May 13, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Science of COVID-19|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The concept of social engineering usually has a sinister implication… like when someone calls you up and cleverly extracts your banking password. Less sinister is a charity calling you up and guilting you into donating… by craftily knowing which heartstrings to pluck. There’s a whole spectrum of social engineering, and anyone who’s ever parented a kid has engaged in it, possibly without even knowing it.

Getting a toddler to eat food they don’t want? Make it fun… the train going into the station, the plane going into the hangar… whatever. Weeeee zoom…. munch munch.

When the kid gets older, convince them it’s food they like. Eat along with them… ohhhh so yummy!! MmmMmMMm!!!

When they’re older than that, bribe them… ice cream after dinner if you finish your vegetables. Or blackmail; eat your vegetables or you’re grounded this weekend.

To the extent it’s getting someone to do something they otherwise might not want to… but end up doing so – and it’s their decision – that’s a successful implementation of social engineering.

On a separate note, if you’ve been reading what I’ve been writing for a while, then you’ve heard me talk about planning… and you’ve heard me talk about the strategy of starting at the finish line… and working backwards from there. Rather than defining a starting point, simply start at the end… as far away as it might be and as impossible as it may seem. Then plan the baby steps that aim in that direction.

And… perhaps you’ve also heard me say… that if a problem is too big to solve, break it in half. Solve the halves separately, and once you’ve done that… problem solved. And if the halves are too big to solve on their own, break them in half again. Break it down till you have a small piece you can solve.

So… putting all of that together… one finish line that’d be nice to reach (though likely impossible) is: everyone socially distances, everyone wears masks, everyone gets vaccinated.

That’s a big problem, and is easily broken into three distinct pieces… so, how do you solve them individually?

The answer might involve some social engineering, but… sometimes, incredibly, some problems solve themselves.

The anti-vaxx/anti-mask crowd has put the word out that vaccines are dangerous. They’re dangerous because people who’ve been vaccinated are “shedding certain proteins” onto the unvaccinated, and that can cause the defenceless unvaccinated people some serious health problems. Let’s be clear: they’re saying that it’s dangerous for an unvaccinated person to be near someone who’s vaccinated.

I’ve written about this baseless nonsense before, and destroyed the logic behind it into the tiny pieces of crap of which it consists. This is beyond stupid, and anyone who believes it should just… oh… wait a sec…

The anti-vaxx/anti-mask/anti-social-distance/anti-intelligence/anti-science crowd also says… the only way to protect yourself from these dangerous vaccine proteins is… socially distance and wear a mask.

Yes, you read that correctly… the anti-everything crowd… they’re not afraid of a virus that’s affected 160,000,000 people worldwide, killed between 3 and 10 million of them, and has caused tens of millions more some serious lingering or permanent health issues… no, that’s not the problem. The problem is the vaccines to neutralize all that. But the solution? Masks and social distance. Huh.

I guess perhaps if you ride the crazy train long enough, you end up at the same station where everyone else has already arrived.

You know what… great. Wonderful. All that social engineering? Not needed. Whatever works.

See that guy over there, respectfully standing a few metres away and wearing a mask? He might be a level-headed intelligent, informed person such as yourself. Or… he may be a stark, raving lunatic. Does it matter? Hell no. Welcome aboard, crazy-guy. We’re all in this together… and you just keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. We’ll both be ok. And, with that… two thirds of the problem is solved.

The final third… how do you get that guy to get vaccinated? That’s more difficult.

One of the simpler social-engineering tactics is already being thrown at it: Bribery. It works for some little kids and food… perhaps it works for some adults and vaccines.

Locally, homeless residents of the DTES have been offered $5 gift-cards… but that pales in comparison to the U.S… where you can get beer, pizza, train tickets, scholarships and, starting this week in Ohio… $1 million dollars. Yes, a random name will be pulled once a week for the next 5 weeks… and if the name pulled is someone who’s been vaccinated, they’ll receive one million dollars. Expensive… but, one would have to assume, effective.

Or… for the truly crazy… who’ll believe anything, and like propagating nonsensical conspiracies… how about this…

Put it out there that they’ve created a vaccine that prevents your skin from absorbing the evil C19-vaccine-shedded proteins! It’s really hard to get; they don’t want you knowing about it… but… I know a guy… and, hey… totally coincidental and ironic how that new secret vaccine comes in little vials that are identical to what you get from Pfizer or Moderna… and the side-effects are similar too… but no no no… it’s totally different. See the label? Totally different.

