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COVID-19

Ethics prof at one of Canada’s oldest universities on temporary paid leave for stance against forced vaccinations

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Huron University in London, Ontario, was incorporated way back in 1863 as one of the founding colleges of Western University.  Western is one of the largest universities in Canada.

On the University’s website under academic objectives, Huron University strongly encourages “critical thinking through excellent teaching and research”.  But it appears critical thinking may have landed a university ethics professor in a career ending dilemma. Dr. Julie Ponesse has been teaching Ethics at Huron for 20 years.  Dr. Ponesse says the University of Western Ontario has barred her from campus and put her on temporary paid leave for taking an ethical stance against the University’s vaccine policy.

Here is the first measure of that policy as highlighted on the University website.

  • Mandatory Vaccination on Campus: Huron and its affiliate partners are implementing a vaccination policy which will require proof of vaccination or have an exemption in order to come on campus, including living in residence. Those with an exemption must be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly. There is no testing option for those who choose not to be vaccinated. Those without proof of vaccination or an exemption will not be permitted on campus.

Professor Ponesse says just a few days before the school year began, she was mandated by her employers to take the vaccine immediately.  As an Ethics educator she decided it was her job to teach her students it’s ethically wrong to force people to take a vaccine.  Instead of lining up for the jab, Dr. Ponesse went to her office and recorded a video which has now been seen across Canada tens of thousands of times.  At the end of the video a statement appears indicating Professor Julie Ponesse was dismissed by her employers on September 7.

The video is being shared and commented on by Canadians from coast to coast, in various social media platforms.  It’s a fascinating discussion on ethics in a terribly confusing and controversial time, by an experienced ethics professor who has courageously put her ethics ahead of her career.

The video has been taken down by both Facebook and Twitter for statements Ponesse makes about the effectiveness of vaccines.  This video was reloaded to Facebook.  Supporters of Dr. Ponesse have also posted it to Instagram.  We’ve posted two links in case one is taken down yet again.

 

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Province wants everyone in Alberta to get a third shot

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Expanding COVID-19 booster to all Albertans 18-plus

Expanded availability of third doses of COVID-19 vaccine will help Albertans increase their protection against COVID-19.

Starting Dec. 2, all Albertans aged 60 and older can book appointments for a booster dose of mRNA vaccine six months after receiving their second dose. First appointments will be available beginning Dec. 6.

All other Albertans aged 18-plus will be notified when the next age group is able to book appointments. Additional age groups will be announced as quickly as possible.

“I am pleased that we can offer booster doses to more Albertans. Millions of Albertans have rolled up their sleeves to have their best protection against COVID-19. While two doses continues to provide strong protection against severe outcomes, we will continue to push the federal government for supply to ensure all Albertans can receive their third doses to continue limiting COVID-19 infection and transmission.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“With the winter season increasing transmission risks, and more Albertans approaching the six-month milestone since receiving their second dose, the evidence supports expanding booster doses to add an additional layer of protection. Vaccines continue to be our best protection against COVID-19, and I continue to encourage Albertans to book their first, second and third doses as soon as they are eligible.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Current evidence indicates that vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection appears to wane over time. While individual protection against severe outcomes remains strong after two doses for most people, there are still many in our communities who are completely unprotected, and third doses will help boost population protection and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Expansion of booster dose eligibility was informed by the advice of the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Booking for booster doses

Effective Dec. 2, eligible individuals can book appointments for third doses online with participating pharmacies by using the Alberta vaccine booking system. Albertans can also call 811, participating pharmacies or participating physicians’ offices. The first appointments will be available starting Dec. 6.

Booster eligibility is based on birth date. Albertans who are 59 turning 60, and First Nation, Métis or Inuit individuals who are 17 turning 18, are asked to not book appointments before their birthday.

Albertans who were previously eligible for third doses continue to be able to book their appointments.

