04.16.2020 09:18 AM

Live free or die. Like, really die.


  1. joe long says:

    Everyone of us takes risks each day. Similarly we have risks thrust upon us each day. For example; driving a car, a 1 in 8500 chance of dying each year. Similarly, a bad flu year. Yet we as a society accept these risks.

    So now the question is “how much risk does COVID-19 present?” We will have to address that question and we will have imperfect knowledge to make that decision.

    I have asked at this site what level of risk would be acceptable to go back to work. No one answered. I have yet to see any politician; Trump, Biden, Trudeau, or Scheer, etc. answer that question. Similarly the main street media seems silent on this vital issue.

    We also have to balance the cost of the shutdown in lives against the loss of life from the virus.

    So as a first step, I would like to see how total deaths from all causes plots against previous years. I might be wrong, but this could give us a better handle on how serious the virus is compared to our normal existence. It should be done for countries, but also for states and provinces like New York, Quebec, Ontario.

  2. I have people in my office who systematically refuse each year to get the flu shot. In other words, they don’t give a shit if they’re a carrier, or get sick themselves. Even yearly worldwide death statistics doesn’t sway them.

    Same thing this time. A lot of people are looking at the worldwide mortality rate in percentages and don’t give a shit. They do the social-distancing and that’s it. No mask. Sooo…in the final analysis, we need provincial, territorial and municipal requirements for mandatory mask wearing. Otherwise, forget it because wearing it proactively and voluntarily is not in one hell of a lot of people’s DNA…

    • Peter says:

      Damn right! And we should also immediately hire a whole bunch of hand-washing verification officers and a large Sneezing Protocol Enforcement Brigade. Ronald, old swot, as I know of no government leader or public health official that is calling for that, I have to wonder whether you really think indignant disdain and calls for hard time for anyone who doesn’t do what you are doing or would like them to do is what we need right now? Most people have made tectonic changes to their lives, many under scary circumstances, and most people are behaving amazingly responsibly. Let’s get a grip on that inner Mrs Kravitz.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Point is, either mask wearing is vital, essential or paramount to sound public policy and virus management or it’s not. But don’t do an Alice in Wonderland and delude yourself or the rest of us by even suggesting that voluntary mask wearing will lead to the desired public health effect. Like Clara Peller said: where’s the beef? You know human nature: nothing concentrates the mind more effectively than using tickets that put a big cramp in the wallet. Otherwise, forget about credible and effective results via mask wearing.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “Exactly. And well put.”

      Absolutely. And while we’re at it, let’s start arresting people who leave their homes for no good reason. Working, buying food or going to the doctor should be the only legitimate reasons for being out in public until further notice.

    • The Doctor says:

      Masks are a little bit oversold. There’s a reason why our public health authorities have not issued mandatory mask orders for everyone to this point. There’s a benefit to wearing them but it’s quite marginal compared to the benefits of social distancing, staying at home and washing your hands regularly etc.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        I agree with this absolutely. But I’m coming at this one only from a public policy perspective. If it’s on the table, then make damned sure that it’s as effective as humanly possible, or just forget about it as a credible health policy tool.

      • A. Voter says:

        “Masks are a little bit oversold.” In Taiwan the military was given the task of manufacturing masks and giving them out. Everyone wears them.
        COVID is airborne and can be spread by coughing, sneezing, etc. Taiwan did not shut down the country and has had six COVID deaths in a nation of 24 million people. Taiwan also banned people from infected countries at the start, but it’s a little late for Canada now.

  3. lungta says:

    i like joes analogy
    1 in 8500 die by car wreck
    but 50? in 8500 get in a wreck and 49 don’t die
    i’m almost 70 and if i get in a car wreck, or catch anything, or fall on ice, or stress my heart, or miss my meds or any of the other life experiences , my odds as an elder are significantly less of recovery from anything.
    thems the rules dammit …lol

    • Chris Sigvaldason says:

      8,500 die in car wrecks, SPREAD OUT OVER 12 MONTHS. We in North America have been in lockdown for about one month. No one seems to take that into consideration. Tens of thousands of Canadians die from cancer and heart attacks each year. They don’t overwhelm the health care system because the are spread out evenly over the year. If COVID was being evenly spread out we would not need a lockdown.

  4. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    I decided to stop at one of three pharmacies in line close to my home. Drove in, saw the dolts lined up in tight single file outside the entrance so just kept a driving to pharmacy number two. People there had one line, on each side of the entrance, each line respecting social distancing both in length and width. Needless to say, didn’t have to push on to pharmacy number three.

    • Fred from BC says:

      I just bought toilet paper and Kleenex at my local Safeway, at 7 PM tonight. First time I’ve seen it on the shelves in 6 weeks (I heard stories about people lining up in the early morning to try and buy it, but never verified them). Either the hoarders are all stocked up or something is starting to break…

      • Warren says:

        Was on the shelves in town today, too. I didn’t buy any.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          Been on the shelves here off and on for at least three weeks.

        • Fred from BC says:

          I didn’t actually need it (yet), but felt compelled to buy it anyway. I had thoughts of going back for more, but quickly changed my mind; all the experts told us right from the beginning of this that that the supply chain was in no danger and we didn’t *need* to hoard any paper products, remember?

          People panicking created an artificial shortage which is just winding down now, I hope. I’m not in favor of forcing seniors and mothers with children to line up in the early morning cold and rain when they shouldn’t have to.

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    You see, good public policy is like a firing squad: soldiers didn’t have the option of firing over the heads of Mata Hari or Pierre Laval, or shooting them in the legs.

    Like the Civil Code says, it’s a case not of une obligation de moyens but rather one of une obligation de résultats.

  6. Pedant says:

    Somebody wants to get a pet crow or raven? A bit unconventional, but could be fun. They are highly intelligent birds. Why are you opposed?

  7. Paige says:

    CORVID-19 eh? A new crow/raven identification class?

  8. Driving a motor vehicle on public highway requires a driving licence, which can only be obtained after passing an examination. You are required to maintain your car or it can be impounded and towed off the highway. You have to have proof of insurance and registration. One more thing; if a qualified medical practitioner believes you are not competent to be behind the wheel, your driving privileges (on public highways) can be revoked (that’s right, driving is a privilege, not a right, unless you are on your own property). So the comparison has some value. If you are going out in public, you need to adhere to certain standards. The elected politicians can enact and enforce laws pertaining to your behaviour in public under certain circumstances (just like driving). When one is driving, one must be aware of the actions of fellow drivers, and the best drivers are the ones who are cautious and pay attention to the rules. So wear your mask when appropriate to do so, and don’t go out anymore than is necessary. And avoid the idiots.

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