Shoot ‘em Up! [DOT 24/10/21]

Mask up, still, and stay safe.

Good morning! MegMegMcGee is at the beach for the weekend, so I am your substitute DOT provider.

Covid-19 has been on my mind more than usual, because we saw my son, his partner, and her little boy last weekend. They are all unvaccinated. They are all intelligent. And regardless of evidence to the contrary, they are concerned that mRNA vaccines will negatively affect future pregnancies. They are an example of individuals who will not be vaccinated, not for political reasons, but for reasons of medical distrust. Their decision makes me very sad.

News | Sports | History | Weather | Covid or Flu | Music

News

The University of Oxford found evidence that pro-China social media accounts are pushing a new thread of propaganda and disinformation campaigns related to the origins of the pandemic, blaming Covid on Maine lobsters. I will take those Maine lobsters off your hands, just sayin’.

Speaking of disinformation, I am somewhat surprised that news of Moscow going back into lockdown for ten days made it into the west. “Moscow will impose a 10-day lockdown from next week in an effort to curb soaring Covid-19 cases, the city’s mayor has said, as Russia endures its worst-ever phase of the pandemic.”

Things are not looking great for our friends in the United Kingdom, either. “The UK has more new Covid-19 cases than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined.”

Locally, the vaccination rate could be better. Of the 549,234 persons residing in our county, 273,426 persons (49.8%) are fully vaccinated. Although new Covid-19 cases are decreasing, hospitalizations are not. “Delta virus is the circulating strain at this point, and if you get delta infection you are more than twice as likely to require hospitalization,” said The Chief of Infectious Diseases at PMLGH. There are 20 people in the ICU and 16 on ventilators. “That is a lot (of people) on the ventilators. It’s similar to what we had over the wintertime.” All of the patients on ventilators are unvaccinated.

Sports

Although some high-profile players and coaches have made headlines for refusing to be vaccinated, “Around 67% of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, leagues such as the NBA, NFL and MLS have rates greater than 90%, with the NHL and WNBA at over 99%.” The source article pointed out “Beyond the threat of financial losses, unvaccinated players may have to follow stricter COVID-19 protocols, such as more frequent testing and stricter masking and social distancing measures.”

History

On October 24th last year, “Nationally, the overall percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, increased from 6.6% during week 42 to 7.1% during week 43. Percent positivity increased among all age groups. Regionally, the percentages of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 increased in all ten HHS regions.”

Weather

Should we move to locations with hot, rain forest-like weather? “Visual inspection of world maps shows that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is less prevalent in countries closer to the equator, where heat and humidity tend to be higher. Scientists disagree how to interpret this observation because the relationship between COVID-19 and climatic conditions may be confounded by many factors.”

Covid or Flu

A business partner had to cancel a call some weeks ago, because he thought he had Covid…for the second time (his first time was in January, so antibody protection would have faded away). It turns out that it was the flu. And it turns out that he is somewhat stereotypical: middle-aged male conservative Texan who eschews the vaccines for either Covid or the flu. But this got me wondering about what the differences were between Covid and the flu; here is a handy-dandy chart that delineates the symptoms of Covid, cold, and flu.

Music

Maybe we should be running for the hills:

So that we don’t need oxygen:

I hope that we all have beautiful lives:

Wishing you all a good Sunday, also known as The Day Before We Go Back to the Grind.

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About Elliecoo 506 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.

24 Comments

  1. they are concerned that mRNA vaccines will negatively affect future pregnancies.

    awww…optimists…didnt think we had any of those left

    dya really want to put new babies on the planet now?

    whats it like having hope for the future?

    • Right!!!

      I’ve been dealing with issues with my iud for about 8 months now (yes I’m seeing the dr about it, it’s just taking a while to get resolved).

      If getting a covid vaccination would make me not need to worry about birth control for the next 2 decades? Fuck yeah I’ll get boosters every 3 months!

  2. I’m sorry that you have to deal with family members who don’t want to get vaccinated.

    That’s not a “medical reason” for it though. Every time I’ve spoken to someone who was hesitant, my first questions were “what did your doctor say”, “what did your OBGYN say”, “what did your fertility clinic say”. Yes, this included someone who is trying IVF. Every question was met with “they said it was okay, but…”. Asking what their pastors said ended up in the same place.

