Conspiracy Analysis: Was there a significant Covid-19 outbreak in Nova-Scotia (Canada) over a month before the first presumptive cases were declared in the region?

If there was: when did the government learn about it? How big was it? Who kept it a secret?

Most importantly: How can we turn this evident malfeasance and clear deception into something capable of fostering the type of solidarity we’d been told was the goal of our shared public health efforts since the very start?

I’m very confident I had Covid-19 in early February 2020. I’m very confident many people in my life and where I worked at the time also got it. I’m very confident it spread from the office where I worked at the time — which was a large building on the peninsula with many employees who worked on multiple floors — out to other regions throughout the Halifax region of Nova Scotia, Canada. This is a region with a large number of universities and international students.

If you’re wondering: I support vaccination campaigns, don’t think they can ever be successfully made mandatory for a virus like this (nor should they due to considerations relating to emergent social conflict), and I believe that skewed corporate interests and professional negligence of seemingly reputable healthcare professionals have compromised huge swaths of our ability to roll out a trustworthy and respectable vaccination campaigns at the global level.

I am very confident that some version of what I’ll describe here played out in many democratic, free, and fair governments all over the world. Unfortunately due to the nature of the pandemic and this specific conspiracy it’s very difficult for me to have direct evidence of my claims. My investigation so far includes a bunch of supporting commentary from a wide variety of diverse individuals spread out all throughout my region.

There’s definitely evidence if the right people go looking. There are definitely people in my region who know the truth and aren’t speaking up. I’m not saying this conspiracy is the government being incompetent and not catching it at all— my claim is that they caught the actual start of the pandemic much too late, didn’t realize how significant it had been, and hoped no one else noticed. This is a bunch of people telling themselves they were serving the public good by omitting their failures and deception from the public record. The public was not served by this choice. In fact it’s likely that social conflict was higher than it would otherwise have been because our elected representatives were keeping a secret in order to serve their own professional interests.

Liars and heroes? Heroes and liars? It’s definitely both and that sucks. Everything is very complicated.

Before we begin: Why does it matter?

I’ve spent the entire pandemic being pretty serious about public health recommendations. Nothing will change my desire to do that. I do it for myself, for the people in my life, and for the people around me. Following public health measures makes me feel like a good person when I trust the systems that have developed the recommendations. I even follow public health recommendations that I know aren’t as supported by science as is commonly stated — assuming I don’t think their presence is harmful — because I firmly believe in solidarity. Solidarity is a word that made the rounds a lot during the initial WHO campaign to inform the public about the pandemic. It was the closest they came to a branded marketing campaign — although it never quite materialized.

Solidarity is a concept I firmly believe in. I supported that nascent campaign and was discouraged to see it fumbled the way it was.

Even in cases where I know the science wasn’t as solid as it was being presented, I would give the systems and their representatives the benefit of the doubt and presume that they weren’t actively trying to cause harm. I know so many folks who work in healthcare, I have no reservations about the fact that they all fuck up sometimes, but it’s impossible for me to fathom some sort of serious malicious conspiracy around the pandemic that involved more than a handful of folks in key positions of influence and power (and the bare minimum of technical employees required to make it happen).

I see no reason to dig for outlandish conspiracies that make no sense to me given my technical understanding of the systems and processes involved, especially since there is an evident and understandable conspiracy right in front of our eyes.

I’ve spent the entire pandemic between many tribes on many issues. This often results in me being maligned somewhat universally. We don’t have a robust culture capable of fostering critique against the tribal interests of our own side because of how desperate all social conflict has become. We need to be able to critique our own sides to get through this though. Think about what we’ve seen. We’ve all likely watched people we love and care about make decisions which have proven to be ignorant or misinformed based on where the science actually landed, right? It would probably be a mistake to think it’s just the people in our lives. We’ve all done it. The science has been hard to follow and poorly communicated. Everyone has been uncertain. Everyone has made mistakes.

