Bioethics—What is right?

Is Biden’s new mandate to vaccinate businesses of 100 or more employees ethical, or even legal?

Concerning bioethics —is it ethical to mandate vaccination of citizens with an unnatural selection processes that, based on fear, have bypassed established checks and balances? Is it an ethical mandate regardless?

Here in Washington state we have vaccine mandates coupled with the threat of jobs and access. Now President Biden offering more of the same. For whatever reason nature has selected this process, yet humanity is serious enough to think it can hold it at bay ad-nauseum. We need 8 billion more people?

Will vaccines end the pandemic? No. But it will curtail some suffering while simultaneously causing other suffering.

“labs are turning to gene-based vaccines. Scientists use information from the genome of the virus to create a blueprint of select antigens. The blueprint is made of DNA or RNA—molecules that hold genetic instructions. The researchers then inject the DNA or RNA into human cells. The cell’s machinery uses the instructions to make virus antigens that the immune system reacts to. Cells respond to the instructions as a normal part of their daily existence. This is the same trait infectious viruses exploit; they cannot reproduce on their own, so they use a cell’s machinery to make copies of themselves. They burst out of the cell and infect more cells, widening the infection.

Who knows where any of this will go from here? What is nature trying to tell us? One thing is clear; humans will fight the natural processes until it all goes out with a bang instead of boredom. This artificial propping of human longevity may very well be its downfall.

It won’t be some presidential whacko to push the button, but will it likely go out with a syringe?

Is Biden’s new mandate to vaccinate businesses of 100 or more employees ethical, or even legal?

I know maybe it’s too late to say this, but the unnatural living conditions, overcrowding genomics to keep capitalism growing evermore is a root cause. Now what do you do about that?

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Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

972 thoughts on “Bioethics—What is right?”

  1. The first point to make is that, with a couple of exceptions, utilitarian bioethics supposedly went out of fashion in 1945. That’s because they were used to justify, initially, Aktion T4 – the extermination of German psychiatric patients – and, ultimately, the Holocaust. So you shouldn’t be building bioethics out of hubristically presumed outcomes. As you say, “Who knows where any of this will go from here?”.

    It’s not like it’s a Nazi thing either. The thesis of ‘life unworthy of life’ was originally laid down by the humanist psychiatrist and utilitarian moral philosopher Alfred Hoche and his conservative lawyer colleague Karl Binding in 1920, when Weimar Germany was considered one of the most progressive and enlightened nations on earth and the Nazi party had less than 200 members and was almost unknown outside Nuremberg. When the Nazis began applying it to disabled children in their euthanasia program the American Psychiatric Association debated exterminating US mental patients too, with the editorial position of their newsletter being that the main function of psychiatry should be to help families deal with the trauma of signing off the lives of their ‘defective’ members. After all, eugenics and racial hygiene theory were the ‘best science’ of the day. Contemporary utilitarian philosopher (and the son of Holocaust survivors) Peter Singer has come to the same conclusions as Hoche regarding the extermination of substandard infants, so it seems to be something intrinsic in the culture and methodology of utilitarianism.

    So the Nuremberg Code mandates that medical ethics should be predicated on publicly enunciated principles, not consequentialist algorithms, with the main exception being triage, whereby scarce medical resources are allocated according to where they are most likely to reduce mortality and morbidity. In democratic societies those principles should be a matter of public debate, informed by experts but decided by mandate, with no group or individuals having disproportionate influence.

    Unfortunately democracy is a very rare bird, with most of the world now living under a supranational plutocracy. People don’t vote for anything important. Money does.

    Regarding medicine, that money generally comes from the pockets of Big Pharma (as demonstrated by the recent wrist-slap allocated the Sacklers for starting the opioid epidemic for fun and profit). So public bioethics are the private property of a few huge drug companies and what’s ‘ethical’ is essentially what’s profitable to them.

    Biden knows which side his bread is buttered on. If he didn’t he wouldn’t be where he is.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Do you trust politicians? Do you trust scientists? Do you trust capitalism?
      We have a drug made by capitalism science, approved and mandated by the government, which btw, is the same structure that brought us thalidomide, bextra, and vioxx. Pick your poison.

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      1. Nah, I trust my own assessment of the evidence and my epistemological nihilism.

        Gets me into a lot of trouble that. But at least it’s my trouble and not someone else’s I picked up and paid for.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Democracy has been described as two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. In essence, it’s no better than any other form of government; and in practice, it may probably be worse. The solution is not to replace one form of government with another — it’s to abandon the mistaken notion that we need rulers altogether.

      Regarding the Sacklers:

      “this is essentially a crime family … drug dealers in nice suits and dresses.”~Paul Hanly (litigation attorney)

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      1. We do not “need” government, and to me it is one of the 4 (so far) worst-ever inventions of humanity. Government denies people the ability to learn how to be responsible for themselves, at the same time as keeping people from being free to choose who their neighbours will be. Nations, like religions, divide and conquer (our ability to live together as one people on our one planet).
        The other worst ever inventions: gods, including God; gold, giving value to something which has no real value, meaning money; and guns, meaning “any” weapon that can be used to kill other living beings.

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    3. So you are arguing that mandated vaccination known to be highly effective against a known communicable pathogen, one that we know claims the same rate of casualties today as a World Trade Center every two days, is equivalent to eugenic bioethics? You are arguing that doing nothing and allowing the deaths of thousands upon thousands of citizens every week is ethically sound but mandating a reduction of this unnecessary cost by vaccination is like killing vulnerable people in Nazi Germany?

      Seriously?

      I can find no sense in this framing, other than allow a pandemic to continue causing needless harm and suffering potentially without end as the ripe conditions to mutate are allowed to go unfettered. But you are good with this.

      I want you to explain to Cheri Witwiky why it’s okay for her mom to die in the waiting room of her hospital while unvaccinated people use up all of the resources. How this is ethical. I want you to explain to her why those requiring medical attention for unrelated issues rank lower so that unvaccinated people can continue to dominate all of health care. You can also explain to her the ethics of allowing this pandemic free rein to exhaust nurses and doctors to the point of quitting their professions, that this is all for the good and that her mom’s death is a price you are willing to inflict on her by withholding your support for mandatory vaccinations… all in the name of what you think are principled ethics.

      I think something’s not right here in your thinking, something that is leading you to a conclusion guaranteed to produce massive casualties in the name of avoiding compulsion. You think compulsion is unethical in regards to an effective vaccine but these casualties ethical. That seems to me to be arguing the tail has every right to wag the dog.

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      1. Firstly I was making no comment on whether or not mandatory vaccination is ethical, just about whether utilitarianism is an appropriate tool for building public bioethics. In that I was doing no more than stating the consensus position among bioethicists since WWII.

        But I think your approach illustrates quite well why utilitarian bioethics are morally and intellectually bankrupt. You blame the unvaccinated for the strain on health resources and workers and identify mandatory vaccination as the solution to the problem, as if cause and effect is a linear chain of simplistic inevitabilities. Having identified your scapegoats you then propose punishing them by deprioritising them for healthcare, as if that too would have the single effect of improving the health system by turning it into an arm of the penal system. In doing so you’re no different to the ex-president who seemed to think vilifying ‘the Chinese’ was an appropriate response to the crisis.

        Really there are myriad reasons health workers are under strain, including the idiotic capitalist health care system that prevails in the West in which stockmarkets reward owners who minimise staffing levels and ensures jobs in caring industries are far more poorly rewarded than sociopathic work that facilitates upwards distribution of wealth and power. But strangely enough I don’t hear you proposing withdrawing healthcare from stockbrokers, corporate politicians, free market lobbyists, etc, who are more to blame for America’s pathetic response to the crisis than are those reluctant to take vaccines.

        Or perhaps you’d like to direct me to statements you’ve made calling for punitive sanctions against the Sacklers and their ilk, whose profit seeking actions led to an opioid epidemic that’s killed about the same number of Americans as COVID has so far.

        And that’s the inevitable problem with utilitarian public health ethics. You can only make utilitarianism work by artificially limiting the causes and effects you examine in a way that doesn’t reflect the real world at all. And because of how power works in the real world that always means an authoritarian elite will have the final say on what the relevant causes and effects are and who needs to be scapegoated and punished. Remember the utilitarian arguments about ‘mushroom clouds over US cities’ that justified the slaughter of thousands of people in Iraq to protect us from non-existent WMDs? That’s how utilitarianism works when you take it out of highly constrained ‘trolley problems’ and plant it in the real world. And it’s always the refuge of people like yourself who can’t accept how little they can know and control the future and so look for someone to blame and punish when reality falls short of what they think it should be.

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        1. When you feel you have confirmed your bias here to your own satisfaction, I urge you to go volunteer a few hours a week at your local hospital. Because, unlike every medical expert in the world, you know better and your know this virus is mostly benign. So go doo some good. I guarantee it will put your confirmation bias on life support.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Where do I say the virus is benign tildeb? Seems to me you know what I ‘think’ better than I do. I never even knew I believed it was benign until you pointed it out to me.

            You’ve gotta make a heck of a lot of shit up to maintain your own feeling of superiority, don’t you?

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            1. This is the religious aspect today’s science, where there is little compassion for those fearful of compliance.

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            2. Yeah, it’s Scientism.

              For a while I was taking on an entire online community who called themselves ‘Science Based Medicine’ without any of them having more than a fanboy grasp of what science is. And of course it was primarily about asserting the borrowed authority of ‘Science’ against others, in the same way their ideological ancestors would have borrowed the authority of an imaginary God to put themselves at His right hand.

              Apparently comparing themselves to people who believe in crystal healing and the power of prayer was the only way they could make themselves feel smart. The problem was they wanted to leverage that into a technocratic regime where faithful fanboys like themselves get to tell everyone else what to do.

              Remind you of anyone?

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          2. BTW, when I’m not practically confined to my house by a ‘benign’ virus that routinely kills people of my age, gender and medical status I do voluntary work with an organisation that supports psychiatric patients attempting to live in the community. Not the worried well either. The ones who struggle to stay clear of full time institutional care and mind destroying medications.

            That’s one reason I know a thing or two about the abuse of the vulnerable that arises from utilitarian bioethics, though I’ve gotta admit I don’t often run across people who openly advocate such abuse without at least a thin veil of therapeutic justification.

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        2. IMO, tildeb was focusing on one aspect of this pandemic … the practicality of vaccinations. Yes, he went on to mention the strain being put on healthcare workers, but you have taken it to a higher level when you bring in the “capitalist health care system.” Certainly it plays a role, but I felt that tildeb was primarily referencing real people who are being pushed to their limits because so many of those seeking care have used their “rights” as the “prime directive.”

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          1. No, I was just making a general observation about utilitarianism.

            Cause and effect in the real world doesn’t run in a nice neat line from A to B to C then stop like it does in the simplistic linear thinking of consequentialists. It spreads out in all directions like ripples in a pond (or shockwaves from a supernova) and keeps having consequences indefinitely.

            So fingering a particular discrete cause – such as vaccine hesitancy – for a general effect – such as breakdown of the health system in the face of pandemic – is simply a reflection of blinkered bias and the need to reduce a complex universe into something small and simple enough to get your head around.

            In tildeb’s case it’s also driven by a much nastier need to find acceptable scapegoats to blame and punish for his own inability to control what he believes he should control. Drug companies, health authorities and capitalism are too big and complicated to take on and they have the resources to fight back. So tildeb proposes punishing a few simple-minded folk who’ve fallen for anti-vax crap (as opposed to simple-minded authoritarian folk like him who fall for whatever the authorities tell him). And in the process he gets to feel superior to a whole bunch of straw men he’s created and gets a brief taste of the sense of control he craves.

            And he thinks that’s ‘ethics’.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m often at odds with things that tildeb puts forth, but in this case, I have to disagree with your analysis. Further, if I’m not mistaken, I think he’s related or close to someone who works in the health field (a hospital?) and that most likely influences his approach to the pandemic and its spread.

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            2. Then why does he keep making stuff up to try to assert his technical authority and patch his threadbare arguments?
              Why does he propose punishing a relatively powerless group instead of supporting health workers?
              Does he really think he can help his rellie by being an arsehole?

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Don’t burst his illusions, Nan. He’s built a nice straw man of me to dismiss the facts I bring forward he doesn’t like.

