Talk:COVID-19

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ToDos: Request for Support[edit source]

In the following list there are listed some ToDo

ToDo Description Status/User
Portal:Epidemiology Create Portal:Epidemiology and make COVID-19 listed as learning resource (see Portal:Agriculture as example) Open
Translation Support translation of the learning resource in different languages - look in both direction learn from learning resources in other language and transfer to the english learning resource and vice-versa. Open
Translation IT Maintain the learning resource in the italian language Work in Progress -
Translation FR Maintain the learning resource in the french language - relevant for France, African countries, parts of Canada, ... Open
Translation ES Maintain the learning resource in the spanish language - relevant for Spain, South America, ... Open
Translation DE Maintain the learning resource in the german language Work in Progress -
Template Import Template Import from Wikipedia for highlighting that a learning resource is refering to a current event DONE - --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 08:20, 31 March 2020 (UTC)I[reply]

Adjusted number of cases[edit source]

I would like to share an idea to have a more precise understanding of the number of cases of COVID-19. Please, see it at COVID-19/Julian_Mendez. --Julian (discusscontribs) 14:51, 16 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you for sharing this. Joint effort to maintain the learning resource is highly appreciated. I guess you want to support the mathematical forcast of the development. Please see COVID-19/Mathematical Modelling if you want add you support there. Thank you for the support to update the learning resource! Would you like to take responsibility for the specific subtopic or could you explain how you would like to join a collaborative effort! Thank you. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 12:58, 17 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you very much for your response. I just added a subsection with my contribution. --Julian (discusscontribs) 20:38, 21 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Where should this be put? Helping Give Away Psychological Science/Coping with Coronavirus and other Epidemics DMBFFF (discusscontribs) 05:03, 18 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@DMBFFF: As a link under See Also would be a good start. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:18, 18 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Done.   :)   DMBFFF (discusscontribs) 23:54, 18 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

News[edit source]

Please add COVID-19 to Main Page/News when you are ready for additional participants. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:32, 18 March 2020 (UTC) DONE - Thank you Dave --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 09:14, 21 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

External Links[edit source]

Just wondering if you would consider adding the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to the External Links section of your article? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 02:33, 24 March 2020 (UTC) (please ping me when replying)[reply]

Social distancing[edit source]

Here is an interesting article by National Geographic on social distancing in the USA during the "Spanish" Flu pandemic [1] ~ R.T.G 14:28, 30 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Added an subsection to COVID-19/Social Distancing you might want to add the reference there --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 06:27, 1 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
YesY Done ~ R.T.G 23:11, 3 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Addition of a subpage: Summary of All COVID-19 Projects[edit source]

I have added a subpage: Summary of All COVID-19 Projects. I have put it under subpage section. As I am new here, I don't know if it is appropriate to put it there. Move the subpage to anywhere you think it is appropriate. Thanks! -Ignorance999 (discusscontribs) 10:53, 31 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Import Coronavirus Tech Handbook?[edit source]

Is it possible to take some CC-BY-SA 4.0 content from the Coronavirus Tech Coronavirus Tech Handboook and incorporate into here? --Charles Jeffrey Danoff (discusscontribs) 03:46, 2 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

@Charles Jeffrey Danoff: You can use Tech Handbook due to CC-BY-SA 4.0 to transform that into a learning resource. Keep in mind that Wikiversity is learning resource (capacity building) and learners should be enabled to understand the technical requirements and constraints during the Corona virus pandemics. These technical requirements and constraints come up e.g. because people cannot meet physically face-to-face and must use videoconferencing, share files, share screens, exchange data peer-to-peer, then learning objective is to understand these technical requirements and even setting up an own video conferencing server (Open Source Jitsi or Big Blue Button) to understand principle in Local Area Network, bandwidth requirements for DSL upstream, security aspects, ... Open Source and Open Content are crucial for the approach so that learners can perform the learning task without the requirement to buy a product or service. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 07:03, 2 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future[edit source]

I found this on the World Health Organization's website: A self-directed course for journalists 2020 at: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/training/online-training#journalist Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 01:39, 23 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

A video of the webinar for Journalists held at the end of January is available at https://journalismcourses.org/webinar-covering-the-covid-19-vaccine-what-journalists-need-to-know/
(also available on youtube):

Covering the COVID-19 vaccine: What journalists need to know" was organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas in partnership with UNESCO and the World Health Organization, with funding from the European Union. It will feature three panels led by journalists, medical experts, and researchers who will offer insights on immediate issues of relevance related to the COVID-19 vaccination development and rollout.