    You keep pulling that thread and the “but” always ends up at Facebook and YouTube. There’s always a “real database from Europe” or “doctors who don’t lie” that they found on the internet.

    • “You keep pulling that thread and the “but” always ends up at Facebook and YouTube.”

      Based on the latest news about how Facebook relentlessly pushed Q-n-n on people, Facebook knew it, and Facebook knew how much of it violated their official rules — it is absolutely still going on with vaccines. It’s true for Youtube too.

      I think a big piece of it is money, but there is also a big piece that is conscious and unconcious ideology too. Joel Kaplan and Peter Thiel at Facebook want to empower extremists. Zuckerberg has stupid libertarian ideas buzzing around his brain. Programmers have preconceived ideas about how to categorize content that ricochet throughout the algorithm.

      The problem is that the people in these circles are only slowly being forced to see what they are doing. Millions of deaths worldwide and there is still no sense of urgency.

    • Yes, this!!!

      It’s not a valid medical reason.

      One of my really dear friends from high school was concerned about if she could safely take the vaccine when it was being developed. Because she has multiple autoimmune conditions and several severe allergies.

      She talked to her doctor and got vaccinated back in March. Because her medical concern was valid and about the safety of her getting the shot, not the actual shot itself.

  3. I am very pro-vaxx, everyone I know is. But, I was shocked and frightened to learn, a good many health care workers are not. Not because of any medical evidence against it, just their own personal beliefs. When the city and state rolled out the vaccine mandate for health workers there were lawsuits and protests and people leaving their jobs voluntarily or not.

    The pre-mandate vaccination rates were telling. Among doctors it was the highest, at well in the 90s %. Then the most advanced nurses, like nurse practitioners, and so on down the line, until the rates dropped into the 40s and 50s % for those who make the least and need the least qualifications (academically, at least.)

    And guess what? The least vaccinated are the ones who have by far the most contact with patients. They have the most thankless jobs. They clean bedding, help the patients clean themselves, empty bedpans, take blood pressure, deliver pills, deliver meals, clean the rooms. And those are the ones who most likely aren’t vaccinated. The CEO of the hospital chain was no doubt first in line. The person who is physically touching you to roll you over from one side to the other so they can get at the sheets under you (you being so incapacitated that you can’t even roll to your side by yourself) has the lowest probability of being vaccinated.

    Luckily these alarming stats only became known to me months after my release from institutionalization. I am double-vaxxed to begin with and showed no signs of Covid symptoms in the interim, but how can a person who must have witnessed so much death and dying over the past year and a half willfully refuse something that will almost certainly spare them the same fate?

    Thus concludes your Sunday homily by his Most Gracious Matthew Crawley, High Rector of Casa Encantada

  4. @Elliecoo – This is what I meant by calling you thoughtful. Excellent DOT

     

    It looks like I’ll be eligible for the booster now that they’re dropping the age requirement. And I am getting it in spite of suffering side effects from my first two jabs. I’ll take a couple of days of sick over gravely ill or dead.I have a friend who was pregnant, vaccinated, and gave birth during the lockdown. She’s also a hospital pharmacist and has told me the number of intubated pregnant women she sees is heartbreaking. I hope your son and his family come around 

  5. The last anti-vaxx holdouts in my dept gave up and got the shot because of the work mandate.  The threat of losing $$ made them give up. They might howl and complain, but at least no one is going to get really sick.

    What didn’t help their case was one of them got CoVID after three months of zero cases thanks to mass workforce vaccinations.

    Here in my part of Canada, the sane folks are looking at Dougie Ford as a giant fucking imbecile (again.)  After being forced to do the right thing, he’s trying to get rid of all COVID19 measures despite a large % of his moron supporters not being vaxxed.

    Didn’t he learn from Jason Kenney CoVID master of Alberta? Is our right wingers learning?

    It seems the answer is NO to both questions.

     

    • I think people who don’t want to comply with vaccine mandates, whether it’s in the workplace, schools, or anyplace, should have to go through the kind of counseling conservatives impose on women seeking abortions. Make them sit through the scientific explanations, look at photos of the damage Covid does to the body, pics of intubated pregnant women, and children, watch videos of people dying with only strangers for comfort. Then, at the very end make them sign a document that they understand their employers, educators, vendors, are within their legal rights to terminate them, withhold services, or deny them entry. Do that part last so you force them to undergo the rest. I inherited the vengeful nature of some of my ancestors.