If you’re looking for it it’s easy to watch both sides fail to acknowledge the valid considerations of the other side. This happens to me too. This was endemic in our culture before the pandemic hit.

It would be so fucking easy to be so fucking disappointed in so many people, including myself, if I wasn’t a boundless font of eternal love or some shit.

OK, so: How do I know there was an outbreak?

I had the worst cold of my life in February 2020. At no point did I seriously consider that this cold was Covid because it never crossed my mind that the people who were leading our pandemic response would have lied about it.

Throughout the remainder of the pandemic I had a number of other colds. I have school age kids and they’re little virus magnets. I probably had 4 or 5 non-Covid colds between February 2020 and April 2022. Every time I thought “I don’t know what Covid feels like. Is this Covid?” despite being tested as needed.

I always wondered if any of the minor colds I’d had had been Covid and were just missed by testing. I didn’t trust the testing infrastructure as much as they wanted me to, though I always participated in testing when necessary because I recognized it was the best way for everyone in my life to feel safe around everyone else.

April 2022

I got Covid! Hooray? I was double vaccinated but hadn’t had a booster. It shut me down for about a day, I felt gross for half a day beforehand and I was tired for a few days afterwards.

This is probably the most deliberate altar I have. Front and center is evidence of one of the most significant battles I’ve ever waged (which was, it turns out, the second battle in that particular war.)

In many ways getting Covid while vaccinated felt less severe than some of the colds I’d had over the past few years. The period where the disease was most present in my body was definitely a big blow to my system, but the time before and after was less severe and debilitating than some colds.

My main takeaway was: Oh wow, I’m glad I was vaccinated. That could have been a big health crisis for me.

I remembered.

I remembered the bad cold in February 2020. I remembered it and realized how it felt like a week and a half long version of what I’d just had in April 2022.

I remember the specific feelings in my body, the aches, the specific feeling of the breathing difficulty. This felt like that, I’m absolutely certain of it. I imagine there are plenty of other folks all over the world with a similar experience who would say the same.

My father had a heart attack at the started of the pandemic. He had the same cold as me over a month earlier. That all happened the weekend the pandemic was declared in our region and quarantine measures went into effect, ironically enough. He’s recovered but it was a really shocking start to an incredibly shocking period. If this theory is correct he had Covid, he didn’t notice, and then he had a heart attack. (Did his doctors know it might have been Covid? Were they seeing an uptick in heart attacks at the same time? Who knows this and how can we find out?)

I remembered all the people at work who got sick, and how we all live in different parts of the region.

I’ve had a few conversations over the past few years, including some folks I only know in a professional capacity, which have confirmed or alluded to the existence of this shadow pandemic.

I’ve had Covid twice.

I was safer during the pandemic than I realized because no one told me I’d had Covid. I had antibodies and some immunity. I didn’t need to be as scared and worried as I was. I would still have followed public health guidelines because I would have remembered how bad it was when I had it. I still follow them now even though I’m vaccinated and have had Covid twice.

Anyway, this applies to many of the people in my life. A lot of the people I’m close to got Covid back in February 2020. We all had increased immunity during the pandemic and we didn’t know it. I had a bunch of mental health issues and, in hindsight, probably a bunch of mental fog relating to long Covid. My ability to write code as a software developer became increasingly compromised in ways that I’m certain were in part related to long Covid and all of that made no fucking sense to me at the time, especially since I was already dealing with a mental health crisis during that period. Would I have been better able to get a handle on the depression and anxiety I was experiencing during the start of the pandemic if I’d known or suspected that my mental faculties were compromised? Yes.

People in our region experienced cognitive decline which undoubtedly harmed their quality of life at the start of the pandemic in significant ways. Their government knew about it and didn’t tell them and it made everything harder.

I hate that I have to make such absolute statements about reality which fly in the face of what my government wants me to believe/say/think, by the way. Fuck having a government that expects this of us and fuck the system that keeps putting this bullshit in front of us.

