Posted in Health & Medicine, Opinion

COVID-19 For Dummies

Question: It’s 2021, why aren’t we out of the woods yet and why can’t our health care system manage the rising number of COVID-19 cases?

A lot of health care workers retired, quit and has gotten ill. Health care workers are burnt out. We don’t have enough beds to accommodate the influx of patients and short staffing remains a huge problem. ICU (intensive care unit) beds are empty not because there are no patients but ICU nurses are lacking. ICU is a specialty and takes 8-12 months to train. Additionally, acute care areas are overflowing with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Remember the cancelled surgeries and closed clinics last year? Those patients with cancelled surgeries or have missed appointments have gotten sicker and are now in acute care longer. Again, let’s go back to short staffing issues. It’s been short staffed before the pandemic (surprise, surprise!). Healthcare workers are not invincible. With the closure of schools, it’s now more difficult to keep children at home, plus work at the same time. One cannot stay at home if working as a healthcare worker, unfortunately. Health care workers working in an area with COVID-19 patients, may have contracted the virus and now have to stay home (no paid sick leave, btw, shoutout to the provincial and federal governments) or if you are working at a non-COVID-19 unit, you’re short staffed with a heavier work load than the usual, it’s not a walk in the park. Also, imagine doing this for a while, not complaining or anything, just stating a fact.

We need more nurses, doctors and healthcare workers but the hiring process takes 2-4 months on average or maybe more. In fact, we have a lot of internationally educated nurses who are skilled enough (who are already in Canada) to fill these positions but to get your education, experiences and skills assessed, it takes 2-4 years. Again, red tape is an issue. Logistically speaking, these factors are not conducive to solve the pandemic in Canada. We could add the slow procurement of vaccines and lack of supply to the equation as well. And oh, the bureaucratic bullsh*t doesn’t help in any way. To the politicians, get it together please! Work harder like the healthcare workers. Their sacrifices are impeccable and outstanding compared to your 6-figure salaries.

Let me also add the risky behaviours of the population that help spread the virus (are you one of those?). The belief systems, cultural implications, political views and personal beliefs impact the rising number of cases that have led to where we are right now. Instead of continuous complaining and whining (which is not really helping in any way), we must be socially responsible and do our part in preventing the spread of this virus. But then again, one might question, why should we do it? It doesn’t affect me in any way. NOT YET. Remember, you are not invincible like you think you are. You are still a susceptible host that the virus can penetrate at any given moment. You might think, “it’s just a cold or flu,” you could survive it, no doubt about that. On the other hand, pray that it doesn’t give you a tour inside an ICU and everything that you believed as a conspiracy could be coming true. For now, be thankful that you’re reading this in the safety of your home and can sleep in your own bed. After all, you don’t want to wake up in a gurney, or a hospital bed.

Posted in Current Events & Politics, Health & Medicine, Insightful, Opinion

COVID-19 and Vaccines: A Guide for Skeptics and Conspiracy Believers Alike

Skeptics. Antivaxxers. Antimaskers. Conspiracy believers. Why do we still have them in today’s technologically advanced world? A part of it, we believe is the lack of information or excessive information obtained from the internet. While pieces of information from the internet provide comfort at times, it may also provide uncertainties and skepticism. You might be reading facts or hoaxes. How do you decipher that? What are the tools that one can use to sort out facts against hoaxes and conspiracies? Fuel your brain with factual information from verified experts and professionals. Interestingly, we’ve found this article from Ponyter about 8 must-reads detail how to verify information in real-time, from social media, users. This article mentioned three different points that just make so much sense on verifying and delivering information from social media and internet:

I find it helps to think of curation as three central questions:

* Discovery: How do we find valuable social media content?
* Verification: How do we make sure we can trust it?
* Delivery: How do we turn that content into stories for a changed audience?

We say, when you read a certain content, compare it against a peer reviewed research or better yet, against a published book with references and cross references. Research is undeniably a great deal of work, but you can only discover the factual answers to your questions by verifying the source. It is very meticulous given that researchers and scientists alloted their time and effort to come up with data that were tested and peer reviewed. Sadly, these works are discredited due to propagandas and short-sightedness of internet users.

The goal of this article is to guide skeptics into finding out what is factual and fictional. In today’s world where our health is mostly at risk, it’s imperative to verify the information. While I’m providing you some links to videos and articles that may change your perspective, feel free to conduct your own research. In return, it may provide the readers a more appropriate choice that would benefit personally and intellectually. We’re not here to argue or prove who is more politically correct. We want to open your eyes as it has been blindsided with overflowing information that can be overwhelming.

We’re all in the middle of this COVID-19 storm. What do we really know about this virus and the vaccine? I’m attaching some verified sources that may help. Read and verify at your own risk.

As explained by a doctor from Johns Hopkins University

So, as the vaccines begin to be procured and roll out from a scientific clinical trial, it fueled so much debates and arguments. But what do we really know about vaccines?

I found this video narrated by a professor from Harvard University.

A professor from Harvard University explaining how vaccine works

And another professor from Cambridge University.

A pathologist from University of Cambridge explaining the COVID-19 vaccine
ZDOGGMD debunks all conspiracies and ding dong comments.

Understandably, some readings may be too much to fathom but this is the only way to quench your thirst for knowledge. If you have to negate the scientists, physicians, researchers and nurses’ advices, you might want to think it over. Everything around you is a product of enormous research by professionals through years of study and hard work. One who discredits these works are contradicting themselves.

After all, Daniel J. Boorstin once said, “ “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”