      • Apparently, HR was preparing a similar but perhaps less vengeful presentation along those lines before telling them that they are being put on unpaid leave.

         

        One of them was very loud about demanding a severance package in the neighborhood of 200gs.

        Being the smartass I am, I pulled a 200g weight from the dept weight set and gave it to him while telling him that here is your severance package.

        He was not amused.

  6. Ugh. That’s so hard to hear. I’m sorry that they are choosing not to get vaccinated. By that logic, will they never allow their kid(s) to be vaccinated? I hope that they are able to follow strict Covid protocols and don’t contract the virus.

    If they are afraid of mRNA vaccines, J&J is an alternative.

  7. My wife has had that mRNA discussion with many patients with varying rates of success.  The truth is it is not a new technology and been around for years in cancer therapies.  The CDC and government in general has not done a very good job explaining this.  They also haven’t done a very good job telling people that erectile dysfunction is very common side effect in people that survive Covid.  That alone would have convinced many younger men to do it!

    https://www.muhealth.org/our-stories/how-do-we-know-covid-19-vaccine-wont-have-long-term-side-effects

    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/yes-covid-19-can-cause-erectile-dysfunction/

    • I did my undergraduate research using RNA and gene silencing, then worked around the possibility of an RNA-based translational medicine therapy in grad school. While I’m astounded at how much progress has been made since I was a student (and simultaneously reminded that was a fooking long time ago–and I’m now old), the lack of public understanding being used as a reason to avoid mRNA vaccines irritates me to no end.

      One of the hesitations we had as a research and biomedical community at the time was that RNA was too unstable a molecule to reliably deliver meaningful, long-lasting therapeutics–it would just take such a long time for that to be a practical, viable, cost-effective form of drug delivery. Time and advancement have helped allay many of those concerns and make what we once thought incredibly difficult…highly possible. But mRNA is still an unstable molecule compared to DNA–in that it requires special storage instructions to stay viable until vaccine time, and in that it doesn’t stay intact or active in the human body for very long after the vaccine is administered. It basically lasts long enough to induce the cell to produce a spike protein, which then elicits an immune reaction. As with regular translation in the cell, the mRNA snippets coding for proteins produced are disassembled into nucleoside monomers rather quickly after they fulfill their use.

      In short, I’m saying that the fear of mRNA is overblown. The molecule lasts an extremely short period of time after injection. It fulfills its purpose, and then your body’s cells go about efficiently dismantling it.

      • @Meh-zuzah Ooh mind if I pick your brain for help? One of the specific concerns expressed by my sibling is fear of making the cells create the spike protein and something going wrong and that leading to cancer. Are there any examples you can give from other vaccines or something else that has previously utilized this process of stimulating the cells to create spike proteins?

        • @CestLaVie I don’t want to go too far down a rabbit hole here, but a few important points of information for you sibling to know:

           

          1. Much like the vaccine mRNA, the spike proteins produced by your cells don’t stick around for very long. At most, they’ll be present for a few weeks before breaking down. The produced spike proteins tend to stay localized to the cell in which they were produced. They will be prevented from getting into the bloodstream because various enzymes will digest them before they reach it or other areas of the body.

          2. A spike protein isn’t going to cause cancer, nor is the presence of the small segment of mRNA introduced by the vaccine. The vaccine targets cellular machinery related to translation (using mRNA sequences to make the proteins they encode). Tumor cells (and therefore cancer) arise when DNA mutations are present at various critical genes that regulate the cell cycle and cellular replication (which is, again, a different process from translation). Without those important checkpoints in place, the tumorigenic cells proliferate unchecked, giving rise to a tumor. Introducing mRNA to produce the spike protein (and then having the spike protein present for a short amount of time) is unrelated to cell cycle regulation. Part of the reason the mRNA vaccine is a bonus is that it allows the vaccine to be ultra-specific in its target, therefore minimizing potential non-specific side effects. Stem cell therapy, however, is more closely relevant to cell cycle regulation and proliferation–and therefore that should be a greater concern to someone worried about cancer than an mRNA vaccine.