We could have all played a role in the scientific elucidation of the impact and spread of the pandemic on the people we love and the communities where we live if we’d known we had Covid. Our strategy could have been better informed. Our approach would have been more data-driven. Information developed here could have been used to improve the pandemic response for the entire world.

Some of us could have served in a public health capacity to deliver goods and provide services on a voluntary basis in order to make restrictions and quarantines easier on everyone else. Our local tech ecosystem could have built software to enable this. There were almost certainly thousands of us who had Covid around Nova Scotia in February 2020.

The entire start of the pandemic could have gone very differently.

Very early on the WHO told us “The correct reaction will look like an over-reacting”. I believed this and then, to my dismay, never saw an overreaction. I know some people think we saw an overreaction but we didn’t. Not here. Not even in China where they locked people into their apartments. An overreaction would have been a foundational shift in how we handle shared crises. It would have been an “Oh fuck everything could get really fucked we all need to get our shit together right now!” moment.

Instead we just played the same old stupid games and millions of people died.

Is this deception harmful?

I write about stuff that relates to foundational components of physical reality, existential threats, and a bunch of other totally insane big picture shit. Does Nova Scotia matter? Of course it does. It’s home and I love it and it’s where I keep all my stuff.

At the core of this issue is a simple truth that no one ever wants to acknowledge: Everything is too fucking complicated. It’s actually really hard for well educated and well informed people to stay on top of all of this and most people are not well informed or educated. Public health officials speak with a lot of certainty and confidence in order to get past this. They also omit things and drive narratives in order to maintain public support for what they think should happen because what they think should happen is, in their opinion, for the best. It makes perfect sense.

But then what if they fuck up?

What happens if the way they present themselves and act in public is different from how they feel and behave in private? What happens to everything they represent?

These are rhetorical questions, of course. We all know the answer because we’ve all seen this play out all over the world all throughout history. More importantly, and more difficult to accept: we’ve all behaved the same way. We all do or we all have. We cover our asses instinctually. We’ve all done shitty shit and tried to get out of it. We’ve all fibbed, omitted, or lied to protect our interests. We judge other people for doing it because we know we’ve fucking done too it and we judge ourselves for it but we don’t wanna think about that. Despite that we know we have to (because we’re good people) so it comes out as a projection directed at others (swing and a miss, champ).

Much of the judgement and conflict of the pandemic has been the shadow of our failures and anxiety projected outwards onto the world around us.

Alternative facts are real (And Kellyanne Conway is a shitty person).

Sometimes social conflict arises from when things are more complicated than we want them to be and we lie to ourselves in order to simplify them. Once we start carrying around an internal state like this we become incapable of interacting with folks who are prioritizing different facets of the information without some sort of collision between the arbitrary boundaries of reality we form around ourselves. We surround ourselves with explosive ideological forcefields that can easily prevent any sort of perspective-taking or empathy from being possible.

Here’s a frustrating example: There’s a study that shows that Ivermectin was effective in treating Covid in a region. The study then goes on to say that it was effective because Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic and it was used in a population that likely had a higher than average amount of parasites. Those parasites would have been weakening their system. Killing the parasites made their bodies more able to fight Covid.

So here’s the thing: That’s pretty fucking complicated. There’s shit like that all over the world that you, whoever you are, don’t understand. You might understand this one (but did you actually look and do you actually understand, or do you simply accept it because it fits your narrative about other people?). There’s plenty of things that the average person can’t be expected to understand unless it’s explained in a way they can understand… and this stuff isn’t. Science communication has been fucking terrible about the pandemic. In circumstances like this we adopt the views of our tribe and hope for the best. We adopt the views of our leaders. We’ve evolved to do it. Everyone does it.

I liked my leaders. I often felt that McNeil was doing what I would have done. Strang was presenting things in a way that made sense. It all made me feel safe. It was simple. I understood what needed to be happening out in public, I did it, and it was working. It felt like solidarity. I understood enough of what was being said and I was closely aligned with the tribe in power so I felt secure and I felt supported.

