Losing Your Home? Relax, you may be able to share it with other homeless people…
Don’t worry if you lose your home or your hotel business. The federal government plans to spend $1 billion buying up properties forced into sale because of anti-Covid measures, and will use them for housing the newly homeless (Nat. Post 22 Sept. 2020)
“What can we do to stop this voluntary suicide of western civilisation?” asked Nobel Laureate Professor Michael Levitt of Stanford University at the end of August.
Riding stables are so desperate they have cut feed and are at the point of having their horses put down. Premier Ford of Ontario generously allowed them to open but only if social distancing is in place and there is no access to public areas such as washrooms. (G&M 15 May)
I recently received a letter from an Ontario resort. “We are open!” Small print:. They are unable to open their swimming pools or their dining room until this so called “emergency” period is over. A local hotel with a pool is completely closed. A Great Lakes cruise ship requires passengers to wear masks. Guess how soon they will go bankrupt. News flash: One of the hotels opened, but guests have a pools time slot of 20 minutes just so they won’t get closer than 6 feet.
Masks and distancing are weapons of mass destruction for tourism, hospitality and retail. Three quarters of commercial establishments in my area, including small stores, fitness centres, a private club, library, restaurants were closed until recently, and local shops in affluent areas had a 70% drop in sales. Now only about half have opened with shorter hours. Every second store or business is shuttered.
Chapters Indigo says “there’s no one at the mall”. With no public washrooms and limited access to restaurant washrooms, many stayed home.
After lockdown, there was an uptick in sales, but these declined in the first week of July in the US & Canada. Just happens to correspond to many jurisdictions insisting on masks. According to a recent poll, 2/3 of people are not comfortable visiting shops.
Update: Another Month of Bankruptcy and Despair
Air Canada is laying off half its staff, 20,000 people. A family was thrown off a WestJet flight for failing to get their small children to wear masks. Westjet has cut 3,300 jobs permanently. Now it has stopped flying to many Maritime cities, because the Atlantic Provinces have quarantine regulations so no one wants to go there. More than 70% of its fleet was grounded as of October.
Cirque du Soleil & J.C. Penney & Reitman’s, Brooks Bros., J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Hertz have all declared bankruptcy.
On Sept. 18th, a coalition representing the tourism sector said that with no continuance of the wage subsidy program well into next year, there could be a loss of millions of jobs and many businesses will not survive.. Some wage subsidy has now been extended to summer 2021.
In a fever of dementia praecox our Toronto dictators ruled for face masks in all indoor public spaces, guaranteeing the bankruptcy of all theaters, galleries, museums and many, many shops. In October, Ontario, copying Quebec, once again closed all indoor restaurants & theatres, throwing 33,000 out of work in Toronto alone. Quebeckers were also told not to have guests in their homes.
In Canada, unemployment, adding back those who stopped looking for work, had already reached 18% by the end of April and 1/3 of the work force was either idle or on reduced hours. Many self-employed workers & sole proprietors are shut out of COVID-19 relief. Some jobs have returned with the end of lockdown, but they are dependent on huge wage subsidies.
A denturist was pushed over the edge after having to close his office, so he went on a shooting rampage, killing 22 people. Calls to domestic abuse crisis centres are up over 50%. In the opinion of a social worker, the increase is more like 200%. New visitors to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank rose by 200% in May & June, relative to February. (Nat. Post 22 Aug.)
On 4 June, another Post article said there could be 2,100 additional suicides this year and the next based on historic correlation with unemployment rates. These are likely to be young people. How will their parents feel, i.e., those old people our government thought it was helping? In a California town, they had a year’s worth of suicide attempts in only four weeks.
Alberta, who contributed almost $100 billion to government coffers in the last 4 years.
(Oil in Canada hit $5. Although oil rallied to just under $50, Canada, with our lack of pipelines, gets a 25% discount.).
