Lessons

What lessons did the virus give us? Did we react calmly, correctly?

Tom’s a contractor with a small crew in southern Ontario. Four trucks, usually eight guys. Just four now. The others asked to be laid off, to collect the CERB for four months. Tom told them to get their damn butts on the job site. They quit, and took the benefit.

Linda runs a women’s clothing store and was planning to reopen last week, but decided against it. “The wage subsidy program is just too much to give up,” she said. And the federal rent money is due soon. That’s lost if the store opens again, she says.

Across Canada 70% of small businesses remain closed. Hearing such stories makes one wonder how irreparably we’ve altered the economy. Paying people – eight million of them – not to work has consequences. The damage to federal finances could take a generation to fix after Ottawa threw more than $250 billion at Covid-19. (Another $75 million yesterday for indigenous people living in cities.)

As I mentioned last week when writing about Lunenburg, I’ve been in NS during the pandemic. Here are the virus stats for the province: the total number of cases is 1,046. Recoveries are 959 and deaths 58 (almost all at one long-term care facility, Northwood). Nine people are in hospital. Thus, there are 20 active cases in the province, of which 19 are at Northwood. That leaves one person.

Was this really a pandemic? Most cases were mild. Recoveries are increasing faster than infections. Several provinces have few active cases at all. The health care system was not overwhelmed. No bursting ICUs or run on ventilators. And yet thousands of elective surgeries were halted and care denied to sick patients. Dental offices were shut. The young mom I met in the park last week was devastated her 18-month-old toddler had been unable to receive scheduled vaccinations. Clinics shut. BC says it will take two years just to catch up on medical procedures that were postponed.

So there are two schools of thought.

On one hand we overreacted dramatically. Politicians let doctors take over the economy. They closed too much, idled too many, spent too freely and destroyed too widely. Public finances are a ruin. Paying people not to work was unwise. We could have achieved the same result with social distancing and sheltering the vulnerable in those retirement homes, without nuking society.

On the other hand, decisive action, emergency measures and draconian stay-at-home measures saved countless lives. Flattened the curve. We prevented an historic disaster from unfolding. The pathogen was defeated. And our guard cannot be dropped, lest there’s a second wave. This was a public health triumph.

Well, guess which story will be told, regardless of the outcome? Perhaps history will judge. But clarity will not be forthcoming anytime soon.

Meanwhile investors who did not panic, sell into a storm, go to cash or believe everything they read in the mainstream media, have done just fine. Balanced and diversified portfolios performed as they were designed to, blunting the decline and joining the recovery. By the end of 2020 it’s reasonable to expect this will be another year of positive returns.

Hopefully, after all we’ve gone through this decade – Y2K, the dot-com crash, Nine Eleven, the great Credit Crisis, the US debt ceiling debacle, the 2015 oil price collapse, Brexit and now the coronavirus – one thing is evident. It’s not different this time. It’s never different.

Allow me to give you an example of why humans screw up. We flatter ourselves that the times we inhabit are epochal and our lives are therefore remarkable. We exaggerate, lose perspective, drift to the extreme and sink into an emotional quagmire. It leads to bad choices.

When the virus came to town, this blog tried to adopt a reasonable, non-hysterical tone. We’re probably not all going to get infected and die, it said. And we didn’t.

I leave you with some of the comments, emails, texts and threatening messages I received in mid-March. They were not published. Now you know why.

Garth, you do not have a crystal ball, so stop your nonsense. Your wild claims about how the international response to COVID-19 is somehow overblown exudes a hubris based on a wilful blindness to what is happening. By the time this is over, several million will have died, the world’s healthcare systems will have collapsed, and the global economy may well have contracted by 50% or more. Try to lay off the smarminess and read what the epidemiologists are writing, because the real ugliness is yet to begin. – Jimmy, March 21

I estimate 60 to 80 percent of people worldwide will be infected over about the next year. Outbreaks will come and go but the end result will be 6 to 8 billion people infected and about 500 million deaths worldwide. This little virus will kill more people than all wars in history put together. Disruptions in daily life will be massive and prolonged. Many mega companies will be bankrupt. The stock markets will linger at levels around 30 to 40 percent of current levels for several years before recovering to be robust, maybe five,six,seven years from now. Sorry to ruin your day, Garth, but this is what really awaits us.  – Rob Klein

How many go to the grave parroting your dumbass comments about this being nothing to worry about? Shame on you, old man. Smarten up! This is not a topic you are qualified to comment on and you are actively harming people with your ignorance. Try reading about mortality rates, R0 values, herd immunity, and what happens to populations when exposed to novel viruses- all stuff you conveniently left out in your comments. This stuff is actual science, not just opinion from some ancient dolt flogging mutual funds. You’ll sound less ignorant if you at least partially grasp these concepts. – Pacificqa

A lot of people are going to die – millions upon millions across the globe, and majorly in the USA due to their incompetence and hubris and total lack of regard for human life. This is no time for your normally appreciated wit. We need you to get on the bandwagon and show some understanding of the seriousness of this dire situation, and also show some compassion & empathy. Money & investing is not on the priority list for most in such dire circumstances. There will not be a short term turnaround. The economic & supply chain disruptions are just starting. This is real, and the widespread implications are unfathomable. It is f’ing serious and deserves a f’ing serious response! – Janice Todd

Garth, are you still in denial of this? Still holding by your “millions will not die” claim? I too want to be optimistic but it is tough to accept your statement without any logic behind it. I hope soon enough you will explain your conviction in more detail. – Dimitry

Hubris Garth. You remind me of the giggling vacationers in Phuket in videos of the 2004 boxing day tsunami. It starts with them watching some big waves coming in. Then they realize it’s serious, then they turn to run right when it’s too late. – Faron

Wuhan Virus Mortality Rate: Assuming 3% mortality and 50% infection rate in Canada (37.6M) we would experience approximately 564,000 deaths and over 2.5 million (15% of those infected) hospitalized as this unfolds. – Jager

F-n stawk and ‘balanced portfolio’ shill shilling for you buddy leaches ‘driving Ferraris’. Well, guess what, marketing blog genius, many of the people, including your clients shilled out of their money won’t need their portfolios anymore b/c they will be dead of the virus soon! Arrogant prick. – Alexei Yur

313 comments ↓

#1 Post on 05.22.20 at 12:54 pm

“ Arrogant prick.”
——————
Yea, but that’s why we love you.

#2 Paterfamilias on 05.22.20 at 12:55 pm

Those comments were not published at time of receipt ? Go figure.

Of course not. That would have been irresponsible fear-mongering. – Garth

#3 Classical Liberal Millennial on 05.22.20 at 12:56 pm

Those idiots should have keep their fear-mongering comments on Reddit and the other cesspools where they belong. I’d love to see just one of them own up to their panic and fear-mongering. Where are you now, losers?

#4 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.22.20 at 12:58 pm

How can you stand all the love day after day Garth…?

#5 binky barnes on 05.22.20 at 1:08 pm

I am not writing this post-facto, as I was one who quietly said there was a massive overreaction to this virus….

But those comments at the end almost embarrass me, and it only reinforces what I posted several times–this country has become so soft it is beyond belief. I know we are looking at the comments of half-a-dozen, but based on what I have seen/heard/read, there are millions and millions like them.

Of course, the Canadian media has been leading the way, likely encouraged by those at the top. And then there is our PM….the grandest softy of them all. What leadership he has demonstrated each and every day, bounding down the steps of his temp residence for his daily $ giveaway on the dime of the taxpayer. The only group he did not compensate were the 6-10 year old demographic who just saw a decline in the value of their Pokemon card collection.

Keep up the excellent work Garth–I fear we will need voices of reason even more desperately going forward.

BB

#6 sammy on 05.22.20 at 1:09 pm

Garth, some of your readers are not rational and fair when they disagree and some are downright hateful. Thank you for printing these so that reflection can take place.

#7 Mean Gene on 05.22.20 at 1:12 pm

Cutting off your nose to spite your face seems to be the path government took us down and we didn’t get a vote.

#8 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.22.20 at 1:13 pm

Karen strikes again:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/1200-covid-ticket-childrens-soccer-incident-1.5579757

#9 Bill on 05.22.20 at 1:16 pm

The media keeps pushing the FEAR. There is an agenda at work. This is more about government control than health. Remember, only a few weeks before this pandemic, #ShutDownCanada was trending on Twitter. The railway was shut down. How convenient that Canada shut down soon after due to this virus.
Economy needs to fully open now.
The “cure” cannot be worse than the “disease”.
Covid-19 has a 99% recovery rate.
The fear mongering needs to stop.
Get outside, get sun and fresh air.
Look at Florida. They have opened up and have a huge elderly population and it’s fine there.
In New York, Cuomo put Covid patients into nursing homes and that infected the entire populations inside homes there.
The heavier handed the management, it seems the worse it is.
In Ontario, we’ve been under a State of Emergency for 10 WEEKS now.
Enough is enough.

#10 nan on 05.22.20 at 1:18 pm

“Where are you now, losers?”

On stock market forums telling everyone to expect stocks to go back down after selling at bottom and missing the run up.

Cowards have no business running things.

#11 TurnerNation on 05.22.20 at 1:19 pm

A year ago Torontonians were cheering in the streets.
Raptors victorious. Weed, legal. I believe they allowed drinking in public parks too.

Today? Police and bylaw officers ruthlessly ply their trade parked outside said parks.

Oh how quickly the illusion failed. Remember it, the Government never gives you something without the taking of at least that much of it, back.

….
““The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
― Frank Zappa”

#12 Idealistic Realist on 05.22.20 at 1:21 pm

Sending much love to you as well as to Dorothy and Bandit. Thank you for being a shining light. Garth for PM! Honestly don’t know what I would have done without this pathetic blog over the last few months. Cheers to the blog dogs as well. Thank you for sharing your wisdom especially when it is not public opinion. Keeping it straight. Best of the best!

#13 Spiltbongwater on 05.22.20 at 1:25 pm

Strange place Nova Scotia. We had our 18 month old son vaccinated at his scheduled time, albeit in a the main public health office, not the nearer to us annex building. This was in B.C. though. Seems like very poor public health policy for Nova Scotia to not be vaccinating children at the recommended intervals.

#14 Frugal Xennial on 05.22.20 at 1:26 pm

We only have to look South of the border to see what kind of results we could expect if we had not reacted the way we did. It’s disingenuous to imply it’s unknowable. As for our economic response perhaps that’s less clear but from a public health perspective we have some pretty direct comparisons even between BC and Ontario who had different messaging regarding spring break.

#15 The West on 05.22.20 at 1:27 pm

Pretty funny comments that were deleted. You are proving absolutely 1) The damage done to us was overblown and will devastate at least two more generations. 2) People were absolutely misled by the talking heads.

Who benefits? Makes a guy wonder whether, or not, this was intentionally done….

The Establishment makes off with the win! They have bought everything – serfdom is here. Just wait until what they expect my generation to pay in taxes next year.

USA or bust.

#16 Faron on 05.22.20 at 1:27 pm

#2 Classical Liberal Millennial on 05.22.20 at 12:56 pm

Right here CLM. Ouch Garth, it hurts when the bus runs over me like that.

For one, the economic tsunami is still unfolding. I think at the time a V-shaped recovery was predicted with an overshooting growth rate in 2021 before things settle. Based on the dire blog posts here of late and the news in general, it doesn’t sound like that’s happening. So, not wrong.

For the other… Mid march. Let’s see. Those heady days when lockdowns were still fun and we could innocently joke about toilet paper. Here are the case and death numbers based on 15 Mar.:

Total cases now: 5,100,000
Total global cases then: 89,000
Factor of 57 larger in two months

Global daily infection rate now: 107,000 (new record actually)
then: 15,000
Factor of seven larger in two months. (imagine how happy you would be if your returns went from 15% in March to a yield of 107%).

Daily death rate now: somewhere between 3400-5000 and dropping (seems fewer people die on weekends…)
Daily death rate then: 691
Factor of five to seven larger

Total deaths now: 334,000
Total global deaths then: 6,500
Factor of 51 larger.

And this is with global measures in place everywhere except Brazil where the virus is growing at an unchecked exponential currently.

Although the rates haven’t adhered perfectly to the models, the growth has been massive and continues at a steady, hot simmer. Pooched, yes. Blame the near-global identical response? I won’t be. Even after I lose my job and am living in a tent feasting on Squirrel.

#17 Steve Hayward on 05.22.20 at 1:28 pm

Garth, it’s helpful to remember that only 2 months ago numerous epidemiologists were reminding people that if deaths and infections were lower than predicted, and the measures taken to stop the spread seemed too drastic, that meant we did the right thing.

Just look at the outcome in the US, or in Italy and Spain (I am a TO expat living in San Diego). Canada took it seriously, and reaped the benefits. Yes, in hindsight, perhaps mainly social distancing, extensive testing and contact tracing would have been enough without stay-at-home orders and paying people to not work. But the risk of not doing so is not really theoretical – the outcomes in the US where such measures have been slow and scattered are clear. Continued infections and deaths, and sending people back to work in unsafe conditions.

The financial impact of all this spending to Canada’s finances is obviously very high. But please don’t pretend like there isn’t clear evidence that a strong reaction to the Covid-19 threat was beneficial, given the experiences in other countries.

#18 Sail away on 05.22.20 at 1:29 pm

Haha- what a bunch of weenies.

Should I copy and paste my response after studying hard data from the cruise ship months ago? Something like ‘don’t worry, it’s just a cold’.

Oh, by the way: Shawn Allen, you still owe me an apology.

#19 Leo on 05.22.20 at 1:30 pm

I’ve always found it interesting how fear grips people and only the lizard brain functions.

Take a deep breath and let your fear go… it will set you free.

#20 Them commenters ... on 05.22.20 at 1:33 pm

been reading too much main stream media. We just don’t know who or what to believe anymore. We’ve bin had I rekon. Again.

#21 Sail away on 05.22.20 at 1:33 pm

But some of the comments are accurate.

I can state based on logic that of all the people currently alive throughout the world, 7.8 billion will die… eventually. Of something or other.

#22 Apocalypse2020 on 05.22.20 at 1:34 pm

Those people made ad hominem attacks.

I tell the truth.

PREPARE.

#23 Owl Eyes on 05.22.20 at 1:35 pm

Garth, looking at the measures in a global context, we seem in Canada to have struck a balance. Except for Quebec the effort has been fairly successful from a public health perspective. Here in Ontario I still saw a good deal of road traffic in recent weeks. Our shutdown was not as strict as the too-late ones in Europe (except Sweden) or the full-on smothering of cases in New Zealand. Any government would have had to thread the needle. Some of the serious impacts would be in the travel industry and that’s an “international” shutdown – even if we went against the grain no one would be coming or going.

The cost will be enormous. It’s tough for people to process. Don’t know how impoverished we’ll all be in a year or two. But the whole western word is in the same boat.

#24 What're you at? on 05.22.20 at 1:40 pm

Everything would seem so clear if we lived in hindsight. Yes, we knew this would be temporary. But would COVID rates have fallen had we not shut down? Would people actually “social distance” had we not gone to the lockdown extremes. A 2% death rate is not insignificant. Don’t forget, 2 months ago we were looking down the barrel of an Italian tragedy. Who at the time could predict we weren’t next? Yes the economy went kaput, but I hope hindsight doesn’t say we didn’t act responsibly.

#25 AJ69er on 05.22.20 at 1:44 pm

Thanks for all you do Garth, I’ve referred several friends here in the last few weeks to give them a wake up call. Amazing, they didn’t want to listen to any of this advice years ago….

I don’t know if it’s just me but I’m seeing a fracture of opinions. The people still working are fine with opening things back up. It’s the people sitting at home that are scared sh!tless. I can’t say I blame them, I’d probably be scared too if my mind was being programmed by television and social media 12-16 hours a day. They are lapping up the Rah-Rah tag lines. “Stay home, stop the spread, if it saves just one life.” Try to point out that it’s mostly seniors and the sick dying and I get accused of wanting to kill grandmas. Strange times.

These people are so scared of dying they are afraid of living. They are going to need a reprogramming when all is said and done.

#26 T on 05.22.20 at 1:50 pm

Anyone with half a brain could see what was unfolding.

Herd mentality. Canada is awash in it.

This isn’t to say the virus isn’t a serious ordeal, as it definitely is, but the response has been based in fear of the unknown and not delivered as a measured approach.

The challenge now is around understanding that with new data the ‘unknown factor’ diminishes daily however the fear remains for most.

And all the free money thrown around. Well, we will find out soon there has been a real cost to is.

To all those who are stuck in the meme of this being a repeat of 1918 – may I present to you something the world did not have then; advanced science.

#27 Its madness on 05.22.20 at 1:51 pm

My wife works at a local hospital, been there 3 years. She is literally the front line and takes your COVID stained services card to check you in (still happily). Her monthly salary? $1600. MAX. Oh and we have to pay $400 a month to ‘access benefits’. “We can only give you 3 days a week” they say. “Being government-run we can’t offer any permanent positions and someone needs to retire before we can offer any more”. Obviously its Union run too. To her credit – she has resisted and stayed working, for less money than CERB. I honestly don’t know why. You want to fix Canada – start right here.

#28 Igor on 05.22.20 at 1:52 pm

“The others asked to be laid off, to collect the CERB for four months”

Welcome to socialism!

#29 Do we have all the facts on 05.22.20 at 1:55 pm

When I joined this blog a few months ago I pointed out that data related to the Covid 19 virus was being manipulated by the WHO. Directing health authorities around the world to identify any death where Covid 19 was present but not necessarily the primary cause of death as the actual cause of death only served to
inflate the daily scorecard of deaths from Covid 19.

Now that the world has had time to examine the net impact that the Covid 19 virus has had on well established mortality rates it has become clear that world leaders over reacted to the initial predictions of deaths circulated by the WHO.

Garth you are 100% correct when you point out that governments around the world should have taken immediate measures to isolate and protect their most vulnerable citizens. This prompt action would have saved or prolonged thousands of lives at a fraction of what a shutdown of the global economy has cost.

Having failed to act in a prudent and responsible manner our government had no choice but to promote the myth that it was the global shutdown that saved or prolonged
hundreds of thousands of lives.

They chose ignore the simple fact that in Canada a sizeable majority of the recorded deaths from the Covid 19 virus were traced to facilities accommodating the elderly. Since the Covid 19 virus entered these facilities long before the global shutdown was initiated, and the facilities were finally isolated, we have a fairly accurate picture of who should have been protected from the Covid 19 virus.

There is no doubt that’s the Covid 19 virus very contagious but an examinations of the facts does not support the mortality rates projected by the WHO or the claim that the global shutdown was responsible for a lower number of deaths than the initial WHO estimates.

By clinging to a very false narrative our government may not admit to the obvious need to do things much differently in the future.

Once again I am suggesting that actuaries are the most qualified to determine the actual impact of Covid 19 on mortality rates around the world.

Why has their collective voice not been heard.

#30 Attrition on 05.22.20 at 1:58 pm

Ha! Pure gold, Garth. A well-deserved vindication, to be sure.

Before I retired from blogging, I enjoyed filtering the hateful comments. They provide such insight into our animal roots.

And knowing that a large percentage of people think like this, and are unable to alter their thinking even when presented with new evidence, is invaluable for making better decisions in life.

Like how to firewall yourself from that element of society, so that when they come to burn down the village, your stone walls still stand.

Lunenburg, you say?

#31 TurnerNation on 05.22.20 at 1:58 pm

“Many mega companies will be bankrupt.” said the worrier.

No.. BIG box stores are doing fine due to one reason alone. Land (square footage).
See, I spoke with a small business owner. They may not open the other half of their small store – with its own revenue stream of products – due to ‘Distancing’ requirements not met. And no extra positions created.

Distancing is the greatest economic b0mb ever unleashed. My saying for years on here…First World countries get economically b0mbed while 2nd, 3rd World gets just b0mbed.

Once agian..the Crown Bankers using the Crown Virus to take back Crown land. Big Box Stores may afford the rental fees for this land/square footage.
Small business cannot and the Crown bankers will swoop in and take back that land (maybe for condos)

#32 Leftover on 05.22.20 at 1:58 pm

Scaremongers aside, Canada’s response so far has been in line with “erring on the side of caution” given unsteady data a couple of months ago. Fine with that.

What happens a couple of months from now is what matters. CERB runs out July 15, mortgage deferrals September 30. There will be howls to keep them in place, justified by fears of the “second wave”.

The second wave will happen but this time we know more about how to deal with it. Isolate those infected, care for the vulnerable, maybe even take your vitamin D instead of Hydroxychloroquine.

In the meantime businesses will fail, people will lose money on their houses and the long-overdue correction will play out. That’s what markets do and it’s okay.

The question is whether our government is mature enough to tell the truth.

#33 SoggyShorts on 05.22.20 at 1:59 pm

As a counter to all those insults, I’d like to say thank you again for the level-headed advice you freely give.

You’ve warned me not to go all equities without a VERY strong stomach
-you were right, this year has been gut- wrenching

You warned not to sell at the bottom, and that not all was lost
-you were right again, and I caught all of the rebound.

