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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Toronto Has A Viral Public Relations Problem

I am very sorry for the people who have died of whatever illness is infecting people in Toronto, but I'm sorrier still to read this type of nonsense. See my post this morning on the Toronto mystery virus. This morning the disease was "under control", and there had been only two new cases in the last 24 hours (70 residents, 12 employees, 2 visitors). That's 85, and 10 people had died.

Now they are saying 88 total, with 16 deaths (6 more!) but they also claim they have no new cases:
Seventy residents of the Seven Oaks Home for the Aged in the city's east end were infected along with 13 employees and five visitors, David McKeown, Toronto's medical officer of health, said in a statement today on Canada NewsWire.

``The six new deaths are not new cases,'' McKeown said. ``All of these elderly individuals had been previously identified as cases and had underlying medical conditions.''

There haven't been any new reported cases in the past 24 hours, McKeown said in the statement.
This is a classic example of how not to reassure the public, because it is clear either that officials can't count or that officials are lying in an attempt to reassure the public.

So now we have an infected count of 70 residents (out of about 250), 13 employees (1 more than yesterday) and five visitors (3 more than yesterday). Six new deaths for a total of 16. The death rate of 16/88 is at 18%. That is unusual even for a nursing home, and one employee is reported to have died.

Just today I was reading a post of SC&A's about how the extremists on the left and the right make a mistake about people:
The ideologues in this country, on either side of the aisle, will never really have their way, because of one fatal flaw they share.

They believe, with the fervor of the self intoxicated, that we are stupid. The hard Right, the hard Left, and every version thereof, believe that we need them to tell us when to come in from the rain and not step into unidentifiable biological material. The ideologues believe that only they are capable of cognitive and rational thought.
I guess you better add the Canadian health department to the list, SC&A!

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