Critical thinking: new perspectives are needed to eradicate COVID-19
Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Critical thinking: Just sitting around following what we are told to do by the Communist Hong Kong (HK) government (or for that matter any other government) - like innocent lambs being led to their slaughter - will not help anyone! We seem to be waiting for a vaccine to suddenly appear to miraculously 'save' us: as if by magic to drive away COVID-19. In my mind this is NOT A REALISTIC OPTION!
In 2019 as SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes COVID-19 spread around the Earth, all onboard the planet went through a paradigm shift: We humans HAVE to be inter-dependent and healthy with Earth.
Each of us needs our own wholistic (holistic) healthy inter-dependent approach to COVID-19: our personal health, health of the community which includes our 'built environment', economy, healthcare system, social distancing, 'Non-Pharmaceucical Initiatives' (face masks, hand washing, vitamins C & D, etc.).
Inspite of any comorbidities and other health and environmental issues we may have, each of us needs to optimize our health to find the way to live at 'ease' with SARS-CoV-2.
Under HK's rule OF law the UN 'supreme human right' is the ICCPR (article 6) 'right to life': this puts human life before anything and everything else.
Using critical thinking we need to seek out and resolve everything causing 'dis-ease'. This is about viewing COVID-19 from new broader and deeper perspectives!
[We add our editorial comments below in brackets:]
[HK for the last 2 months has had daily new COVID-19 cases averaging 50-100: i.e. despite HK government attempts to reduce infections we still have many unknown asymptomatic virus spreaders!
FOLLOW THE SCIENCE! HK needs to LOCKDOWN its border with China, ESPECIALLY over the approaching Lunar New Year holidays (1st day 12 February 2021).
We know it is only a matter of time before the much more transmissive UK or South African strain comes to HK and our hospitals will be unable to cope! While we can, we MUST reduce new cases!
ADD to this phenomenon, the HK government delivers B.S. in everything it says and does to HK people!
Say NO to China Vaccine in HK VACCINATION PROGRAM! China has low tech vaccines and all suppliers are corrupt and lack integrity!
LOCKDOWN HK - CHINA BORDER NOW!!]
Please see our recent COVID-19 blogs:
CCP please answer the following UN letters sent to you:
'The public should be held fully responsible'
Apple Daily 27 January 2021 by Lam Hoi (format added)
It has been a year since Wuhan pneumonia hit Hong Kong.
The epidemic conditions of the fourth wave of attack have been capricious since its outbreak. With the number of confirmed cases always bouncing back and group infections found in succession in Sham Shui Po, Jordan and Yau Ma Tei, the government finally forced through “districts lockdown” and mandatory tests for COVID-19 in a bid to dig up all virus carriers hidden in the districts at one stroke.
However, the government is always stumbling through implementations of the anti-epidemic measures, nearly every step of which is subject to castigation [severe criticism of citizens]. In the end, more furious discontent is aroused but no actual contribution to alleviating the plague is made!
The government officials, who very often exude in their speeches with intent to blame the masses for the epidemic situation in Hong Kong not successfully contained, have just been asking the citizens over the past year to “cooperate with the government” in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, stay home and away from social gatherings, take part in the Universal Community Testing Program of COVID-19 and use a mobile app called 'LeaveHomeSafe.'
Recently, they have asked the citizens to have a vaccination enthusiastically in the near future. [Only 37% are willing!].
Their propaganda-style deliveries that very often give prominence to their patriarchal mindset sound like a lecture given to a toddler: “Be good. Stop running wildly all over the place. Listen to me. Stop causing me trouble.” It seems the masses should be held fully responsible for the epidemic situation because they “didn’t listen to what they were told to do”.
[There is] No introspection but laying blame on medical personnel and citizens
Admittedly, in a city of more than 7 million people, there must be some that are socially unethical. But in any event, Hong Kong citizens are not toddlers, and SARS remains fresh in their memories.
By and large, their awareness of hygiene and fighting an epidemic is high, as evidenced by the fact that as early as the first outbreak of the disease, the citizens, who snapped up anti-epidemic supplies, and the shopkeepers, who proactively escalated disinfection, kept staying ahead of the SAR government, which promoted “taking off your masks” and asked the citizens how to buy masks from overseas.
Is it really possible that the majority of them [legislators] didn’t know the importance of the precautionary measures against the infection such as putting on masks, frequent sterilization and social distancing? The facts over the past year have just shown a big “No”: The outbreak in Hong Kong, a densely populated city, is not as serious and large-scale as the ones in America and Europe because the proactive measures against the plague taken by most of the citizens are adequate.
Has the Hong Kong government, which keeps requesting the citizens to “cooperate with the authorities in the fight against the disease”, ever “cooperated with the citizens in the battle”? [NO!]