I started investing in 2009 so this was my first real challenge (I was in the process of changing from overpriced cowboy advisor to DiY in Q4 2018)

Most blog dogs admit to having made a “sell low” mistake in their first crisis 2008,2000, w/e, and I think if they’d had your blog they could have avoided it as well.

Again, thank you.

#34 NoOneOfConsequence on 05.22.20 at 1:59 pm

If that’s the teaser to Garth’s upcoming book…I am in!

C’mon Garth! Just publish on Amazon books! I’ll buy!

Call it…

“The Deleted”

We need more hilarity! Nothing compares the righteousness of the self-absorbed to amuse us all!

#35 ted on 05.22.20 at 2:03 pm

@ Steve Hayward #15

“Canada took it seriously, and reaped the benefits.”

And what exactly were those serious actions?
And what were those benefits.

https://globalnews.ca/news/6963598/coronavirus-non-medical-masks-now-recommended/
Canada recommends use of non medical masks check the date May 20th 2020. Doesn’t seem like timely advice to me, does it to you?

Canada is now ahead of China in deaths and is in the #10 spot.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
Do you think this is a great result?

#36 Attrition on 05.22.20 at 2:06 pm


#22 Apocalypse2020 on 05.22.20 at 1:34 pm

PREPARE.

Seriously dude, you need to be more specific.

I’ve been waiting for some insight, some revelation, but it’s just the same thing: PREPARE.

Unless you have more to say, you’ll get yourself filed under: ‘Lunatics (Repetitive; w/Paranoia)’

Why not tell us how you’ve prepared?

#37 Flywest29 on 05.22.20 at 2:08 pm

Reminds me of the CBC comments section. Lot of scared people over there.

#38 Over reaction on 05.22.20 at 2:09 pm

First, thank you Garth!
Second, wow those letters were judgemental, why are people so convinced they are always right.
Third, I look at how Hong Kong and Taiwan handled this crisis with very low deaths and economy never shut. Duh!
And I shake my head at what happened in Canada.
Forth, any reasonable person could realize travellers were spreading the virus the country should have went into immediate checking at airports and not oh please self quarantine but marched Everyone off to a quarantine hospital as soon as you got off a plane, much cheaper than 250 billion duh
Fifth, yes totally wrong to shut down the economy.
Yes stupid to pay people to sit at home
Should have given everyone a broom and shovel, and then did some infrastructure work. First would have broom all those tent cities into the mountains. Instead of putting them in hotels, really? try disinfecting those rooms
Six, they used the wrong medical models totally wrong. Worst then economist.
Seven, a month ago it was fairly obvious that in BC it was over but they did not open the hospitals duh.
Two year waiting list, we should demand a daily body count of deaths with people waiting.
I could go on and on
What upsets me the most is there was total lack of communication how this was spreading, oh we heard it must be asymptomatic people.
They should have issued everyone with a mask and social distancing back in February.
In the end we totally screwed up and for someone who earns a living in the middle class who did not get benefits will be paying higher taxes for the rest of my life.
The only good thing to come out of this is in theory with everyone social distancing and washing their hands and wearing masks we should never catch the flu again. Could save a lot of people’s lives going forward, I don’t have the stats but I think flu deaths in Canada are higher than Covid deaths.
Have a great day, I am actually pissed that after saving all my life all the financially irresponsible people, can I say stupid people? Maybe hey were the smart ones as they all get bailed out, so I selling my stocks and buying toys, boats luxury items going into debt, why not why should all those people in debt get a free ride at my expense.
Yep I am angry and frustrated!
Thanks again Garth
Are you sure that we should not buy gold?

#39 Faron on 05.22.20 at 2:09 pm

#19 Leo on 05.22.20 at 1:30 pm

Take a deep breath and let your fear go… it will set you free.

—————

Fully agree. I’m the first to admit that fear has played an outsized role in my life.

The misunderstanding is that we who cried hubris are worried about the virus when the actuality is we are worried about the people who just can’t wrap their minds around how interconnected we are and how easy it is to spread this thing and the real impact it’s having.

I’m 42 y.o. and fit. I’m not too worried about the virus in terms of my personal health. Boomers should be worried, especially boomers that have any kind of heart condition/diabetes/obesity/COPD.

There’s a great article in The New Yorker that talks about the people in the CDC trained to communicate epidemic response. They highlight the challenge of striking a balance between effectively communicating danger and asking for behaviour change. Push too strong and people revolt and you’re hooped. Don’t push hard enough and the thing takes over and you’re hooped. Regardless, there will be rancor from the don’t tread on me crowd. The results of successful messaging and response are clear when comparing locations that received differing information. I know most (or none) of you will read it because you see it as Fake News or MSM, but in case you are interested:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/04/seattles-leaders-let-scientists-take-the-lead-new-yorks-did-not

#40 Felix on 05.22.20 at 2:09 pm

See how much better the world would be, if only all dogs masked their pugly faces?

We could pretend they are barely here.

#41 Barb on 05.22.20 at 2:10 pm

It’s frankly disgusting the tripe that you’re subjected to, Garth.

#42 Nat on 05.22.20 at 2:10 pm

LOL Garth for some reason I hoped that you would do this and I am so satisfied. Thank you and have a good weekend.

#43 Prince Polo on 05.22.20 at 2:10 pm

Thanks Garth, for offering current events through a prism of perspective. How ironic for all those doltish haters to criticize you while at the same time, offering outlandish predictions. Um, hello? The future called and is weeping for your prognosticatin’ skills! Go back to the bunker!

Any chance the deleted comments can be offered behind a paywall for entertainment purposes only? All proceeds to go to your charity of choice, of course!

#44 Sail away on 05.22.20 at 2:10 pm

#32 SoggyShorts on 05.22.20 at 1:59 pm

You’ve warned me not to go all equities without a VERY strong stomach
-you were right, this year has been gut- wrenching

You warned not to sell at the bottom, and that not all was lost
-you were right again, and I caught all of the rebound.

—————

Good work holding strong. Now reset and back at it.

#45 Six Figs Ain't What It Used To Be on 05.22.20 at 2:10 pm

If you don’t want to fear monger about a virus, why fear monger about a housing collapse rather than the much more likely long housing stagnation? Eleven years in, I’ve finally placed my bets that interest rate normalization has been achieved through a redefinition of normal.

(Lifelong renter who bought a 1.5m house in April after the market bounced most of the way back to all time highs – easy come, easy go.)

#46 mark on 05.22.20 at 2:13 pm

Well this shit show not over yet, so everybody don’t be patting yourself on the back just yet!
This may and could be tip of the iceberg?

#47 Marco on 05.22.20 at 2:20 pm

We could have achieved the same result with social distancing and sheltering the vulnerable in those retirement homes, without nuking society.
———————————————————-
No, we could not. Because people who work in retirement homes are on minimum wage and work at few places to better themselves financially and spread virus. Owners are rich.
They are entrepreneurs but you will not call them killers of your grandparents because they make more than you. And that call for respect.
Now, to make retirement homes part of universal health care and ban private greedy owners….. that is called socialism, no? Well, similar situation in every other country.
There is no country for old people.

Most facilities are government-operated. – Garth

#48 Wile E. Coyote on 05.22.20 at 2:20 pm

I do believe Tom’s ex-employees arecgoing to be disappointed when their employment record states voluntarily left, thus making them not eligible for CERB

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application/questions.html#eligibility

“There may be other reasons related to COVID-19 beyond these examples why you may have stopped working. However, you cannot voluntarily quit your job.”

#49 ElGatoNerodeYVR on 05.22.20 at 2:23 pm

It is sad that a large portion of the population has forgot how to use ” active thinking “.A lot of people have grown complacent to believe in the media and fail to question and think for themselves…same is in the Inquisition days ” Trust, believe and never question ” seems to be the new normal. The media keeps focusing on the infected rate as that will always be a big number and we can all agree that a lot more people would’ve been infected and will be as the economy reopens. That distracts though from the key point of how many would’ve actually truly needed hospitalization and further down ICU. Those super extra small percentages are the real “Inconvenient truth” that sadly in this political correct world not many people are willing to talk about. Thankfully this blog is for the most part different.

#50 David Prokop on 05.22.20 at 2:24 pm

I watched BBC News last night, they were showing multi mile long line up to the food bank in California. Tonnes of nice expensive SUVs like Benz or Lexus. They interviewed few drivers, they said didn’t get paid since the lockdown and they have no choice. Unbelievable how stretched people are. What did Warren Buffett say about things we can see when the tide goes away??

#51 27 going on 50 on 05.22.20 at 2:25 pm

Garth if you could see me giggling in my chair reading those messages people sent you I’m sure you’d have a good chuckle. This made my day

#52 baloney Sandwitch on 05.22.20 at 2:26 pm

It’s the precautionary principle at play that is embedded in the bureaucracy and medicine. First do not harm, has evolved to take no risk because you may be blamed for taking a risk. No doubt we have saved a few thousand lives (temporarily) at about $1 Billion a soul. Money is like manure, it has be spread around to do any good. Plus its good to tax the populace to the last inch of their lives, for the next 30 years (good for the politicians and bureaucracy).

#53 Jimers on 05.22.20 at 2:34 pm

Notice there is no scientific proof Covid spread is effected by masks or temp-checks. People need to learn the difference between science and medical opinions.

#54 Lambchop on 05.22.20 at 2:39 pm

#34 Attrition on 05.22.20 at 2:06 pm

#22 Apocalypse2020 on 05.22.20 at 1:34 pm

PREPARE.

Seriously dude, you need to be more specific.

I’ve been waiting for some insight, some revelation, but it’s just the same thing: PREPARE.

Why not tell us how you’ve prepared

________________

I have asked several times as well. No response.

I would mostly like to know WHAT we need to !!PREPARE!! for.

#55 Sail away on 05.22.20 at 2:44 pm

This whole boondoggle has been a huge benefit to my portfolio and company’s future, as follows:

Personal:
-Bet heavily on APT and cashed out huge
-Bought equities all the way down, including at the exact bottom (and posted it all here… no revisionist history!) Up an average of 36% on the new buys.
-Finished almost all home projects, fished the entire sea-run cutthroat and steelhead season, was home for the new bird dog pup, greatly enjoyed time with the wife and son

Company:
-Dismissed some staff and re-signed all remaining to hourly
-Received interest-free loans and wage subsidy for two corps. So far, over $150k, with more to come; hopefully much more
-Set up offshore corporation / offshore accounts in preparation for the coming tax squeeze
-Confirmed our firm’s client base is fairly recession-proof
-Watched cracks appear in competition who are heavily leveraged

#56 BrianT on 05.22.20 at 2:45 pm

#37Faron-rather than endlessly regurgitate MSM nonsense how about thinking logically-you say “Boomers” should worry about the virus-is this virus the #1 health risk for “Boomers”? no-it isn’t even in the top 10 (maybe it cracks the top 10 in Montreal).

#57 Sativa on 05.22.20 at 2:48 pm

Cannabis affectionados (and investors) rejoice. There is now even more to love.

https://www.thestreet.com/investing/cannabis-stocks-surge-on-report-of-benefits-in-fighting-covid-19

#58 jack on 05.22.20 at 2:53 pm

#46 Wile E. Coyote on 05.22.20 at 2:20 pm
I do believe Tom’s ex-employees arecgoing to be disappointed when their employment record states voluntarily left, thus making them not eligible for CERB

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application/questions.html#eligibility

“There may be other reasons related to COVID-19 beyond these examples why you may have stopped working. However, you cannot voluntarily quit your job.”

Not a chance the liberals will ask for the money back – They might lose some votes. Even if they wanted to, how long do you think it will take for them to determine who was and who wasn’t eligible – there are over 8 million people on CERB! The reason there were no checks and balances is because the systems they had couldn’t handle the volume of requests. Worst case – “I had to look after mom”.

#59 DrC on 05.22.20 at 2:56 pm

Nice comments. Entertaining in a way. You know why I like this blog? You can see difrerent people with different thoughts and fears. You learn so much about the world lol.

#60 Jimers on 05.22.20 at 3:01 pm

What happens if Science shows the Medical Opinion that face masks prevent Covid is wrong? That actually a non-surgical face masks turns into a perfectly warm, wet, nutrient rich biological magnet for viruses and bacterial after about 15 minutes of use? And if I get sick from it, whom do I sue, the business that forced me to wear it to obtain my essential resources or the government body that advised them to force it on me?

#61 no blog for old men on 05.22.20 at 3:04 pm

Kinda worried about janice todd.
that kind of anxiety should be medicated.

#62 Victoria Renter on 05.22.20 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for yet another excellent post, Garth. You were right of course. So much fear, much of it promoted by alarmist and worst-case news reports. I feel lucky to be in BC with an extremely competent chief medical officer (Bonnie Henry) and health minister (Adrian Dix). BC restrictions have been reasonable and showed some common sense.

#63 Calgary Rip Off on 05.22.20 at 3:06 pm

C. 950 AD Wessex:

Methods to avoid the sickness. “Don’t breathe the bad air”.

First it was temperature checks at hospitals. Now stores are mandating masks to shoppers.

Likely the drugs used for acute cases will be a vitamin C/D3/drug hybrid.

Welcome to the new 1000 AD: The internet is no different than peasants squabbling with themselves in medieval England.

And still people are suffering despite having fresh water, edible food, motorized vehicles and lack of warfare.

I will take life now over times in 1000 Anno Domini.

#64 BlogDog123 on 05.22.20 at 3:06 pm

re:
I do believe Tom’s ex-employees arecgoing to be disappointed when their employment record states voluntarily left, thus making them not eligible for CERB

If he does not like these employees, he can clearly state on the record of employment: “Employee quit without reason, employer provided reasonable safety/accommodation to virus concerns”. Good luck collecting EI with that… CERB, well, when they eventually get around to collecting false claims,… if ever,…

#65 Do we have all the facts on 05.22.20 at 3:07 pm

#45 Marco

The need to isolate our most vulnerable citizens would also require a plan to test and isolate the staff providing care to the elderly. Contingency plans would be required to assure that all staff who might have direct contact with the residents could be offered accommodation in secure locations until the virus has run its course.

The staff would be offered appropriate compensation and could be rotated on a regular basis after being tested for any viral infection. The logistics related to this approach would have to be worked out and financed but it seems
far more pragmatic than a total global shutdown.

To clarify in Ontario the majority of the 78,000 long term care beds are located in privately operated facilities that are heavily subsidized by the Provincial government using a portion of the funding received through the Canada Health and Social Transfer. For economic reasons the majority of residents select basic accommodation where four people share one room.

These arrangements certainly contributed to the spread of Covid 19 once it entered a long term care facility and this density bears further examination.

#66 Howard on 05.22.20 at 3:07 pm

Tom’s a contractor with a small crew in southern Ontario. Four trucks, usually eight guys. Just four now. The others asked to be laid off, to collect the CERB for four months. Tom told them to get their damn butts on the job site. They quit, and took the benefit.

Linda runs a women’s clothing store and was planning to reopen last week, but decided against it. “The wage subsidy program is just too much to give up,” she said. And the federal rent money is due soon. That’s lost if the store opens again, she says.

—————————

These sound like alternative lyrics to Bon Jovi’s Livin on a Prayer. Updated for the marxist Canada of 2020.

Instead of working on the docks, Tommy (or in this case, his employees), plays video games collecting free Trudeau bucks. What luck. It’s tough, so tough.

Gina (Linda) works the Netflix buttons all day. Working for nobody, Trudeau provides her with pay. For love, mmm for love.

#67 NFN_NLN on 05.22.20 at 3:14 pm

#41 Prince Polo on 05.22.20 at 2:10 pm

Any chance the deleted comments can be offered behind a paywall for entertainment purposes only?

If you want to pay me directly just let me know. Most of my deleted comments mention a certain Canadian world leader selling out to a certain authoritarian government, any link to a certain youtube channel that rhymes with Pebble Media and literally any mention of slowing down the crossing of people across a particular imaginary line during the pandemic.

I’m running a COVID-19 special right now where I can generate (3) new posts a day for $9.99 a month direct to your email. (Obviously that’s in US dollars, I don’t take funny money.)

#68 Ace Goodheart on 05.22.20 at 3:21 pm

And the dance begins:

https://www.blogto.com/city/2020/05/doug-ford-says-province-will-have-plan-random-mass-testing-next-week/

Open up society, cases go up. Close down society, cases go down.

This could go on for years.

Just sold all my restaurant stock. No point in holding onto a falling knife.

#69 Keeper on 05.22.20 at 3:22 pm

What about the damage to Canada’s finances that occurred when the GST was lowered(pandering to Boomers and older GenXers) and lowering the corporate tax rates? Funny those don’t get mentioned.

Government spending to help little people is bad!

#70 TurnerNation on 05.22.20 at 3:23 pm

Two points you can bet on:

1. CERB will be extended, “temporarily” – well forever. The goal is communism. See point #2.
2. As always those numbers on the Tee-vee screen will be ruling our lives, forcing compliance. And we are in the compliance stage.
ALL small businesses must be wiped out. Communism does not allow for that. The shut downs will continue until, so.

And no one seems to know anyone behind these new daily numbers. Could they be generated region-by-region by A.I. – until all the new tools are rolled out?
– UBI
– Tracking apps.
– Travel bans for good
– Small business bye -bye.

Bet. On. It.

“Doug Ford may yet have to make the hardest decision of the pandemic so far — shutting the province down again thestar.com”

#71 james macdonnell on 05.22.20 at 3:24 pm

true ignorance is often displayed in times of crisis by those most susceptible to influence form propaganda and misinformation. As they say Garth, the problem with common sense is that it isn’t all that common anymore.

Thank you for you insights, opinions, comments and overall well thought out narratives. If we had the same in Ottawa and our provincial capitals imagine how the outcome would have been?

#72 Jimers on 05.22.20 at 3:25 pm

#44 mark on 05.22.20 at 2:13 pm

Correct! If Trump’s suspicions are right and this is all the result of a CCP Red Army biological weapons attack, we will still have World War 3 to live through.

#73 TurnerNation on 05.22.20 at 3:26 pm

Further, all social and cultural and sporting events are long gone. Will be cancelled until well into 2021, 2022. By that time people will have simply given up on the Old System.
That will be the Acceptance stage.
This is war folks and it will be waged against us for years.
Once you realise that human’s #1 predator is other humans, it all makes sense

#74 Doug in London on 05.22.20 at 3:30 pm

So which school of thought is right? Probably a bit of both. We’ll know for sure by the time the Western Fair is on in September. Oh, I forgot, it’s cancelled this year. The economy is slowly reopening now in Ontario and of course the Forest City, and I see the effect with more traffic on the streets. There will be an increase in Covid 19 cases, but let’s hope it’s manageable. We’re seeing history in the making here in 2020.

#75 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.22.20 at 3:30 pm

Her it comes, Here it comes…..My 19th nervous breakdown…..

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/can-canadians-handle-another-lockdown-our-governments-arent-sure?video_autoplay=true

Ahh the colors in the Fall…..

#76 Tom's Ex-Employee on 05.22.20 at 3:30 pm

#46 Wile E. Coyote on 05.22.20 at 2:20 pm

“There may be other reasons related to COVID-19 beyond these examples why you may have stopped working. However, you cannot voluntarily quit your job.”

I for one was extremely shocked when someone pointed out that I was featured on this blog. As a Canadian citizen who voluntarily quit to stay at home and collect CERB payments I doubt… nay, I DARE the government to try and collect that money back.

Let it be known the CRA has no teeth and no recourse and I will openly flaunt having swindled them out of CERB money. If they have a problem they know where to find me.

LtGB

#77 Drew on 05.22.20 at 3:31 pm

This is always what happens. Prepare and prevent a horrible thing and people say it was overreacting and a waste. Don’t, and people scream about not doing enough.

#78 Dolce Vita on 05.22.20 at 3:33 pm

On the virus, Gov’s did the right thing healthwise and anyone can do 20/20 hindsight. Facts are 80,000 would have died in Canada, they didn’t. Instead, be grateful for that.

I think the real issue in today’s Blog is how Gov’s in Canada reacted financially. Being in Italia and looking at what European countries are doing financially it comes NOWHERE near the largesse thrown at Canadians by their Gov’s.

Not even close.

Face it Canada, your Gov’s bought your compliance by shoving money down your throats and you all swallowed without complaint.

See if you complain when you have to pay it all back.

#79 Linda on 05.22.20 at 3:34 pm

I think it fair to say ‘the government’ acted correctly, in that our health care system would have been utterly overwhelmed if we had not taken steps to flatten the curve. Keeping in mind that the population at large would still be having major medical events (heart attack; stroke) even as serious viral cases filled those limited urgent care beds.

Fortunately for us all, the virus has thus far has had a relatively low fatality rate. World wide deaths as per Worldometer is still under 350,000. It is estimated world wide deaths from influenza may be as high as 650,000 per annum so the coronavirus has at least as high a fatality rate as the flu. Time will tell if it is equal to, double or higher influenzas fatality rate.

