June 18th, 2024

Wearing masks and getting vaccinated essential to reducing spread of COVID in Alberta

By Letter to the Editor on August 6, 2021.

Minister Shandro and Premier Kenney have declared COVID “crushed” and the curtain will soon descend on any restrictions whatsoever.
Our mask mandates have long been consigned to the trash heap of history and MOH Dr. HInshaw advises that any previous preventative measures will now be voluntary even as once again, cases are beginning to rise.
That in of itself is not critical but with the rise of the current, more dangerous variant and schools shortly returning, it is entirely possible that hospitalizations and ICU admissions will rise also.
A recent map in the Globe and Mail is telling, very telling. Specifically, it shows Alberta’s regional vaccination rate outlining MDs and counties surrounding Lethbridge. The city’s rate is pretty good, 60 to 70 per cent of the population having received at least one dose. (As of July 27.)
That changes considerably in all rural areas surrounding Lethbridge whose rates are between 40 and 60 per cent.
Such vaccine hesitancy is a leading cause of concern among medical professionals. Lack of so called herd immunity and more variant incursions, possibly leading to greater stress on our health care system should be a concern for the entire population.
Lethbridge is a destination for shoppers, leisure and business dealings from these under – vaccinated areas, potentially putting in my opinion, the local health system under what should be an avoidable strain.
Increasing “jabs in arms” and continuing use of masks , especially indoors, should be followed – despite the reluctance of provincial and local officials to declare mask use mandatory.
Vaccines are not 100 per cent and mask wearing is certainly not either but when combined in an uncertain environment, they can reduce the viral load in circulation and greatly decrease the chance of exposure and severe disease.
Consider the following facts, yes “facts”: Doubly vaccinated “breakthrough cases” in the USA (24 states reporting) are rare.
Most of these states report that around 99 per cent are in individuals not vaccinated.
Hospitalizations include around 97 per cent in non vaccinated individuals and deaths around 99 per cent in the same group.
Reported side effects, oft quoted by anti-vaxxers, although not unheard of, are extremely rare and mostly treatable.
Finally, as of today (Aug. 3) , Florida hospitalizations are increasing “10 fold”, 95 per cent of whom are unvaccinated. Earlier, Florida enacted a law forbidding the mandating of mask wearing.
The verdict? Vaccines save lives. Masks worn indoors in public spaces reduce spread and lessen the risk of exposure.
John P Nightingale

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John P Nightingale

The MDs of Pincher Creek, Rangeland and parts of Willow Creek have similar vaccination rates to Lethbridge. (60-70%) The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass also has similar rates to that of Lethbridge.

Last edited 2 years ago by John P Nightingale

I suspect that those pockets of unvaccinated people won’t budge because they truly live in bubbles of an alternate reality from the rest of us, a self-declared “special” status conferred on them by “virtue” of their trademark “faith.” So it seems inevitable that some version of a vaccine passport will be the only tool left to those of us unable to suspend disbelief.
According to an article in today’s National Observer, Dr. Hinshaw thinks case numbers will only go up for a month or so, but she does leave the door open to bring restrictions back if necessary, so cross your fingers I guess. But if you’re say, a teacher, or you have kids going to school in a month, this is far from comforting
There is also an article today in Bloomberg Green about the “conservatism” that is typical of scientific forecasting in the realm of climate change and the economics affiliated with it because that style imbues it with more trustworthiness, the tendency to “err on the side of the least drama.” However, in that and with covid, true drama may well overtake us despite all our arrogant, intractable pretensions.

Southern Albertan

Agreed, and, as we speak the Delta COVID variant is spreading like wildfire in Alberta, the highest rate in the country, almost 400 more in Alberta yesterday and another death, this one, I believe in Lethbridge County…. a man in this 50s, and over 600,000 unprotected children under the age of 12. And no masking, isolating, tracing… it beggars belief.

