Tag: Vaccine

Who’s Afraid Of The Passport?

The current discussions around mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports is interesting. I use the term “discussion” loosely. It’s more like two baboons in a cage screaming at each other and throwing feces. I generally don’t like when someone tells me that a thing is mandatory. Dammit, we’re supposed to be a free people. Nobody tells me what I can and cannot do. If I want to sit in my recliner and drink beer and eat donuts all day, that’s my god given right. Except there are plenty of things that are mandatory. A drivers license to drive. Education through high school is compulsory. You must be licensed to cut hair, open a business, be a gym instructor or chiropractor. As a society we’ve made all sorts of things mandatory. In theory, we’ve made those choices collectively through our elected representatives. They weren’t edicts handed down by the king of the seven realms. We voluntarily put those restrictions on ourselves.

Ok, but requiring vaccines are different. That’s my personal health information. Maybe. But we already mandate vaccines. There are a whole host of required vaccines various states require to attend public school. I chose to work in health care. I was mandated to get whole bunch of additional vaccines if wanted to be employed. There’s nothing new about requiring a vaccine.

Except this one does feel different. It’s brand new. It did not have the full edge-case testing over a long period of time that other well established vaccines had. As a broad statement, I think it’s pretty safe. I was one of the first folks to get it when it was made available to health care workers. I’m older and was going to be regularly exposed to folks with the virus that shall not be named. I made a risk assessment and decided it was worth it. But I have a number of coworkers who are young and are thinking about starting a family. They haven’t gotten the shot because of the unknown factor when it comes to pregnancy. I think that’s very understandable and a reasonable risk assessment for someone who’s young and healthy. Except our hospital just announced that they are making the vaccine mandatory to continue employment. That bothers me. Mandating a vaccine that does not yet have full FDA approval to healthy young people doesn’t seem right. Maybe health care is a slightly different scenario, but making the shot mandatory is being talked about in all walks of life. Healthy college kids, people who’ve already had Covid, and many non-essential businesses. Making something like the flu shot mandatory to work as an accountant or a Starbucks barista never would have been accepted in this country. Jenny Mccarthy made sure of that. Why is this any different?

And then there’s the vaccine passports. I generally don’t pay much attention to that discussion. In the back of my mind I just didn’t think proving health status was something that this country would seriously consider. Other countries may do it and that’s fine, I just won’t go there. France is attempting to require a vaccine passport to go to bar or restaurant. Our news will never show it, but tens of thousands of people are in the streets of France, day after day, protesting this. It’ll never be seriously considered in this country, will it?

And then this morning I read something on Twitter that made me realize we’re closer to a passport than I thought. Geraldo Rivera made the following statement: “All Americans need to be Vaccinated. With #VaccinePassports. I have right to know if you’re contagious”. Not that I think Geraldo is the authority on anything… but for some reason that bugged me. I have the right to know if you’re contagious. Think about that statement. I’m starting to think more people that I ever thought would be willing to submit to carrying proof of vaccination status around with them. I find that frightening. I can stomach certain types of jobs requiring a vaccination as a condition of employment. I don’t have to work in that field if I don’t want to be vaccinated. But requiring a shot and proof to be out and about in society doesn’t fly for me.

There is a massive list of communicable diseases that people are walking around with every day. You’re encountering them all the time without knowing it (how do you think you get the common cold?). Could you imagine the outcry if we required people to carry proof that you don’t have HIV? Yes, I know that’s not an airborne/droplet transmission vector. It’s an extreme example of forcing people to share private health information. There’s plenty of airborne diseases – measles, TB, influenza, chickenpox, RSV, pertussis, etc… The CDC estimates that a third of the population is colonized with MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a staph bacteria. It’s very easily spread and was probably our biggest infection control issue in the hospital pre-Covid. Should I have to show my status on any of those if I’d like to drop into my local bar for a drink?

We’re potentially heading down a slippery slope. I don’t know what the right answer is. My fear is that humans are frightened herd animals. We tend to make panic decisions that may have unexpected consequences we haven’t fully thought about yet. Mandates of anything are very hard to roll back once enacted. A vaccine passport is a genie we won’t be able to put back in the bottle.