  • 0:00​ Introductory remarks
  • 21:18​ Panel 1: Vaccine Journalism
  • 1:04:07​ Panel 2: Vaccine Science
  • 2:04:43​ Panel 3: Vaccine Logistic
Comments? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 17:43, 25 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Covid vaccines[edit source]

Is there a page somewhere on Covid vaccines? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 23:19, 16 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

From a search around Wikiversity, there hasn't been any extensive pages on it. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 01:25, 17 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Covid on a global decline?[edit source]

The graphs at: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases show a five week decline in the global number of new covid cases and a 2 week decline n the number of deaths. Since there are many different covid-meters I wonder if this view is universal? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 18:37, 12 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

During the last two weeks there has been a resurge of both new cases and deaths due to covid reported in the graphs on the ECDC (w:European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) website. Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 16:30, 21 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

New cases spiking across the world?[edit source]

The graph at the ECDC is showing a big spike in the number of new cases world-wide, this after increases in the preceding four weeks. Even the USA is now seeing a small increase in the number of new cases, despite an aggressive vaccination program. Is this a new trend or just a blip? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 15:18, 1 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Worrying. It may just be that people are returning to ignorance and are, therefore, catching the virus by the masses. I hope that this is just a slip up and we'll return to steady decreases. For a reference at what I'm getting at, see https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/543243-hundreds-of-spring-breakers-ignoring-covid-19-rules-arrested-in-miami. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 03:29, 2 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the reference, @Atcovi. I wonder how many other countries have a w:spring break? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 17:02, 2 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Many. Unfortunately I fear cases will be spiking, but I hope I'm proven wrong. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 03:09, 3 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Cases worldwide still going up, and deaths have also started increasing in the last two weeks. In the USA it appears that spring break contributed since the majority of new cases are in states such as Florida (where spring break partiers go to) and New York (where spring break partiers come from and return to). Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 15:54, 8 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Why don't we know if vaccinated people can still carry the virus?[edit source]

I hear many science-experts say on TV that even those who have been vaccinated may still carry the virus. If this is so, why hasn't anyone done a study in which vaccinated people get tested? I hope it is acceptable to ask such questions here? Thanks in advance Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 23:01, 8 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Vaccination policy and misinformation/disinformation[edit source]

