COVID-19 'Pandemic'

spaminator

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THE FLU SEASON THAT NEVER WAS: COVID-19 pandemic keeps other viruses at bay
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Mar 31, 2021 • 20 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Science North and Laurentian University joined forces on Wednesday for an online episode of "Let's Talk About COVID-19."
Science North and Laurentian University joined forces on Wednesday for an online episode of "Let's Talk About COVID-19." PHOTO BY TARA WALTON /The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA — The 2021 flu season will go down in history as the epidemic that never was.

By this time of the year, Canada has normally logged an average of more than 43,000 confirmed cases of influenza.


But this year, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there was a total of just 66 confirmed cases as of March 20.

The federal agency says the case numbers are so low they haven’t even met the threshold to declare the flu season as having begun.


There has been no evidence of flu spreading in the community, no confirmed outbreaks and the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to the flu is zero.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the public health measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have helped keep the flu at bay, but also other infectious diseases like measles — not diagnosed once in Canada in more than a year.
 

spaminator

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J&J finds problem with COVID vaccine batch, 15 million doses reportedly ruined
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Mar 31, 2021 • 11 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and syringe are seen in front of displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021.
Vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and syringe are seen in front of displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. PHOTO BY DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION /REUTERS
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Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday it had found a problem with a batch of the drug substance for its COVID-19 vaccine being produced by Emergent Biosolutions, and said the batch did not advance to the final fill-and-finish stage.

J&J did not say how many vaccine doses the batch would have produced. The New York Times reported that about 15 million doses were ruined, without citing a source.


The Times said that workers had conflated ingredients for the J&J vaccine and a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc, which is produced at the same plant, several weeks ago.

The manufacturing misstep follows manufacturing issues at J&J, which is seen as one of the most important COVID-19 vaccines globally, because its vaccine is a single dose and requires relatively little special handling. J&J said manufacturing was on track.

J&J did not directly respond to a question about the number of doses ruined, only responding with a statement saying that the batch being produced at Emergent Biosolutions’ site in Baltimore did not meet quality standards and did not advance to the fill-and-finish stage, which is handled by another company.

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J&J said the problem at the Emergent Biosolutions plant, which is not yet authorized to produce the drug substance for the vaccine, was identified and addressed with Emergent and shared with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. J&J said it was sending more people to supervise manufacturing at the plant.

News of the setback comes at a time when the Biden administration has been trying to accelerate shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to U.S. states.

Last month, the Biden administration said it was exploring ways to increase manufacturing of J&J’s vaccine, as the expected levels of early doses were less than it hoped at the time.

J&J said it has met its commitment to deliver more than 20 million doses of its single-shot vaccine by the end of March in the United States.

In addition to contracting with Emergent Biosolutions to produce the vaccine drug substance, J&J tapped Catalent Inc to handle the final stage – called fill and finish.

Johnson & Johnson faced some manufacturing issues earlier in the year.

A European Union official in early March told Reuters that Johnson & Johnson told the bloc it was facing supply issues that might complicate plans to deliver 55 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in the second quarter of the year.

Emergent, which is a manufacturing partner to both J&J and AstraZeneca, referred to J&J’s statement when contacted for comment.

Astrazeneca, whose vaccine is not yet authorized in the U.S., said: “We are aware of the reports regarding the facility and we understand Emergent is investigating the matter.”
 

Blackleaf

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Oct 9, 2004
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The Texas Neanderthals were right

Texas ditched the mask mandate and opened up – and it’s all fine.

The Texas Neanderthals were right

SEAN COLLINS

US CORRESPONDENT

1st April 2021
Spiked

In early March, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced he was ending the state’s mandate for people to wear masks, and reopening businesses at full capacity. Media outlets went into overdrive to denounce him and predict catastrophe. CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza called Abbott’s decision ‘head-scratching, anti-science’. ‘Model projections for Texas show worst-case scenario without mask mandate’, warned an ABC TV station in Houston. Abbott’s move was part of a ‘bold plan to kill another 500,000 Americans’, screamed Vanity Fair.

