March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:32 pm

And this! This! My hat is off to this former police officer, whose conscience would not let him go on with the tasks he was asked to do, enforcing lockdowns because of how "critical" the situation was, when in reality, he did not see that on the ground level...

(I apologize in advance for his atrocious accent... )

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Atomic » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:11 am

More than 80 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had vitamin D deficiency: study

From the Study:
Vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2% of COVID-19 cases and 47.2% of population-based controls (p<0.0001).
N Value: 216 COVID-19 patients and 197 population-based controls.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:27 am

Atomic wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:11 am
More than 80 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had vitamin D deficiency: study

From the Study:
Vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2% of COVID-19 cases and 47.2% of population-based controls (p<0.0001).
N Value: 216 COVID-19 patients and 197 population-based controls.
Was ethnicity also controlled for, since infections seem somewhat to track with it?
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:54 am

Atomic wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:11 am
More than 80 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 patients had vitamin D deficiency: study

From the Study:
Vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2% of COVID-19 cases and 47.2% of population-based controls (p<0.0001).
N Value: 216 COVID-19 patients and 197 population-based controls.
That's certainly a very significant difference, and well worth further investigation!

The important question here, is whether this is a casual relationship (and if so, in which direction) or just an interesting correlation. I can think of at least three possibilities:
  • The really interesting one: the possibility that being Vitamin D deficient predisposes a person to COVID-19... either more likely to be infected, or more likely to become seriously ill if infected. There's some evidence to suggest that this is the case... I recall one study showing that giving patients a hefty dose of a specific Vitamin D metabolite seemed to improve outcome and speed their recovery.
  • The possibility that the body's reaction to a COVID infection has the effects of depleting the body's store of Vitamin D, leaving the patient deficient even if they were not deficient before being infected. In this case Vitamin D supplementation might or might not help prevent infection, or speed up recovery.
  • Vitamin D deficiency might just be an indicator of other underlying conditions: age, general poor health, poor diet, certain specific health conditions, etc. I can well imagine that nursing-home patients could be more likely than most people to be D-deficient as they might not get out into sunshine very often. In this case, Vitamin D might have no effect at all on the disease. .. deficiency would just be a "red flag" that the patient is more likely to become seriously ill.
In any case, it certainly seems reasonable to make sure that one is taking an adequate intake of Vitamin D, especially as winter is arriving and sunshine levels are dropping. It might well help improve our odds of getting through this, and it has other health benefits as well.

The US RDA for adults is 600-800 IU/day depending on age, and some consider this too low. I wouldn't mega-dose (very high levels can be harmful) but as I understand it, adults can tolerate doses of 1000-2000 IU per day without toxicity. Going above 4000 could put one at risk of toxic side effects.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Vitam ... fessional/

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Atomic » Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:25 am

For your consideration:

Confirmed influenza cases hit rock-bottom, puzzling infectious disease experts

Four graphs prove the utter failure of lockdowns and masks

More evidence the number of COVID-19 deaths is greatly exaggerated

WHO Report - Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza
Note page 106 - Table 35, item 3, Face Masks: "Ten RCTs were included in meta-analysis, and there was no evidence that face masks are effective in reducing transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza."

Collective TL;DR: summary

- USA Hospitals have monetary incentive to report anything remotely Covid related as a Covid death;
- Lockdowns appear to have increased infection rates due to proximity and ventilation vs getting outdoors in the sunshine;
- the 220K US Covid deaths are likely off by 1/4 to 3/4 due to terminal illness and standard influenza being counted as Covid; and
- WHO says masks don't work well vs Influenza.

In other words, USA leads the way because the numbers are borked.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Warrl » Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:02 pm

Atomic wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:25 am
In other words, USA leads the way because the numbers are borked.
Unfortunately, EVERY source of data that SHOULD be credible has had its credibility regarding this virus so damaged that I assume anything they say on the subject is at least half false. (Determining which half... problematic.)

Not just the US sources. ALL of them. Specifically including the World Health Organization and all levels and agencies of the Chinese government.

Which leaves me reliant on sources I don't consider all that reliable in ordinary time.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:22 pm

We have 200,000+ deaths this year {so far} more than historic statistics say we should have had.

SOMEthing caused those deaths. It's too many to be accounted for by seasonal flu.

The only major difference this year from last year is COVID-19.