What is not so good about the coronavirus is the reported post Covid side effects. Blood clotting, strokes, inflammation, organ damage etc. Those potentially fatal or long term serious health issues are why coronavirus isn’t something one wants to catch. Especially since it does not appear to confer immunity.

Regarding the economy, thus far it does seem like Sweden’s approach would have been the way to go. Given that it appears that there will be annual strains of coronavirus circulating, I’d say we have to adjust our lifestyles so that employment is the main source of most peoples incomes, not government largesse. If that means wearing a mask in public & maintain social distancing, so be it.

#80 Nick on 05.22.20 at 3:34 pm

Thanks for keeping a level head and continuing to inform your readers! Frustrating times!

#81 not 1st on 05.22.20 at 3:34 pm

The only thing the doctors are trying to save now is their second homes.

#82 not 1st on 05.22.20 at 3:36 pm

Remember those studies saying automation and technology and disruption will kill a billion jobs on the planet? We just accelerated that by 20 yrs.

Hope Toms crew enjoys the subsidy.

#83 Jager on 05.22.20 at 3:39 pm

This single post was (as noted) an assumption predicated upon an early model of infection and understanding of the virus. A simple calculation (the full post notes this). My additional early warnings of how the virus (pandemic) could potentially disrupt our lifestyle (economy) although published was equally ignored. Hindsight is 2020.

As for today?

Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the inventor of email and polymath, holds four degrees from MIT, is a world-renowned systems scientist, inventor and entrepreneur. He is a Fulbright Scholar, Lemelson-MIT Awards Finalist, India’s First Outstanding Scientist and Technologist of Indian Origin, Westinghouse Science Talent Honors Award recipient, and a nominee for the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation. His love of medicine and complex systems began…

https://youtu.be/_CWWkuz0u3s

P.S. Take control. Go Keto.

#84 Timmy on 05.22.20 at 3:40 pm

No, we could not. Because people who work in retirement homes are on minimum wage and work at few places to better themselves financially and spread virus. Owners are rich.
They are entrepreneurs but you will not call them killers of your grandparents because they make more than you. And that call for respect.
Now, to make retirement homes part of universal health care and ban private greedy owners….. that is called socialism, no? Well, similar situation in every other country.
There is no country for old people.

Most facilities are government-operated. – Garth
————–
Like the one China owns in Canada? Retirement Concepts? The one they massively botched?

#85 8102 on 05.22.20 at 3:40 pm

Italy, Russia, Brazil, Africa (now)…

The “Draconian” efforts flattened the curve which was the intent here in Canada.

Ask the New York Governor if he thinks we over reacted.

But then again, maybe all the Health Care workers here in Canada are wrong…

#86 TurnerNation on 05.22.20 at 3:41 pm

Found it – what we are living. Decadence like air travel is slowly going away, neighbourhood bars and gathering places to share information cannot last at 50% capacity.
This will be a years-long process we are living through
Farmers markets and theatres are part of the Old System. All must be purged.

Life is online now, the big tech companies running our world will control what goes into our minds, especially those of kids (Google Classroom). Playdates and birthday parties for children? Also banned. Too dangerous.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution#Transition_period

“The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement in China from 1966 until 1976. Launched by Mao Zedong, the Chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC), its stated goal was to preserve Chinese Communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Mao Zedong Thought”

#87 Guy in Calgary on 05.22.20 at 3:41 pm

It is likely the Government overacted but it is very difficult to make decisions in the moment. It is likely that lives were indeed saved but it came at an economic cost.

The initial reaction was appropriate if we assume that the Government was not yet sure what we were dealing with. It is better safe then sorry in that regard.

Now that we know the incredibly low mortality rate of the virus, it is time to get back to business while washing our hands and maintaining distance. Enough is enough, society paid its dues, let’s move on.

#88 not 1st on 05.22.20 at 3:44 pm

Those comments only reinforce the fact that I have been saying that Canada is chock full of fearful small minded insular narcissists.

That’s exactly how we have a Trudeau govt.

By responding to the govts overreach instead of the fear of virus, some people are going to make billions.

#89 Phylis on 05.22.20 at 3:45 pm

#16 Faron on 05.22.20 at 1:27 pm
#2 Classical Liberal Millennial on 05.22.20 at 12:56 pm

Right here CLM. Ouch Garth, it hurts when the bus runs over me like that.

———————————-
You know you put yourself under the bus, right?

#90 FreeBird on 05.22.20 at 3:45 pm

“… or believe everything they read in the mainstream media…”
————————

Short animated video: manufacturing consent (by corp media)

https://youtu.be/tTBWfkE7BXU

We seem to have a don’t ask don’t tell and didn’t see it agreement in our neighbourhood. Also trimmed other half’s hair by request. Don’t tell. Anyone else??

#91 Ed McNeil on 05.22.20 at 3:47 pm

I do not believe that Covid19 was deliberately engineered but I believe the fear mongering was. For whatever reason, people have been bombarded with negativity. I do not believe the stock markets are in for any great rebound nor do I think economically this will prove to be a blip such as Y2K. You cannot shut down the world for six months and ever expect to return to normal.

#92 yvr_lurker on 05.22.20 at 3:48 pm

All we have to do is watch what will happen in the U.S. now that much is re-opening there with the virus still uncontrolled through community spread in various states. No way to do a retroactive experiment in Canada where we do not lockdown and then compare the results to what happened with the strict measures. Hindsight will always be easy and people can write their own narrative on the “what ifs” as they see fit and according to their politics.

My sense is that we will be getting another blast with the virus this fall, and then there will be no way to shut everything down as the Gov’t money will all be gone. Before blaming poiliticians for their decisions early on in March, let’s wait to see how the second-wave unfolds where we don’t have the options for a widespread lockdown. Further, let’s wait to see how the vaccine trials turn out. Many scientists predict that this will be a very bumpy road. We are still in the early innings with all of this. Mr.Market may not be so optimistic by September. I hedged in this direction by turning my kids RESP into a GIC after I was only down 2.5K as he will need the funds in 2 years. I don’t want to lose 15% of it in this shortime when things go pear-shaped this fall.

That being said, the CERB is indeed generating a dis-incentive to some people who could return to work (at generally low paying jobs) who do not see much added financial benefit of returning. Why bother returning to your dog-city daycare job full time making slightly more than minimum wage when you can still get your 2K for playing tennis all afternoon? Not so sure how people are going to weaned off of this.

#93 Toronto_CA on 05.22.20 at 3:49 pm

The minute cases didn’t get out of control in Asia, and we didn’t see millions of dead, I knew there was no way the mortality rate was 3%. I would be surprised if it is anywhere near 0.3%, once we know how far and wide the asymptomatic cases are in the populations.

The arguments with people who claimed it would kill hundreds of millions..sigh. I should have taken bets and collected in 6 months.

As Garth says, history will judge. And it will judge harshly, in my opinion. We can never have this kind of self-imposed economic shut down again, unless we are dealing with some form of hyper-contagious airborne ebola that actually kills healthy people in great quantities. Then, yes, shut everything down while we wait for a cure.

I really want to see a “control” planet where we just said “hey, there’s a very bad flu season coming; everyone wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick more than ever” and obviously took much better precautions with nursing home residents. I would love to see how many people died (from all causes, including the coming global depression and jobless recovery) over 5 years. My money is on the planet that didn’t shut down the economy.

Probably a lot less kids would have starved to death in my control world, too:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/unicef-warns-lockdown-could-kill-covid-19-model-predicts-12/

#94 A J on 05.22.20 at 3:55 pm

Super disappointed by how many people have reacted during this pandemic. Especially the ones who essentially quit their jobs to go on the dole. Wouldn’t everyone love to sit at home and get paid? Sure. But some of us stayed to keep our society and economy running and functioning. Without people working, we have no society. And bailing on your societal responsibilities is selfish and lazy. I have lost respect for so many people I work with and don’t know how I’ll be able to face them after this. Having worked my butt off while they sat at home.

I think we made the right decision in shutting things down. Especially the border. But keeping things shut much longer is a mistake, in my opinion. Only because every month shut means more governmental spending and debt. And more laziness and loss of productivity.

No one has a crystal ball. We can’t know what the right calls are/were. At least we tried.

#95 Dutchy on 05.22.20 at 3:57 pm

I have a friend, MD, he makes visits to retirement homes in the province.
His recommendation: Never go into a private institution. Government run facilities are superior.
(Using older folks as a profit center definitely not kosher)

#96 Niagara Region on 05.22.20 at 3:57 pm

Interesting Article: “How Much Home Prices and Sales Dropped Across 20 Canadian Markets due to COVID-19”:
https://www.zoocasa.com/blog/covid-19-canada-home-prices-april-vs-feb-2020/?utm_content=bufferf7005&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Regarding the pandemic, we’re still in the early stages. Businesses are opening up not because we have controlled the transmission of COVID-19 but because of the economic stress the shutdown was causing.

#97 Midnights on 05.22.20 at 4:05 pm

Wow, some of the people that wrote you are totally out of touch with reality. I love the People that speak on the point that because you’re not within the field of being a doctor that one has no opinion at all. Well, if I read and listen to countering views from doctors, what’s the difference as with the advice someone poses to you.
Some of these people would’ve become Brown Shirts within Germany, and I’m sorry to say.

#98 Canadiain on 05.22.20 at 4:09 pm

Thought the contractor needs to be laid off not quit to receive CERB?

#99 Overheardyou on 05.22.20 at 4:11 pm

I honestly hope these comments are not Canadians, we’re smarter than that…

#100 Deplorable Dude on 05.22.20 at 4:15 pm

#16 Faron…’ Although the rates haven’t adhered perfectly to the models’…

Lol….the original Imperial College model that everybody freaked out over and the world governments used, predicted 2.5m dead Americans…..and that assumed social distancing was in place.

Looks like it’s just gonna be equiv of a really bad flu season.

That model’s algos were so bad it gave different results when run on different computers.

As it is , looks like it is no where near as infectious as first thought. And that lockdowns may have made things worse as CDC now admitting that infection needs prolonged close contact.

#101 Tulips on 05.22.20 at 4:23 pm

#43 Six Figs Ain’t What It Used To Be on 05.22.20 at 2:10 pm
If you don’t want to fear monger about a virus, why fear monger about a housing collapse rather than the much more likely long housing stagnation? Eleven years in, I’ve finally placed my bets that interest rate normalization has been achieved through a redefinition of normal.

(Lifelong renter who bought a 1.5m house in April after the market bounced most of the way back to all time highs – easy come, easy go.)

—————————————————————
I’m in a similar position, lifelong renter in early 40’s with just below a 7 fig net worth. Unable to buy a house without seriously disrupting the family lifestyle, 3 very active kids under 12 years old. Above average income doesn’t start to get us looking at average digs in our YVR suburb area without going all-in on house. I’ll be sitting on the sidelines for a while longer. I may look back with relief or may look back with regret. I still see many avenues for either outcome. I certainly think it’s premature to declare “I told you so”. If you like your home and can pay for it without selling out everything else, then you’re going to be fine either way. Best of luck to you Six Figs!

#102 Tim123 on 05.22.20 at 4:27 pm

I think shutting down the economy was the right thing to do. It worked so that now we are better prepared with our masks and gloves and hand sanitizer. Yes, it was not as bad as the doctors thought but you don’t know that at the time. The stock market is doing great. The volatility is really good for trading. I should be back to even for the year in June, and I am anticipating a big second half of the year trading in the markets.

#103 GAV on 05.22.20 at 4:28 pm

This virus emergency and apparent over-reaction has similar comparisons to another apparent emergency.

Just remember it was only a few months ago that our Federal Government and every city and municipality were declaring a “climate emergency” based on the advice and pressure of so called “experts”.

Advocates assured us that the Climate issue was the biggest risk to human health, and indeed human survival.

We will get a taste of the economic and social costs to reduce emissions to the level Greta wants, thanks to the virus.

Be very afraid.

Or.. use this as lesson to push aside junk science.

#104 espressobob on 05.22.20 at 4:30 pm

As a contractor in the foodservice industry I’m already troubled watching many of my clients throwing in the towel. Some of these folks have everything there worth in the game.

That sucks.

#105 Cottage Country on 05.22.20 at 4:32 pm

I was just out and about in my small town in cottage country. Busy would be an understatement. Where last week the streets were deserted and every shop closed, now there are long lines of traffic, people on the sidewalks, kids playing in the park, WalMart, Crappy Tire and the grocery store parking lots full.
It’s over people. And no, there won’t be a ‘second wave’ that kills millions that were predicted the first time and didn’t happen. Fool me once…

#106 sammy on 05.22.20 at 4:33 pm

As the GDP of a country declines so does life expectancy.
Connect the dots.

#107 Faron on 05.22.20 at 4:34 pm

#70 Phylis on 05.22.20 at 3:45 pm

You know you put yourself under the bus, right?

————————————–

BS. To hide a post (I don’t think he even marked it as DELETED in the post stream) and then use it later as red meat and to claim victory in the viral component of the battle that is about 1/3 over is throwing someone under the bus regardless of how much you dislike their stance. Plus, I was and am right in having made that statement. Look at the numbers.

Just because we are all lucky enough to live in a place where infections have been low doesn’t mean this hasn’t been and doesn’t continue to be an utter disaster in terms of public health.

#108 Phylis on 05.22.20 at 4:46 pm

#103 Faron on 05.22.20 at 4:34 pm
#70 Phylis on 05.22.20 at 3:45 pm

You know you put yourself under the bus, right?

————————————–

BS.
———————

Just get back under, please and thankyou.

#109 MicroGX on 05.22.20 at 4:48 pm

Geeeezas the Legacy Media has done a number on people. Craze eh

#110 cl on 05.22.20 at 4:48 pm

Government acting to close and support the economy rapidly is fine. The harder part is to be able to reopen as soon as possible part of the economy, with safety measure so the economy will recover strongly (and not crash it).

So, the money will be spend anyway, like the one million snowbirds spending their money the next winter in Canada instead of abroad.

By the way, after two weeks of opening school, everything is fine at our school, most kids came back, they advise new teachers will be need to accommodate future kid… seem the fear can dissipate rapidly…

Now the preoccupation been, will enough student will apply for jobs for summer camp?

#111 Gramps on 05.22.20 at 4:49 pm

We been locked down a couple months now.
Should have a plan on how to startup by now.
That plan should include hiring people, where necessary, to facilitate opening everything.
Let’s turn this thing into an employment opportunity.

#112 CEW9 on 05.22.20 at 4:49 pm

Well I well to the dentist this week. Twice, on separate days. Once for a cleaning and once for a check up.

I will let you know if I die from it.

#113 fishman on 05.22.20 at 4:51 pm

In my block; West side Van commercial R/E: zoned light industrial, office, with a smattering of retail on the bottom & a few residential on the top. Commercial taxes average $20,000/25 ft. frontage(give or take). Engineers,architect, R/E ,property management, accountant head office for multi national, light manufacturing, wholesaler, fancy car place, dinky retail, casting & sound mixing for movies. 200 (give or take 50) would come to work every day. As of this afternoon, nobody,zero, nada, nothing. Even the garbage trucks don’t bang their gong at 6 in the morning. Metre parking out front at $5/hr. Empty.
I suppose a lot of no shows working at home. Some tenants have cleared out before the locks got changed. Any way you slice this pie,& I got a piece of it, Commercial R/E looks like in big big trouble. And thats half of the City’s revenue. Whoops! The only thing gonna save this gas bag is same old, same old, more Chicom cash. That means big immigration numbers slam up against big unemployment numbers. Lil potato’s between a rock & a hard place. I love it.

#114 Faron on 05.22.20 at 4:53 pm

#96 Deplorable Dude on 05.22.20 at 4:15 pm

That model’s algos were so bad it gave different results when run on different computers.

———-

Send us the evidence. I understand numerical stability and given how these models work, I think you are very likely wrong. But, I will concede to you if you give me a source to read.

#115 Dougie on 05.22.20 at 4:54 pm

I certainly don’t agree with the “party and be damned” crowd, but I’m old enough to remember polio, and back then people accepted the risk and carried on life more or less normally. Because, of course, there was no alternative. No government pogey, no gov. loans which end up as grants, no free cash to stay at home and laze around while the boss tears his hair out. Given a brief dose of reality, there are many today who simply dissolve into tears and wait for the gov. to rescue them. Also too many who simply take the opportunity to cheat “the man”. Back then people worried, particularly for their kids; stayed in their jobs because what else would they do?; and hoped for the cure (which eventually came along).

Yes, I’m an old fogey, but I’ve experienced life, and it isn’t always fair. Get over it, as the youngsters say today.

Bad cess to the CERB slackers when the COVID cure is found, and they eventually want to come back to work again. I would never hire them. I hope their families are proud of them.

#116 djsnuggz on 05.22.20 at 4:54 pm

I believe that if nothing was done swiftly in mid-March, a lot of these people you made fun of would have been correct.

How did I ‘make fun’ of anyone? Their words speak for them. – Garth

#117 Toronto_CA on 05.22.20 at 4:55 pm

The other issue I’d love to see a blog post on is about the risks of being an entrepreneur after this pandemic and abysmal response (in my opinion).

Why on earth would anyone want to open a business that can be shut down overnight by government without a vote in the absence of accurate data and information? To have the government decide who is “essential” and who cannot run?

I guarantee the costs of the response mean the next time a pandemic shuts down we will not be rolling out the free money. Did you see how much the UK borrowed versus expected today?

Not to mention how hard it has been for some businesses to get the promised relief. No wonder they won’t be reopening. A second wave or the next time a new SARS brews they could be forced to shutter and go bankrupt. This is not an environment that brews small business owners and entrepreneurship.

All it will do is consolidate the big players and eliminate the small players. And of course, this going to be the most jobless recovery we’ve ever seen. I’m calling that now. You know those efficiency problems Canada was having? Well when output returns to full with only 90% of the workforce returning (or less), we’ll get our productivity gap solved for us.

#118 Ponzius Pilatus on 05.22.20 at 4:56 pm

Regarding the economy, thus far it does seem like Sweden’s approach would have been the way to go. Given that it appears that there will be annual strains of coronavirus circulating, I’d say we have to adjust our lifestyles so that employment is the main source of most peoples incomes, not government largesse. If that means wearing a mask in public & maintain social distancing, so be it.
————————-
I’m closely following the situation in Europe by reading the influential weekly magazine Der Spiegel.
The myth about Sweden: economic performance of Sweden is on par with countries which have had complete lockdowns. There’s a lot of unhappiness, because too many old people were sacrificed. The government admits that they did not even have enough oxygen, or were late to give it to many people who died.
Remember, the grass is not always greener.
Germany, however, is emerging as the leader to follow.
Even Trump says so.
Merkel is back, big time.

#119 Ace Goodheart on 05.22.20 at 4:57 pm

So here it is, folks, in full colour, video capture. This is our future.

Two young people meet in a park. After a conversation, the guy decides to give the girl a random kiss. She loves it, says he is “hot” and asks him to text her.

Love at first sight. Ahhh to be young again.

Or not………..

This has now gone viral, and these two are going to probably have to go into hiding:

https://www.blogto.com/city/2020/05/ctv-apologizes-footage-man-kissing-stranger-trinity-bellwoods-viral/

If you are in your 20s and you meet someone new, and you want to start a romance, you cannot kiss them. Or come within 2 meters of them. By order of your government. Punishable by a large fine and imprisonment.

This will end us. This video, and what is going to happen to those two hapless youngsters, is the beginning of the end.

The young folks are not going to take this. And why should they? Why should they be told, go home, sit in your room, have a “virtual romance” and stay away from everyone you know, forever. Until further order of a paleolithic government whose members are out on the golf course, and going home to their wives and kids at the end of the day to enjoy their “social bubbles”.

If we do not stop doing this, our Society is going to break down. You cannot hold people two meters away from each other, forever, with no expiry date, just because of a virus. It is not going to work. There is going to be riots in the streets and social upheaval.

#120 Ponzius Pilatus on 05.22.20 at 4:59 pm

Response to #75 Linda

#121 belly rubs on 05.22.20 at 5:01 pm

I know a few folk who, six months ago, were freaking out about climate change and overpopulation. Today they are freaking out that if lockdowns end, more lives will be lost. The common element is…

I wonder if it’s dietary?

The master can only teach if the student is ready.

#122 the Jaguar on 05.22.20 at 5:03 pm

I wear an almost identical dog tag to the one that cute little pooch is wearing. Mine is more guitar pick shaped and is engraved with ‘Nadie se rinde aqui’. Our blog dog Yanniel will understand this reference.

It’s hard to know what to say about people who would send Garth such angry emails.
No one would wish an association with those who wrote them, and I may have to get out my sewing kit and craft one or two voodoo dolls to punish them appropriately. It’s O.K. to disagree, but respectfully.