Albertans eligible for additional doses

Albertans eligible for additional doses now include:

Eligible at least six months after receiving their second dose:

  • Albertans aged 60-plus
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit people aged 18-plus
  • Health-care workers providing direct patient care and who received their second dose less than eight weeks after their first dose
  • Individuals who received two doses of AstraZeneca or one dose of Janssen vaccine

Eligible at least five months after receiving their second dose:

  • Seniors living in congregate care

Eligible at least eight weeks after receiving their second dose:

  • Individuals with eligible immunocompromising conditions

Quick facts

  • To date, 378,507 Albertans have received a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 84.1 per cent of eligible Albertans 12 years of age and older have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine while 88.8 per cent have received at least one dose.
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COVID-19

Let’s put an end to this pandemic: Why my child will not be getting a covid vaccine and what citizens and local politicians need to do

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First I just want to say I respect you and your opinions and the decisions you make within your family.  Sure I’d love to convince you, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last two years it’s this:  Decisions people are making around covid are not necessarily about covid.  My beliefs and yours are more likely tied to an overall world view.

To let you know about my world view, I’ve been associated with media my entire adult life.  I’ve always loved it even though I can pinpoint the very day I realized journalism and truth were not the same thing. I spent New Years Eve 1999-2000 in a fully staffed news room because of the Y2K panic.  That multi-billion dollar boondoggle turned out to be an incredible farce.  In short, rather than investigate the truth thoroughly, the media as a whole convinced itself of an oncoming tragedy.  In the end nearly every business in the western world spent time and money trying to fix something that was, as it turned out, absolutely nothing. When it was over the media simply didn’t talk about it.  No one was at fault.  No one paid a price.  There was certainly a financial crime in the needless spending of billions of dollars, but there was no follow up.  No one was ever charged.  Who would you charge anyway?  It was like a rumour no one knows who started.

Missing the big party at the turn of the century taught this young reporter a valuable lesson.  Even if the vast majority of people are ‘certain’ about something that has turned into a narrative, it’s OK to question it.  In fact, it’s important to question well established narratives.  Basic journalism really.

Enter covid.  In the winter of 2020 we all locked down for two weeks to flatten the curve.  When the curve didn’t flatten we agreed to do everything we could to continue to battle the virus we were told might kill 3 or 4 percent of us.  How innocent we were. I was an early proponent of masks.  This was back when our government said we should NOT wear masks.  I was looking at articles from Asia at the time, which made sense to me because that was where most of the covid was.  I saw people in Hong Kong and South Korea going to school and shopping in their masks and I thought they must be on to something.  Then for the first, and not the last time in covid, our leaders lied to us.  Not just our health leaders, but our provincial Premiers and the people running our public health agencies.  “Sorry.  We needed all the PPE we could get for people working in health care.  It was important for us to lie to you, to save them.”

Hhhhhm.  No!  That was a mistake or something worse.  Canadians would have been happy to breathe through an old sweaty shirt if they would have told us the truth.  Heck you know Canadians.  Half of us would have delivered masks along with Tim Hortons to our nearest hospitals within hours.  Healthcare workers would have been wading in masks, drowning in coffee and choking on timbits.  That’s how Canadians would have acted.  We never got the chance.  Because they lied. Public health care officials and politicians decided as a group that the public was not to be dealt with squarely, but we should be handled. That makes them liars. They have not changed that position. I can’t explain why people continue to believe everything they say.

Somehow the VAST majority of media failed to take our officials to task for lying to us. It broke our trust. Like so many I have not accepted anything media or government and public health officials have said since, without checking on it first.  What kind of a reporter would I be if I did? The officials we elected to serve us could have apologized and stuck to the truth and earned our trust back.  Instead they double down every chance they get. Politicians are caught breaking the rules they’re setting for us constantly.  They allow the large multinational store to operate, but they shut down the neighbourhood pub.  They allow thousands to attend some events, but punish preachers for opening their doors to a few hundred.  They greet each other with drinks and hugs, then put on their masks and step away from each other for the official photographs. Now they’re allowing only the double-vaxed to travel while restricting people who have actually tested negative.  Comically absurd.  All this under the eyes of the media who lift not one finger to complain on our behalf.