It’s worth a shot.


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May 12, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Science of COVID-19|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

A few months ago, I was talking about vaccine envy… how all these people around the world had access to vaccines, and we didn’t. The natural consequence of that is to develop “reopening envy”… which is something we’re going to see a lot of in the next few months. Sure, we’re all getting vaccinated at a record pace now… but we’re months away from everyone being vaccinated, and even longer for getting back to normal.

I’ve been hearing from friends around the world, but you don’t need to go far. Wander into any nightclub in L.A. and it’s like 2 years ago… crowds, no masks, party time. “How irresponsible” you might think… except every single person in there has been fully vaccinated, and their second shot was several weeks ago. This is what the world looks like when things go back to normal, so don’t be shocked; it’ll take some getting used to after more than a year of paranoia, but if there’s any silver lining to being effectively last in the first world with getting back to normal, it’s that when we get the all-clear, the world will be waiting for us with open arms… because we will pose zero risk. Vaccination works, and the places who’ve been doing it for a while are now reaping the rewards. The U.K., where daily cases are down 99% and daily deaths can be counted on two hands, is set to significantly ease restrictions in 5 days… and, assuming that goes well, is set to fully re-open June 21st, the first day of summer. And fully reopen means just that. Fully. Full blast. Restaurants, clubs, theatre, concerts, museums, sporting events. No masks. Life as we once knew it.

We get to watch from the sidelines because we’re behind, but… rest assured, we’re very much heading in the right direction. Locally, more than 40% of B.C.’s population has been vaccinated… and that’s counting everybody. If you count only those who are currently eligible (18+), the number is over 50%… and we start approaching the lower levels of assumed herd immunity at round 70%.

Also, if you look below… I’ve thrown my two vaccination graphs. The one of the left shows the comparison between us and the U.S. with respect to daily vaccinations… what percent of people got a shot today? Less than 0.2% there, More than 0.7% here… and that trend is widening, and we are days away from, per-capita, having a more vaccinated population than our neighbours to the south… even though they’ve been drowning in surplus vaccine for a long time. Yo, once again… if you’re not using it, send it up here… we have lots, and we’re plugging through it, but we could certainly use more.

So… in a nutshell… there’s bad news in the past, there’s good news in the future… and there’s a bit of frustration that it’s going to take longer than we’d hoped to go from one to the other. But… rest assured; we’re getting there, and, rather than being envious, perhaps it’s comforting to see other places that already have. That’ll be us.


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May 11, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Science of COVID-19|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Since 1980, the Vancouver Canucks have won fewer than 10 Stanley Cups. Also, since 1980, the Edmonton Oilers as well… have won fewer than 10 Stanley Cups.

While both of those facts are entirely accurate, they certainly fail to convey the real picture. But someone who’s not too sure can make that blanket statement, and nobody will argue it… though it might make you wonder if the person who said it actually understands what they’re talking about.

Similarly, the CDC has announced that “less than 10 percent” of C19 transmission is occurring outdoors. This number was picked up by the media and repeated… and has become the “de-facto” standard accepted description for the frequency of outdoor transmission. And sure, it’s without-a-doubt – accurate. The number is most certainly less than 10%.

What’s the real number? The actual number of documented outdoor transmissions may actually be lower than 0.1%, and even that is questionable. It may be a lot lower than that.

Part of it is defining what’s an outdoor space. A poorly-ventilated tent is not an outdoor space, though some stats have classified it that way. A huge outlier in outdoor transmissions has been data from construction sites in Singapore. For example, one particular study of over 10,000 worldwide instances of transmission found that only 95 of them were outdoors… and all 95 of them were from construction sites in Singapore. What gives?

That’s pretty simple, actually… those guys work outdoors in the hot sun, but eat lunch and congregate and relax in cool construction trailers, sometimes for lengthy periods of time. But since the job overlaps with indoor and outdoor spaces, and the classification needs one or the other, they erred on the side of caution and labelled it outdoor.

