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  • National Geographic: more deaths of Covid 19 than of the Spanish Flu of 1918-19.

    Home » Forums » Outside the box » Rants » National Geographic: more deaths of Covid 19 than of the Spanish Flu of 1918-19.

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    #2391707

    Today in the news:

    The number of deaths officially confirmed to have been caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which stands for: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, has already surpassed the estimated deaths caused by the most deadly pandemic ever to affect the USA in history, until this one, that was that of the Spanish Flu, back in 1918 and 1919:

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/covid-19-is-now-the-deadliest-pandemic-in-us-history?cmpid=org=ngp

    Now, an explanation, and some rules of the road: this comment is posted in the “Rants” forum. People sometimes are surprised that posted topical comments such as this one, that are not on”Tech” issues, and even ones that some might consider to be controversial, are allowed in a “Tech Site”. Well, that may well be so in other places, but AskWoody is peculiar this way. The “Rants” forum has long been a place for open debate on matters as controversial as some that touch on politics and even religion (rarely). So: welcome to the discovery of AskWoody’ multi-dimensional nature.

    Rules: anyone that wants to comment should be aware that “Rants” does not imply incivility. Trolls are not welcomed. Name-calling and getting personal are punished with the removal of any abusive comments. And those who disapprove of this type of subject matter being seen anywhere in a Tech site, are welcome to stay away from this thread and from “Rants.” Those with something interesting and even informative to say here, on the other hand, are most welcome.

    Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

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    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by OscarCP.
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    • #2391712

      Thank you Oscar for this great find. This is the best and most informative article I have read on the Spanish Flu.

    • #2391773

      Happily, I don’t know anyone who’s lost anyone from covid and I haven’t seen any videos showing victims turning blue like the article mentions but I’ve read enough to be careful and get vaccinated. In a small population like Slovenia’s two million, you’d think everyone might know someone who got sick or has a sick or dead relative, but idiots still crowd me at the cashier’s desks. Maybe the state TV stations should show more victims in ICU beds or more funerals . . .

      What is coverage like elsewhere? Would a bit more fear spread via pictures and video coverage in the media be of any use? It does seem pretty universal that the “Consider other people” approach isn’t much use.

      But then I’m a cynical well-educated old ex-North-American privileged white guy who’s grateful to have lived in the last seven decades with radio, TV, classical music, rock and roll, singer-songwriter folk music (e.g., Dylan, Denver, Creedance. Springsteen) and all the other modern developments and who through travel and career choices managed to miss the deterioration of music post-1970’s into trite catchy and repetitive soundbites with no content—regardless of what music commentators say—as well as all the sit-coms that characterized American culture over the past fifty years or so. And doesn’t have a smartphone.

      I tend to think stupid is incurable but Mother Nature will eventually eradicate it—see unvaccinated covid death statistics for her smaller scale measures and the approaching global climate disaster for her major solution. Humanity is seriously and wonderfully clever, but not really that smart as a whole. Mitigate global warming? Fat chance!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2391800

        Wayne, I really would like to consider mainly the extent and dynamics of the present health crisis, but your comment is in part about that, so I cannot help but write the following, at the risk that trolls and others might take it as an excuse to try to start an unproductive and pointless fight. I shall leave such comments unanswered, exactly as they shall deserve to be left.

        I am convinced that there is no way to persuade of the need to even consider seriously the problems presented by Covid 19, to people who firmly believe it is their right to accept or disregard the advice of the experts at government agencies that look after public health, as well as that of other scientists and of physicians on how to behave in what these experts describe as a dire situation. I often wonder if it is also the firm conviction of the same people that they have the right to accept or disregard the advice not to get drunk and then drive. Except that drunk drivers present and existential danger to fewer would-be casualties, because they are dangerous only to themselves, to those who ride with them, and to others unlucky enough to be then on the road (or on city sidewalks).

        A basic and self-driven solidarity to one’s own people as well as to strangers, translated in the respect of the principle — not written in, let’s say, the Constitution of the USA, or in some of the Bible’s chapters and verses, as far as I know, but a principle implicit in the laws and customs of civilized people everywhere and since the dawn of history — is that my rights end where those of others begin. Including the right to be allowed to live healthy and if possible also longer than three or four weeks after a chance encounter —  although not a right written in the Constitution or in the Bible, at least so plainly and directly stated, now that I think of it.

        But perhaps a disregard of others’ rights — be it due to selfishness, or to the inability to understand the implications of one’s own behavior — is not the only reason persuasion is not possible: one cannot convince someone using factual arguments, if the other invariably dismisses these as the fantastic lies of some secret cabal of conspirators, or is convinced that nobody really has proven so far that a real problem exists, so anyone who is saying otherwise is just blowing hot air.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
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        • #2391811

          I wonder where the failure to recognize where one’s own rights end and the rights of others begin originates. Is it parenting (sins of the fathers repeated for generations), poor education, blind faith in whatever concepts make the world easier to understand? Macho American role models?

          In theory, we should have advanced beyond the “power equals control equals survival” instincts of early humanity or that the evolved “money equals power/control equals survival” ethos might have allowed the “cooperation and mutual protection equals survival” to be more prevalent.

          I confess to being singularly unimpressed by the January 6 rioters and profoundly surprised by the fact that so many were old enough to know better. I vaguely sympathize with the ones swept up in the euphoria of the crowd and the general excitement, but the ones with the foresight to bring MAGA hats and Trump flags along with mace and other weapons are another matter altogether. My guess is that the leaders love the sense of power that a listening and following crowd provides, which possibly they don’t get in their daily working lives. Whether they truly believe in a stolen election (incurably stupid) or just love the sound of their own voices and the power of influencing others (possibly undiluted evil), somewhere the system has gone astray. Why do so many not trust the courts or the investigations? Why do so many fall under the spell of demagogues? Is it the ever increasing economic inequality and the grinding misery and boredom of minimum wage jobs with no future prospects?

          I wonder when the first air-conditioned domes will be built over today’s gated communities . . .

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        • #2391898

          Oscar I am always impressed by your facility with the written language,, and jealous 😄

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #2392047

            Wavy, that’s really a great compliment.Thanks.

            But hear me speak and be jealous no longer.

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

            MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
            Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
            Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2391816

      Wayne: two things, one about your previous comment and one totally unrelated:

      (1) “My guess is that the leaders [of the rioters] love the sense of power that a listening and following crowd provides, which possibly they don’t get in their daily working lives.

      Maybe, and if so, then many of their followers do too.

      But I think, or rather suspect, that is not, as often said, poverty or lack of opportunities or decent job prospects that is near half the explanation, maybe a smallish part of it, at least in these US of A. I know rather well-off people, also smart and hard-working and otherwise helpful souls, such as the excellent car-mechanic that tends to my over 30-year old car, that also believes just about every conspiracy theory around and, on the current topic we are considering in this thread, tells me that his father was very sick with covid, so badly he (the father) believed he was going to die, but then he recovered just fine after all. So in his mind that proves he, the mechanic, is right about the whole thing being blown out of all proportion by interested politicians, civil servants and the rest of the Deep State, because … ? And he runs a family business that is doing pretty well, judging by the number of customers’ new, nice cars waiting to have something taken care of. And his is a very nice family and I enjoy talking, now and then, with his mother and, or her sister, when they are around or tending the store. They do not wear MAGA hats, at least not then.

      So it seems to me that something deep in us is waiting for some external stimulant, from some mendacious authority figure’s magic words, for the imperious gesture forward of the Man On The White Horse, to enable it to come out and take over our higher mental functions needed to discriminate with a healthy dose of skepticism whatever is said or is written about pretty much anything. My peculiar upbringing and then my training in my own scientific profession has given me a somewhat better BS detector than others have, but is not something I came into this world bringing within me and ready to go.