As early as a year ago when the infection broke out and Wuhan was locked down, the medical personnel and citizens in Hong Kong kept urging the government to step up border control to ward off the virus.
However, to tie in with the [CCP] propaganda campaign – “preventable and controllable” - launched by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] to water down the epidemic conditions back then,...
the government unwaveringly refused to do so,...
and even held the medical personnel that contribute most to the fight against the pandemic responsible simply because they had gone against the...
lies told by the [HK] government!
A year later, a comparison between the epidemic situation in Hong Kong and that in Macau and Taiwan of similar cultural background and developmental level unequivocally suggests what the medical personnel in Hong Kong [boldly] struck for back then was absolutely justified and insightful.
Yet, not having admitted a single fault and [nor having] done a tiny bit of introspection, the government is still continuing in its own way. Who “didn’t cooperate with who in the fight against the disease”? It is plain as a pikestaff.
The attitude of Hong Kong government officials remaining unrepentant about and refusing to be held responsible for what they have done has obliterated every remnant of prestige and reputation of the government, which was almost weeded out during the anti-extradition movement two years ago.
Now even the 'blue-ribbon' [pro-CCP HKer] have rallied together [with HK protesters] to lash out at the Hong Kong government for being incompetent!
With its credibility crushed and [an apparent] incapability of showing to the citizens its sincerity and strategies in the fight against the pandemic, the government, however, perseveres in blaming the medical practitioners and citizens for not cooperating with and trusting in the authorities, which is akin to a person who has his credit broken blaming the bank for not lending him money. To the public, the officials are just as bold as brass.
What’s more awful is that what the government has been doing is just opposite to what it has been promoting – “Together, We Fight the Virus”.
A lot of citizens have been surmising from the contradiction between what was said and done that there is a conspiracy behind everything done by the government. Among the conspiracy theories, while some are simply anti-scientific (like doubting if the government has overstated the epidemic conditions and going against vaccination), some are very convincing (like querying the vaccines qualities and if the ban on social gatherings is abused).
Having its credibility broken and prompting the people to query its motive behind all its measures, the government has made the citizens unwilling to cooperate with the authorities, as well as making room for the anti-scientific conspiracy theories to spread out, which is not conducive to the fight against the plague at all.
In fact, that the government has its credibility broken is way more significant than how it handles the epidemic.
Take the fiscal policy as an example. On the one hand, Paul Chan Mo-po (Financial Secretary) harangues the public about the budget deficit, even spreading the news about considering raising taxes; on the other hand, he keeps pouring money into the sea for the project of Lantau Tomorrow Vision!
I would like to ask why the citizens would believe that the government sincerely services Hong Kongers?
Why would they believe the government upholds a set of sensible rationales behind its governance? As the aphorism goes...
“if the people have no faith in their rulers, there is no standing for the state”.
The citizens have lost their faith in the Hong Kong government since long time ago, but the government officials have been denying any problems lying in them and the political system, but in the masses, like what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is always saying: “X should be held fully responsible”.
So, they have had no way of solving the credibility crisis of the government.
At the end of the day, all public policies cannot be pushed through; the governance is dysfunctional; under the mounting tension between the government and the masses, Hong Kong is going to be plunged into a nadir; even prosperity and stability, the only thing the pro-establishment camp is mindful of, will become a hype, let alone freedoms and rule of law!
(Lam Hoi, journalist)
Click here for Chinese version
HKFP 30 January 2021 'How Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam went from blunder to blunder in the fight against Covid-19'
[To most effectively and quickly eradicate COVID-19 HK needs SCIENCE run by scientists; no lies from CCP and HK government politicians!
HK MUST be a democacy under the Joint Declaration. CCP and the current HK government lead by Carrie Lam have no role to play other than upholding the Joint Declataion and all other treaties.
WTPOHK solution: uphold the Joint Declaration, hold a multi-option MBC referendem and take action according to the will of HK people!]
Are the people to blame for the Covid spread – or are we using the wrong control measures?
CapX 14 January 2021 by Prof. Ashley Woodcock (format added)
As we near 100,000 deaths in the UK so far, the Covid-19 epidemic is still accelerating rapidly. But though it looks very much as though the new variant of the virus is more transmissible,
it’s still not clear exactly how it is being transmitted.
The collective dogma, promoted by SAGE in the UK and the CDC across the pond, is that Covid is a flu-like virus transmitted in aerosols. However, current control measures against aerosols (which do seem to be preventing any influenza this year) are ineffective against Covid, short of locking people in their homes.
It seems increasingly likely that the virus is highly infectious by other routes, spreading by direct and indirect contact, droplets, and by faecal-oral transmission.
It is excreted in faeces, is persistent on surfaces in public areas, and could also be present in the cold food chain.
What’s more, recent data from “track and trace” suggests that the greatest risk was visiting a supermarket.