At some point in 2020 that changed but I didn’t notice because no one told me. McNeil and Strang learned about the pre-pandemic Covid outbreak and they never told us. We had an opportunity to trust the science and they denied it to us. Think of all the buzzwords we’ve had thrown at us over the past few years — how many of those are represented in this behaviour by our leaders?

They could have told us how truly complicated everything was and treated us like adults, but instead they lied to us and misled us. They talked about wanting to reduce social conflict while holding onto facts that maintained social conflict. They did this to protect themselves and they probably lied to themselves and said it was to protect us. Their position played a role in sustaining the existence of social conflict around us by preventing the tribe that was opposed to their efforts from being able to make actual and earned progress. I have grown so very tired of the authoritarianism of Liberal governments in my middle age. They so rightly critique and confront the authoritarianism of various Conservative governments we’ve had, it makes me sick watching them roll out their own flavour of it.

Shameless plug, I’m writing a new book of poetry called Fight The World. It includes this poem:

The Fight Against Fascism

Force them to stop them
from using force on others.
Avoid all mirrors.

The pathetic Fascism of being lied to by your government

Fascism has been rebranded in a way that only allows it to be pointed at a specific cultural iteration of fascistic concepts, by which I mean white nationalist concepts, and this has blinded us to the nuance and variety of fascism. We have consumed a parody of fascism — one which has been refined and fed to us by social media platforms designed to illicit strong emotional reactions from us — and it’s taken the place of a true understanding of fascism.

Fascism is having choices taken away from you or people around you. Fascism is watching systems built up around you that are designed to control, restrict or oppress you while supporting the people who’ve built them.

As I review the pandemic I see this everywhere. I see all the leaders I admire becoming compromised by the systems that are required to sustain everything that’s destroying us. I see this from leaders I respect. I see this from Jacinda Ardern in allowing billionaires to build bunkers that can only possibly be of value if they accidentally destroy the fabric of our shared global civilization. I see this in Justin Trudeau for the incendiary language he used regarding the recent protests, and the approach he chose which was clearly designed to maintain (or even amplify) the existence of an internal political enemy because that galvanized his base and strengthened his support at a time when he wanted the strongest support — which is fucking always. I’m not surprised he maintained the governments ability to infringe on bank accounts after the trucker protest ended — we all watched him lie to us about electoral reform and other things. Justin Trudeau performs a socially progressive ballet in beautiful conjunction with an evident globalist agenda designed to increase the strength of corporations and NGOs which are aligned with his interests.

I have no illusions those powers won’t be used by future governments and people from his party will campaign on removing them. It should make us all sick.

They set the stage for the next round of social conflict instead of fixing this one. This is part of the modern political playbook.

Obviously everything is very complicated. I don’t think Jacinda Ardern is complicit in some evil attempt to destabilize our civilization, she just stands to benefit politically and economically from the individuals who may cause such a destabilization. (Honestly though I’m pretty done with Trudeau. Liberals and progressives deserve someone far more effective and with greater strength of character than him [no not me]).

Where do we go from here?

The universe has provided me with an appropriate place to plug the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer musical. Listen to the start of the song. Listen to the words and the tone.

This episode ended when all the heroes realized they were covered in shit and lying to themselves about it.

The rest of the seasons of the show resulted in various apocalypses and a number of heartbreaking deaths because people kept lying to themselves about all sorts of shit and it fucked up their ability to react to crises. Let’s not emulate that, k?

Let’s do the thing where we all come together and have the types of open, honest discussion we need to have in order to actually work through this year of perpetual hell that started in 2020 and won’t end until we figure things out.

Next Steps

I’ve created a form that can be used to collect data around the severity and spread of this shadow pandemic. I’m not sharing it because I don’t want to manage this project, and also this type of investigation isn’t something I have direct experience with. If you or someone you know does please reach out and I can hand the form over to you.

Here’s my card:

You can hire me for various wizarding tasks: (Please print on recycled paper and post)



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Eric Lortie

Eric Lortie

Artist. Human. Software Engineer. Wizard. Nonviolent Extremist.