This erring on the side of caution is a problem, because it’s led to a lot of confusion and uncertainty. What exactly is risky? When exactly do you need a mask?

What the evidence is showing (though the guidelines still have to catch up) is that the highest risk – perhaps the only risk – is indoor spaces, especially ones that are poorly ventilated. Should you wear a mask while shopping? For the moment, absolutely. Vaccinated/not vaccinated/healthy/recovered… whatever… wear a mask. And understand why being in a crowded restaurant or bar for several hours is a lot different than a quick in-and-out at the mall to pick up something you need.

There are a lot of people wearing masks outdoors, but the science is implying that it’s almost entirely unnecessary. Sitting outside for several hours in close proximity to a lot of people is still not a good idea. Sitting outside next to one particular person, talking for hours, is also still not a good idea. It’s not an issue of being inside or outside; it’s an issue of proximity and potential viral load. Someone infectious breathing on you with conversation for hours is a risk, no matter what the venue. But when you’re outside, even a concentrated blast of virus dissipates very quickly. The distinction between droplets and aerosols and where they come from and how far they can reach and how long they can linger… all of it becomes rather moot when you’re outside, as in truly outside. It disperses… quickly.

So what about walking around on the street? Sitting around on a park bench by yourself? Should you be wearing a mask? As it turns out, the negligible risk implies maybe not. It might be the equivalent of walking down the street wearing a helmet… just in case a flowerpot falls off a window ledge.

An analysis of over 7,000 cases in China found exactly one case of outdoor transmission… but it was two people in conversation, in close proximity, for a lengthy period of time. And many other studies have concluded the risk of outdoor transmission to be insignificant.

That particular 0.1% number comes from analyzing numbers in Ireland… roughly 260,000 cases, roughly 260 of which were classified outdoors… but, again, that included construction sites and people in close proximity for long periods of time… with perhaps some indoor time included. Also, some sporting events… but it’s changing rooms before and after that are the real threat. Covid-19 ripped through the Canucks dressing room and affected most of the players and coaches and some others. But no opposing players caught it from any Canuck.

But… we’ve been erring on the side of caution, and we’ve gotten used to it… and it’ll be a while before people are comfortable with the idea of being around others without a mask, no matter where you are. And for the all-or-nothing crowd – where the only choices are black or white, right or wrong… there’s no easy way to convey this information. At the end of the day, there are circumstances where a mask is absolutely necessary. But by providing one single case where it’s not, you’ll hear back “You see?! We don’t need masks blah blah blah I’m not listening blah blah blah!!” – end of discussion.

So… as exaggerated as it’s been, that’s been the messaging. It covers the all-or-nothing crowd, much like saying the Canucks have won fewer than 10 Stanley Cups.

I, for one, would love to see the Canucks win at least one in my lifetime… and I’d like it to be in a crowded Rogers Arena along with 20,000 other people. And the silver lining of this is that, of course, by the time the Canucks are in any shape to win a Stanley Cup, masks will long have been a thing of the past.

But for now, if you need a general rule, wear a mask. And if you understand the big picture of all of the above, and especially if you’ve already had a jab or two… you can certainly start thinking about taking it off outdoors, especially if there’s nobody around.

I realize this isn’t yet the official messaging, but soon enough, it will be… because if you believe in science… and it’s the science that’s helping get us out of this mess… this is what comes next.


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May 10, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Science of COVID-19|Tags: , , , , , , , |

As expected, Dr. Henry spent a lot of time today talking about data… withheld, public and/or otherwise. My opinion hasn’t changed; as mis-interpreted as “too much data” may be for some people, I’d still want it to be out there. I understand the arguments against sharing everything… and I could probably strongly argue that side of it as well… but as much as I’d understand the reasoning, I still wouldn’t agree with it… and, anyway, going forward, more data will be made available. Good… I want to see it.

And looking at numbers around here, there’s reason to be optimistic. Vaccination rates are the highest ever, and going full blast… and case numbers, while still relatively high, are trending downward. Twenty deaths in three days isn’t great, but that’s due to the high case counts two weeks ago. If the present trends continue, the numbers will continue to dwindle down… and restrictions will be lifted and restaurants will open and some semblance of normalcy will slowly start crawling into sight… and perhaps we’re at the point where taking everything into consideration, we can measure it in weeks, not months. In the next few days, we’ll start seeing some tentative plans of how things might look sooner than later; we might see some positive, welcome changes shortly after the long weekend.

