Covid Journal, October 3, 2020
Setting the Stage for a Covid Coup?
Unfortunately (I mean it), Donald and Melania Trump have both been tested positive for Covid. A horde of others, particularly those caught gladhanding and hugging each other following the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as a nominee for the Supreme Court, have also tested positive.
Talk about KARMA.
But to the question: at the moment, Biden looks well ahead of Trump (52.5% vs 44.5%), but this is with decided voters that respond to polls. The ‘undecided’ camp is usually sitting on the sidelines until election day and, by nature, they tend to NOT want to disclose voting intentions because they will likely support Trump (and are possibly paranoid about a pollster collecting data about them).
The CBC (and thousands of other news sources) has opened up a can of worms concerning the potential for a trainwreck with the election.
Knowing Trump – who’s already said that he’ll accept the results if they favour him but who won’t leave office if the results favour Biden – it doesn’t feel like a stretch to suggest that he’ll milk this thing for all it’s worth. Assuming he survives.
All of a sudden, he’ll embrace the alarm of Covid and make claims of not being able to campaign properly and that any results ‘aren’t fair’.
I know, cold right? But he’s been known to have tricks up his sleeves before. Example? How about two firece conservatives being nailed with felonies in voter suppression schemes in Michigan?
Notorious GOP operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, known for their roles in a slew of outrageous political schemes, were each charged with four felonies on Thursday by Michigan’s attorney general for allegedly orchestrating a large-scale robocall campaign aimed at suppressing the minority vote ahead of the 2020 election.
According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, Burkman and Wohl created and funded a false robocall discouraging mail-in voting that targeted Detroit and other urban areas.
Voter suppression, counting mishaps and call manipulation are classic tricks the Cons and Repugnicons have used for the last 20 years, so nothing here surprises me.
As my title suggests, the circumstances of a ‘Covid coup’ have been laid out in front of us for at least the last 6 months. Donald Trump has splashed all kinds of ridiculous thoughts and theories out there.
Sadly, after the ridiculous and embarrassing presidential campaign just a few days ago (some have called it the ‘worst ever’), Trump seems to have also given the cue to the Proud Boys to take over if he fails.
Is Covid a ‘Syndemic’and NOT a Pandemic?
As the world approaches 1 million deaths from COVID-19, we must confront the fact that we are taking a far too narrow approach to managing this outbreak of a new coronavirus. We have viewed the cause of this crisis as an infectious disease. All of our interventions have focused on cutting lines of viral transmission, thereby controlling the spread of the pathogen. The “science” that has guided governments has been driven mostly by epidemic modellers and infectious disease specialists, who understandably frame the present health emergency in centuries-old terms of plague. But what we have learned so far tells us that the story of COVID-19 is not so simple. Two categories of disease are interacting within specific populations—infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and an array of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). These conditions are clustering within social groups according to patterns of inequality deeply embedded in our societies. The aggregation of these diseases on a background of social and economic disparity exacerbates the adverse effects of each separate disease. COVID-19 is not a pandemic. It is a syndemic. The syndemic nature of the threat we face means that a more nuanced approach is needed if we are to protect the health of our communities.
The notion of a syndemic was first conceived by Merrill Singer, an American medical anthropologist, in the 1990s. Writing in The Lancet in 2017, together with Emily Mendenhall and colleagues, Singer argued that a syndemic approach reveals biological and social interactions that are important for prognosis, treatment, and health policy. Limiting the harm caused by SARS-CoV-2 will demand far greater attention to NCDs and socioeconomic inequality than has hitherto been admitted. A syndemic is not merely a comorbidity. Syndemics are characterised by biological and social interactions between conditions and states, interactions that increase a person’s susceptibility to harm or worsen their health outcomes. In the case of COVID-19, attacking NCDs will be a prerequisite for successful containment. As our recently published NCD Countdown 2030 showed, although premature mortality from NCDs is falling, the pace of change is too slow. The total number of people living with chronic diseases is growing. Addressing COVID-19 means addressing hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, and cancer. Paying greater attention to NCDs is not an agenda only for richer nations. NCDs are a neglected cause of ill-health in poorer countries too. In their Lancet Commission, published last week, Gene Bukhman and Ana Mocumbi described an entity they called NCDI Poverty, adding injuries to a range of NCDs—conditions such as snake bites, epilepsy, renal disease, and sickle cell disease. For the poorest billion people in the world today, NCDIs make up over a third of their burden of disease. The Commission described how the availability of affordable, cost-effective interventions over the next decade could avert almost 5 million deaths among the world’s poorest people. And that is without considering the reduced risks of dying from COVID-19.
Having just reminded folks that the top of the food chain, Donald Trump, has tested positive for Covid, I think I’ll sit back and see how this interpretation plays out. That said, we’ve already seen that Covid affects different classes disproportionately, such as Montreal with black Canadians and lower demographic people being hit hard.
New Zealand to Test Wireless Transmission of Energy
I need some good news.
More than 100 years ago, Nikola Tesla proposed the wireless transmission of energy.
The implications are magnificent.
Let’s embrace change rather than keep trying to fight it off. I’m talking to you, Jason Kenney.