              And yes, my spouse worked in the office of the Minister of Health for the Minister and was part of the small team of medical experts that formulated CIHI data into policy recommendations revised by funding decisions. These members past and present remain in close contact. The job was very stressful prior to the pandemic but certainly informed by real world data. And that’s what I’m trying to portray here: the real world data speaks of what is really going on across a very wide spectrum of medical concerns that uses public funds. It has nothing whatsoever to do with my opinions, even though I think non vaccinated people should go to the end of the line rather than bump people who have done their civic duty. But that’s neither here nor there, although I know many frontline workers espouse exactly the same sentiment, so sick and tired are they of dealing with so many unvaccinated desperately ill people and for such a long time with no end in sight. They know this carries a greater cost than many people know, a cost paid for by people who cannot access a needed ICU bed for things like treatments and surgeries unrelated to Covid. They really are suffering and dying from these other causes that does not show up as a Covid-caused death. That’s why I continue to urge people to talk to these frontline workers because they are the real world starting point for all the accumulated data.

              That’s why I know ICU beds, for example, has undergone a radical funding shift and the number of beds currently dedicated to trying to meet the rising need. That’s why, for example, I mentioned the increased funding for additional trained ICU nurses in early 2020 because the data showed a rising need that was not going to be met by current staffing levels. It’s very complex to increase ICU bed capacity because it has all kinds of negative impacts across the rest of the healthcare system. And the fact that the number was increased five fold and is STILL inadequate… enough to justify the funding for field hospital capacity… speaks loudly of what is really going on.

              Right now, for example, hospitals in Canada run between 75%-99% of all these massively increased number of ICU beds for unvaccinated Covid patients. That speaks to what is going on in reality. As is the increasing frustration of these highly trained and desperately needed ICU nurses; their numbers are dropping in spite of the concerted effort and ample funding to train more, pay them more. It’s a hell of job when every day and almost every bed in thee ICU unit and rededicated beds as ICU beds is filled by people who are unvaccinated. These numbers would be a fraction if more people got vaccinated. That is what’s true. That’s how this works. That’s what reality shows. That’s what all these staff will tell people what is actually going on at these hospitals. They will tell you how other services have to be cancelled and why… to make room for more unvaccinated Covid patients. And none of this has anything to do with me or my opinions. It’s just the way things are.

              So when people presume all of this is somehow a product of my opinion, they are wrong. I’m simply looking through a window of trustworthy data and I understand from my spouse how this data then tailors policy recommendation responses and justifies the allocated funding. If the need were not present, the data would show this. It’s just this simple.

              But vaccinations are the bigger problem in the minds of those who assume they know better than real world data, know better than real life experts in these matters, know better than all these policy makers, all these frontline workers. That alone tells you the extent of the confirmation bias hard at work; it’s so stupid when arbitrated by reality that it isn’t even stupid.

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            4. I’m simply looking through a window of trustworthy data

              So which ‘trustworthy data’ informed you that vaccine induced myocarditis is “IMMEDIATELY treatable on site!”?

              What Minister of Health research program told you I think coronavirus is benign?

              Was it CIHI data that informed policy that masks were unnecessary to control a respiratory virus while there was a shortage of them only to suddenly ‘discover’ they worked after all when scarce supplies no longer had to be hoarded for front line health workers?

              Are Canadian health authorities following the lead of their international counterparts in claiming there’s some kind of threshold community vaccination level beyond which it will be safe to end lockdowns, despite evidence from multiple jurisdictions that doing so results in an immediate significant rise in infection rates, hospitalisations, deaths and health system failures?

              Are you ignoring the data showing most COVID deaths in England’s collapsing hospital system are now among the vaccinated because it doesn’t fit your preferred narrative?

              Or are you just repeating the mantra of authorities across the world that individuals who don’t get vaccinated (even the ones who are doing their darnedest to in the face of botched rollout programs) are to blame for the repeated failures of both short and long term health policy we’ve seen over the past 18 months?

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            5. The article goes on to say “here’s why that shouldn’t alarm you”. There is an explanation for everything, even why some butterflies have eyes on their wings, and any explanation will do.

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            6. What is the worth difference between a vaccinated and non vaccinated person who is hospitalized? You know where this leads I’m sure, that no admission of any kind would be afforded to someone uncomfortable with vaccines, not just covid related illness, but any. It’s already beginning. Here’s a couple of reasons; they don’t trust science any farther than making a few gadgets, and your failure to understand their religion should actually help you understand why they don’t believe you and your data.

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            7. This frustration by healthcare workers about having the unvaccinated take up most of the ICU beds is based on something, Jim. What might that be? They have no equivalent frustration with anything else, save perhaps guns and drugs and booze. So that ‘something’ is not manufactured by capitalist pharmaceutical or insurance companies regarding Covid. I mean, come on Jim: THINK. What might be the trigger for this widespread and growing frustration?

              That trigger is an understanding that so much of this IS preventable. That’s not my opinion. That’s reality.

              There will be a series of increasing restrictions for those able but unwilling to get vaccinated. This is basic public health. Sure, I think the unvaccinated should be last in line for all kinds of public services including healthcare access here in Canada, but that’s not going to happen because that’s not how our healthcare works. It is based strictly on need. This is why more and more frontline nurses and doctors are quitting; they know nothing is going to change without mandatory vaccinations and they didn’t get into healthcare to decide who should live and who should die, who deserves what, making calls to family when yet another unvaccinated Covid patient dies. These kinds of daily activities suck the souls out of the best of us. Healthcare frontline workers are not immune. But they do have to deal with reality-deniers all the time not just in the ICU beds but outside the hospitals waving their placards, throwing debris at the workers, and impeding traffic.

              I don’t have the figures at hand for how many times lower is the rate of hospitalization for vaccinated people. I know it varies based on a multitude of factors. But I do know the RATE is at least 10 times less than it is for the unvaccinated. Now, that’s hospitalizations.

              When you need intubation, that becomes Intensive Care and special beds are used that has an assortment of specialized medical devices. As of this morning, I read that about 7% of all ICU patients in my province fully vaccinated have Covid. Also, the survival rate is about 10 times higher than it is for the unvaccinated (and this is significant for several reasons I won’t go into). So the data can be summarized as follows: vaccination keeps the number of positive cases in the community much lower than they are for the unvaccinated; vaccination keeps the number of hospital admissions much lower than they are for the unvaccinated; vaccination keeps the number of patients requiring ICU beds much lower than they are for the unvaccinated. Now, these numbers that inform the rates constantly fluctuate even as numbers rise and fall by day, by week, by month, by community rates, and so on. But here’s the take-away: vaccination basically divides the potential rates of adverse stuff from Covid three times over. That means your chances of getting Covid is much lower DIVIDED by the rate of hospitalization DIVIDED by severe symptoms. In a square block chart per hundred thousand people (10K X 10K), the rate of Covid runs about 15-20% per month per hundred thousand. Vaccinated people runs about 4-5% per month per hundred thousand (and this rate is rising, which is alarming because it really means our vaccination efforts are being slowly undone by those who refuse to get vaccinated and therefore allow all these rates to rise over time).

              Unvaccinated people requiring hospitalization runs about 15% of those who have Covid versus about .01% of vaccinated people who get it. Unvaccinated people who then require ICU beds runs about 15% of those hospitalized. Vaccinated people already hospitalized who then require ICU beds is about the 1% of them. So at each stage, vaccinated people have less risk of catching Covid, lower risk of developing sever symptoms, and lower rates requiring ICU beds. What mitigates these numbers is that very often the breakthrough cases for people vaccinated who need the additional hospitalization and ICU support are those already severely compromised in other ways (this is one of the reasons the survival rate I mentioned earlier shouldn’t be as high as it is if the compromises themselves were the reason for a higher likelihood of dying WITH Covid versus dying FROM Covid). Anyway, this skews the numbers for a fair comparison, in that the rates are actually LOWER for the average person vaccinated to need an ICU bed fi they get Covid. But at every turn, no matter what numbers arise, the TREND is always one directional: vaccinations are an effective way to LOWER – not eliminate – lower the risk of Covid and its more severe symptoms for people and those they come in contact with. Every single line of evidence shows the same trend. This would not be the case if vaccinations caused the kind of harm so often touted by anti-vaxers.

              Now things like myocarditis and pericarditis are as I’m sure you know infections – in the heart for the former and heart sac for the later. It is absolutely treatable. And yes, the rates for these infections is higher for teenage boys and yes, it is associated less with with first than it is with the second doses of vaccinations and the association is stronger the less time between the shots. Bad news for vaccinations, am I right? Well, let’s see…

              So how often does this happen? Well, at a rate of about .000004% (4 in a million). What is the rate for Covid in this population? About .00163% (1603 per million). In other words, the rates of heart effects even if caused by vaccination (and it probably is a developing immune system’s response to some aspect of the vaccination I think, but that’s just my opinion that has no real value to anyone, I know) is far less than the risk of getting Covid and about developing severe symptoms. This does not alter in any meaningful way the overall trend already mentioned of great benefit by vaccination even though these kinds of non-equivalent datum are the mainstay of anti-vaxers and realty deniers and their Masters (who would want a population to harm itself by spreading such dis- and misinformation, other than say China or Russia?). Without these rare outliers to cause confusion and sew doubt, they’ve got nuthin’ except the gullibility of those who want to think the worst of those trying their best.

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            8. This frustration by healthcare workers about having the unvaccinated take up most of the ICU beds is based on something”,
              It is also based on government overreach.
              1 in 6 healthcare employees would rather quit than get vaccinated” There are local protests here regarding that. That is not why I quit paramedicine, but because it was already overtaxing physically and mentally long before the pandemic. This system is far more muddled than a few unvaxxed people. I walked away.
              It is also based on how poorly a facilitated Canadian healthcare has no room for this in an already lagging system.
              I don’t see life as being this serious. Plus I’ve been fooled much of my life by the passionate urgencies of belief. I am not anti vax, but I understand why many are. I agree with much of your comment but also see as Cabrogal stated, this isn’t really a linear problem. There is more at play than covid tipping the apple cart.

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            9. What might be the trigger for this widespread and growing frustration?

              Maybe politicians – maybe even the Canadian Health Minister – encouraging everyone to find fault with each other rather than the systemic, long-term under-resourcing and maladministration of our health systems that brought them to the verge of collapse well before the advent of COVID tipped them over? Maybe as a result of policies enacted by precisely the same ‘authorities’ we’re repeatedly told to blindly trust in and who are now looking to sheet home the blame to anyone except themselves?

              It’s called ‘divide and rule’, tildeb. It’s long been perhaps most the successful policy of oppressive and exploitative authorities regardless of the government or economic system underpinning them.

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            10. I’m still waiting for those numbers tildeb.

              – How many ICU beds were there before and how many are there now?
              – How many beds per 100k?
              – How many cases have preexisting health problems?

              If you’re really in the know, these numbers should be easy to provide.

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            11. The report reveals that Canada’s publicly-funded health care system is not what it’s cracked up to be. It not only confirms that ICU beds were already in short supply over seven years ago, but goes on to predict that an aging population with severe end-of-life illnesses would strain the system even further in coming year and create delays or cancellations for elective surgeries and unplanned emergencies.

              I checked how many ICU beds there were in Alberta and was shocked to discover they have only 276 beds to serve a population of over 4.4 million people — a number so paltry that even a small disaster would overwhelm the system.

              So the real problem isn’t unvaccinated patients, but poor planning and policy decisions.

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            12. For what it’s worth, Washington has nearly 10 times the beds of Alberta and currently at 90% to 95% capacity with covid admissions 85% unvaccinated. Staff is beyond burned out and with school just starting it seems to be blowing up.

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            13. I’m not arguing that the U.S. health care system is all that much better — just that the so-called public health care systems are not as utopian as they are made out to be.