Last edited 2 years ago by Southern Albertan

another intelligent offering from jpn. i am still masking, knowing it does not do a whole bunch for myself, but also knowing i am not vaxed. also, i like not having flus and colds. i am wondering why so many people working with the public streaming by them all shift long have decided to not wear one.
for me, it would be so much easier to place “faith” in the asses that comprise govt, and the uninhibited cruelty to animals and greasy greed that comprises pharm. however, the historic and ongoing practices of each keep me on the outside…and not at all because, as t.p notes (although this may very well apply to some others), i choose to “…live in bubbles of an alternate reality from the rest of us, a self-declared “special” status conferred on them by “virtue” of their trademark “faith.”
my rational thought has me concerned about the long term effects that might emerge from a hastily introduced assortment of vaxes whose creators asked for and were granted blanket immunity from all liability. further undermining my buy in is the cruelty to animals that pharm is built upon. there is no way my life, or any other, is worth the pain and misery inflicted daily upon other creatures. ( i get it that nature is designed such that things live and die, and that many creatures kill in order to survive; however, killing for food and torture are not the same).
so.ab refers to an exception rather than the rule in noting the death of a 50 year old. indeed, there are some that are dying that are outside of what is considered the high risk category, but they are the very few. as such, as the anomaly, they tend to make the news. that also has a way of alarming the public that covid is now going to take down everyone. and, no way should youth be getting these vaxes. again, i feel it is entirely reckless to be promoting the vaxes for any other than those at high risk; i am not saying do not allow everyone who wants one to get it, just to stop pushing it on everyone.
here is a question, that perhaps someone has googled already: what percent of people who are 12 and under are getting covid, and what percent of those are dying or having serious bouts? the same for the 13-30 category; and for the 31-49 category. looking back on the nfl season, where there were lots of games missed by players due to covid, what percent died or even did not make it back to play as soon as their quarantine was lifted? same with the nhl; same with professional soccer, basketball etc.
aside from almost everyone’s lack of concern for the systematic and massive torture of creatures by pharm (this only continues because people support them through product use ie what you buy you buy into), what i am feeling is happening is that people are placing at least as much “faith” in the integrity of big pharm (which is odd, as big pharm really has none) as are those whose reasons for not taking these vaxes include “faith” in the lord; i feel they are looking very much at the short term (the vaxes seem to work very well thus far), but maybe they are not as rational as they might usually be with regard to how threatened they really are by the virus; and, they may be overlooking the potential for long term issues related to the vaxes: and we can only be certain about long term issues when enough time has passed…which normally would have taken place in a controlled lab, and not in society at its most massive large. normally, indeed; but these are no longer normal times, are they.


It’s not big pharma I have “faith” in, it’s science and scientists generally, (their classic nerdism recommends them) and the concept of vaccination itself, which has been an undeniable and historic public health triumph. When you ignore the outstanding efficacy of these MRNA vaccines completely, focusing instead on their possible “long-term effects,” the autism link comes to mind, one that has probably persisted because it stood out as a new, fresh horror in a previously trusted product. It’s also been thoroughly debunked, but has likely taken on a life of its own because there is no other certain explanation for what is perceived as a striking increase in autism. The bottom line seems to be that despite the human mind desperately craving certainty, it’s sporadic at best, and there is simply no accounting for the variability of individual reactions to anything really, so you can’t know how your body will react. But this is where relative risk comes in, something that is an everyday and inevitable part of our lives, and so the risk of covid naturally trumps the risk of a vaccine that has imbued millions with high immunity, which has helped, but It’s not dropping people in their tracks like ebola, the Spanish flu, or smallpox, but it sure as hell isn’t the common cold. .


i see the science on these vaxes as incomplete. you feel it is complete. you feel pharma is science. i feel pharma is animal cruelty and money (oh, they take a “scientific” approach and all, but as i have noted numerous times in this forum, they have been wrong enough as well).
you have tossed in some measure of speculation as to what are the possible long term effects i am concerned with. hope it makes you feel better. but, autism has nothing to do with it. we can perhaps revisit all this in 10 years or so, if we live as long.
curious for your take, and from anyone that is as much behaving as a bullyvaxer, on these points: 1) one is free to take vaxes, and combos of vaxes: they work? so, why does another have also to be vaxed? 2) how may of these shots, these my-buddy-the-jab “boosters”, do you think it will get to? 3) if the science is so irrefutable that these vaxes are safe in the long run, why the utterly complete, blanket immunity from liability for the purveyors? 4) why do you so wholeheartedly and heartlessly support animal cruelty? 5) how has it come to the point that caution is now seen as reckless? 6) how has freedom been so reduced to now meaning whatever the enough of the mob determines, and how have you come to support that butchering of freedom?


Rampant, sophomoric idealism much? Obviously pharma is just the available, capable delivery system with all the built-in protections that all corporations have so doggedly managed to strategically incorporate to ensure their continued world dominance.
You missed my point on the autism, I bring that up merely as one of those signature flags of attitudinal shift that, once heard, a certain particularly paranoid segment of the population clings to regardless of new information, which they seem oddly and yet stubbornly UNABLE to incorporate.
Haven’t heard the term “bullyvaxer” but that would be because I don’t bother even considering conservative narratives of any description anymore, because why would anyone when that’s where all those people Ken Sears so aptly described congregate? For example, in keeping with that characteristically “low-information” take associated with such people, one you unfortunately seem to now be leaning more toward with the “long-term effects” canard, I hear the echoes of nonsense like chip implantation.


there are those who may be paranoid, or unwell, or extreme, that support the idea that no one should be forced to take a vax or else. that does not at all mean that opposing the vax or else position is wrong. there are also very many that are extreme, or unwell, or paranoid that are proponents of the vax or else.
i am disappointed, but then again, not surprised, that you nor anyone else has responded to the points presented. i know you are wise enough to know they are not rhetorical questions. rather than respond to the rational concerns presented, you prefer to invoke “sophomoric idealism” and continue to reference things i have never used to substantiate my present position. the worst of it all is that the forced vax or else position, while so full of folk that purport to be about freedom, are utterly loathe to acknowledge that the position is antithetical to freedom.