Friday, April 02, 2021

I Got Zucked and We're Getting F*cked

 I am very angry right now about restrictions both in the real world and in the virtual. Let's start with the real world, on account of (a) it's real and (b) it affects more than just me. Understatement, that.

Our esteemed (?) Premier, Doug Ford, has examined the most recent Covid figures for our province and he didn't like what he saw. For good reason: the latest figures I have seen show that 433 of Ontario's 500 ICU beds are currently full of COVID-19 patients. That's cutting it a little tight when you understand that ICU beds are used for more than just COVID patients. 

Accordingly, Ford has announced that as of 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, the entire province is back in gray, or "lockdown". The quotes are very much intentional, because this isn't a lockdown at all. 

Not even close.

  • unless you work in food service, your business remains open, with capacity limits;
  • it appears to be up to individual school boards whether to conduct classes on site or online, and at least a few are choosing in-person education;
  • Retail establishments will remain open.
These are all safe activities. Seeing friends and family, though, that could transmit the virus, so you can't do that. Well, you can try, but do be advised the fines are $1000 and up if you get caught. 

Apparently we haven't destroyed enough small businesses yet. Apparently we haven't put enough students and retail workers (as well as their families) at risk yet. Alternatively, it appears we haven't wrecked enough families yet.  If you have another explanation, I'd love to hear it. 

PLEASE UNDERSTAND. I am NOT denying the reality of Covid-19. I am, rather, questioning the hypocrisies, the double standards, the scientific determination that people you know and trust are suspect while co-workers and any number of total strangers you meet in stores are perfectly safe. I'd like to see the methodology on these studies, because I have never seen a virus smart enough to suss out who is family and who is not, and only infect the one and not the other. 

I know of someone who was exposed to the virus along with 150 of his co-workers. They must self-isolate for eight days--longer for anyone showing symptoms--but that self-isolation does NOT mean they stay home. No, of course not. They must attend work, the very place they were exposed. Does this make ANY sense to anyone?

I am also angry about the vaccination situation. Thirty percent of America has received at least one dose.  Most of my American friends at least have an appointment for their first shot, if they're not fully vaccinated already. Thirty percent of America is a little more than three times the population of Canada, and we all know the position the United States started in. Full credit to Biden and his team, and absolutely zero credit to any Canadian politician. Last I looked, Ontario is hopping to have everyone vaccinated by end-July, and there are enough asterisks and conditions that they may as well just say "you'll get it when we decide you deserve it, shut up". 


According to this, the reasons are manifold. It costs too much. (Because you can think of so many things that are higher priorities?) Our patent laws favour generics over new drug development. (hey, a generic Covid-19 vaccine sounds like a good thing to me, but what do I know? "So, you don’t want price gouging, but if you have price control, you’re limiting the interest of those who want to make such products."

Canadian Frederick Banting et al, in 1923, discovered insulin and Banting was awarded the patent for it. Rather than hold the world ransom for a desperately needed drug, he immediately sold the patent to the University of Toronto for $1. He said "this discovery belongs to the world, not to me." I guess times have changed since 1923.

Pardon the snark. I am pissed off. 


On Wednesday evening at about 10:30, I was scrolling my Facebook feed. There was an article from the ACLU about the U.S. federal government issuing non-gendered identification. A man named Daniel launched into a bigoted rant about the government issuing false identification now and how nothing made sense anymore. I wrote something like this:

"Okay, everyone! How about we misgender Daniel on purpose from now on? She'll like that, right?"

and posted it.

Daniel laughed, said, and THIS is a direct quote, "okay, I like that", and I thought my point was made. About fifteen minutes later, my Facebook account was disabled for 24 hours because I had violated their community standards against harassment and bullying. There was no explanation given as to how my remark constituted either. I could have fought the decision, which was almost certainly made by an algorithm and not a human, but I didn't bother. I've already pulled back from Facebook just recently, and now I will likely not bother posting much and CERTAINLY won't comment in public fora. This may change if Facebook ever bothers to publish a detailed deconstruction of what language is acceptable and what isn't. If I get banned again, for any reason, I will simply delete my account. It would mean losing most of you, and I don't want that to happen, but if Facebook decides I am persona non grata, I won't have much choice. 

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