Three Things: Mary Had a Little Lambda [UPDATE-1]

[NB: Note the byline, thanks. Update at bottom of post. /Rayne]

It feels odd after nearly 18 months to spend so much less time reading and writing about COVID. I guess that’s what successful vaccine will do to a pandemic.

But the pandemic isn’t over, not by a long chalk. There are far too many vaccine-resistant individuals in the U.S. let alone the rest of the world for us to think we’re aren’t at continued risk, even those of us who are vaccinated. Every unvaccinated person at this point is an incubator for another variant which may succeed in evading our current vaccines.

Just get your damned shot or shots.

~ 3 ~

It absolutely amazes me how stupid the right-wing has become in this country. They cannot see Trump’s propaganda amplified by Qultists and the foreign-influenced anti-vaxx movement is literally sickening and killing them.

I wonder if this is unintended blowback, though. During the Trump regime we could expect the executive branch to act in a way which hurt minority groups the most when they intersected with Democratic voting and/or Trump’s personal pet peeves (ex. Puerto Rico where thousands died after Hurricane Maria – the same territory where a Trump-managed golf course failed).

Trump as well as Trump minions and supporters may have perceived the disease as one of blue states due to the early, deep impact on locations like New York City and Detroit. Trump’s familial henchman Jared Kushner didn’t want COVID aid to go to blue states because it was against Trump’s political interests (read: helping states with more minority voters).

But what if the right-wing has onboarded the flawed belief that COVID disproportionately affects blue states and minorities to the point that the right-wing feels they don’t need no stinking masks or vaccines? They’re white cis-het GOP voters, they are superior, they are unassailable.

Of course they aren’t and now they are dying from the Delta variant wave, in direct opposition to what a hostile foreign entity’s destabilization program might intend.

~ 2 ~

We’ve worked our way through a handful of SARS-CoV-2 variants, with Delta currently spreading like crazy across the country. This won’t be the last variant virus wave so long as less than 70-80% of the U.S. population is vaccinated.

There’s already another virus virologists, epidemiologists, and public health officials are watching closely to see if it is as transmissible as Delta or worse. Say howdy to Lambda, described here by scientist Rob Swanda.

It wouldn’t hurt to have an overview of Delta for that matter, with regard to its greatly increased transmissibility over previous variants’ mutations. Here’s Swanda’s Delta overview.

~ 1 ~

Media-disseminated disinformation and misinformation related to COVID is killing people, much of it focused on attacking the vaccines which prevent both its spread and severe infection. Joe Biden was too candid for Facebook’s taste when he said it’s killing people.

In this Twitter thread, Renee DiResta, an expert on disinformation and propaganda dispersion, looks at COVID anti-vaxx propaganda’s emergence from the earlier anti-vaxx movement which she has studied for years, and Facebook’s role in dissemination and force amplification.

Though DiResta says Facebook has improved while other media and key political figures continue disperse anti-vaxx nonsense, Facebook remains a distributor of anti-vaxx content. There’s no getting around this and Facebook only responds to accusations with defensiveness rather than offering measures to reduce anti-vaxx material in its platform.

There’s also no getting around Facebook’s resistance to criticism even from our representatives in Congress.

If any other consumer product played a role in the hospitalization of tens of thousands of Americans, hundreds if not thousands of deaths, and thousands of cases long-term disability, would the American people tolerate that product not being regulated?

Apart from guns, of course.

~ 0 ~

Continue to press your unvaccinated friends, family, associates, neighbors to get vaccinated. There’s no good reason to subject our health care professionals to this kind of trauma when this disease is preventable.

And continue to wear a mask in public settings even if you’re vaccinated. You’re not likely to spread the virus, but you may still get infected given the current prevalence of Delta and its much greater transmissibility. If you’re vaccinated your chances of needing hospitalization are extremely low, which is the entire point of being vaccinated. But since we don’t yet know what the long-term effects are of cryptic/asymptomatic/mild cases of COVID in vaccinated persons, it’s not worth taking the risk of future long-term disability.

UPDATE-1 — 10:30 PM ET —

The doctor who couldn’t offer vaccines to COVID patients before intubation has been harassed.