      (2) Finally and as promised, something quite unrelated: you are actually the only person living in Slovenia I’ve ever had a real chance to ask this: is Ćevapi, the most typical meal that everyone connects with the Balkans? I used to have it in Styria, Austria, during several visits I made to Graz, for professional reasons with a side of tourism. And I liked it. They were known there, if I remember correctly, by a diminutive version of the word: ćevapčići. With or without all the diacritic marks.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

      • #2391817

        On my way to bed, 2:33 AM, but I’ll tell you that čevapčiči is a Serbian spiced hamburger patty and according to my partner, NOT a traditional Slovene food. I haven’t heard the diminutive form, so that may be an Austrian thing, possibly adopted from Balkan guestworkers.

        My partner and her family insist that Slovenia is not Balkan but rather Austrian in culture from the pre-WWI Hapsburg Empire When Ljubljana was Laibach . . .

        • #2391818

          Thanks to your partner, for the clarification, and to you for the description: that is exactly what I remember it was. Its precise origin was not specified in my comment, because it is something I never heard mentioned over there, hence my question. Slovenia does not want to be a part of the Balkans, and who could blame the Slovenians for that? Sleep well.

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        • #2391846

          I heard a while that Kranski was of Slovenian origin. True?

          I’m a first generation Slovene living in South Australia so a big g’day to all Slovenians who visit this forum.

          Na zdravje

          • #2391859

            ZDRUŽENJE SLOVENSKA IZSELJENSKA MATICA
            https://www.zdruzenje-sim.si

            Your folks should have this address. It’s the organization for Slovenes abroad. I spent my first twelve years or so here copy editing the English-language Slovenija quarterly magazine for them.

            Kranjska klobasa is a spiced sausage with protected origin status in the EU, like French Champagne, so yes.

    • #2391853

      Ooooops! I was wrong. Sorry, Oscar!  Čevapčiči are little spiced sausages and also Serbian. The spiced burger patties are pleskavica (spelling could be wrong)

      • #2391904

        Wayne, so great to know that this thread I have started has gladden the hearts of Slovenes the world over!

        Given the above, I am inverting the order of a previous comment: one perhaps no longer so unrelated thing first, and one fully on topic second:

        (1) As to those Čevapčiči:  It might have been sausages what I ate, as it had spicy meat, but I thought it was more like burgers. Probably I am confusing two different kinds of food from South of the (Austrian) Border I had during my stays in Graz.

        As to your partner’s historical clarification, and as amplification, not a contradiction: As far as I recall (and how far is that? Well … that would be telling), everything from Trieste a good way down the Dalmatian coast and nearby parts inland, were inherited or acquired by the direct successor of the Holy Roman Empire of the Hapsburg, the Austro-Hungarian Empire (actually a dual monarchy) and still (co)run by a Hapsburg from Vienna. Trieste was not let go by the Austrians, their country a Republic by then, until well after the end of WW II, when it became a part of Italy. Also Franz Ferdinand was not visiting Sarajevo with his wife on vacation but on official business, when they were both used for target practice, if I recall correctly reading about it somewhere.

        (2) Now to business:
        Vaccines and skepticism.

        While using the expression “vaccine skeptical” is just being nice when referring to those who refuse to vaccinate themselves and discourage others from doing so, most often with (actually) bare-faced opposition to wearing masks and to keep a distance from others, particularly when talking to them, I am nowadays also a sort-of skeptic, when it comes to when to get my third (a.k.a the booster) shot of the covid vaccine, or even if I will take it of the same brand as before (Moderna), or if it might be better to take one of a different maker.

        The reason for my skepticism is this working hypothesis of mine, that nobody really knows enough already to advise people on this particular, but officials in charge of giving public health advice feel they have to do so anyway, as best they can. So we get, as now, contradictory advice.

        The situation, as I see it, is one where the experts are flying while they are still putting the airplane together, and are doing it as fast as they can. This whole covid thing, unlike the flu, is so very new that nobody has had time to properly figure out all the important details of how to best deal with it, yet. We are so very lucky that at least we have vaccines that are mostly effective.
        So, for the moment, I am considering to get a third shot eight months after my third one, so still some months in the future, and to keep listening, watching and following by all appropriate means what develops.
        So: there is vaccine skepticism, and then there is vaccine skepticism.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2391852

      Back to the topic. Fifty years ago, while on a co-op job with the American Humanist Association in Yellow Springs, Ohio, I read an article about “Tolerance for Uncertainty” that stated such tolerance was a mark of maturity. While the implication was that people cling to religion to provide certainty in an uncertain world, the general principle seems to be true: We want things to happen for a reason or at least be explainable because otherwise it’s so damn random out there.

      9/11 is an extreme example, but flash floods in centuries-old German towns located beside a tranquil creek? A wildfire or a tornado taking your house? In New Jersey, of all places? Mudslides suddenly taking chunks of mountainside and sweeping villages away? Lava flows taking a new direction?

      Some of this we can prepare for, like storm cellars in Tornado Alley or dredging rivers (which frequently brings its own unintended consequence) or having a go bag in the hall closet or a generator in the garage, but most of what happens is completely random, from traffic accidents to a roof tile or flower pot falling five stories or more to a sidewalk. Absolutely nothing we can do to avoid the consequences.

      And positive events have the same randomness. I once cracked a rib falling off my motorcycle in July and spent a week with a park work group who invited me into the workers’ dorm (they came by the crash site and took me to a hospital and then home with them). I was naturally bored stiff, bored enough to grab a newspaper dumped on the floor for something, anything to read. And there was a classified ad for a teaching job on the other side of the mountain. Since I was unemployed at the time and waiting for exactly the job advertised (senior high school English teacher), I phoned and told them I’d be there for an interview the following week. I happily spent the next four years teaching in the mountains of BC.

      So much of life is pure dumb luck, good and bad, and while we can rise or fall depending on our response, we have no control over life-altering events. Make lemonade, they say, but you need to be lucky enough to have the tools—temperament, education, family support, etc.—in the first place. In any case, uncertainty is hard to live with, if and when you think about it, so any explanation, including conspiracy theories, is welcome to most of us.

      This may explain why so many are so gullible—and we all are gullible to various degrees depending on the matter or situation at hand—but I suspect as Oscar suggests that once an explanation has been accepted, there’s little that can change the belief. Even if the conspiracy is scary—The Feds will be at the door any day now to check that we’re obeying the lockdown rules—the alternative of accepting being the victim of random circumstances is even scarier.

      But how to counter it? I have no idea. I doubt your mechanic would respond well to a skeptical even jocular “You are kidding, right?” so if you want your car care continued, just nodding “Uh huh” is probably the only course of action. If they aren’t hurting anyone with their fantasies, who cares? The big question is when someone close is hurting themselves or others: How can we tell and what can we do?

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      • #2391908

        About my mechanic: I have told him, recently, because he asked, that yes, I still loathed the ex President, and he was OK with that. Because we have known each other for a long time, I am a returning customer, after all, and we agree more than we disagree on several political questions. And it is also the way, and the occasion, how and when one expresses an opposing view from that of the other, that counts. I have told him sometimes, politely, that I did not care to go along with certain opinions he had expressed, and he has been OK with that too. Just disagreeing, but we can do that and still be in good terms. I am not trying to disabuse him of what he believes to be true, because I think that would be hopeless and only serve to endanger the continuing maintenance of my car. So I am politely standing my ground when the situation requires it. And avoiding to bring up controversial topics myself, particularly since there are so many interesting things about each other and the world that it is OK to talk about. That’s all.

        As to the randomness of life as a cause of worry that many assuage and find solace with big doses of belief in the invisible, untouchable and only known because someone wrote that or said so: I absolutely agree with that. Someone once wrote that he preferred to live his finite life free of fairy tales, and that has been pretty much also a motto of mine, since I read it.

        But there are beliefs and then there are beliefs. Some I might not share, but respect, if nothing else because that is the civilized thing to do. Then there are those poisonous ones, and one has to do something about them, something effective that is, not trying to set up a sort of one-man reeducation camp, because that does not work.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2391923

      We got our first jabs a month ago.  Made me kinda sick for almost a week.  What did I do?  Got No.2 Monday this week.  Made my arm hurt for three days, so I built a fence in my back yard and said “Ouch!” a lot.  Minor inconveniences overall.