For the time being I will just file them away under the ‘vermin’ tab in my file cabinet and instead tell you that I was thrilled to visit a used book store in the Inglewood area of Calgary earlier today. Fair’s Fair Books have been in business for 33 years and told me the ‘shutdown’ has been devastating. Their rent is 15,000 per month and exhausted much of their savings. Many of their regulars were there supporting them, and I managed to find a few good reads and even picked up a copy of the November 19,1971 edition of LIFE magazine because the cover was entitled ‘THE CITIES LOCK UP’. I Think the issue at hand was about a crime wave sweeping cities at the time, but there could be lessons for our present day societal and financial wreckage.
My rumble on the issue of whether we ‘overdid it’ on the Covid crisis is totally in line with Garth’s. I think the current ‘progressive culture’ we have been living in for the past number of years where the immediate response to any issue is ‘over reaction’ is to partly to blame. Cuban Missile Crisis, Polio, Hong Kong Flu, SARS, and dog knows what else were situations of similar concern in the past….. Why did we sh_t the bed this time? Shutting down the world economy? Like pulling the pin from a grenade inside the bunker where you and your entire family retreated. The sensible thing to do was to identify those at most risk and isolate them for their protection. Identify the ‘high risk’ areas and proceed with the scalpel, no need to cut off all limbs. At some point this will be over and the forensic deep dive is going to very interesting. The usual blame game and finger pointing will be one for the ages.
Meanwhile I suppose the only thing one can do is leaf through the delightful pages of an old issue of LIFE magazine with the backdrop sound of Nina Simone and ice cubes ‘tinkling’ in a glass. Mercy.
GET OUT AND SUPPORT FAIR’S FAIR USED BOOKS, CALGARY.

#123 Cottage Country on 05.22.20 at 5:05 pm

p.s. Oh, and in my bay, 100% of cottages are occupied, some for much longer than just the weekend. I’m a permanent resident here but welcome my cottage neighbours with open arms from a few feet away. No more mixing up wine glasses though, for now.

#124 Peter Courtney on 05.22.20 at 5:11 pm

Loves all of the “old” comments! These are the same sheep that believe the “climate scientists” when they tell us their alarmist,, fearmongering story.

#125 Capt. Serious on 05.22.20 at 5:13 pm

It’s May. This really started in March. We’re in, at best, the second inning. Most people have not contracted Covid-19 and we still do not have a vaccine. We are in false spring.

#126 db on 05.22.20 at 5:14 pm

RE: Contractor Tom
Not sure I would be in too much of a rush to judge the 4 employees asking to be let go so they could go on CERB.
A lot of family arrangements that allow parents to both work have been slew footed by government COVID 19 policy, especially in the early total lock-down phase. If the other half is essential and in healthcare guess who becomes full-time stay at home parent? A phase out period on CERB would be helpful, allowing individuals to ease back into the workplace as we figure out all the inter-locking pieces, like childcare, home-care for seniors and the reopening of schools.
Employment law has been proven to be too inflexible and not really geared to help the ‘Tom’s’ of the world navigate its complexity. COVID 19 is going to convince a lot of skilled ‘Tom’s’ that being self-employed is no longer worth the hassle and being an employer no longer worth the risk; we will all be the poorer if such notions become entrenched.

#127 Sydneysider on 05.22.20 at 5:15 pm

Time will show who was right and who was wrong. But those who claim to base their position upon science will not resort to rhetoric or abuse or fearmongering when making their point. Such traits are obvious signs of crooked (or at best tendentious) thinking.

Personally, I think the blog host has really been on the nail on this issue. Although we live in a democracy, most people with similar political experience are prevented from speaking by caucus loyalties (which come before loyalty to the nation). When I expressed my concerns to my local MP in Burnaby, I got a letter back that sang the praises of the government.

Some of the insulters claim to want more science in the blog. So here is how I approach the situation.

Ultimately, one wants to predict the future of a dynamical situation whose rules of time development are only vaguely understood (much like the stock markets). There is much uncertainty, which has to be handled using statistical concepts. Yet the analyses of case numbers presented by the authorities has been little better than childish. Even today’s numbers from Ontario are misinterpreted.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/cases-high-testing-low-as-canada-reopens-1.5578973

I track the BC numbers daily. After a short phase of nucleation, the growth of cases went through two strictly linear phases (with 61 and 35 cases per day, respectively) and has now entered a third phase which may or may not prove to be linear (with ca. 15 cases per day). To some extent, I perceive I have discovered the rules of development over moderate (say weekly) time periods.

As of yesterday, BC had 2479 cases. To demonstrate the value of this approach, I make the prediction that on 1 June BC will report 2656 cases in total (plus or minus 10). If the case numbers go above this, it suggests that opening up has increased the rate of infection. I will follow up on June 1.

#128 Bob in Hamilton on 05.22.20 at 5:16 pm

I just read those comments you held back since March when all this panic began…

….wow, we are truly in trouble in this country with people like that running around, Just wow.

#129 Ponzius Pilatus on 05.22.20 at 5:22 pm

#108 CEW9 on 05.22.20 at 4:49 pm
Well I well to the dentist this week. Twice, on separate days. Once for a cleaning and once for a check up.
+—————————-
Wow, you had to go twice.
The Dentist is ripping you (or your insurance) off.
Does not surprise me, though.

#130 Toronto_CA on 05.22.20 at 5:22 pm

#110 Faron on 05.22.20 at 4:53 pm
#96 Deplorable Dude on 05.22.20 at 4:15 pm

That model’s algos were so bad it gave different results when run on different computers.

———-

Send us the evidence. I understand numerical stability and given how these models work, I think you are very likely wrong. But, I will concede to you if you give me a source to read.

________

Hi Faron – not exactly the best news sources in the world, but I’ve read the same in multiple places. I do think that model is flawed. And the less said about Professor Pantsdown who saw his married mistress after telling everyone to go into lockdown (except him I guess), the better.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/05/16/neil-fergusons-imperial-model-could-devastating-software-mistake/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8327641/Coronavirus-modelling-Professor-Neil-Ferguson-branded-mess-experts.html

Hope you’re doing swell.

#131 world traveller on 05.22.20 at 5:22 pm

LOL 6-8 billion infected, when there is less than 8 billion on the planet, great math genius.

I expect the #stayathome #savinglives brigade will get worse as things open up. The bleating of let’s stay locked down for another 2-3 weeks will become deafening. Wait until the CERB comes to an end and the cat food and KD supply run out in the pantry. These people will be screaming get back to work soon enough.

#132 sm_yyc on 05.22.20 at 5:24 pm

after reading the comments, i agree with dorothy to have you not read the comments section. i propose using a federated comments section.

#133 Freedom First on 05.22.20 at 5:24 pm

Garth, you have much more going for you than having abs of steel. Thank you for sharing your calm, cool, and collected wisdom so freely with us!
……………………………………………………………………………….I would also like to put out a message to my friend, Smoking Man- You are missed, be well!
……………………………………………………………………………..
One more message- I believe that Trump won the coming U.S. election yesterday when he designated all the Religious Institutions as an essential service, and he ordered them to be opened.

Freedom First

#134 not 1st on 05.22.20 at 5:26 pm

#59 Victoria Renter on 05.22.20 at 3:05 pm
—-

Now if only BC could find some common sense about our energy industry and resources. AB can bring us out of this self imposed hell if you just get out of their way.

Oh yeah and stop voting for Liz May. She is not sane nor competent.

#135 world traveller on 05.22.20 at 5:27 pm

#115 Ace Goodheart on 05.22.20 at 4:57 pm
So here it is, folks, in full colour, video capture. This is our future.

AHhhhh, Blogto the worst, clickbait exploiters and they call this Blog pathetic??

#136 FreeBird on 05.22.20 at 5:28 pm

“Covid-19 is particularly severe in — and more likely to kill — the elderly and people with existing illnesses, including heart disease. Some people taken by Covid-19 would likely have died from these diseases even in the five-month time frame.”

https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/09/its-difficult-to-grasp-the-projected-deaths-from-covid-19-heres-how-they-compare-to-other-causes-of-death/

Local health unit just north of Toronto notes…

“*Deaths indicate cases who tested positive where COVID-19 may or may not have been the cause of death.”

How many died with vs of the virus? Experts don’t agree on reliability of tests and independent third party analysis of stats and test results haven’t been done yet. There has been incr suicides from isolation and @ home deaths from seniors scared to call for help. Hopefully they do now.

#137 twofatcats on 05.22.20 at 5:38 pm

What will people do when a real killer virus comes along – like smallpox and polio?

#138 not 1st on 05.22.20 at 5:38 pm

#8 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.22.20 at 1:13 pm
—-

I can tell one thing for sure after this lockdown, our police forces LOVED it. They didn’t push back an ounce against the govt. Not a single chief questioned it or the methods. They all fell in line.

I always had this back of my mind hope that if the govt ever became tyrannical that the so called reasonable folks in law enforcement wouldn’t let that happen. So much for that dream.

Oh yeah and any store that makes me wear a mask or wont accept cash gets no business. Maybe they can close down Costco and Walmart for a couple months and let the mom and pops get back on their feet.

#139 Beneath the layers on 05.22.20 at 5:40 pm

There is an opioid crisis in BC – and I see a parallel revealed by this pandemic. Maybe the pandemic is actually in fact a crisis. A crisis of addiction to gross material consumption and entitlement.

High consuming addicts to shopping, credit, huge expensive homes, fancy vacations etc are now relying on government intervention to keep the addiction going. On top of it, people are off work with time to spare and free govt money still coming in. Lots more time to shop, consume and keep the comfort going.

Some other blog posts suggest Vancouver Island is a paradise, but it is actually a destination for drug addicts and the homeless, and the government is happy to house and provide for addicts through the powers that come with declaring an opioid crisis.

VI is also a destination for those seeking comfort and luxury in their expensive retirements. Escape from the cold, hiding out in lush green golf courses, easy access to travel abroad and cruises. I see this demand for luxury, comfort, over priced homes and bottomless indulgence as a crisis of addiction to consumption.

Underlying this pandemic is this other hidden crisis.

NS may be alright, but VI has changed. Once upon a time 100 or so years ago the island attracted explorers, adventures, pioneers. These people created prosperity and success for the island through hard labor and work in the natural resource sector. But, now the island is all about indulgence and entitlement. Perhaps like how much of Canada has become.

#140 Chris in Edm on 05.22.20 at 5:43 pm

I feel like shutting everything down probably was an overreaction, but if we hadn’t, we’d possibly be in a position like Brazil is in right now. Personally I think the social distancing is enough, but who would have listened? Even now, 50% of people aren’t. I was in home depot yesterday and looking at some outdoor water faucets for 2 minutes. In that time, 2 fellows, hovered over me. Next aisle – same thing with another guy. They couldn’t have waited for me to grab my valve apparently even in this time that all you hear about is SOCIAL DISTANCE! A true paradigm shift needed to take place in how we act. This has turned most people into germaphobes which probably isn’t a bad thing. In 2 of my last 5 places of work, I know of 2 fellows that wouldn’t wash their hands after doing a #2… One of them openly would admit to us that he doesn’t need to wash his hands. Disgusting.

#141 Keyboard Smasher on 05.22.20 at 5:44 pm

This will be known in the next decade as the Great Bat Flu Bullshit Hoax of 2020.

While I believe governments are too inert, ineffective and dumb to have engineered this, I have suspicions that certain extra-national groups with influence on means of mass communication may have had a hand in engineering the outcomes.

#142 Reality is stark on 05.22.20 at 5:51 pm

Oil prices in the tank.
Automotive history.
People paid not to work and now want an extra 3 months of cash while they drink and smoke dope.
Cities going broke because people won’t pay their property taxes and folks not paying rent.
My neighbour laughed at me for going to work. “Nobody has to work”, she said.
This is all about spending other people’s money.
This whole thing is a joke. The west has lost it’s work ethic and the jobs won’t be coming back.
Listen to the comments. The credentials you will need to land a job will be insurmountable.
You’ll be supporting your kids for life and they will expect it.
The rich will be blamed for everything and we will elect leaders like Hugo Chavez Trudeau.
Print your way to prosperity.

#143 Chris in Edm on 05.22.20 at 5:52 pm

On the topic of not being able to reopen, I spoke a couple days ago about restaurants on Bourbon Street in WEM not being able to open b/c their staff would rather sit at home and collect $2k/month instead of work 160 hours for an extra $400…

Well, I’ve got another example for you… First hand now. I work at an industrial plantsite just outside of the city. Each spring, they (like all the other dozens of similar plants in the area) shutdown for days, weeks, or even months to perform maintenance “turnarounds” to repair, replace, clean, etc plant equipment. Millions and millions of dollars are usually spent on each one. Tons of contractors coming in, usually working 24/7 until the jobs are done.

Except now, even though we want to resume our turnaround schedules, we can’t because we can’t get the safety workers. The low level safety employees might make $20/hr, but they’ve been telling their employers (the safety contractors) that they’d rather take the summer off and collect the CERB. Without these low level man/bottlewatch employees, other contractors can’t enter confined spaces to perform the work in all these vessels, etc. So now even though all these plant sites desperately want to spend millions of dollars and employ tens of thousands of contractors (talk about kick starting back up the economy, right?), they can’t because Trudeau has made it too easy for employees to sit at home and collect paychecks.

#144 Ustabe on 05.22.20 at 6:10 pm

Some of today’s posts are giving me cancer.

#145 Cottagers STAY THE HELL AWAY! on 05.22.20 at 6:10 pm

Don’t even think of driving up north.

IT’S TOO SOON.

If you want to get out of your actual, real home this weekend, go to the zoo in Toronto. They are doing a drive through that you might enjoy.

http://www.torontozoo.com/scenicsafari

Otherwise,

Just.

Stay.

Home.

#146 Andrew MacNeil on 05.22.20 at 6:16 pm

Ok, so once Italy and New York figured out that there’s a problem, they shut down. Why?

If they didn’t, what would be the result? And let’s just assume that there’s about a 1-2% mortality rate. That’s about 120 million across the world. Yes, mostly old people.

But people will still not understand why every single country in the world shut down. Every health official, every political leader (ok forgot Brazil, US, etc…) did the same thing. It was nearly unanimous. They all new the consequences. They all have financial advisors. Most listened to health experts. They all came to the same conclusion. I guess, your every day guy walking up to the legislative building with an assault rifle screaming in face of security guards without a mask knows better. He’s better educated. He understands infectious diseases right? Sorry, that is not who I will listen too.

Parts of the country will open sooner than others, depending on the community cases, number of infections, etc..

Stay safe, things will open

#147 Loonie Doctor on 05.22.20 at 6:16 pm

I can forgive a degree of panic as this began. It was unknown territory. There are still unknowns. However, as time goes by, you see which assumptions were false, which true, and the trajectory is very telling. That happens in medicine all the time. When someone rolls through the door crashing, there are unknowns, you make the best decisions you can with the info you have, see the results, and then adjust course. Usually you are choosing between multiple options that have risks and serious downsides, but you need to choose the least bad. What scares me watching this is that it seems our leaders are not critically doing this or adjusting course. They are doubling down. They are not nimble enough, can’t admit they are down the wrong track, or are just too worried about making politically incorrect but ultimately correct bold course adjustments. Contrary to what many people think, medicine humbles you real fast. I don’t think our political leaders are used to operating in this environment at this pace of change. I feel kind of bad for them. It is tough.
-LD

#148 Gulf Breeze on 05.22.20 at 6:19 pm

We only have to look South of the border to see what kind of results we could expect if we had not reacted the way we did. It’s disingenuous to imply it’s unknowable. As for our economic response perhaps that’s less clear but from a public health perspective we have some pretty direct comparisons even between BC and Ontario who had different messaging regarding spring break.

From Post 14 Xennial…This is all you have to know. Period.

#149 Mr Fundamental on 05.22.20 at 6:22 pm

This is the right answer:

“On one hand we overreacted dramatically. Politicians let doctors take over the economy. They closed too much, idled too many, spent too freely and destroyed too widely. Public finances are a ruin. Paying people not to work was unwise. We could have achieved the same result with social distancing and sheltering the vulnerable in those retirement homes, without nuking society.”

#150 Billy boy on 05.22.20 at 6:28 pm

Interesting post.

Still too early to see the long term impact of this virus….let’s see when benefits run out and reality hits world wide.

I bet the money put into economies world wide to back stop the financial system has absolutely nothing to do with recent market gains.

I still say with governments creating $$$ at will buying everything in sight, this is the biggest asset grab in the past 200 years and few are seeing it.

The middle class is now officially dead. Be rich or poor and enjoy your lot in life or else you are the greatest fool paying for every one else.

Enjoy!

#151 Faron on 05.22.20 at 6:31 pm

#126 Toronto_CA on 05.22.20 at 5:22 pm

Thanks Toronto_CA and I hope you are well also. Thank you for posting those. I don’t have access to the first so I read the Daily Mail article. It sounds like a pretty woolly bunch of code. I would love to see it for myself.

Anyhow, you were right Deplorable. I hope you read on in that article that there’s a lot more to the findngs and not all of what Ferguson has done or said has been off base or wrong. The article quotes the paper as saying:

“If the strictest possible measures are introduced, the number of deaths over a two-year period will fall below 20,000, the scientists said.”

UK is now at 36,000 dead. So, I would say that his work was fairly prescient in that particular case.

I’ve personally written code and presented results from it when there were errors in the code. Fixing the problem didn’t affect the results. If it did I (and I hope any reputable researcher) would either correct or retract the finding.

The code that runs the computer and the software you use on it are full of bugs BTW. Research code of this type has been slowly replaced as folks (like me) realize that computer scientists actually code professionally. Nowadays many of the larger modelling centres hire computer scientists. That keeps the code base strong and allows researchers to do what they do best. That doesn’t mean that old results need to be thrown out, but review is always a good idea.

#152 Long-Time Lurker on 05.22.20 at 6:31 pm

(U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Preliminary Estimate of Excess Mortality During the COVID-19 Outbreak — New York City, March 11–May 2, 2020

Weekly / May 15, 2020 / 69(19);603–605

On May 11, 2020, this report was posted online as an MMWR Early Release.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) COVID-19 Response Team

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since spread worldwide. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic (1). That same day, the first confirmed COVID-19–associated fatality occurred in New York City (NYC). To identify confirmed COVID-19–associated deaths, defined as those occurring in persons with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, on March 13, 2020, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) initiated a daily match between all deaths reported to the DOHMH electronic vital registry system (eVital) (2) and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. Deaths for which COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, or an equivalent term is listed on the death certificate as an immediate, underlying, or contributing cause of death, but that do not have laboratory-confirmation of COVID-19 are classified as probable COVID-19–associated deaths.

As of May 2, a total of 13,831 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19–associated deaths, and 5,048 probable COVID-19–associated deaths were recorded in NYC (3). Counting only confirmed or probable COVID-19–associated deaths, however, likely underestimates the number of deaths attributable to the pandemic…

…During March 11–May 2, 2020, a total of 32,107 deaths were reported to DOHMH; of these deaths, 24,172 (95% confidence interval = 22,980–25,364) were found to be in excess of the seasonal expected baseline. Included in the 24,172 deaths were 13,831 (57%) laboratory-confirmed COVID-19–associated deaths and 5,048 (21%) probable COVID-19–associated deaths, leaving 5,293 (22%) excess deaths that were not identified as either laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19–associated deaths (Figure).

The 5,293 excess deaths not identified as confirmed or probable COVID-19–associated deaths might have been directly or indirectly attributable to the pandemic. The percentages of these excess deaths that occurred in persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 or resulted from indirect impacts of the pandemic are unknown and require further investigation….

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6919e5.htm?s_cid=mm6919e5_w

#153 world traveller on 05.22.20 at 6:33 pm

and no news about Flu deaths, I did a google news search and no articles at all worldwide about Flu deaths? did the flu all but disappear this season? Other years you can count on the Flu wiping out thousands but this year crickets. I heard 2018 was an especially bad year for the flu.

#154 Jason on 05.22.20 at 6:34 pm

Hi Garth – you are an arrogant prick (I read to the end), but that is more than offset by your genuine insight into markets, investing and society – oh, and dogs. Have a great weekend in paradise!!!

#155 okotoksmatt on 05.22.20 at 6:37 pm

I calculated a 0.57% death rate from a COVID infection. I used Swedish data recently released that shows approx 5% of Sweden’s population has Covid-19 using antibody studies. 5% of 10.2 million is 510,000 infections. The serology was drawn at the end of April and they had 2950 deaths by then. (mostly in care homes). A death rate is 0.58% or 5.8/1000 infections resulting in death.
You take the over 65 crowd out of the equation and someone’s chance of death from infection is lower than 1/1000 infections.
The younger you are the lower your risk.

Is this risk worth tanking the economy and our national finances over? I don’t think so.

#156 CanadIain on 05.22.20 at 6:37 pm

Many commentators above are patting themselves on the backs and saying how much better Canada did than the US. But is that true?

3.23 deaths per million (Canada)
3.82 deaths per million (USA)

Slightly better but nothing to write home about.

#157 Macduff on 05.22.20 at 6:38 pm

I had to laugh when I read your blog today. You actually believe this is over, when less than 1% of people have antibodies to COVID 19; stick to writing about finance and leave the science to us healthcare professionals.