So here we are.  People have fallen into their camps and very few are switching sides.  On one side, are the Pro Mandaters.  They continue to invest their trust in the institutions we grew up with.  The politicians and the health officials, and the people on TV and in the newspapers have always told the truth right?  OK maybe they don’t ‘always’ tell the truth, but our health is their top priority right?  You’d certainly hope so, but there’s a simple fact that proves differently.  TREATMENT.  Despite the fact politicians and some leading health officials declare ignorance, they know millions of people are being treated.  They know India and Japan have had miraculous results after offering treatment.

 

They know doctors in the United States and Canada have used over 20 different treatments with results ranging from interesting, to incredible.  They don’t care. It’s not that they just insist vaccine mandates are the best way forward. Those in charge go as far as to ban treatment for desperate, dying people.  Then they punish anyone who dares to try to save lives through safe, trusted, well known and widely used treatments. Let me repeat that… they ban treatment for desperate, dying people.  Take a second to let that sink in.

When I was younger, a veteran reporter once told me how things really work.  At a city council meeting I came to him perplexed at a seemingly stupid decision.  He told me that whenever things don’t make sense it always has something to do with money.  “Stop trying to make sense of it, and start looking for who is making money from that decision.”  Probably the best advice I ever got until this next piece about politicians.  I’m paraphrasing: “When you phone a politician and ask for a call back, you’d better keep this in mind.  Politicians don’t care about you. They don’t care about your tv station.  They care about being reelected.  If they think talking to you about something voters care about will get them reelected, they’ll call you back right away.  If not, they’ll avoid you like the plague.  You need to make them understand this question will influence the next election. You’ll get a call every time.”

While it’s difficult to believe politicians could deny treatment to dying people, it’s nearly impossible to think public health officials would be so cruel. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting my head around that. These are good people. They are in public health care after all.  This is a good time to think of that advice about things that don’t make sense.  So, forget about trying to make sense of it and ask “who is making money from this decision?”.  Well in this case it’s the pharmaceuticals.  These are some of the biggest businesses in the world.  They have been the most heavily fined businesses in the world.  Pre-covid, they were viewed as among the most untrustworthy businesses in the world.  Then their public face turned from lawyers and multi-millionaire executives, to public health officials and we forgave (or forgot).  In his new book Robert F. Kennedy Jr. examines the relationship between pharmaceuticals and the world’s most influential (dare I say powerful) health official, Anthony Fauci.  Kennedy outlines how over the many decades of Fauci’s leadership, the US has turned into an incredibly unhealthy nation with an insatiable thirst for pharmaceuticals.  Instead of promoting healthy lifestyles, public health officials have become intertwined with the pharmaceutical industry.  Now it starts to make sense.

Then there’s the other side, widely known as the Anti Vaxers even though this is the only vaccine most of them haven’t taken. The Pro Mandaters may not know it, but the other side are not against vaccines, they’re against MANDATING THIS PARTICULAR vaccine.  They know the risk for a severe outcome for people below 70 with no comorbidities is extremely low.  They’re OK with that risk.  They’re not OK with being ordered to take part in a medical trial. A lot of them, tens of thousands in fact, have had covid already.  Even the NIH admits readily that covid survivors have lasting strong immunity.  Can’t catch it.  Can’t pass it on.  Unlike vaccinated people who still get sick and pass covid on to someone else.  There’s only one way to protect yourself from catching covid with statistical success.  That’s to have had covid already.  Why these people are being asked to also get vaccinated is something future medical students will shake their heads at.

Many of us know someone, or know of someone who has died of covid. Other people we know of have been saved by a treatment we’re not supposed to even talk about.  Those who have died are poorly mourned at small funerals.  Those who were saved are buried in a different way.  We’re not to talk about them.  Incredibly as doctors in other parts of the world are treating, and studying, and creating data, our front line health care practitioners are relegated to the sidelines, waiting to see what their public health officials will allow.  Some step up at great risk. They diagnose and prescribe treatments their training and experience tells them will work. I’ve met two people who felt they were close to death when a very brave doctor swept in with treatment cocktails.  Neither of the people I talked to knew each other.  Their experiences happened months, and miles apart.   Both swear they turned around dramatically within hours of their first dose.  You’d think they’d stand on the roof and yell out their truth.  But they’re scared.  Who can blame them?  Both doctors who treated them have been disciplined.  If lives are not as important as the narrative, how could mere careers have a chance?