              More importantly, the same problems outlined in that report have been identified as a future global problem in many other for almost two decades. Here’s an abstract from 2004:

              In the United States, shortages of qualified health-care professionals have created a major threat to the availability and quality of critical care services for seriously ill patients. An unprecedented, and largely unrecognized, shortage of physician intensivists in the near future will deny standard critical care services for large populations of patients with serious illnesses. If the current trend persists, shortages of these specialists, combined with the current shortages of critical care nurses, pharmacists, and respiratory therapists, will become severe by 2007 and will worsen through 2030. Numerous studies demonstrate that critical care services directed by physicians who are formally trained in critical care medicine reduce mortality in the ICU and reduce health-care costs. While people of all ages, from low-birth-weight newborns to senior citizens, benefit from treatment in the ICU, older Americans receive a disproportionate share of ICU services. The demand for ICU services, therefore, will continue to grow as the baby boom generation ages. To address the shortage, the critical care professional societies recommend that steps be taken to improve the efficiency of critical care providers, to increase the number of critical care providers, and to address the demand for critical care services.

              https://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(15)32119-X/pdf

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            14. Certainly the writing is on the wall with the nursing shortage. I dealt with this off and on as a medic for years.
              I worked in California during a medic shortage during the Pasadena fires. It was common to wait 2 hours in the hall with a trauma patient. Tildebs situation is much more dire at this point than most of the USA, so I understand his panic. It is unfortunate but perfectly normal for people to decide the way they do. Having both vaccinated and unvaccinated certainly makes the game more intense. Brilliant, really!

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            15. The other shoe is about to drop, as well. The annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees states that the annual cost of running the program will exceed total income beginning in 2021, and that the reserve trust fund will be depleted by 2057.

              https://www.ssa.gov/policy/trust-funds-summary.html

              One is tempted to wonder if COVID was an orchestrated event to clear the decks of all the current and upcoming “useless eaters” (aka aging baby boomers). But that might be construed as crazy conspiracy talk.

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            16. I find it more likely that nature is self regulating. We think we can do an end-around by planning and intervention (or even conspiracy) but that too, is no different than any other aspect of nature. You think you can outsmart it, but you is it. You are what nature does. I think you may give far too much credit in thinking humans can do anything but what they do. We see it play out over and over, just different tools.

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            17. Duly noted! And in the case of humans, the “self-regulating” feature appears to be the primal brain which often overrides the thinking one.

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            18. It’s easy to overthink anything, which particular thoughts are a byproduct of the environment we have an affinity to. The fact is humanity is improving by nearly every metric. Why? Is it beliefs that have this going or is it science? Is it conservative conspiracism that is doing it?
              So far every advance in human longevity and equality has been opposed by one side or the other, yet here we are getting it better every day. Mixing science and politics with religion, conspiracy, and fear, must have the innovators shaking their heads. The engine moves forward and the baggage car gets heavier, yet we persist.

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            19. Based on my observations, overthinking things is not a widespread problem; and especially in the US. If anything, it appears we have the exact opposite: an extreme paucity of critical thinking skills. People prefer to leave everything up to the “experts” and do what they are told, rather than conduct a thorough investigation for themselves.

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            20. Yep. And having a vilified minority of unvaccinated people in the population during a pandemic gives health authorities the perfect scapegoats to deflect blame from their own neglect and incompetence.

              Here in Australia it’s particularly stark. The government botched the vaccine rollout in multiple ways and most unvaccinated people want to be vaccinated but haven’t been able to get it (I’d been trying to get vaccinated since early June when I finally got my first shot a couple of weeks ago and I’m in the second highest priority group).

              But Australian authorities are still flat out blaming and threatening the mostly unwillingly unvaccinated for the increasing cascade of failures in the health system and to distract from their own failure to implement rational lock-down regulations (e.g. by granting exemptions to non-essential industries with powerful lobbying arms).

              And just to put the icing on the cake, they’ve also fucked up the implementation of the vaccination database. So many people who have been vaccinated are recorded as unvaccinated while others seeking vaccines are being refused because the database says they already had them.

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            21. The advisory body (forgot the name) really blew it when they cautioned against getting Astra Zeneca. That was a blunder of astronomical proportions. Morrison then blew it when he didn’t blast the crap of them for it.

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            22. ICU beds funded today ~2000 projected to be 5000 by December (reference). Notice that this base today is about 5 times the normal amount projected from December 2018. And it is being increased.

              There is always great variability in ICU capacity based on many provincial factors. There are also various transfer mechanisms and agreements for funding between the federal government and provinces because the provinces are responsible for healthcare. But overall and because of the pandemic, capacity has been dramatically increased.

              Now, it seems to me that you and facts have an uneasy alliance in the sense that you only want data that supports your belief and will spend not only your time and energy seeking this confirmation but demand the same from others. I am willing to give you what I think serves the point and only that: ICU bed funding has increased about 5 fold in the past year and will be increased more in the next few months as a RESPONSE SPECIFICALLY to rising case numbers of Delta. You are trying to paint a false picture, that the number of ICU beds was too low at the start of 2019 and so these increases are enough to get us to where they ought to have been all along. That is unmitigated bullshit. It’s a typical tactic used by climate change deniers to utilize only data that SEEMS to support a contrary view which is immediately ejected and rejected if it doesn’t fit the false narrative. And this is a never-ending tactic I will not play with you. You will always find something in all data sets to pretend your rejection of reality is reasonable. It isn’t. It is intentional dis-and misinformation. That’s why I keep saying go talk to frontline workers in the ICU departments of your local hospitals and find out why vaccination is the medical consensus.

              Liked by 2 people

            23. Not what I asked for, so once again:

              – How many ICU beds were there in your area before and how many are there in your area now?
              – How many beds per 100k in your area?
              – How many cases have preexisting health problems in your area?

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Is Biden’s mandate ethical or legal? Maybe?

    Ethical? Yes. We mandate various practices in the name of safety – seat belts, OSHA regulations for industry, wearing safety equipment like hard hats, special shoes and clothing, breathing apparatus, etc. to prevent injury and death in certain circumstances. Why would a virus be any different than any other hazard? It isn’t. We’ve been mandating vaccines under certain circumstances since they were first developed to protect people.

    Is it legal? Probably not. I don’t see how the president has the authority to govern by some kind of royal decree, which is exactly what a lot of these so-called ‘executive orders’ seem to be over the last few decades. Congress is supposed to make the laws, not the president. The executive branch of the government doesn’t make the law, Congress does, or is supposed to.

    He’s making a mistake here. This might push more people to get vaccinated, but what it will really do in the long run is give more ammunition to the extremists.

    Your last paragraph is spot on. Crowding billions of people into slum like conditions or worse, inadequate medical care, inadequate diets, poverty, overcrowding, etc. is indeed one of the root causes of things like this. How that can be fixed — I have no idea.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I should add that I don’t blame Biden for what he’s doing. He’s merely doing what the last half dozen or so presidents have had to do because Congress continues to fail to actually do its job. For decades now Congress has been yielding more and more authority to the executive branch because it refuses to man up and take responsibility. Permitting the president to act unilaterally permits them to look like they’re doing something but if and when something goes wrong they can lay the blame on the president’s office.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What troubles me is capitalism science. This is the same structure (on steroids) that brought us thalidomide, bextra, and vioxx. I trust science. I don’t trust all three treating every single outbreak like it’s emergent you take their pill.

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        1. I don’t think it’s specifically capitalist science that’s the problem, though I’m not usually an apologist for capitalism.

          Science has outgrown individual boffins and is now the property of institutions. Doesn’t matter what sort. Institutions might be made of people but they ain’t people and don’t have human survival imperatives or human ethics. That’s why the people who constitute them typically clock off their morality when they clock on as components; whether they’re the cleaner, the CEO, the commanding officer, the coach or the commissar.

          Do you suppose institutions are conscious and wonder if they have free will?

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    2. He’s making a mistake here. This might push more people to get vaccinated, but what it will really do in the long run is give more ammunition to the extremists.

      And that’s the rub with consequentialism.

      Assuming there is such a thing as free will – because without it all ethical considerations are meaningless – then each decision is a ‘first cause’; something new in the universe which isn’t just the inevitable effect of all that preceded it.

      But cause and effect is endless, except inasmuch it slowly decays due to entropy. So Biden’s authoritarianism today might save lives tomorrow but at the cost of many more lives later as people push back against the removal of their freedoms. Or maybe it will continue to save lives for decades, only to eventually result in an even greater worldwide mortality due to population overload. It’s like the Chinese proverb of the horse farmer.

      So basically whatever ‘currency’ you nominate to calculate consequentialist moral value – be it human lives, the viability of the biosphere, the greatest happiness for the greatest number, corporate balance sheets, whatever – the inevitable effect of ‘reversion to the mean’ means the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ effects will more or less balance out in the long run.

      Personally I think true morality only arises from how you feel in the moment of decision. The various moral codes are only used to judge and justify the actions we take in accordance with our intrinsic moral compass. If we’re really following an external moral code we’re not acting morally at all . We’ve surrendered our moral autonomy and become ethical automata.

      So it follows that true freedom is the ability to make the decisions you believe to be morally correct at the time you make them. If you can’t you’re either enslaved by external authority, doctrine or circumstance or by your own foibles and weaknesses.

      But of course if there’s no free will all of this is irrelevant, though I had no choice but to write it anyway;).

      Liked by 1 person

    3. How can forcing people to do something against their will be deemed ethical? Compulsion is immoral, and merely pointing to other instances of such violations against personal liberty does not constitute a valid reason for implementing additional ones.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. Not at all. I submit that morality means doing what one considers to be right, regardless of what one is told to do by others. This is the direct opposite of legality, which proposes that one is obligated to do what one is told, regardless of whether you deem it to be right or wrong.

              By way of example, slavery and debtor’s prisons were once deemed perfectly legal, but now they’re not.

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      1. The ethical constraint is legitimate because it constrains your freedom from imposing on mine. Freedom is not unrestricted but comes with a recognition that when freedoms do clash, legal restraint is necessary to ensure public welfare. That’s why we have a whole bunch of legally mandated constraints. That’s why you are not free to use the public square any way you wish. And so such mandatory constraints can be and are both ethical and moral.

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        1. They are called “in alienable
          rights” for a reason: you either have personal liberties, or you don’t. Because if they can be revoked for any reason, it’s best to call them what they really are: special privileges.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “They are called…”? “Either/Or” regarding liberty?

            No.

            I talked about the ethical constraint of freedom, which is related to the inalienable right of liberty. These are not synonymous. Liberty is an ideal that creates freedoms; but it is REASON that constrains its application. It is eminently reasonable to constraint ‘liberty’ when it threatens the life and pursuit of happiness of others. Surely those have to count, too? The ideal cannot be used as a practical guide of ‘either/or’ on its own – as in no rules or regulations are ever ethical if these impede the inalienable right of liberty; rather, REASON is used to shape and bend and redirect how that right to liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness can best be realized – put into effect without undermining other inalienable rights of others – for the greatest number and, presumably, result in the greatest good. Allowing thousands of people per week to die and use up vast sums of public money and healthcare to provide the means for recovery for those who suffered complications in the name of ‘Liberty’ for some (who then transfer much, much higher risk to everyone else by not doing their part, by risking the life and pursuit of happiness of every other citizen, by not getting vaccinated and rationalizing this irresponsible and highly selfish motive to be ‘mY fREEdOM’ , by pretending – in spite of all evidence to the contrary – that the vaccines are somehow more dangerous than the very real threat in our midst currently overwhelming hospitals and driving away doctors and nurses this very day, killing many people who also need medical services but unable to compete with a suffocating moron, is very very dishonest and unethical to the core. Rationalization and excuses of anti-vax ‘principles’ is no substitute for reason in a time of medical emergency. And an ongoing pandemic is a medical emergency and recognized as such in legislation that empowers Medical Officers to act and constrain the ‘liberty’ of those too reluctant – perhaps too stupid but probably just too selfish – to respect the same ideal for others they demand from others for themselves.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Once again, healthy individuals pose no threat to anyone’s health or liberty; so constraining them via lockdowns and/or mandating they take unneeded experimental drugs to combat a low-risk disease is not only un-constitutional, but highly immoral and medically unsound advice.

              And the data collected by health agencies across the globe showed that the majority who died were elderly nursing home residents suffering from multiple health problems. So it was really a case of dying with Covid, rather than dying from Covid.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. These two paragraphs are factually wrong.

              Our local hospital is full of Covid patients who were otherwise healthy people across the age cohorts. The ICU capacity has been quintupled over the past year to cope with all these otherwise healthy people and only a small fraction is for those over the age of 60. Maybe that’s because we have a 94% vaccination rate for those over the age of 80. We’ve even got an Olympic athlete ‘recovered’ from Covid and discharged from hospital reporting she is unable to find the energy many days to roll over in bed and take a drink of water. We’ve got otherwise healthy teenagers, uncompromised in any other way (well, as far as ANY teenager is uncompromised, I guess) dying from Covid. These are not ‘typical’ ailments from those recovering from a ‘typical’ flu. Any doctor would tell you as much.

