Alberta and COVID-19 – Facts Amid the Fears (‘Rona #25)

Mass and Social Media have done a good job of making people highly fearful of COVID-19. However, as we learn more about the virus, statistics and studies support a less fearful scenario.

The media dwells on case counts but it is becoming obvious that confirmed cases are mostly mild and don’t, in fact, represent the number of actual cases. Many cases may have gone undetected because people didn’t have symptoms or didn’t seek testing. (If officials don’t know how many cases there actually are, how can they say what the COVID death or survival rate is?)

Here are the statistics in Alberta that I think are more important and less fearful:

1. The most significant metric of Covid is how many people died. Covid deaths to date are a very small percentage of both the population and of Alberta deaths per year. Covid deaths are less than 2 times greater than the flu season of 2017-2018, which was a high severity flu season.
– Deaths from all causes in Alberta in 2019: 26,972
– Covid-19 deaths to August 9, 2020: 213 (.0036% of Alberta’s Population of 4,428,247)
– Lab Confirmed flu deaths in the 2017-2018 flu season: 92

2. Another important metric is the number of hospitalizations. The 2017-2018 flu season (high severity) had significantly more hospitalizations than Covid. Covid Hospitalizations peaked in late April and have not reached a level anywhere near the capacity of Alberta’s health-care system.
– Covid Hospitalizations: 598 (.0091% of the population)
– Hospitalizations in the 2017-2018 flu season: 3047

3. The vast majority of Covid deaths were Seniors over the age of 80. The Average age at death was 83. Ninety one percent of the deaths were people over 70 years of age.
– Deaths 80+ years and older: 148
– Deaths 70-79 years of age: 46
– Deaths 70+ years and older: 194 ( 91% of the deaths)

4. Ninety percent of the people who died had 2 or more comorbidities. Officials have not said whether there is a distinction between death caused by Covid and death caused by the comorbidity but Covid was present.
– Deaths with 2 or more comorbidities: 179 (90% of the deaths)
Comorbidities include: Diabetes, Hypertension, COPD, Cancer, Dementia, Stroke, Liver cirrhosis, Cardiovascular diseases (including IHD and Congestive heart failure), Chronic kidney disease, and Immuno-deficiency.

5. Data and studies point to new assumptions that differ from those held at the beginning of the  Covid-19 pandemic:

– The perceived risk of transmission from contaminated surfaces is lower than it was earlier in the pandemic when not much was known about the coronavirus. (Linsey Marr, expert in the transmission of viruses, Virginia Tech, studies of the survival of COVID-19 on surfaces)

– The vast majority of transmission seems to be through close contact with an infected individual, primarily in an indoor setting. (Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease physician, Toronto General Hospital.)

Wearing gloves for extended stretches while touching various objects can lead to cross-contamination the longer you’re wearing them which winds up being less helpful than just washing or sanitizing your bare hands regularly. (Infectious disease specialist Dr. Zain Chagla, associate professor, McMaster University in Hamilton.)

Playgrounds are probably one of the safer places for kids to congregate, if they have to congregate. And the reason why is that sunlight kills off the virus pretty effectively(Linsey Marr, expert in the transmission of viruses, Virginia Tech, studies of the survival of COVID-19 on surfaces)

– Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. (New England Journal of Medicine, Universal Masking in Hospitals)

– The absolute risk of infection from an exposed individual was 12.8% at 1 m and 2.6% at 2 m. (From a Study of observational papers, published in The Lancet, June 1, 2020)

– We therefore strongly support the calls of public health agencies for all people to wear masks when circumstances compel them to be within 6 ft of others for sustained periods. (New England Journal of Medicine, Universal Masking in Hospitals)

– Recent data suggests that the human body reacts no differently to this virus than to other respiratory viruses: it mounts immunity, and once achieved, the virus gets cleared and there is protection from future infection. (Dr. Neil Rau infectious diseases specialist, medical microbiologist, Oakville, Ont.)

