Nov. 9, 2020

Too much dishonesty and gaslighting in virus pandemic

Health care specialists and politicians came to us insisting that if we allowed them to quarantine us for weeks that turned into months, they could contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Their claim that the virus was extremely contagious required hospitalization of infected persons and was lethal to most, particularly those contending with other illnesses.

The quarantine measures were severe and included locking down all businesses and services save for a list deemed essential. Medical people usually deal with ill or at risk people and do not interfere with businesses or services. We have not had a rational explanation for the change.

We do not have adequate numbers of COVID cases or enough history of coronavirus infections for statistical credibility. Infectious disease specialists are working with computer models based on algorithms created from educated guesses. Errors in the algorithms are significantly magnified in model projections. The early models exaggerated predictions of massive infections, hospitalizations and deaths. The steady spread of coronavirus infections despite lockdowns and quarantines is unsettling but unsurprising.

First, the heavy-handed lock it all down regulations in mid-March came after tens of thousands of visitors from China, elsewhere in nearby Asia and Europe, had been coming in for the past two and a half months.

Second, we did not quarantine travellers, expecting them to self-isolate because we asked politely. That didn’t work. We are still not quarantining travellers because they are here on essential business.

Third, we failed to provide income replacement if a person is under a COVID quarantine. Thousands of hourly paid workers went to work when ill or refused to test because they could not afford unpaid days off.

Fourth, we allowed people to self-isolate at home but allowed family members in the household to carry on with their routine affairs. That is not a proper quarantine.

The government containment plan had too many deficiencies to prevent the spread of the virus. Thousands of people are COVID infected, and we have only identified some of them. The virus will continue to spread as if the lockdown had never occurred. No countermeasure will work short of locking up the entire population for at least three weeks, which is unworkable.

Current actions to close businesses are too late. Community transmissions will continue as we have no idea how many people are infected, and consequently, everyone, including our front line and essential workers are at risk.

Governments did not consult with the people before locking down all but essential services and issuing orders to stay in our homes. They took a lead role infringing on our freedoms and rights with assurances that they could control the virus.  

Their strategy failed, and now Governments are pleading with us to treat everyone outside our immediate family as a virus carrier to be avoided. That is not how to foster the cooperative effort and mutual respect required for a society to work to a common objective.

Months of mixed messaging, contradictory advice, unclear regulations, threats of fines, and onerous restrictions for ‘non-compliance’ with a failed strategy have destroyed our faith in governments’ ability to protect us from COVID. We have endured too much dishonesty and gaslighting.