If COVID didn't cause those deaths ... what did?

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Alkarii » Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:04 pm

Well, it's been stated repeatedly that most of the deaths involved comorbidities, and we also had folks fudging the numbers upward.

And really, all that I'm seeing from this thread boils down to folks saying that because they're afraid, everyone else has to stay home and stay indoors, and the other folks are saying that those who are scared can stay inside if they want, but those of us who have to pay bills should be permitted to go to work if we want to risk it.

Kind of like that one cartoon I saw of a bunch of birds in a cage saying that the bird who is flying outside and away from the cage will get all of them killed.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Atomic » Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:41 pm

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:22 pm
If COVID didn't cause those deaths ... what did?
Attempting to un-bork the numbers, starting with the 220K body count breaks down as:

- 51K heart attacks/failure (per CDC)
- 88K flu and pneumonia
- 15K in hospice for terminal illnesses

Leaving only 66K as pure Covid fatalities. The others were added to the Covid count due to the Govt bounty on case reports.

Estimates based on the "More Evidence..." story linked above. YMMV.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:44 am

Meanwhile, how about some levity...

How's this, for contradiction...

Since the summer, there was a sign next to the elevator at work, saying that people should respect social distancing guidelines, and take the next elevator or take the stairs, if need be (but did not outright state what the rules were for the elevator, although a memo had passed, around that time, stating that masks were required in the elevator, and only one person at a time... But those memos are so numerous, that a large number of drivers don't bother reading them anymore... )

At the beginning of September, a sign was added to the elevator, stating specifically that masks must be worn, and a maximum capacity of 1 person at a time must be respected. ("Someone" did write a '0' next to it, to imply up to 10 people at a time... "Whoever" that was, at least had the presence of mind to add an 's' to the end of the word 'person', to be grammatically correct, once the 1 turned into 10... :mrgreen: )

A few weeks ago, the sign was still there, stating one person at a time only, but now there was a sticker on the floor of the elevator, reminding us to keep 2 meters apart!

Two meters apart? From whom???

My best guess was that this was meant for anglophones who were so angry they were "beside themselves"... (I have to specify that it would apply to angry anglos, because we don't have an equivalent expression in French...)

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by jwhouk » Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:51 am

The co-morbidity thing is due to either a. illness that was complicated by COVID (pneumonia, asthmatics, heart issues) or b. illness resulting from individuals being disinclined from seeking care or (even worse) not having access to care due to availability.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:33 am

Atomic wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:25 am
- USA Hospitals have monetary incentive to report anything remotely Covid related as a Covid death;
I keep seeing/reading people making that claim, with the implicit conclusion that the COVID death numbers are in fact being faked upwards for this reason.

What I fail to find, however, is facts and evidence to show that this is actually happening to any significant extent. Lots of assertions and innuendo, but no real evidence.

So, what's the real story? There's definitely some truth in it, but I don't think that the conclusions are supportable.

The facts that I've found: yes, the CARES Act does authorize some increase in payments for some COVID cases. Specifically, Section 4409 increases Medicare in-hospital reimbursements:
(iv) (I) For discharges occurring during the emergency period described in section 1135(g)(1)(B), in the case of a discharge that has a principal or secondary diagnosis of COVID–19, the Secretary shall increase the weighting factor for each diagnosis-related group (with such a principal or secondary diagnosis) by 15 percent.
(emphasis added)

Now, let's consider what this actually means, medically and in the context of Medicare in general. For one thing, it applies only to Medicare hospitalizations, not to all patients - it's not universal "free money" for hospitals. For another thing, it specifically says "primary or secondary diagnosis of COVID-19". As I understand it, it thus applies to any hospitalized Medicare patient who is diagnosed with COVID-19, whether or not they die, and whether or not COVID-19 is the primary cause of illness or death.

So, there's no particular reason for a hospital to prefer a primary diagnosis ("COVID killed this patient") to a secondary diagnosis ("This patient died of heart failure, and oh by the way they also had COVID"). There's no incentive to over-diagnose the severity of COVID in a patient who has it.

Equally to the point: hospitals have a strong incentive to not falsely diagnose COVID-19 in Medicare patients. Doing so would be a Federal crime, because they'd be filing a false Medicare claim. "Up-coding" to increase Medicare reimbursements is specifically not allowed, it's a violation of the health provider's certification that they're following the rules, and it's a violation of the federal False Claims Act. Fines, whistle-blower awards, sanctions, possible criminal penalties of the individuals involved.