– Increased infections, as long as they do not involve the elderly or medically vulnerable, are an unavoidable path to herd immunity. Our “flattening of the curve” has once again proven the axiom: “You can pay me now or pay me later.” Holding out for a vaccine is impractical and likely naive, in light of previous vaccine failures with other coronaviruses. (George Delgado, MD, Covid Planning Tools)

Mildly Amusing Missives – Moose, Misc

Naming the Moose

(see previous post Another Moose) Thanks to everyone who suggested these names: Wink, Marty and Rudy. Bruce got a thumbs up from a number of people, so I think the moose will retain the nickname (Bruce) but will have an official name that will appear on any legal documents: Martywinkrudy the 1st.

What the Dog Thinks

gooooob morning. today has infinite wondrous possibilities. i’m going back to sleep. but you should find out what they are
– Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings Nov 26 –

the small neighbor human. came over after school. to try to get me to eat their homework. while i don’t condone such behavior. i absolutely complied
– Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings Sep 17 –

From Gingerbread man to Reindeer Head

Food Department

If you have a gingerbread man cutter, then you also have a reindeer head cutter…

Who knew that the staple of any good prison meal, stale bread and cheese, could be made into high-end gourmet dining by melding the cheese and cutting the bread into cubes. (Fondue)
– Bangor Maine Police Department –

In Canada we don’t say “I love you: we say “I’m going to Timmies do you want anything?”
– Author Unknown –

Man does not live by coffee alone. Have a danish.
– Author Unknown –

News from Around the World

America:

What’s most frustrating is the fact that driver’s license photos are so terrible. I think it has a lot to do with the process of aging. You know, the time between actually arriving at the License Bureau, and getting called for your license?
– Daniel C Chamberlain, Author @DanCChamberlain Oct 10 –

Over the next few weeks my IQ relative to the general public is going to increase as I have blocked #impeachment. No, I do not have a “civic duty” to sacrifice valuable neurons to the opinions surrounding this process.
– Medical Axioms @medicalaxioms Nov 14 –

Kelly Campagna @warriorwoman91 Jul 22: Why are men so dense?
Ben Shapiro @benshapiro Jul 23: Higher muscle mass, greater bone density due to hormonal differences during development…

Britain:

The year is 2192. The British Prime Minister visits Brussels to ask for an extension of the Brexit deadline. No one remembers where this tradition originated, but every year it attracts many tourists from all over the world.
– Julian Popov @julianpopov Oct 19 –

Don’t run with bagpipes. You could put an aye out or worse yet, get kilt.
– Author Unknown –

Canada:

My favourite line from the #elxn43 french language debate was Justin Truedau saying he’ll stand up to Alberta and the oil barons. Brother, you bought a $4.5bn pipeline. You ARE an oil baron.
– Dónal O’Beirne @DonoYEG Oct 11 –

An alarming court document, God v. Canada. Turns out to be an immigration appeal by a guy named Badri God. So, close one!
– Blacklock’s Reporter @mindingottawa Nov 25 –

If you spend your time on here (twitter) demonizing people who vote differently from you then I’m sorry but you’re the problem. Not them.
– Kristin Raworth @KristinRaworth Oct 3 –

 A Wise Celebrity

I’m going to my favorite Los Angeles area Hallmark store on this holiday just to see how they managed to rhyme “indigenous.”
– Pat Sajak @patsajak Oct 14 –

I don’t normally use Twitter to plug my commercial ventures, but I’m very excited about my soon-to-open clothing store chain, Forever 72.
– Pat Sajak @patsajak Oct 10 –

Other Stuff

At the bookstore:
Me: “Do yall have any books on turtles”
Cashier: “Hard back?”
Me: “Yeah, with little heads”
– wHyZgUy @_WhyzGuy_ Mar 28 –

Someone from the Gyna Colleges called. They said the Pabst Beer is normal. I didn’t even know you liked beer.
– Author Unknown –

There will only be 21 million Bitcoins.
What happens when 7.52 billion people realize that?
– Brilliant Ads @Brilliant_Ads Jun 21 –

I recently called an old Engineering buddy of mine and asked what he was working on these days. He replied that he was working on ‘Aqua-thermal treatment of ceramics, aluminum and steel under a constrained environment.” I was impressed until, upon further inquiry, I leaned that he was washing dishes with hot water under his wife’s supervision.
– Facebook Oldtimers –

How to keep the drapes closed in a hotel room:

Last, but not Least

The Bigfoot file has been declassified.
We think we still have the suit somewhere in storage. Fun times.
– The Mossad: Elite Parody Division @TheMossadIL Jun 7 –

I Found my Pizza Crust

Before the ‘Pizza Crust’

In the big scheme of things, it was a little blip. I logged onto my WordPress blog a few days ago, and instead of being greeted with my WP Admin page, I was looking at the contents of the WordPress Feed Reader. Instead of seeing my personal Dashboard, I was seeing the endless list of what other people had posted and what WordPress thought I should read, etc, etc.