#158 Nonplused on 05.22.20 at 6:44 pm

Well, those comments were certainly entertaining. What I find most interesting is that every single one of those commentators saw fit to peer into the future themselves with certainty whilst not allowing you to peer in with your usual respect for uncertainty. I know I give you a hard time occasionally but those comments are insane and disrespectful while at the same time displaying a complete lack of self awareness. You have thick skin. And fortunately a delete button.

The fact of the matter is things are very hard to predict, especially the future. I don’t think anybody knows what is going to happen. Not even the Bilderberg crowd. Much is still not known about the virus. Even more is not known about the social, political, and economic effects that both the virus and the response to it will have.

But one thing we do know is that the river will still run tomorrow whether we are personally here to see it or not. I liken it to the nuclear war scenario. The Damocles sword of complete annihilation has been hanging over our heads since the 1950’s yet somehow the world has not ended. Had everyone sold everything during the Cuban missile crises and headed for the hills we’d still all be up there, chopping wood and eating squirrels. You have to invest as if there will be a tomorrow, even if there might not be (for you anyway).

Fact is there is no safe haven if the SHTF for real. You can have all the digital cash you want in your account at Scotia Bank or paper cash in your safe, but there won’t be anything to buy with it. You can’t even use the new Canadian cash to start a fire because it is made of plastic. I don’t think the doomers understand that. If things get so bad that the economy collapses the cash will be worthless. It may be trending towards worthlessness already now that the government has severed the relationship between labor and money. The old EI did not sever the relationship because you had to pay into it to collect it, much like automobile insurance. The CERB severs the relationship. That is why we are getting so many stories like Tom’s right now. It is going to turn out to have been a damn stupid thing to have done. (Oops I just predicted the future too.)

Anyway, now might be a good time to revisit and re-balance your portfolio, but if you already had a Garth ™ portfolio chances are there are but a few things to be done, you are mostly there already. I’d put gold back on the menu at 5-10% because the risk of inflation is rising, but other than that it should be balanced. Garth will probably disagree but I don’t speak for him.

Remember folks, the economy has been getting better ever since Christ was a cowboy. Through wars, pandemics, natural disasters, and Adele concerts, the world is a better place. When the end comes, none will escape. So hold the course, because if you prematurely announce Armageddon and the return of Christ you’ll probably be wrong as has every other prognosticator for the last 2000 years. Prophesy can only be written in hindsight.

—————————

Can you delete “Keep Your Rent” too? I’m getting tired of his/her calls for a mass movement that I consider unethical and illegal. I don’t know why he/she even posts here. We have quite a few wackos here in the steerage section (myself included) but my guess is most of your readers have some sort of success going on in their lives and want to maximize the results of such not figure out how to screw their landlords during a pandemic. Here at GreaterFool, “to vulture” means buying on the low in a fair negotiated exchange, not reneging on a contract and stealing the property or service.

Cheers.

#159 Falling rents pose 'a big risk' for home prices: Capital Economics on 05.22.20 at 6:45 pm

Stephen Brown said on BNN that the drop in rents is reflective of the sudden stop in immigration. Canada was welcoming 30,000 new immigrants per month up until the pandemic. Now the immigration number has been halted to zero.

If immigrants are not coming to the country then there is no demand for the properties, inventories build and rents fall and there is not much the government can do to prop up the demand side of the rental equation without newcomers.

So, there you have it. Immigration is the house price pumping key for Canada and Covid has exposed that.

So, if you are wondering where house prices are headed, just follow the immigration numbers like the developers so closely do. Have a nice weekend.

#160 dosouth on 05.22.20 at 6:45 pm

As always interesting feedback. The world will turn, people will live and die yet fools remain…..more now than ever before, too bad actually.

Traveled the U.S. into late April, did our prison 2 week isolation prison term back in Canada and now we are released into the open. Healthy as horses, nada, we were careful but not drama queens, shopped, survived and continue to prosper. Time for Canada to move on….except for the freeloaders who are enjoying our tax dollars, they’re another story. Good post as always.

#161 Nonplused on 05.22.20 at 6:46 pm

Apologies if a double submission occurred. Son is overloading the internet with Minecraft.

#162 Doug t on 05.22.20 at 6:50 pm

LMAO – I hope those idjits are reading today’s blog lol – sometimes this feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone –
Imagine if you will – a world so brainwashed by the media that they actually think they are in control of their own lives

#163 Jimers on 05.22.20 at 6:51 pm

115 Ace Goodheart on 05.22.20 at 4:57 pm

Exactly!

I live in an area heavily inhabited by 20-somethings. And let me tell the din has not eased a bit. Hoards of younguns up all night drinking, partying, taking cabs and from what I can hear having lots of sex. One young lady neighbor I noticed in particular is typically dating 3 or more guys a day! All likely collecting CERB with more free time and money they have ever had in their lives. Bless their young hearts.

#164 Patrick on 05.22.20 at 6:57 pm

A senior software engineer’s critique of the lockdown code.

The cognitive dissonance I’m seeing play out in my social circles is astounding- but people are starting to realize what happened. It was all just bad data.

https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/
https://lockdownsceptics.org/second-analysis-of-fergusons-model/

#165 Jake Corriveau on 05.22.20 at 6:58 pm

Investment advice aside, I no longer bother reading your personal commentary and opinions about COVID-19 Garth. You’re sounding more and more like tRump. As a Canadian citizen living in the USA, I am quite pleased with Canada’s response to the pandemic. And Prime Minister Trudeau has been very impressive leader during these challenging times. So babble on Garth. I’m not listening to your right-wing rhetoric.

#166 MF on 05.22.20 at 6:58 pm

I’m firmly in the second camp.

The economy was on loose fitting to begin with. The shut down had to happen and was inevitable. Without it, the fear would have still spread, the virus would have still spread, the economy would have suffered worse than it did anyways, and the health care system would have been overwhelmed on top of it all.

Lives were saved. Any Ancillary negative effects like postponed surgeries are all balanced by other positive ancillary effects such as reduced car accidents and crime.

I’m willing to bet most people feel the same way, with an extremely loud annoying minority on either extreme making a lot of noise (like all issues).

MF

#167 yvroptimist on 05.22.20 at 6:59 pm

@79 – Jager

Didn’t you take 10 seconds to google the good Dr. Shiva?

Here’s the first few lines of his Wikipedia entry:

V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai (born Vellayappa Ayyadurai Shiva,[2] December 2, 1963)[3] is an Indian-American scientist, engineer, politician, entrepreneur, and promoter of conspiracy theories and unfounded medical claims. He is notable for his widely discredited claim to be the “inventor of email”,[4] based on the electronic mail software called “EMAIL” he wrote as a New Jersey high school student in the late 1970s.[5][6] Initial reports that repeated Ayyadurai’s assertion—from organizations such as The Washington Post and the Smithsonian Institution—were followed by public retractions.[5][7] These corrections were triggered by objections from historians and ARPANET pioneers who pointed out that email was already actively used in the early 1970s.[3]

Sounds like the kind of guy I would take advice on in a pandemic situation. Note he has no medical or epidemiological credentials.

And as for Keto? You don’t want to eat a truly Keto diet. It’s almost unpalatable. Look it up. You know, like the charlatan whose baseless drivel you’re promoting.

#168 Trojan House on 05.22.20 at 7:02 pm

Interesting, Garth. After reading some of the comments, it still seems people are waiting for the other shoe to drop on the virus and millions upon millions will be dead. Like Faron, who compares mid-March to mid-May. Of course the cases and fatalities have gone up! It’s a contagious illness but what Garth is pointing out, Faron, is that it has been nowhere near as bad as it was predicted to be and that the people most affected by it have been the elderly and in nursing homes. Geez…

However, I do believe the government has destroyed the economy and what little of it is left, they are trying to take away with all these petty little measures like reduced seating, wearing masks, continued physical distancing. I mean c’mon, what small business can operate with these restrictions???

On another note, just completed a survey by Vox about the coronavirus. I gave extremely low marks to both the federal and provincial governments on how they handled this black plague.

#169 Sail Away on 05.22.20 at 7:03 pm

#117 belly rubs on 05.22.20 at 5:01 pm

I know a few folk who, six months ago, were freaking out about climate change and overpopulation. Today they are freaking out that if lockdowns end, more lives will be lost. The common element is…

——————-

Yes, a certain subset is prone to hysteria. They’ll light their hair on fire at the slightest excuse. And jump from one hysteria to another without blinking.

Their numbers seem to be increasing with safety standards. Time to lose a few handrails, bring back large predators, and let their natural idiocy proceed to its natural Darwinian conclusion.

…or just make money off them. That works too.

#170 Flop... on 05.22.20 at 7:04 pm

Well, the two guys in black suits in a limousine came around around and gave me my iPad back after serving two weeks in the blog penitentiary for a violation.

Maybe we can use my crime as a teachable moment.

I put a “y” on the first part of the Prime Ministers name.

Garth thought I was trying to feminize him.

I was not.

I was gonna plead not guilty, but took a two week plea deal as a repeat offender instead.

Got my iPad back one day early for good behaviour.

Australians are the laziest nickname makers on the planet.

We whack a “y” or an “ie” on the end of everything and call it done.

Crowdie noted this the other day when someone else called him that name and he stated only Floppie calls him that name, must be an Aussie thing.

The past two weeks I have been trying to navigate the new world.

Same as the old world, maybe more cumbersome but I’m surviving fine.

Have completed taxes, after the company I use re-opened.

Driver License and Services a Card done.

Car Insurance done, something weird happened though, it went down.

I asked the guy “but why?”, he did not respond, so I only asked once, it’s a miracle.

Going to get a haircut tomorrow.

Nice Chinese lady does my barnet beat-back.

She usually charges $9, I give a buck tip.

I will report back if any price gouging takes place and she tries to charge me over $10…

M45BC

#171 Nonplused on 05.22.20 at 7:06 pm

#95 Overheardyou on 05.22.20 at 4:11 pm
I honestly hope these comments are not Canadians, we’re smarter than that…

———————–

No, we are not.

#172 Faron on 05.22.20 at 7:23 pm

#129 Freedom First on 05.22.20 at 5:24 pm

One more message- I believe that Trump won the coming U.S. election yesterday

———–

If not then, Biden handed it to him today with his “You ain’t black” gaff. You thought the conservatives handed the election to the liberals in Canada. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

#173 Flop... on 05.22.20 at 7:23 pm

During my hiatus, howmuch did this good visualization on oil prices.

Independence Day 2008 remains the high-water mark.

Well, the high-plankton mark…

M45BC

“Visualizing Thirty Years of Crude Oil Prices.

Last month, oil contracts turned negative for the first time in history amid the coronavirus lockdown. While consumers may be taking advantage of paying less than $1 per gallon of gasoline, producers are wary of a coming oil glut.

The price of oil fell by 83.5% in late April 2020, the largest single-week drop-off since records began in 1986.

Oil contracts fell below zero for the first time in history.

Global daily oil consumption fell from 100 million barrels to between 65 and 70 million.

OPEC began cutting product by nearly 10 million barrels per day in early May.”

https://howmuch.net/articles/timeline-crude-oil-price-changes-1986-2020

#174 Drinking on 05.22.20 at 7:24 pm

There is 70% of me that blames the effing media; they are the worst, always make a mountain out of a mole hill but the other 30% of me thinks that “we just did not know how serious it would be or will be” the second wave is coming; that is what I fear the most! Then what????

#175 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.22.20 at 7:27 pm

#74 Dolt Vita on 05.22.20 at 3:33 pm bleats:

” Facts are 80,000 would have died in Canada, they didn’t. Instead, be grateful for that.”
————————————————-
I usually scroll wheel past your garbage but this caught my eye. “Facts are”, huh?

Please provide me the coordinates for the time machine to your alternate reality.

#176 X on 05.22.20 at 7:29 pm

‘On one hand we overreacted dramatically. Politicians let doctors take over the economy. They closed too much, idled too many, spent too freely and destroyed too widely. Public finances are a ruin. Paying people not to work was unwise. We could have achieved the same result with social distancing and sheltering the vulnerable in those retirement homes, without nuking society.’

Couldn’t agree more, shut down airports, lock down LTHC facilities, wear masks and social distancing wouldn’t have cost the tax payer so much. This is what I will tell my children, family and friends.

‘On the other hand, decisive action, emergency measures and draconian stay-at-home measures saved countless lives. Flattened the curve. We prevented an historic disaster from unfolding. The pathogen was defeated. And our guard cannot be dropped, lest there’s a second wave. This was a public health triumph.’

This is what politicians will say, and the msm, after gov’t throws them some tax credits or grants.

#177 Nonplused on 05.22.20 at 7:32 pm

#144 CanadIain on 05.22.20 at 6:37 pm
Many commentators above are patting themselves on the backs and saying how much better Canada did than the US. But is that true?

3.23 deaths per million (Canada)
3.82 deaths per million (USA)

Slightly better but nothing to write home about.

———————-

Also remember Canada has a Toronto and a Montreal and a Vancouver but no New York or Los Angeles. Much of the Canadian population always social distances by the nature of how they live. So you are correct, the stats indicate nothing.

#178 cmj on 05.22.20 at 7:42 pm

Garth, those comments written to you were disrespectful. We live in a free country and freedom of speech was hard won. This expression of opinion is pure arrogance.
I’m retired and living comfortably at home. This lock down was over the top and I felt so much compassion for families confined to smaller spaces and parents working or not working from home. Young people felt detached from friends even with our internet. Many canadians would have drawn the line if they closed the liquor stores and not considered them essential services. :)

I’m angry at how T2 was handing out our money, yes, our hard earned money to many. Giving money to First Nations not on reserves, foreign students are just a few…..Our future generations will be paying for this irresponsibility of Canadian government revenue. If we thought current generations had a bone to pick with boomers, we haven’t seen anything yet.

Some of my friends are collecting government handouts in needless ways. Where is the work ethic we have built our country on? Why is an important response,”What’s in it for me?”

I have also chosen to limit my intake of media. My innocent belief that media is supposed to report the news, not make the news has been discouraging. Much of our paralyzed fears are generated by TV, internet with steady stories of deaths, limited PPE etc

We are better than this. Let’s find our voice.
Garth, you are a voice of reason and you never hesitate to “bell the cat”. When you have a change of heart, you are strong enough to share that too.

Enjoy your weekend!

#179 Way to go! on 05.22.20 at 7:43 pm

Good on ya for calling those bozos out!

#180 Kate on 05.22.20 at 7:43 pm

The comments are priceless. Laughing out loud.

#181 John on 05.22.20 at 7:45 pm

So glad to find a web site with so many people that have all the answers and are so so smart. The planet is saved thanks to you all.
Best wishes I feel so much better now.

#182 AR on 05.22.20 at 7:52 pm

This virus and it’s impact on the global economy is no where near over.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-new-infections-show-virus-accelerating-across-latin-america/

#183 Canadian Moose on 05.22.20 at 7:53 pm

Forrest Gump said it best “stupid is as stupid does” and there are a lot of stupid people in this world including the dumbasses in this country.

Praise the Lord for people with some skills at reason.

Thanks Garth and your team.

Cheers from the Hinterland.

#184 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.22.20 at 7:54 pm

Isn’t this awesome!

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/liberal-conservative-new-democratic-parties-claim-covid-19-federal-wage-subsidy-to-pay-their-workers?video_autoplay=true

#185 Herd mentality on 05.22.20 at 7:56 pm

Its the way of society these days.

Trying to shut down calm and reasonable voices.

Its the only form of control the sheep in a herd have over the one going in the right direction, while all the rest are heading over a cliff.

Unfortunately this will always be the case as long as we live in a herd. The only way out of this is more freedom in societies, and the only way to this is more space in the world.

Mars might be the only solution right now.

#186 Drill Baby Drill on 05.22.20 at 7:56 pm

I am so sick of the CBC driven “chicken littles”. The weak politicians in Canada are all hiding behind the medical white lab coats. Canada we are completely broke. How are we going to pay for all of this??

#187 Handsome Ned on 05.22.20 at 7:57 pm

Some of the commentators have talked about eating squirrels. They taste like chicken, as do cats, dogs, iguanas and some naughty things. Make sure you take a head shot as to not spoil the meat. Growing up in the Ozarks, my pappy would give me 6 bullets and if I did not back with 6 squirrels I would get a whupping.

#188 Drill Baby Drill on 05.22.20 at 7:58 pm

One big question for all of these chicken littles who are completely behind the massive borrowing by the Liberals. What happens when interest rates rise?

#189 Toronto_CA on 05.22.20 at 8:01 pm

#171 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.22.20 at 7:27 pm
#74 Dolt Vita on 05.22.20 at 3:33 pm bleats:

” Facts are 80,000 would have died in Canada, they didn’t. Instead, be grateful for that.”
————————————————-
I usually scroll wheel past your garbage but this caught my eye. “Facts are”, huh?

Please provide me the coordinates for the time machine to your alternate reality.

___________

Ditto. What upsets me so much is not that people have strong opinions on what was right or wrong to do; but that they act as if they are omniscient about what would have happened if we didn’t do the full lockdowns.

Just shut the F up unless you qualify your statement with “in my opinion”. An alternate reality may exist where Canada has 80k Covid-19 deaths by now, but unless you’ve been there it is not a fact. It is your speculation, based on whatever you decided to believe that day.

History is the only way we can judge. Unless you have a time machine or an alternate reality generator. Because we have no control environment.

#190 Do we have all the facts on 05.22.20 at 8:02 pm

# 149 World Traveller

Initially a significant number of deaths where influenza was the primary cause of death were recorded as Covid 19 deaths if a laboratory test was not performed.

In February 2020 the WHO told health authorities around the world to record all deaths where influenza was the primary cause of death as a Covid 19 death if a laboratory test confirmed the mere presence of the Covid 19 virus.

Influenza was to be listed as a contributing cause of death on the death certificate.

Given the rapid spread of the Covid 19 virus it seems probable that a significant percentage of the deaths attributed to Covid 19 in Canada might have been caused by another influenza virus.

You were right to conclude that 6,000 + deaths attributed to influenza in 2019 did not suddenly disappear. I am waiting to see if any credible source will analyze the net impact on mortality rates actually caused by Covid 19.

#191 Doug t on 05.22.20 at 8:06 pm

#177 John

Hahahahahahahahahaha and so now you can leave right smartass

#192 GAV on 05.22.20 at 8:09 pm

This is would be hilarious if it wasn’t tragic:

https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/

Gee, I wonder what other dire warnings come from academic models?

#193 Ustabe on 05.22.20 at 8:13 pm

#152 CanadIain on 05.22.20 at 6:37 pm

Many commentators above are patting themselves on the backs and saying how much better Canada did than the US. But is that true?

3.23 deaths per million (Canada)
3.82 deaths per million (USA)

Slightly better but nothing to write home about.

I’m not sure where you got your stats from Iain, or should I say Ivan?

unlike you I have a source.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/

for those too delicate to click:
USA deaths per million: 289.12
CAN deaths per million: 169.11

And a bonus one, Sweden: 380.14

Ya, lets be like Sweden.

People, including Comrade Ivan here, I get that you have an overriding need to politicize a medical emergency but posting easily refuted lies and propaganda does your side no good.

#194 Jager on 05.22.20 at 8:14 pm

#163 #163 yvroptimist on 05.22.20 at 6:59 pm

Dr Shiva Ayyadurai Re: E-mail

“In 1978, when Shiva Ayyadurai was a (14-year-old) Research Fellow at the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (today, known as Rutgers Medical School), he wrote 50,000 lines of software code to create an electronic system —the first of its kind— to replicate the myriad features of the interoffice paper-based mail system, which included many of the key components of modern day email, including the Inbox, Outbox, Drafts, Folders, Trash, Attachment, Address Book, Compose, Forward, Reply, Return Receipt, and the Memo, with the (now ubiquitous) terms, “To,” “From,” “Date,” “Subject,” “Cc,” and “Bcc.”
Dr. Ayyadurai named this system “email,” a term he was the first to create since he was inventing the “electronic” (or “e”) version of the interoffice paper-based “mail” system. His naming of “email” also arose out of the limited parameters of the programming language and operating system, which limited program names to all capital letters and a five-character limit: thus, his selection of the letters “E” “M” “A” “I” “L.”

https://www.inventorofemail.com/Shiva-Ayyadurai.asp

“In 2004, over 20 years, after creating the worlds’ first email system, Shiva was issued U.S. Patent #6,718,368 for inventing a method for automatically analyzing an email and formulating a response. This patent was issued to Shiva’s company General Interactive, LLC, which developed the product EchoMail.
https://www.inventorofemail.com

Dr Shiva
CURRICULUM VITAE
V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai
https://shiva4senate.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Dr-Shiva-Ayyadurai-CV.pdf

Ketogenic Diet:
I’ve been Keto for over two years. 8% – 10% bodyfat. I don’t miss sugar toxification and have personally witnessed a close friend reverse their type 2 diabetes (no more Metformin).
It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change with endless benefits. Bland? No.

