Sunday, January 31, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Linda Geddes discusses the problem with people approaching COVID-19 restrictions based on the question of what's permitted (or worse yet what they can get away with), rather than what choices are most likely to limit the spread of the virus.

- Richard Horton writes about the growing expert push for a no-COVID strategy, while Michael Baker and Martin McKee offer 16 reasons for any country to pursue that goal. Lynsey Chutel and Marc Santora point out the need to fight the pandemic everywhere for anybody to be safe from future spread and newer, more dangerous variants. May Warren wonders what ever happened to contact tracing as part of the plan to control community spread in far too much of Canada, while the Globe and Mail's editorial board laments the failure to use rapid testing as one means of identifying potential sources of transmission before symptoms have appeared. And Winnie Byanyima argues that it's unconscionable for vaccines developed largely at public expense to be turned into corporate profit centres at the expense of universal availability as a public good, while Reshma Ramachandran and Zoey Thill take note of the rhetorical sleight of hand involved in associating vaccines with pharmaceutical companies rather than public sources of research and support.

- Meanwhile, Scott Gilmore discusses how Canada's national response to the coronavirus ranks among the world's worst. Andre Picard notes that the latest federal announcements involving limitations on some type of travel figure to offer far more in terms of symbolism than substantial outcomes. Mike Blanchfield reports on the growing recognition that we need domestic vaccine production capacity. And Charles Shaver highlights the importance of paid sick leave, particularly for people working to keep the public healthy.

- AFP reports on Argentina's implementation of a wealth tax to help fund coronavirus relief. And Christian Paas-Laing interviews Miles Corak about the need to do more to rein in wealth inequality - including the fact that Chrystia Freeland earned much of her public reputation documenting and (at least implicitly) recognizing the need for greater equity which her government is choosing not to pursue.

- Finally, Zarah Sultana discusses how big money distorts the U.S.' political system beyond any reasonable definition of the term "democracy". And Umair Haque writes about the dangers of being satisfied with a return to the same normal which produced the rise of Trumpian fascism to begin with.

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