I have no doubt that hospitals know this.

As far as I can see, individual doctors have no direct financial incentive to falsely diagnose or report COVID-19 (either as cause-of-death, or secondary)... certain policitians' claims to the contrary.

As far as I've ever heard, in every jurisdiction in the US, the cause-of-death is listed on the death certificate by an individual with professional credentials - either the attending physician, or a government official such as a coroner or medical examiner. It's a legal declaration by that professional individual, to which they sign their name. Deliberate falsification is a violation of professional responsibilities, and I rather suspect that it can get you fired and sanctioned.

So - is there actually evidence of wide-spread over-reporting of COVID-19 deaths, by hospitals and/or individual doctors, for financial gain? Is there evidence that it's happening enough to make any significant change in the number of COVID-19 deaths being reported in the US? Is it reasonable to believe that tens of thousands of doctors, coroners, medical examiners, and hospital administrators are knowingly committing a Federal crime in this way, and risking their professional reputations and careers?

Or is there just innuendo and slander?

I can completely understand why medical professionals are unhappy with such accusations.

https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/a ... d-patients

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:51 am

jwhouk wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:51 am
The co-morbidity thing is due to either a. illness that was complicated by COVID (pneumonia, asthmatics, heart issues) or b. illness resulting from individuals being disinclined from seeking care or (even worse) not having access to care due to availability.
Yup. The co-morbidities listed, may also include specific problems noted by the medical examiner which are a direct effect of the COVID infection (e.g. pneumonia caused by the COVID virus).

Also, remember that the co-morbidities being reported on a death certificate were the ones reported at the time of death. They were not necessarily present earlier (although some like diabetes and COPD would have been, of course). A death certificate often does not list out a person's pre-existing conditions.

Quite a few death certificates may list e.g. COVID-19, as well as "pneumonia" and/or "heart failure". That doesn't mean that these are separate medical conditions. COVID-19 causes pneumonia! COVID-19 inflames the heart tissues and blood vessels and can trigger blood clotting, and the added strain on the heart from COVID-induced pneumonia makes matters worse, and all of this circulatory involvement can lead to heart failure. These are commonly the mechanisms by which COVID-19 kills people! (It can also cause multi-system organ failure).

Atomic wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 11:41 pm
- 51K heart attacks/failure (per CDC)
- 88K flu and pneumonia
- 15K in hospice for terminal illnesses

Leaving only 66K as pure Covid fatalities.
What in the world is a "pure Covid fatality", if you exclude COVID-induced pneumonia (the commonest mechanism of COVID-induced death) and COVID-induced heart problems? (Aside: I've seen figures that at least half of the people infected by COVID-19, show signs of some heart irregularities afterwards - this shows up in even asymptomatic patients!)

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covi ... _notes.htm notes (as I've cited before):
Coronavirus disease deaths are identified using the ICD–10 code U07.1. Deaths are coded to U07.1 when coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 are reported as a cause that contributed to death on the death certificate. These can include laboratory confirmed cases, as well as cases without laboratory confirmation. If the certifier suspects COVID-19 or determines it was likely (e.g., the circumstances were compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), they can report COVID-19 as “probable” or “presumed” on the death certificate (5, 6). COVID-19 is listed as the underlying cause on the death certificate in 92% of deaths (see Table 1).
(emphasis added)

That's pretty damning. In the professional opinions of the individual doctors filing the death certificates, in 92% of the cases of people who died while infected with COVID-19, the COVID-19 virus was the primary cause of death. That is, any co-morbidities listed were either secondary, or were the direct result of the COVID-19 virus infection (e.g. pneumonia, heart inflammation leading to heart failure, COVID-induced blood clotting leading to circulatory failure, etc.). Only in 8% of the cases, was a COVID-19 infection "secondary" to another cause of death.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Atomic » Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:06 pm

Granted, for snake bite, the cause of death is cardiac arrest due to congealed blood due to snake venom due to snake bite. So Covid infection (case) causing associated pneumonia causing congestive heart failure should be counted as -- what?