#195 TurnerNation on 05.22.20 at 8:14 pm

#115 Ace Goodheart clearly staged. To gather data from social media reactions as we are in the phase 1 – Compliance – stage of things. Based on results more numbers and ‘stories’ will be shown us.
There is NO news these days only predictive programming.
Yes the cops were parked outside that same park today. Compliance is where it’s at now.

#196 Larry on 05.22.20 at 8:16 pm

Millions WILL die. We are sooooo early in the pandemic. There has always been more than one wave. Enjoy living in your small pompous Lunenburg bubble….a greatly overrated town.

#197 John on 05.22.20 at 8:18 pm

#187 Doug t on 05.22.20 at 8:06 pm

What’s wrong Dougie Boy? Truth hurt? Gotta love social media and forums where all the “smart people” comment on how things should be. Tell us all Dougie Boy. Waiting for all your insight. Dumbass.

#198 Leo Trollstoy on 05.22.20 at 8:23 pm

You know that you’re doing something right once you have haters

600 physicians say that lockdowns are a mass casualty incident
https://www.forbes.com/sites/gracemarieturner/2020/05/22/600-physicians-say-lockdowns-are-a-mass-casualty-incident/#2cf9016850fa

#199 MF on 05.22.20 at 8:25 pm

#186 Do we have all the facts on 05.22.20

Any proof to back up those “facts”?

MF

#200 rookie57 on 05.22.20 at 8:39 pm

Sold my TV 34 years ago and never bought another. My wife and I raised 3 kids without TV. All university educated and employed. I have invested in an internet hookup and enjoy some of the information. I am continuously amazed how people swallow the fear mongering from the TV news. American news is particularly bad – most of it is propaganda IMHO. Lots of speculation but little balanced news. CBC has followed the same. Little wonder if people get their news from TV that they become scared sh&%$! Internet sites are also guilty of the fear mongering. Where has basic critical analysis gone? Garth has obviously employed this analysis and tried to have a reasoned response. Some people don’t even think about what they see. They swallow it all – hook, line and sinker. You cannot even reason with them. Sad really.

#201 truefacts on 05.22.20 at 8:40 pm

Sweden did not shut down their economy.
Covid deaths to date = 3,925
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

Canada is 3.7 times population, so same rate would be:
3.7 x 3,925 = approx. 14,500 Covid deaths

Last year in Canada, 288,000 people died (pre-Covid)

So Covid deaths in Canada if we followed the Swedish approach would approximately 5% of overall deaths we usually have. Since Covid mostly affects older/health compromised people, how much overlap is there (in other words, how many “Covid” deaths would have happened anyhow – but attributed to another cause???

Over $1 Trillion in debt soon, massive unemployment?

Was Trudeau/Tam’s approach an overreation???

#202 Do we have all the facts on 05.22.20 at 8:43 pm

# 148 Long time Lurker

Note the interesting wording used by the CDC

13,831 laboratory confirmed Covid 19 associated deaths

5,048 probable Covid 19 associated deaths.

Following directives issued by the WHO in February the CDC recorded 18,879 deaths in New York City as Covid 19 deaths. This conclusion was made on the grounds that laboratory tests confirmed that the Covid 19 virus was detected but not necessarily the primary cause of death in 13,831 cases and was suspected as a contributing cause of death in an additional 5,048 cases.

There is little doubt that the Covid 19 virus contributed to the significantly higher number of deaths that occurred in New York City. What seems evident however it that a very high percentage of all deaths recorded as Covid 19 deaths were associated with individuals that had a wide range of pre-existing health conditions.

The two month snapshot examined by the CDC is quite alarming but the net impact of Covid 19 on mortality rates for all of 2020 remains to be examined.

Do not make the mistake of trying to extrapolate this two month snapshot in New York City to predict the mortality rates for Covid 19 in other populations.

#203 mark on 05.22.20 at 8:43 pm

I know of a doctor who rang up their advisor and demanded everything be liquidated near bottom. Couldn’t be convinced otherwise.

They knew a lot about the human body, nothing about financial markets.

#204 Steven Nicolle on 05.22.20 at 8:48 pm

It’s funny but I notice a lot of self congratulatory remarks on how they predicted this pandemic was overblown. Who said it’s over? As they say “it’s not over till it’s over” and last time I looked it ain’t over by a long shot.

#205 Steven Nicolle on 05.22.20 at 8:55 pm

BTW we all have pre-existing conditions. No one dies healthy. Some may live longer but in the end something will kill you. Don’t worry if the corona doesn’t get you something else will.

#206 Tom Mott on 05.22.20 at 8:58 pm

I have posted here many times, and my comments have mostly been deleted. Garth, you are good with numbers why is that not enough? You spoke of rednecks in Nova Scotia, where I live and you are certainly welcomed as a hero among the redneck community. Here is the thing’ I still consider your ideas of money management useful. As I said you are not necessarily a prick, instead you are just another so-con redneck, Suck it up!

#207 NFN_NLN on 05.22.20 at 9:06 pm

“WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) — Doctors at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek say they have seen more deaths by suicide during this quarantine period than deaths from the COVID-19 virus.”

https://abc7news.com/amp/suicide-covid-19-coronavirus-rates-during-pandemic-death-by/6201962/

Does this mean the Karen’s are winning?

#208 Flop... on 05.22.20 at 9:07 pm

Each school going to be different, but I will give you a rough outline about my wife’s school.

Over 75% of parents decided to send their kids back in early June.

School board is not providing PPE.

The school can only operate at 50% capacity at any time with multiple daily cleanings.

No use of staff room, eat in place, or out in the car, I guess.

She has 20 days to survive in the classroom, then they shut down for the summer.

Part time work and EI until they start up again, likely with people beating the drum about the second wave.

Teaching 3 autistic kids over the internet, not my idea of fun.

Has kept me motivated to go to work…

M45BC

#209 Mr Canada on 05.22.20 at 9:09 pm

The scary part is so many well educated friends are willing to get so hysterical about this pandemic. My town, Oakville, our weak mayor says we “crushed” the curve! Population 208,000 – now 200 confirmed cases – .096% of the population & 3 deaths — but don’t sit in the park and risk an $800 fine! Meanwhile 80% of deaths are in Long Term Care Homes managed by the government of course!
My “educated” friends say, well those are just confirmed cases, its much worse out there, and would be catastrophic if we did not shut down the country for 2 months ?? Geez…we are pooched.

#210 Deplorable Dude on 05.22.20 at 9:09 pm

#Faron “ That doesn’t mean that old results need to be thrown out, but review is always a good idea.”

——————-

The IHME Ferguson model was always garbage even after being revised 4 times. In fact it was the worst out of 10 compared models, even after constant revision.

Check it out, even after the latest revision it was still off by 40% just a week in, whereas the best model was off by 0.2%

https://covid19-projections.com/about/#historical-performance

Anyway….

It’s a miracle, folks aren’t dying of old age any more.

#211 Chris on 05.22.20 at 9:17 pm

Lots of comments already, but I just want to say thanks again for your blog. I appreciate the effort it takes for you to write these essays day after day, and put up with the people who write nasty, ill-informed, or simply ignorant comments. Please keep writing! I’d miss my daily fix of your thoughts and insights on what’s going on.

#212 Marco on 05.22.20 at 9:18 pm

#133 twofatcats on 05.22.20 at 5:38 pm
What will people do when a real killer virus comes along – like smallpox and polio?

———————————————————

I tell you what to do because I lived through small pox pandemic in a country which western imbeciles always put in east Europe, because was nominally socialist country. Was brought by some pilgrim from Mecca. You isolate sick and you vaccinate general population. Now people who weren’t vaccinated as kids had to be vaccinated with gamma-globulin. Tough lack if you were in army, they would vaccinate you anyway. For civilians, you waited until gamma globulin was available for everyone (couple weeks in my case). Because they had national laboratory which produced vaccine and gamma globulin. Now off course they do not do that. Now is democracy and government institution are privatized. They buy vaccine from western companies, they are forced to do that. That is a membership fee for “democracy”. Still, they managed, all those east Europeans, this pandemic much much better than artificial western state like Belgium. Better than any western country actually. Oh, well education level there is still higher than in “developed” western democracies. Infrastructure? Well like comparing Freccia Rossa with VIA trains, right?

#213 COVID Barber on 05.22.20 at 9:22 pm

Garth, I’ve got a deal for you!

I’ll fly down and do your hair, Bandit’s and Dorothy’s.

I’ll do everyone 2x in 1 week.

You can invite three friends as well, no extra charge.

Total $5K.

I can be there Tuesday.

#214 Marco on 05.22.20 at 9:25 pm

BTW, Who is Karen?

#215 Karen on 05.22.20 at 9:31 pm

I understand that in the initial days and weeks of this pandemic there wasn’t a lot of information. I was a huge proponent of isolating indoors; not just for the elderly, but everyone.

I can’t really fault myself as I still believe that was the correct course of action without knowing all the facts. However, now that I’ve seen the data and reviewed the facts, perhaps in hindsight I and others like me over-reacted.

Am I ashamed for my initial reaction? No. I still think it was the right course of action. But knowing the data now. Knowing who is actually at risk, knowing that most people catch this and defeat it with relatively no symptoms, I can reasonably say it is time to admit the truth.

The healthy people of this country need to do the honorable thing and help to rebuild the society, the services and the country for those who can’t. The front-line workers can’t be the only ones to bear this burden and we should not abandon them; we should all do our part. From those according to their ability to those according to their need. Their is no socialism without society. – Karen

#216 Stormy Daniels on 05.22.20 at 9:35 pm

” The young mom I met in the park last week was….”

Yes, you do like meeting us in the park, Mr. Turner. Seems to be a favourite pastime for you and Bandit.

But you don’t seem to like paying for transgressions made when you both do so.

$130,000 or 100 face masks by midnight Saturday.

Or else all of Lunenburg will know the truth!

#217 NJGeezer on 05.22.20 at 9:35 pm

Hello Garth,

All those rude, arrogant wusses are clearly devotees of CNN, MSNBC, CBC, BBC, and all the other “Fake News” outlets. You Canadians really need to get a grip.

Not you Garth, clearly you have a tight grip.

Cheers to your family,
–GeezerMan

#218 Burnaby Boy on 05.22.20 at 9:38 pm

No idea if the virus is real or not but the depression and fall out looks real. However, i managed to get a haircut but i had to suck in my CO2 while I was sheared. Hey! Isn’t CO2 so bad we are being taxed to get rid of it but now the government says we have to wear masks so we can breath in more of it?

#219 Reality is stark on 05.22.20 at 9:42 pm

News just in.
John Tory needs a 47% increase in property taxes to “get by”.
Someone should tell John that businesses cut wages by 25% and let some workers go to stay afloat (most still losing money).
John’s solution is to demand money from the Provincial and Federal governments.
Why not just cut wages 25%?
Why is the political solution to every problem to beg for money no matter what the problem is?
Bottom line like I have been warning you for years brace for massive property tax hikes.
A small bungalow in Etobicoke likely to have a $10,000 yearly property tax bill in a couple years.
The Big Smoke is Broke.

#220 Jimers on 05.22.20 at 9:43 pm

Conspiracy is simply a fraud perpetrated by two or more persons. Anyone who thinks that fraud does not exist is truly delusional or a criminal.

#221 Trojan House on 05.22.20 at 9:43 pm

#210 Deplorable Dude on 05.22.20 at 9:09 pm

So Ferguson’s modelling code was apparently 13 years old and was about 15,000 lines, which is pretty basic. It was stochastic which is “randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8327641/Coronavirus-modelling-Professor-Neil-Ferguson-branded-mess-experts.html

This is what started the lockdowns!

#222 Toni on 05.22.20 at 9:49 pm

#44 Mark
Below the water line? 100% brainwashed or WWIII?

#223 Doug t on 05.22.20 at 9:53 pm

#197 Johnny

Your boring is all

#224 Sue on 05.22.20 at 9:55 pm

I went to winners yesterday. Not too busy. I do find it surprising that the malls are open and minimum wage service workers can glove/ mask up but shocker the peoplekind who run the country are still in isolation?
So embarrassed for our leaders they look like a bunch of sissy’s

#225 broader mind on 05.22.20 at 9:58 pm

#201 True facts You stole the thoughts right out of my mind. Well stated. Now who is to blame, msm , no they just do it for ratings. Maybe government, no they do it for re-election. It must be us ,we toss the very freedoms our ancestors fought for aside and choose to live in fear without question. Truly the largest bendover of all time.

#226 Doug t on 05.22.20 at 9:59 pm

#196 Larry

We’re you bottle fed or breast?

#227 Trojan House on 05.22.20 at 10:07 pm

“High blood pressure was a primary or contributing cause of death in 2017 for more than 472,000 people in the United States. That’s nearly 1,300 deaths each day.”

https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm

That’s just in the US alone. Hard to find stats for Canada but:

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-003-x/2019002/article/00002-eng.htm

But of course none of this matters because, well, COVID.

#228 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.22.20 at 10:08 pm

@#170 Floppie

God bless ya Flopster.
Still singing, dancing and typing with your gibbled leg.
A “wounded warrior” as it were.
Good to know your still a blogdog.
Hopefully the “men in black” didnt charge you GST when they returned your Greaterfool privileges.

As for the BC Govt getting the kids ‘Back to School” on June 1st……..99.9% of the parents i talk to say….”What’s the point?”

My cynical reply…”Optics.”
The Horganator has to pretend he
a) cares.
and
b) is doing something.

Politics in the new Millenn-eeee- ummmmm

#229 T on 05.22.20 at 10:09 pm

#146 Andrew MacNeil on 05.22.20 at 6:16 pm
Ok, so once Italy and New York figured out that there’s a problem, they shut down. Why?

If they didn’t, what would be the result? And let’s just assume that there’s about a 1-2% mortality rate. That’s about 120 million across the world. Yes, mostly old people.

————

The problem with assumptions is they most often aren’t based in data but feelings.

Much of the challenges experienced in some parts of Italy and NY were due to population density and these outbreaks happening before sensible controls were put into place such as face masks, distancing, etc.

Canada could have rolled through this with sensible measures, public education, and far less spending and debt. Leadership has failed.

#230 binky barnes on 05.22.20 at 10:17 pm

Otherwise,

Just.

Stay.

Home.

————————————————-

SUV loaded for early morning departure. Come by for a cold beer if you like….but keep your distance.

BB

#231 Drinking on 05.22.20 at 10:21 pm

#208 Flop…

I sympathize, I too, have to live out of my vehicle at work, no lockers,etc, it is what it is!

A few weeks back I think it was you that asked if one knew of anyone that caught the virus or perished from it.
I responded no, it was true at the time, since then one of my colleagues has perished from it and an another is fighting for his life, yes, they both have/had other underlining issues with there health. This virus is a bugger, not to be taken lightly, preys on the weak but at the same time we all need to draw a line in the sand. My condolences to all that have lost loved ones..C’est la vie!

#232 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.22.20 at 10:30 pm

@#206 Mottley Crew
“You spoke of rednecks in Nova Scotia, where I live…”
+++++

Ahhh, memories of my youth growing up near the fumes of the Irving Oil Refinery in South Woodside…..

It’s brought me to my flame-bouyant senior years…

But nothing in Vancouver compares to……… drag races on the Circumferential Hwy at 2am on a Friday night to really get the juices flowing.

#233 Paul on 05.22.20 at 10:40 pm

#116 djsnuggz on 05.22.20 at 4:54 pm
I believe that if nothing was done swiftly in mid-March, a lot of these people you made fun of would have been correct.

How did I ‘make fun’ of anyone? Their words speak for them. – Garth
————————————————————————————————
Garth, you know what you did you published their own words! Cruel man cruel. Lol

#234 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.22.20 at 10:49 pm

Niall Ferguson…… brilliant as always……. 5 minute commentary

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/video-historian-niall-ferguson-compares-covid-19-to-past-pandemics/

#235 Steven Nicolle on 05.22.20 at 11:02 pm

This guy was asked how many people are worth dying to get the economy going 70 or 700 people? Guy answers 70 people like most people would answer. All of a sudden 70 members of his family appear. Then he is told here are 70 people. Seeing the 70 were his entire family he was then asked how many for the economy? He replied zero. So unless you know of someone directly affected you will never get it. That’s the truth.

#236 Faron on 05.22.20 at 11:17 pm

Hubris ye naysayers,

You still remind me of the giggling vacationers in Phuket in videos of the 2004 boxing day tsunami. It starts with them watching some big waves coming in. Then they realize it’s serious, then they turn to run right when it’s too late.

Have fun out there this weekend kiddos. Don’t go chasing the fish flopping around on freshly exposed ocean bottom.

#237 Al on 05.22.20 at 11:28 pm

There is no case at all for the severe lockdowns strongly advocated by scaremongers

#238 Drinking on 05.22.20 at 11:36 pm

Probably will not see your reply until later, leaving town for a job; that is if you reply at all Garth. What are your views of the major political parties, yes, political parties applying for wage subsidy from us tax payers?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ndp-applies-for-federal-wage-subsidy-says-covid-19-caused-drop-in/#comments

#239 ulsterman on 05.22.20 at 11:43 pm

One thing this crisis taught me was Corona virus discussions fell into the categories of religion and climate change. There one acceptable opinion and you will lose friends if you hold “incorrect” opinions. Just don’t talk about it with people unless you agree.

I’ve consistently argued for protecting and isolating old people and immuno-compromised people while allowing the majority to keep working and paying taxes. If 95% of younger people either don’t know they have Covid or have a cold or fever, then why shut down the entire economy. But opinions such as these get you labelled as uncaring and just not getting it. There’s no difference of opinion – there’s just anger and unfriending. I’ve come across so many healthy people in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s who are terrified of Covid as if it were an escaped nerve agent or chemical weapon. They are terrified. I find it all baffling. I’m afraid for my parents, but they’re 76 and 80, and have health issues. That’s a reasonable fear.

#240 ulsterman on 05.22.20 at 11:50 pm

I had Italian high school students living with me for the poast 5 years so when this crisis first started i was getting first hand updates. Pictures of shoppers lined up around the block at supermarkets etc. The contrarian in me was posting stats like:

99.97% of Italians do NOT have Covid. I asked a few people “hey, you’ve heard about the Italians dying from Covid in the news. What percentage do you think have it?” This was back in march. Many Canadians guessed 20, 30, even 50%. This was the degree of the misinformation spouted by salivating media. Combine this with critically-thinking, statistically-challenged citizens and is it any wonder people worked themselves into a panic?

#241 Faron on 05.23.20 at 12:06 am

Sorry, I missed this:

#268 Sail away on 05.15.20 at 3:58 pm

Faron,

I’m assuming you are a climate guy based on your general stances on other things.

A question:

Do you find it difficult to reconcile going to great lengths to protect all people from virus danger while simultaneously recognizing that climate degradation would be reduced if there were fewer humans?

The two views seem, in my mind, to be diametrically opposed. For vehement climate emergency buffs, the Corvid should be a godsend, and the more people it scythes away, the better. Yes? No?

———————————————————-

I’m sure you were waiting with ‘bated breath to hear from me on this.

I’ll take your question as sincere and at face value.

I believe that people on the earth have the right to as comfortable and as happy and as free of lives as is possible given circumstances and that I have the responsibility to do what I can to help that while looking after those close to me.

There’s diametric opposition in one dimension (more (fewer) people = greater (lesser) resource use = likely greater (lesser) climate impact). But there are a multitude of other dimensions that make that view far too narrow to be the basis of action (or inaction) or policy.

One is that choosing to do nothing now WRT virus has nearly immediate costs in terms of human life with little hope of mitigation. Another is that population is only one of many factors leading us to trouble with climate change. It’s harder to achieve climate goals with a larger pop, but not impossible. It’s also possible to achieve these goals while helping to raise the overall status of humans in the world if constructive policy could be agreed upon.

It’s also true that an unsought side benefit to the stoppage of the economy is lower GHG emission. This in no way is what any rational policymaker would have instituted to reach emissions targets. It is very unfortunate that the Gov’t has had to mount an extremely expensive campaign to keep the country afloat during the birus when those dollars could have just as well gone to aiding the transition to a less carbon intensive economy. But, c’est la vie.

Have a good weekend

#242 Ronaldo on 05.23.20 at 12:13 am

If we thought deaths from Corona were bad, check this out.

Deaths By Prescription

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2016-09-27/the-danger-in-taking-prescribed-medications

And from an article by Bryan Hubbard in What The Doctors Don’t Tell You magazine:

“Not quite so many gray areas when it comes to prescription pharmaceuticals. Analgesics, or painkillers were the single most toxic agent reported to poison centers, accounting for around 288,000 adverse reactions or deaths.

Sedatives and antipsychotics weren’t too far behind, with around 150,000 victims, followed by antidepressants, with 131,000 adverse reactions.

All these cases are recorded as poisons, because the drugs were taken “inappropriately” -such as inadvertent overdosing, taking someone else’s medication by mistake, or taking doses too close together.