If someone does not wish to be vaccinated, is it necessarily because they are misinformed? Why presume that disinformation is produced with the intent of discouraging vaccination? If anything, incredulous misinformation/disinformation tends to undermine and debase legitimate objections. It is very unlikely for a healthy individual to die of covid. Therefore, it's reasonable that one might have safety concerns about vaccination or ideological objections to compulsory vaccination. It is entirely unreasonable to force vaccination or impose an undue burden upon those who do not wish to be vaccinated. AP295 (discusscontribs) 19:02, 12 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Let me play devil's advocate:
In the United States, which continues to have the dubious distinction of having the largest number of COVID cases in the world, only half the population has been vaccinated. I am lead to believe that almost all hospitalizations and deaths recently have occurred in those who have not been vaccinated. There have been scientific studies that confirm this, apparently.
You may be right that a single individual is not likely to die of COVID even if they are unvaccinated - it would be interesting to come up with the probability of this happening as time goes by. But there are also other things to consider:
  • Even if they do not die, a large number of COVID positive individuals suffer long term, sometime debilitating symptoms
  • A person who contracts COVID transmits the disease to up to eight(?) others, in other words the infection rate grows exponentially.
  • As long as the virus stays in circulation it continues to mutate. There are concerns that it may eventually mutate into a variant that will be harder or even impossible to contain than the Delta variant which is now the prevalent form in circulation, which is already far worse than the virus discovered in Wuhan in 2019
  • Society must bear the financial cost of treating COVID patients
No one wants to force vaccination on others, but since unvaccinated people pose a danger to others what else can a society do to eradicate this disease? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 19:15, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ottawahitech: "A large number" I don't mean to be pedantic, but you'll have to define what you mean by that. Who is suffering long-term debilitating symptoms? Are they people with preexisting conditions? The prognosis seems very good for the vast majority of the population, if they even catch it in the first place. More broadly, what is the social cost of simply letting covid run its course? Would people not develop natural immunity? Lockdowns certainly aren't doing any favors for our economy (except maybe for Amazon), and vaccination costs money as well (a bit over $9,000,000,000 to buy a single $30 vaccine for each american, this doesn't include all the government grants pharmaceutical companies were given to develop it.) . Consider also what I've written below. The 85+ age group has more fatalities than any other, followed by 75-84, and so on: [2]. Is this not to some extent an instance of mortality displacement? Is it good reason to force every child and young adult to receive a vaccine in order to return to school and participate in social events? Personally I'm not going to get an injection every time there's a terrifying new variant and J&J or whoever want to make a buck. I don't subscribe to flu vaccines either. AP295 (discusscontribs) 21:04, 20 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
And not to belabor the point, but we should discuss these things in terms of percentages or per-capita figures rather than "large numbers". Otherwise it is difficult for people to evaluate risk, and I consider it FUD. Whenever the media attempts to manufacture a perception of crisis, they tend to use raw numbers. Let's not follow their example. AP295 (discusscontribs) 12:45, 21 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I'll state my point more directly: By supporting and complying with policies like mandatory vaccination, we incentivize fearmongering and corruption. The powers that be can manufacture a crisis any time they want public money, or to reinforce their authority, or to constrain public liberty. I'm not just writing this for the sake of being contrarian. This is a very common pattern in public relations lately and it's dangerous. I'd gladly risk covid-19 to prevent an Orwellian future. To be very clear, I'm not against vaccines at all. If these pharmaceutical companies make useful, effective medicine, then people will use it if they feel they need to. When it becomes mandatory and people no longer have a choice in the matter because their livelihood or ability to participate in society is withheld, then pharmaceutical companies only have to appeal to the small set of people who make these laws and policies rather than make medicine that is useful to the end user. Does this incentivize the development of safe and effective medicine or does it incentivize corruption? I hope it's clear to people that it incentivizes corruption. This has nothing to do with "trusting in science" or "believing in science" anything of the sort. I firmly believe we will be better off in the long run without vaccine mandates. It's extremely disturbing that many people seem to think that policies like this are "scientific" or "progressive" or otherwise existing within the imaginary pantheon of "politically correct", socially responsible ideas, and I don't understand it in the slightest. Pharmaceutical companies will always be out to make money, politicians and other authority figures cannot generally be relied upon to resist multiple interests (we should support those who do). It is you and I who stand nothing to gain from this and have a lot to lose, and so it is upon us to think critically and not take the path of least resistance. AP295 (discusscontribs) 16:32, 22 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@AP295: (you said): I'd gladly risk covid-19 to prevent an Orwellian future
This statement does not tell us enough. For example: if you have no dependents it means you are only risking yourself and those who love you. Otherwise you may be risking much more, for example if you are the bread-winner in the family and end up being killed by COVID, should your dependents have a say in your decision? Who should pay the medical costs of treating you? I understand that Regeneron is now available to anyone sick with COVID, and I saw somewhere that is costs $1,500 per dose. I also read somewhere (baseless gossip?) that Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, who has contracted COVID recently has undergone Regeneron treatment.
There's no reason one can't be vaccinated while opposing mandates themselves, e.g. by expressing disapproval or refusing to show their proof of vaccination. I'm not at all suggesting that one should refuse vaccination, but that they should respect the decisions of others despite the very minor increase in risk to themselves. Most people tend not to though (or at least, they become indifferent to mandatory vaccination) because when there appears to be a politicized "debate" and an air of uncertainty they want others to validate their decision and reassure them. People who make the opposite choice may be an (albeit minor) threat to their confidence and ego, but we need not think along such lines.
pharmaceutical companies only have to appeal to the small set of people who make these laws and policies
Yes it is a small set of people (define "small" in terms of %) who make decisions for the rest of the nation. Is this not what democracy means? Society votes for putting in power those "few" who end up creating laws and policies for others. Are you suggesting democracy does not work?
Do not conflate potential conflicts between corporate and public interests, or the policies that may follow, with democracy. If people can be forced to get a medical treatment against their will, then pharmaceutical companies have less incentive to develop safe and effective medicine because they can make money more easily by negotiating with those who can enact such mandates. I'm not necessarily saying that this is the case here, but clearly the potential for multiple interests exists and is much higher if we accept such mandates and this may have far-reaching negative consequences.