      We waited so long because we followed mask mandates, vaccine supplies were hit and miss and most of our activities don’t involve close proximity to others.  Mostly vaccine availability.

      I spent a decade developing medical devices, working with some truly brilliant doctors, some of whom had inexplicably weird ideas about things non-medical. If you fly a US or Airbus made commercial airliner, it probably uses engines I and 20,ooo other people made.  Brilliant engineers, adamant about doing the right thing, some with a similar collection of strange off the clock beliefs.  Most of us are smart in some ways, not so smart in others.

      The spiritual side of the beast? IDK.

      Follow the money.  What I told my kids growing up when they became irritated, frustrated or scared online. Are you unintentionally a salesperson for something you didn’t realize you were selling?  Do you get any tangible rewards for your efforts?  Doing all this for Likes or if you’re in the right place, right time, a humiliating TV interview?  Are you mad all the time?  Do you look closely at others to see if they’re “like you?”  Has common sense become a slogan or exhortation when it used to involve thinking and facts?

      It would be very surprising if those volunteering to get ill, running a chance of dying for a cause they’ve been manipulated into believing exists even though it clearly doesn’t, and serving as petri dishes for variant evolution weren’t doing all these truly bizarre things.

      Social media primed us for it; it can be blamed for it.  No?  Go back thirty years and say, with a straight face, what is happening now would have happened then. TV only works one way; social media two ways.  The anti-vax thing is a huge industry.  If it wasn’t it wouldn’t exist.  Follow the money. Up.

      As Eustace from Courage the Cowardly Dog often said, “That’s my opinion if you want it!”

      🙂

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      • #2391934

        First off, I don’t have a smartphone and I don’t use social media so my ignorance of what actually goes through the minds of media addicts/users/slaves/and so forth derives purely from alarmist headlines and news stories.

        So I wonder if the network of nefarious anti-vaxxer influencers making oodles of money is real or just another conspiracy theory. On one hand I know there’s a sucker (or thousand or two) born every minute, but on the other I’m reluctant to believe people deliberately make up anti-vax stories to bilk people or get moneymaking hits on their sites. But then, I simply don’t know how the monetizing system works beyond vague generalities.

        P.S. You have my sincere sympathy for having to guide your kids through the age of social media. I grew up when we could still play in the streets and ride our bikes out to fishing spots along the St. Lawrence River without a police escort. Glad you got your shots too!

      • #2391973

        SallyBrown: Since you brought this up all by yourself …

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqEpxsqAB5o&ab_channel=CouragetheCowardlyDog

        A lesson to us all and a warning to the world.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2391931

      I suspect from my own inclinations that a fear approach might work, with the cooperation of the MSM willing to show crowded ICU units with closeups given family permission and obituary funeral reports of all the local people covid has killed. I read enough reports and descriptions last year to be cautious from the start, masking and distancing, even though my tiny municipality had very few cases, currently one of three with none, and almost no visitors to my little hamlet.

      I wonder how the anti-vaxxers have reacted when the occasional prominent anti-vax evangelist pastor or sports figure or local politician has croaked. Would it have made difference to your mechanic? Is his father begging him and his family to get the shots? Will he get them only when the state decrees he has to to keep his shop open? When it comes to the crunch, will he close the shop and wait it out?

      So, a national CDC-sponsored fear campaign with lurid and moving pictures and state level legal measures if legislation can get past idiots like Abbot and De Santis are all I can come up with since the appeal based on the right of others to remain healthy or at least unhospitalized or dead obviously doesn’t register, as you initially observed.

      Relative to reasonable skepticism, Oscar, I’m just about to pass the time for being eligible for the booster (third) shot, and I’ll take one as soon as and if it’s offered. My primary sources of information are the BBC news website  and the daily free NYT newsletter, and the former is saying the Pfizer vax loses some effect over time, though the percentage is still high enough for decent protection, and a Pfizer booster shot has just been approved for over-65’s. Since I survived the first two shots with only the usual sore arm, I doubt I’ll be in any danger from another one. My only vague concern is the fall timing relative to getting my annual flu shot . . .

      I’m lucky in having received what appears to be the least problematic brand and very likely a third shot of the same. As you say, the jury is still out on mixing brands with some studies suggesting it could enhance the immune reaction and others undetermined. I suppose it’s a watch this space situation for the time being, and you’re fortunate to have several more months to decide.

      • #2391936

        You can actually get the flu and covid shot at the same time, one in each arm.  (93 year old Dad got shot #3/booster and flu shot)

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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        • #2391937

          Dear Editor, Boss, Super Heroine,

          What time zone is the time stamp of entries in? It’s 1:45 AM here but your entry is marked 6:33 pm . . .

          • #2391950

            AskWoody time is USA Central Time, same as in Nashville, Tennessee. Where, as it just happens, the eponymous Woody hailed from until recently (now retired, last I’ve heard about him, he was in Thailand.) So one just have to count the intervening hour zones and keep in mind that here, and also there? the time changes twice a year by one hour plus early in the year, here in mid-March, then back to square one in mid-November.

            I am neither of those you have invoked, but I have a mouth and can scream.
            (And also can thank and acknowledge Harlan Ellison.)

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

            MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
            Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
            Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        • #2391957

          Susan, That’s my plan, if I decide to get the booster sooner than eight months, I can do a twofer, because with Medicare both shots, for covid and flu, are for free. Then I shall most probably be as sick as a dog, but satisfied.

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

      • #2391958

        Wayne asked: “Would it have made difference to your mechanic?” (about some prominent anti-vaxxer dying of covid). This has actually happened, but I doubt it has had much of an effect on him. I would hope it has, but really don’t know. Here we are staring straight into the abyss, and the abyss couldn’t care less that we do.

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    • #2391944

      My personal opinion about a “fear approach”:

      One form of fear, the fear of restrictions in freedom to do as one likes, and the fear of punishment if one does it anyway  (meaning show us first your vaccination certificate if you wish to …, or, depending on what you do, pay a fine high enough to get your attention) might work … if there is a government that governs, what is not quite entirely happening here, in part because of irresolution born out of disunity within the party in government, while facing a united and relentless opposition from the other side, with an essentially hung-Senate, where the government side has a majority of one, but cannot pass anything not coming from the opposition or with its agreement, thanks to a quaint procedural maneuver known as the filibuster, unique to this US of A.   And there is much more to this, but that would be getting too much into USA politics, and that is not my purpose here.

      So, given the above, it is just wonderful that some headway is being made at all in this country towards effectively containing and eventually getting rid of the worse of the pandemic in course, but then there is still the much harder effort to take care of the other, bigger and real existential threats to the very survival of the human species, that make for an interesting, even thrilling reading of the often-added-to red list of doom.

      The other form of “fear approach”, the one considered by Wayne, is similar to the anti-cigarette ads mandatory in every pack being sold (I have not seen cigarette packs in quite some time, so do they still carry them? The ones in Australia, at one point, were quite gruesome.) I think that approach worked, to the extent at least that among better educated people, the circles in which I mainly move, I have noticed for quite some time that smoking anywhere is extremely rare, and smoking in public is practically non-existing.

      Also I think that there may be something to the opinion expressed by SallyBrown that people now being so used to being “liked”, or “liking” others in so-called social networks, this might turn into a competition of all against all on who gets the most “likes” and, when this is taken far enough, it may help lead to a situation somewhat like the one today, of a significant portion of the citizenry with closed minds to anything they do not believe in because these are repeatedly branded as “fake” (e.g., not “liked”) and as the product of some grand conspiracy, by their often invisible gurus, who tell them what to believe about who is responsible for which often imaginary evil; accentuating tribalism, where politics is then regarded as an “us against them” contact sport, rather than as one with a “here we have a problem that we really must solve together and do it soon” barn-rising spirit.

