ontario, for example: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/main/2020/09/cycle-threshold-values-sars-cov2-pcr.pdf?la=en
I have left this question of diagnostic reliability out of my own look at relevant issues – at least for now. I personally feel that the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, relative to the country’s population, is a more useful measure. So, after playing around with some the settings in this very useful worldometer chart system, I clicked to add a column that is not part of the default settings, called “1 Death every X ppl”.
That added column appears on the right in each of the captured excerpts I have pasted in below. The first chart is how it appears (minus that “1 Death every X ppl column) when you first log into the worldometer countries chart for COVID. The 18 countries topping the list in that first chart are in order of largest number of Total Cases, the USA at the top.
In the second chart, with many more entries, there are 194 countries out of 220 total in the complete chart. The 194 are the ones for which there are numbers in the column marked “Death every X ppl”.
As you can see in that second chart the entries are listed from highest to lowest number of 1 Death/X ppl. So I ‘ll list a few entries here by number, country and the final figure in the column of 1 Death/ X ppl:
2. Taiwan – 3,405,293 (So, obviously 1 death attributed to COVID 19 in every 3.4
million people is a much lower incidence than when it is
1/626 people, as in Belgium, below)
5. Thailand – 1,164,705
9. China – 310,601
19. New Zealand – 200,084
55. Japan – 43,959
67. Australia – 28,236
137. Germany – 3,135
143. Canada – 2,665 (so, our incidence is 1277x higher than Taiwan; 75x higher
than New Zealand; more than 2x lower than the US and the
UK; and 4.26x lower than Belgium)
172. Sweden – 1,267
183. USA – 1,023
184. UK – 1,010
192. Italy – 878
193. Belgium – 626
I have a friend who lives in Taiwan, and has done for several years now. I have another friend who recently retired, with his wife, from the eastern US to Thailand. In both of those cases I have heard about the pretty minimal disruption to ordinary life that presently exists in those two places.
In China, where we are told this virus initially appeared (though there have been reports that COVID-19 cases were identified months earlier in other parts of the world; and also that there has been a cover-up of emails showing corruption and manipulation of the virus in labs in Wuhan, imprisonment and torture of whistleblower scientists and the first physician to notify authorities in China of the virus outbreak; and allegations of mass cremations to hide the actual and under-reported death toll in China) the death toll is remarkably low. Who and what is to be believed?
But even if we leave China aside as an untrustworthy reporter of relevant statistics, I wonder what explains such a discrepancy in reported cases, and particularly in the death toll relative to population.
Yes, I do hear from people I know in Taiwan and Thailand about early restrictive measures and almost universal compliance of mask wearing. And yes, New Zealand and Australia acted early and with widespread measures to restrict the in-flow of people from countries with higher infection rates. And, they have the marked advantage of being island nations that can swiftly impose travel restrictions with greater ease and efficiency than countries that share long, unprotected borders, or multiple borders with fellow land-locked countries. But it seems like there must be more to be understood here.
And over and over again, anyone who questions the efficacy of many of the measures being forced upon us seems to get targeted for shaming and “putting other’s lives at risk”. Well, as a health care professional myself, I have always been trained to look for the cost/risk to benefit ratio. What does the patient stand to gain if this treatment is given or not given; and what are the risks and costs involved with each of the two (or even more) options? And believe me, I know how charged this gets when the safety, or very survivability of a loved one is at stake. But I, for one, would be grieving no less to see a loved one die from a drug-overdose or suicide than from a COVID-19 infection.
I am NOT saying this is black and white, follow all health directives, or none, scenario. As a practicing osteopathic practitioner, I am duty bound and morally responsible for using safety protocols, cleaning protocols and the like. What I am advocating for is more comparison of the different protocols being applied world-wide. What can we learn from countries with lower death and infection rates to improve Canadian responses; and what measures are simply not working? Collectively, humankind has the ability to gather information, and to test and apply novel responses and solutions in exponentially greater ways than ever before. Please, let’s be open-minded, test our own assumptions, be willing to hear what might seem crazy or reckless while asking ourselves, “is there anything useful or true in this?”
Here is an article along the lines of what I’m speaking of;
Here are a few things I’ll add to the mix:
- Early on in this pandemic we were cautioned to forget about any kind of immune-boosting agents, as totally useless. That has changed somewhat in recent months. I have read widely on the use of high dose vitamin C as a very powerful anti-viral measure. Here are two articles on that:
- a. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/12/andrew-saul-high-dose-vitamin-c-therapy-for-major-diseases.asp b.https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/942640?src=soc_fb_201219_mscpedt_news_pharm_vitc&faf=1
- Maintaining adequate doses of Vitamin D also has strong evidence for boosting immunity, lowering the risk of respiratory infections, and perhaps for helping one heal from COVID-19 or colds, influenza. In fact, major risks for contracting COVID 19 correlate with the higher incidence of co-morbidities in the poor: obesity, insulin resistance and vitamin D deficiency – https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/17/pandemic-wealth-inequality.aspx
- An ER physician speaking out early in the devastating wave of COVID-19-related deaths in New York City, in the spring, was quoted as saying that COVID did not manifest as a typical respiratory virus resulting in pneumonia, but rather, that it was much more like altitude sickness. The patients were very rapidly becoming deeply hypoxic, yet they were not showing the typical signs of gasping for air and finding it very difficult to speak. That physician said the use of respirators in that case seemed to just up the mortality rate, for those so affected. Just now I read another physician’s take on this who said that the typical treatment approach to altitude sickness could be dangerous when applied to a COVID-19 patient. So, I will leave this to the highly trained experts in this field of acute-care medicine, who I’m sure are learning new and more effective ways to handle the acute scenarios, every day. I am totally on board with supporting and appreciating the valiant efforts and sacrifices offered by our front-line medical staff, and first responders.
- “The Great Reset” The World Economic Congress is openly speaking about how the lockdown will lead into establishment of altogether new systems, in which nothing is owned, we rent literally everything we use and occupy, including our homes, and that everything we do say, interact with, will be logged and steered in direction of compliance with what is decided “to be for the greater good”. I guess whether that Great Reset looks more like what this Time Magazine article proposes (first link, below) or this much more worrying vision, (second link) will be up to us to decide. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/12/19/technocracy-and-the-great-reset.aspx?ui=fcea806e14d61224008c7fd91283783af96edf252e0cde2d679a1c570ce8f459&cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1HL&cid=20201219_HL2&mid=DM751752&rid=1038383273
I will finish this long epistle by saying this. If we make it unsafe to speak anything that challenges the mainstream narrative, we are living in an impoverished society. Let’s hear all points of view on these very important policies and responses, without rancour or attack. Only then can we see what is useful and valuable to promoting the best level of health for all concerned.
If you have read this far, I thank you.