What about deaths from prescription medications taken correctly? The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that US government agencies don’t track drug deaths, so, trying to create a clearer picture, Thomas J. Moore, senior scientist for drug safety and policy at the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, has been setting up systems that monitor deaths in hospitals.

Assuming people go to a hospital after suffering a drug reaction, Moore estimates that 128000 americans die each year from a drug taken according to the prescription including correct dose and frequency.

That figure is consistent with estimates prepared by Professor Thomas Light at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, who wrote a paper with the no-holds -barred title, “Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs.”

In the paper he estimates that around 2460 Americans die each week from a drug properly taken.

Even these figures are conservative. Studies into the safety and effectiveness of drugs often don’t record adverse reactions at all.

In fact, researchers from the UK’s University of york discovered that just 38 percent of the 1376 reviews of healthcare interventions they analyzed even mentioned adverse reactions. We’re sure the Irish regulators are on the case”.

#243 happygolucky on 05.23.20 at 12:15 am

This GreaterFool blog is a place to be, where common sense and no nonsense money talk prevail, and where every penny counts.
Look at turnout today, better than on election day…
We human earthlings are very emotional and run by emotions.
Great Thelonious Monk once said: “no emotions, feelings only”

Walking into big Safeway elevator from underground parking , confused woman behind me asked: Is this for one? I said two is OK, than she said: “weird times”, for sure I replied.
If there were more people waiting in vestibule area, I would like to say: “come on in everybody, let’s go for ride”, just like in “One flew over the cuckoo nest” episode (bus ride).

Change is good, I was told, so this pandemic, which I still “resist and deny” (ignore my ignorance) might have some good, and positive outcomes.
Maybe it was boring and flat for to long, people talk, read, and talk even more, “some” know more about viruses than doctors, “strangers” waive to me when I am walking across the golf course, or sneaking out to nearby park at night like a bat. (not anymore, we are in phase, forgot which phase we are in now)
And money is in focus again, and keeps everybody on their toes.
Old dogs learn new tricks, “covidians” have new role to play, and girls like their “maskaras”
And this phenomenon called virus made some humble too…
Also, was a great reminder: MEMENTO MORI
So, maybe we worry, and complain to much…

Life is good,
Cheers,

#244 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 12:27 am

#196 Larry on 05.22.20 at 8:16 pm

Millions WILL die. We are sooooo early in the pandemic. There has always been more than one wave. Enjoy living in your small pompous Lunenburg bubble….a greatly overrated town.

—————-

Oh, even more than that. Billions, for sure.

Just not from the Corvid, because it’s not very dangerous. Old age mostly, some heart disease. The odd deviant sexual act- talking to you here, Larry.

#245 Coho on 05.23.20 at 12:35 am

We’re rapidly becoming Planet Ninja with all of the face masking. And soon we’ll be coerced, shamed or forced to be “Syringed-ya”.

The foundations calling for global depopulation are the same ones pushing for vaccines. They claim it is the only way things will ever get back to normal. Beware!

Seems the only deaths that matter to the political establishment and their “health expert” talking heads are those having died with covid. Has anyone heard mention on mainstream news about the extra 100 million that are expected to die of starvation this year? Or of those with cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes and a plethora of others that have suffered or died due to lack of access to doctors and hospitals? And let’s not forget the increase in mental illness and suicides.

Our government is throwing money at us while others die. I’m wondering how long the government will pay “non-essential” workers to stay at home. How will we earn our keep? There are no free rides on this planet. So what gives? Maybe the non-essentials will be the first to be vaccinated….

Not long ago there wasn’t enough money to properly take care of veterans. Not enough for education, healthcare…the list goes on. Now there is money (debt issued) for everybody. It feels more like an investment by the ruling elite rather than a bailout. If it is, then to what end?

The ruling class see the world very differently than we do. Of course they cannot carry out God knows what agendas without their minions and there is no shortage of them.

#246 Adam Smith on 05.23.20 at 12:51 am

Although let’s be clear here, we got lucky with COVID-19, it wasn’t too bad. Despite the economic damage and the deaths that did happen, the whole thing is possibly a net positive considering all the weaknesses it pointed out in our policies and supply chains.

Something like a warped bird flu with a 60 percent fatality rating is totally possible, so although we should be open already from this, closing quickly and completely until we understand a disease is something we need to be able to do.

#247 Jon B on 05.23.20 at 1:01 am

Sorry to learn you have to deal with these idiots when you filter the daily comments. I appreciate your perspective on the Chinese virus issue. It doesn’t at all line up with the coordinated campaign of fear orchestrated by just about every major “news” organization out there.

#248 Miles on 05.23.20 at 1:04 am

Approx. 60,000 US deaths in Vietnam, approx. 115,000 US
deaths in WW1.
There are nearly 100,000 deaths in the US due to
Covid-19 in the past 3 months.
How can anyone downplay this?

#249 Fred Halstrom on 05.23.20 at 1:09 am

“Meanwhile investors who did not panic, sell into a storm, go to cash or believe everything they read in the mainstream media, have done just fine.”

Agreed, but, the panic in Canada was Trudeau-Butts induced ( this was not some Lehman Black Swan ) and all margin call losses should be reimbursed by the Federal Government. The Corona Pandemic was used as a hurried excuse to kill western civilization. This was why the WHO took so long to coordinate the naming of the pandemic. The fanatics couldn’t believe their luck and WHO dragged their heels so the Trudeau-Butts coalition could begin bringing down the global economies in a sudden death blow.

This was not a market event , it was a coordinated attempt by leftist governments in the UN to quickly shift from one economic model to another, the globalist putsch failed, miserably.

Globalists and fanatics attempted to shift trillions into ‘green’ , sustainable, distributed wealth socialism and climate related. The coordination of memes in speeches by these same politicians is public record. Corona they said, was the provider of great opportunity. Not only could they fast track decades old plans to kill capitalism but they’d use the dead to drive a stake through the heart of the Trump Reelection Campaign.

As such, individual investors who suffered forced margin calls as collateral damage, and were forced to sell because of government policy should be compensated.

#250 Spectacle on 05.23.20 at 1:19 am

Really have to say Thank You Mr Turner !

Thank You.

M

#251 Westcdn on 05.23.20 at 2:27 am

#139 BillyBob on 05.18.20 at 7:12 pm

I have to admit I admire your life. Sadly, things did not work out the same for me yet my spirit has not died.

I figure the market bounce back is over so I am going defensive – hello preferreds. No guarantee. Option trading in my league requires luck so I only bet on what I can lose but I like winning against the downside risk of losing. I am taking my money off the table – greed is a terrible master.

#252 Calgary on 05.23.20 at 3:11 am

The world is crazy to follow WHO’s directives. Lockdown and shut down the economy. The economy is not like the light switch. WHO failed to act promptly.

#253 Drew on 05.23.20 at 5:18 am

I remember when the leafs were up 4-1 early in the third period.

#254 BillyBob on 05.23.20 at 5:23 am

The whole crisis has highlighted many of the human factors we constantly examine in my industry.

This is THE age of confirmation bias. If even one shred of evidence helps support what we already believe, then that becomes our truth. Critical thinking is dead. No one ever changes their mind any more: we’re all “right”, all the time, in our wee little minds. This is massively reinforced now by the algorithms that are infinitely tuned to make sure we are only exposed to FB pages, Google searches, Insta feeds, news feeds that relentlessly reinforce our biases.

No wonder the little lizards react so violently now when subjected to opposing thoughts. They can’t help it – they no longer possess the capacity to tolerate anything not within their worldview.

In aviation we have a saying: it’s not who’s right, it’s what’s right. Many accidents in the past have been caused by ego or misplaced deference to authority. Physics – exactly like the field of medicine – doesn’t care what you “think” or “feel” or “seems” right. The outcome is based entirely on what the science is. So we train as hard as we can to remove our personal biases and focus on the facts, no matter how stressful the situation or unappealing they appear.

At this point in history, the very smartest scientists on the planet don’t fully understand Coronavirus. They don’t yet have a consistently reliable treatment, and no vaccine. Any reasonable examination of excess mortality rates does support that this is *sigh* not the flu. The fact that is not the Black Death either, is not a counterargument.

A parallel in aviation risk management exists. Airline management get complacent about incredible safety records, so they start itching to cut cost and corners, because…not crashing is difficult to quantify. It’s hard to prove a negative. They only see the money spent on training and technology. They don’t want to see smoking wreckage on the news, but when the other 99.999% of flights are completed safely few care to draw the line between the money and effort spent on MAKING it that safe.

But funny thing, relax your vigilance (or investment) in safe practices, and bad things start happening almost immediately. That’s not fear-mongering, that’s just fact.

As one meme I received said:
“The curve is flattening; we can end lockdown now”
is akin to saying
“This parachute has slowed my rate of descent; I can take it off now”.

I actually am on the side of wanting to get things going again. I’m in the most vulnerable niche (longhaul) of the most economically vulnerable sector (aviation) on the planet. I am in the fortunate position of not having to struggle financially, but I actually enjoy flying airplanes and roaming the world. Of course I want things to resume, as quickly and completely as possible – that is my personal bias.

But the risk manager in me says…the “all clear” tone of this blog post is way, way premature.

And the self-contgratulatory, “I’m all right Jack” posts only serve to underline this. The plural of anecdotes is not “data”.

#255 Sky on 05.23.20 at 5:28 am

At least you can delete the ugly emails, Garth. It’s harder to delete family members who express the same hysterical sentiments. This is where voluntary emotional distancing comes in handy as opposed to FORCED social distancing.

A society that can impose not only face masks but also face shields on its healthy children deserves everything coming its way. Just look at the pictures in the links. Child abuse, plain and simple.

Face masks need to be changed frequently throughout the day or they become unhygienic pieces of filth which can turn your lungs into pathogen incubators. They also restrict your oxygen intake which can lead to hypoxia – a dangerous condition especially if you suffer from asthma (which many children now do).

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8334973/French-schools-way-Britains-teachers.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8314697/Heart-breaking-photo-children-forced-play-isolation-zones-sparks-outcry-France.html

The TEACHERS that are condoning and imposing these psychologically damaging conditions on the children need to be replaced by online teaching. Children are NOT in the coronavirus risk group. Stop telling us you care about the children when your concern is really for your own sorry asses – which, for the children’s sake, you should keep permanently glued to your sofa cushions at home.

#256 Socialism is greedy on 05.23.20 at 6:03 am

#47 Marco said “Now, to make retirement homes part of universal health care and ban private greedy owners….. that is called socialism, no? Well, similar situation in every other country. There is no country for old people.”

The public greedy government owner has a profit benefit to have you die sooner rather than later in nursing homes. The Cuomo example is a suspect case.

Your family is the only “country” for old people, and a lesser choice is strangers in a business with your family monitoring the situation, and a third choice is government, which is itself accountable to itself and to reporters and their questions for 30 minutes daily.

Woe to those with no children, no family.

#257 TurnerNation on 05.23.20 at 6:12 am

Meanwhile behind the curtains..the rise of the A.I. ?
Do recall how Foxconn (Apple supplier) treats its workers in China.
Seen on the internet:

” I went back to work at the car plant (Ontario, Canada) today. They installed biometrics while we were gone (called it). Not to mention the 4 or 5 “stations” you have to go through to even get in. This “pandemic” is so many levels of deep, it’s hard to keep track. All kinds of shade.”

#258 Wrk.dover on 05.23.20 at 6:19 am

I had expected a fond honorable mention for my erased post reacting to Garth’s pumping the concept of hold, the night of the big dip

Remember Baghdad Bob?

Anyone?

I was also wrong about Flop being imprisoned as Jane’s pool boy toy the other day too.

#259 TW on 05.23.20 at 6:38 am

It would be nice to hear the BOC admit how they themselves created the house lust in the first place starting in 2009. At almost zero irp not too many knobs to twiddle now ..how will they prop up housing ? Let it crash.

#260 TurnerNation on 05.23.20 at 6:59 am

The A.I. will regulate your every move very soon. This was all planned out decades ago and now the technology is here. None of this is going away. Not the tracking, the distancing; the war on small business and independence.
This is it: worldwide medical marital law.
Many here will support it fully. Keeping us safe!
You will not be able to leave the house, work, or transact commerce without the Mark of health — which only the new global government may provide.
………………….
“At least 100,000 people and perhaps as many as 300,000 must be hired to undertake a vigorous campaign of test administration and contact tracing, and they must be supported by computer systems networked with regional and national viral data-sets and as many electronic health records from local hospital systems as can be provided. The CCHC should designate staff to distribute, administer and oversee testing.

Policy makers and the public must find the balance between privacy concerns and infection control to allow the infection status of most Americans to be accessed and validated in a few required settings and many voluntary ones.”

“Digital apps and privacy-protected tracking software should be widely adopted to enable more complete contact tracing.”

“Innovative digital technologies can improve workforce monitoring and early detection of recurrent outbreaks. When integrated into national and state surveillance systems, such innovations may enable the same level of outbreak detection with fewer tests. Promising techniques include anonymous digital tracking of workforces or population-based resting heart-rate and smart thermometer trends; continually updated epidemiological data modeling; and artificial intelligence projections based on clinical and imaging data.”

https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/TheRockefellerFoundation_WhitePaper_Covid19_4_22_2020.pdf

#261 Toronto_CA on 05.23.20 at 7:20 am

What I think the pro-lockdown people are not realizing is that a lot of us on the other side of the fence recognize that yes, there is a RISK of a second wave should we end the lockdowns now.

I think that risk is quite low, as time goes on we know from the world experience that the virus is not going to happen in line with the extremely flawed Imperial College model which predicted the apocalypse.

But what we know for a fact is that the lockdowns are causing unprecedented economic consequences, which is turn have massive health consequences. Locally and internationally as we are a connected world. Less economic health means less aid to 3rd world countries, which leads to starvation of people who don’t even know what Covid-19 is yet.

Sustaining the Lockdowns mean 100% chance that tens (hundreds?) of millions of people will get laid off from their jobs, lose their businesses, be unable to pay their rents and mortgages, have to go on assistance to feed their families; many will suffer immensely and choose to end their lives because of the economic destruction the lockdowns have inflected on them. This happens in every recession, and this is shaping up to make 2008 seems tiny in comparison the longer the lockdowns happen.

Mental health for entire nations, once something people cared about massively, has been compromised for physical health of the very few. People with anxiety? People with substance abuse issues? Combine these issues with not being able to access help properly, being cut off from friends and support networks, and general media panic and click bait headlines. It’s a horrible mixture that will cause massive health problems that will last for years to come.

To say nothing of the backlogs in our courts, shut down due to the fear of catching covid. They are the cornerstone of democracy, and when they’re shut indefinitely things break down. Or the hospitals that have stopped treating people for strokes, heart attacks, cancer screening, etc as people had their “non-essential” appointments cancelled or just were afraid to go or thought they weren’t allowed to go based on non-sensible “Save the NHS” slogans (since scrapped).

Also, and perhaps most importantly, is something called the human experience. Solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment, humans are social creatures. We cannot visit our friends and family as we wish, we cannot attend funerals, cannot attend church, cannot get married even while these lockdowns persist (obviously to varying amounts depending on where you live). Children and teenagers are not making social connections that will fundamentally shape how they act as adults. And missing school. These fundamental social interactions make up our culture, society and make us happy and give us reason to be alive. The lockdowns remove the reason to be alive.

For all these reasons, even if there’s a chance of a 2nd wave of infections, the lockdowns are not sustainable and should be fully ended yesterday, in my opinion. Because they are 100% causing incredible problems, compared to a chance that a 2nd wave will come.

Replace the mandatory, draconic lockdowns with guidelines and voluntary measures, spend public money on care homes and hospitals to ensure they are never in a triage situation. Protect the vulnerable. For the rest of us, let’s get on with living.

#262 Bytor the Snow Dog on 05.23.20 at 7:40 am

@254- Sky

——————————————-
Great post. I was about to state the same thing. The “it if saves one life” crew is operating out of selfish irrational fear for their own lives and trying to hide behind some kind of altruistic goal that it’s for the seniors, or the children, or it’s to protect others.

It’s all BS.

#263 akashic record on 05.23.20 at 8:02 am

Nine Eleven, the great Credit Crisis, the US debt ceiling debacle, the 2015 oil price collapse, Brexit and now the coronavirus – one thing is evident. It’s not different this time. It’s never different.

They have all taken us down on a path of lost liberties, lost real markets. Our quality of life has been shrinking steadily, just like social, political cohesion among people. People don’t live in more harmony, just the opposite, life has been becoming more and more stressful as a trend, all over the world.

Portfolio is doing great – but it is as much of an illusion as sky high real estate values, they are all based on printing money out of nothing, central banks buying bonds, ETFs, soon stocks, out of the money they print.

Without printing money out of nothing, buying all kinds of assets, just to keep the music playing, sprinkling the money for individuals, companies as in the past months, the whole sand castle mirage would collapse in a day.

#264 BrianT on 05.23.20 at 8:09 am

#79Linda-what the MSM never gives you is perspective-yes per Worldmeter this virus has killed 350 thousand so far-the estimate is 225 thousand people die EVERY DAY-so this virus to date has killed less than 2 days total-doesn’t sound as impressive now does it.

#265 Do we have all the facts on 05.23.20 at 8:18 am

Just finished reading every response to yesterday’s blog.

Yikes this Covid 19 “pandemic” has certainly scared the daylights out of quite few people.

The divide between those who believe that hundreds of thousands of lives were saved by a worldwide lockdown and those that believe that the more prudent approach would have been to protect the most vulnerable citizens without crippling the world economy is palpable.

No one wants to admit that the sacrifices they imposed or endured to mitigate the impact of Covid 19 might have been unnecessary or that they might have over reacted.
It is comforting to feel that our collective actions flattened the Covid curve and saved thousands of lives.

While I fully understand the need for this comfort I cannot ignore the irrefutable fact that the knee jerk reaction of governments around the world was based on emotion not on factual information. In the absence of facts emotion always conquers reason.

Every world leader had prior knowledge that all past viral infections zeroed in on the elderly with pre-existing health issues. In spite of this knowledge they collectively failed to protect their most vulnerable citizens until their deaths became noticeable. Having failed to protect their most vulnerable citizens world leaders initiated policies to stop the Covid 19 virus from spreading to the general population.

In Canada over 80% of all deaths being attributed to the Covid 19 virus were directly associated with a long term care facility. Based on a history of viral infections this statistic does not come as a surprise. What is surprising was the fact that once our governments learned that the Covid 19 virus was spreading they failed to take immediate actions to protect their most vulnerable citizens.

The end result was a crippling of economic growth and employment around the world and an injection of a fear of death into the general population.

We have sufficient data to reassess the level of risk that the Covid 19 virus poses to the general population. Based on an assessment of this risk it is definitely time to refocus our human and financial resources on rebuilding our severely damaged economy.

The debate over who might be right and who might be wrong will not contribute to improvement of the Canadian economy.

Time to pick a new destination and to shift gears before irreparable damage is done.

#266 Dmitry on 05.23.20 at 8:27 am

Thanks for posting my comment Garth. My point was that something has to give- either mass infections with likely high death rates or the economy with predictable damage (and maybe some damage we still can’t predict even today). Obviously the choice was made towards economic damage and generational debt. It just remains to hope that economy can be brought back and without massive health problems because then it would be a double hit.

Having said that my view of the virus evolved since March. It is much less scary than it appeared, especially when doctors stopped putting folks on ventilators, which was damaging to many patients. There are very strange discrepancies in death rates in different countries. My best guess at this point is that it is caused by population age, quality of diet, vitamin D deficiencies and reporting practices. But still I don’t think this accounts for everything in terms of explaining the differences.

#267 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 8:37 am

#241 Faron on 05.23.20 at 12:06 am

…One is that choosing to do nothing now WRT virus has nearly immediate costs in terms of human life with little hope of mitigation. Another is that population is only one of many factors leading us to trouble with climate change. It’s harder to achieve climate goals with a larger pop, but not impossible. It’s also possible to achieve these goals while helping to raise the overall status of humans in the world if constructive policy could be agreed upon.

——————-

I’ll help you out here in a method suggested by another poster and append for you: ‘in my opinion.’

I agree that in Imaginationland everything does indeed work quite splendidly. A certain subset of people spend a lot of time there. You work with that and I’ll carry on in reality.

#268 Steve French on 05.23.20 at 8:56 am

Garth-O:

I’m a bit surprised at your continued line of questioning on taking sound measures to counteract the Covid crisis.

I’m in Australia. We have had a strict, yet still a “reasonable, non-hysterical” approach. Result: 7,100 cases, 102 deaths, for a population of 24 million.

Sweden has taken what seems to be your preferred laissez-faire approach. Result: 33,000 cases, nearly 4,000 deaths for a population of 10 million.

Isn’t the answer obvious that a cautious and careful approach is best?

What gives?

You even ask whether this was “really a pandemic”?

Huh?

I honestly don’t understand your line of thinking.

Steve.