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    • #2391960

      When I click on the link in the opening post, this is what I got
      COVID-19 surpasses 1918 flu as deadliest pandemic in U.S. history
      COVID-19 surpasses 1918 flu as deadliest pandemic in U.S. history (nationalgeographic.com).
      I’m familiar with that information from what I’ve read over the last few days & numerically, that is true.

      The Washington Post has some caveats and I certainly hope we don’t even come close to the 1918-1919 1 in 150 American deaths vs. 1 in 500 American deaths in our time.

      The coronavirus death toll has equaled the 1918 flu pandemic. Here are some key caveats.
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/09/16/coronavirus-death-toll-is-approaching-1918-flu-pandemic-with-some-key-caveats/
      “But this moment also requires context.
      The first obvious point is that our nation’s population is much larger now — by more than three times: The U.S. population in 1918 was just over 100 million, compared with nearly 330 million today. So while the 1918 death toll accounted for about 1 in 150 Americans, we’re currently at 1 in 500.”
      The pandemic marks another grim milestone: 1 in 500 Americans have died of covid-19
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/interactive/2021/1-in-500-covid-deaths/?itid=lk_inline_manual_12

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      • #2392004

        There is definitely confusion regarding  international, national, and state statistics—or the interpretation thereof—due to the ratio of deaths to total numbers in any particular place. Larger populations seem to have better numbers and smaller countries look disastrous when they’re actually doing quite well with vaccinations.

        I developed a advanced calculations phobia when I first confronted calculus totally unprepared by senior high math as a college freshman—failed from day one—and later quit a school of social work because Statistics brought on the same feeling of total despair from brain to stomach. I simply could not read past the first page. I assume many Americans have a similar, hopefully milder, aversion to math in general so statistical reports are simply ignored beyond headlines saying things are getting better or worse and their favoured candidate won or lost due to the numbers. Easy enough then to claim electoral fraud and be believed, wasn’t it?

        Anyway, for many, the citing of statistics is irrelevant, easily dismissed as confusing or misleading depending on the source, so denial of the facts remains easy as long as your own neighbourhood hasn’t been hit by more than couple “freak” cases . . .

    • #2391962

      As cmptrgy has quoted above: “The first obvious point is that our nation’s population is much larger now — by more than three times: The U.S. population in 1918 was just over 100 million, compared with nearly 330 million today. So while the 1918 death toll accounted for about 1 in 150 Americans, we’re currently at 1 in 500.”

      Thanks! I was meaning all along to put the caveat about the population differences 1918-19 vs. 2020 -21, but kept on postponing doing it until I had researched this myself, and then forgetting about it.

      So then: as a per capita average of the total number of inhabitants of the USA, this is now over just a third of what it was in 1918-19. But, then again, there is the famous story of the man who drowned in a lake that was five inches deep, on average.

      The cold fact is that there were nearly a million deaths then and, by now, there are already nearly a million, and still counting, more than a century later, at a time when there are already means to prevent a good deal of such a grisly absolute mortality toll due to a single illness. And with the correlative economic collapse, in this highly industrialized and highly economically interdependent world, with the resulting increase in poverty and outright misery, and with the struggles to get over it being kept in check by the resurgence of the number of people infected in a third or fourth wave, depending where one looks.These chilling facts, I do maintain, because of a pandemic by now perhaps under way to being recounted by generations to come along with the tales of those plagues that periodically desolated the ancient world, as they did the medieval and modern ones until about a century ago, says a lot about the times we live in now. With an illness let loose, uncontrolled, through irresponsible behavior in the richest nations and a crushing shortage of vaccines in the rest of the world. And what this high judgement by death on all of us says is not flattering, not one tiny little bit flattering, not a microscopic smidgen of a bit flattering, about what our society has become, what we have become. And not just this one, in this one country. Look upon this world, oh Angels in Heaven!, and despair.

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      • #2392005

        I met a traveller from an antique land
        Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
        Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
        And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
        And on the pedestal these words appear:
        My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
        Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

        — <cite>Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias”</cite>
        • #2392019

          I think that better fit to this thread that is, in part, also about delusional, hallucinated notions, may be best exemplified by those described by one Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in what turned out to be a short, short poem written, true or legend, under the influence of opium, that began as:

          In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
          A stately pleasure-dome decree:
          Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
          Through caverns measureless to man
             Down to a sunless sea.
          So twice five miles of fertile ground
          With walls and towers were girdled round;
          And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
          Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
          And here were forests ancient as the hills,
          Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

          But, thanks to the Person from Porlock knocking at the poet’s door, that interrupted the work in progress and dried up its inspiration, the poem, that at that moment already run for just two more stanzas, ended there and then and in the middle of nowhere.
          As, with sufficient bad luck, may well end up all of us if things go on like this. Except Nature and Destiny will be the ones, not knocking at, but kicking down, the door.

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          • #2392022

            Sounds like karst Slovenia with the Postojna and Škocjan caves:

            Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
            Through caverns measureless to man
            Down to a sunless sea.

            except that our coast is quite sunny much of the year.

        • #2392023

          I have always though in “Ozymandias” the last line does not scan.

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          • #2392024

            I’ve forgotten the concept of “scan” whether it refers to syllable count, rhyme, or logical sequence. I would agree that “away” doesn’t somehow connect back to “decay” regardless of the rhyming, but on the other hand the abruptness of the seemingly isolated last syllable hints at the vastness of the empty desert space, somehow unfinished and eternal.

    • #2391976

      Does anyone know if wearing masks & social distancing were in place or any other practices to help control the 1918-1919 Flu pandemic?

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      • #2391978

        cmptry has asked: “Does anyone know if wearing masks & social distancing were in place or any other practices to help control the 1918-1919 Flu pandemic?

        According to the National Geographic article linked in the initial comment of this thread, it would appear so:

        More than a hundred years later, as the world grapples with yet another deadly disease, historians and scientists alike have pointed to the 1918 flu pandemic for evidence on how to fight COVID-19. In particular, they cite the importance of public health measures like social distancing and masking. But those lessons have their limits.

        And, just as it is today, then the response varied across the country:

        As flu cases mounted across the country, cities took varying approaches to flatten the curve, as Nina Strochlic and Riley Champine reported for National Geographic in 2020. St. Louis quickly shut down public gatherings and implemented quarantines when its first cases were reported, whereas Philadelphia hosted a parade with some 200,000 people in attendance. By the end of the pandemic, Philadelphia had recorded a rate of 748 deaths per 100,000 people—more than twice that of St. Louis.

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      • #2392127

        I recall reading that cities that closed schools have a worse record for deaths than those that did not explaining that kids home from school just ran around getting and distributing the virus. Thankfully we have remote learning to prevent that now.

        🍻

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    • #2392021

      Oscar: “. . . a pandemic by now perhaps under way to being recounted by generations to come along with the tales of those plagues that periodically desolated the ancient world . . .”

      I suspect that in the Western world, a multitude of covid plague stories in later times will actually NOT occur much beyond the recital of statistics and immediate family memories of the dead when they were actually alive. During medieval plagues and the Spanish flu, masses died in the streets or at home so tales of wagons piled high with collected bodies, houses full of bodies, overburdened cemeteries, and the like had a visual and real basis. Today, the deaths occur out of sight in closed ICU wards or covid wards where no one is likely watching the guy in the next bed suffer because trying yourself to breathe is an all-consuming endeavour. And in many places, visitors were and are not allowed due to quarantine policies, so there aren’t even stories of handholding and last wishes to be recounted at the funerals.

      So, out of sight, out of mind making willful ignorance easy enough to indulge in. So, I do not expect any mythology or descriptive legends to appear later about the great 2020-2021 covid plague that ravaged the Western world and how well we coped with it. Outside of the USA, it’s already “Trump who?” given the lack of constant headlines so why should the unseen effects of covid be any different?

      All of which suggests the TV coverage of patients trying to breathe or even dying, relatives crying in the parking lot, autopsy shots of opened lungs clogged with mucous, and anything else to graphically illustrate that it’s really happening and it’s really dreadful might be an effective public health measure. Like the mostly now ignored but possibly successful cigarette graphics, it might work . . .