              The problem, however, is that these not-so-typical but all-too-common cases are not considered in the ‘recovery’ data hospitals use to discharge Covid patients. But if you talk to a family physician, a local health unit, a company that provides community health care, you’ll be shocked at how much demand there is for additional services for those 6 and 9 and 12 months post Covid patients STILL struggling at home just to try to function. We’ve got cases of people – many in their 20s and otherwise healthy prior to Covid – who still cannot taste or smell anything and presenting as malnourished 6 months post ‘recovery’. This not normal. This is not a disease of the elderly. It a viral pandemic and no one – even fully vaccinated – are immune. Many people who have died have not done so with Covid as you have so glibly summarized; they have died solely BECAUSE of Covid. Covid – at least in Canada – kills somewhere in the vicinity of 10% untreated people and about 1% of treated people. And these numbers are only a rough estimate based on how many people die at home when their O2 levels crash and they have a heart attack or stroke. Local paramedics say these numbers of calls are up about 20 times the normal rate prior to Covid. So the real world data – real evidence – for this danger is overwhelming. Saying otherwise is denying what’s true. It may feel good to believe it and put your mind at ease by insisting it must be so, but it is not reflective of what’s true in reality. Go to your local hospital and find out from the front line workers what’s really going on. This is not a typical flu and it is not a disease of the elderly or the unhealthy.

              You might be interested to note that people who previously had Covid and recovered sufficiently to be considered fully recovered but who then get a single mRNA vaccine shot are 100 times less likely than another post Covid person who does not get vaccinated to get reinfected by any variant.

              The ONLY defense we have against SARS-CoV-2 is vaccination. And this defense starts at the individual level in many ways and grows more powerful as we reach 90% of the total population. It mitigates risk. That’s all we can do. We cannot protect ourselves from the virus; we can only take actions to mitigate its effects. And by far the only one that has any significant effect is vaccination. That’s it. That’s the ballgame.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. Total tests performedFrom your own Government of Canada website:

              COVID-19 (to September 10, 2021, 7:03 p.m. EST)

              Total tests performed – 41,324,700

              Total cases – 1,538,093
              Active cases – 39,198
              Recovered -1,471,725
              Deaths – 27,170

              Estimated population: 38 million

              So the death rate is 27,000/38,000,000

              = 0.07% (rounded)

              or 0.7 per thousand
              or 70 per 100K
              or 700 per million

              Plus, please keep in mind that this is a cummulative total since early 2020.

              Now compare this to the estimated 80,000 deaths per year (>210 per 100k) due to cancer and 50k deaths due to heart disease (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/201126/t001b-eng.htm) and tell me where the “health care” focus should be directed.

              41,324,700

              Total cases

              1,538,093

              Active cases

              39,198

              Recovered

              1,471,725

              Deaths

              27,170

              Liked by 2 people

            4. Ron, not only do I have ongoing access to CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) data that accumulates all healthcare data from the entire country, I have access to those who make policy decisions based on it. As hard as it may be to accept, I actually know what I’m talking about. That’s why I asked you WHY are the massively increased number of ICU beds filled? You can figure this out all on your own. Something is causing people to get this very expensive treatment… and in very large numbers!

              If this were a normal flu, why did the government fund to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a five fold increase over the past year of ICU capacity, put into effect additional ICU training in early 2020, spend so much on testing and facilities to handle the output, and a highly sophisticated means for massive federal vaccine distribution and delivery across the country? If the need weren’t so great in fact, in reality, according to the best data we have, and the cost of doing badly so dire, then how did so many people of so much medical expertise and specialization in infectious diseases running a very sophisticated medical system for millions of people get so badly and so easily fooled when a guy on the internet or some Facebook chat room has so much more insight? Oh, right… no beds in the ICU today. Can’t figure out why. Let me go online…

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Do I really need to post links to all the “public health care” funding cuts that led to the ICU shortage in the first place? Why not dress up that five-fold increase with some actual numbers. How many beds were there before the increase, and what is the ratio of beds to population?

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            6. Ah, that’s it. Immediately try to deflect the blame onto something else instead of accepting the fact that the people like you who are spreading misinformation, helping to sow distrust, misleading people into bizarre conspiracy theories, are morally guilty of murder. My niece and thousands of others like her are dying or already dead because of the garbage you and the others like you are spewing all over the media.

              Seven hundred thousand people in this country are already dead, many of them because they believed the misinformation being spouted by you and others like you. I’ve had enough. Just go away.

              Liked by 2 people

            7. The majority of my comments contain direct links to the source data. Kindly reference the ones that spread misinformation and bizarre conspiracy theories.

              Liked by 1 person

            8. Another way to think is the number of triage centers (field hospitals) set up outside of hospitals to transfer non-Covid patients in order to allow the expansion of ICUs throughout the hospital. Every city in Canada prepared for this ( because they had to submit these pandemic plans and organized placements to the federal government).

              Look, this notion that the pandemic isn’t what it is because _____ (stick in whatever you want here) serves only one master: doubt. Now, the reasons for manufacturing this doubt is not medical. It is something else. You’ll have to figure out why you’ve bought into this doubt hook, line, and sinker, and figure out why you are serving this other master and embrace being duped rather than decide to use up to date medical knowledge as your guide. You will have to decide just how deeply fooled you are willing to be, and for how long, and at what cost, before you start to reverse your decent into misinformation and start to get back to respecting reality.

              But don’t expect others to go along with this manufactured charade. In fact, it is reasonable to expect disgust, dismissal, and certainly a loss of respect because that is what you’ve earned by try8ing to dupe others. Not getting vaccinated is a real world problem borne out by incontrovertible data, a decision that in fact threatens the health and well being of every citizen including yourself during this pandemic. That you’ve been duped and you’re good with that is of trivial concern when acting on your denial of reality is an ongoing and increasing danger to all by elevating the risk others must endure. Expect more and more restrictions will apply to those who will not get vaccinated.

              So do your civic duty even it means holding your nose knowing that at the very least you are interfering with the human chain necessary for pandemic spread. It’s such a small price to pay even if it’s nothing more in your opinion than erring on the side of caution, just in case reality and not your manufactured doubt has the final say.

              Liked by 1 person

            9. Okay. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how about providing some of those numbers I asked for?

              Specifically:

              – How many beds were there before the pandemic and how many are there now?

              – What was/is the ratio of beds per population?

              And additionally:

              – How many patients being treated for Covid have absolutely no other known contributing health problems (like high blood pressure, diabetes, Insulin resistance, etc.) or nutritional deficiencies?

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            10. A quick search yields the following summary report of Canada’s public health-care system from HospitalNews:

              https://hospitalnews.com/canada-ranks-last-on-number-of-hospital-beds-wait-times/

              Among the report findings:

              – Canada’s health-care spending as a share of GDP (11.1 per cent) ranked second highest (after adjusting for population age) behind only Switzerland.

              – Canada ranks 26th (out of 28 countries) for the number of doctors (2.8 per 1,000 people) and 26th (out of 27) for the number of hospital beds (2.0 per 1,000 people).

              – Canada ranks 21st (out of 26) for the number of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines with 10.4 MRIs per million people, and 21st (out of 27) for CT scanners with 15.9 scanners per million people.

              – Canada ranks last with the highest percentage of patients (30 per cent) who waited two months or longer to see a specialist, and the highest percentage of patients (18 per cent) who waited four months or longer for elective surgery.

              The full report is available here:

              Click to access comparing-health-care-countries-2019.pdf

              Liked by 2 people

            11. Yes. And you know this cumulative, right? Not only do we have medical need for things like heart disease and cancer, as you quite rightly point out, now we have all that Covid applied on top. It’s not comparative: it’s cumulative.

              This is why the death toll from treatable cancers and COPD and renal problems has risen when treatments are suspended or rescheduled later (a hospital with a patient lined up with a donor to have a transplant this past week had to cancel and the assembled medical team redistributed to deal with the most recent Covid surge BECAUSE there was no available ICU bed. That was taken up by a non-vaccinated Covid patient!) is unconscionable when vaccines are now easily available but refused. Where are the stats on this cost? When that patient dies having not received the transplant, nowhere will that death show up as related to Covid. But it is, you see. And it’s such a tragic waste because it should have been unnecessary had more people had the internal fortitude and do the right thing and get vaccinated if not for themselves then for the benefit of others.

              Liked by 2 people

            12. I stated it was cumulative, did I not? Which is precisely the point. Fatality rates are reported on a per annum basis. Reporting only cumulative deaths skews the numbers to make things look worse than they really are.

              And I think you missed my point — though I admit it wasn’t made readily transparent — that the issue is modern “health care” focuses on selling the pound of cure rather than the ounce of prevention, because the former offers a never-ending revenue stream, whereas the latter leads to massive unemployment.

              Liked by 3 people

            13. Oh I got your point(s). That’s why I pointed out vaccinations are the cheapest solutions possible, which puts your point about ‘making money’ from the disease by vaccination makers into the idiotic box where it richly belongs. The money, as I pointed out, is in the ICU beds. If money were the issue driving the pandemic, then getting more people into ICU beds is the motherload, and we’re already there! We’re actually past that in many places. Blaming the cheapest possible solution as a ‘capitalistic’ con job is even more idiotic. This notion that vaccinations are a Big Pharma money maker compared to the ACTUAL cost in health, in dollars, in suffering, in death absolutely and unequivocally dwarfs Big Pharma’s payday here. You would have to be suffering from significant brain impairment to think vaccinations was the financial motherlode here.

              And the Covid cases are accumulated on top of all the other ‘normal’ rates (with the exception of yearly influenza, which the rate has dropped with all the public measures in place). These are not replacement numbers but additional numbers. In other words, these are not the flus we once had but something ‘special’. And it’s special because it fills our hospitals today and drives all these other and normal conditions into the background BECAUSE complex symptoms are so dangerous.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. You’re making my point for me. The cheapest solution is keep yourself healthy and out of hospitals, but that solution is not being promoted by the “healthcare” industry because that would put the drug companies (along with the media conglomerates who advertise their products) and the “healthcare” professionals who all make their living treating illnesses out of business.

              Liked by 1 person

            15. I’m trying to wrap my head around your reasoning. So the vaccinated are free to roam and spread asymptomatic covid at the same rate as the unvaccinated—a threat greater to those who are uncomfortable with vaccination. Seems like the vaccinated should be a little more compassionate. If this were any other topic we would be protecting the vulnerable, but here they are the bad guys for being cautious.

              Liked by 2 people

            16. So the vaccinated are free to roam and spread asymptomatic covid at the same rate as the unvaccinated

              From the Pfizer-issued fact sheet I was given when I was vaccinated a couple of weeks ago –
              “We currently do not know how effective COVID-19 vaccines are at preventing the spread of the virus. This means that SARS-CoV-2 could potentially still infect a vaccinated person. Even if they have no symptoms or only mild symptoms they could still pass it on to others.”

              That fact alone should be enough to knock people like tildeb off their authoritarian high horse. But it’s not about facts. It’s more a matter of “You’ve all got to do what I say or be punished otherwise horrible things will happen! I’ve got the science to prove it! And where I haven’t I’ll make it up!”

              Liked by 1 person

            17. All the data to back up every claim, using terms like efficacy as real world behavior which are not how it plays out in reality, but using it as authoritative fact when the reality is unknown.
              Would it be wise to leave some of the population unvaccinated anyway, just in case it were just a little too experimental?
              There will be no herd immunity with this virus—only more shots. The new reality, all in the guise of caring and compassionate—but only if you get the shot. This sounds a little off

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            18. Of course the problem with trying to hold the virus off with yearly or six-monthly shots is that it won’t be sustainable in the long run. This civilisation will fall some day – doesn’t look good for this century in fact – and when our hi-tech health systems collapse there’ll be no more regular vaccine deliveries and the bug is off the leash.

              When I put on my mad scientist hat I can see a technical answer to living with the virus indefinitely. We need to run a gain of function on it until it’s as contagious as we can possibly make it. And we need to knock out some of the genes that make it lethal. Then we need to try to infect everyone with it.