I was not amused. Granted, I could still get to my WP Admin page in a few clicks, but that wasn’t the point. When I log on to this account, I want my information to be the priority.

I won’t go into great detail about the discussion I had online with three WordPress ‘Happiness Engineers’; the rating I gave them when I got a cheerful email asking me to rate my help experience; or the message I posted in the WordPress Forums.

That’s now water under the bridge because this morning when I logged on, life was back to normal. My WP Admin page was the first thing I saw. That wretched Reader was back where it belonged – a tab at the top of the page.

The ‘Pizza Crust’

The ‘pizza crust on the sidewalk’ was the email that I got from WordPress (in response to my message thanking them for fixing my problem).

Isn’t that just a hoot!? They changed something in order to fix something which then broke something else, which when they fixed that, it also fixed something that they didn’t know they had broken.

Refreshing honesty and a good outcome for all. Life is Good.

What Say You – have you found any ‘pizza crusts on the sidewalk’ lately?

Lighter Side of Canadian Governments

That Good Looking Bullshitter in a Suit

Justin (Trudeau) looks more and more like a regression to the mean, a nice guy with influential friends but still just another ordinary good-looking bullshitter in a suit.
– Crawford Kilian, The Tyee –


Background to the cartoon: Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has threatened to sue Conservative Party Leader Scheer over Scheer’s statements that Trudeau interfered with the prosecution of Montreal firm SNC-Lavalin and lied to Canadians about it. This  ‘scandal’ has led to two resignations: Trudeau’s Principal Secretary, G. Butts and Michael Wernick, the Clerk of the Privy Council (who is also head of the federal public service). Trudeau also ousted two members of his party because they criticized his behavior.

It’s Just Other People’s Money

As Margaret Thatcher once pointed out, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

In 2016, under the left wing NDP government, Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton, lost roughly 15,000 private-sector jobs, but it gained 14,000 provincial public-sector ones. The debt and deficit increased as did government intervention in the form of income redistribution and regulation. Albertans recently said, enough is enough – and elected a more fiscally Conservative government.

Two Ways to Deal with a Coyote

In British Columbia (perhaps):
The Premier is jogging with his or her dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the Premier’s dog, then bites the Premier.
The Premier starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie “Bambi” and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural. He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the province $200 for testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it.
The Premier goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and to get his bite wound bandaged.
The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish and Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals.
The Premier spends $50,000 in provincial funds implementing a “coyote awareness program” for residents of the area. The provincial legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.
The Premier’s security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The Province spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training re: the nature of coyotes.
PETA protests the coyote’s relocation and files a $5 million suit against the province.

In Alberta:
The Premier is jogging with his or her dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks the dog.
The Premier’s security agent shoots the coyote, drags it into the bushes and keeps jogging.
The Premier has spent $0.50 on a cartridge.
The crows eat the dead coyote.

Trudeau Goes to India

Justin Trudeau’s India visit has proved one thing. He has more Indian outfits than all the men in my family combined!
– Anu Menon @ExLolaKutty –

Budgets Balance Themselves

Trudeau says that we need to “rethink concepts as basic as space and time.” Intelligent people say “we need to rethink Trudeau.”
– David Jacobs @DrJacobsRad –

The Liberal Party campaigned on a pledge to run short-term deficits in order to stimulate the economy and return to balance before the 2019 federal election. That didn’t happen because what Mr. Trudeau really meant was “the commitment is to grow the economy and the budget will balance itself.” Unfortunately, budgets aren’t self balancing. Finance Canada now predicts the deficit could be erased by 2045.

Not Enough Parachutes

A small plane had 4 passengers on board…
the Russian President Vladimir Putin,
the American President Donald Trump,
the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
and a boy scout.

All of a sudden, the engine caught fire.The pilot explained to the passengers that the plane was gliding but losing altitude… it would crash in 6 minutes. Another problem was that there were 5 people on board, but only 4 parachutes.