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      • #2392093

        If nothing else, the economic consequences can be noticed, by those badly affected in particular, and are not likely to be forgotten very quickly by many.

        Or, in some parts of the world, poor ones in particular where bodies are preferentially buried, the sudden increase in the size of cemeteries. And those gruesome and pitiful photos of people digging fresh graves surrounded by caskets. There shall be consequences that leave lasting memories behind. There always are, with a global disaster.

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        • #2392106

          I did say “Western world,” meaning primarily North America and Europe. We started, after all, bemoaning mainly the divisions and conditions in the USA. Much of the ROW, as you point out, retains medieval living conditions with resulting economic and human consequences.

    • #2392030

      https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20210927&instance_id=41408&nl=the-morning&productCode=NN&regi_id=82372162&segment_id=70000&te=1&uri=nyt%3A%2F%2Fnewsletter%2F244026b3-76c8-5944-a3ac-deef5c609db3&user_id=4607fedbc12cad932f33c4a7a4e4b4c6

      • #2392112

        Reading the NY Times article linked by Wayne above:

        It is always startling to see in x, y plots what one already knows by looking around and reading the news. In Maryland we have a Republican governor that has taken the pandemic more seriously than the rest of his conservative peers from the start, and that is part of the reason why we have lower rates of infection and mortality here, but the situation is not exactly great, just better than in most states. Also it varies from county to county, not only because of the number of anti-vaxxers is different in each, but because of a more or less competent distribution of PPE, vaccines, etc. — and of a closer or greater distance from DC, where things have not been that great much of the time.

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    • #2392042

      Is it my imagination or did an entire sponse-response set of comments just disappear? I swear I read (and quoted) an Oscar comment on future recountings of the 2020-2021 covid plague similar to accounts of the medieval plagues, and I responded with a windy exposition of why there won’t be any—limited access to hospitals for relatives, hence no tragic stories of final handholding and last wishes—and that a graphic fear TV campaign showing covid wards and autopsies might work.

      Neither the original entry nor my comment appears above. What happened?

      • #2392055

        Wayne, my comment about plagues and the Angels, etc. is still there. I do not see one of yours specifically quoting that one. You seem to have answered only with that quote of Shelley.

        Maybe you were a bit too forceful in how you expressed yourself and the comment got edited out of existence? This happens, but you should get an email, some time later, explaining the removal. There is no appeal, though. If you always make a copy of each of your the comments you spent significant time and effort working on, or it is one you are particularly fond of, you could send it to “User Support”, in reality, “Susan”, to see if you get a better explanation. Unless the comment is so obviously above reproach that something else than a delete by an MVP, perhaps a glitch in the system, has spirited the comment away. In such a case Susan might be able, once she has your copy, to do something about it.

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    • #2392064

      I quoted “a pandemic by now perhaps under way to being recounted by generations to come along with the tales of those plagues that periodically desolated the ancient world” and then proceeded to explain why I think future horror stories will not be told in the West since the physical suffering has not been particularly visible due to hospitalizations and quarantine restrictions on visitors.

      It’s gone now but I don’t recall any untoward behaviour on my part—and no explanatory email, just the notices of new comments.

      P.S. It’s “decay” not “bare” in the Ozymandias digression (edited).

      • #2392079

        It is a moderator MVP who decides what is not appropriate, hence all my warnings in my initial comment.

        But it your comment has been moderated by removal, you really should get an email sometime today, not necessarily immediately. Sometimes there is a discussion on whether to delete or not some comment. So a removal could happen after the day a comment was posted. It is a bit tricky to post something with a potentially controversial content, so one better watches one’s step.

        And that is still one syllable too many for iambic pentameter, in the very last verse.

        In my unhumble opinion.

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        • #2392084

          My missing comment entered at 7:09. I’m sure it wasn’t there before even when I reloaded the page to see new sub-comments. All hail to internet speeds and glitches!

          I would argue that the dull thud ending of the poem was deliberate, poetic license perhaps to bend the iambic pentameter rules and rhythm to create the effect I mentioned before. Pretentious pride ending in a dull thud, vast unfinished emptiness? The point is, I think the structure is deliberate and effective.

    • #2392072

      Oscar, thanks for answering my question.

      “cmptry has asked: “Does anyone know if wearing masks & social distancing were in place or any other practices to help control the 1918-1919 Flu pandemic?”

      According to the National Geographic article linked in the initial comment of this thread, it would appear so:

      “More than a hundred years later, as the world grapples with yet another deadly disease, historians and scientists alike have pointed to the 1918 flu pandemic for evidence on how to fight COVID-19. In particular, they cite the importance of public health measures like social distancing and masking. But those lessons have their limits.”

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      • #2392090

        This is for Wayne:

        Hmm …

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        • #2392098

          Still unconvinced? Read aloud from “My name is . . .”; pause for dramatic effect after “despair”; and then basically continue non-stop right to the end. I assume you are well-versed enough to avoid the sing-song trap of reading line by line.

          • #2392175

            Wayne, I wouldn’t know about that. I have heard blank and blank-rhyming verse recited, e.g. in plays or recitals by supposedly good actors, or even read by the authors themselves (I am going to use “´” to indicate stress) that to me sounded something like this, line after line:

            Taráh, taráh, taráah,   taráh, taráah …

            That said as if the actor or reader is experiencing some intimate discomfort, maybe a wedgie, or trying not to pass gas, and is attempting to get rid of it discreetly, without stopping the performance.

            But enough said, and better to change subject, before we both get kicked out of this thread.

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    • #2392110

      or even if I will take it of the same brand as before (Moderna)

      We are in the same boat in that regard, but the decision need not be soon made, the Moderna vax is still holding up in effectiveness 94 % IIRC. vs the Pfizer which is 20% less for the Delta than the original strain.

      🍻

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    • #2392118

      Anyway, for many, the citing of statistics is irrelevant, easily dismissed as confusing or misleading depending on the source, so denial of the facts remains easy as long as your own neighbourhood hasn’t been hit by more than couple “freak” cases . . .

      Or as I say “Statistics don’t lie but statisticians certainly do” You gotta read the fine print to see how the #s were derived.

      PS sorry for your math aversion, I have always thought math was beautiful. Not that I have the mind for anything past calculus, no memory 🙁

      🍻

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    • #2392124

      But, thanks to the Person from Porlock knocking at the poet’s door,

      I never got the “Stranger in a strange land reference:

      In Robert A. Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land, when a member of staff comes to tell Jubal Harshaw that he has a telephone call, he responds “Anne, you have just interrupted a profound thought. You hail from Porlock.”

      I remember now I was not able to donate to Wikipedia because it did not like my browser, Iwill use Edge for my pledge, so I pledge.

      🍻

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      • #2392129

        I always donate to them with PayPal and they are always happy to take my money and then send me very nice automatically generated and quite effusive long email thanking me. I use Wikipedia a lot, not just here at AskWoody, but to get my research going on some, to me, new topic, to get some idea of what I need to learn. Including which key words to use in further searches … So I donate, very generously, meaning more than the couple of bucks they say “if every one who uses Wikipedia donated at least this much …”

        Wikipedia also has an excellent article on the 1918-19 Spanish flu, that actually did not come form Spain, but started in the USA, where a case was first recorded in Kansas, and then spread worldwide, and is known as the Spanish flu because it was in Spain that newspapers were free to report what was going on, including in countries where WW I wartime censorship was keeping the whole thing under wraps:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

        Wikipedia: Estimates of deaths [from the Spanish Flu] range from 17.4 million to 100 million, with an accepted general range of 25–50 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history.

        Also from Wikipedia on WW I, that ended after the beginning of the pandemic:

        The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million: estimates range from around 15 to 22 million deaths and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.

