Solutions

I don’t believe in complaining about problems without offering solutions.

I have previously outlined a number of actions which can be taken by our locally elected representatives, known as “local trustees,” to alleviate the housing crisis on Salt Spring.

This article will again offer those solutions.

  1. Legalize all 900 potential seasonal cottages on Salt Spring which were not legalized under the recent Bylaw 512.
  2. Legalize the use of suites on every property on Salt Spring.
  3. Rezone all Rural (R) and Rural Uplands (RU) properties to allow for a density of one permanent dwelling per 2 acres. (e.g. 10 acre properties may have up to 5 dwellings), with the following restrictions enshrined on title:
    1. On properties with more than one dwelling, all dwellings must be strata-titled via a building strata with designated common property and limited common property,
    2. Each building strata lot in excess of one dwelling on a property, must be covenanted, in favour of the Islands Trust, to restrict the sale price of the dwelling to the actual cost of the construction and sale, plus 25%. E.g. – Cost of construction and sale $200,000 – Sale price = $250,000, with a maximum ceiling sale price of $300,000 (as of 2020).
    3. Resale value of secondary dwellings will be restricted in the covenant to the purchase price plus the accumulated average, annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, on Vancouver Island and the Capital Regional District, plus improvements up to a maximum of $5,000/yr, and $25,000 cumulative.
    4. Similarly, rents are to be pegged via covenant at a rate no more than 10% above amortized monthly cost of equivalent sale price at current 5 year fixed rate term mortgages. (e.g. $300,000 sale price = $1276/month, 5 year fixed, 25 year amortization. Add 10% = $127.00 = $1403/month rent. )
    5. Sales and rentals of secondary dwellings will be restricted to those who meet island resident/employee eligibility criteria.
  4. Apart from Islands Trust covenant ONLY CRD Building Inspection water, septic building code requirements need to be met prior to issuance of building permit.
  5. Tiny homes, Z240RV trailers and 5th wheels, are to be included within the definition of “mobile home” within the Land Use Bylaw.

Note that at the proposed maximum sale price, $300,000, minus 25%= $240,000 divided by approximate cost of construction $300/sf (2020) = 800 sf. maximum. Thus by capping the sale price, and profit, there is an automatic, de facto, tflexible, cap on the size of secondary dwelling size.

Given the caps are related to CPI’s, the theory is, as time moves along, pricing should follow suit.

Some of the components of the above solutions aren’t mine. I was advised of them in 2003 by Whistler Housing Authority consultant, Tim Wake.

Tim subsequently tried to get the message across to Trustees in 2011, but his advice was actually censored by them (see my expose at https://islandstrust.wordpress.com/2020/02/05/hopefully-post-mortem-comments-on-512/ ).

The benefit to the Community in implementing the above solutions is that they allow private property owners to become part of the solution. The 25% profit margin and caps, with reduced red tape, work hand in hand to encourage community housing creation.

All of the above bylaw changes could easily be implemented in less than 6 months.

BUT, that would require political will power that is apparently virtually nonexistent.

Crisis “Redefined”…

Definition of crisis

1a: the turning point for better or worse in an acute disease or fever

b: a paroxysmal attack of pain, distress, or disordered function

c: an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life e.g. – a housing crisis

2: the decisive moment (as in a literary plot) e.g. – The crisis of the play occurs in Act 3.

3a: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending especiallyone with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome e.g. – a housing crisis, the island’s rental crisis

b: a situation that has reached a critical phase e.g. – the employment crisis caused by the housing crisis.

Take your pick of virtually any of the above and ask yourself if, after over 20 years of being in a “crisis,” is waiting another 2 years, or more, to take concrete action at solving the crisis treating the crisis like a crisis?

Sorry Trustees. Not. Good. Enough.