I Am A Killer

  • Over the years we’ve kept a fun holiday tradition going. Seeing as we don’t live in a big city we have the option to go out in the forest and cut down our own Christmas tree. Wait, you mean Christmas trees don’t come prepackaged from a local parking lot? A large group of us gather and bring enough food to feed an army. A large bonfire is built and adult beverages are consumed. Kids slide down hills on sleds and dogs race around barking happily and making general nuisances of themselves. A great time is had by all, then sometime in the late afternoon we remember why we are actually there. Everyone troops out into the forest, finds their perfect tree and drags it back to the vehicles. (don’t worry, it’s sanctioned by the forest service, we buy permits and only go to approved areas) It’s a neat tradition that gives a little more meaning to your tree each year. This year was no different. Except that a number of days after we got home life got in the way and we’re not going to be able to put the tree up this year. No big deal other than I’d already cut down a tree. I don’t know anyone who needs a Christmas tree at this late date. I killed a tree for no reason and I feel really bad about it. I’m going to have to find a way to plant a tree or something to get rid of my guilt. Anyone have any ideas of a worthy cause related to trees?
  • These people are absolute fucking garbage. The worst. I’m referring of course to our ruling class in Washington. These scumbags helped encourage their states to shut down and kill local business. They’ve cratered a booming economy and done nothing but spread fear and panic. They spent months now arguing over a “Covid” spending bill. They carefully positioned the optics to look like they were arguing over how much money to distribute to the people. The left villainized the right, accusing them of not caring about people. My god, they shrieked, we have to help the people who are suffering the most. Do something! Conveniently they waited until the election was over and then managed to pass a new Covid relief bill. Printed 1 Trillion dollars out of thin air. Whew, at least the little people will get a massive $600. Don’t spend it all at once now. What’s the part they never mentioned? Hundreds upon hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars in pork. Aid to other countries. Millions in new government programs. $26 million for salaries and expenses for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (I kid you not). $167 million to the office of arts and humanities. $1.4 Billion for something called Asia R.I.A. I wonder if any of these politicians would have the guts to explain this to a restaurant owner who’s gone of of business due to this China plague? To repeat myself, these politicians are absolute fucking garbage. Yes, I’m pissed.
  • Got my first dose of the anti-Wuhan plague vaccine today. Haven’t turned into a zombie. Yet. Maybe it happens with the second dose? I feel powerful antibodies coursing through my system. Soon, I shall be able to run naked through the Covid unit at work sans N95. Ok, maybe not naked. That might be an HR issue.
  • I came home yesterday and surprised Mrs Troutdog and her sister dragging a couch from upstairs down to the living room. The look on their face was pretty funny. I wasn’t supposed to be home that early. They basically rearranged all the furniture in the house. We’ve actually talked about doing it for years, but never committed to doing it. Glad they took the initiative, it looks much better.
  • The WHO changed their definition of herd immunity. They’ve removed any reference to achieving it through previous infections. Hmmm.
  • China is not our friend. We’re fools if we think we can go back to “normal” relations with them. I mentioned a while ago that they just planted their flag on the Moon with their second lunar lander. If our media wasn’t such garbage you might have actually heard about it. A few folks are sounding the alarm about their intentions. Our media will label them racist and nationalists.
  • Because of the aforementioned furniture rearranging, we’re going to buy our holiday gift to ourselves and get a new TV. I’m currently researching – my plan is to get something that requires a crane to install. Mrs Troutdog may have other plans. Stay tuned.