        I also use Wikipedia also to learn more about things that catch my fancy. Case in point: a friend wrote to me from Barcelona two days ago that there is a region in Sardinia, a large island that belongs to Italy in the Western Mediterranean, where they also speak Catalán, as in Barcelona and the rest of the Spanish region of Catalonia and parts nearby. That sounded profoundly weird to me, so I looked it up in good old Wikipedia and there I learned about the amazingly long and complicated story of an island about which I new little more than the fact that “sardines” are named after this island, because used to be a place where they were caught and salted and put in large barrels for export, and that was a big deal economically in older times. (By the way: sardines are not a species of fish, but an assortment of species of little edible fish that require no preparation other than whatever is done to preserve them in an edible form, such as salting them, or cooking them and putting them in hermetically sealed cans.)

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        • #2392191

          A self-exiled leader of the Catalan separatist movement was arrested in Italy on his way to a Catalan festival in Sardinia last week.

          I’ll check back, but I think I’m done on the original topic—or the variant I pushed it toward on why the denial and what can be done (my impression rereading the initial entry is that the writer wanted merely a summary of the current state of play with regard to the pandemic, which is easy enough to find on BBC, CBC, and NYT pages).

          Of the two methods I’ve advocated for, it appears that vax passports or the related restrictions to one’s “freedom” to access public spaces like malls, cinemas, stadiums, and so on are having the effect of increasing vaccinations, but a proper media fear campaign with graphic imagery and local covid death lists on the front page (for example) has not been tried. Such a campaign might not be as morally justified as the anti-smoking labeling campaign since smoking is clearly a personal choice (ignoring secondhand smoke for the moment) but extreme measures to combat extreme stupidity and stubbornness might be necessary.

           

          • #2392204

            Wayne:

            (1) Yes, the catch and release by the Italian authorities in Sardinia of the escaped maybe ex-President Carles Puigdemont (or not ex, depending on whom you ask) of the Autonomous  Spanish Region of Catalonia and the (so far) imaginary independent República de Catalunya it was what my friend’s from Barcelona electonic letter (not an independentist himself, whose email is the one I have mentioned here in an earlier comment) was the thing that brought the presence of a Catalán speaking community in Sardinia that Puigdemont was on its way to visit, to my attention.

            (2) Actually the writer who wrote the first comment here wanted to bring, and does so still, something truly awful that people might need to know and then think about, to their attention here. It might have worked too. The word got from here, at least as far as Slovenia!

            (3) It’s been nice reading your comments and learning about your ideas in them, along with the ensuing back-and forth, Wayne. Enjoy all those Čevapčiči, if they are your thing, whichever one of those two possibilities they might be, and tell your partner she’s welcome to try empanadas de carne from the River Plate region and adjacent areas in South America, wherever she might find them, that are like Cornish turnovers with spicy meat (and various other possibilities) inside, only nicer. But, as far as I know, they have only a very faint connection to anything Austrian, Hapsburg in particular, at least not since Emperor Charles V of Germany, etc. was also Carlos I of Spain, in the 16th Century, so I don’t know how that might work out for her.

            All the best, see you around.

            Oscar

            P.S.: And “Ozymandias” last verse does not scan, unless it gets special help.

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            • #2392269

              Re #2: This forum is AskWoody. We are all well informed and responsible and vaccinated by definition, so attention is already being paid, right? Hopefully, the question of why and what to do about it resulted in a good thread.

              Re P.S.: My point was it’s not supposed to scan. Deliberately. For effect.

            • #2392366

              OK, Wayne: as to “Ozymandias” last verse: You could be right, and, if so, it was most likely one of those bad ideas that might have looked like good ones, at the time.

              As for much of the rest, I would never presume to assume without personal confirmation that everyone taller than four feet and five inches, but also including short people and small sexually mature females already at the age of consent or older, that I first meet or hear of, or who might have heard about me and is trying to make contact, is a de facto responsible individual. I act, at first encounter, as if I already knew this to be a fact, because that is socially graceful and good for not getting into punch-ups, or getting slapped in the face really hard. Or both.

              Or that a stranger to me is necessarily well-informed. Or paying enough attention. I could tell stories. But these would probably not be fit to publish here, under standing AskWoody rules.

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    • #2392244

      In the interests of balance, here’s a mild counterweight to a lot of the above:

      I am not vaccinated. Unless they make it compulsory I am not intending to get vaccinated. I am not an anti-vaxxer, I think that people in the public service, or old people with underlying health issues, or people who are scared of catching it, or of passing it on to their loved ones, should for SURE get vaccinated

      However, I believe that there are also a host of valid reasons for not getting vaccinated. I won’t bore you with those, but all I will say is that where I live (not the USA) it works like this:

      In order to live a more or less normal life you must wear a mask in public places. You also have to be able to produce one of the following on demand: a document showing that you’ve been vaccinated; a document showing that you’ve caught the thing in the past (and thus are now somewhat immune); or, a document showing that you have been tested negative within the last 72 hours

      I have chosen that last course of action (and indeed, in the next few minutes, I will be off for the first of my twice-weekly tests)

       

      Just my two euros worth

       

      • #2392254

        NaNoNyMouse: Your approach sounds like a reasonable way to reject vaccination, as an important, thing in all this, both from a public heath and a moral point of view, is whether one cares about not hurting others more than about satisfying one’s sense of personal entitlement, or one does not. What you describe as your chosen approach is a way to respect the right of others not to get sick and maybe die because of one’s chosen behavior, and makes you also somewhat safer as well as less likely to become a vector of the virus, spreading disease around. I suppose that if you tested positive one of these days, and being consistent with the rest of your attitude on this issue, you would quarantine yourself.

        My one reservation about all this is the following: not being vaccinated, one is more likely to contract the illness, even when taking precautions such as the ones you take, with a significant chance then of becoming ill enough to need special care at a hospital, something that, during the past, present and future waves of this pandemic, and other future pandemics and epidemics of the kind that can be put in check with available vaccines, means one will be taking up resources that then could be sorely in demand. And that is one more reason why I think that — unless one suffers from a medical condition that makes it best not to do so — one should get vaccinated: not just to protect oneself and those near and dear to one, but also not to be a potential burden to an overstretched medical system and, ultimately, to society. Because it is in one’s power to choose to act to help reduce, at the very least in principle, the demand on a vital but limited resource, or not to do so, I think that making such a choice is a meaningful moral act.

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      • #2392255

        @NaNoNyMouse ” I believe that there are also a host of valid reasons for not getting vaccinated. I won’t bore you with those,”

        I hear that a lot where I live (western US), but try as I might, I can never persuade anyone to tell me any of those host of reasons. What I get is something along the lines of “Well it’s obvious what the reasons are and if you don’t know, then you’re just too…”

        Well, perhaps I am just too… . But be that as it may, will you please enlighten me by telling me what at least some of your valid reasons for not getting vaccinated are?

        I’m not trying to start a fight, but I really would like to know your reasons.

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        • #2392259

          DrBonzo, Let me be a bit the devil’s advocate here and mention that, while I can’t think of “a host” of reasons, because, first of all how numerous is that host? I know for sure of one kind of reason, and that is there are people with certain health problems that are considered to be ineligible for vaccination, at least against Covid 19:

          https://yalehealth.yale.edu/yale-covid-19-vaccine-program/information-special-populations-and-covid-19-vaccine

          A bit of a mixed-bag the one in this article: in some cases it is better not to have the Covid 19 vaccine, period, or just some kind of vaccine (i.e. attenuated virus, mRNA). In others better not to be vaccinated at all. In others, yes, by all means, get your shots.

          As to the different moral implications of, being eligible, choosing to be or not to be vaccinated, perhaps my comment just before yours here might interest you.

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          • #2392267

            Thanks for playing devil’s advocate, OscarCP. The only group of people in the Yale link that does not qualify for any of the 3 most widely available vaccines in the US (Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J) are children under 12. Even people with one of the 2 listed severe allergies will likely be fine with one of the vaccines – J&J in the case of PEG allergy and Pfizer/Moderna in the case of polysorbate allergy. A medical professional who is familiar with the history of a patient presenting with one of these 2 allergies should make a decision as to the safety of said patient to be vaccinated.

            The Yale list essentially exhausts all medical/scientific reasons for not getting vaccinated, with the possible very rare exceptions for patients with rare medical conditions.