Politicians also rushed to criticise Abbott. Former representative and failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke called his decision a ‘death warrant for Texans’. California governor Gavin Newsom said Texas was ‘absolutely reckless’ for lifting its Covid rules.
No less than President Joe Biden felt obliged to speak out and condemn Abbott. ‘The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine – take off your mask, forget it. It still matters.’

Well, it appears the Neanderthals in Texas got it right, and Biden is the one whose thinking is caveman-like. Now, three weeks after Abbott’s order to lift the mask mandate went into effect, the Covid situation has improved in Texas. New cases are down, to their lowest level since June. Hospitalisations have fallen to their lowest level since autumn. Death rates have plummeted. Furthermore, the outlook for vaccinations in the state appears bright, with a record daily number of people receiving shots. Adults of all ages are now eligible for a vaccine jab, a faster pace than many other states.

Have Biden and the media apologised for slandering Texas? And have they learned that lifting mandates on mask-wearing and removing other restrictions does not lead to Covid-spreading? Of course not.

Instead, Biden cited an uptick in new cases nationally to bang on again about masks. ‘I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor, and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate’, he said earlier this week. ‘Please, this is not politics. Reinstate the mandate if you let it down.’ Biden’s plea came on the same day that CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned of ‘impending doom’. Holding back tears, she said: ‘Right now, I am scared.’

Overwrought emotionalism from the head of the CDC is not helpful, to put it mildly. Nor is a president insisting on state-mandated mask-wearing. Biden’s message implied that the latest increase in cases was down to states like Texas that have loosened restrictions on activity, but that is not true. In fact, the national increase was driven mainly by New York, New Jersey and Michigan – states that have imposed the most onerous of restrictions.

As it happens, there is no need for alarm in the US. Yes, new cases are up in some states, but far below the January peak. The levels are much too low to talk about a ‘fourth wave’.

With the rollout of vaccines in progress, it is important for any discussion of Covid’s spread to break down findings by age group. And here we find encouraging developments. Nearly three-quarters of those aged 65 and older have been vaccinated, a group that has accounted for about 80 per cent of all Covid-related deaths. Accordingly, hospitalisations and deaths among seniors have been reduced dramatically. The latest increase in new cases is concentrated among younger people. This spread from older to younger was seen in Israel as vaccines were implemented there, but proved to be a temporary phenomenon. Also, we know that younger people are much less likely to be hospitalised or die from Covid. That’s why it is unlikely the latest increase in cases will lead to a corresponding increase in deaths.

Rather than speak of ‘impending doom’, there are solid grounds for optimism, especially considering the unprecedented success of the vaccination programme. The speed of getting vaccine shots in people’s arms (about three million a day) is far outpacing the rise in new cases (some 68,000 a day). Nearly all adults who want a jab will be able to receive one in April. Hesitancy about getting the vaccine is declining. Vaccines are approved for 16- and 17-year-olds, and are proving safe for 12- to 15-year-olds. Given the high percentage of those who already have antibodies from prior infections, effective herd immunity could come as soon as May, with a strong chance it will be here in the summer.

As Texas and other states show, removing mask mandates and lifting other restrictions do not lead to an increase in the spread of Covid. Yet politicians and the media keep repeating this claim. Among the factors fuelling the latest uptick in cases, the New York Times includes the fact that ‘Some mayors and governors have continued to lift restrictions and mask rules. Many Americans are behaving less cautiously.’

It is not that preventative actions like wearing masks are completely unnecessary. But they do become a problem when they are imposed as strict government mandates rather than leaving it up to people’s own judgment, as Texas does. When Biden and others effectively politicise the wearing of masks, they create social divisions between the supposedly virtuous mask-wearers and the irresponsible others.