Summation:

1. Salt Spring’s housing crisis has existed for over 20 years.

2. The housing crisis is getting worse, month by month, as rental units are sold and occupied by permanent residents.

3. House prices are now far beyond what any young person or family can afford.

4. Construction costs are skyrocketing and will continue to do so because of the new BC Step Plan building code.

5. MINIMUM combined market bare land lot cost and 1,000sf new construction cost = $500,000.

6. MINIMUM house price for sale of existing stock now $500,000+

7. Rental stock is decreasing every month. Virtually no existing houses are being bought for investment as rental units.

8. Rental rates are increasing every month due to low supply and high demand.

9. 23% (10,000+ acres) of our entire island’s Douglas fir forested area is already preserved and protected in perpetuity in conservation covenants and parkland, and yet is not managed.

10. Island employers and employees are severely impacted by the housing crisis.

11. None of the current “affordable housing” projects are “owner occupied”…they are ALL rentals, thereby condemning occupants to a lifetime of rental servitude.

12. There is an insignificant number of illegal Short Term Vacation Rentals as evidenced by the only 21 outstanding bylaw files on illegal STVR’s.

13. Employees are now being ferried/bussed in from off-island, ala Nantucket Island or Martha’s Vineyard.

The proverbial writing on this wall is clear. The real estate market trends are clear. The NIMBYism and BANANAism trends are clear. The rental trends are clear. Increased construction cost trends are clear.

With all due respect, the only thing that isn’t clear is why our elected politicians aren’t clear that it is far beyond time for studying, bringing in new regulations, and/or more environmental navel gazing.

We are now being told that all we need is to consult with the public, find out what they want and/or need, and then try and please everyone with a solution.

I have news for you. You will NEVER please everyone. If you go down this road of yet another costly, 2 year study, plan, long/drawn out consultation, you will end up not a single step closer to a solution than you already are.

With all due respect again, this is NOT leadership in the face of a 20+ year crisis that worsens by the day, as construction costs follow suit with rising real estate prices. There have been over 45 home sales on the island this year OVER $1,000,000. The average home for sale is already OVER $1 million.

Delays in decision making are expensive as witnessed by the delays in Salt Spring Commons going from a $6.5 million budget to close to $10 million over a period of a few years.

The fact that someone has to ask the Local Trust Committee to place affordable housing on the priority list speaks VOLUMES.

I recommended to one of the Trustees back in December to pass a standing resolution to direct Staff that ANY application before the LTC which had a component of affordable housing be given priority over other applications. I reiterated that recommendation again 3 months later. The Trustee agreed with me in both instances, and here we are, 9 months later and no action.

Real action is needed now, not in 2 years. Trustees were elected to lead and solve land use issues. Under the Local Government Act they are, in effect, elected to ensure sufficient housing is available for their community.

You knew, or should have known, about the crisis before you were elected. You should already have envisioned what is necessary to solve the problem. You should have been prepared immediately to take whatever action is necessary to address the problem.

It is NOT good enough to say, after 2 years into your 4 year mandate, we just need to form just one more committee, consult just one more time with the community (and listen to all the naysayers), get just one (or a dozen) more professionals’ advice on how to solve the problem.

The answers were all available 20 years ago. The answers will NOT be liked by everyone.

To restate, it is, and will be, IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone. The opportunity to secure land for community housing becomes less with the passing of each day, week, month, year.

What IS possible is decisive action. Action that may result in you either being re-elected because you have actually done something to solve the problem, or turfed out on your ear (if you intend to run for public office again) if your proposed solution was unpalatable. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes the right thing to do is not the popular thing to do.

I was once asked, “What’s it like to be a politician?” My response was, “Its like winning a popularity contest, where the first prize is you immediately become less popular.” What I didn’t add on was “…if you’re actually doing your job.”

Salt Spring Island politics shouldn’t be about being loved by everyone. It should be about being able to do the right thing in spite of what a vocal minority says. It is about putting the Community’s interests before a neighbourhood’s interests. There is no “Official Neighbourhood Plan.”

I realize this rant will fall on deaf ears. My rants on the crisis have been falling on deaf ears for nigh on 20 years.

I’m posting this, not in expectation that anything of any significance will be achieved, BUT, in the hope that 2 years from this November, 2 young, creative, visionaries will be elected to do what is necessary to solve the crisis…piss some people off by doing not the easy thing…but the hard thing…the right thing.