Take for example, w:Scott Gottlieb. According to his bio, he has gone back and forth between the private sector and the FDA for most of his career. I'll repeat the first couple sentences of his Wikipedia bio here, because they're a real gem: "Scott Gottlieb (born June 11, 1972) is an American physician and investor who served as the 23rd commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2017 until April 2019. He is presently a resident fellow at the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a partner at the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA),[1] [2] a member of the board of directors of drug maker Pfizer, Inc,[3] a member of the board of directors of Illumina, Inc.,[4] a contributor to the cable financial news network CNBC, and a frequent guest on CBS' Face the Nation. He is the author of the forthcoming book Uncontrolled Spread". Would you call this "democracy"? Please. It's an unmitigated travesty. A farce. An abject failure of democracy. And now tens of millions of healthy young Americans are being forced to undergo a medical procedure of dubious necessity and unproven safety, lest they be thrown out of public education and/or be fired from their job. Completely unacceptable. AP295 (discusscontribs) 15:22, 26 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Are you saying that:
  • covid is not serious enough to require mandatory vaccination
  • covid is not serious enough to require vaccination at all
  • covid vaccines should not have been developed with public money
  • covid can be eradicated without lockdowns and without vaccinations (let the disease run its course) Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 19:28, 23 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The danger of covid does seem overstated to me, but this isn't exactly the point I'm trying to make. We are extremely risk-averse, and this makes us an easy target for fearmongering and being taken advantage of. I don't have a problem with government grants for research per se. My question earlier may have seemed rhetorical, so I'll ask it again: Does mandatory vaccination incentivize the development of safe and effective medicine or does it incentivize corruption? And why do you presume that covid can be eradicated in the first place? Is this a realistic goal? As I understand, it would be nearly impossible to eradicate the flu or common cold. Many organizations seem to exempt vaccinated individuals from surveillance like regular covid tests. If vaccination mitigates the symptoms (which sometimes go unnoticed anyway) but does not stop someone from spreading covid, then doesn't this make it difficult to track the spread of covid? It seems like they're more interested in creating an inconvenience for people who do not wish to be vaccinated than they are in tracking covid itself. There is nothing whatsoever about this that sits well with me. Are you not the least bit concerned that there may be ulterior motives? AP295 (discusscontribs) 16:36, 24 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
One more comment, again to clarify my point. It seems to me as though many people who oppose the vaccine do so because they have safety concerns. However, the powers that be may have an interest in encouraging this particular type of skepticism and speculation. If and when long term trials show it to be safe and/or effective, people who were on the fence will breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why they ever doubted, but most will forget completely about the tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars in USD and other assets that changed hands during the "pandemic". To be completely honest, I do personally have safety concerns, but even more I am concerned about the fact that people seem so receptive to FUD, and those who do have a critical eye tend to be misguided (perhaps intentionally) in their criticism. This cheapens the quality of public dialog and the quality our culture in general, and I am upset by this. AP295 (discusscontribs) 16:14, 25 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@AP295: May I ask you some questions:
  • You say that many people who oppose the vaccine do so because they have safety concerns. Do yo have statistics that support this assertion or is it based on anecdotal information? Let's talk in percentages: what is your estimate of the percent of those who oppose vaccines who do so because of legitimate safety concerns that override the risks posed by infection? Does the removal of the emergency use designation by the FDA affect this percentage?
No, it's merely a supposition on my part, but this is somewhat beside the point I'm trying to make. AP295 (discusscontribs)
  • Since mandates are still far and few between: How many of those who oppose vaccines have been forced to vaccinate?
Mandates are not few and far between. If you need a vaccine to attend college or to continue working, then it is effectively mandatory. AP295 (discusscontribs)
  • The recently available information from the CDC indicates that people who are fully vaccinated are five times less likely to be infected regardless of severity, which means they are at least five times less likely to transmit COVID to others (they are 29 times less likely to be hospitalized or to die from COVID). If an employer wants to know whether a an employee has been vaccinated it is likely they have a good reason to ask. For example a hospital may not want employees who are more likely to transmit COVID to patients. Do you believe it is not in the best interest of the hospital to provide assurances to the public?
I do not necessarily care what is in the best interest of any particular hospital. Rather, I am concerned for the long-term interest of the public. The public interest extends beyond the covid pandemic, does it not? AP295 (discusscontribs)
  • You say you believe that mandatory vaccination incentivizes corruption, but I am not sure what you mean. Do you mean pharmaceutical companies are induced to pay a bribe to politicians?
Again, it should be obvious why there exists strong potential for conflicts of interest. Not necessarily a monetary bribe, but any quid pro quo relationship between officials and pharmaceutical companies. It's hardly a stretch of the imagination. AP295 (discusscontribs)
  • I assume you do not believe COVID can be eradicated? It is true that vaccines have not eradicated the flu (yet), but smallpox has been declared eradicated worldwide, and other diseases, polio for example, pose much less risk than they once did. So why not COVID?
It is my understanding that covid can be transmitted by animals other than humans and this makes eradication a very unlikely proposition. Correct me if I'm wrong. AP295 (discusscontribs)
Thanks for your continued interest. Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 15:58, 31 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ottawahitech: My interest stems from the fact that millions of healthy Americans (including myself) have been handed an ultimatum: either receive this new vaccine or do not come to school and/or work. Thanks to the work of Dr. Peter McCullough, I now understand that covid-19 is indeed treatable, a fact which many media platforms (such as youtube) have apparently gone to some effort to sweep under the carpet. And the current VAERS data does not exactly bear out a great picture of safety for the vaccines so even if you believe that mandating vaccination is ethical and well-advised, is it not worth it to compare the frequency and severity of vaccine side effects with the frequency and severity of covid 19 infections in a given population (such as college students) before issuing mandates? Critical perspectives are not necessarily "conspiracies" or "disinformation", and it's disturbing that platforms like youtube have been removing content (such as Dr. McCullough's videos) that is contrary to or critical of what the FDA has published. I am not a medical doctor nor was I aware of McCullough's work until just recently, but he seems to be someone who can speak with authority. The media have been dishonest and I see no reason why one should be convinced by their repeated assertions of the vaccine's safety. Considering all this, I believe that the choice should ultimately be left up to the individual, regardless of how safe or effective a vaccine is professed or appears to be. It is unrealistic to expect honesty from the mass media or to expect that public servants will not be involved in multiple interests. If our culture does not allow for an individual to make their own decisions without being painted as anti-science, anti-intellectual, or anti-social then we have little defense against such evils. AP295 (discusscontribs) 13:46, 7 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


@Ottawahitech: The webinar linked in your section "Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future" might be a good example to look at. There are two presumptions that seem common in mass media: 1) that most people who do not wish to be vaccinated are necessarily misinformed and 2) that misinformation is the only reason a significant percentage of any given population might choose to remain unvaccinated. It's part of a broader pattern where critical thought and personal agency are portrayed as anti-social or anti-intellectual qualities, and I find this trend disturbing. It takes advantage of our social insecurities to modify our behavior, with implications like you are intellectually vulnerable [to disinformation] if you do not wish to be vaccinated. AP295 (discusscontribs) 16:16, 13 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Perhaps what I find most troubling about this is the anti-intellectual/skeptic archetype, which is aggressively promoted by the media and online influencers. How do we picture someone who does not wish to be vaccinated? As someone who's uneducated, or willfully ignorant, or inherently distrustful? A luddite? Anti-social, perhaps? For the elderly, getting vaccinated is probably a rational decision. But what about people under thirty-five? Far more people in that age group have died of car accidents in 2020 than of covid, and the number of flu deaths for people under fifty is on the same order of magnitude. Many of the people I know who've been vaccinated experienced side effects and some of them were bedridden for a day or so. No covid vaccine has full FDA approval as of the time I'm writing this, but even if they did (and presumably they will eventually) can anyone in that age group really be called an idiot if they opt not to vaccinate? Many universities are trying to force students to take a vaccination. You can call it a public health issue, but you know what else is a public health issue? Metabolic syndrome. Yet the FDA doesn't even require food companies to state sugar content in teaspoons on nutrition labels. Most Americans have no idea what X grams of sugar looks like because most recipes and measuring spoons here are given in teaspoons and tablespoons. Yet many authorities seem to have no problem with requiring millions of children and young adults to take an unapproved (but "authorized") vaccine. Funny they're so concerned about our health when there's something that must be bought with public money. This isn't to say that anyone shouldn't get the vaccine, but that the choice should remain up to the individual. And I resent the media's tendency to characterize critical perspectives as ignorant, anti-intellectual, or somehow anti-science. Diseases of affluence like metabolic syndrome are a far greater threat to public health than covid. Medicare alone comprises a larger part of the federal budget than defense. Add medicaid and it's well over a trillion dollars in 2020. Conversely it would cost us very little, for example, limit the amount of sugar in bottled beverages or discourage their consumption through other means. So I cannot take it seriously when pundits and politicians try to stop us from participating in our own societies unless we get a vaccine, on the grounds that covid is a "public health crisis". It's blatant hypocrisy, complete bullshit. As soon as the people who're on their last legs as a consequence of their sedentary lifestyle and steady diet of grease and coca cola start to kick the bucket after getting covid, it's a "crisis" and we must all be vaccinated. I realize that covid can be dangerous to healthy people, but it's apparently much more dangerous to the very old and people with preexisting conditions. Mortality displacement should not be misrepresented and used for fearmongering. People have a great fear of indiscriminate tragedy (which is also why the term "mass shooting" has been forced into our lexicon by the media) and politicians and the media use this to take advantage of people.