The Russian president suddenly exclaimed “We are the best country in the world” – he grabbed a parachute and jumped out of the plane.

The American president exclaimed “We are the most powerful country in the world” – he grabbed a parachute and jumped out of the plane.

The Canadian Prime Minister exclaimed “I’m the brains of Canada” and he grabbed a parachute and jumped out of the plane.

The pilot turned to the boy scout and said “Well son, there’s 2 of us left and only 1 parachute.” The boy scout looked at the pilot and said “No worries… the brains of Canada just took my backpack.”

WordPress Reader is Acting Strangely

Do you follow my blog in the WordPress Reader? If you do, then you might be wondering why I am reposting old stuff. The short answer is, I’m not. The WordPress Reader is doing it for me – a totally unsolicitated behaviour.

The Reader is also not advertising most of my new posts. Catch 22 – right! If I try to tell WordPress Readers about this issue in a new post, will the Reader publish the new post?

Or will the Reader pick another old post like this one – How to Replace iTunes with CopyTrans Manager, which was first published in 2009. It appeared in the WordPress Reader a day ago.

This has been going on for a few months now, but I wasn’t paying attention (Christmas, New Years, travel to AZ, etc). Then I contacted a few of my regular readers. Thanks go to to Al and Faye for confirming my suspicions that the WordPress Reader had developed a mind of its own! I alerted the WordPress Happiness Engineers who say that the ‘Reader team’ has being contacted and the issue is being ‘escalated’ with them.

Even more puzzling, some of my readers are being sent to links that are a revision of one of my old posts. Since only I can see revisions, WordPress simply tells people

I’ve alerted the WordPress Happiness Engineers about that too. Perhaps they have some bugs to work out in their world of big data. Or maybe, somehow, I’ve broken my blog…

Mildly Amusing Missives – TEDTalk Anne Lamott (Video)

When Grammar and Punctuation Walk into a Bar
I’ve posted a new series of quotations on my blog,under the category The Quippery. They are  jokes about Walking into a Bar, but the subjects who do the walking are unusual.

The Trials of Being Senior

The other day, my mom asked Siri to find information on senior self-defense.
Siri: “Looking for information on seniors in Depends.”
After a couple of such unsuccessful attempts, my mom gave up.
– Dawnette Moore Thompson, comment on Mike Rowe’s Facebook Page –

A Belated In Memoriam

Women loved (Alan) Rickman: He wasn’t movie-star handsome – not Kevin Costner male-lead handsome – but he oozed both a predatory sensuality and a kind of indifferent hauteur and the combination was irresistible. His mesmeric baritone could sound knee-tremblingly sexy when he was asking if you’d like fries with that.
– Mark Steyn –

To Be, or Not to Be

The way to do is to be. — Leo-tzu, Chinese philosopher
The way to be is to do. — Dale Carnegie
Do be, do be, do. — Frank Sinatra
– A Three part missive written in about 1968 on the wall at Bud’s Tool Cribs by Bud Crew, a Salesman and an Anonymous person-

Does this describe President Trump?

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
-Steve Jobs –

Speaking of Donald Trump
It would be hard to pick the best lines he delivered at the Annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation. He started with

I was very excited to receive this invitation and ruin your evening in person. That’s why I accepted.

and closed with

I just want to say this, this is one of the best times I’ve had with the media — this might be the most fun I’ve had since watching your faces on election night.

Last Trump Reference, Honest!
I heard the Secret Service had to change their commands. They can’t say “Get down!” anymore when the President is under attack. Now it’s “Donald! Duck!”

Prime Minister Trudeau – Can Gender Neutrality be Fun?

Canada’s Prime Minister has admitted he doesn’t have the best track records with jokes. At a recent Townhall Meeting, he responded to a woman who said “… change the future of mankind” by suggesting she say “… ‘peoplekind,’ not necessarily ‘mankind’,” adding that the former is more inclusive. He later said he was just ‘lightly ribbing the woman.’

The Trudeau Government is a leader in women’s rights, equality and power dynamics of gender. In keeping with that, Canada recently passed a bill that would make the country’s national anthem gender-neutral by changing the phrase “in all they sons command” to “in all of us command.”