The real issue is that Biden and many other elites don’t trust the mass of people. When the toll of state-mandated restrictions on our wellbeing is so great – in terms of job losses, small businesses going to the wall, a halt in student learning, and the non-treatment of non-Covid health issues – such limitations on us should be kept to a minimum. Today, as we see vaccines being rolled out at a rapid pace, the constraints on us should also be lessening. But as the constant gloom-and-doom from Biden and the CDC shows, the instinct of many in authority is to dismiss any signs of good news, so as to justify controls on a public they do not trust.

Sean Collins is a writer based in New York. Visit his blog, The American Situation.

 

taxme

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Feb 11, 2020
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It will never be over until the people decide that it is time to be over. Until then, communist globalists like ugly looking Tammy and comrade Turdeau and the rest of those dictating comrade politicians in Canada that now run this globalist communist country will keep trying to make our lives as miserable as hell forever if they can. These dictators that are running this sad pathetic country today are not going to give up their power and authority over we the stunned people anytime soon. It has to be taken away from them.

But are there enough brave Canadians out there that will say enough already and demand that these commies give us back our rights and freedoms? Right now that is not looking good for that to happen. Apparently, there are many stunned Canadians out there that are ready to vote comrade Turdeau back into power. If that happens then you will finally get to realize that Canada is full of brain dead buffoons and suckers for punishment. This country is getting scary by the day.
 
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taxme

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It's the vaccinations that are driving the numbers down. If you can vaccinate enough, you don't need masks or distance.

If you think that getting a vaccine is going to set you free then you have to be brain dead and stupid at the same time. Even comrade health dictator for Canada Tammy has said that mask wearing and social distancing will still be left in place after everyone gets their vaccine jab.

Gawd, what makes people like you so stunned to believe that vaccines will set you free? There are more dummies in Canada then one can shake a stick at. You appear to be one of them. No kidding! :rolleyes:
 

Blackleaf

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Officially, around 127,000 people have died from Covid in the UK, though that figure is greatly exaggerated.

Of those 127,000, only around 400 people under the age of 60 have died. So 0.3% of all covid deaths in the UK are under the age of 60.

These people should be able to get on with their lives as normal. Covid poses almost no mortal threat to anyone under 60.
 

Blackleaf

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Passports🍺 WILL NOT HAPPEN 🤬 Stop Listening To The Nonsense​

 
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Blackleaf

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Opposition Grows To Ludicrous Vaccine Passport Idea & Prof Whitty Proves Why They Are Not Needed​

 
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taxslave

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Nov 25, 2008
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Vancouver Island
So here is one to ponder. BC government closed indoor dining in restaurants a couple of days ago and told people to stay home. Today BCFerries(government owned) put on extra runs to handle the holiday traffic to the island.
The West coast Indians blockaded the highway at Sutton pass to keep infected tourists out of their area.
 

Blackleaf

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Told Ya 🤦‍♂️ “No More Lockdowns” 😳 COVID Downgraded To “Seasonal Flu” Says Whitty 🤬

 
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spaminator

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Canadians in COVID-19 hot spots face more restrictions as cases keep rising
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mia Rabson
Publishing date:Apr 02, 2021 • 42 minutes ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
Cardinal Thomas Collins of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto delivers the Good Friday liturgy at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica in Toronto on April 2, 2021. The church capacity could only be at 15% for parishioners as COVID rules still apply to places of worship.
Cardinal Thomas Collins of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto delivers the Good Friday liturgy at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica in Toronto on April 2, 2021. The church capacity could only be at 15% for parishioners as COVID rules still apply to places of worship. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /Postmedia Network
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OTTAWA — Three of the provinces hardest-hit by COVID-19 spent their second pandemic-era Good Friday either adjusting to or bracing for stricter public health measures meant to bring resurgent case counts back in check.

Three regions of Quebec, including the provincial capital, are now under a 10-day lockdown that took effect hours before the province reported the highest daily case load since late January.


On Wednesday, British Columbia imposed what they are calling a three-week long “circuit breaker” across the province hoping to “break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.”

Ontario, meanwhile, will pull what it dubs an “emergency brake” at midnight for the entire province, forcing the closure of personal services and in-person dining while imposing tighter capacity limits on both essential and non-essential businesses.

