Saturday, February 05, 2022

Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Mike Mariani writes about the difficulty people suffering from long COVID have experienced trying to have their condition recognized and treated under governments looking to diminish or deny the existence of their disease. And Hannah Devlin and Nicola Davis discuss how scientific knowledge of COVID has evolved - with the recognition of the importance of masking (which is of course only becoming all the more vital in the face of the Omicron variant) serving as one of the most important developments.

- Wendy Glauser writes that in addition to providing frontline care, health workers have been performing vital work in providing the public with accurate informaion. Omar Mosleh discusses Tara Moriarty's fight to share accurate data in the face of Scott Moe's attempt to overrule health experts. And Jason Warick talks to several political scientists who conclude that Moe's combination of science denial and support for the bigoted #FluTruxKlan is unprecedented in Canadian history.

- Danyaal Raza and Wendy Lai are hopeful that the development of an unpatented vaccine will significantly shorten the timeline to vaccinate the world - though prioritizing public health over intellectual property rights when it comes to existing vaccines remains an important part of any plan. And until it's possible to achieve global protection through vaccination, Molly Jong-Fast discusses the importance of living - and doing our best to limit the spread of COVID - one day at a time. 

- Scott Schmidt asks where Alberta (among other jurisdictions) will end up in dealing with foreseeable future COVID waves if it allows violent ignorance to carry the day now.

- Finally, Doug Cuthand rightly notes that the police deference to violent anti-vaxx occupiers demonstrates the obvious presence of white privilege. And SURJ Toronto highlights the importance of using that privilege to push for fairness and equality.

Friday, February 04, 2022

Musical interlude

Elderbrook - Why Do We Shake In The Cold?

Friday Afternoon Links

Assorted content to end your week. 

- Gregg Gonsalves writes about the continued dangers of responding to COVID with wishful thinking rather than realistic public health measures, while Meredith Wadman reports on how the spread of the Omicron BA.2 strain has caught the scientific community off guard. The National Institute for Health Research points out new research showing long-term lung abnormalities resulting even from mild cases. And Zak Vescera reports on the desperate state of Saskatchewan's hospitals as Scott Moe declares it's open season for community transmission, while Scott Larson reports on the continued conversion of testing into a corporate profit centre rather than a public service. 

- Omer Aziz writes about #FluTruxKlan's assault on Canadian democracy. And Emma Jackson writes that the left can learn some lessons about outreach (while of course advancing an equitable vision rather than the destructive one of the right).  

- Grace Blakeley discusses the appalling level of control exercised by the wealthiest few over the economic and social structures that stand in the way of well-being for so many. And John Nichols suggests a 92% pandemic windfall tax to at least ensure that a public emergency doesn't serve to exacerbate the concentration of wealth and power. 

- Peter Nicholson highlights the three tragedies that stand in the way of the action we need to avert climate breakdown. And Georgina Rannard reports on satellite mapping showing that methane leakage is far worse than normally assumed - making the rate of climate destruction even more severe. 

- Finally, Ricardo Tranjan, Tania Oliveira and Randy Robinson discuss the need for new investment to enable schools and students to catch up after two years of near-constant disruption. 

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Thomas Bollyky et al. examine the factors which have led to reducing the spread COVID-19 and resulting harm - with trust in fellow citizens and government ranking at the top of the list in improving vaccination rates and limiting transmission. And Wei-Bi Shen et al. study the neurological effects of COVID, including creating an Alzheimers-like effect on brain function. 

- Meanwhile, Blake Murdoch points out the folly of pretending that letting the Omicron variant run wild would somehow represent the end of the pandemic, rather than another wave of avoidable harm. Laura Sciarpelletti reports on the pleas from Saskatchewan's health care workers not to scrap the vaccine mandate and other (already insufficient) measures which are somewhat containing the damage for now. And Jacob Stern and Katherine Wu discuss the meaninglessness of declaring COVID "endemic" when that can still mean immense ongoing harm. 

