[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.
⚠️ Florida is about to outpace Missouri for new cases per capita. pic.twitter.com/cvUu6XPovw
— Charles #GetVaxxed! 💉 (@charles_gaba) July 20, 2021
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.
Here I describe the biochemical mutations that occur in the SARS-CoV-2 #LambdaVariant. Additionally, I explain the naming system between ‘variant of interest’ and ‘variant of concern’ labeled by the @WHO.https://t.co/Aw9Rx8ZxqJ
— Rob Swanda (@ScientistSwanda) July 11, 2021
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.
🧵The last 48 hours on here have been all about The Vaccine Discourse. Is FB killing people? Is the govt passing the buck? Who even can tell what IS misinformation, and who watches the watchmen, anyway? I’ve spent ~7 years watching the AV movement evolve online and have thoughts
— Renee DiResta (@noUpside) July 18, 2021
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.
‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’ Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients https://t.co/7GJTQzjngx
— Dennis Pillion (@dennispillion) July 21, 2021
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.
Dr. Brytney Cobia declined a request for an interview Wednesday, telling NBC News via text that she's been receiving threatening messages.
— Janelle Fiona Griffith (@janellefiona) July 21, 2021
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.