Our health care workers don’t deserve this kind of treatment when they are both doing everything they can and telling the public the truth about COVID.

And while Delta remains the prevailing variant responsible for new cases across the country, Houston Methodist Hospital reported a case of Lambda today. Still no more data as to whether Lambda poses a greater threat than Delta.

129 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    If you have time for it, this thread regarding possible boosters for COVID is worth a read.

    Pay special attention if you got the single-shot J&J because you may be more likely to need a future booster.

    • Summertime Blues says:

      We’ve seen a definite increase in COVID patients over the past week, and the ICU I work in is quickly filling up. Preparations are being made to re-open other floors in the hospital for a patient surge. We’re seeing patients that are much younger than last July, and a number of them have rapidly required increased support and are now on ventilators. Vented COVID patients seldom survive, and those that do are in most cases debilitated by the infection.

      It’s profoundly sad that what should have been a public health issue has been politicized, and the resulting carnage is going to be a bad surprise to the naysayers, and ill informed. The vaccines are free, widely available, and in many cases require no appointment. If you have not been vaccinated set aside any reservations or excuses and do so immediately.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for sharing your perspective. Reading about COVID is like drinking from a firehose; I can’t find the study I saw this week about hospitalized patients and the percentage which have long-term COVID with permanent damage. The figure was something like +40%. Why anyone would risk that I just don’t know. I feel so sorry for you folks in health care who not only have to treat so many preventable severe cases but have to explain to those who survive about the effects on their bodies.

        • diggo says:

          It’s also a tad ironic that many anti-vaxxers seem to be unperturbed consuming illicit drugs which contain multitudes of unknown substances, not to mention side effects.

          Regarding the firehose of data, Eric Feigl-Ding does a great job informing the public in digestible doses via Twitter, with multiple updates every day.

        • posaune says:

          Sadly, here’s another perspective: my cousin in FL died on Saturday — the urgent heart surgery he needed could not be performed b/c the procedure scheduled was at a hospital converted to mostly covid wards, so there was no bed. He was told to wait. Because of those anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers.

        • P J Evans says:

          My sympathy. I’m worried about my assorted cousins in the various southern states, from Missouri and Texas to Georgia and Florida.

      • vvv says:

        “One CDC study found 35% of survivors surveyed still had symptoms two to three weeks
        after their coronavirus tests:
        In the 18-to-34 age group, 26% said they still had symptoms weeks later.
        In the 35-to-49 age range, 32% were still grappling with the effects weeks later.
        For those 50 and older, 47% said they still had symptoms weeks later.
        And the risk of death from coronavirus-related heart damage seems to be far greater
        than previously thought, the American Heart Association said.
        Inflammation of the vascular system and injury to the heart occur in 20% to 30% of
        hospitalized Covid-19 patients and contribute to 40% of deaths, the AHA said. AHA
        President Dr. Mitchell Elkind said cardiac complications of Covid-19 could linger after
        recovering from coronavirus.”

  2. OmAli says:

    It’s the spreading I’m worried about. We are meeting our son and his family for a week at a lake house just north of Houston. All the adults have been fully vaxxed, but our 6 and 8 yr-old grandsons have not.

    We live in Trump country coastal GA, and have been masking when in stores or crowded areas, but have also eaten indoors in restaurants a couple of times recently. Again, not so much worried about us, as worried about picking up an asymptomatic case and taking it to TX.

    • Spencer Dawkins says:

      Commenting from Dallas, where my wife and I were both fully vaccinated in February (Moderna), but she is just over CoViD-19 and I’m still testing positive.

      Texas isn’t Florida yet, but we’re doing our best to surpass them. There are plenty of people with symptomatic cases here (and, one presumes, asymptomatic cases). What’s one or two more? 😉

  3. bmaz says:

    FWIW, Pelosi has rejected McCarthy’s appointments of Jim Banks and Gym Jordan for assignment to the Select 1/6 Committee. Predictably, and within almost seconds, McCarthy pulled his whole slate and is screeching about hyper partisanship. Lol, this was a stunt by McCarthy from the get go.

    • OmAli says:

      I have really been frustrated that Pelosi didn’t just give him a deadline from the get-go and tell him he had two rounds to get it right. How much damn time have we wasted?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Not surprised, McCarthy was daring Pelosi to do this, and she did. The GQP will scream hyperpartisanship even if Jordan was left there, so no net loss. The question is whether the MSM / courtier press will let the GQP set the message or not. Watch Chuck Todd for the clues on where this will go, or if anyone on the Sunday shows takes the GQP to task for their reversal on vaccinations.

    • Marinela says:

      Makes sense to me to reject the ones that voted against the Biden certification.

      Claire McCaskill was suggesting that Pelosi could accept Jim Jordin and the others as a good match to watch between Jim Jordon and Liz C. What is wrong with Claire McC? She is so out of touch…

      American people are so done with watching bickering, incompetence, spinning, propaganda, shit shows, lies, laud mouths…

  4. PieIsDamnGood says:

    >If any other consumer product played a role in the hospitalization of tens of thousands of Americans, hundreds if not thousands of deaths, and thousands of cases long-term disability, would the American people tolerate that product not being regulated?

    Opiates? They are/were sort of regulated.

    I’ve been thinking of RWNM consumers as addicts and I think it’s very helpful. I feel bad for them and the consequences of their choices but am not obliged to let them ruin my life. Maybe watching friends and family die unnecessarily will serve as rock bottom for some of them. Addicts will not change until they are ready.

    • gmoke says:

      Anne Wilson Schaef’s books When Society Becomes an Addict and The Addictive Organization explain quite a lot about USAmerican society. We live in an addictive culture and late-stage capitalism relies heavily on it – Purdue Pharma is an egregious example but “corporate branding” is part of it too.

  5. OmAli says:

    So now all 5 are gone. Lol! Let’s not invite a new crowd, let’s just get the show on the road. Ignore the whining.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I think that is Pelosi’s plan, but she gave McCarthy a chance to play nice first. However, since the GQP is up to their necks in complicity (starting with Gosar, Mo Brooks, MTG, Boebert), they really could not afford any real investigation into 1/6 because their collective geese would be cooked. Liz Cheney is still there IIRC.

      Then again, McCarthy will hold his own investigation. The fiction that comes out of that process ought to be breathtaking in its chutzpah.

      It depends on how the press handles the story. I don’t have high hopes.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Based on McCarthy’s presser, he’s unwilling to play nice. Entirely predictable. It seems likely Pelosi’s strategy anticipated this and she has more to follow.

        • Rayne says:

          McCarthy is wholly compromised. He can’t “play nice” because he’d be helping House Dems investigate his role aiding and abetting Trump’s incitement and the insurrectionists’ assault on Congress. Why pick somebody competent and unbiased if they’re only going to request a referral to DOJ if they do their job right?

          I see people complaining it took her 15 minutes to respond to McCarthy’s nominations; Jesus, give the old girl a chance to catch her breath from laughing so hard at McCarthy’s idiotic contortions.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, it took McCarthy about 90 seconds to pull the ball, walk off the playground and hold a staged news conference with all his stooges.

        • timbo says:

          The hilarious part is sitting around waiting to see which of the stooges gets tired of being at such press conferences to prop up McCarthy.

      • Stephen Calhoun says:

        Maybe the McCartney sideshow will rival the AZ Fraudit?

        The Qpublicans are already beta testing messaging about how the Democratic leadership dropped the ball in various ways on January 6th and—drum roll—are to blame. Although, it should occur to McCarthy that his own actions on 1/6 might earn him a moment testifying before the Select Committee! I’m still hoping the GQP Capital tours on 1/5 are what they originally seemed to be: reconnaissance.

        • Rugger9 says:

          I haven’t heard much about the tours lately but I am sure the Select Committee will look at that topic because it sure smelled like recon to me as well. That’s why I made the note above about Boebert being complicit, she had one of those that did make the news and she also was the one who tried to rat out Pelosi’s whereabouts. I’m also not going to miss Gym Jordan derailing the hearings into ANTIFA witch hunts so he’ll get Faux News air time, like he did with the first impeachment hearings.

        • bmaz says:

          By my recollection (so not positive) there were no tours at that time. Supposedly not even by Members, though a few may have occurred by Members.

        • timbo says:

          It would be crazy for the Select Committee not to look into any such alleged “tours” in the days leading up to the insurrection.

      • Spencer says:

        Re: McCarthy’s own investigation.

        The House committee was approved by the House and has subpoena power, no? I assume that would not be true for McCarthy’s soiree?

        Kevin is a profoundly stupid man, at least as far as gameplaying is concerned. I can’t think of a single move he’s made since replacing Paul Ryan that has NOT blown up.

        • timbo says:

          They will not much more than a loud megaphone. And that only if the press doesn’t completely lambast their lame attempts to undercut the work of the Select Committee.

      • Leoghann says:

        I expect the outcome of McCarthy’s Fox and Friends panel’s investigation to be much like that of the “audits” in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

    • Jenny says:

      House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “I completely condemn the violence in the Capitol”

      Jan 6th House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke with CBS Evening News Norah O’Donnell about the ongoing protests at the Capitol, calling for an end to the violence after Trump supporters stormed the building and clashed with police.

      • timbo says:

        Did he even lament it a little? He tried to thread the needle is more like what we saw when it comes to McCarthy. Hopefully he’s out soon.

  6. P J Evans says:

    They have named variants alpha through eta and iota, kappa, and lambda…that I know of. (Physics and math taught me the Greek alphabet.)

  7. Badger Robert says:

    When small pox inoculation became available, most people took it. They knew their odds were better with an imperfect vaccine than with the disease. Sadly, Covid/19 has not killed enough people to make an impression on the public’s mind. But is that surprising? After at least 650,000 casualties in the US Civil War, from disease and combat, heavily concentrated among southern white men, there were many in the south willing to continue the fight. Rationality needs overwhelming evidence to prevail against wilful ignorance.

    • Rayne says:

      I suspect part of the problem is that COVID isn’t ugly. It doesn’t create hideous oozing pox which are dreadful during the course of the disease leaving hideous scars afterward. Too many men may be hearing COVID causes erectile dysfunction but think taking ED meds will solve that — uh, nope.

      And COVID isn’t causing people to drop dead in the street all over the place as the bubonic plague and other illnesses have in the past before we had institutionalized health care.

      We also have 2-3 generations of Americans who don’t remember what it was like to be terrified of polio or smallpox because both were wiped out by earlier generations use of vaccines. I have a smallpox vaccine scar my younger sibling doesn’t have, my children and their children won’t have. It’s just not part of their cultural memory.

      HIPAA also hides a lot of COVID’s damage.

      Perhaps commercial media needs to do a better job of showing the ravages of the disease, asking people for more permission to show COVID’s continuing rampage. There has to be some offset to commercial media’s disinformation.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        There just hasn’t been enough publicity about the erectile disfunction that Covid causes. Let that get spread around and the vaccination numbers will, um, jump up.

      • Spencer says:

        Agreed, point by point, on how invisible CoViD-19 has been, and adding that hospitals have isolated CoViD-19 cases from families and friends.

        At least the hundreds of thousands of deaths during the Civil War were noisy …

    • Artemesia says:

      IN the early crude days of smallpox vaccinations, there was a fair chance of dying of the vaccination. Yet George Washington had his troops vaccinated and many of the founders had their children vaccinated knowing they might kill them but that smallpox itself was a lethal threat and so the risk was worth taking.

    • Lex says:

      No they didn’t. The entire antivaxx movement dates to smallpox and how even doctors were saying people shouldn’t take Jenner’s vaccine. One argument was that it was unnatural because he used cowpox and that meant people were putting cow stuff into people and it might upset God.

      • P J Evans says:

        There are some satirical cartoons from that period that have parts of cows coming out of people.

  8. Badger Robert says:

    Telling people vaccines are not good, and denying that this vaccine is highly effective, is the biggest lie possible. It is the true expression of cult loyalty in opposition to the instinct of self preservation.

  9. PeterS says:

    “Joe Biden was too candid for Facebook’s taste when he said it’s killing people.”

    I’ve been wondering whether, had FB been around in the 1960s and 70s, they would have allowed posts extolling the health benefits of tobacco and messages denying the link between smoking and cancer.

    FB would probably say “of course we wouldn’t have”, but their treatment of the anti-vaccine movement says “of course you would”.

  10. Raven Eye says:

    1. I HAD been thinking that my mask collection was going to get a little less work, but not any more. Continuing to wear the mask is both protection and a statement. If anyone asks why, my response will be that there are too many ass-hats out there that aren’t vaccinated.

    2. I saw the piece about Dr. Cobia and immediately re-posted it. And I see it’s spreading like wildfire (a term I use carefully here in Oregon). But I do have one caveat regarding the last paragraph; millions of Americans don’t have a primary care physician so they can ask those questions.

    3. It might seem a little bit partisan at first, but I think the Democratic Parties in the low-vax states should start up their phone banks and see if registered Democrats need any help getting a vaccination, or would like a means to contact a medical professional in order to get questions answered. They need not ask for vaccination status, but they should say that the party wants as many Democrats as possible able to vote in the next election. If the Republicans scream, just point them to the their own phones.

    • joel fisher says:

      Why limit your great idea to registered Democrats? Why not independents and–here’s where it gets a little dicey–registered GOP members. You might drive some of them away from vaccinations, but others might be saved. Anyway, you definitely have the idea of the day.

      • Raven Eye says:

        In some ways this idea goes back to one of the better things in ward politics: “Hey. How ya dune?” “Really?” “Gimme your number and I’ll get back to you on Monday.” I don’t know how many people they could reach, but I might generate a ripple or two.

        The best way to get the Republicans re-engaged in public health (IMHO) is to remind them of their own party base. And then see who can reach the most people.

  11. russell penner says:

    Greatest impediment I’ve encountered in SW Missouri is coming out of the fundy churches: get the evil vax and you lose your seat on the rapture rocket…Really. A coworker sadly informed me I was facing 7 years of tribulation when he found out I’d got Jannsenized…

      • J R in WV says:

        My parents had elderly retired teacher friends, two sisters, Ethel and Eva Keyser, one of which was even Superintendent of Education during the war when the men were all in the service. They were fascinating people, toured the world on their summers off, creating a wonderous huge set of slides of them all over the known world. Petra in Jordan, all over India, Egypt, Europe, Russia back when it was Soviet Russia…

        Their favorite saying was “Heaven for climate, Hell for company!” meaning that all the interesting people were going to be in Hell, and they didn’t care!! Be with the interesting people!

    • Artemesia says:

      ‘So you think Jesus wants us to suffer and die with a preventable disease? Does he also want us to get polio and smallpox? What an odd thing to say.’ too much tolerance of these fools

  12. Marinela says:

    For a while, trying to understand why the anti-vax politicians including Trump, are so irrational to cause their own base to die.
    To me it is a paradox.
    Until I realized few things that may explain it.

    Trump cannot urge his base to get the vaccine, that may help Biden with the vaccine goals so it is a no starter. Plus, it would mean Trump admits Covid is real which means he was wrong all along while he was President and his response then as President was inappropriate.
    Trump also is attuned to his base which high percentage is anti-vax so he is afraid to lead, he is a follower.
    The GOP is following Trump on this, because they need the Trump base.
    So Trump, the base, and the GOP are locked in a deadly closed feedback loop.

    Luckily, with the help from Biden and the democrats, some of the Trump base may get a second chance.

    The problem is, Covid is killing not only the irresponsible people. A very good friend of mine died from complications to Covid. He contacted Covid while he was getting the Covid shot at local church.
    He hardly went out, wore a N95 mask, he was very careful, but he had diabetes.

    Wondering, if everybody did their civic duty and got vaccinated, how many people would still be among us?
    The person(s) that infected my friend are probably still alive.

    • Raven Eye says:

      That “duty” thing is often left on the cutting room floor when we edit our 15 seconds of fame (15 minutes is waaaaaay too long in the digital age).

      At my most recent visit to the doctor, he thanked my for getting vaccinated. I responded that both masks and the vaccine were 50:50 to me. Half for me, and half for the community — as a matter of duty. (I think he sometimes thinks I’m a little militant at times, but I always try to have some observation that makes him pause.)

      • bmaz says:

        But, dammit, it IS each and every one of our duty. I just….Do not understand the contrary view.

        • joel fisher says:

          1) The certainty of clan disfavor is more threatening than the chance of illness or death.
          2) In your face leftists; I’m standing up for freedom.

        • Raven Eye says:

          My theme for the past 18 months…People seem to jump to the amendments (which they sometimes don’t understand anyway)…Zipping right past that first sentence. It isn’t explicit (no stick and rudder instructions) but when you sit back and think about how you’d operationalize (DC buzz word) that sentence, the idea of “duty” does rise to the surface.

          20 years in uniform, a few public sector jobs, and a bunch of consulting and I can’t count how many times I raised my right hand. When I’m getting my 10% discount at Home Despot or Lowe’s and the checker does the reflexive “Thank you for your service” I sometimes wonder when that service stopped. And “duty” being as simple a wearing a mask, getting vaccinated, and trying not to do something stupid — it aint like marching off to war. How much are we asking of the citizens and residents?

          In September of last year one of our county commissioners, during a regular meeting, said words to the effect of “You get vaccinated to protect yourself, not to protect someone else.”

          (I need to sit on my perch and chill for a little bit…)

        • Rugger9 says:

          You also protect the ones who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, like cancer patients, et al.

        • Raven Eye says:

          Totally. If millions more Americans had recognized their duty and cheerfully carried it out, a lot of people who are at greater medical risk could sleep just a wee bit easier. Not perfectly safe, but still better off. How freakin’ difficult is that?

        • Katherine M Williams says:

          The current right wing definition of “freedom” is pure anarchy, no rules, no duties, no responsibilities. Plenty of “rights” of course, even the “right” to infect others with deadly disease. And of course, the 2nd Amendment “right”.

        • posaune says:

          Just ordered a carton of N95s to stock up, so we can go back to double-masking if necessary.
          My office is back open this week (workers required in person one day per week) and there are already two Delta variant cases announced today. Scary.

        • bmaz says:

          As Mrs. bmaz pointed out a little while ago, while N-95s are excellent, they are a pain to breathe through. I used them decades ago when spraying lacquer paint, but that was only for short periods at a time. For an entire day, it would be hard.

  13. milestogo says:

    It’s probably too morbid for mainstream number crunchers like Nate Silver to check. But I’m quite curious if the anti-vax people who at this point are certainly a super-majority of Trump voters will die off at a rate that could affect a future election. My mathematical intuition says it’s probably close to a wash but it’s at least possible Republican leaders are killing their own voters to their own detriment. To be very clear, I want people to get vaccinated and live regardless of their politics. But it seems Republican leaders care less than I about their own followers.

    • Rayne says:

      It might be too early to make that calculus. Some of the unvaccinated Trump voters will get COVID and only have a cryptic/asymptomatic/mild case this year. It’s what happens between now and November 2022 and 2024 in the form of long COVID or slowly-manifesting sequelae resulting in long-term disability.

      Betting the pandemic will make the eventual case for bipartisan-supported single-payer public health care better than anything other approach.

      • rip says:

        From my limited exposure to people that won’t get the vaccine, most are contrary because of religious reasons. Maybe a few don’t want to give any credit to a Democratic administration.
        Either case, they will stick by their beliefs until their blood oxygen level drops to zero.
        The survivors will think they walk in the path of Trump righteousness.

    • joel fisher says:

      I’ve also been thinking along those lines. Remember not that many votes (40K?) in 3 states separated Biden from Trump in the EC. All things being equal, which they never are, some number of folks are dying of Covid in those states and–due to the anti-vax morons–that ratio is somewhere north of one for one. Like you said, “morbid.”

  14. Nehoa says:

    I am not quite there yet with vaccine mandates as a public emergency, but would recommend upping the incentives/disincentives program a lot. For example, every household member fully vaccinated by the end of the year gets a $1,000 stimulus payment. Every household member not fully vaccinated by the end of the year owes $3,000 in additional tax liability. Monetary incentives sometimes work wonders.