The move came in response to modelling that showed case counts could top 6,000 a day by month’s end without intervention.

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While the problem in all three provinces is the same — faster-spreading variants and rising hospitalizations — the rules are all slightly different.

Quebec closed schools in the affected regions while Ontario and B.C. did not.

All three are prohibiting indoor gatherings at private residences, but Quebec is also banning outdoor gatherings at homes and cottages. Ontario and B.C. both say it’s safe to allow up to 10 people to assemble outside.

Quebec’s rules include a curfew banning people from leaving their homes between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. in most regions, though the start of the curfew has been moved back to 8 p.m. in the province’s three newly locked-down cities.

Residents of Quebec City, Levis and Gatineau will also see schools close and non-essential business shut down for at least 10 days in a bid to bring soaring local case counts back under control.

Elsewhere, Quebec allows up to 250 people inside a place of worship as long as they can maintain a two metre distance from others. But the number differs for weddings and funerals, where the limit is 25 attendees.

British Columbia only allows worship outdoors, up to a maximum of 50 people, plus two more to enforce the rules. In Ontario, worship services are limited to 15 per cent capacity.

A new survey suggested Canadians navigating the complex patchwork of public health measures are likely to disregard them altogether and even ignore nearly universal calls from public health officials and politicians to skip Easter gatherings this year.

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An online poll done by Leger for the Association for Canadian Studies and the University of Manitoba found more than 40 per cent of the people surveyed feel safe attending family gatherings at this point, and a quarter believe the government is overhyping the dangers of COVID-19.

Toronto mother Marcia Martins said she is scaling back her family’s usually large Easter gathering to just four households this year, noting the move feels safe since most attendees don’t work outside the home.

“These are just difficult times right now,” she said. “And I’m just glad that there’s a way that we can just keep as close to normal — or what our old normal was.”

But for some Ontario retail workers, the coming lockdown is welcome news.

“I think this will help prevent the increasing rates of the virus,” said Odessa Ordanza, a cashier at Shoppers Drug Mart in Mississauga, Ont.

The 22-year-old said “it’s still kind of scary going to work,” particularly with some people still coming into the store without masks on.

But one home-care supervisor west of Toronto has a much harsher appraisal of the government’s current approach, which allows schools to stay open and allows most retailers to operate with capacity caps rather than shutting them down entirely.

“I don’t know if it’s the right approach,” said Terri Neufeld of Mississauga, noting comparable measures have been in place locally for months. “I don’t know if we need to have a more targeted approach? What we’ve been doing (in Ontario) has really not been working.”

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Many provinces opted not to report new case data on the Good Friday holiday. Those that did included Quebec, which added 1,314 new cases to its total.

It’s the third day in a row the province tallied more than 1,000 new infections, and the highest daily number since Jan. 26.


Saskatchewan reported 254 new infections on Friday, while Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw estimated there had been about 1,100 new infections over the most recent 24-hour period.

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, meanwhile, reported nine new infections each.

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin says the Easter weekend in his province “is looking very different” than in most other jurisdictions, but said people still need to be careful.
 

spaminator

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Sao Paulo exhumes old graves to make space for surging COVID-19 burials
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Eduardo Simões and Amanda Perobelli
Publishing date:Apr 01, 2021 • 1 day ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation
A gravedigger wearing a protective suit handles pieces of an old damaged coffin during exhumations to open space on cement graves as new burials are suspended at Vila Nova Cachoeirinha cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 1, 2021.
A gravedigger wearing a protective suit handles pieces of an old damaged coffin during exhumations to open space on cement graves as new burials are suspended at Vila Nova Cachoeirinha cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 1, 2021. PHOTO BY AMANDA PEROBELLI /REUTERS
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SAO PAULO — Brazil’s biggest city on Thursday sped up efforts to empty old graves, making room for a soaring number of COVID-19 deaths as Sao Paulo city hall registered record daily burials this week.

Gravediggers in the Vila Nova Cachoeirinha cemetery in the city’s northern reaches worked in white hazmat suits to open the tombs of people buried years ago, bagging decomposed remains for removal to another location.