As much as it’s impossible to please everyone, the fact is… that B.C.’s handing of the P.1 (Brazilian) variant has been top notch. Understanding how it spreads, the restrictions and physical distancing and restaurant closures and gym closures and targeted vaccinations… have prevented what likely would’ve been a far worse outcome. Seeing some of that data that they like to keep to themselves likely would’ve helped explain some of those decisions that for many seemed too drastic. It wasn’t too drastic; it’s what was needed… and it’s what’s optimistically paving our way out of this.

Cautious optimism is certainly better than reckless pessimism… of which there’s still plenty around. Looking forward to that disappearing too. We’ve all had enough.


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May 9, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday’s post was fun… I will do that more often. Congrats to Alexandria McQueen… whose guess of “Maldives” is good enough to with the $100. The rocket didn’t actually hit the islands — whose entire size is tiny; about the same as Vancouver/Burnaby combined — but it’s possible a tiny fragment did. Good enough – good call, worthy of the prize. Win Win.

In the meantime, locally, what a beautiful day… spectacular weather, perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!!)… though any day with weather like this around here is worth celebrating, eh… ain’t that the truth.

Speaking of truth… Правда – aka Pravda – aka *the* Russian newspaper for over 100 years.

Throughout the history of the Soviet Union, and especially during the heights of The Cold War, it was the only official source of information for the Soviet people. It’s the one that would be tacked up on the streets and in Red Square for people to read. It’s ironic that “Pravda” means “Truth” – and the paper was anything but. It was, as you’d expect, the carefully crafted narrative that the Soviet leadership wanted out there. The Evil West, the awesome Soviet Union, etc.

It’s the paper that, in early 1984, announced that the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, had a bit of a cold and would be hospitalized for observation. Two days later, he was dead. As it turns out, there was far more to it than a cold, but that wasn’t learned till much later. For more than a year, he’d been suffering with multiple organ failure… and had been in hospital for months leading to his death. Interstitial nephritis, nephrosclerosis, residual hypertension, diabetes & chronic kidney deficiency. Hey, don’t worry, it’s just a mild cold. That was the story until he died, and then it became hard to hide… but at least they managed to push the “Pravda” as far as they could.

His successor, Konstantin Chernenko, started smoking at the age of 9 and was a heavy smoker all his life… leading to emphysema, right-sided heart failure, bronchitis, pleurisy and pneumonia. But he, too, died suddenly and unexpectedly from a mild cold. He’d actually been hospitalized for months.

I don’t know what the Russian word for bullshit is (ok, I just looked it up.. it’s “бред сивой кобылы” – that’s a lot of letters for a simple concept…) but that’s also too long a name for a newspaper… so let’s just call it “Truth”. Ha ha.

I’m sure a lot of quiet, whispered discussions back then centered around “What do you think is actually going on?!” – and that is not a question that we, around here, are used to asking when reading or listening to news or leaders who’ve been hell-bent on providing what they call “transparency” since day one.

And this is why this news of B.C. health info being withheld and now being leaked is bothering so many people so much.

The Soviet people deserved to know their leaders were on their deathbeds. When it comes to news about health, people want to know… even if it’s not their own. If it might affect them, they deserve to know. And the leaked B.C. news affects every single one of us.

I’m not a big fan of withholding information, and I don’t at all subscribe to the point of view that putting that much info out there is a bad thing. Sure, people may misinterpret it, but that’s why there are also people out there who *do* know how to interpret it, and they’ll be happy to share their views. The key is, they need the info to do so properly; if the real info isn’t out there, it leads to more wild speculation and even more misinformation. What does hiding it and then providing one single, linear narrative remind us of? See above. The truth is… regionally speaking, a lot of this pandemic could’ve been handled differently. In perhaps an effort to not offend, the blanket orders affected us all equally, and that wasn’t necessarily the right way to do it for the greater good.

There’s less than 24 hours till Monday’s PHO update, but rest assured that the Henrys and Dixs and Horgans of the world are not having a quiet, relaxing weekend. With these few days for the reporters to inform themselves and line up the questions… it won’t be the usual group-hug; this could be a bit of a melee, and I hope the reporters who get the opportunity to do so ask some tough questions. We, the people who are most affected by this… deserve some Правда.