I truly hope I am wrong, and this new committee and LTC will bravely go where we need to go, but obviously I am not optimistic given the number of committees and regurgitated studies which have historically come before this “new” proposed committee and study.

I once asked Kevin Bell advice on an issue that was before me as an elected Trustee. Without batting an eye he said, “Why the hell are you asking me? I voted for you because I believed you were an intelligent enough guy that would do what was necessary. Do your job!” I took that compliment and piece of “advice” to heart.

Yes, we elect leaders to….wait for it…lead. To make decisions which, if we use Provincial or Federal politics as any kind of an indicator, will at best, please less than 1/2 the voters.

Be brave, do what you think is right. But PLEASE don’t take OUR time to do it. You may have heard recently that there is a “crisis” going on. Please don’t turn the crisis into another two year, make work project for bureaucrats, like the recent “seasonal cottage” project, or the phased secondary suite project before it, both of which, at the end of the day, did virtually nothing to solve the problem.

Be radical and propose bylaws that will actually solve the crisis, vote on them, pass them, and then stand on your laurels proudly. I can guarantee you many people will hate/vilify you for your decisions…BUT…if you think you’re smart enough to craft bylaw amendments that will increase density in some neighbourhoods (the most basic of necessity in addressing the crisis) without pissing a good number of people off, I’ve got news for you – you’re not…its a fool’s errand.

If, on the other hand, you are NOT prepared to take the heat that will come with ANY decision which will significantly address the crisis, I respectfully suggest you get out of the kitchen now….not 2 years from now…but now…resign and make room for someone with fortitude and the best interests of this dying community.

But there I go again, repeating myself… https://islandstrust.wordpress.com/2019/12/20/dead-end-street-folks/

Yes, there has been a crisis in progress on this issue for decades, now there is yet one more delay in progress…one more study…one more committee…two more years.

Water is not the only thing that’s Leaking

I have a friend who earlier this year experienced a water leak in his system. He only discovered it when he received a bill for over $3,000 from North Salt Spring Waterworks District. He investigated, found the source of the leak, and repaired it.

However, while reviewing NSSWD’s “Leak Allowance Policy” he couldn’t believe what he was reading.

Here’s the long and short of it. If you experience a major leak, which is not in the main line from the meter to your home, you may be held responsible for thousands of dollars of charges.

How in the world is this, in any way, shape or form, representing the best interests of ratepayers of the District?

Let’s look at what actually occurs when there is a leak – water runs, the meter spins, the ratepayer is charged for the water running through the meter.

But, and this is where a major question arises – what is the actual monetary damage to the District? Virtually zero dollars in comparison to the District’s own reported annual leakage from the St. Mary Lake system, which, in 2018 was recorded as 19,282,132 gallons per year.


Even a hundred thousand gallons is literally a drop in the bucket compared to the District’s own leaks, which have been consistently in the 25% range of total water extracted from St. Mary (see chart below)

Read that last sentence again. 25% of all water which is pumped out of St. Mary, and treated (at some cost), is leaked out into the ground somewhere.

Using NSSWD’s billing costs, to calculate a proportionate cost, would mean that leak should be billed at $425,000 a year.

In December last year I asked the Board the question why an acoustic leak survey has not been conducted to identify where the 19 million+ gallons a year is leaking. Cost of the survey would likely be under $20,000.

So, while a number of ratepayers are penalized thousands of dollars for their relatively minor, accidental leaks, the Board has turned a blind eye to major, ongoing leaks, while claiming we are in a water crisis year after year.

Accountability to ratepayers…its a thing….which is also evidently sadly leaking.

PS – The Channel Ridge lawsuit is suing for the promised water supply for about 300 densities. Using the BC standard of 2.5 residents per lot, 230L a day per person X 365 days = 13,868,392 gallons per year…or, about 5 million gallons LESS than what is currently leaking out of the St. Mary system. The lawsuit could claim as much as $40,000,000 in damages…plugging the leaks could make it all go away.