There's a huge chicken and egg problem in all of this, and my attempt to interpret somebody else's numbers leads to a "what's left?" situation, so I labeled it "pure Covid" attempting to distinguish it from the other categories. If there is no way to separate the categories, then you have to lump together all pneumatic diseases which include a Covid result as Covid. This belies what was going on previously (flu, etc) vs what was going on concurrently (CPD, Pleursy, Infleunza, Pneumonia, etc). At that point it becomes a definition squabble. Hence the numbers are borked. 220,000 Covid Related deaths, many of which were people already terribly sick and/or dying anyway.

Is it possible to have a Just Covid death? Then how do you score HIV/AIDS when it's the fungus, bacteria, and organ failures that cause the death? Again, definitions count. Bubonic plague gave you boils, and those are hard to miss. A bad cough wasn't enough. Likewise, Ebola, Lyme, Zika, and so on gave you a clear set of symptoms that didn't overlap much with other conditions, IIRC.

I don't deny it's dangerous, it's the scoring system that may be making it look much worse/prevalent than it is.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Typeminer » Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:26 pm

The more they test people for SARS-CoV-2 and antibodies to it, the more cases they find.

Cases, infections, and deaths are not overreported. The more serious question is how much they are underreported.

We are in another big surge. I am fearful for the people in my home county, because most of them believe Trump in the same way I believed Hans Holzer, Edgar Cayce, and George Adamski when I was an adolescent, and they do not have anything like the hospital infrastructure to deal with this when it starts burning through them. Probably about a third of the people there are distant relatives. I've already outlived most of my friends from high school.

Best case, this is going to be a damned hard winter.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:09 pm

Typeminer wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 2:26 pm
Best case, this is going to be a damned hard winter.
Yep
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by jwhouk » Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:21 pm

Atomic wrote:
Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:06 pm
Granted, for snake bite, the cause of death is cardiac arrest due to congealed blood due to snake venom due to snake bite. So Covid infection (case) causing associated pneumonia causing congestive heart failure should be counted as -- what?
COVID-related pneumonia. Congestive heart failure is the final step.

Now, God forbid that I were to have a heart attack tomorrow, they'd say that was the cause of death. But if they tested my blood post-mortem and determined that I had COVID anti-bodies in my system, they may very well be justified in saying my death was COVID related. And, considering that my ZIP code is STILL up at 2,663 active cases, they'd be right in making that justification.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:00 pm

If you think things are strict where you live, try living in Australia...




tl;dw:
Even with 0 cases lately, and an average of 1.9 cases daily in the last few weeks (yes, these are the same "cases" that are being highlighted in other countries, instead of hospitalizations and deaths, so obviously not very catching, over there), what would be a peaceful protest turns violent, not because of what the protesters are doing, but because of the way the police are handling it. Penning everyone in, grabbing individuals one at a time (at times violently pushing them to the ground in the process), and processing them, giving each one a $4975 AUD fine for assembling in groups larger than 10.

Earlier this fall, the reporter, Avi, was tackled to the ground and arrested without due cause (i.e. he was not protesting, he was doing his job as a reporter, and was indeed the only reporter handled that way on that day... he is now suing the police...)

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:00 pm

Contrast the previous video with this one...

Granted, there are far fewer attendees at this climate rally than at the anti-lockdown protest from the previous video, but you can tell from their attitude that the police had already determined ahead of time to not harass anyone from the rally.

And yes, one might view Avi (the reporter) as somewhat of a good-humored troll at times (i.e. somewhat trollish questions at times, but stated in such a way as to still make people laugh). But at the same time, some people are definitely showing an anti-Avi attitude during the video (Cop: "I'm putting you on notice").

Still, one can definitely see a contrast between how the police reacted to this, compared to how they reacted in the last video...


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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:19 pm

It has been brought to my attention, by someone who personally knows people who have been affected by COVID-19 or the measures related to it, that my posts may lead some to think I am promoting the view that this whole thing is fake. Seeing as one person felt this way, it is entirely possible that others may feel that way as well. I would therefore like to dispel that notion, by posting below my reply to the PM I had been sent (leaving intact the anonymity of the person who had contacted me, of course, by way of this introductory paragraph, instead of quoting the original PM.)

As a reply to an earlier PM, I wrote:I think you misunderstand what I have been posting... I am not suggesting it is not real. I know it's real, and I know it does kill people.

