Anyone on social media can see how elusive coherent conversations are when it comes to COVID-19 and the vaccine. Views are highly polarized and shaming others for their opposing views has become the new normal. This temptation to attack must be resisted. It is not at all helpful. There are many opinions and many people can have equally good reasons for having contrary positions. Even medical professionals are not on the same page. One physician says one thing. Another physician says something else. A third physician has a third point of view.
What are our governments saying? Who cares? They are consistently getting things so wrong that people don’t believe their governments anymore. They can’t even agree on where COVID-19 came from. The field of COVID views is littered with confusion. Here are three things worth considering about COVID and the pandemic that have been under-reported.
1. Most masks don’t work
If you feel safer about wearing any mask, wear one, of course. No one should stop or shame anyone from wanting to protect themselves.
It is equally unfortunate that people are being forced to wear any flimsy cloth over their face for the sake of appearances. After all, most masks don’t work well. We were told this at the outset of the pandemic but then we were told to mask up anyway. More than one year ago, Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam told asymptomatic Canadians not to bother with a mask. Even the top United States medical doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, emailed back in February, 2020: “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.”
Numerous studies support this. The latest study from the University of Waterloo last month argues that cloth and the common blue medical mask only prevent about 10 per cent of droplets from escaping and even the recommended N95 masks only prevent 50 per cent of droplets from escaping. We also know that escaping droplets travel farther than the two metres of recommended social distancing. We also know that it is practically impossible to contract COVID when you are outside. But if you are worried and are at risk, go for the N95.
2. Vaccines are not perfect
Everyone who wanted the vaccine got vaccinated. The entire at-risk population has been vaccinated. The only people who have not been vaccinated, don’t want to be vaccinated.
I’m in my 50s and I’ve been vaccinated. The older you are the better off you are by getting the vaccine. Research shows that there is very small risk of dying from COVID. There is a much smaller risk from complications from the vaccine but there is still a very small risk. The guy repairing my backyard deck spent three days in intensive care at the hospital after he got vaccinated.
The vaccine was rushed to market and we won’t know the full extent of side effects for a few years. That is why some parents prefer that their children get natural immunity from the virus.
A new Israeli study of 700,000 people, affirms 14 other studies that argue that natural immunity is better than immunity from the vaccine. Another Israeli study reveals that natural immunity is almost seven times better than immunity from the vaccine. For those who seek natural immunity, our governments should let them be. That’s their choice.
While many credible scientists argue that natural immunity is best, other credible scientists argue that immunity will only last one month, just as you can get the flu virus one month after coming down with the flu. Unfortunately, our governments are not reliable tie-breakers as they have proven to be wrong too many times. That leaves the populace in a state of constant confusion and conflict.
3. Number of COVID deaths doesn’t tell us much
Listing just the raw number of people who died from COVID is so unhelpful it is disturbing. How about reminding people of how old the COVID victims are? It should be highlighted and repeated often that the average age of a Canadian COVID vicitim at time of death last year was 82. Life expectancy is 78. It should also be noted that the vast majority of these COVID victims had other ailments such as cancer, diabetes, pneumonia and dementia. In most cases, COVID cut short their lives by a few months, meaning they were dying before they got COVID.
Hardly anyone under 45 has died from COVID and there are very few cases, if any, of healthy young people dying from COVID. The most important categories for the general population to see are COVID deaths of healthy people by age category. Why isn’t that reported?
At the height of last year’s lockdown, according to Statistics Canada, “100% of the COVID-involved deaths of Canadians under the age of 45 as of July 31 had at least one other disease or condition certified on the medical certificate of death.” Not one healthy person under age 45 had died. Why wasn’t that a front page headline?