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May 8, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report|Tags: , , , , , , |

We interrupt this regularly scheduled column to bring you a little contest!

As you may know, a nice big unwelcome piece of a Chinese rocket is about to fall out of orbit and potentially hit the earth somewhere.

I will donate, in your name, $100 to the charity of your choice… to the person who picks the country onto which this thing falls.

Chances are, it’ll fall in the middle of nowhere… probably the ocean, in fact.

But in case it actually hits the ground and does some damage… let’s have a little bit of good come out of it.

I like being wrong, so I will start… Canada.

Type your guess in the comments below… we’ll have it all figured out by tomorrow. The contest cut-off is when the news of the impact’s where and when is announced… which should be in the next 24 hours.


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May 7, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Science of COVID-19|Tags: , , , , , |

A picture may be worth a thousand words… so some videos may be worth a million.

Here’s one that’s worth a lot… and it’s not of declining case counts or rising vaccination rates… but just the latest addition to the family… who joined us just this afternoon… and is already getting along wonderfully with her big brother.

I’d write more, but that’ll have to wait…

For now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be outside playing with the new puppy.


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May 6, 2021

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Business & Economics|Tags: , , , , , , |

Starting today, the RCMP will be throwing up the roadblocks. They’ve announced the following:

Highway 1 in the Boston Bar area
Highway 3 in the Manning Park area
Highway 5 in the Old Toll Booth area
Highway 99 in the Lillooet area

In reading their press release from yesterday, here are my thoughts…

The only one of those that’s remotely relevant to people in the lower mainland would be the last one… and that’s only if you decide to not only boot it up to Whistler… but decide to continue the road-trip up, past Pemberton… and in doing so, I guess eventually you’ll run into the cops, who’ll ask you… what are you doing here?

And it’s a good question… what *are* you doing here? That’s clearly the sort of travel they’re trying to discourage.

That being said… I’m not a lawyer, and I’m happy to hear them chime in on this… but my opinion is that none of this is actually ok… to the extent that, if challenged, it’d be swiftly thrown out of court.

Ostensibly, drivers can be fined $600 if their travel is deemed to be outside the bounds of “essential”… but by who and how that’s to be determined is a big question mark. While the police can pull you over and check for a valid DL and insurance, it’s generally none of their business where you’re going or why you’re going or anything else… and without probable cause, demanding answers about it is arguably infringing on your Charter rights. Another fundamental right you have when being questioned by the cops is a very straightforward one, especially when it has the potential to incriminate you: You have the right to remain silent.

I think it’s important to understand the bigger-picture intent of all of this, because from that point of view, it works quite well.

When the cops tell you that there will be a DUI checkpoint on all major roads in and out of downtown this Saturday night, it’s 100% supposed to be a deterrent. They don’t want to be cleaning up horrible car accidents. They’d prefer it if there were no accidents to begin with.

When they want to collect some speeding-ticket revenue, they quietly and stealthily set up shop on the side of the road. If they really wanted people to not be speeding, it’d be just as effective to announce it very loudly – speed traps will be set at the following locations during the following times… and when they realize how effective that is, they’d set up cardboard cut-outs with cops holding up radar/laser guns. Cheap and effective, and that’s what happens on highways where actual dangerous speeding takes place; they don’t want to deal with serious accidents, so they find ways to deter them.

But in this case, the truth is… the cops don’t want to set-up travel roadblocks. They don’t want any part of this, but are being mandated to do so… because the bigger picture, for the moment, requires it.

What they really want… and which is what the PHO also wants… is for this virus to go away, and one step in doing so is to prevent the spread from region to region. They can threaten to throw the law at it, but this is Canada… and as much as some people scream about it, our rights aren’t actually being trampled.

In a perfect world, none of these threats would even need to be made; we could just rely on everyone’s good, common sense. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned over the course of a year… common sense is not so common.