Song of the day: Dannic – Doster 

The Fat Lady Sang

  • The election is over. The proverbial weight to height ratio challenged person who prefers the pronouns she/xe/zie has sung (but not in a non-socially distanced room). Could there still be a weird twist that throws this to the courts for years? Sure, it’s 2020 after all. Highly unlikely though. It’s time for Trump to show grace and concede. A bitter pill to swallow, for sure. How do you show grace to someone who’s called you a racist white supremacist over and over? How to you show grace to a party that spent more than four years going after you with every possible vicious attack, including the kitchen sink? How do you show grace to a party who had many members who refused to attend your inauguration? How do you show grace to a party that spent four years extolling their members to harass the other party whenever you see them in public? To vow to make lists of people in the current administration to ensure they never get jobs again? If it were me, I’d declare that I’m leaving because I value the peaceful transfer of power, then go scorched earth nasty. Refuse to participate in any of the pomp and circumstance of the new inauguration and declassify investigations, documents, and otherwise find ways to harm the incoming administration in any way possible. Because I’m petty like that. Trump’s in a no win situation. He does that and the media will excoriate him even more (if that’s possible). The swamp and the deep state are too big – they’re going to win no matter what. Trump’s going to have to swallow the huge shit sandwich and then use whatever money and influence he has to attack the swamp from the outside. It’s a sad mess all the way around.
  • As states and cities are busy ramping up lockdowns again, I stumbled on a ZDoggMD video from back in August that perfectly describes why lockdowns were and are such a horrible idea. Well worth watching.
  • As I read this article it dawned on me why nobody in government is ever held accountable for anything. This country managed to create, test, and distribute a new vaccine faster than the Durham report investigation. He’s been investigating since April with no end or results in sight. We’ll be well into the Harris administration before the Durham report comes out. I’d love to have a job that has no time accountability.
  • I had to change my password at work this week. Unlike every other password I have, what I choose at work has consequences. I have to log in to our EMR/charting system approximately 50 or so times a day. The password you choose has to be easy to type while standing up (try it!). I waited until the very last day and then during a brief lull in the action, reset my password to something I’d practiced and knew would be a good one. And… something went wrong. I had to get on the phone with IT who said we need to reset it and start over. So on the fly, while the support dude waited on the phone, I had to pick a new password that met all the security requirements. I panicked and chose badly. I can’t type the damn thing to save my life. It takes me at least two (if not more) attempts every time I log in. Hard to believe I was a technology guy at one point.
  • Outside Magazine put out an article titled “A Bad Uncle’s Guide to Dangerous Gifts“. I fully endorse this. You are not doing kids any favors by protecting them from every conceivable danger (real or imagined) they may encounter. Go ahead and give ’em a pocket knife when they’re wee little sprouts. Sure, they’ll probably cut themselves but it’s not like they’re going to slice off a finger. They’ll heal and have a new learned respect for it. We used to send out ten year olds to tend the sheep, and help work the farm. Kids are capable of far more than we give them credit for.
  • I’m scheduled for my Wuhan China Plague vaccine next week. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know if I grow a third eye or develop a rare neurologic disorder.
  • I’m faced with yet another first world problem dilemma. My truck is 10 years old and has about 100,000 miles on it. Runs great, no obvious issues after my last major service. Here’s the problem. I’d like to put some farkles on it that will better fit my lifestyle. They’re not cheap. Do I spend a bunch of money on an older truck or wait until it dies and invest in a new fancy truck? Sell it and get a new truck now? Sigh, I can’t decide.
  • Speaking of trucks, I still really like the Tesla Cyber truck. I would buy one in a heartbeat but I don’t think it would fit my lifestyle. I almost put my $100 deposit down the other day. Need to think about this some more.

Song of the day: Stone temple pilots “Vasoline LIVE Farm Club

Dude, Do You Even Contrarian?

  • C.S. Lewis said, “When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind”. I love that quote. As a country we’ve gone from Timothy Leary’s “Question Authority” in the 60’s, to blindly worshiping the high priest of Covid, Dr. Fauci. As a contrarian, the goal isn’t to blindly reject everything you see, or to embrace every crackpot claim you read on the internet. The point is merely to question. Read other news sources. Actively read opinions you don’t (think) you agree with. The media, big tech, government, all have an agenda. That’s ok as long as you recognize the agenda and take what’s presented with a grain of salt. One of the most discouraging developments in the last few weeks was the plummeting of Fox News ratings. Their viewership were unhappy with election and post election coverage by Chris Wallace, et al., and loudly proclaimed on Twitter they were done. Never watching Fox again. Sadly, that makes them no better than the average CNN viewer. These folks are saying that if they don’t hear what they want to hear, they’ll go find someone else to tell them what they want to hear. Come on man! That’s wrong. Be a contrarian. There are tiny elements of truth in everything. You just have to think critically and find them. It’s ok to think for yourself. Really. Try it.
  • The single biggest story of the entire election should be the Hunter Biden laptop/emails. The allegations may or may not be true… I don’t really care. What’s important, and what should make you angry (if you’re being intellectually honest) is that the media, big tech, and possibly the FBI, actively suppressed a potential bombshell story at a critical time. A story that could very well have swung the election. The same media and tech giants that ran 24/7 for two years with vague Russian influence claims. We’re supposed to live in a society that values truth. We’re not supposed to be an authoritarian country that has state run media. I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, this should piss you off.
  • I’m not sure what to make of it, but Pat Sajak is getting angry. “Don’t!”, on a recent show Sajak yelled, “You won! Don’t argue, Darin!…You got the puzzle. Ungrateful players! I’ve had it!”
  • I give up. Obama won a Nobel prize for, I have no idea. May as well give Biden and Harris Time Person of the Year. For what? The man is a confused 80 year old who can’t get a coherent sentence out. He literally did not campaign, rarely leaving his basement. When he did appear in public it was in front of six people in weird crop circle things. His running mate, Harris, did not take a single question from the press during the campaign. I couldn’t find a single sentence in the very long Time piece describing why they picked these two for the cover. We get it, you didn’t like Trump.
  • Melinda Gates is “incredibly disappointed” that President Trump has put Americans first in line to receive the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine. A globalist who married her money, money earned from an American company (that I used to work for), lecturing the very country who drove development of the vaccine. The ego and lack of self-awareness of the these people amazes me sometimes.
  • If you like black and white portrait photography like I do, this is very cool. For eight years, photographer Lee Nye tended bar at Eddie’s Club and took 125 portraits of regulars. They’ve been put into a book with biographies of each patron.