              We’re already selecting for contagion and treatment resistance – including vaccines – but if we can come up with a less lethal strain that will out-compete its cousins we might be able to get this down to something more akin to regular winter colds (which can still kill people, BTW). Yeah, there’ll be occasional mutations that will make it into something nastier, but killing or disabling its host isn’t a good survival strategy. Hopefully the more benign strain will keep those ones at the margins. And having been recently infected with the benign one will make you at least partially resistant to the psycho-killer strains. (BTW, catching a cold seems to offer similar protection to COVID as the AstraZeneca vaccine. Too bad all the lockdowns, masks, hand-washing and social distancing is stopping us from getting them. Maybe ‘kiss a snotty-nosed brat today’ should be a public health slogan.)

              That’s probably more or less what happened naturally when the common cold crossed from some animal into humans. I’m guessing it was once a much more homicidal bug than the one that gives us fatigue and sniffles. But we haven’t got thousands of years and low density hunter-gatherer tribes to play with here. So a bit of a hi-tech hurry on might be in order.

              I’m not claiming that approach is the least bit ethical, especially without the sort of overwhelming consensus that we’re not going to get for it. But the Victor Frankenstein in me is good with it. If we end up killing everyone at least we will have learned something interesting.

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            19. It’s good to go down swinging. Every order is eventually replaced by a higher one, but nobody can recognize it at the time it’s happening. Nor will they accept it, even though they are it.
              catching a cold seems to offer similar protection to COVID as the AstraZeneca vaccine.”. This is called viral interference through interferon. ‘Tis likely why we had no flu season in conjunction with covid. Finding a way to benignly activate that would be a cure for all viruses, and simultaneously be a ticking bomb. Funny how it all works

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            20. Can’t say I’m a big fan of interferon.

              I had hepatitis C for about 35 years and in that time I saw loads of friends and colleagues fuck themselves up with interferon-ribavirin therapy. Made everyone sick, killed a few outright and only cured 25-30% of them.

              A lot of people ended up with post-interferon syndrome, a selection of sometimes bizarre autoimmune problems that lasted years or decades after the therapy finished. The medical fraternity denied its existence until they suddenly discovered it when it was time to start rolling out new non-interferon treatments.

              I had the HCV genotype most resistant to the treatment alongside a host of pre-existing autoimmune problems. But I knew there were loads of youthful IV drug users like myself who’d gone on to become financially secure family men who’d want to live to see their grandkids graduate, so the drug companies would be busting a gut to come up with a better treatment they could use to pump their wallets dry with. So I decided to wait and see.

              It paid off just in time for me. My liver was A3F3 and viral peripheral neuropathy was creeping up my feet when they rolled out the new DAA treatments. But it was looking like another 5 years or so before they’d be listed on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and I couldn’t afford the $100,000+ the three months of daily pill-popping would have cost me, so I had to pull a few strings and get myself on a ‘compassionate’ program the drug company was using as a seeding trial to promote its own DAA among medical practitioners before its rivals got in first. Over three months my viral load went from 1.3 million per ml to undetectable and it’s stayed there. Within six months my liver had recovered to A0F1 and it’s now A0F0. Even the numbness and weird sensations in my feet and ankles eventually receded to my toes. So yeah, good pills. For me at least. I still hate the fucking drug company that saved my life though. I’m like that.

              So to get back on topic …

              Interferon often seems as bad as what it’s supposed to cure. That’s the case whether it’s administered or naturally produced in the body. It’s behind a lot of the lasting effects – such as chronic fatigue and pain – that can plague people for a lifetime after recovering from even a relatively mild infection.

              So if you’re planning on ‘benignly’ activating interferon in the population please send me a tip off first so I can go and live in a cave somewhere. I’d rather take my chances with the bats.

              Liked by 1 person

            21. Hahaha. 🦇 Will do.
              I have no interest in overpreserving my life. When it all goes poof, how will I even know it?

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      2. Quarantine is absolutely ethical when posing a significant health threat to others. To pretend it is ethical to freely allow a known threat to be imposed and inflicted upon everyone while unethical to restrain the one who brings the threat to others is not a sound argument.

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        1. Based on the documented recovery rates, Covid-19 is no greater threat to the public health than any other viral infection. And prior to the Covid-19 hysteria, we only quarantined the visibly sick — not the healthy. Can you submit even one documented case profile of an asymptomatic transmission of C19?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “Based on the documented recovery rates, Covid-19 is no greater threat to the public health than any other viral infection.”

            No. Factually wrong and dangerously so.

            Documented recovery rates can be interpreted many ways based on how one defines ‘recovery’. We are still collecting a lot of data on this BECAUSE suffering from long term effects while still meeting the definition of ‘recovery’ – usually used as a metric to transfer a patient from one unit to another in a hospital or discharged from that hospital to home – is very much a growing concern. Various ‘recovery’ rates based on small sample sizes are quite varied depending on what this definition is but the point being raised as an alarm is that ALL evidence points upwards, points to all kinds of ongoing impediments to a full recovery… defined as returning to full function. This is a significant indication that recovery rates from SARS-CoV-2 when compared to ANY OTHER VIRAL INFECTION is not just lower but alarmingly lower. This means the assumption of people infected but recovering to a point of healthy function prior to infection is a much lower rate than from any other typical flu. In fact, the rising cases of Covid among the 0-4 age range indicates roughly 1/3 permanent kidney damage. No other flu is even in this ballpark. This is a repercussion from Delta not seen with other variants. And it’s one selected issue out of many that we know impedes anything near to ‘full’ recovery status.

            Unlike every other typical flu, the organ damage from Covid is known to be at a much higher rate, much more widespread, involving many more organs than typical – specifically permanent heart and lung damage. Better treatment has been occurring based on this data so it’s not like the data is questionable. It’s a fact and much of our medical response to reduce the mortality rate is based on it. Nothing similar regardingthe varied and extensive permanent organ damage and chronic brain impairment is found with any other typical flu.

            We typically don’t see rates of organ damage like we do with SARS-CoV-2. And it’s very early days collecting this information but enough to know that there is a very strong link between chronic conditions, like diabetes for example, and the expected severity of the virus that is entirely disproportionate to the severity from typical flus.

            So, in a nutshell, calculating threat depends on what that specific threat might be. Because we’ve been so effective at symptomatic treatment in hospitals has artificially reduced the rate of death per case, for example, we can say that just the deaths from the US match the global death rate from yearly influenza. But hey, the really great news that never makes the rounds is that it could have been so much worse!

            So the threat is profound. It’s ongoing. We’re now in a 4th wave. A fifth is on its way. Good times if you’re an anti-vaxer, but a signal to others that hoping for higher rates of vaccinations proven to eliminate such waves if widespread enough will magically appear is not sufficient. The 4th wave is evidence for that. Mandatory vaccinations are medically necessary and therefore the only ethical approach to take… if one wishes to reduce unnecessary pain and suffering from a virus that only vaccination can successfully combat.

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            1. To clarify, for the 0-4 cohort, that kidney damage is from those who were hospitalized. And this is the stark difference between Covid and other flus; the severity which predicates the need for hospitalization per case is much higher for Covid symptoms. In other words, almost all flus for healthy people (healthy meaning non-compromised) do not get nearly as severe and the rate at which severity occurs is much lower than Covid.

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            2. I’m unable to cite statistics, but after a bout with COVID-19, personal testimonies have included continued loss of taste and/or smell, ongoing cough, edema, breathing problems, and other effects peculiar to that individual’s physical makeup.

              One wonders if these are equal to or worse than the vaccine “side effects” that nay-sayers cite?

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            3. I have been looking for these kinds of stats but the nature of longitudinal studies means we’re going to have to wait. If I come across anything, I’ll let you know. I suspect this is going to dwarf PTSD and mental health in the coming years. Like you have heard, the anecdotal evidence is almost everywhere.

              In addition, a lot of places like hospitals that once collected this kind of after-care data have not done so for as bunch of reasons, but mainly because they simply have no staff to follow up. They’re just trying to get through the next shift with enough beds, enough oxygen, enough drugs, and – hopefully – a staff replacement. I can’t tell you the frustration of nurses who are MANDATED to stay on shift after their 12 hour shift is done because a replacement cannot be found, while some yahoo gits wave their misspelled placards in demonstration and throw stuff at staff and impede ambulances coming and going while chanting about their freedoms being violated but not the freedom of everyone else to get help when they need it. Frustration is mounting.

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            4. The CDC lists the following as long-term symptoms:

              – Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
              – Tiredness or fatigue
              – Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities
              – Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
              – Cough
              – Chest or stomach pain
              – Headache
              – Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
              – Joint or muscle pain
              – Pins-and-needles feeling
              – Diarrhea
              – Sleep problems
              – Fever
              – Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
              – Rash
              – Mood changes
              – Change in smell or taste
              – Changes in period cycles

              Those are fairly mild symptoms, and could be attributable to any number of lifestyle factors or illnesses unrelated to C19.

              It goes on to state that multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) is “very rare” and occurs during or immediately after a C19 infection.

              https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Flong-term-effects.html

              You are correct on one thing though: chronic health problems (particularly obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, etc.) play a significant role in the outcome of those who catch the virus. But the most effective long-term solution to those problems is to mount a campaign inducing the general population to pursue a healthier lifestyle, rather than promoting quick-fix solutions.

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            5. Yes, those are the symptoms you raise WITH YOUR DOCTOR. The advice from that doctor is what keeps you at home or sends you off for a test which, if positive, starts the quarantine policy. For most people, this it. They eventually get better.

              So why are the ICU beds overflowing, Ron?

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            6. Those are fairly mild symptoms — Maybe to an outsider. But probably not so much to the person suffering from them. Yes, it’s entirely possible some may be related to overall health, but your suggestion to “mount a campaign inducing the general population to pursue a healthier lifestyle, rather than promoting quick-fix solutions,” hardly meets the need of those who are suffering NOW. Further, I think you would agree that lifestyle changes –especially those that affect one’s overall health– do NOT happen overnight.

              You say that ” healthy individuals pose no threat” — yet “healthy individuals” have heart attacks, strokes, and discover rampant cancer in their systems all the time.

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            7. By mild, I meant mild in relation to the health problems Tildeb mentioned.

              For comparison purposes, here’s a direct link to the Pfizer fact sheet listing the side effects attributed to taking their vaccine:

              https://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=14472 (pp. 4-5)

              Oddly enough, a fair number of symptoms (difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain, tiredness, dizziness, rashes, headaches, fever, muscle pain, diarrhea) are identical to the ones listed in my previous comment.

              By healthy, I mean those who practice good health. HEalth i

              As to lifestyle changes, that’s why I explicitly stated that these were long-term solutions. For those already at the “it’s too late” stage, the only solution is to self-isolate and/or take extra precautions in public.

              And health means more than just an absence of disease. By healthy individual, I mean those who actively look after their health.

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            8. You’re missing data on the rates and so your ‘comparison’ is outside the ball park.

              Yes, there is a very slight chance of these side effects following vaccination, and so this is WHY you are asked to wait 15 minutes after getting the shot BECAUSE all of these are IMMEDIATELY treatable on site! What miniscule risk there is from vaccination after these 15 minutes is made almost negligible by following medical advice! And even these incredibly rare happenings – like a brain clot for women regarding AstraZeneca – are also completely treatable if captured in time. That’s why patients need to be made aware of the signs and symptoms, not as a warning but as responsible precaution. There is almost no downside to vaccination. But there is a massively increased risk of harm for both the individual who refuses to get vaccinate AND every single person with whom they come into contact, not least of whom are children who have no approved vaccination (over 250,000 as of September 9th in the US).

              In contrast to the risks of vaccination, the risk rate is many hundreds of thousands of times greater for not getting vaccinated, increasing the risk of getting infected, increasing the risk of spreading the virus, increasing the likelihood of not getting tested AND going out in public AND not wearing a mask. There is ONLY a downside in any fair comparison between the actual risk of vaccination and remaining unvaccinated.

              In effect, Ron, you are comparing apples and fish here.

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            9. The risk of death due to COVID (low for those under 60 in good health) is now fairly well established, whereas the long-term risks of the experimental drugs remains to be established because long-term trials are still ongoing and won’t be completed until 2022/3.

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            10. You are calling vetted vaccines “experimental drugs.” That’s like a creationist calling a biologist an “secular scientist.” You can drop the misleading descriptive word and be far more accurate. Vaccines are a drug. They are proven safe. They are proven effective. If you understood the chemistry, you would understand why they possess no long term capability of being anything more than what they are: a manipulation of our immune response to a particular protein sequence. (Yes, there are other kinds like serums that affect T cells, and the longevity different kinds evoke in the body’s immune response and so on, but the mRNA vaccines only do one thing.)

              I wonder if you’d make the same argument of not taking a cancer ‘treatment’ shown to be 95% effective killing off a potentially deadly cancer you have. You’d best think about this now because we currently have 4 kinds of exactly this targeted approach based on identical technology with very promising results. So far. Of course, Big Pharma that designs and manufactures these efficacious treatments is going to make some money here so I know it must be all bad. I have every expecation that every non-vaccinated person will stand on principle and hope their natural immunity to these cancers will carry the day. So much cheaper, too. Did you know, for example, that every ICU bed currently in use costs an average of $52,000 per Covid patient? Hospitalization costs ‘only’ $27000 per Covid patient (I might recall that figure incorrectly) and that’s without any Big Pharma involvement, by the way. That’s what it costs the public for every non vaccinated person who requires treatment of severe symptoms. In comparison, it costs about $20 for an mRNA vaccine. There’s your Big Pharma’s role.

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            11. “Experimental vaccine” and “investigational vaccine” were the terms used by the US National Institutes of Health back in January of this year. “Investigational Vaccine” was also the term used by the FDA. So if you have problems with that terminology you’ll have to take it up with them. Furthermore, the FDA EUA letters to all three manufacturers (Moderna, J&J and Pfizer) stated that they had been approved by the FDA for emergency use with the disclaimer that “It is an investigational vaccine not licensed for any indication”. So it cannot be definitively stated that they are “proven safe” (unlikely given the reported adverse reactions) or “proven effective” (especially unlikely given that we’re now being informed booster shots may be necessary for every future variant) until the long-term trials are actually completed around 2023.

              Nor is it equivalent to the use of experimental cancer treatments, because dying of cancer introduces a component of emergency (you’re already at death’s door, so there’s nothing to lose) that the Covid vaccines were not designed to address (i.e., curing you of Covid once you have Covid).

              As to the reputations of Big Pharma: I think the massive billion dollar settlements speak for themselves.

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            12. No, the terminology was correct then because the vaccines were issued by emergency order. That is no longer the case, as I’ve previously explained for all approved vaccines. They are NOT an “experimental drug” any more and it is factually wrong to call them this. Actually, this is a deliberate misrepresentation, a way to ‘paint’ the most effective vaccines ever developed (but unfortunately do not last as long… chemistry, donchaknow) in an imported and imposed negative light that isn’t true in reality.

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            13. Well, based on their own press releases, the long-term trials (aka experiments) for all three are still ongoing and only the Pfizer version has been fully FDA-approved; so the terminology still applies to all three (and especially to the EUA-only Moderna and J&J versions).

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            14. One might be tempted to argue that the key players in the decision-making process stand to gain financially from awarding approval to a US-based vaccine manufacturer that stands to make the most profit (19.50 per dose for Pfizer) rather than those who have pledged to provide their vaccines at a lower price ($15 for Moderna and $16 for NovaVax) or on a not-for-profit basis ($4 for AstraZeneca, $10 for J&J,).

              But such conjecture might also be construed as crazy conspiracy talk.

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            15. It’s a case of “heads we win” (higher dividends) and tales you lose (higher premiums).

              Got to hand it to those actuaries; they really know their stuff.

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            16. Bottom line, Jim, is this entire country is being run by capitalists. There’s simply no arena that isn’t touched by those who are seeking to increase their wealth. But when we focus on that arena of life to make decisions — especially surrounding our health and well-being — aren’t we cutting off our nose to spite our face?

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            17. Yes, there is a very slight chance of these side effects following vaccination, and so this is WHY you are asked to wait 15 minutes after getting the shot BECAUSE all of these are IMMEDIATELY treatable on site!

              Nonsense.

              In case you haven’t noticed the study published this week, the myocarditis and pericarditis caused by mRNA vaccines usually emerges from 2 to 10 days after having a shot. It’s particularly prevalent in young men and boys and in the 12-17 age group represents a greater risk of hospitalisation, ICU care and death than does contracting COVID among this cohort.

              So here’s a puzzle for your little utilitarian mind.
              Is it ethical to mandate vaccines for these boys in order to theoretically protect others even though it puts them at personally higher risk of illness and death than does going unvaccinated?

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  3. to say that we shouldn’t require people to get a vaccine that works since it might cause overpopulation is ridiculous in my opinion. As much as I am all for decreasing the population, allowing people alive here and now to be harmed by the willfully ignorant and selfish is not the answer.

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    1. I agree it is not the answer, but possibly allowing the unvaccinated to stay that way, is. It is just as natural to refuse it as it is to take it. Why not let nature decide that?

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    1. I will do whatever I need to do. I really have no case, just a question on ethics. I imagine if trump was mandating vaccinations this way an entire different group would be up in arms. No?

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  4. FDA approval occurred August 23rd. Prior to that, vaccination was based on emergency approval. But FDA approval means the highest bars of safety and efficacy have been met. No approved drug is safer. No approved drug has undergone the rigor of these vaccines. No other approved drug has presented more data from more sources than these vaccines. In other words, no approved drug – including Aspirin – has been so thoroughly vetted.

    So here’s the thing, Jim: if you want to hold these vaccines in your esteemed opinion as questionable or dangerous or uncertain, then to be both honest and ethical you must hold ALL other drugs with MORE concern. Dangerous substances like Ibuprofen. Tylenol. Pepto-Bismol. Birth control. And you must be beside yourself with concern about the impending doom and catastrophic public health fallout from tattoos and unregulated ink.

    If people had been so ‘well-informed’ as you in earlier times, we would still have smallpox outbreaks, polio ravaging children, and diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella commonplace. All of these are now either eradicated or, if vaccination levels fall, still lurking. That’s why every generation continues to get vaccinated for the lurking ones and no one has to get vaccinated with those eradicated. Vaccination works. And it doesn’t ‘clear the path’ for new more deadly variants to arise.

    Jim, you have been badly fooled. And your foolishness is an ally of SARS-CoV-2 making the problem of dealing with it as a public health emergency and all its variants of concern arising because of the human petri dish your attitude continues to promote and will keep on reducing the effectiveness of our vaccination programs by granting this virus the time and hosts necessary to mutate over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

    We have exactly ONE defense against reducing the risk of the SARS virus. That defense is vaccination and not, as you presume, prior infection. You are doing your best to undermine the ONE thing you and others can do on behalf of everyone you care about, namely, support the implementation a widespread mandatory fast vaccination program that we KNOW works. All the rest of your concerns are manufactured doubt that are synonymous with anti-vax bullshit and denialism. That real world cost you are willing to impose on everyone in the name of ‘safety’ DWARFS any other concern you raise about hypothetical vaccine dangers. The risk from falling out of bed is much much greater than vaccinations and I don’t see you advocating we get rid of beds.

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    1. One can choose to sleep on the floor to mitigate that risk. All you say in complete confidence isn’t purely science, but capitalism science. There are more, but can I say thalidomide, bextra, and vioxx…. and those all occurred thorough screenings at the fda.
      All I’m asking is it ethical to force it? If Trump was mandating this an entirely different sector would be up in arms and crying dictators.

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    2. But FDA approval means the highest bars of safety and efficacy have been met.

      That’s a good one. The Pharma-funded FDA that rotates its members in and out of the drug companies?

      jim has already listed quite a few molecules that vaulted the ‘highest bars of safety and efficacy’ without any trouble, then went on to kill or maim thousands. You could easily add just about every psychiatric drug to that list, and don’t even get me started on aducanumab.

      It’s probably safer to buy old style illegal street drugs. At least they’ve had decades of government funded research trying to prove they’re unsafe that you can check out first.

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      1. The point here is that the bar has been met. By all means go to town criticizing where this bar is. But it is this bar that then allows for mandating; prior to that, mandating could not be done. The vaccines have met this bar whereas all naturopathic ‘remedies’, for example, that sells widely does not. yet I don’t hear anti-vaxers and reality deniers go to town criticizing all these products as some kind of ‘capitalist’ conspiracy. That would be too non-hypocritical and we wouldn’t want such people to meet that bar. No, no, no… let’s only go after vaccines and highly tested drugs; all others get an exemption from the same standards, of course. It’s always and only Big Pharma that’s the bad guy.

        Now let’s move to the central issue: real world data on how safe the mRNA vaccines are. This is called ‘effectiveness’ and tests the vaccines after being delivered and it is here that Jim’s contrary points simply evaporates in the light of reality. Reality should be guiding us here and not denying it in the name of something else. Respecting reality I think is always fundamental baseline to any questions of ethics. Mandating an incredibly safe vaccine to promote public health is a no-brainer when so many people are quite willing to rationalize increasing the real world danger by refusing to stop their fist where the nose of someone else is getting pulverized. That refusal is unethical because it grossly inflates the real world risks to others and so it is fully justified to mandate universal vaccination. And that’s exactly what public health authorities are granted by legislation to do. In fact, there’s a powerful case to be made that it would unethical not to mandate and allow greater risk of harm to befall those whose consent has not been considered by the selfish gits who think refusing a vaccine is the greater right.

        I still think unvaccinated adults should always be put at the end of any line for anything including and especially hospitalization. I know that sounds brutal, but go talk to healthcare workers. The gits are putting us all in very great danger far, Far, FAR in excess of anything that could potentially result from an adverse vaccine reaction. They simply do not have that right.

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        1. I still think unvaccinated adults should always be put at the end of any line for anything including and especially hospitalization”
          So I’m sure you’d be turning in your neighbors because they may risk hospitalization, while those vaccinated live the good life while spreading the virus with their false sense of security.
          So, when they combine aging genetics of the Seychelles tortoise, the Greenland shark, and the geoduck and determine we can now have humans living 300 years with a little gene tampering vaccine that becomes mandatory or you face the sanctions you’ve outlined (including higher premiums of course) will that then be ethical as well?

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        2. It’s always and only Big Pharma that’s the bad guy.

          Hardly. Would you like me to point you to some of the media outlets, skeptics websites and, yes, my own blog posts that rubbish and debunk various kinds of alt-medicine quackery? There’s no shortage of them.

          The problem is that Big Pharma not only has Big PR Budgets, it also exerts undue control over Big Regulators and Big Media to ensure the negatives stay hidden and the positives get shoved in your face 24/7 – even when the positives aren’t positive at all.

          Yes, all in all I’m a fan of vaccines and antibiotics. Despite shortages and delays where I live I’ve managed to obtain my first mRNA shot and scheduled my second. But I sure didn’t leap to the front of the queue when they were first released. Because they weren’t properly tested, especially not on people with my medical profile. I decided to let them use a few million other people as guinea pigs first.

          But we still don’t know what their potential long-term drawbacks or duration of efficacy are, despite all the cheer-leading by folks like you. This is a coronavirus you know. Other human coronaviruses, such as the common cold, don’t produce a sustained immune response and there’s already indications that these ones lose efficacy over six months or so. The majority of people dying of COVID in the UK now were among the first tranche to be vaccinated. It’s looking increasingly likely we’ll be getting these shots every six months for the rest of our lives, which is also something untested for safety and efficacy.

          What’s more, while the vaccines seem to reduce the risk of serious illness and death they don’t prevent infection like, say, the MMR vaccine. It’s not even clear they reduce the viral load among those subsequently infected or prevent them from infecting others. So the whole ‘herd immunity’ thing is looking quite dubious.

          Nonetheless we’re being fed buckets of horseshit about the ‘science’ proving their efficacy and safety while most of the data still isn’t in. And that’s par for the course with new vaccine roll-outs. It happened last year in the Sudan with a new polio vaccine that caused a polio outbreak where the disease had previously been eliminated and it happened during the 1976 swine flu debacle when a hastily rolled out vaccine during a panic over a very mild flu strain killed and permanently disabled far more people than the virus did. Then they did a repeat from the same playbook in 2009 and it was pure luck they didn’t get the same result.

          So no thank you. I’ll trust my own data collection and analysis over the FDA and other regulators any day. And if you were a critical thinker you would too. They don’t need any more cheerleaders.

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  5. In my former life, I was a disability rights advocate. I dealt with the prebirth genetic tests – who decides who gets born and why. I am of two minds. Yes, I know about what I consider disability porn – the heroic kid born with Downs Syndrome who blesses the community or the heroic kid born with no arms who is a real trooper. I wonder what the parents do at night when they are emotionally exhausted by the continuing care of these children.