            Other reasons for not getting vaccinated are nonscientific/nonmedical, and I will simply say this: If one chooses to live in a society and partake of the advantages of doing so, then one agrees to abide by a social contract. That agreement may be tacit, unknowing, or both, but is nonetheless an agreement, and that means that there is such a thing as a greater good and that one may not always be able to do anything one may want to do. That is not a suppression of one’s personal freedoms, but rather a condition for the proper functioning of a society. Members of most functioning societies have a reasonable expectation of health care availability. That availability has been taken from them in many cases by people who have refused to get vaccinated; i.e., it is the unvaccinated people have suppressed the personal freedoms of others.

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    • #2392296

      For example:

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/unvaccinated-sask-covid-deaths-1.6191446

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      • #2392377

        And then again, and also from Canada, but about another country, while possible also true in some others:

        https://globalnews.ca/news/7467283/coronavirus-denier-deaths-nurse-hoax/

        There are those who are dying of it and still deny that Covid-19 can be the reason, probably also explaining (while calling their informers names inappropriate to repeat here) that is just fake news and the nurses telling them that it is deadly enough are probably either ignorant fools unfit to be nurses, or part of a dark conspiracy behind a despicable hoax motivated by sinister Deep-State “liberals.”

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    • #2392298

      There is no one size fits all approach to Covid vaccinations.

      The long-term safety of the 3 available vaccinations is unknown.

      A senior citizen or individual with a co-morbidity may assess the risk/benefit of vaccination completely differently from a young, healthy individual.

      IMHO, sweeping vaccination mandates are simply too heavy handed.

      • #2392363

        EricB: Which particular sweeping vaccination mandates are you referring to? I have lived almost for eight decades by now, been vaccinated for a number of different infectious diseases in at least four different countries, also by now, in the case of small pox and infantile paralysis, for example, with government mandates to do so — and showing the certificate also being required up front in certain situations, such as attending school — against tetanus when I was in the army of where I am from, as a conscript soldier under orders.  (Yes, there were still those two other illnesses around when I was already shaving and all). And have got myself vaccinated many more times of my own free choice, every year against the flu, in more recent times, for example.

        But except for the one when in the army (I never checked if medical exceptions were allowed, and I also didn’t care, being young and fit and knowing of no reason not to get the two shots), in all cases the government mandates I have lived under have allowed for medically justified refusals — with a letter from a registered physician to show proof.

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    • #2392328

      I won’t bore you with those, but all I will say is that where I live (not the USA) it works like this:

      That would not bore me. I would be curious if you would.

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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    • #2392383

      Moderator here:

      Just a kind reminder that respective discourse is approved, but if we start veering towards anything extreme I’ll be closing this thread.

      On a personal note I have a relative (Great Uncle) that I’ve always heard stories about from older family members that have since passed away.  He was 19 when he passed away from the Flu epidemic in 1918.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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      • #2392396

        Susan,

        (1) Your remembered family story is, in this respect, like those of many others, the world over, as no country, group, including social class, was spared by an infectious disease that killed about as many or more people than the contemporaneous WW I.

        So the memory of this sort of thing lingers throughout the generations.

        Same with small pox, now thankfully banned thanks, in large part, to mandatory vaccinations: in my own family, my paternal grand father, just two generations before mine, got sick with small pox and survived, scarred for life. Others of his generation, before use of the vaccine became common, at lest in that country, were not so lucky. In my own family we have our fair share of stories about that too.

        And it is not as if the very concept and the use of vaccines is a newfangled, probably poorly backed with enough evidence, scientific kind of thing of little proven worth: the idea of vaccinating, first against the small pox in particular, goes back centuries and was probably discovered and used in places, in the Roman world, then forgotten during the Dark Ages. Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa, an Austrian, who was one of the most remarkable rules of her age, back in the 18th Century, got sick with small pox, recovered, and having heard of the work of Jenner and others, ordered that everyone in the Empire should be vaccinated. She had also, while still sick herself, passed the illness to her oldest daughter, of whom she was taking care for another problem, that then died. (That was before it was understood why infectious diseases happened and now they propagated.) Maria Theresa never forgot herself for that. Or have forgotten those who write history books, when telling that of herself and of her times.

        (2) As to “veering”, I believe I wrote in my second comment, and second in this thread, that I am not prepared to engage anyone making personal attacks on me or others (I leave that to the moderators), or anyone hinting that I am out of place, without giving reason.
        But, oddly enough, I cannot find that short statement in my extant comments, although I have not been notified that any comment has been deleted here, or seen a notice that some part of a comment has been deleted because of inappropriate content, or anything like that. And I have no explanation of my own about this.

        So I have taken this opportunity here to mention this position of mine, again.

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        • #2392416

          A correction to my comment on Empress Maria-Theresa and vaccination: she did not hear about the work of Jenner, who actually invented small pox vaccination years later, using serum from sick cows, not from humans; but was treated according to the ancient practice known as “variolation” until then unknown in most of Europe but practiced in a number of places in Asia and already in England and in the English American colony in what is now the state of Massachusetts in the USA: the subcutaneous injection to healthy people, using a lancet with its tip soaked in the serum from humans sick with small pox. That was what the Empress, her living children, as well as other heads of state in Europe at the time received, and then she ordered to be given to (and taken by) everyone throughout her domains. It was certainly effective, but not as safe as the vaccination with an attenuated virus, that become the standard practice and how I was vaccinated annually, as mandated by governments, during my school days and later, for several decades all told, until the disease vanished, first, from where I lived and many other countries as well, then from the whole world, thanks to universal vaccination:

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200696/

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      • #2392398

        yes Mama 😘

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
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        • #2392405

          Now, now, Wavy, don’t tease our friendly advisor! While she hopefully has a wide enough view of “veering,” it must be admitted that we have been really polite in dealing with the few “vaccine skeptical” contributors, at several points asking them honestly and sincerely for sources or links that might support their stance rather than dismissing them in print here with the labels I’m certain come to mind initially. Because we really do want to know. Mostly. Whether we can accept the reasoning may depend on how closed or open-minded we ourselves are on the issue, but so far there’s been no name calling or overt sarcasm—which given the emotion of the topic is pretty impressive.

          Never mind that I don’t think much of Oscar’s skills regarding the reading of poetry . . .

          • #2392413

            About: “I don’t think much of Oscar’s skills regarding the reading of poetry” I am not going to answer that.

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    • #2392385

      EricB: Which particular sweeping vaccination mandates are you referring to?

      Across the USA State and Local governments (including School Boards) and private industry have mandated vaccination without the possibility of exemption due to natural immunity from prior infection or the alternative of testing.  Get vaccinated or face termination of employment.  Health care workers and other “essential employees” that were hailed as heroes in the early days of the pandemic are now being terminated for refusing the vaccine.  There is no shortage of such reporting in the News.

      And vaccine passports for Covid are a slippery slope.   Will we soon need passports for the flu shot also?  Where does it end?

      • #2392387

        Without medically justified exceptions? If so, please, provide a link to an article posted in a reliable news source, such as a major newspaper or a non-partisan TV network’s news commentary, confirming your assertions. Also, what entitles health workers to refuse to be vaccinated in order not to spread contagion among already sick people that happen to be in hospital because they are sick? Or teachers who are put in charge of vulnerable children in the classroom and elsewhere in schools? Thanks.

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        • #2392388

          I’m not taking the bait to engage in a debate with you.

          If you are of a mind, you can do your own research or feel free to ignore my comments.

          • #2392401

            That, plain and simple, is a copout. If they exist, links to support your statement should take mere minutes to find and list for us to read, which I am sure we are willing to do.

            As far as I understand, most authorities are accepting proof of vaccination, proof of having had covid at some point and thus acquired immunity, and/or regular testing. In Slovenia, it’s the recovered-vaccinated-tested (PCT) rule. The passport plus ID system, app, or printed QR code merely proves one of these conditions applies.

            I do not believe anyone has “natural” immunity, only acquired immunity from having fought off the disease. If anyone does, he or she is extremely rare and lucky.