Don’t twist my words. Even from Australia. – Garth

#269 not 1st on 05.23.20 at 8:58 am

#262 BrianT on 05.23.20 at 8:09 am

The MSM is unlikely to ever give you proper information but I am utterly disappointed in our health officials and elected leaders. I don’t count Trudeau as a leader, he is just a daily fluff piece.

They made the decisions and now that was on the back of flawed info so they own it now. No Canadian doctors dared speak up. Only one I remember was some guy in TO who wanted an 18m lockdown.

The biggest failure was not communicating the details of this disease and the fact that its killing people who are older than the average life expectancy of the population and it can only be spread by sustained contact, not passing somebody in the store or waving to your neighbor. Transmissible via air or surfaces highly unlikely.

So very much like our normal flus which for the people in Garths hate mail might be shocked to learn still kill 600k people every year.

#270 Ace Goodheart on 05.23.20 at 9:11 am

RE: #219 Reality is stark on 05.22.20 at 9:42 pm
News just in.
John Tory needs a 47% increase in property taxes to “get by”.

////////////////////

This is an either/or proposition. Either Tory gets more money (by hiking property tax, or being bailed out by the Feds) or he reduces wages for government employees, and lays people off.

Well, we all know, based on what is happening in the teaching profession (with teachers being paid full salary to sit at home in their houses, not teaching) that reducing salaries, and layoffs, can never happen.

If you are a public servant, your job is sacred. You cannot be laid off, and your wage must go up every year. Your benefits must always be paid for, by somebody else, your pension must be indexed, and you must have no concerns as to ever, for any reason, losing your income.

So the solution will be to just tax everyone more, and have the Provincial and Federal governments borrow more.

#271 Kamloops Dan on 05.23.20 at 9:17 am

Garth….one thing will never change…..you need a left and a right to find the middle.

Those comments are comical tho

#272 Sativa on 05.23.20 at 9:24 am

@BillyBob #253

Excellent comment!

#273 Brett in Calgary on 05.23.20 at 9:26 am

Nothing trumps stats like a good anecdote. Stories sow fear, and as you have said many times, only fear trumps greed.

#274 BrianT on 05.23.20 at 9:30 am

#209MrCanada-3 people have died in Oakville from the virus-the estimate is that from Mar 1-May 23 420 people have died in Oakville-3 from the virus-during this period those dying from other causes were 99.3%. All totally ignored by the media and to a large extent ignored by the vaunted Sickcare Industry.

#275 Tony Hladun on 05.23.20 at 9:32 am

About 150,000 die in the world every day so just in the two months there have been about 9,000,000 deaths worldwide. Covid deaths during that time…340,000. The health care system failed miserably in preventing deaths in seniors facilities were the problem obviously was. Covid is a nothing-burger. Now the death of jobs in the financial pandemic we’ve released may be a different story.

#276 Trojan House on 05.23.20 at 9:37 am

#263 Do we have all the facts on 05.23.20 at 8:18 am

Irreparable damage has already been done to the economy. There is no way the government can spend their way out of it this time. They just spent all the money they had trying to keep people from going under. Even reducing interests rates to zero or negative will not work because people have no confidence to move forward and why should they? Look what’s happening – continue to physical distance, wear masks, bombarded with ads on radio and tv, severe restrictions on re-opening like only so many allowed in a restaurant, etc., etc.

I agree with you that once it became known who were the most vulnerable, they should have taken precautions. They didn’t. By the way, H1N1 was worse for children.

#277 Sky on 05.23.20 at 9:46 am

@ Bytor the Snow Dog #260 :

The teachers are virtue signalling. Just like the politicians virtue signal while they destroy our entire way of life. They hang out in their bunkers, country estates or summer homes and leave the rest of us with the smoking ruins and tell us it’s for the common good.

Altruism is a great word. Ayn Rand, whatever her faults and foibles, was correct in her prediction that altruism would be used to destroy western civilization. The individual is to sacrifice himself for the common good. The common good this time around being ‘Stop the millions of imaginary deaths from the coronavirus’.

Look how many people have casually dismissed our economic catastrophe all in the name of adding a few more months of life onto already infirm and sick people. And now they’re sacrificing their own healthy children and their futures. Altruism at its finest. And it will ultimately prove to be the deadliest.

If you haven’t already seen this – enjoy. Humor is in short supply these days. Send it to your favorite coronaphobic. Warning : It’s addictive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DDXG-dHugc

#278 Dharma Bum on 05.23.20 at 9:50 am

The country has a much bigger crisis on its hands than Covid.

It’s called CERB addiction.

Trudeau is the chief dealer and pusher.

He loves to get his subjects high and dependant on handouts so he can continue to control the false narrative.

Stay off the CERB drug, kiddies. Dependance will kill you.

#279 John on 05.23.20 at 9:52 am

I’d wait for round two results before I got too cocky.
Wuhan has locked 110 million people down again.
This is not over.

#280 BrianT on 05.23.20 at 9:59 am

Let’s say you are one of the stupid sheep who buy into this nonsense-doing all your Social Distancing on the sidewalk, whatever-it doesn’t matter what you do if you live in Montreal or NYC or even Toronto-nothing you do will give you the statistical advantage of simply moving to someplace with low levels of virus deaths. The stat difference between Toronto and Oakville is 17.5 times-there is no way you are going to match that living in Toronto-you could carry a bucket of sanitizer or bleach with you and wipe down every seat near you on the subway-it doesn’t matter. The interesting thing about this virus is how it is overwhelmingly concentrated in a few dense urban centres-I remember in the early days of this that Fauci grifter said the entire USA was gonna be just like NYC, just delayed-total unadulterated B/S-so to sum if up move out of the big city little frightened sheep.

#281 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 10:07 am

#268 Kamloops Dan on 05.23.20 at 9:17 am

Garth….one thing will never change…..you need a left and a right to find the middle.

—————-

Hey KD, how many ears does Captain Kirk have?

Three. The left ear, the right ear, and the final frontier.

#282 Jake on 05.23.20 at 10:10 am

I believe that if nothing was done swiftly in mid-March, a lot of these people you made fun of would have been correct.

How did I ‘make fun’ of anyone? Their words speak for them. – Garth

I think the point is if you’re going to hide some comments keep them hidden. Why hide them when things were on the edge but publish them now that they are likely to be wrong?

Read and learn. – Garth

#283 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 10:12 am

Kamloops Dan,

Off topic, but related to your town. We stayed in the Kamloops Comfort Inn last night on our morel expedition and one of the dogs got into rat poison this morning.

We’re very happy with vet Fiona Reid meeting immediately for purge, antidote and stabilize. Back on the morel search now with one sad and deflated dog.

#284 Dharma Bum on 05.23.20 at 10:18 am

Trudeau is fostering entropy.

Laziness is already an epidemic among today’s youth.

By increasing and accelerating handouts, this government is not doing its citizens any favours. It’s nurturing compliance, obedience, and neediness while gutting the future potential of the country.

Shame on the PM! The pusher man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qje0UuM8-OU

#285 Trojan House on 05.23.20 at 10:19 am

#253 BillyBob on 05.23.20 at 5:23 am

So, you start off with debunking “confirmation bias” but then go on to affirm your bias that the ending of lockdowns is premature.

“Any reasonable examination of excess mortality rates does support that this is *sigh* not the flu. The fact that is not the Black Death either, is not a counterargument.”

And this:

“The outcome is based entirely on what the science is. So we train as hard as we can to remove our personal biases and focus on the facts, no matter how stressful the situation or unappealing they appear.”

Have you been reading the “facts?” The facts point out that this is, statistically speaking, only slightly worse than the seasonal flu. The stats show that the majority of people that die from the virus are the elderly with underlying health conditions. The stats, as Garth pointed out, show that nobody under the age of 20 had died of the virus in Canada and in fact around the world. Does that mean it doesn’t happen? No, some otherwise healthy people of all ages will get it and die, that’s life. Athletes drop dead all the time from heart failure.

The stats are there to show us where to put the money to prevent premature deaths. And don’t give me your parachute analogy because it is completely different. Common sense says you don’t remove your parachute until you are safely on the ground. Common sense, based on stats, tells us to safeguard the unhealthy elderly because the rest of us are safely on the ground.

#286 Trojan House on 05.23.20 at 10:21 am

Sorry, I meant to say very few deaths of people under the age of 20 around the world and none in Canada of course.

#287 Rick Adams on 05.23.20 at 10:35 am

DELETED

#288 Fused on 05.23.20 at 10:41 am

#259
How do you know about a second wave?
Maybe this is the second wave and all the people who tested positive but are asympomatic were part of the first wave.
My family doctor is convinced that I had the virus last year, sick as dog never been that sick in my life.
Super high fever, headache, sore throat for the first six days, then non stop violent dry cough, lethargic, bedridden, took about three weeks to get over the worst of it.
Who got tested last year for this disease? Anyone?
My employers were making regular trips to Asia during this time and until lock down were overseeing business every couple of months there.
I was not the only one to get this illness as about a quarter of the office was down for almost a month, no deaths, slow recovery for most of us, seem to linger until the end of summer, the shortness of breath, low energy levels, body aches.

#289 IHCTD9 on 05.23.20 at 10:43 am

Four one hundred thousandths of one percent of the global population has died from CV-19.

Let’s all go jump in a lake.

#290 Damifino on 05.23.20 at 10:45 am

#279 Jake

Why hide them when things were on the edge but publish them now that they are likely to be wrong?
——————————-

Would you have been okay with it had the comments been published without a name? Just wondering. If so, consider that Garth has to be responsible, with his real identity, for every word he writes.

#291 JacqueShellacque on 05.23.20 at 10:52 am

“Meanwhile investors who did not panic, sell into a storm, go to cash or believe everything they read in the mainstream media, have done just fine. Balanced and diversified portfolios performed as they were designed to, blunting the decline and joining the recovery. By the end of 2020 it’s reasonable to expect this will be another year of positive returns.”

I’m not sure that’s reasonable, Garth. You can’t have Great Depression economic numbers, massive debt, unprecedented (and unaffordable, unsustainable) stimulus, yet values of assets continuing to climb as if all that doesn’t matter. 97% of the time, your approach is correct, and I’ve made some nice gains in the past thanks to your advice. But it’s the other 3% of the time that really matters. I don’t believe now is the time for a full-steam-ahead-damn-the-torpedoes speech. The impact to CAGR from the Feb 20 peak to March 23rd trough is permanent. There needs to be a way for schlubs like me and your other readers to protect against and maybe even profit from these events. I value your advice and column, but you’re doing your readers a disservice by telling them unprecedented events and conditions are just noise.

Stay invested and come back at Christmas. – Garth

#292 Trapper Barnes on 05.23.20 at 11:07 am

#186 DBD

#254 Sky

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/masks-covid-questions-answered-1.5580645

The CBC propaganda department is working overtime to save face for Mr Trudeau and Dr Tam. First we were “selfish racists” who wouldn’t know how to wear a mask even if we had them.

We heard the Liberal apologists berating Canadians of every race for suggesting petitions and acknowledging PPE might be good for everyone. The response from government was to send 16 tons of our emergency supply to China when the Covid Virus was ripping through our hospitals and nursing homes.

Now it seems it appears we being patronized once again. We’re being told that masks will make us sick. I see Asian people wearing masks by the millions and they aren’t dropping like flies. Is the CBC trying to butter over the tattered mess of false and misleading advisories that came out of Ottawa?

#293 Damifino on 05.23.20 at 11:13 am

#255 Socialism is greedy

Woe to those with no children, no family.
————————————

Not quite. Woe to those who have no one willing to expend energy advocating for them when they become old, frail and infirm.

It’s not the same thing.

#294 crowdedelevatorfartz on 05.23.20 at 11:16 am

@#247 Miles
“How can anyone downplay this?

+++++

Population of the US in 1918 = 103 million people ( it actually DROPPED by 60,000 people that year which was the end of WWI and the beginning of the Spanish Flu season) The following year 1919 the US population increased by 1 million people….even with all the dead from the flu.

Population of the US in 1975 =216 million and there were aprox 60,000 dead Americans after over 10 years of war in Vietnam ).

Population of the US today = 328 million people.
Aprox 110,000 have died since the flu spread in Jan.

So after two world wars, the Spanish flu, the Korean and Vietnam wars and a few other bad flu years (1957, 1968, etc etc etc) the US population has more than tripled in 100 years.

I may be stepping out on a statistically slippery ledge but……..
I think we’ll be ok.
Even if it became a Hollywood media pandemic and 50% died ( mostly boomers and their parents?) the US ( and one would assume Canada) would still have tens of millions ( if not hundreds of millions) of people to carry on.
Life would be difficult without all those hard working boomers around to make you dinner and bring it to the tv room downstairs…….but, you’d survive….barely.

#295 MF on 05.23.20 at 11:25 am

#265 Do we have all the facts on 05.23.20 at 8:18 am

You must have skipped my post. So I’ll ask again:

Where is the proof of your statement? You said the WHO instructed everyone to include all influenza deaths as covid19.

A link? Anything? You said you have all the facts, where are they?

MF

#296 not 1st on 05.23.20 at 11:26 am

I went to cash just before Justin got involved. I knew after a few days he would crater the loonie. I sold out all my cdn denominated and converted to USD and bought ZSP in my RESP.

With the S&P rising back up a good chunk of the way and the loonie loosing a dime and destined for the dumpster once our AAA becomes a BB+ Morneau has the cajones to actually publish a budget, the currency spread will make this little hiccup just a memory.

The US has made moves to actually restore the economy. Justin has bought votes. You can figure how that will all play out in the months to come. 55c loonie.

#297 the Jaguar on 05.23.20 at 11:31 am

LIFE mag update. What a gas reading about the crime in 1971 on east 78th Street, N.Y. Brownstone rental building and the stories the tenants relay about B&E’s, robberies, living in fear every night, attempts to secure the places they live, etc. Couldn’t help but wonder if it might be deja vous all over again if we don’t get people back to work. Didn’t Garth & Dorothy get their christmas tree stolen back in those days?
The photos are fascinating as well. A real lack of everyday ‘opulence’ in those early 1970’s. If our GDP keeps tanking we might see it again.

#298 Faron on 05.23.20 at 11:32 am

#264 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 8:37 am

Thanks pal. It’s nice how instead of countering ideas presented in good faith with ideas you offer a paternalistic correction of my rhetorical approach.

#299 MF on 05.23.20 at 11:35 am

280 BrianT on 05.23.20 at 9:59

Here’s a pro tip:

Stop using the word “sheep” or “sheeple” or any of these stupid derivatives that come across as unsophisticated at best, and cheesy/corny at worst.

Globalist is up there too.

MF

#300 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 11:36 am

#245 Coho on 05.23.20 at 12:35 am

The ruling class see the world very differently than we do. Of course they cannot carry out God knows what agendas without their minions and there is no shortage of them.

—————-

I vacillate between whether I’m a member of the ruling class, or a lowly merchant, but agree wholeheartedly that most of my evil schemes would be unworkable without loyal (or terrified… same result, actually) minions.

#301 BillyBob on 05.23.20 at 11:45 am

#285 Trojan House on 05.23.20 at 10:19 am
#253 BillyBob on 05.23.20 at 5:23 am

So, you start off with debunking “confirmation bias” but then go on to affirm your bias that the ending of lockdowns is premature.

==================================================

Nope, I said that the “all clear” tone was premature.

Because it’s not all clear. Virus is still there, still no effective treatment, still no vaccine.

I’m all for relaxing lockdowns where infection has abated. But pretending the virus is gone, not still a threat, and never was, has to be the most ignorant sort of triumphalism possible.

Don’t twist my words.

#302 sailedaway on 05.23.20 at 11:46 am

#18 Sail away on 05.22.20 at 1:29 pm
“Haha- what a bunch of weenies.”

————————————————————–

That’s exactly how I feel aboot people collecting wage subsidies.

#303 Sky on 05.23.20 at 11:59 am

@ Trapper Barnes :”We’re being told that masks will make us sick. I see Asian people wearing masks by the millions and they aren’t dropping like flies. Is the CBC trying to butter over the tattered mess of false and misleading advisories that came out of Ottawa?”

*********************

The masks you see millions of Asians wearing serve a purpose. They filter out large particulates in their heavily polluted air.

Here in BC my husband and I both wear masks during fire season when the pollution from the fires is unreal. N95s do restrict your breathing but help save your throat and lungs to some degree. Despite the masks and my whole house filled with air purifiers constantly running, he still got pneumonia during fire season a couple of years ago. Many people did. Pharmaceutical antibiotics didn’t knock it out. It took a powerful natural antibiotic/antiviral to finally kill it.

The masking situation with coronavirus is entirely different. Our information is poor but it’s a known fact that viruses are so small that they can penetrate masks. Why do you think they wear hazmat suits in the labs working with these viruses?

To force children who are not at risk to wear ineffective masks is cruel and sadistic. I’d like to see the Canadian parliament and the USA congress return to their jobs and sit in session ALL DAY wearing masks. WITH CAMERAS ROLLING. Lead by example, instead of telling the rest of us what to do and torturing the kids.

#304 Trojan House on 05.23.20 at 12:08 pm

#301 BillyBob on 05.23.20 at 11:45 am

Of course it’s not all clear and it may never be. That’s why people are saying it is “like the flu.” The seasonal flu vaccines are only at most 60% effective any given year. So thinking a vaccine or treatment will eradicate this is wishful thinking. Thus ending lockdowns when the virus is abated, by your thinking, will never happen. This virus could inexplicably peter out like SARS and MERS, etc, or it could be something we deal with every season.

So, I never pretended anything. What I’m saying, as Garth is, the stats are now out. We sort of know what we’re dealing with when it comes to who are most at risk. When we finally started to see this, we failed at protecting them but we sure as heck inflicted a lot of damage in another area – the economy.

I certainly didn’t twist your words because they didn’t need twisting. Your confirmation bias was easy to see in what and how you wrote it.

#305 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 12:08 pm

#302 sailedaway on 05.23.20 at 11:46 am
#18 Sail away on 05.22.20 at 1:29 pm

“Haha- what a bunch of weenies.”

—————

That’s exactly how I feel aboot people collecting wage subsidies.

—————

Just pay your taxes, son.

#306 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 12:14 pm

#298 Faron on 05.23.20 at 11:32 am
#264 Sail Away on 05.23.20 at 8:37 am

Thanks pal. It’s nice how instead of countering ideas presented in good faith with ideas you offer a paternalistic correction of my rhetorical approach.

————–

In my opinion, your rhetorical approach put forward ideas based on hope that have no historical precedent of success in the real world. Ideas are fun, but irrelevant if unworkable.

#307 Sky on 05.23.20 at 12:15 pm

Last post, while I’m on the subject. Sort of. This is for you, Garth. I seem to recall that you were using comfrey for your ankle injury a few years ago. Good choice but never use it for more than a few weeks unless you’re using the right type. Comfrey contains alkaloids that will damage your liver.

For longer term use, use only the comfrey cream that has removed these harmful alkaloids. Thank-you Germany. EuroMedica Traumaplant.

The herbals are fantastic. But a little knowledge is dangerous.

#308 BrianT on 05.23.20 at 12:43 pm

#299MF-like Confucious said-you can lead a sheep to water but you can’t make him think.

#309 Gord G on 05.23.20 at 7:01 pm

WOW!
And you put up with all that?
At least your wife & your pooch love ya man. And a whole bunch of other people too ……

#310 Miles on 05.24.20 at 3:55 am

#294 crowdedelevatorfartz

I’m not talking about society surviving. Of course it will.
I’m just speaking to those that say statistically this is not much worse than the seasonal flu, so life (work) needs to go on. This is a high price for society to pay.

#311 Kat on 05.24.20 at 8:08 pm

My husbands hvac company did the same they asked him to take an extra day off as they wouldn’t get enough subsidy. Meanwhile we didn’t take the CERB as we felt others could use it and we would use our savings. We have several friends who joke about sucking off the government tit instead of working. People are nuts , don’t the have any clue as to what is going to happen. Meanwhile I can’t even afford to hire an accountant for my tiny business, maybe we should have just followed the crowd as it seems everyone is looking forward to a Venezuela economy anyways with the way they are behaving.

#312 Kristi on 05.24.20 at 9:39 pm

Paying people not to work? It’s called EI and it’s been around for awhile. And no, you don’t qualify if you quit. CERB is a version of EI. What’s up with this fairytale about people quitting their jobs to collect CERB? Where are they going to find another job in this recession? Even if you were to qualify for CERB if you quit which you don’t – do you really think people with mortgages and other bills will quit their jobs to collect CERB for a few months and risk losing everything when CERB runs out and there are no jobs? Where happened with common sense and critical thinking? Most people who still have a job right now are grateful and hoping and praying not to be laid off.

#313 Steve N on 05.25.20 at 11:59 am

And I posted the exact opposite with supporting information bcuz I do not watch CNN and the rest of the left wing press which sadly includes ALL Canadian broadcasters who have been handed loonie dollars by our commie PM who has destroyed us financially for another generation….I’ll be applying for US citizenship before they take all my money as taxes here in Canada.
SEE FOLKS THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS