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Public spaces/ public discourse: Covid-19


Covid 19 infection numbers

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From former Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr.Richard Schabas: articles like these are "part of the dialectic of scientific debate."

And at all times, scientific debate is a good idea.

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Sept.30, 2020, Andre Picard in the Globe

"This is, in the eyes of the conspiracy theorists and "fake news" chanters, a "casedemic," not a pandemic. Hospitalizations and deaths are indeed lower than in the spring....But that can't be an excuse to let the cases spread wildly, to resist imposing stronger public health measures to rein in this spike, or to throw caution to the wind with economic reopening."

Group letters
Here are some multiple-signature letters of concerns about the public health approach. They are not all in agreement with the government approach (nor do they all agree with each other). Is everyone who doesn't agree with Picard a conspiracy theorist or a "fake news chanter"?


(Ontario) Opinion piece in the Globe by three members of Ontario's Covid-19 Science Advisory Table

Dec.2, 2020

(Canada) Opinion piece in the National Post, by a group of four infectious disease doctors, Zain Chagla, Sumon Chakrabarti, Isaac Bogoch and Lynora Saxinger: "The COVID-19 endgame."

Dec.2, 2020

(Toronto) Retailers' letter to the Ontario premier and the Minister of Health, full page in the Globe

Nov.18, 2020

(Ireland) Irish White Paper

Nov.16, 2020

(Toronto) The Globe had this as its front page headline today, which sounded like a group effort: Doctors push aggressive strategy to get COVID-19 cases down to zero. From the article: "Andrew Morris, an infectious diseases specialist at Toronto’s Sinai Health and University Health Network....and his colleagues, who have taken to social media under the hashtag #COVIDzero, are calling on governments and public health officials to work together to stamp out community spread of the virus altogether – a goal that requires longer and stricter restrictions in the interim."

This seems to be a Nov.12 twitter exchange, rather than a group letter. A few excerpts are here.

Nov.7, 2020

(France) An open letter: "Liberté! An open letter by 200 French lawyers protesting against lockdown". Signed by 200 lawyers and published in Le Journal du Dimanche.

Nov 05, 2020

(Canada) "Opinion: Diversity of thought needed in our pandemic response." Zain Chagla, Sumon Chakrabarti, Isaac Bogoch and Dominik Mertz. Zain Chagla is an infectious diseases physician and an associate professor at McMaster University. Sumon Chakrabarti is an infectious disease physician with Trillium Health Partners Mississauga and a lecturer at the University of Toronto. Isaac Bogoch is an infectious disease physician at Toronto General Hospital and an associate professor at U of T. Dominik Mertz is an infectious disease physician and an associate professor at McMaster.

Oct.15, 2020

(U.S.) An open letter to University leadership. Julia Marcus, Stefan Baral and more than 100 other scholars call on college leaders to take a more humane approach to students during COVID-19.

Oct.15, 2020

(UK) John Snow memo says it's been signed by more than 2,000 scientists, researchers & healthcare professionals. Speaks against the Great Barrington declaration.

Oct.9, 2020

(Canada) Group letter by four woman doctors: "As physicians, mothers and daughters, we have concerns with COVID-19 rules"

Oct.4, 2020

(U.S.): Great Barrington Declaration


(U.S.) U.S.Public Interest research Group (PIRG): Originally written July 15, then updated. "Shut down, start over, do it right"

Sept.30, 2020

(Ontario) letter to the Premier by 21 Ontario doctors against "sweeping new lockdown measures."

Sept.24, 2020

(Ontario) news release by the Ontario Hospital Association on behalf of 38 doctors, wanting a new lockdown.

Sept.20, 2020

(Belgium) group letter "So far it has been signed by 394 medical doctors, 1,340 medically trained health professionals, and 8,897 citizens." Critical of the pandemic measures.

July 6, 2020

(Canada) Open Letter to the Prime Minister and Premiers, by 23 doctors and academics including two former deputy ministers of health, four former provincial or federal public health heads, and four former deans of medical schools. Advice from the elders.


Stories about economic survival and infection



Testing costs

Canada: $74 per test (estimate). source


Media archive: selected media stories March - May 2020


media (2)

Content last modified on January 13, 2021, at 03:51 PM EST