Is nobody else just a bit miffed by all the nonsense we're subjected to? AP295 (discusscontribs) 14:32, 16 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Should mandates be imposed?[edit source]

(Continuing to play devil's advocate)

I agree that Critical perspectives are not necessarily "conspiracies" or "disinformation", but that does not mean that mandates should not be imposed and that choice should ultimately be left up to the individual.

Unfortunately there are too many individuals who refuse the vaccines, many without much thought and without considering the effects their actions are having on others. The United States has made great strides towards herd immunity, but there are still pockets of the country where COVID is increasing. I understand from news reports that in places like Alaska, Idaho, and some other states, hospitals have reached saturation rates. That means that anyone who needs to be treated, for say a car accident, will either be refused a hospital bed, or will require to cessation of care of someone else who has a worse prognosis for survival. How would you feel if you were injured and required hospitalization under such a circumstance? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 20:16, 8 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I've answered a couple rounds of your questions now. I'd like you to take into consideration the potential for vaccine mandates (and other various measures enforced in the name of "public health" while conveniently providing kickbacks to the pharmaceutical industry and in turn politicians) to create conflicts of interest that are ultimately detrimental to public health and quality of life at large. According to Dr. McCullough [3], covid-19 is treatable through a combination of prescription drugs that can be taken at home at the time of diagnosis. To take a quote from the interview: "every form of pneumonia known to man does better if treated early". To paraphrase one of his main points: The reason so many people were hospitalized in the first place is because the FDA (along with other officials) severely discouraged treatment with drugs and that this constitutes malfeasance on their part. I can't do the video justice by summarizing it here, so you're better off watching it. However, one doesn't have to be a medical doctor to understand that the cultural acceptance/normalization of things like vaccine mandates incentivizes corruption and does not necessarily incentivize the development/use of safe and effective medicine. Earlier in the talk page I used the phrase fear of indiscriminate tragedy and I believe a lot of the propaganda we're subject to exploits this fear. I'm not saying that you intended your comment to be FUD, but it certainly appeals to one's fear of indiscriminate tragedy. As I had said before, a high level of risk aversion makes one vulnerable to this sort of propaganda, and it behooves us to remain cognizant of this fear and be willing to accept small risks when the alternative may also have far reaching consequences. AP295 (discusscontribs) 17:44, 11 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
And another interesting point from that interview, he states that many of his peers in the medical industry remained uncritical of the recommendations made by government agencies like the FDA. While I am very thankful for his work and his advocacy efforts like that interview, I just as easily may never have come across it. I'd like to repeat one of my earlier points: it doesn't take medical expertise to recognize conflicts of interests (e.g. the potential for officials to be involved in multiple interests) . The powers that be seem to want to encourage a culture of uncritical deference, and frequently promote the idea that critical perspectives or discourse involving "non-experts" is somehow characteristic of ignorance or of being misinformed. Experts themselves often must defer because it will often hurt their careers to do otherwise. It's often only the least credible criticism that the media promotes and uses as a strawman, while media like that interview get quietly swept under the carpet. You can't even find it on youtube. This gives us a very warped view of what it means to be "critical" and tends to discourage critical thought/discourse itself. It's a public relations strategy that robs our culture of dialectic. AP295 (discusscontribs) 15:44, 12 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
not sure what interview you are referring to. As far as Dr McCullough I found this on Wikipedia w:Peter A. McCullough. Is this the the one you are talking about? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 23:14, 14 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Correct, here are a couple relevant papers [4] [5]. I also found the interview I linked earlier to be very informative. His wiki bio is actually a perfect example of how criticism is conflated with misinformation. What reason would this man have to lie? He was the vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, apparently right up until he took a critical stance against the recommendations made by officials. Clearly it didn't help his career, he's thanked for his honesty by being dismissed, censored, and defamed on Wikipedia. Is this the "freedom of press" we're so proud of? I don't know how anyone can look at this sequence of events and not be entirely disgusted. AP295 (discusscontribs) 17:49, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
But in fact, his treatment is likely standard operating procedure in the public relations strategy I'm describing. If credible voices of criticism are eliminated, then we acquire a skewed perspective of critical discourse itself. It's very depressing to watch. It may be even more effective than overt censorship. Critical discourse becomes a strawman when its only representatives are people who cannot speak with authority on any given topic. AP295 (discusscontribs) 18:24, 15 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@AP295: Do you agree that Dr Mccullough is pushing the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID?
Here is what enwiki says about this topic
Hydroxychloroquine has been studied for an ability to prevent and treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19), but clinical trials found it ineffective for this purpose and a possible risk of dangerous side effects. The speculative use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID‑19 threatens its availability for people with established indications
Is this paragraph misinformed in your opinion? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 20:24, 17 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