Governments are spending money they do not have. Central banks are printing money. “For years, Canadian oil kept the economy afloat. Now that is changing.” With current account deficits and massive government deficits with anti-Covid measures, “This is not a very sustainable situation.” said former BofC governor David Dodge. (Nat. Post 10 Oct.) The federal government’s deficit is now equal to its entire gross spending in the previous year.
As of 30 May, half of UK businesses did not know when they would re-open. On the same day, the National Post feature “The Unlucky Generation” described the hopeless situation for those who have just graduated. In the US, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago estimates the “U-Cov” unemployment rate (which includes those on unpaid leave and those otherwise uncounted who want to work) is headed toward 25% to 35%.
One third of US small businesses have stopped operation and another 11% expect to fail in the next few months. “I’m watching everything we worked for flushed down the toilet.” – a small business owner in Time Magazine, 18 May.
In the USA, more than 40 million people lost their jobs in March, April, or May. Fed Chair Jerome Powell foresees an “extended period” where it is going to be “difficult for people to find work.”
Both Fitch’s and Moody’s have downgraded Canada’s credit rating because of CERB (Canadian Emergency Relief) and other government payouts.
Eight million Canadians depend on CERB and another two million on wage subsidies. It will now be extended. (Konrad Yakabuski, G&M 13 June)
The Canadian government debt is headed to 49% of GDP. (Andrew Coyne, G&M, 11 July)
An essay in The Atlantic described the US as being on the edge of an economic cliff. Economists expect that 42 percent of people recently let go will not return to their former employers. Already, an estimated 100,000 small companies have shut permanently.
“How did a temporary plan to preserve hospital capacity turn into two-to-three months of near-universal house arrest that ended up causing worker furloughs at 256 hospitals, a stoppage of international travel, a 40% job loss among people earning less than $40K per year, devastation of every economic sector, mass confusion and demoralization, a complete ignoring of all fundamental rights and liberties, not to mention the mass confiscation of private property with forced closures of millions of businesses? “ asks the American Institute for Economic Research. “The downturn has fallen most heavily on those least able to cope.’ – US Fed. Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The IMF sees “profound uncertainty” about the path of recovery in the global economy.
“Lack of normality is a terrible risk. We’ve torn the fabric of society and I would not be surprised if the risk of tearing society apart constitutes a 10 times higher excess death risk.” If we look at the statistics on alcohol consumption over the past month and we could easily see excess deaths.” -Professor Michael Levitt, Stanford
Remember, all this mayhem and destruction of people’s lives is for a virus has a fatality rate of ~ ½ of one percent. The risk for healthy people under 65 is comparable to the flu, and it kills far fewer children than seasonal flu. The vast majority of deaths are among those at the end of their lives, and there is growing evidence that as many as 80% of people are not susceptible.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Macdonald Laurier Institute says:
‘Lockdown did contribute to flattening the curve, but the measures employed were disproportionate to the objective. As for the economic cost, it has been nothing less than the deepest and most rapid loss of jobs, savings and income in the history of Canada. The rationale for the lockdown seems to have morphed subtly from managing the outbreak by “flattening the curve” to preventing the illness from infecting Canadians in the first place, pushing the timeline for a return to some economic activity into the summer and a return to “normal” a year or more into the distance when a vaccine is available. It’s an impossible goal that is being pursued at an almost incalculably large cost to the well-being of Canadians in exchange for a largely illusory benefit. The path forward does not lie in politicians deferring to experts.”
Read that last sentence again.
Some of the most vociferous advocates for lockdown are MDs. These are the same professionals who will not lose their jobs and who often advocate extreme cancer treatment they themselves would refuse, and who have no idea how many deaths an economic collapse will cause. When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Thankfully, with more and more data coming out on how low the fatality rate actually is, many more are rejecting the hysteria, but many still worry censorship.
Randall Denley commented in the 29 May National Post on the lack of accountability of local medical officers of health who have a one dimensional view. If people lose their jobs and businesses fail because of lockdowns [and social distancing?] that’s really not their problem.