    I knew a man who had MDA, whose brother and father died from MDA. He did not want to pass it on to his kids, so he would test and abort if the test came up MDA. I had long talks with him about his decisions. He simply did not have the emotional stamina to raise a child with disabilities nor did he want to. To bring such a child into his family would mean disaster for the child.

    I had to decide in my son’s case when he came up with genetic problems. I decided to keep him and raise him with as much community support that I could find. It was hard but we both made it through to now that he works and pays rent. I thought that aborting him would deny him a chance at life.

    As you can see this is very, very grey, and there are no sure answers. Just a lot of questions and ponderings.

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  6. Jim I don’t know if you are familiar with Mencken’s essay man vs men or something close to that. You seem to be saying let those who die die and those who survive to do because the world is overpopulated. Why send aid to those affected by earthquake or forest fire after all it is nature acting on the population? Is this the thesis you’re defending or I have misrepresented you?

    Do the vaccines have full fda approval as claimed above or just emergency approval for use in 16 and below? I could be wrong but that’s the implication I got from the letter.

    I don’t know about the US but where I live, there are vaccines given to children even before age of consent. Should your question apply to them?

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    1. Is nature acting on the population? Are the fires a result of trying to manage animals and timber populations? The actual drug that has been approved isn’t the one their using. The approved drug is Comirnaty, which is not available.

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      1. Of course. If an earthquake is an act of nature and leads to death to a portion of the population, it goes without saying that yes, it does.
        As to what drugs have been approved, I can’t say I have followed that up

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  7. I think it’s fairly obvious by now that grandpa Biden no longer has the mental capacity to make any decisions. His script is prepared by his handlers.

    As for “vaccine” mandates . . . just say “no” to experimental drugs.

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  8. What is right? What is wrong? No matter how we live, what beliefs we hold, what experiences we have or do not have, there is no such thing as ABSOLUTE RIGHT or ABSOLUTE WRONG. We do what we do, and we live or die by the consequences.
    Those “rights” that are being discussed do not exist! What exists is life, and what we seem to want to do is to prolong life as much as possible until our lives end, but life itself still goes on. What we decide is “right” for us is not always what we decide is right for anyone else, and therein lies the heart of the matter. Vaccines can help us prolong life, but so do foods, and water, and shelter. What would life be like if we had to fight for those things? We in the “developed world” take for granted we will have food, water, and shelter every day until we die. But those things are not rights! They are the luck of where we happened to be born. While we are debating vaccines, people in this world are dying because their food, water, or shelter is inadequate to their needs. Yet we do little to nothing to help those people survive, as long as we ourselves survive.
    I’vé lost the point of what I started to say, but I think this discussion has become more esoteric than it needs to be. In my tiny mind, if we are going to see what the real consequences of the Covid pandemic are, we either need to caccinate everyone, or vaccinate no one. And since most people seem to want to be vaccinated, and there is no real reason not to be, let’s quit fighting for individual rights and freedoms, and do what is best for everyone. Get vaccinated, and deal with the consequences if and when the arrive. To speculate on all the things that “could hsppen” is an impossible process, a never-ending process.
    The fourth wave of Covid, the Delta Wave, is showing us that it is better to be vaccinated than not. Some people are still going to die, but that is part of life. Some people are going to die every day,? Covid or no Covid, with or without Covid vaccines. You adamantly refuse to get vaccinated, go live in some anti-vaccine enclave. Be the control group that shows the rest of us if we are right or wrong. In your last post, Jim, you told us we will all be dead 100 years from now anyway, with or without vaccines. So what does it matter? Individual rights be damned!

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    1. You always have a better chance of going with the experts and professionals and not the con men, conspiracy theory nutcases and religious nutcases. Not saying it’s perfect, but the odds are better.

      Which is better a vaccine or a livestock dewormer? There will always be those who say the dewormer and those, more than willing, to sell it to you. And yes there is no absolute truth in anything in life. At some point you will have to decide what kind of people you trust and if you are naturally suspicious of everyone and think the government, doctors, and scientists are out to screw you or that most are not and have no ulterior motives or lurking dishonesty, but just want to help.

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      1. Thanks for responding, Mary. Yup, everyone has ulterior motives, it seems. My own ulterior motive is to see the world advance to a place of one world, one people, one biosphere where all living things work together to support all living beings.
        Seems we still have a bit of a way to go…

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  9. Ron: “The risk of death due to COVID (low for those under 60 in good health) is now fairly well established” I’m sure your statement will be of great comfort to my niece who is currently on a ventilator right now and will probably be dead by the time you read this and come back with some more of your snappy replies. I have absolutely no patience left with people like you so just take your jargon, your cherry picked statistics and unproven nonsense and go away.

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    1. That sucks. And the helplessness sucks. I wish more of us would get angry about this deplorable state of selfishness by people who could get vaccinated but all too willing to put all of us at much greater risk for their own rationalizations. And I have little patience for those who are vaccinated but continue to lend air to the bizarre notion that these vaccines are more dangerous and untrustworthy than the vaccines. I wish they could go spend time with your niece and explain their reasons to her and her family. Face to face.

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      1. “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

        ― William Pitt the Younger

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    1. To all of the above or just the ethical question? Should there be some compassion for those uncomfortable with vaccination? Conformity is sometimes as bad as it is good. I have no answer.

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      1. “Conformity” ???? “uncomfortable” ???? We do not see this the same way, but I’m not going to waste time debating or arguing. I think it is absolutely ethical.

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    1. Well done. Makes perfect sense. Curious, did I suggest the delta variant was because of the vaccine? I know I referred that one doc and Quanta magazine that stated vaccines in the middle of a pandemic can help create variants in the same manner antibiotics change because of antibiotics. I agree with the video.

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    1. I agree with all but the first one. It’s a little too early to tell and funding is just now being provided to study the effects on fertility after so many women started complaining about irregularities in their cycles—after receiving the vaccine. Not sure when this was published or what they consider “safe” for pregnant women but I’d be pretty wary so quickly determining this a Category B drug, which includes prenatal vitamins, acetaminophen, and some other medications used routinely during pregnancy. If there is a clinical need for a Category B drug, it is considered safe to use it. Most remain category C for a long trial period and never make the B grading. Idk. This seems presumptuous.

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  10. Today, 11 of the 12 admissions to ICU for Covid in a single hospital were under the age of 12. Their ONLY defense is if enough adults are vaccinated to reduce the risk they must face. The vaccinated are only slightly above 50% in this town. You reap what you sow, all you ‘hesitant’ anti-vaxers. Well done. There’s your answer to the ethics question you’ve raised. Apparently, it’s more ethical to put all of our children in such danger than it is to force the grown ups to be responsible citizens.

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    1. How do you know they didn’t catch covid from vaccinated adults? This is the part that makes little sense. Your blaming people and it could be anyone. Sorry, this is an unreasonable accusation. The vaccine protects adults from hospitalization. Now it the wonder drug?

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      1. Because the rate of Covid from breakthrough cases AND pre-symptomatic is vanishingly small. Possible, sure, but highly doubtful. I will look into it, but I seem to recall zero positive cases for fully vaccinated in this health unit. At the height of the last wave, I think they had 5 positive cases at their peak. In this 4th wave so far, the data is trending towards very bad.

        Also, in Alberta today, they have now shut 2 schools that have reached the minimum requirement of 10% of their student population testing positive and declaring an outbreak… in the first week back. Again, nothing like this from any of the previous 3 waves. Alberta as a whole is very much like Texas in public attitudes towards this virus: rock-chewing stupid and proudly so.

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        1. We are having an outbreak here as well. With in person schooling (which I think was a bad call) it is to be expected. Schools are pretty well established trading grounds for contagious disease.

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        2. but I seem to recall zero positive cases for fully vaccinated in this health unit.
          Are you talking admissions or cases of covid?

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      1. Yeah. So what? That we had a window of opportunity to stop Covid by mass vaccination but failed to achieve high enough rates because of gits like you? Maybe. But Delta was always going to become the dominant strain and we already know effectiveness of vaccination declines over time especially with a short acting response like them RNA vaccines. So that’s why I ask, So what? This is what we should expect will happen and we’ve seen the the breakthrough rate steadily rise. But here’s the thing, Ron: I will bet your life (because that’s what you’re doing already) that the vaccinated do much better than the non vaccinated.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think the type of people you’re targeting would respond better with just pure and simple data without the coercion tactics. Resistance to authority trumps any level of common sense or decency.

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          1. Resistance to authority trumps any level of common sense or decency.

            As does mindless subservience to authority. Hanna Arendt called it “the banality of evil”.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Actually tildeb, Ron is making your case for you, though as Mr “I’ve-got-the-data”, the significance of the data seems to have passed you by.

          The n value is too low for solid conclusions, but on the face of it if 85% of people in Gibraltar are vaccinated, but only 45% of those getting infected are it suggests an unvaccinated person is nearly 4 times as likely to get infected as a vaccinated one.

          Of course there’s probably loads of confounding factors. I dunno what triggers a test in Gibraltar, but if infected vaccinated people are more likely to be asymptomatic than unvaccinated ones (as seems to be the case) they’re less likely to be detected by health authorities. It’s also possible that the vaccination program is slower among people more liable to infection (e.g. high density, low socioeconomic populations – as is the case here in Australia) so the differing infection rate might not be entirely down to vaccination status. Or there might be stupid arseholes in the Gibraltar public health system who ensure the unvaccinated don’t get equitable access to public health resources, thereby increasing their risk of infection and of infecting others and putting even more strain on the health system.

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    1. I think there is more to this story they are not telling. Too many vagaries. No where in the article does it state he or his family was vaccinated, and according to “tildeb compassion”, he should not have been treated at all.
      His timing for his event was unfortunate but years in the making.
      In my little town a vaccinated couple died of covid two weeks ago. The family even pointed out in the obituary they were vaccinated so as to remove all finger pointing. This article dances around the family’s actual status.

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      1. In this case, Jim, I don’t think HIS vaccination status played a role. He had a heart attack. Whether “years in the making” or not … there were no facilities available to treat him when he needed it because the beds were full with COVID-19 patients. And since reports indicate that Alabama has the fourth-lowest vaccination rate, there’s a strong chance most of them were unvaccinated.

        Whether you choose to believe the viability of vaccinations or not, the ongoing reports that the unvaccinated are the ones filling the hospital beds, IMO, speaks for itself.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It isn’t whether the vaccine works or not as you can see from this meme that crossed my Facebook feed

          Why I mentions to to Tildeb we might be better off just posting simple statistics than trying coercion. It is a resistance to authority that is the issue.

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          1. It is a resistance to authority that is the issue. Perhaps overall this is true. But that doesn’t mean diddly-squat to the family of the man who died because he couldn’t get a hospital bed to treat his heart attack.

            Resistance to authority is what gets people killed in pretty much all instances. Unfortunately, in order for people to survive on this planet, there has to be some rules and regulations. The consequences that come about because some people don’t like them –and RESIST following them– has been proven time and again to result in less-than-satisfactory endings.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. “Most dangerous precedent for our liberty…”

            Oh for fucks sake, come on, Jim.

            Most dangerous precedent? Errum… Mandated Polio vaccines.

            Threat to your liberty = Go and take a look at Citizens United

            Liked by 3 people

      2. This is from another article (The Hill), since it seems to be an issue for you to prove that the vaccine is bad or unnecessary and people die from covid even with it, so they shouldn’t get it.

        “DeMonia’s daughter told the newspaper that her father was vaccinated against the virus, and the family is now urging others to do the same.”

        And I do know of someone who was fully vaccinated and got covid and did die. An older man with cancer and under chemotherapy for it. He had a very compromised immune system.

        Nothing is perfect, but the selfishness and conspiracy theories people fall for is killing people…themselves and others.

        I personally couldn’t care if these anti vaxers died themselves, but they affect innocent people and children who have no choice if they are raised by fools.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Being open to these for the pat 20 months should count for something, don’t you think? And we know there is only 1 meaningful response to the pandemic: vaccination. It’s like suggesting the fire department hold a conference with historians of fire and architects and cultural representatives and city planners and arsonists to be ‘open’ to various inputs AFTER the fire alarm has been pulled and the evidence of a growing conflagration indisputable.