Song of the day: Jeff Healey – “See The Light – Night Music 1988”

Hot Tub Chemistry

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • There has never been a point in my life where I thought what I really need right now is a hot tub. Hot tubs are so… 1980’s. When we bought a house that had one I assumed I’d simply shut it off and find a way to get rid of it. I pictured having to start robbing convenience stores just to pay for the electric bill if I kept it running. And then one fateful day I decided to get in and see what the hype was about. I can now honestly say I love my hot tub. I’m in it at least once, sometimes twice a day. I couldn’t imagine not having one. The only issue I struggle with is the chemicals. I have two strikes against me. I floundered with chemistry in school and I’m not terribly precise with measuring things. This is why I can’t do carpentry or bake things. Anyway, I ran out of bromine and mistakenly bought the wrong kind. I wanted the tiny little tablets that go in the floaty thing, but instead came home with giant hockey pucks obviously intended for swimming pools. I figured what’s the difference and threw a couple of pucks in the tub. The bromine quickly rendered the PH to zero. My test strips wouldn’t even register any more. I spent the better part of an entire day doing mad scientist calculations and adding chemicals to get the PH and alkalinity back to normal. Note to self, don’t do that again.
  • The mask discussion has become religion. And as with religion, you don’t dare question someone’s beliefs. It amuses me to no end listening to people who probably couldn’t pass a human physiology test if their life depended on it, pontificate on the merits, or lack thereof, of mask wearing. As someone who could pass a physiology test (maybe, it was a while ago) and has had actual classes on reading and interpreting research studies, here’s what we know – nobody has any actual idea if masks work or not. No, seriously. We have no actual idea at this point, despite what the talking heads on TV and YouTube say. Plenty of theories, but that’s it. Up until eight months ago, here’s what we understood: A well fitting surgical procedure mask offered protection against bacteria but not viruses because a virus was smaller than the openings in the mask material. The only thing that would protect you (or others) from a virus was a properly worn, fit-tested, N95 respirator. Magically that has all changed. The Covid virus must have gotten fat, because now any mask dangling below your nose or nasty-ass bandana pulled over your face is just as good as an N95. Now, I do think there’s an argument to be made that a mouth and nose covering of any sort in certain circumstances has the potential to lower the possible viral load you ingest, resulting in a more mild case of the ‘rona. The problem I have is that is NOT what’s being talked about. Politicians and the religious mouth-diaper fanatics are talking as if mask mandates are going to somehow stop the virus. Only two things will stop the (any) virus. Herd immunity achieved naturally or via vaccine, or a complete and total quarantine of the population for an extended period (remember 15 days to flatten the curve?) We’ve lost all perspective and reality about what benefit wearing a mask might provide.
  • I stumbled on a magazine called “Route” that’s all about stories and photographs of the old Route 66. Now that would be a neat trip – a week of exploring and photography of the old byway.
  • The verbal scuffle between Tucker Carlson and Sidney Powell will be interesting. Someone’s reputation will get tarnished over this one. Who’s it going to be? I will say, Powell needs to put up or shut up soon or she just became a whacky conspiracy theorist. If she’s right, the Trump army will leave Tucker in droves.
  • ZdoggMD reading mean comments had me laughing out loud.

Song of the day: Tracy Bonham “Mother Mother