Why are they still advocating destructive measures? Because they are lazy and cannot be bothered to research other opinions and data other than the biased work coming from the WHO. The WHO is more interested in saving face than in admitting that its preliminary conclusions in the March report were wrong. And our politicians are abdicating from their responsibility to make decisions that consider long term costs.
The flattening-the-curve argument is often used to justify widespread lockdown. However, in Canada so many surgeries were delayed and so few came for diagnostic work that our usually strained hospitals were under-capacity. A recent report says that people are dying in Ontario because their cardiac surgery was cancelled to make room for Covid-19 patients who never came. Cancer surgeries are also postponed. Terence Corcoran, also in the Post, wrote that 30% of hospital beds were vacant.
Every flu season there is a influx of seniors in serious condition. The government’s measures will postpone infections until the next flu season, almost guaranteeing pressure on hospitals and more deaths than are necessary. On CBC’s White Coat show, it was said that more seniors in nursing homes are dying because of confinement and lack of visitors than are dying of Covid-19.
Dr. Richard Schabas, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health for 10 years, and also chief of staff at York Central Hospital during the SARS crisis in 2003 said in YouTube interview: “Governments are caught in a high stakes poker game where they can’t fold, and when somebody else raises the ante they just have to match that. I think we have over-reacted. I am just not sure what we’re going to accomplish through this flattening the curve. This strategy, and there are beautiful graphs on it, is based on very weak evidence these measures are effective. The virus is not going anywhere. So when does this all end?” “Is Covid-19 serious? Certainly for people who can’t add.”
By June 11 Canada had 7,994 Covid-19. Fed Chief Public Health Officer Dr Theresa Tam said 81% of deaths were linked to long-term car facilities. Of the remaining 1,519 deaths, most were people over the age of 70. Only 232 deaths were of people younger than 60, almost all of whom had pre-existing health conditions. (Gwyn Morgan, Nat Post 16 June 2020)
In 6 months, Canada would normally see ~180,000 deaths. Does this sound like something we should be destroying the country for? Or put healthy people in masks for?
Joseph Sternberg wrote in the April 23rd Wall Street Journal: “We can’t stop the virus, we can only slow it. This is the biggest fact about the pandemic that remains politically impossible to say.”
Recent evidence indicates people can be re-infected. A consensus is forming among top researchers and governments worldwide that the virus is unlikely to be eliminated. As our politicians refuse to tell people the truth, one has to wonder what will happen to these timorous masked people. Will they wear masks for the rest of their lives? Will they wake one day and say, “Enough of this?”
References & More Sites:
On Lockdown vs. Herd Immunity
Joseph Sternberg on lockdown or herd immunity,
Covid-19 Here To Stay
This is very likely to be an epidemic that co-exists with humans for a long time, becomes seasonal and is sustained within human bodies,” said Jin Qi, director of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at China’s top medial research institute, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
Professor Michael Levitt, 28 August 2020
Richard Schabas interviews
Let’s not make our attempted cures worse than the disease.
AIER, Lockdown’s Flimsy Science
Macdonald-Laurier Institute Lockdown’s Largely Illusory Benefit
https://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/beyond-lockdown-canadians-can-have-both-health-and-prosperity-an-open-letter-to-the-prime-minister/ ‘The rationale for the lockdown seems to have morphed subtly from managing the outbreak by “flattening the curve” to preventing the illness from infecting Canadians at all… an impossible goal.’
Note: the CDC has quietly upped its numbers since this was written. Although why? It was not an update because they used a paper that was dated 3 May, a month before the original CDC report.
The Atlantic: The Second Great Depression 23 June 2020
(There may be a better link than Medium.)
Why We are in a Depression David Rosenberg
Eighty-five % said they’d not travel on an airplane now & only a third were comfortable in shops. They fondly think the virus can be contained…..
https://abc7news.com/suicide-covid-19-coronavirus-rates-during-pandemic-death-by/6201962/ 21 May 2020