  15. punaise says:

    I’m still dealing with a recalcitrant employee who refuses to get vaxed. it;s not political and he’s otherwise pretty rational. It pisses me and my other associates off to no end – it is so fucking inconsiderate. He’s on a short leash here at the office on the two days per week that we are back in the workplace. It forces a good new employee, fully vaxed, to wear a mask when he is here due to worries about passing something on to an immuno-compromised relative. I can’t afford to let him go or I would seriously consider it.

    • bmaz says:

      Isolate him in a broom closet to never have contact with other employees. Or refuse to let him back in the office until vaccinated.

    • MB says:

      If it’s not political, then what is it? A gullible victim of misinformation?

      The younger brother of a friend of mine actually got a bad case of covid last February, went to the hospital, nearly died and then finally recovered. Upon discharge from the hospital, his doctor told him to wait a couple of months before getting vaccinated. Well, he has now waited 4 months and is reluctant to get vaccinated at all because he latched onto some Youtube “doctor” whose video claimed that getting the vaccine could GIVE you covid. Talk about stubborn and irrational…

      • punaise says:

        There’s no good reason, just being a stubborn arrogant asshole who thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us but has some mild conspiracy theory leanings. Mostly utters a bunch of mumbling about waiting for a better version, we don’t know what the long-term side effects are, etc. Implicitly saying that he’s OK because herd immunity that he refused to contribute to (and which won’t ever come to be because of selfish folks like him).

        • MB says:

          OK. The common denominator between your employee and my friend’s brother is: stubborn. Stubborn-arrogant in your employee’s case and stubborn-misinformed in the case of my friend’s brother.

          And yeah, ain’t no “herd immunity” at the current level of 58% fully-vaccinated in California, so far…safety from unearned herd immunity might be possible in Vermont, which is at 73%, however…

        • punaise says:


          “Herd? It threw the grave line.
          Oh I’m just about to lose my mind”

          Shaming hasn’t worked, and I’m sure as hell not going to offer incentives to do his fucking civic duty…

        • Valley girl says:

          If you don’t mind me asking, what makes this guy so irreplaceable?

          And, could you lower his pay until…?

        • punaise says:

          Hi, VG!
          He’s my most productive employee, a whiz with our 3D software. In this market that’s irreplaceable.
          It’s complicated…

        • Marinela says:

          It sounds like you need to find a new whiz, then have the problem whiz train the new hire.
          Complicated, so much easier if he takes the vaccine.

          The 3D software he is using, can he work from home or he needs mechanical systems at home as well?

        • punaise says:

          New whizzes don’t grow on trees in the Bay Area. He is otherwise a decent person, parent, colleague. He can work effectively from home, just like we all did (and continue to do 3 days/week).

        • posaune says:

          Seems like there should be a bunch of folks at Cal Poly that are heavy into that. There’s a bunch on the east coast, but might be hard to recruit. You might find someone through ESRI — they are really serious about the 3D now and like Revit folks.

        • punaise says:

          @posaune: thanks – we posted job offers at Cal Poly and many other schools via the Handshake program – didn’t even get a nibble. I will look into ESRI. Our new hire came via the only method that seems to work: word of mouth / networking.

        • P J Evans says:

          There are two Cal Polys – people tend to forget the one in Pomona. (Where I worked we mostly didn’t do 3D, but we used ESRI software with 2D add-ons that worked for us. Mapping/GIS.)

        • punaise says:

          2PJ: I’m a SLO grad, so obviously biased. We need architects who do 3D, not just any graphics jockey.

        • vvv says:

          Have you requested that he train his potential replacement?

          Or, you could be moderately nicer and ask that he train his back-up for when he is inevitably out sick …

          Any mentioning of life insurance might be too nasty.

        • Raven Eye says:

          Months ago I told my hesitant neighbor “The herd doesn’t give a shit if you die.” I continued along the lines that if he gets taken out by the wolves, the herd will keep moving — a little safer for a while and with one less mouth to feed. Sucks to be you.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      Sounds like he’s on a power trip, making everyone else take precautions, scaring and bullying the rest of your employees, and you. Probably really enjoying himself. Best say to him “I can see you are unhappy here, so I’m letting you go as of _____ date. I’ll write you a nice reference!”

  16. harpie says:

    Rayne, if you ever feel like going down the J6 rabbit hole again, here’s a thread Marcy retweeted this mornng, saying:

    This thread directly ties the Jan 5 rally with the Lower West Terrace violence, including the assault of Michael Fanone.