I’m not personally against the vaccine.  I am very much against mandating it, and I am very much against giving it to children. We are here to protect our children, not to ask them to protect us. Knowing that young people are statistically at a greater risk of a serious reaction from the vaccine than they are from covid, I will keep my child away from this particular vaccine.  Knowing that children are at less risk from covid than they are from the yearly flu virus I will act accordingly. Children have a statistical 0 % chance of dying from covid and they are not good at spreading it to adults.  They don’t need to take the risk, as tiny as it is, of suffering from a vaccine reaction.

My final argument is the simple fact that our government’s Zero Covid Approach is obviously failing.  Show a single country in the world which is both highly vaccinated, and has wiped out covid. There’s not a single example.  Meanwhile, two prominent countries with good record keeping and advanced health care systems have had remarkable success against covid.  Japan has a vaccination rate well above 70%.  India is struggling to get to 20%.  The two countries have completely different levels of vaccinated citizens, but they share one thing in common.  Facing brutal waves of covid earlier this year, in desperation both Japan and India allowed medical treatments.

Less than 20 percent of India’s population is vaccinated.  Japan’s rate is in the 70’s.  Clearly something other than vaccinations is in play.  Treatment.

So how do we get out of this mess here in Alberta, Canada?  I’m certainly open to ideas.  Personally  I only see one way out and one path to get there.  It starts at home and leads directly to our local politicians.  We need to face our fear of speaking the truth within our families and among our loved ones.  We need to resist the name calling and the emotion (speaking to myself here), and stick to reciting boring facts and data.  Then a very critical step. We need to talk to our school board members, and our city councillors.  They are not affiliated with a political party and don’t have to worry about being punished by political bosses.  We need to insist they take the measures they can to set us on a new path.  The approach of mandating vaccines on employees and restricting citizens while banning medical treatments is a colossal misstep, a divider of families and community, and a devastation on local business.  Most importantly it steals the lives of desperate, dying citizens.  We need to beg, plead and demand our local politicians stand up against vaccine mandates and restrictions against their citizens in private and public buildings.  We need to respect the legal choices of individuals.  Together we need to demand doctors be allowed to treat patients the way they always have.  With treatment, the need for the restrictions and mandates will vanish.  This is the only way to get our communities and our families back, if it’s not too late already.

As for the politicians who are in a position to make changes quickly.  Remember the advice from my friend and veteran reporter.  We need to stop waisting our time with common sense arguments and start appealing to them about the next election.  They’re reading the polls and those polls tell them most of the voters are afraid.  It’s a tragedy that leaders with courage are so few and far between, but this is the world we live in and this is the fault of the courageous for avoiding politics. The good news is if we start to demand treatment and this movement grows it’s only a matter of time! The very second those same poll-reading politicians see enough people are demanding treatment, they’ll suddenly rise above their role of vaccine sales person and switch over to medical treatment advocates.  It will happen in the blink of an eye.   If you want treatment there when you’re the one who gets sick, start advocating now.  The best thing about it is everyone wins, because medication is a both – and solution.  Medications don’t need vaccines to go away, they just make them a voluntary extra precaution.

Premiers tremble at the very thought of contradicting the public health officials they used to hire and fire as they saw fit.  The cowardice is embarrassing.  Worse.  Their cowardice stops so many thousands from encountering a doctor who wants to treat them with available drugs.  For the rest of us, their cowardice means we’ll continue indefinitely to live in a suspended existence, restricted from going where we want to, when we want to, to do what we want.  In fear, we willingly surrendered our freedoms and assaulted our small businesses and our community life.  Those freedoms and those communities will not come back until effective medical treatments for covid are no longer banned.

Even though I’m vaccinated to protect my mother my child will not be vaccinated.  My older children have made their decisions.  My youngest is too young to make that decision. I’ll take the lesser of the two risks, and the one that will protect him the most going forward. Most importantly I know there are treatments available and I know who to talk to if someone close to me gets sick.

Here’s the Guide to Home Based Treatment for Covid from the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, and here’s the Guide to Covid Early Treatment from a group of US doctors on their website TruthForHealth.

 

 

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