St. Mary Data and Calculations

St. MaryBulkMeteredLossLoss GPY
201385,053,86062,297,98327%22,755,877
201486,074,31164,945,92325%21,128,388
201573,256,77856,670,00823%16,586,770
201680,619,25056,159,76130%24,459,489
201773,757,56054,825,53026%18,932,030
201874,229,22054,947,08826%19,282,132

PPS – Last posted Water Audit was in 2018….

BS in Paradise

Response by Eric Booth to “Development has put Gulf Islands in death spiral” by Frants Attorp in the Victoria Times Colonist, August 1, 2020 edition.

(Mr. Attorp’s original comments are in black italics, and Mr. Booth’s comments are in blue.)

One of the world’s natural wonders is being lost to development.

This is an unmitigated lie, commonly known in rural areas as bullshit (BS). And, while that may perhaps at first blanch sound a little harsh, the rest of his article is wrought with more BS. Development on Salt Spring, where Mr. Attorp resides, has seen less than a 1% per annum growth rate for over 10 years…it is hardly being “lost to development.”

 The most recent trouble in paradise comes in the form of a housing crisis which, tragically, is perceived by many as an isolated incident with a simple solution — create more densities.

The “housing crisis” has been going on for over 25 years, with as many studies and reports on the issue in the same time frame. It is certainly not “recent.”

In fact, the Gulf Islands are caught in a complex humans-first syndrome that, unless broken, will result in crisis after crisis and the inexorable urbanization of a rural area protected by law.

The history of the Islands Trust government tasked with protecting the fragile ecosystems is important: In 1972 an all-party special committee of the legislature was established to investigate the unique problems facing the Trust Area. The committee concluded that pressures arising from the area’s proximity to major urban centres were damaging the very features that made the Trust Area so attractive to residents and visitors.

In response to these findings, the provincial government enacted the Islands Trust Act in 1974. While each island has its own story, the general trend throughout the archipelago is from low to higher density.
More BS. The last census showed that, within the Islands Trust Area as a whole, ONE new person was added to the area every 6 months. In other words, while some areas, like Salt Spring are experiencing minimal growth in population, the trend on other islands is actually depopulation.
This progression, which mirrors events around the world, is viewed by many as normal, inevitable, and even desirable. It also flies in the face of the Trust’s “preserve and protect” mandate.

More BS. Each island has developed its own Official Community Plan (OCP), the development of which was done in careful consultation with the islands’ residents. The policies established by the “Islands Trust Council” establish the parameters which OCP’s and local bylaws are required to meet, including strict environmental protections.

Islands Trust documents contain many references to limiting growth, but are sadly lacking in detail. The words “rural” and “unique amenities,” for example, are left open to interpretation. Is “rural” one or five acres? Are shops a “unique amenity”? And why say “we accept there are limits to the ability of our environment to absorb continued development” without defining what those limits are?

Mr. Attorp has no understanding of the ability of our environment to absorb the little growth that is still allowed for under our OCP’s. The Trust has effectively locked the door after developing the OCP’s which provide the guidance for the future development of the community. Anyone knowledgeable of the Provincial Local Government Act Section 473 (see extract below), which Mr. Attorp arguably has no knowledge of, knows that it mandates local governments to review their OCP’s on a regular basis (e.g. every 5+ years) to ensure there the community’s needs with respect to housing, schools, commercial, and industrial properties, etc. are met. Without necessary changes, community can, and will, wither and die.

473   (1) An official community plan must include statements and map designations for the area covered by the plan respecting the following:

(a) the approximate location, amount, type and density of residential development required to meet anticipated housing needs over a period of at least 5 years;

(b) the approximate location, amount and type of present and proposed commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural, recreational and public utility land uses;

(c) the approximate location and area of sand and gravel deposits that are suitable for future sand and gravel extraction;

(d) restrictions on the use of land that is subject to hazardous conditions or that is environmentally sensitive to development;

(e) the approximate location and phasing of any major road, sewer and water systems;

(f) the approximate location and type of present and proposed public facilities, including schools, parks and waste treatment and disposal sites;

(g) other matters that may, in respect of any plan, be required or authorized by the minister.