He (and about two-dozen coauthors) advocate multi-drug treatments in [6], which include Hydroxychloroquine. It's stated in the paper that multi-drug therapies are typically needed to combat serious viral infections and that "no single therapeutic option has been entirely effective" thus far. While I am not an MD, it is not clear to me how that paragraph in his Wikipedia BLP refutes or stands in contradiction to that research. If you can show me any high-quality research that does, I will not press the issue any further. Again though, what reason would this man have to lie? According to the paper, "The majority of serious viral infections require early treatment with multiple agents and this approach has not been applied in trials of COVID-19 sponsored by governments or industry.". Perhaps the recommendations in that paper are based mostly on the clinical experiences and prior knowlege of the authors, but it hardly seems fair to call such professional judgement "misinformation", especially if it can't even be refuted now with the benefit of hindsight.
I'm not on some mission-from-god here. I am told I have to take a new vaccine in order to participate in society, and I am expected to put my full trust in it and keep any "misinformed" opinions to myself. Yet when critics are browbeat and defamed (after making some very good points) I hardly feel inclined to put any trust in it whatsoever. AP295 (discusscontribs) 13:14, 19 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
One more thing, he does state in the interview (around 44:55, but also earlier in the interview as well) that there exists research to substantiate the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin and discusses some of it briefly. I haven't looked into it yet. AP295 (discusscontribs) 16:53, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Which medical experts should we listen to?[edit source]

I for one, am grateful to @AP295: for daring to voice skepticism that is obviously shared by many Anti-vaxers. Indeed why do we expect everyone to take a vaccine that is relatively new, with swirling information/disinformation about its efficacy and safety? Having said this, let me continue playing w:devil's advocate:

Back to Dr w:Peter A. McCullough who provides information AP295 labels as "professional judgement" (remember McCullough is a w:cardiologist, not an infectious diseases expert). Since AP295 asked what McCulough has to gain from dissemination of misinformation, I wondered if McCullough makes a lot of money from his obvious current popularity on Social Media, enough to compensate him for the loss of income he must have experienced as a result of becoming a w:pariah in medical circles? Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 17:20, 22 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

That does not seem likely at all considering youtube takes down his videos. Unless he has millions of fans on some other site, I'm sure he'd make more money as a cardiologist. Since covid-19 is a SARS virus and attacks the cardiovascular system, I don't see why a cardiologist necessarily wouldn't be able to speak with some authority regarding its treatment. Even if he weren't a cardiologist or infectious disease expert, we should generally avoid ad hominem arguments. (see: [7]) And for the record, I'm not an "anti-vaxxer". Vaccination has saved countless lives. I only believe that nobody should be forced to take them, because it creates a conflict of interest. Even if McCullough and his coauthors are wrong (and it seems like they aren't) , the potential for conflicts of interest should still be a concern. I didn't even find his work until well after I started the discussion here. AP295 (discusscontribs) 13:26, 23 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