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May 25, 2021

By |May 25th, 2021|COVID-19 Daily Report, Politics, Business & Economics, Science of COVID-19|4 Comments

When airplanes land, there’s a lot of maneuvering that takes place in the last 40 minutes… you start descending from the cruising altitude, and you navigate in such a way that you’re lined up with the runway. Depending on other traffic, there may be a holding-pattern loop or two… or you might need to speed up or slow down. You’ll hear the flaps being deployed, which gives the wings more surface area, and the ability to “lift” at slower speeds. But after all the turns and changes in velocity and changes in control surfaces… eventually, you’re lined up with the runway on final approach… and you’ll know you’re there because you’ll hear the landing gear drop. There are no more turns once the gear is down; barring some unforeseen circumstances, you’ll be landing shortly.

Today’s optimistic provincial update felt that way; it felt like the landing gear coming down. There is a clear, straight path ahead of us, and, barring something unexpected, we all step off the plane in early September… and this bumpy, nightmarish, turbulent 15-month flight is over.

Today’s dropping of the landing gear also brought about dropping the circuit-breaker restrictions… as well as a number of social-distancing measures. It was a great day for restaurants and other small businesses.

Step two, in mid-June, with further restrictions being lifted, will feel like the moment when the plane kisses the runway and then slows down and heads for the gate… and you, also, will be kissing people… in gatherings of 50 or more… indoor and outdoor.

Step three, in early July, will be that moment when the plane stops at the gate, goes “ding”, and everyone takes off their seat-belts and gets up. And it’s not just you lifting your sore butt off that seat; that’ll be the moment the provincial state of emergency is lifted. The moment the public health emergency is lifted.

And then… that waiting period… of “just open the damn door and let me out of here”… a couple of months of that, but, by then, things will be feeling pretty normal. We’re on the ground and plane has stopped. We’re not going to die.

I won’t fill in all the detail of what happens on all of those dates; check out the official government site for all that… but … [Continue Reading]


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May 24, 2021

By |May 24th, 2021|COVID-19 Daily Report, Politics, Science of COVID-19|5 Comments

These long weekends used to scare me a bit because it’s like flying blind for a few days. We might wake up Tuesday morning to find 3,000 dead and 400,000 new cases. It never happened (not even close), thankfully, and I guess that’s why when B.C. decided to pull the plug on weekend updates, they never came back. But I certainly appreciated they updated numbers today… and they were as good as we can hope for… beautifully following that descent to zero. Today’s less-than-300 new cases was the lowest since Feb. 1st… before the 3rd wave.

For the most part, the other interesting numbers to follow these days (barring a 4th wave appearing suddenly and out of nowhere) are the vaccination numbers. On a per-capita basis, we’ve pulled ahead of our southern neighbours, and it’s to no great surprise. We are vaccinating as fast as we can; they are not.

Other broad brush strokes… our military is 85% vaccinated, and that number would be higher were it not for logistics… so it’ll keep rising. On the flip side, the American military refusal rate is somewhere between 33% and 50%, depending who you ask.

Military aside, what about the general population?

In the U.S., it looks like this…

Democrats: 67% vaccinated + 24% asap or waiting = up to 92% eventually, with 8% saying never.

Republicans: 46% vaccinated + 22% asap or waiting = up to 68% eventually, with 32% saying never.

In Canada, it looks like this…

Already vaccinated or will eventually / outright refusal:

NDP: 79% / 9%

Liberal: 84% / 5%

Conservative: 69% / 19%

Seriously, what is it with right-leaning mindsets? Why does conservative equal vaccine hesitancy? Is it because they don’t trust the government? Is it because they don’t trust science? Is it because it’s not in the bible? Or it IS in the bible in some hidden way?

The first time I ran across this sort of horseshit was when I was only 13 and it was pointed out to me that the new American president (Ronald Wilson Reagan) had 6 letters in each of his names. 666… the sign on the beast. Clearly, he was the anti-christ… notwithstanding he was himself a staunch … [Continue Reading]


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May 23, 2021

By |May 23rd, 2021|COVID-19 Daily Report|2 Comments

I hope you got your good dose of sunshine in yesterday, because around here, we’re back to “the usual” for a week. The big Vancouver Weather Wheel (VWW) has only three sections… “It’s about to rain”, “It’s raining” and “It just rained.” A recent spin landed in section 2, and that’s where it’ll sit for a while… and actually, that’s ok. The freshest air on the planet exists when things transition from section 2 to section 3.

