A Winter Of Illness And Death

The actual text of an official Whitehouse press release: “For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.” Seriously? Merry Christmas, bitches. Reading this first thing in the morning made me angry. The more I went through my news and Twitter feeds, the angrier I got. Then I realized – this is not a healthy way to start my day. My typical (non-workday) pattern upon waking is to drink a large glass of water while the coffee is brewing, then head to the computer to consume the news. And that news is overwhelmingly negative. Looking back on the vast majority of my rantings on this site, they’re mostly the byproduct of an hour-plus of getting angry about the state of the world and then writing about it. Not a great way to start the day. I think it’s time to break the pattern. I don’t know what that means yet. Workout as soon as I wake, à la Jocko? Meditate for an hour? Read a book? Walk downtown to a coffee shop and buy an actual newspaper and drink something other than crappy Keurig coffee? Wake and go to the computer but only work on something creative? I don’t know what the new pattern is going to be, but anything has to be healthier than starting my day reading an avalanche of negativity. So as a morning palate cleanser, some things that made me smile this morning…

  • One of the best news reports ever.

  • Yesterday at work one of my patients was a 90-year-old gentleman who had advanced dementia. He was in the hospital because he scaled the fence at his memory care facility and fell (yes, you read that right. A 90-year-old scaling a fence). I went into his room at one point, and he seemed very upset. I asked what was wrong and he said, “This hotel is terrible. They’re very irresponsible. They lost all my clothes and wallet.”

  • After non-stop kvetching about the lack of winter… it showed up big time this week. Got three days of cross-country skiing in. We got another 8 inches overnight, with more to come. There will be downhill skiing this week!

  • Speaking of cold, the hound loves snow and winter much more than summer. Which is odd because he has no fur. Anyway, he treated me to “resting bitch face” when I forced him to stop for a photo while skiing.

  • I’m impressed at the effort it took to make this. Shit keeps escalating.

  • Father and Son

  • Not sure why this made me smile, but it did. Headline: “California pot companies warn of impending industry collapse” Why? Taxes, regulation, and limits on retail stores. People are turning to cheaper, illegal pot.

  • John Daly and his son won the PNC championship, edging out Tiger and his son. I’m convinced the pants are the secret weapon. If you’ve got the gumption to wear multi-colored day of the dead pants to a PGA tournament, you just know you’re going to play well. I’m currently shopping for a pair now.

  • And finally, Elon Musk trolling Sen. Warren is always good for a smile. He’s an underrated comedian.

Song of the day: Matisyahu – King Without A Crown (Live from Stubb’s)

9 thoughts on “A Winter Of Illness And Death”

  1. I relate to the challenge of consuming the news. I find that some newspapers or radio stations here in the UK can be better than websites as they mix up the political stories with non-political ones and you find yourself having breaks from the onslaught.

    I also like to watch a news show which often showcases the activism and political struggles of individuals and, though, their suffering can be very painful, I also find it inspiring at times. But, it too, can be a hard watch.

    Re. that press statement. I get the gist of it but it is, I think, poor phrased and, clearly, factual in its certainty of doom for every individual. As we know, some people experience the virus asymptomatically or mildly. That said, I do believe that it is necessary to encourage and educate the public on the benefits of the vaccine individually and collectively.

    Moreover, there is an element of hypocrisy in their venom as the US has, as other rich nations, horded vaccines and their allies, Germany and the UK, for example, oppose the TRIPS waiver that would release patent rights for companies in developing nations to access the recipes and methods of producing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.


    1. As always, thanks for the read!

      A government that divides and berates its citizens into preferred classes and implies an us vs. them mentality is piss-poor public health policy. The mass protests against the vaxx passports in Europe and Australia are a direct by-product. It’s disappointing there hasn’t been more of that here. Continuing to demonize the “unvaxxed” over a vaccine that doesn’t prevent transmission (which was the original premise) is idiotic.

      The US is/has donated hundreds of millions of doses at a cost of billions of my tax dollars. There are at least four other countries, including Russia and China who have vaccines. How about a little more venom towards China, who created this mess in the first place? How’s their worldwide outreach and donations going?

      The idea that a country or corporation should have to give up their intellectual property is ridiculous. There’s a reason communism and socialism don’t create prosperous societies.



      1. Thanks, I enjoy reading your thoughts. Thanks for sharing again. I agree with you that verbally demonising the anti-vaccine brigade isn’t helpful. The press statement went further by uttering falsehoods – as it is not certain that an unvaccinated person will become ill. I think the government should have measures to encourage vaccine uptake and protect the public and be frank about the effectiveness of the vaccine.

        That’s interesting that you say that the objective of the vaccine was to stop transmissions. I didn’t know that. As far as I know, it reduces likelihood of severe symptoms leading to hospitalisation or death and, also, reduces risk of transmission. That’s what I’ve heard and read.

        I meant that the US government should re-direct the venom that they are showing for unvaccinated people towards themselves. Vaccinating the world is not merely about altruism – it is in the self-interest of the Western countries that have accumulated the bulk of the vaccines. After all, the more the virus is freely transmitting in other countries, the more likely new variants emerge. I suppose we can’t eliminate new variants but we could greatly reduce it if vaccination rates were equalised across the world.

        This is precisely why it is necessary to free the patents with a waiver, which the Biden Administration supports, but is opposed by the UK and Germany. Pfizer and Moderna relied greatly on taxpayer funds for the development of the vaccine and therefore have a public duty to act for the public health interests of those people and not extort their monopoly.

        The communism/socialism labels are somewhat undermined by the emergency measures taken across the world, be they on the political right or left. Governments have had to financially support people who haven’t been able to work due to lockdowns and other government enforced public health measures.


      2. The entire point of the vaccine is/was to limit your chance of becoming infected and to prevent further transmission. Herd immunity comes from a combination of natural and vaccine acquired immunity. The purpose of the vaccine “passports” and mandated vaccines is that you’re marked as “safe”. In theory you can no longer transmit the virus and therefore can go about your regular life activities.

        Unfortunately, the efficacy rate for the vaccine plummeted within months for J&J, Moderna, and Pfizer. It’s down to the single digits > 6 months out (negative rates in some cases). Vaccinated folks were getting and transmitting the delta variant at almost the same rate as unvaccinated. The vaccines are providing virtually no transmission efficacy against omicron.

        The vaccines DO potentially reduce the severity of the infection if you get it. (we don’t know yet for omicron) There is a powerful case for getting the shot for that reason – depending on your risk category. But that is a much different discussion than mandating something that doesn’t prevent transmission.

        So… countries are requiring a vaccine that doesn’t prevent transmission, even for those folks who have natural immunity (they got covid). It’s unscientific, fear-based, groupthink that needs to be resisted.


  2. Interesting comments. The issue with transmission is one that I need to read about. I’ve heard that transmission risk and severity is reduced by the vaccines but to what extent, I’m not sure.

    The impact that vaccines have on reducing severity of symptoms is, in itself, good reason for them, if effective. If fewer people suffer severely, not only do less people die but, also, less people are hospitalised and the healthcare system does not collapse.


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