Personally, I wonder how our vocabulary would change if we were required, either by practice or law, to speak ‘gender neutrality’. Is the word ‘person’ gender neutral? (It contains the word ‘son’.) Is the word ‘woman’ gender neutral? (It contains the word ‘man’.) Is the word ‘human’ gender neutral? And finally, do we have to change ‘Manitoba’ (a Canadian province) to Peopletoba’?

12 Things I Learned from Life and Writing by Anne Lamott

So I sat down a few days before my 61st birthday, and I decided to compile a list of everything I know for sure. There’s so little truth in the popular culture, and it’s good to be sure of a few things…
Number 2: almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
– Anne Lamott –

What was Mildly Amusing to you this week?

From Rags to Riches – the Spam Way

I opened a few Gmail accounts a while back – I am migrating from Hotmail to Gmail, though for the life of me I can’t remember what prompted me to do that. Regardless of the reason, I have never checked the Spam box of my Gmail account until today. Imagine my surprise when I discovered all the ways I could be a wealthy woman if I simply follow the instructions in these emails:

1. If I can just help out Mrs.Fatoumata Zongo, the wife to the deceased former Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa, I will get 30% of  US $7 million. Her husband was the linkman between the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country. He died from cardiac arrest, though she doesn’t say whether that might have been just after a bullet or an arrow pierced his heart.

I suggest this because it appears like Mr. Zongo was a bit of a shady character. He seems to have skimmed the money off the  allocated oil quota in OPEC. Mrs. Zongo isn’t all that honest either, and she wants me  to assist her to claim his ill gotten gains. The process appears to be very simple. There are some claim documents that will be processed and sent to me. The documents will be amended to reflect me as the beneficiary so that I can  collect the fund as his business associate. Then, I will keep 30% of the total funds and give her the rest when she arrives  in my country.

Now I have to ask the obvious question – why would I give her the 70%?  She anticipated that question, so she appealed to my humanitarian side – she needs it for the up keep of her only son. Well, Mrs. Zongo, you are very wrong if you think I have both a greedy side and a humanitarian side!

My dear Mrs. Zongo – this is a dangerous game you are playing.  Run, Mrs. Zongo before you and your son also experience ‘cardiac arrest’.

2. The next email skipped the preliminary story and got right to the point.  Mrs. Fatu Kabri wished to solicit my partnership to transfer $20 Million US dollars. She would send me more information and procedures once she received this information from me:
1. Full name……….
2. Nationality………….
3. Age…………….
4. Occupation…………..
5. Phone number………….

I expect the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Kabri ‘s $20 million were not all that honest either. Run Mrs. Kabri before you suffer ‘cardiac arrest’ too!

3. The third email was to notify me that I was a Winner in UKNL of One Million Pounds. All I had to do was Contact Agent Larry William Via his Email address and tell him my:
Full Name:
Contact Address:
Tel:
Age:
Country:

Toonaday shark

I had to wonder, how did I win a lottery that I didn’t enter in a country I don’t live? Clearly Agent Larry doesn’t know any of these answers either. Agent Larry also should know by now that One Million pounds is chicken feed compared with what is being offered by his fellow crooks in South Africa.

That was all there was in my Spam Box – three incredibly stupid stories intended to appeal to either my greed or my gullibility. It would all be very funny if the purpose of these emails wasn’t fraudulent, and if some people weren’t victims of the schemes behind these emails.

Think of your Spam Email box as shark infested waters. Don’t even think of going swimming in there!

Unsolicited e-mails, however, are often the initial means for criminals, such as operators of fraudulent schemes, to contact and solicit prospective victims for money, or to commit identity theft by deceiving them into sharing bank and financial account information.
– The United States Department of Justice –

Cna Yuo Raed Tihs? (A Spam Story)

How often have you received this email, or one like it?

Can you raed this? Olny 55 people out of 100 can. If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends with ‘yes’ in the subject line. Only great minds can read this.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

ToonadayHow often have you read the email and then sent it off to your friends to show them that you are one of those 55 folks with a great mind?

I’ve received this email more times than I can count, and each time it is embellished a bit more. The one in my inbox this morning told me that it was a test for Alzheimer’s.