(2) An official community plan must include housing policies of the local government respecting affordable housing, rental housing and special needs housing.

The Islands Trust was unquestionably established to put the brakes on development, but in 2003 it shifted its focus from environmental to social goals.

This was reflected in Trust correspondence which, for 30 years, contained the tagline “To Preserve and Protect,” but suddenly and without explanation, changed to “Preserving Island Communities, Culture and Environment”.

The acknowledgement that the Trust Act was meant to address all three legs of a healthy community stool – environmental, social and economic – was the reason for the “change,” which wasn’t a change…it was, as stated, an acknowledgment.

Salt Spring, the largest and most populous of the islands, is the epicentre of the current malaise. There are countless illegal dwellings across the island, many of them unfit for human habitation.

The reason illegal dwellings exist is a direct result of mismanagement and poor planning of the Trust itself. The basic real estate economics of supply and demand were never taken into consideration. When you limit supply (which the Trust Act did), in an area of high demand (which is the entire Trust Area), the result is an increase in property values, which leads to a situation where typical investment rental properties are no longer viable, leading to the steady decline in rental availability with the associated increase in rental cost. We have a less than zero vacancy rate with rents rising virtually by the month as long term rental properties come onto the market and are sold to people moving to the island to escape urban environments.

The Trust has conceded the problem, fuelled by islanders seeking extra income, is widespread and that “most are flying under the radar.” Concurrently, there is a housing shortage that has forced many into substandard premises and turned bylaw enforcement into a nightmare.

The housing shortage Salt Spring is experiencing is similar to what Whistler went through – a shortage of affordable, employee housing as a result of rising real estate values in an area of high demand. The median house price on Salt Spring is now $850,0000 while the average house price is over $1,000,000. And yet, the Local Islands Trust has taken no proactive measures to address the situation. It has now been 12 years since an OCP review.

At a recent public meeting, Trustee Laura Patrick discussed the endless battle of trying to enforce the island’s ban on short- term vacation rentals (STVRs). She indicated that, for every one that is closed, more pop up.

The oft bandied about rental boogeyman – illegal STVR’s – is a proverbial drop in the bucket and has no significant effect on rentals on the island. This is perhaps best quantified in the fact there are currently only 21 bylaw investigation files open on STVR’s on Salt Spring in spite of the fact bylaw enforcement have PROACTIVELY been seeking them out for 2 years.

The rules-be-damned culture runs deep on the islands, but there are consequences: lawlessness makes a mockery of planning and, in the case of STVRs on Salt Spring, reduces the housing stock for full-time residents, thereby forcing elected trustees to consider ever higher densities.

“Reduces” by less than 21, since, if the illegal STVR’s were forced out of business, the vast majority would either not be let for long term rentals, or, would be put onto the open market for sale where they would be bought by new fulltime residents, not rented to low to middle income renters.

The lack of accommodation for local employees is of particular concern as it affects essential services. Since the Trust has no tools to designate new densities for employees only, it uses a housing shotgun to blast target areas in the hope that some of the shot hits home for local workers. Unfortunately, it also blows holes in the 17,000 population cap specified in Salt Spring’s Official Community Plan.

More bullshit. (a) The Local Trust Committee could actively work with not-for-profit societies to rezone land and place upon the land covenants to restrict the property to employee housing, similar to Whistler’s model. (b) There is no quantified 17,000 population cap in the OCP. The only cap on population is relative the number of potential properties which can be created by subdivision times the average number of residents per property, which currently, according to the last census was 2.1, below the provincial average of 2.5.

Meanwhile, housing groups have formed and are putting intense pressure on trustees. A key organizer has written about the need for “many thousands” of new affordable housing units, an incredible number for a protected island that has a population of only 12,000 and where water is so scarce the local water utility has placed a moratorium on new hook-ups.