As for transmission by aerosol (small particles), this seems unlikely in the community, outside hospitals, and certainly in the outdoors. Indeed, viable airborne virus in an aerosol has never been detected in the community. It’s worth noting too that viruses like chicken pox and measles, which are transmitted as viable virus in aerosols, have a much higher R0 value than Covid, in the 10-15 range. Even in the close confines of a plane, airborne transmission seems to be an extremely rare event.
Nor does widespread mask-wearing seem to have had much impact on the progress of the epidemic. They get immediately contaminated at the first cough or sneeze, and then contaminate the hands when they are frequently adjusted.
Anyone carrying Covid in their mouth and nose who coughs or sneezes onto the hand will transfer virus onto the door handle, the chilled food in the supermarket, or the food or beer glass they serve in the pub. Physical separation will separate you from cough droplets, but it also reduces mutual physical contacts by maintaining your personal space.
Similarly, inadequate hand washing after using the toilet (>30secs with soap) could result in faecal-oral transmission.
Covid is present in the gastrointestinal tract early and late in the disease. It is found universally and earliest in the mouth/throat, where it forms the basis for all early diagnostic tests. We all touch our faces (and facemasks) frequently, and virus can be transferred from contaminated surfaces, and hands to face/mouth.
It has also been found in faeces and in sewage. We know too that the virus persists on indoor surfaces, especially on stainless steel and plastics, and on mobile phones, cashpoints and supermarket tills for up to 28 days.
Infection in hospitals
In hospitals, SARS-CoV-2 RNA is found widely on surfaces in public areas, which suggests hospitals and hospital staff are a major source of infection.
Increasing numbers of inpatients who arrive with other conditions are developing Covid in hospital.
Hospital staff also have high levels of infection and seropositivity, and they must be a major source of infection both in their own households and the wider community. All of which means that hospital infection control measures require urgent tightening.
Food chain and shops
Another focus of attention should be the food chain and the places we buy food.
It’s possible that Covid could be present in the cold food chain, on food packaging, and by contamination by food handlers.
Food manufacturers and distributors, supermarket shelf-stackers and till operators, waiters and bar staff could all be sources of infection. Covid is killed by heat, but survives much longer in cold conditions and could persist in chilled and frozen foods, or on the packaging.
We saw this in China in early July 2020, when Covid was detected on frozen foods, including their packaging materials and storage environments, with two re-emergent outbreaks linked to contaminated food sources. There have also been large outbreaks amongst workers in a chicken factory and a Danish abattoir. Buffet meals using common serving utensils are a potential risk.
Here in the UK the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have now commissioned research on Covid in food, on packaging, and in shops. It’s possible that the virus could be like Norovirus, which is transmitted by faecal-oral spread from asymptomatic food handlers. Bear in mind that, according to the FSA, between one fifth and one third of norovirus transmission is from salads and berries.
The above data suggests that it may be the control measures rather than individual lapses that are responsible for the escalating epidemic. In addition to the emphasis on maintaining distances and facemasks, Public health strategy should re-focus on improved hygiene to control transmission from contaminated surfaces and via the faecal oral route.
This change in thinking would enable a much more proactive approach to infection control, with a major emphasis on prevention of transmission through improved hygiene.
Here are a number of important steps businesses and other organisations could take to keep vulnerable people separate and safe until they are vaccinated. Some of these steps may seem onerous, but the scale of the epidemic means we must strain every sinew to keep infections as low as possible, especially now the end is in sight.
Use of sanitisers to be compulsory on entry and exit to all supermarkets and shops
Every cash dispenser, supermarket till, credit card machine fitted with automatic hand sanitiser for use before and after.
Test food manufacturers, all parts of the cold chain, and especially food handlers in shops and supermarkets very frequently for SARS-CoV-2
Improve hygiene in the food chain, and especially at supermarkets. Give all workers reinforced training emphasising vigilance and cleaning at every contact
Stop shoppers checking “sell-by-dates’ and returning food back to shelves
Consider mobilising military personnel to help clean hospital public areas, schools, nursing homes, public transport, shops and restaurants
Consider how salads and similar products are irrigated, and the potential for infection.
There are also steps we as individuals can take to try to keep infections as low as possible.
Quarantine all goods coming into the home and wash food packaging with soap or alcohol. There’s guidance on how to do this here.
All elderly and vulnerable wear and then rinse reusable rubber gloves in detergent to be used for receiving post, newspaper, food deliveries
Vulnerable people avoid uncooked foods, salads and shop-bought sandwiches
Clean your homes – every surface, tap, door handle, utensil and crockey, as well as cars and clothing.
All clothes used in last 72 hours go into hot wash cycle.
Repeating this exercise several times would be an effective supplement to lockdown.