Guess what? The email is really just a fun bit of spam that has been floating around the internet since September 2003. Cambridge University (UK) isn’t aware of the research that is referred to in the email. Matt Davis, who is part of a Cambridge group that is investigating how the brain processes language, has explained this email at the following link:  MRC-CBU: The Science Behind the Meme. Matt lists some of the ways in which the original author(s) of the meme might have manipulated the jumbled text to make it relatively easy to read.

In short, you aren’t as smart as you think you are and in fact, you have been tricked into sending spam to your friends. You can’t help but be impressed by how clever some of these spammers are!

No one bill will cure the problem of spam. It will take a combined effort of legislation, litigation, enforcement, customer education, and technology solutions.
– David Baker –

Stop Online Piracy Act

I’m a day late getting to the SOPA/PIPA Protest. I spent Blackout Day trying to find a comfortable position. My back and shoulders suddenly decided to go on strike against the rest of my body, and the picket lines they erected made life for the whole gang pretty uncomfortable. I alternated between lying down, sitting up, wandering around, ice packs, pain killers, and the odd dose of dark chocolate.

Things have settled down a bit today, so I can spend some time thinking about my position on the Stop Online Piracy Act. The goal of the United States House of Representatives seems worthy enough. In the briefest terms, the intent of it is: “… H.R. 3261 allows the Attorney General to seek injunctions against foreign websites that steal and sell American innovations and products.”

The devil is in the details and the enforcing of this legislation could possibly restrict the rights and freedoms of  everyone, not just the pirates. In the end, the pirates will find other ways to keep doing business, leaving those who abide by the law holding yet another bag of restrictions.

Of course, I am a Canadian, so I don’t spend too much time worrying about yet another limitation on the rights of Americans. But this new legislation is being supported by the American Music and Movie industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the electronic and auto industries, groups that seem a bit like pirates themselves sometimes.

I  think the internet today is like the Old West – open, free, and dangerous if you don’t take responsibility for your own welfare. Maybe SOPA is akin to when the military moved in to make things safer for folks who should probably have just headed back East to where things weren’t quite so wild.

The responsibility for policing the internet belongs to each and every person who accesses it. There would be no desire for legislation like SOPA if there weren’t so many ‘law abiding’ individuals who are willing to buy cheap pirated product.

What Dressing Like a Slut Says

On January 24, 2011, Constable Michael Sanguinetti and another officer from Toronto’s 31 Division came to a York University Safety Forum at the Osgoode Hall Law School. While presumably listing ways to avoid sexual assault  Sanguinetti  said, “You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here. I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

It was a choice of words he came to regret. It outraged many people including one MACLEANS commentator  who said, “A woman has the right to dress as she wishes. It is never okay for someone to take away her ability to feel safe in her own body simply because society deems her dresses provocative. A woman has the right to to say ‘no’ and have her decision be respected.”

Toronto Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray responded on behalf of the Police by saying that cautioning women on their state of dress is not part of any police training. “They are taught that nothing a woman does contributes to a sexual assault.” Sanguinetti apologized in a written statement.

The Constable’s comments triggered a “Slut Walk” at Queen’s Park in Toronto that attracted thousands of participants. The movement has now spread to the U.S. and England. The intent of the walks is to help to remove the stigma of the term “Slut”. They also want to spread the word that those who experience sexual assault are not the ones at fault, without exception.

Which is all very admirable, but ignores the fact that the Constable was trying to tell women that there are violent men out there who target prostitutes (sluts), and in some circumstances, women will be safer if they don’t dress in the same clothing that prostitutes wear in order to advertise the sex trade.

It is the same common sense that says it is inadvisable to wear a bikini to a dinner party given by the bosses wife, or a fur coat to a PETA Rally.

One step beyond wearing hardly any clothes is Nudity. In many countries public nudity is forbidden outright on the basis that nudity is inherently sexual. Large numbers of people are, for various reasons, offended by and even distressed with public displays of nudity. Attempts to make public nudity legal will likely continue to fail, mostly because the majority of people don’t have skin that fits them all that well. That is why most prostitutes dress the way they do – it is more alluring to dress like a slut than to wear no clothes at all.

Which is likely why Mark Twain observed:

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

So ladies, wear revealing clothing if you want to. But don’t ever think it is safe to wear anything you want where ever you want. Life isn’t about Why you shouldn’t be a victim, it is about how NOT to be a victim.