The only “key organizer” I am aware of who “has written about the need for “many thousands” of new affordable housing units” is ME. Currently the population isn’t 12,000, its only 10,500+, and, water is not scarce. Water consumption data clearly shows there is an abundant supply of water in the majority of areas of the island. The scarcity myth that we are running short is exactly that – a myth. The current moratorium is in spite of the fact there is over 50,000,000 gallons a year available BELOW the conservative limitation placed on the licensed amount (72%) which was recommended to account for future, potential climate change.  

Housing advocates oppose gentrification, but seem less concerned about the environmental impact of changing the demographics of the island.

This statement is incredibly insulting to every housing advocate on the island. I am not aware of one advocate for community housing who is “less concerned about environmental impact” than providing housing for those who need it.

The debate raises the question of whether the Gulf Islands can be a regional go-to spot for people seeking affordable housing, while still meeting the goals of the Islands Trust.

Housing for the service industries on the islands (hospitals, schools, ferries, grocery stores, RCMP, construction trades, etc.) is a critical factor in providing for a healthy community.

The Gulf Islands are in crisis, and it must be remembered that their protection is not just for the benefit of those who live there, but also British Columbia generally.

The province must intervene to help with issues such as enforcement, water shortages and clearcut logging on private land. Above all, those in charge must work co-operatively to create a long-term plan to limit growth.

There is already a “long-term plan to limit growth.” Its called the Islands Trust Act. The long-term plan that is lacking is HOW to provide for a sustainable community….one that has affordable housing for its service industries.

I agree the Province should step in, however, not for the reasons Mr. Attorp outlines. The Trust bureaucracy is out of control, and, the Trustees are, to the peril of the health of the community, ignoring the challenges of crisis.

Failure to do so will see the islands lose their natural splendour and fade into something bland, ordinary and uninspiring.

Without community housing growth, like the kind that Whistler implemented through its Housing Authority, Islands Trust Area communities, including Salt Spring, will continue to wither and die as market forces, created unconsciously by the Islands Trust’s failure to address supply/demand dynamics, continue to erode the affordability of the population which serves.

Frants Attorp is a Salt Spring writer who has worked for several Gulf Islands publications.

Eric Booth is a born and raised Salt Spring Islander who has been an Islands Trustee (2002-2005), realtor, developer, local talk radio host, political activist, Salt Spring Dollar co-creator, Salt Spring Flag co-creator, and outspoken active community member.

Ganges Alley Saturday Market

More Sweet News About Hydroxycholorquine

From the Journal of Diabetes Research, this systematic review study was submitted in August 2019 and recently published this February.

It shows a positive effect from the use of hydroxychloroquine on insulin and thereby, the reduction of hyperglycemia in diabetics, which has now been linked (at least preliminarily) to Covid19 severity of symptoms.

“Among the included clinical studies (six randomized control trials, five observational studies, and four cohort studies), about 55,776 study participants were involved. Most of these studies showed significant improvement of lipid profile and insulin levels and substantial diminution of hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose, and postprandial blood glucose levels. “

This paper describes the possible mechanism of HCQ.

This is likely the mechanism which is why HCQ is now being touted as the drug of choice in the treatment of Covid19.

 

Is Sweet 5G a Deadly Connection?

5g

There is a lot of speculation out there right now about 5G and Covid19.

When I asked myself what could the connection be between the two I was stumped…why would only certain people get sick with Covid19, while others with the virus be symptom free within a 5G range?

A few days ago I watched an interview with Dr. Stephen Smith who has shown a rather disturbing connection between those who are either pre-diabetic, diabetic or obese, and the severity of Covid19.

This morning, over coffee with friends (at a safe distance), the question arose – could there be a connection between 5G and diabetes?

So, I went down that rabbit hole, and found there is hard, scientific evidence that wireless radiation elevates blood glucose in rats and humans.

The following 6 studies are by no means a comprehensive list of studies linking blood sugar increases to EMF.

 

Is this a possible connection to 5G rollout?

