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Top Alberta doc urges health officials follow Great Barrington Declaration

Dr. Roger Hodkinson says the virus is no worse than a “bad flu” and told the committee it should follow the doctrine set out in the declaration.

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A senior Alberta doctor who caused a firestorm after an address about COVID-19 to a city of Edmonton council committee says all businesses should be allowed open and lives return to normal, as recommended by the Great Barrington Declaration.

Dr. Roger Hodkinson says the virus is no worse than a “bad flu” and told the committee it should follow the doctrine set out in the declaration.

Called the Great Barrington Declaration, the group issued a letter in October saying “as infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold.

“Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed.

“Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.”

The declaration was signed in Great Barrington, Mass., by Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School.

It was co-signed by 20 other medical experts. Since being posted online tens of thousands of other doctors have signed it and thousands of members of the public around the world have signed in support.

The group said lockdowns around the world are causing more problems than they solve.

“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice,” the declaration reads.

“Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

“We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

“By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. “

Canada has seen 314,000 cases of coronavirus resulting in 11,248 deaths. Worldwide, there has been 55.6 million cases with 1.34 million deaths.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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BREAKING: Alberta relaxing some COVID restrictions

Shandro announced Thursday afternoon personal services – like hair salons and barbers – will be allowed to reopen, but by appointment only.

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Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro says the province is loosening some of its COVID-19 regulations as of Monday.

Shandro announced Thursday afternoon personal services – like hair salons and barbers – will be allowed to reopen, but by appointment only.

Restrictions meaning only ten people are allowed at funerals will be relaxed to allow 20. But receptions afterward are still banned.

Outdoor gatherings will now be allowed, but with a maximum of 10 people, and if they follow COVID social distancing requirements. Indoor gatherings are still banned.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw said the province has logged 967 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 21 more deaths, with a positivity rate of 5.8 per cent.

The numbers are “coming down in a reassuring way,” said Hinshaw, when questioned about the relaxation of the rules.

“Although we’ve seen a decline in transmission, our health-care system is still at risk. We must remain diligent in our efforts to bring our numbers down even further. By easing some measures like outdoor gathering limits, we hope to support Albertans’ mental health, while still following other restrictions that are helping us reduce case numbers,” said Hinshaw.

Premier Jason Kenney said: “This limited easing of restrictions is possible thanks to the efforts of Albertans over the past few weeks. But, we need to be careful that we don’t reduce too early and risk the steady improvements we’ve made since November.”

Hinshaw added there were still openings for health care workers to receive a vaccine this weekend and encouraged them to book an appointment. Shandro said there are 16,000 available vaccination appointments.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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WATCH: Police shown beating 64-year-old man in Ontario

The officer takes a quick look back and when he sees he is being videoed, yells out: “Stop resisting.”

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A police officer in Guelph, Ont., has been videoed beating a man on the front porch of his home.

The video, posted to Twitter Wednesday, shows a police officer straddling the 64-year-old man and landing a heavy punch to his face and another one to his head.

The officer takes a quick look back and when he sees he is being videoed, yells out: “Stop resisting.”

Another officer arrives and the pair drag the man into his doorway as they continue to try and handcuff him.

Video from Guelph

“Look at what the the officer is doing,” exclaims the cameraman, who alleges the officer also kneed the man in the head. That is not shown in the video.

“This is an old, frail man they are doing this to.”

The man screams in agony and yells expletives as the video goes off.

Guelph police issued a statement on the arrest.

“On January 12, 2021, at 1:13pm, members of the Guelph Police Service found an adult male out front of a residence. The male was wanted on a warrant from the Huronia West Division of the Ontario Provincial Police,” said the release.

“As police tried to arrest the male, a struggle ensued as he resisted arrest. Ultimately police were able to gain control and placed him under arrest.

“A 64-year-old Guelph male has been additionally charged with Resist Arrest. He will appear in court on April 30, 2021 to answer to this charge and was subsequently released.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Horgan seeking legal advice on banning other Canadians from entering BC

He has mused about the idea before, but most pundits believe such a move would be unconstitutional.

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BC Premier John Horgan has brought in his lawyers to ask them whether he has the constitutional authority to ban residents from other provinces from entering his province’s borders.

He has mused about the idea before, but most pundits believe such a move would be clearly unconstitutional.

Horgan said Thursday he and other NDP cabinet ministers will discuss the travel ban in a virtual meeting later in the day.

“People have been talking about a ban for months and months, as you know, and I think it’s time we put it to bed finally and say either, ‘We can do it, and this is how we can do it,’ or ‘We can’t,'” Horgan told a press conference.

“We have been trying our best to find a way to meet that objective … in a way that’s consistent with the charter and other fundamental rights here in Canada. So, legal advice is what we’ve sought.”

Horgan wants to put the ban in place to try and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Section 6. (2) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states, “

Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right: to move to and take up residence in any province; [and] to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.”

The premier admitted news across the country of politicians jetting out of the country for sand and surf destinations had “led to a firestorm of frustration and anger.”

“On the surface, a ban would seem an easy thing to do — to just tell people not to come here. That’s not part and parcel of who we are as Canadians,” Horgan said.

In November, Horgan said: “We need a pan-Canadian approach to travel. People in Quebec and Manitoba should stay in Quebec and Manitoba.

“We want to make sure we have an approach to travel not inconsistent with citizenship. Non-essential travel should not be happening in British Columbia,” he said.

So far, BC has had over 59,000 cases of COVID-19 with 1,031 deaths.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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