I am, however, of the opinion that it is not nearly as dangerous or prevalent as the mainstream media seems to want us to believe (focusing on "cases" which, of course, will increase in numbers as the number of tests increases, vs hospitalisation, hospitalisation in ICU, and deaths). And I also believe that the rules being put out by various governing bodies are an overreaction, and that many government bodies are using this as an excuse for power-grabs. People are losing their freedoms under the guise of health and safety, and law enforcement is often coming down hard on honest people...

Did you know that in Nevada, it's OK to go to a casino, but not a church service? Did you know that in California (I think), it's OK to be a group of people in a church, if it's for social services, like a food bank, or some such, but the moment the same church is used for a church meeting, only 25 people are allowed in the building (or is it 10, I forget...), and they are forbidden to sing? Did you know that in Tennessee (if I recall), one town mayor had the police record the licence plates of all the cars in a church parking lot, where people were attending church IN THEIR CAR! They were all issued orders to quarantine for 14 days (even though they never were in a group gathering, but were listening to the sermon on their car radio, with the windows closed), and some even lost their jobs because of that!

Did you know that in my own province, the province of Québec, police officers can now call in remotely, and obtain a search warrant (I don't know how quickly, but much more quickly than would normally be happening, and unlike normal, they can just call it in, rather than file a whole bunch of paperwork to get reviewed first), so they can barge into homes where they suspect (or following a "tip" - yes, whistle-blowing is encouraged) that a gathering of people is happening?

Did you know that Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau tried, in the spring, to give himself the power to enact anything he saw fit, without having to pass through the normal process of voting by the members of parliament? (This is the guy who once said he admired China's basis dictatorship...) Fortunately, that bill didn't pass, but I hear that the province of British Columbia is trying to do something similar, now...


So yes, the virus is real, but the reaction is way overblown and has been hijacked by opportunistic politicians.

I am no scientist, but I understand enough to comprehend the various scientific arguments going back and forth. And I know that the case can be made for the ineffectiveness of masks, that the case can be made for trying to aim for herd immunity, although that may never happen, if we constantly wear masks. I know that the lockdowns are not only hurting the economy as a whole, but that individuals/small businesses have been forced to close their doors for good, as a result. All that "stimulus" money is going to have to be repaid, eventually... (well, maybe not all, but a lot of it, and it's what we call shoveling the snow forward... you will still have to deal with it later, and in larger amounts, too...)

People are missing out on "less critical" surgeries and treatments, cancer patients have had to wait for life-saving treatments, people are getting depressed at not being able to work or make ends meet.

The virus may be real, but so is the collateral damage of the overreaction of the various government bodies.

That, is what I am getting at, when posting. I mean offense to no one, but I am also getting annoyed at all that is happening around me. Isolate the people most at risk, not the healthy ones! Do better contact tracing on people who test positive, but don't lock down a whole society!
I was also told this week that if you go from a "red" zone to a "yellow" zone, you can get into trouble for it... (For context, the guidelines state that we should "limit" our travels, when living in a red zone, not completely eliminate it, and that traveling from one colored zone to another is discouraged, but not forbidden.) So a driver at work was telling us that in a certain town, in a yellow zone (and we're working in Montreal, which is a red zone), if you went to the restaurant to eat (something that is allowed in a yellow zone, but not in a red zone: red zone is take out or delivery only), the police could come in, and check the driver's licenses of everyone in the restaurant. If you happened to live in a red zone, you would be fined! Even though it's not forbidden, only "discouraged"...

Incidentally, I have a cousin who has been out of work since the beginning of the lockdowns in March, as he was a cook in a restaurant. When they had to go take-out or delivery only, they reduced the hours of work, and laid off anyone who was not related to the owner (i.e. they only had so many hours of work available, they only kept family staff, not the other employees... understandable, as it was a small mom-and-pop type establishment, but it still left my cousin unemployed...) I haven't spoken to him recently, but I doubt he has started working again, particularly since they moved to a red zone again this fall. But I understand he has been keeping busy, by doing errands for his parents and our other uncles and aunts in the area (being older, they would be more restrained in what they would be allowed to do during lockdown...)


So anyway, I just thought I'd put this out there, to clarify my thoughts on the subject, so as to not give the wrong impression about my motives.

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