I don’t know…but, there is an apparent cause and effect here between EMF and elevated blood sugar, and also blood sugar and Covid19.

From – April 2, 2020 – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-and-diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that causes high blood sugar levels. In general, infectious diseases such as COVID-19 are more serious in people with diabetes.

One reason for this is that the immune system does not work as well in people with diabetes, which makes it harder for their body to fight the virus. Also, the novel coronavirus “may thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose.”

Diabetes also keeps the body in a low-level state of inflammation, which makes its healing response to any infection slower.

High blood sugar levels combined with a persistent state of inflammation makes it much more difficult for people with diabetes to recover from illnesses such as COVID-19.

Anyone with diabetes who notices symptoms of COVID-19 should speak to their doctor as soon as possible.”

Out of the Trenches…Hopefully Soon…

Canada out of trenches

April 9th, 2017 the Canadian Corps was ordered to seize Vimy Ridge.

“To capture this difficult position, the Canadians would carefully plan and rehearse their attack. To provide greater flexibility and firepower in battle, the infantry were given specialist roles as machine-gunners, rifle-men and grenade-throwers. These same soldiers underwent weeks of training behind the lines using models to represent the battlefield, and new maps crafted from aerial photographs to guide their way. To bring men forward safely for the assault, engineers dug deep tunnels from the rear to the front. Despite this training and preparation, the key to victory would be a devastating artillery barrage that would not only isolate enemy trenches, but provide a moving wall of high explosives and shrapnel to force the Germans to stay in their deep dugouts and away from their machine-guns. 

The Canadian operation was an important success, but it was victory at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded.

In recently musing over the latest information available worldwide regarding the fight against Covid19, the Battle of Vimy Ridge came to mind, as it is perhaps a fitting analogy to how I believe the fight against the virus must be conducted.

It is becoming clearer, day by day, that treatments for the virus are now coming online and undergoing clinical trials with great preliminary results – Hydroxychlororquine, Zypak, zinc,    Avigan, etc.

In addition, it is also appearing that pre-existing conditions of obesity, pre-diabetes, diabetes are distant early warning signs of risk. Viruses love sugar, and high blood sugar.

So, here is what I would do if I was Trudeau.

Once I was given adequate proof that anti-viral treatments are in hand, I would put it to the populace that it is time to get out of the trenches and begin establishing herd immunity – the best defense and offense against the virus.

Those “wounded” in the assault would be treated with the anti-virals. Those who are “unfit for service” (e.g. diabetic, lung cancer, etc.) would be isolated until the battle is won. People would be given preventative advice on how to reduce their chances of being wounded.

To the date of this writing, 291 Canadians have died in this battle, 13,901 have been wounded, and 2,595 have recovered.

If we had stayed in the trenches in 1917, we would have eventually been overrun, not only by the enemy’s guns, but, ironically, one year later with influenza. We may have ended up in a substantially different world.

We should keep in mind that every year somewhere between 1500 and 3500 Canadians die of seasonal flu. Life can be cruel, and eventual death is certain.

An informed political decision to send people into the fray will need to be made, and, the sooner the better.

While it has arguably made sense to “stay in the trenches” while treatments were being found, it is getting close to the time where we must muster the courage to go over the hill and get back to the life, which our fellow Canadians died for 103 years ago, and, which we knew and enjoyed just a short month ago.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Deaths?

virus sweet

Obesity…Body Mass Index…Diabetes…Coronavirus…Flu Vaccination.

Dots to connect…

It now appears there are connections between Covid19, diabetes, obesity/BMI and flu shots.

DOT 1 – A report, by Doctor Stephen Smith indicates a connection between pre-diabetes, diabetes and obesity (BMI >30) and Covid19 outcomes. 

DOT 2 – Fatter = Longer. A 2018 study indicates that obese people shed viruses 1.5 times longer than non-obese people, thus increasing by 50% the time of transmission of a virus.  https://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20180813flu-obesity.html

DOT 3 – “People with diabetes are considered to be at high risk for morbidity and mortality from influenza and pneumococcal disease, and are recommended to get a flu shot.