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            • #2392406

              I previously wrote “natural immunity from prior infection’.  Perhaps you misinterpreted my statement. Substitute the word “‘acquired” for “natural”. I’m sorry if it did not meet your standard for technical accuracy.

              And when I am chided to provide documentation from “a reliable news source, such as a major newspaper or a non-partisan TV network’s news commentary” we must then engage in an opinionated debate about what is “reliable” or “non-partisan”.  I have no interest in pursing the matter further.

               

            • #2392411

              I didn’t limit your choice of sources, merely asked for some so I and others can learn and understand the basis for your position.

              Sorry I missed “from prior infection” and being overly pedantic about the difference between “natural” and “acquired.”

              And sorry you assume you will be attacked for your choice of sources rather than being debated on the merits of the statements you choose to cite.

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    • #2392409

      Now, for a general announcement:

      Concerning what I choose not to reply to, please see last paragraph on this here:  #2392396

      Also keep in mind Susan’s opening remark in her comment preceding the one of this link.

      So far, comments have been in line with what I explained they should be, in my opening statement, at the beginning of this thread. I thank you for that.

      But I think it is worth repeating and also amplifying a little on that:

      Any repeated indulging in hard-ball to and fro, or any impolitely worded refusal to give a polite answer to a pertinent question, even if it is to explain that one does not care to answer, will result in this page turning “blue” and becoming closed to any further commenting. I am not who is going to do that: the Powers That Be here will see to it. I have seen it happen before.

      So, please, keep on keeping it civil and keep on keeping the tone down, because I strongly feel that this thread, giving its important and timely main topic, deserves to stay open and allowing a reasonable discussion based on the open exchange of information, with clear pointers to where to get it from to those that might be interested in learning more about it.

      I thank you for your attention.

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    • #2392429

      FWIW

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

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      • #2392433

        Thanks, bbearren. Food for though, I think worth taking the time to listen. Also the one about “covid grifters.” Interesting expression. Interesting people. Interesting times.

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    • #2392483

      Assuming there’s not too many outsiders passing through, the people of the Stanley municipality might survive the autumn and winter due to their overall isolation. On the other hand, if their kids come home for Christmas from studying or working in the big cities, things could change drastically for the worse. Otherwise, self-isolation and a limited social circle seem to be the norm for this farming area, with possibly brief chats over coffee on shopping trips to town, which may be keeping infection rates down locally.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-covid-19-stanley-winkler-morden-southern-health-wfpcbc-cbc-1.6192673

      While misinformation is mentioned, fear of covid seems played down or minimal, and the main reason suggested for hesitancy is historical religious resistance to government decrees spilling over to rejection of government advice, no doubt applied to both provincial and national governments.

      I’m sorry our two admitted vaccine skeptics have found reasons not to outline their rationales for choosing not to get vaccinated. While I’m pretty sure most of their reasons can be countered by statistics (e.g., rate of blood clot deaths per millions vs covid-related deaths per thousands of even healthy individuals), proof of misinformation based on studies proven faulty or incomplete, science in general, or appeals for the greater good of their immediate family, friends, social circles, and society, they will most likely find ways to deflect or avoid changing their minds.

      It’s good to know that my fellow European at least recognizes that covid exists and is getting tested regularly (I hope he reports back at some point), but like others I am really curious about the “host of reasons” he mentioned. Not necessarily to argue him away from his chosen stance and course of action, but just to learn more specifically why he’s chosen it.

      I’ll do my best to adopt an “Oh, OK then, it’s your choice” response rather that suggesting the skeptics are cutting off their own noses to spite their faces specifically if they are resisting the advice of governments and health officials merely for the sake of resisting.

       

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    • #2392495

      Leaving aside the question of why someone chooses not to get vaccinated with, presumably, no medical reason, I suspect that in the case of NaNoNyMouse, he might not have thought quite through all the implications of not getting vaccinated, such as the one I explained in the second part of my comment answering his. Probably he has been thinking that he is doing everything right to stay healthy, and vaccination apart, he is OK, and if he were to get sick all the same, that would be his problem. It would be, but possibly not only his, because he may end up needing and getting proper hospital care when, if this happened at a high point in another wave, in some hospitals, for people that need chemotherapy, or have a heart attack, because he is there already, along with many other covid patients, there may be no longer enough equipment and personal left free and available to take care properly of those other emergency cases as well.

      Instead, these might end up with each patient parked in a corridor on a gurney and someone might come to see how they are doing now and then and do something, but perhaps not enough, to help.

      Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

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    • #2392517

      but perhaps not enough, to help.

      Or see if its time to send them to a make shift morgue ☠

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #2392557

        Wavy, really! Would you also like to paint the picture, with lots and lots of bright red splashed across it, and post it here?

        Control yourself! We are all on Susan’s Candid Camera, remember?

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur 11.6 & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

    • #2392590

      This will be my final post on the subject. I’m comfortable in the rationale behind my decision, and I don’t feel the need to argue about it. To be honest I regret posting in the first place, but, seeing as it’s been asked a number of times, I will post some of the relevant reasons behind my decision to not get vaccinated. They are part of my personal world view, and not necessarily supportable with hard statistics

      > I believe that people nowadays, particularly in the west, have become over-reliant on drugs for their healthcare (the ever-decreasing efficacy of antibiotics due to over-prescription being but one example)

      > I believe that the large pharma companies encourage this, in the pursuit of profits

      > I do not believe that the vaccinations were properly tested. They were rushed to market without the normal testing period for drugs of that nature. Please note: that doesn’t mean that I think they are necessarily dangerous or ineffective

      > I believe that there is a lot of fear and hysteria surrounding Covid-19, but the worldwide mortality rate (which varies significantly by country, and by age-range, of course) has remained pretty constant since day one. Hard to get solid reliable figures but the last time I looked it was around 5% (i.e. of every 100 people who catch it, 5 of them will die). It is not the black death, or ebola

      > I believe that the official statistics include a significant number of people who have died with it, as if they had died of it (although I am also aware that the WHO believes that the total is underestimated)

      > Except in some specific instance I have always relied on my body’s own defences to protect me. If it ever fails me in that regard, then tough luck on me, I won’t be going crying to the news media to bewail my fate. However, I believe that catching it and surviving (the majority case) means that your body will build up a natural, as opposed to an artificial, resistance

      > People seem to think that being vaccinated stops you from catching it, or passing it on. I do not believe that is the case. I believe that being vaccinated only mitigates the symptoms for you personally. You can still catch it, and you can still spread it

      > In any given social situation I am the least likely to pass it on, because I am getting regularly tested, and to date have always tested negative. If I ever tested positive then I would obviously self-isolate. However, all the people around me who have been vaccinated are not getting tested regularly. They could well be carrying it, and pass it on (to me, or to each other)

      > I believe that those people who have been vaccinated have been sucked into a system where they will need to keep on getting boosters, and vaccines against all the new variants that keep popping up. It will never end. Sorry to harp back to what must sound suspiciously like some loony conspiracy theory nonsense, but the big pharma companies will be rubbing their collective hands in glee

      > Finally, and maybe most importantly, I believe in the right of the individual to make decisions about their own health, as long as it doesn’t adversely impact society as a whole. And, for the reasons already outlined, I’m comfortable that my decision has no such adverse impact

      And, that’s me done. Please feel free to throw stones at the bullet points as you see fit. I won’t be revisiting the thread

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    • #2392608

      https://messaging-custom-newsletters.nytimes.com/template/oakv2?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20210930&instance_id=41676&nl=the-morning&productCode=NN&regi_id=82372162&segment_id=70283&te=1&uri=nyt%3A%2F%2Fnewsletter%2F685db944-24f3-5fce-874c-adfc58ebdeb1&user_id=4607fedbc12cad932f33c4a7a4e4b4c6

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    • #2392620

      I believe this thread has run it’s course. Thank you all for your respectful discourse.  I’m going to close this thread to future postings.  Thank you for your understanding.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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