          3. Multiple vaccines that use the same approach as the COVID-19 vaccines now on the market have been in development for years (that’s why the COVID-19 vaccines were able to be viable so quickly–researches just piggy backed on decades of research and plugged in the SARS-CoV-2 specifics). We’ve benefitted from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV research in getting this vaccine to market so quickly. Also, most vaccines, including the annual flu shot, use some combination of whole virus particles (attenuated) or key parts of the virus (which would be equivalent to the spike protein for COVID-19) to elicit the body’s immune response. The only difference with mRNA vaccines is that your body makes the particle rather than the particle being in the injection.

          4. There’s always J&J if your sibling still has hesitations.

          • @Meh-zuzah This is awesome. Thanks so much for going into detail. I can definitely use some of this knowledge when we discuss it again. I’m still trying to get through to them. So far they’re refusing the J&J too. I’m determined to win them over.

  8. In very sad non-vaxx news (although I’m not sure if any of you care):

    I wandered over to Jezebel to pick over the latest remains of the once mighty SNS and…there wasn’t one. No explanation. When you click on LATEST you get a banner ad; then an ad; then an Inventory, which is an ad; then another Inventory, so another ad; and then a post that went up on Friday at 5:30 PM.

    What in the world is the business model Herb Spamfellow and Mossy Toxic Hill is pursuing here? Who is ever going to see these ads if there is no content? Has Herb never heard of Amazon? If I want a “ladies razor” I think I’ll go to Amazon, where there is a robust inventory, product descriptions, and multiple reviews of everything, pro and con, sincere and trolly. I was one of the most avid readers and I never thought to myself, “Screw Amazon, let’s see if there’s a ‘kinja deal’ today for that non-stick silicone 8X8 baking pan I managed to cut through in my zeal to see if the lasagne is done enough in the middle.”

    • Slow death.  Jalopnik too. I’m surprised to see the authors still there, cause jalop is getting to be unreadable with all the ads.

       

      Booster sched for Friday afternoon. My workplace supposedly had a mandate for everyone to be vaxt by oct 18 or submit to testing, but there’s absolutely nothing in place to enforce it. It’s embarrassing. 1000s of employees, months to plan, and theyve got no fucking clue.

  9. I’m looking forward to getting the booster shot when eligible.

    I got my annual flu shot 3 weeks ago.

    I also was excited when they expanded the age range for the HPV vaccine and got that checked off the list as well. I couldn’t afford it when I was in the initial age range (under 26) because you know how the US medical system works — ridiculous to require insurance to cover a vaccine that prevents cervical cancer and charge patients $500 instead, knowing your target audience can’t afford that.

    So yes, I’m very pro-vaccine. ANY of them.

    Public Service Announcement – if you’re in the US, the FDA raised the age limit for the HPV vaccine to 45. I know I have friends who are like “well if my marriage doesn’t pan out, I’m not bothering to ever date again” but also… really nice to not have to worry about risk of cervical cancer so please just get them. Dudes, please also consider getting vaccinated not only to prevent spreading HPV (since most cases are asympomatic externally), but also because of its association with anal cancers and throat cancers.

  10. Ugh. This. I am provaxx, product of a mother who was vax hesitant while I was growing up so I missed some important ones as a kid and had to fix that when I grew up. My mom passed away years ago, but now I’m having to deal with my sibling being vax resistant. They haven’t gotten the shot because they don’t trust the vaccine not to give them cancer down the road. I can’t get through to them that the risk of rampant covid killing them now is higher than the possibility of what they fear. I’m so frustrated 😣. Last time I tried discussing it, they said they wanted to wait for a traditional vaccine in development which isn’t even available yet.

    • I have a few coworkers like that and I’m like I’ve seen you microwave leftovers in styrofoam and we work down the way from a radioactive landfill. Like this is your line in the sand for “omg it might be carcinogenic”????

  11. I feel your pain… my oldest son is the only family member who refuses to get the vaccine. Almost-MiL CAN’T get it (her doctors advised against it because of her various autoimmune disorders), but other than that, every single one of us has had it. My son keeps blathering on about how “we don’t know what it’s going to do to us in the future” and “they put it out too fast and it hasn’t been properly tested”. Like, dude… you don’t know what that Posh you suck on a hundred times a day is doing to you, either, but that’s not stopping you. Ugh.

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