@Ottawahitech: Not to belabor the point, but it seems like there are many people who believe forced vaccination is justified in the name of public health. To be clear, by "forced vaccination" or "mandatory vaccination" I'm referring to any set of policies or laws (e.g. policy at a place of employment, federal or state or local law, schools or university policy, etc.) that threaten one's livelihood should one decide not to vaccinate. Perhaps there are even people who believe that suppressing the treatment of covid-19 (e.g. by Dr. McCullough's multi-drug outpatient treatment) is justified in order to manage public opinion and facilitate herd immunity by way of vaccination. In other words, they are not opposed to forced vaccination on an ideological level. I've generally tried to avoid appealing to ideology in part for this reason, but also because it seems unnecessary. As far as I know, the natural immunity that one acquires after fighting off covid-19 is incontrovertibly superior to vaccination. If treatments for covid-19 are inexpensive and effective at reducing mortality and long-term damage from covid-19, then would it not make sense to treat covid-19 and let people acquire natural immunity? The argument that draconian mandates are necessary to facilitate herd immunity seems to ring hollow. It's hardly reassuring when the powers that be are scrambling to suppress information, using ad hominem attacks and censorship, portraying critics as "anti-science", contaminating reasonable discourse with actual disinformation, and generally applying all manner of less-than-honest means of social engineering in order to force people to take a new drug. This is does not sit well with me. Maybe they or you know something I do not. Am I a dunce? Am I missing something obvious? If so then I'd hope someone would explain it to me. From my point of view, these circumstances both disfavor the public interest and are antithetical to the ideals and principles that I value personally. AP295 (discusscontribs) 16:42, 6 November 2021 (UTC) .[reply]
Edit: Pinging Ottawahitech in case they have any comments. Ottawahitech, not to put you on the spot, but what do you think should be done with this resource? It seems to ignore the elephant in the room. From what I understand, it's generally discourteous to edit a resource without first discussing any changes with the usual editors of that resource. We've been having this dialog for some weeks now, you understand my point of view. Would it be appropriate (for example) to cite the papers and the interview that I've linked? Are there any medical doctors on Wikiversity who can vet such material or any additions to the resource? AP295 (discusscontribs) 17:24, 6 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ottawahitech: And just to be clear by "vet", I did not mean "endorse". Part of the problem here is that incredulous disinformation is often disseminated with the intent of obscuring legitimate criticism, journalism and research. Sometimes the incredulity is obvious, sometimes it's not so obvious. The papers and the interview I cited earlier seem very genuine (if not, give McCullough an Emmy Award), but I'd feel more comfortable adding them (or any other material) to the resource if a couple more people would review the work and confirm that it does not belong to the domain of kookdom. However, if there isn't anyone willing to review it, I'd still like to add it with your permission. At the very least, he makes several insightful cultural observations and if nobody can refute the main points that he's making, I don't mind going out on a limb and adding it. AP295 (discusscontribs) 14:50, 8 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@AP295: Why not check at the Wikiversity:Colloquium if you are not sure? I believe this is what others do here. More later... Ottawahitech (discusscontribs) 02:47, 10 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Ottawahitech: Well, this is the resource in question. Maybe I'll do that at some point. In terms of other specific suggestions, I don't like how this sentence is worded: "How the actual curves or resulting recommendations look like should only be perceived from officially authorized or from scientifically proven sources not from this learning resource." What is a "scientifically proven source"? How can a source itself be scientifically proven? What should be proven about that source? When we evaluate/review research, we look at the hypothesis and try to determine whether the work substantiates it, at least to some degree. In other words it's not the source per se that we must evaluate but the content therein. One could say that I'm splitting hairs but I feel that this is one among many small distortions of our language that discourage critical thinking.
So what that part of the sentence is really saying is that we should only trust "official sources". The "scientifically proven sources" part is nonsensical and shifts emphasis from the research/information to its writer, reinforcing appeals to authority. I propose that the whole sentence be removed. AP295 (discusscontribs) 13:59, 14 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]