It Ain’t Over Yet

I got this article on my iPhone’s newsfeed this morning:

The article pointed out that there’s been an upturn in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the Bay Area as new COVID-19 infections in the region have risen 167% in the same month that saw the state dropping most mitigation measures, including vaccine verification and mask requirements for schools and public transit.

Do you think we might have jumped the gun by easing mask mandates and vaccination certifications? I do, but I’m apparently one of those stubborn “woke” individuals who still wears my mask in public places and who avoids coming in close contact with anyone who isn’t masked.

I got my second COVID booster shot yesterday, and other than a bit of a sore arm, I’ve suffered no adverse effects. I don’t expect this booster to completely protect me from being infected by COVID, but I do expect being fully vaccinated will significantly reduce the potential for me to become severely ill or having to be hospitalized.

Normally I would say that, if you are not vaccinated and/or refuse to wear a mask, “hey, whatever floats your boat.” But if your boat is responsible for causing other people’s boats to capsize, I think you need to think again.

So if you still aren’t vaccinated or you refuse to wear a face mask in public places, I believe you are guilty of perpetuating this highly contagious disease.

Truthful Tuesday — COVID-19

Frank, aka PCGuy, has published another one of his Truthful Tuesday posts. This week Frank, who tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quite sick, wants to know…

How closely has COVID-19 impacted you? Do you have first-hand experience, or has anyone in your family or immediate sphere of people you meet or see in person been diagnosed, or is it still something that hasn’t breached that third degree of separation for you?

My daughter and her live-in boyfriend, both of whom were fully vaccinated and boosted, each tested positive in December and I was sure, having spent some up-close and personal time with them shortly before they tested positive, that I would too, even though I am also vaccinated and boosted.. But somehow, I didn’t. They both got what appeared to be bad colds, but they subsequently tested negative.

I also tested negative. That said, I did come down with a bad cold at the beginning of January and it’s still lingering. But I’ve taken the home test three times since getting sick, and all have been negative, so it seems I merely have a bad cold.

I personally know of no one else in my relatively small sphere who has contracted COVID-19. But interestingly enough, I was reading a New York Times article that showed up on my newsfeed this morning, the headline of which was, “Two COVID Americas.”

A new poll of 4,500 adults conducted by the Morning Consult for the Times showed that there’s a remarkable disconnect between perception and reality about COVID and vaccines between Democrats and Republicans. What a shocker, right?

In this question about how people are dealing with the highly contagious omicron variant…

Many Democrats say that they feel unsafe in their communities; are worried about getting sick from COVID. They believe the virus poses a significant risk to their children, parents and friends. Most Republicans couldn’t give a shit. They, as a group, have decided that downplaying COVID is core to their identity as conservatives, even as their skepticism of vaccines means that the virus is killing many more Republicans than Democrats.

And then there’s the perception of vaccinations for COVID. For those who are vaccinated, the chances of getting severely sick are extremely low. Even among people 65 and older, the combination of the vaccines’ effectiveness and the omicron variant’s relative mildness means that COVID appears to present less danger than a normal flu.

For the unvaccinated, however, COVID is worse than any other common virus. It has killed more than 865,000 Americans, the vast majority unvaccinated. In the weeks before vaccines became widely available, COVID was the country’s No. 1 cause of death, above even cancer and heart disease.

But look at Americans’ level of worry about contracting COVID by vaccination status:

A majority of the boosted say they are still worried about getting sick from COVID, while a majority of the unvaccinated say they are not particularly worried.

These poll results suggest that Americans, particularly Republicans, have adopted some irrational beliefs about COVID. In our highly polarized country, they are allowing political partisanship to influence their beliefs and actions at the expense of scientific evidence and the health of our nation.

WTF, Republicans?


I apologize to Frank and to all of you for going off on this rant, but I just felt it had to be said. And I’m glad you’re feeling better, Frank.

Of Course It Did

In a blow to a key element of the White House’s plan to address the pandemic as cases resulting from the Omicron variant are on the rise, the conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3, with the three liberal justices dissenting, to block a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers.

I guess the Founding Fathers didn’t have the foresight to write into the U.S. Constitution that the federal government has the right to take steps to stem the tide of an out-of-control pandemic that has infected millions of Americans and cost the lives of close to a million.

It seems that the justices in the high court value the freedom of Americans to be a self-indulgent idiots over the health and welfare of the country’s citizenry.


In a somewhat related story, I saw this today on a local neighborhood message exchange app:

The Lord didn’t call this guy home. As the next to the last line said, “Ultimately, his decision to be unvaccinated cost him his life.” If anything, the lord called and said, “You reap what you sow, dummy.”


And in other depressing news…

Kyrsten Sinema publicly and bluntly reaffirmed she would not support any change to the filibuster rules on Thursday, effectively killing her party’s hope of passing the most sweeping voting rights protections in a generation.

It’s so sad that one person in the U.S. Senate can stand in the way of assuring the right to vote for 300 million America citizens.

5 Things I Don’t Want to See in 2022

Dr. Tanya asks us to list 5 things we don’t want to see in 2022.

1. I don’t want to see Donald Trump get away with having almost destroyed the American democracy.

What I do want to see is Donald Trump being arrested, tried, convicted, and incarcerated. Along with all of the others who schemed, planned, and participated (and are still participating) in the Big Lie and the attempt to overturn the election of Joe Biden in 2021.

2. I don’t want to see Republicans taking back control of Congress in the midterm elections in November.

What I do want to see is American voters recognizing that, should Republicans gain control of Congress, that could be the last nail in the coffin of our democracy.

3. I don’t want to see COVID-19 and its variants continue to plague humanity.

What I do want to see is people willing to get vaccinated and to mask up so that we might finally put this pandemic behind us.

4. I don’t want to see continued complacency around climate change.

What I do want to see are definitive actions by governments around the world to abate the devastation that continuing on the path we’re on with respect to climate change will lead to.

5. I don’t want to see a decision by the Supreme Court that would, for all intents and purposes, overturn Roe v Wade and make abortions illegal in the United States.

What I do want to see is a recognition that women have equal rights, especially when it comes to managing their own reproductive health, and that the ultimate decision a woman makes about her pregnancy is a personal and private one.

Exposed

I just found out that my daughter and her live-in boyfriend both tested positive for COVID. Both are fully vaccinated and boosted, as am I. I was with them on Sunday and Tuesday. And was scheduled to be with them and my son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids on Saturday, Christmas Day. The operative word being “was.”

I took a home COVID antigen test earlier today and the results were negative. I’ll do another home test on Saturday and I’m scheduled to be have a PCR test, which is more sensitive, a week from today at a state testing facility.

I can’t imagine that I won’t test positive the next time I take the test, given that I spent multiple unmasked hours with my daughter and her boyfriend and hugged them both upon arrival and departure.

In the meantime, I’m going to self-isolate for the next few weeks, assuming that I’ll test positive on one of the two upcoming COVID tests.

What a wonderful way to end 2021 and to start 2022.