Relocating remains is standard in cemetery operations, said the municipal secretary responsible for funeral services, in a statement. But it has taken on new urgency as Brazil suffers its worse coronavirus wave since the pandemic began over a year ago.

Brazil’s Health Ministry reported 3,769 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, narrowly missing a daily record for a third straight day.

Bolivia announced on Thursday that it would shut its borders to Brazil, citing concerns over a new variant of the disease detected in its larger neighbor.

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A day earlier, Brazilian biomedical institute Butantan said that it had detected a new variant that shared similarities with one first seen in South Africa, which appears more resistant to existing vaccines. The South African variant is more contagious, as is an earlier variant discovered in Brazil.


Chile also closed its borders to all foreigners on Thursday, while tightening a severe lockdown, as it surpassed 1 million cases recorded since the start of the pandemic.

“What is happening in Brazil is a global menace,” said José Miguel Bernucci, secretary of Chile’s National Medical Association. “Closing the borders won’t help us so much with the variants that we already have here, but with the new variants that can continue to be created.”

Countries around the region have expressed concern that Brazil is a breeding ground for new variants, as cases surge and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to support masks and lockdowns.

Having previously expressed skepticism about immunizations, Bolsonaro said on Thursday he would only decide whether he would receive a vaccine himself after all Brazilians have been vaccinated.

Brazil has been slow to roll out its vaccine campaign, with only about 7% of the population having received a first shot.

Brazil’s outbreak is the second-deadliest in the world after the United States, averaging about 3,100 deaths and 74,000 new cases per day over the past week – a rate that has climbed steadily since February.

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Sao Paulo has also resorted to late-night burials to keep up with demand, with cemeteries authorized to stay open to 10 p.m.

In the Vila Formosa cemetery, workers in masks and full protective gear have been digging rows of graves under flood lights and a full moon this week.

The coffins have followed. A 32-year-old man lowered down in a plain wooden box. A 77-year-old woman, whose masked relatives gathered near the grave.

The city of Sao Paulo registered 419 burials on Tuesday, the most since the pandemic began. If burials continue at that pace, city hall said it will need to take more contingency measures, without specifying.

Brazil currently accounts for about a quarter of COVID-19 daily deaths worldwide, more than any other country.

Infectious disease experts warn that it will only get worse, given weak restrictions on movement and a slow rollout of vaccines.

The World Health Organization on Thursday said Brazilian hospitals were in critical condition, with many intensive care units 90% full.

“Indeed there is a very serious situation going on in Brazil right now, where we have a number of states in critical condition,” WHO epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove told a briefing.
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spaminator

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U.K. regulator found total of 30 cases of blood clot events after AstraZeneca vaccine use
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Apr 02, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
This photo shows a vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in a pharmacy in Paris, March 12, 2021.
This photo shows a vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in a pharmacy in Paris, March 12, 2021. PHOTO BY MARTIN BUREAU /AFP via Getty Images
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British regulators on Thursday said they have identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events after the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, 25 more than the agency previously reported.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it had received no such reports of clotting events following use of the vaccine made by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc.


On Friday, the medicine regulator told the Financial Times and The Guardian that seven recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine have died after registering the rare blood clotting events. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the figure from MHRA after office hours.

MHRA, European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization have reiterated that benefits of the vaccine in the prevention of COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risk of blood clots.

Some countries are restricting use of the AstraZeneca vaccine while others have resumed inoculations, as investigations into reports of rare, and sometimes severe, blood clots continue.


On March 18, the U.K. medicines regulator said that there had been five cases of a rare brain blood clot among 11 million administered shots.

On Thursday, it put the count at 22 reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, an extremely rare brain clotting ailment, and eight reports of other clotting events associated with low blood platelets out of a total of 18.1 million doses given.
 

Blackleaf

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EXCLUSIVE 😳 Boris U-turn 🛑 NO Passports For Pubs & Restaurants 👏

 
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