I do agree with the general theme, but I find this article is tailored to the biases and personality of its author, and for similar people.

COVID-19 itself has never worried me too much, especially for my kids. I read both the official Government of Canada information as well as the state of knowledge in the journals. For example, I read the approval process and details for all of the vaccines. Take, for example, the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty: https://covid-vaccine.canada.ca/info/regulatory-decision-summary-detail.html?linkID=RDS00856

It was comforting to see that they were honest about the lack of knowledge in long-term safety, noting, "An important limitation of the data is the lack of information on the long-term safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. The identified limitations are managed through labelling and the Risk Management Plan RMP)." The RMP is also described in monitoring feedback and updating the product monographs. This is an excellent risk management plan because both the labelling and monographs diversify risk via one-on-one informed decision-making between patient and doctor. And, the monographs are informative. The Comirnaty monograph was last updated Nov 19 here: https://covid-vaccine.canada.ca/info/pdf/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-pm1-en.pdf

Notably, Section 7 lists risks and is quite honest. It says, "It is unknown whether COMIRNATY has an impact on fertility." and "The safety and efficacy of COMIRNATY in pregnant women have not yet been established. It is unknown whether COMIRNATY is excreted in human milk. A risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for immunization against COVID-19."

This may not sound comforting to some, but to me it means the scientific process works and is being honest. As a scientist who works with scientists working on this stuff, I'm aware there is a lot we don't know. Transmission is a big one too, but once again, the national scientific process works. The GoC brain trust for COVID-19 recommendations is the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), who put out an Advisory Council Statement on Oct 22, 2021: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html

On infection and transmission it states, "There is currently limited evidence on the duration of protection and on the efficacy of these vaccines in reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, although studies are ongoing. Evidence of protection against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection is emerging for the mRNA and Janssen vaccines." And, in the section "Efficacy and effectiveness against asymptomatic infection and transmission" it states that "the current data is insufficient to draw conclusions" and AstroZeneca "has not demonstrated efficacy against confirmed SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic infection".

All true. We didn't know, and still don't know exactly the effectiveness of the vaccines at reducing asymptomatic infection, transmission, and the relative importance of exposure risk. For example, a remote-working unvaccinated person is probably much safer to be around than an in-person worker who has been to restaurants and the gym recently, largely because remote workers have limited exposure risk, and being unvaccinated means they can't go where the virus spreads, which is restaurants, gyms, bars, and other enclosed spaces with other people, especially strangers.

And, it is also useful to know that the WHO recommends against getting booster shots except for those in high risk cases: https://www.who.int/news/item/22-12-2021-interim-statement-on-booster-doses-for-covid-19-vaccination---update-22-december-2021

And, NACI similarly separates strong "should be offered" and discretionary "may be offered" regarding boosters, meaning from 18 to 50 you can get one, but not getting one is also just fine, and are only really needed for >50 particularly in higher risk circumstances: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/guidance-booster-covid-19-vaccine-doses.html

Similar with children under 12, the WHO (above booster link) says, "WHO is currently not recommending the general vaccination of children and adolescents ..." with details here: https://www.who.int/news/item/24-11-2021-interim-statement-on-covid-19-vaccination-for-children-and-adolescents. And, from GoC data, 0-19 year olds are approximately 13 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than from COVID-19. In fact, anybody younger than 45 is more likely to die in a car accident from that data.

It is similar with myocarditis, where adolescents may have a 10-fold increase in risk from vaccination over not being vaccinated and risking COVID-19 instead (https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M21-3700) because, as is also calming to me, after 2 years only 7% of the Canadian public have gotten COVID-19, which works out to about 0.07% of the public with COVID-19 any given week, and since it is potentially contagious for up to a week, that means only 0.07% (about 1 in 1500) average that any person you meet might have it, or you need to be in a room with 1500 people to likely have 1 that is currently contagious, on average.

So, my kids will be fine, vaccinated or not, mixing or not. They may or may not be better off vaccinated, but either way the risks are quite low. I'll likely be quite fine, being 50, vaccinated but not yet boosted (but monitoring the data). My parents are at risk, but they are vaccinated and boosted, as recommended.

What isn't calming to me though, is when the politicians, and often press, do and say the exact opposite of the scientific process and/or ramp up fear by providing too much inaccurate information, or pull out one or two studies and claim that's what science says. (Simple studies are often very limited and contradict. It takes time, data, and many studies to extract signal from the noise.)

While NACI and the literature explicitly say we don't know about vaccine effectiveness on asymptomatic infection and transmission through the fall of 2021 and still now, the PM was out creating and spreading hatred of the unvaccinated, saying "those people" are a threat to our children. Quebec is looking to tax them. People are spreading hate and oppression, without any scientific basis from NACI, WHO, or other bodies of review. People will sit in a restaurant with 50 vaccinated strangers, but worry about being around a single unvaccinated person who isn't even allowed in a restaurant. That makes no sense whatsoever. A Quebec judge rescinded a father's visitation rights with his daughter because he's unvaccinated, but she's allowed around hundreds of vaccinated people? What kind of risk calculation was involved there? The federal employee mandates are based on the notion that a remote unvaccinated person cannot be accommodated and is a risk to others if forced to come to work ad hoc. There's no basis in science for that claim, and quite the opposite. This is pure fear-based hatred, not science, and is very worrisome coming from the people that are supposed to be level-headed.