DOT 4 – Scientists have come to realize that flu vaccines are less effective for people who are overweight or obese. Considering that excess weight affects more than two-thirds of the U.S. adult population, that’s a significant shortcoming.

DOT 5 – A recent study has shown flu vaccine INCREASES risk of Covid19 by 36% in healthy people between the ages of 18 and 62. It is likely that number would be higher in unhealthy individuals.

DOT 6 – Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) reduces immune system response to viruses.

DOT 7 – Bacteria and viruses have a sweet tooth! … The great majority, around 80%, of these bacteria and viruses seek out the sugars on the surface of our cells. They then settle and start to attack the cell.

Conclusions:

  1. Those who are pre-diabetic, diabetic or obese have a huge risk from Covid19, and, may make up the vast majority of severe cases.
  2. Those who are obese and contract Covid19 may be infectious for 1.5 times longer.
  3.  Diabetics or obese people who had a flu vaccine this year may have a 150% or greater chance of getting a serious case of Covid19.
  4. 2/3’s of the US population may prolong Covid19 due to their excess weight.
  5.  Those with high sugar consumption appear to be more susceptible to viruses.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is contained in Dr. Smith’s interview.

Crystal Balling CV

Crystal 2

I heard a saying once – “If you’re going to predict, predict often.”

Truer words were never spoken as evidenced over this past week with epidemiologist Neil Ferguson going from projecting 500,000 deaths in the UK, to 20,000, to something around 5,000.

I love math, so, I’m doing a little predicting myself, and will see if I have a better track record.

I approached my projections by subtracting 88% of Italy and Spain’s death rates (due to their admitted over-reporting) and 1/3 of the UK’s rates for similar reasons, from the total world death rates as reported on March 18th.

I then took the average increase of deaths worldwide over the following 10 days = 1.109397 increase daily.

Starting on March 28th, I have done the projections below (Note – I will be updating from time to time…it appears the numbers fluctuate somewhat, going up or down during a particular day. I am using the “Yesterday” figures from Worldometers.info as final):

Date Projected Deaths Actual Deaths Multiplier
28 30,861 Increase Rate
29 34,237 34,065 1.1093
30 37,983 37,774 1.1093
31 42,138 42,309 1.1093
1 46,747 47,198 1.1093
2 51,861 53,167 1.1093
3 57,535 58,809 1.1093
4 63,829 64,688 1.1093
5 70,812 69,425 1.1093
6 78,558 74,654 1.1093
7 87,153 82,034 1.1093
8 96,687 88,460 1.1093
9 107,264 95,692 1.1093
10 118,998 102,687 1.1093
11 132,016 108,780 1.1093
12 146,459 114,197 1.1093
13 162,481 119,618 1.1093
14 180,256 126,601 1.1093
15 199,975 134,560 1.1093
16 221,852 1.1093
17 246,122 1.1093
18 273,047 1.1093
19 302,917 1.1093
20 336,055 1.1093
21 372,819 1.1093
22 413,604 1.1093
23 458,851 1.1093
24 509,048 1.1093
25 564,736 1.1093
26 626,517 1.1093
27 695,056 1.1093
28 771,093 1.1093
29 855,448 1.1093
30 949,031 1.1093
1 1,052,853 1.1093
2 1,168,031 1.1093
3 1,295,811 1.1093
4 1,437,568 1.1093
5 1,594,834 1.1093
6 1,769,304 1.1093
7 1,962,861 1.1093
8 2,177,592 1.1093
9 2,415,814 1.1093
10 2,680,097 1.1093

 

I have absolutely no idea how this prediction will stand up, but, I’ll update it as we go along.

There will be a turning point and it will be interesting to see how it will turn out.

Data from: www.worldometers.info

Post Script – April 2nd….had a thought…if the 1.1093 is at all accurate, and numbers don’t move up dramatically, are we just witnessing the natural course of end of life being played out and reported?

Take a look at this from April 1st….only 14 did not have underlying conditions.

NY April 1

April 2nd Report  18 – 1397