    Linking to:
    10:23 PM · Jul 20, 2021

    #SeditionHunters – events in DC required planning. Cindy Chafian organized the fiery Jan 5 rally where Ali Alexander led the crowd in “Victory or Death!” On Jan 6 she marched up the West Capitol steps with bullhorn & entourage and cheered during the assault on Officer Fanone. [annotated VIDEO] 1/ […]

    Cindy’s many activities and events from November 2020 leading up to January 6 have been extensively documented by @visionsurreal. [LINK] 18/ […]

    Linking to a very long and winding thread [I mean this thread has it all] that starts here:
    6:48 PM · Jul 17, 2021

    THREAD: General Flynn played a significant role in the insurrection operation.

    “Flynn Org” was heavily involved in the “legal/propaganda” part of the op in the months leading up to 1/6. […]

    And while much of my thread so far has focused on the “legal/propaganda” component of this operation, it is now time to slowly unravel Flynn Org’s involvement in the “kinetic” part of this operation that went down on the infamous date of January 6th, the Capitol insurrection. /24 […]

    • Rayne says:

      Oof da. My schedule is super busy this next few days but I’ll put this on my To Do List. Flynn’s remarks during the 2016 campaign about using social media for information warfare sure seem like he had a solid grasp of what needed to happen to incite Trumpers to action. Am rather surprised his role hasn’t already become more obvious for that reason.

      Thanks, harpie!

    • Dutch Louis says:

      At the 1/5 rally Cindy Chafian told the crowd that it wasn’t police who were keeping them safe, but rather the Proud Boys, anti-government militias and other far-right groups: “All of those guys keep us safe”.

  17. Katherine M Williams says:

    Thanks for the youtube link to the info on the Lambada variant. Very interesting.

  18. greengiant says:

    Media warfare for dollars. You do not have to wait for the AI singularity to kill us all. Profit and some political driven entities don’t give a rat’s shit about killing people, getting a dictatorial government, or destroying countries and societies.
    From counterhate’s report on anti-vax for dollars to CDC to Biden’s “off the cuff” remarks.

  19. harpie says:

    A thread on the new NFL Covid policy:
    1:08 PM · Jul 22, 2021

    The NFL just informed clubs that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will FORFEIT and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding, per sources.

    Massive implications. [MORE]

  20. harpie says:

    How concerned should we be about breakthrough coronavirus infections? One expert weighs in
    12:52 PM · Jul 23, 2021

    […] For people who have been vaccinated, probably the most important question right now is whether and how likely it is that a breakthrough infection they contract could spread to someone in their life who hasn’t been vaccinated, like a young child or grandchild…

    It’d be nice if US public health authorities were tracking the data that would enable them to provide a quantitative answer to that question.

  21. greengiant says:

    Black life expectancy cut ( 2.9 or 3.25 years depending on date and study ).
    There are different hesitancy communities. Minorities have been hit harder by Covid than the privileged. To some extent their vaccination hesitancy is the younger age hesitancy.
    In 2019 median age non Hispanic white 44 years, black 34 years.
    Now the Alabama governor makes a trial run of blaming the not vaccinated, ( read blacks ) but not the un masked.

  22. J R in WV says:

    Here in West Virginia masking was really good until recently. Then it went south in a big way, and I KNOW many of those people are NOT vaccinated yet. I wear a mask when I’m out in public. I have an industrial respirator with N100 filters, it prevents me from smelling the blue smoke the old Chevy is spitting on my feet while I load groceries into the SUV at Kroger’s.

    But it also has unfiltered exhaust, which I cared about in the before times — no more, if you don’t want to wear a mask you should get vaccinated, otherwise, F – – K you and the horse you rode in on.

  23. Tarkeel says:

    The studies I’ve seen at work (sorry, I don’t have references available right now) suggest that people with two doses of mRNA vaccines are about 60% protected from spreading the delta variant. Adenovirus vaccines seems to offer even less protection, so you’re very right to ask people to wear a mask even if you’re vaccinate.

    These are studies based on observing healtcare professionals, particularly in Israel and the UK.

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