Meanwhile, it's not clear that vaccinating children is a good idea and the WHO recommends against it, and NACI says it is ok not to vax them. And, per the WHO, we'd be at less risk if we send all of those doses to countries that are well undervaxxed rather than giving our rich selves third doses and to our kids who probably don't need them and it probably doesn't do much to slow spread.

It seems what comforts some people is simplistic thinking -- vax = good, therefore more vax = more good, and give me and my family more vax to keep us safe, and threaten our neighbours to vaccinate to keep us safe. It all sounds so very unscientific, greedy, and selfish to me. These "please keep me safe" people are very discomforting, especially when their fears are pandered to by politicians and press.

What would comfort me more is if politicians and the press spent more time trying to inform people about the actual science, that risks from COVID are quite low, quite negligible for young people, and that it is ok to be around unvaccinated people. At worst, one unvaccinated person might as risky to be around as a couple of vaccinated people, and a remote working unvaxxed person is likely much safer to be around. And, that it is ok for your kid to be unvaccinated, and for you to not get a booster.

And, for government to destroy the very risk diversification plan of the Health Canada science by removing the informed consent and instead creating coerced consent and "against their will" coercive tactics. That creates higher risk situations, not less risk. Because, there are a lot of things we don't know yet. That is how science works. Politics and the press don't work that way though, which is the source cause of much of our anxiety, unfortunately.

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

- Bertrand Russell

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The problem with your article is that it ignores the most important data: Covid risk to healthy kids compared to other risks they face. That data is simple and clear: your child is safe (defined as vastly lower risk than the myriad other risks that you simply don't worry about) from Covid and always was. If the government had been open about that from day 1, parents would not now be frightened. Unfortunately, they lied and misled, so if they come clean about that now and are believed, parents will be furious. No government wants that.

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Both Mark and Pat are right. How do you govern when half the population thinks the sky is falling and the other half aren't wfh'ers or civil servants. I think at this point, more damage is being done by lockdowns than damage being avoided. The flu has killed more kids that COVID. Stop punishing the restaurant workers, hairdressers and small businesses. Stop punishing the people who are unvaccinated. I have my 3 doses and am more likely to get Covid from another vaccinated person that from an unvaccinated given over 80% are vaccinated. The issue is that in two years we have not built up our hospital capacity to a reasonable level. We should use this crisis to change our system to allow some private healthcare to augment the public system thereby increases capacity without increase costs as much.

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I have to disagree, we have been fed too much information, so much so that we have a class of people living in fear, and another class that has decided enough is enough, I believe the number of participants and donors involved in the Truck Convoy speaks volumes about this.

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We have had a complete breakdown in the leadership, not just in Canada, in all Western Nations. This pandemic response was a collective one, to which was brought to us by a Kabul of unscientific people in positions of power. These people in powerful positions have an extreme solution to all our problems. They have one solution that is an extreme focused ideal of what we need to do in order to solve any problem. They call it "the Science". Hence all must follow " the Science". They then silence any that do have expertise and differing opinions. From the doctors treating patients, to the epidemiologists, pathologists, and an immense amount of other professionals and scientists that are hands on and work with science. These professionals and scientists are known as "misinformation". Only the Kabul knows "the Science" to which the media happily reports on to instill fear and obedience by the masses. When alas the people become tired of 'the Science" the fearmongering, and the draconian measures, the leaders of these nations began demonizing the unvaccinated as the cause for the continued extreme actions that they insisted were the only solution. This was done to remove any responsibility off the shoulders of our leaders for the horrific and totalitarian decisions they have made. So when you hear the words follow "the Science" be aware of where that "Science" is generated. As with COVID, the same techniques, propagation, fearmongering, and extremes, are being placed on Climate Change. This too is an extreme and focused approach to solving a problem with "the Science". Same "Science", same people, same Kabul. This is a pattern folks.

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Unfortunately when you have a habitually deceitful, opaque government that is determined to hide their own incompetence and complicity in this disastrous event, they will never suddenly move to doing the right thing...only more of the wrong thing. We are being misruled.

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When your opening statement is an attack on Ford, we already know what is coming. Ford has not done any better or worse than any other political leader, it is all up to your political position.

Do better.

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British Columbia is doing the same thing. No information. No tests. For families with vulnerable individuals to protect, they are making our ability to assess risk nearly impossible. It's extremely frustrating.

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If your school is not publishing the numbers, talk to the principal. Why do you want to know provincial numbers?

Have you considered that the "flip-flopping" is the response by a team of specialists to a constantly changing situation and not the whims of the Cabinet?

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"Ontario is longer reporting COVID-19 cases in schools" ... typo? no longer

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