- Crawford Kilian maps out how the #FluTruxKlan wants to drive Canada into Trumpist territory, while Aaron Wherry notes that the Cons don't seem to care at all about the end goal as long as it provides an excuse to foment anger in the short term. Emily Leedham exposes the convoy's connections to anti-worker violence in the course of the Co-Op refinery lockout. And John Michael McGrath recognizes the need to highlight the work of the people making every effort to control the pandemic, rather than focusing solely on the destructive few determined to exacerbate it. 

- Finally, the Canadian Press reports on the NDP's push toward decriminalizing drug use in order to contain the damage from another public health crisis. 

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

Puzzled cats.

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Alexander Quon reports on the politicization of Saskatchewan's COVID policy in the summer of 2021, with political staffers and commercial interests winning out over public health recommendations surrounding Saskatchewan Roughrider games. Zak Vescera reports on Scott Moe's deliberate dishonesty as an excuse to scrap what few protections remain in place. And Hilary Brown, Yona Lunsky, Sandi Bell, Fahad Razak and Amol Verma highlight the need to start taking into account the people with disabilities who are being told they should self-isolate without supports in order to allow those in power to avoid the slightest inconvenience. 

- Brandi Morin discusses how the #FluTruxKlan is based entirely in white supremacy, while Max Fawcett calls out the double standard involved in allowing a mob of bigots who had expressly threatened violence far more leeway than any other type of protest. And Ariel Troster points out how that choice resulted in residents of Ottawa being held captive at the behest of the extremists.  

- David Dayen and Rakeen Mabud examine how the U.S.' corporatist policy laid the groundwork for its current supply chain failures. And Rebecca Graff-McRae points out the dangers of the UCP's plans to turn labs and other parts of Alberta's health care system into corporate profit centres rather than public services. 

- Unifor makes the case for Canada to reinvest in national passenger rail service.

- Finally, Emily Chung reports on the emergence of new oil and gas heating bans in jurisdictions with even a modicum of foresight - while also recognizing how fossil fuel interests are lobbying to stand in te way.  

Monday, January 31, 2022

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Yasmin Tayag discusses the progress being made in determining how long COVID is caused - though the only point that appears beyond dispute for now is that avoiding infection is the only sure way to escape it. And Theresa Kliem reports on the swift response from experts calling out Scott Moe's science denialism in declaring that vaccines don't help stop community transmission. 

- Meanwhile, Supriya Dwivedi is appalled by conservative politicians' embrace of the racism and violence at the root of #FluTruxClan, while Max Fawcett suggests they'll end up paying an appropriate price. And Michael Harris rightly argues that the lunatic fringe have no right to impose their destruction on everybody else. 

- Julia Rock discusses how the U.S.' regulatory state is encouraging the funding of obsolete pipelines at public expense. 

- Umair Haque writes about the need to start building effective global systems to ensure people have even the most basic necessities met. 

- Finally, as a prime example of how warped our current service structures are, Alexandra Levine reports on the collection and sale of data from a suicide hotline to turn pleas for mental health assistance into a profit centre. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Eric Topol charts how vaccines to date have continued to provide essential protection against the Omicron COVID variant, even as people with an actual interest in public health recognize that they don't mean the pandemic is over. Ng Keng Gene discusses how Singapore is launching a major study to determine how to avoid the spread of infectious diseases in buildings. Julie Henry and James Tapper report on the UK's inevitable conclusion that it needs to start reapplying public health rules after it's let yet another wave cause unacceptable damage. And Ian Reifowitz highlights how basic precautions against a continued public health threat are in fact the only hope we have for freedom.

- But Andrew Nikiforuk offers a depressingly accurate depiction of the decision to abandon the fight for health and well-being on the part of far too many Canadian leaders. And Justin Ling and Al Jazeera staff each report on the #FluTruxKlan's appalling arrival in Ottawa.

- Karen Hamilton discusses the importance of ensuring that the end to fossil fuel subsidies in Canada is swift and decisive, rather than getting dragged into the usual pattern of delay associated with any challenge to corporate giveaways. And Drew Anderson examines the massive costs and dubious returns of carbon capture and storage projects - particularly when combined with attempts to shift emissions from oil consumption off the books.

- Finally, Sarah Lawryniuk explores the current status of plans to make the burial of nuclear waste near Ignace, Ontario into yet another high-priced attempt to hide the side effects of extractive energy.