The other thing going on these days is the transition from the NHL regular season to the NHL playoffs –lots of rain equals Spring equals NHL playoffs… and there’s an interesting correlation… you can sort of map playoff performance with Covid-19 numbers.

Here in B.C., our numbers have recently tanked, which is very good. The Canucks have also tanked… which is good or bad, depending on whether you like to see a strong finish or a better draft pick. Either way, both our pandemic numbers and our team’s performance have crashed down noticeably. Playoffs? LOL.

One province east of us is Alberta, whose pandemic numbers were riding high. Also riding high were the Edmonton Oilers… who seem to have hit a brick wall when they entered the playoffs. And right around the time the Oilers began their journey to falling down two games to zero to the Jets, so did their C19 numbers. That’s an impressive meltdown, their daily new-case numbers… falling like a rock. Much like the Oilers’ chances of getting much further in the playoffs. They might go down 3 games to 0 to the Winnipeg Jets, who are flying high these days.

Unfortunately, so are the C19 numbers in Winnipeg. Manitoba is the one province that isn’t yet headed in the right direction, though perhaps they’re turning the corner too.

As has happened numerous times in the past, the Leafs and Habs are battling it out; that series is tied, similar to the C19 numbers in those two provinces, as far as things getting better… though I’d have to give the “trending advantage” to Quebec… which, in this warped correlation of mine, is good news for Leafs fans.

Two of those four teams will meet in the next round of the playoffs, and only one will make it to the semi-final round… where they’ll run … [Continue Reading]


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May 22, 2021

By |May 22nd, 2021|COVID-19 Daily Report|3 Comments

Masks / no masks, vaccines / no vaccines, social distancing or not, 5G, Bill Gates, Fauci, Tam, Henry, Chinese conspiracy, whatever… there are many things to disagree upon… but one thing upon which everybody seems to agree is that healthy doses of sunshine and vitamin D (don’t overdo it) are a good combatant against Covid. Early on in the pandemic, it was noticed that the vast majority (if not 100% in some cases) of seriously ill patients were found to be Vitamin D deficient… and this is one vitamin where, if you’re lucky, you can get plenty of it for super-cheap.

So that’s what I’ve been doing most of this day, and I hope you’re out there as well, infusing yourself with this free healing power… especially since next week, we’re back to little pills if you want your Vitamin D fix. Vancouver, you know.


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May 21, 2021

By |May 21st, 2021|COVID-19 Daily Report, Politics, Science of COVID-19|4 Comments

If you look at the B.C. chart below, you’ll notice that the black 7-day moving average of cases is remarkably consistent. You could put a ruler to it and not be far off. Someone asked, given that slope, when would we see zero cases?

Extrapolating it, if it stays that consistent, we’d hit zero on June 16th. There’s a picture of it in yesterday’s comment section. Is that actually possible?

Above and beyond the restaurant closures and social restrictions and masks and all the rest of it, is the very real and excellent fact that lots and lots of us are getting vaccinated. Let’s remember… this is a virus, not a live bug. It needs a host. If the virus has exhausted its time on a particular host and wants to go elsewhere, it needs to find a viable destination. A host that’s not immune… and that’s, fortunately, becoming more and more rare.

So… what does that mean for a return to normality?

We’ve been told we need to exceed 75% / 20%… meaning 75% of people with at least one jab and 20% fully immune with two.

If 50% of the population has one jab and 3% of the population has two jabs, what’s the shortest period of time it could take to get to 75% / 20%?

OMG, it’s your worst nightmare coming to life – an actual real-world application of a math *word problem* – the sort your prof promised you’d never have to deal with if you study really hard and just pass this one last final math exam. Wait, come back! – sit down… I’ll do it for you.

We’ll make the math conveniently easy, because it’s very close to this; we are 38,000,000 people and we are vaccinating 380,000 people a day. Exactly 1%. And note that not all 38M can get vaccinated, and that 380,000 number could go up… so these numbers are conservative.

If the intent were to get to 75 / 20 as fast as possible, we’d have to allocate vaccine so that, on a daily basis, we’re incrementing both of those numbers in such a way that we hit 75 / 20 simultaneously… but a simple way to look at it is to get to 75 right away, and given the present strategy, it’s … [Continue Reading]


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