      No amount of talking now is helpful. It only allows the problems to get worse and worse and worse. The longer we wait, the more idre the consqMeaningful action with a known effective response really does become rather more important than the appearance of debating merits. At least, I suspect you would want action rather than more talk if it were your house on fire and the first responders wanted to go put out but bystanders insisted ‘we’ discuss more peer reviews on more fire suppressant studies.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you for your comment. I am grateful for free speech allowing us to have this discussion. I may not agree with you, but your right/our rights to disagree is something worth protecting. I live in a different country with a different approach to this whole thing. The gene technology is not comparable to the fire scenario, as flames has existed for all of our history. Also, one is a force in nature and the other is a synthetic nature injected into us.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, free speech is the cornerstone of liberalism. Without that, everything else (meaning personal rights and freedoms) falls. Anyway…

          The analogy is used to show why doubting vaccination is tantamount to letting the pandemic – like a fire – continue unabated. This is beyond foolish.

          The corona virus is ‘natural’. The vaccines are not. Using ‘natural vs ‘synthetic’ as some kind of metric that prefers the former over the latter is rather foolish, too. There are different kinds of ‘synthetic’ vaccinations for this corona virus and every one of them is far less dangerous, far less risky, to the recipient than the virus. The most efficacious AND the most effective vaccines are the messenger RNA proteins that activates the body’s immune response for a single protein. You’ve probably heard of the protein, which is called the ‘spike’ protein… the part of the virus that hooks on to certain kinds of cells in the back of the nose and in the upper respiratory tract. The vaccines that target this protein are the mRNA vaccines (that go by different names). They prepare the body to recognize and kill vast quantities of this virus that are hooked into the body’s cells. That’s all these proteins vaccines do. And they last about two to three weeks in the body. That’s it. All done. That’s why we take two vaccines at least three weeks apart; because the maximum number of antibodies the body will produce from the instruction of these mRNA vaccines peaks with these two ‘training’ shots, so to speak. That’s why there’s debate today about the usefulness of a general booster shot.

          The thing about the mRNAs is that we can target specific proteins and even just parts of protein chains by instructing out immune system to produce antibodies when it recognizes these chains. So the potential for this kind of target protein therapy goes far beyond viruses are current in testing with at least (as far as I’m aware) 4 known cancers currently being studied. And there is reason to be really excited about this with preliminary findings.

          So there’s a huge amount of in depth understanding and expertise when it comes to this kind of medicine. And when they produce 95% efficacy against a known pathogen with almost no negative repercussions, it makes little sense to presume against all this real world AND lab evidence for additional caution. We KNOW what Covid means as far as risk to those who get the virus and this risk is literally thousands and thousands of times greater for those who are not vaccinated. In every way. This includes fully vaccinated people who do get Covid; again, far Far, FAR better results are more likely than for those who do not get vaccinated.

          If the vaccination vs ‘natural immunity’ debate used a balancing board, ALL the evidence is at one end. That’s why many people say the only weight at the other end is the fear, misinformation, and disinformation.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Conspiracy theories are bias driven by end-time target fixation—the end is near! Believers can validate their belief by adhering that everything uncomfortable or new is some hidden power of elitists trying to capture the globe and put it in bondage.
            It’s atypical to only believe one or two.

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            1. Well maybe in part, I guess. But my experience is usually by those who want to feel special, that they have the inside track, so to speak, that their standard of skepticism is superior, that kind of thing. It’s what I think of as an elevator belief, one that raises one’s ego. But this is also the conspirator’s Achille’s heel.

              The bubble can burst when one realizes the presumption is that one has to be the smartest person in the room, smarter and more informed than every single expert in the world, more than all the accumulated expertise amassed, usually greater than tens of thousands of real world experts. It takes so much hubris, such a vast presumption of superior ego that the conspiracy must be true but almost no one ‘sees’ it! Therefore the believer MUST be the smartest person BECAUSEE so few ‘see’ it. It actually takes courage to back up and allow real world expertise an honest hearing because the ego is going to take a hit. There really are lots of people who know a lot more than we do and we can benefit by trusting expertise when it reaches consensus. I trust those who have designed, say, call phone technology BECAUSE they have produced a device that seems to me to work reliably and consistently well for everyone everywhere where there’s coverage. I don’t understand how it all works but I can trust enough to presume it does. But when someone links cellphone technology to spreading a corona virus, then we’ve left the field of reality BECAUSE no one is able to show the linking mechanism between the two so every single claim about some vast conspiracy is based solely and wholly on belief contrary to what every expert in either cellphone or virology tells me. For me to believe otherwise, for me to trust less in those whose opinions are informed by expertise and more in some internet or talk radio host weaving a deep conspiracy is really a test at which I value more: what’s probably true OR whether I want to make myself feel special denying those who know a lot more than I do.

              Liked by 2 people

            1. I’m an interested bystander because it takes up some of the time of my spouse who was once a valuable part of policy team for our provincial government here in Ontario. Those connections and conversations continue so SARS-CoV-2 knowledge is commonly discussed and Covid results, too. I mention the two because the virus is the former and disease is the latter. My spouse went on to work for a bunch of years in palliative care, as well, so there is always an important link between what’s going on ‘on the ground’ so to speak and the policies developed in response. The conversations are many and often detailed because they are based on an assortment of data and experiences.

              For example, discussion today revolves around this podcast (this is the written transcription) and how it plays into better understanding what it is we’re talking about and why vaccinations are so important a factor on the daily tallies of infected and symptomatic, which are the experiences part, and which then leads directly to the number of hospitalizations and intensive care units needed and staffing levels, which is the what the policies – political and financial – are then based on. It’s all connected.

              Against this mounting pile of knowledge are all kinds of personal opinions and somewhat vague and sinister undertones many internet users put out there. And this is very frustrating to expert medical officers who see the data and understand the policies and have to compete for attention and transmission of good information and medical knowledge with people who don’t really know what they’re talking about when it comes to vaccinations and why they are the central pillar all of us need to get a handle on this pandemic and try to return everything back to ‘normal’. Vaccinations are the key.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you all the best on your journey. Both you and your wife. Jim is my friend even though we have opposing views (I am a person of faith). I rarely post any comments as it results in endless discussions. Neither Jim nor I is going to change our fundamental views. Nor are any other atheist or I may or may not have a conversation with. Therefore, I struggle to see the point. I prefer uplifting and meaningful interactions where one is able to find some common ground. We can care and love a person even though we do not agree with them. Some years ago I found it really interesting to discuss opposing views. However, I learned that we all tend to jump into all sorts of conclusions. More often than not I was put in a box where a slew of assumptions were made by people who do not know me at all, I mean at all. That is not to point any fingers at anyone that would mean three of my fingers would be pointing back at me. Made my fair share of mistakes, especially because my emotions got the best of me. Summarized; I believe in the way of Love.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. The way of love would be very timely right now, but reality is—I love you but… Who would get vaccinated against their wishes for another’s safety and well being? Greater love hath no man….Love is just a buzz word if there is no action involved. It’s like saying god loves you. It changes nothing.

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            4. I do not know what exactly you are trying to say. Honestly, and I do not want to make assumptions when that is the case. You do not have to explain unless you really feel like it, you get a lot of comments and have a busy life. All I actually tried to do in the first place was to leave a positive comment. Guess I failed. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

            5. Always nice to see you pop in to the dark side söster. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I would actually like to see more believers defend their stance as reasonably as you often do.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. Thank you bror for your uplifting words. I feel many fellow believers is kind of ruining God’s reputation. Not believing that love as in actions IS the way to live and practice faith. Doctrines are not faith. Hugs ❤

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Everything. Thank you for such an open question. I will try to give you an explanation, but cannot promise a well-worded one. When I wrote the book I was very very naive when it came to other Christians. I thought they too believed in the way of Love, like a law written in our hearts to live by. My assumption was that the main point on their journey too was working on becoming a better person each and every day. Like in kinder and more compassionate. To treat others the way themselves want to be treated. Be a good Samaritan. Then, I found out that they focused rather on forever studying and interpreting the Bible, listening to the right pastors, going to the right meetings, reading the right books. If you can recite Bible verses while accurately pinpointing its location you are impressive in these circles. They say the right things, wonderful guidelines to live by, but are blind to the fact that they do not live by their words. They turn everything on its head, the least is the last and not the first. Their own interpretation are of course the right one, all the others are wrong. They are not open to questions, they are afraid actually to step out of their comfort zone of their faith. Making themselves into god unknowingly when it is them defining God. “Do not worry God, I, I have got this”. Instead of acknowledging that our understanding falls short when it comes to infinity. This is not a very well worded explanation, and I am a bit hesitant of posting. As there are probably a gazillion ways that this can be misunderstood and twisted around. To be clear, no I do not have all the answer. In fact, I have plenty of questions, but although it is impossible for me to prove I have experienced the living Word that is Love. Please be gentle in your reply, I am not that tough;-) Love, din søster

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello friend. How are you doing?
      I agree that everything should be explored, but it seems like the same people have the same objections to this, as they do to that. There is no conspiracy here. At first I was concerned that so many people were so compliant to the lockdowns, but then I realized people care a lot about their neighbors.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hello friend ❤ I am doing well thank you. How are you? You are right, the pro people are very altruistic, and the other side too. I know people from both perspectives, and this appears to be the case. However, I cannot speak for another country with a different culture where the approach is different. The divisions and extremes are not at all very prevalent here. Conspiracies tend to go to extreme lengths and becomes a form of self-hypnosis. Truth is usually somewhere in the middle, a wise person once said.

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  11. For the Rons of this world.

    Healthcare professionals like Dr Sharma (who invited CTV into his ICU ward in Hamilton Ontario) are “not only frustrated with the individuals, but with the larger machine of misinformation that leads people to be confused about vaccines and what is best for their health.

    “It’s anger with the social contract that got them into this situation, it is anger of people posting on social media that COVID-19 is not real, or that vaccines don’t work,” Sharma said. “That basically preys on vulnerable people, that makes them make bad decisions that lands them up here.

    Seventy-eight per cent of eligible Canadians have been fully vaccinated. Side effects are rare according to public health officials as are breakthrough COVID-19 cases, and vaccines have been proven to drastically minimize severe cases of COVID-19 as well as death in the event of a breakthrough case.

    What you’re hearing from people like Ron and cabrogal IS dis- and misinformation disguised as if rational skepticism. It isn’t. Don’t buy it. If global expert medical consensus isn’t enough for you, then find out for yourself and GO to a local hospital, go TALK to ICU staff. Stop spreading bullshit that doubts the efficacy and effectiveness and safety of vaccines, an unreasonable unsupported skepticism that puts ALL of us at additional risk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. See, this is what I mean by COVID fear porn. From the article:

      “Inside this ICU, on the day of CTV’s visit, 30 per cent of the 45 beds are COVID-19 patients”

      45 x 0.3 = 15 patients, which leaves the other 30 beds available to others.

      Oh, and I’m still waiting for those regional numbers of total ICU beds before and after, plus the ICU bed to population ratio for your area, tildeb.

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      1. IMO, the thing people miss in all this back-and-forth I’m right, you’re wrong “discussion” is people are dying, Most of the time they are dying ALONE. And in many instances, they are leaving behind children. (A recent incident is especially tragic — https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/pregnancyparenting/couple-die-of-covid-and-leave-behind-5-kids-including-newborn-daughter/ar-AAOoUOP.)

        Somehow I doubt the “statistics” matter very much to those that are trying to breathe … or to those who are left behind. Vaccines may not be right for everyone, but based on respected medical authorities, those that reject them are at a far great risk of contracting the virus.

        Yes, we are a “free” nation so people can choose to reject the vaccines and no one is going to throw them into jail. But many of them (along with their loved ones) are feeling the consequence of their decision.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, people are dying — just as they have always have. And they are leaving behind children and grieving relatives — just as the always have.

          So the overriding issue here is not one of being right or wrong, so much as it is about making an informed decision as to the risk of dying from this disease in comparison to all those other causes. And the overwhelming data shows that the risk is small for those in optimal health — which, per my previous comment, is not just simply an absence of disease, but a serious undertaking to improve one’s health via proper diet, physical activity, sleep and stress reduction.

          So instead of scapegoating those of us who have chosen to up our natural immunity by looking after our health, it might be prudent to do likewise.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. ” And the overwhelming data shows that the risk is small for those in optimal health — which, per my previous comment, is not just simply an absence of disease, but a serious undertaking to improve one’s health via proper diet, physical activity, sleep and stress reduction.”

            You’re not listening, Ron. You’re just spreading what you believe. It’s simply not true.

            ‘Optimal health’ has nothing whatsoever to do with getting Covid or affecting the percentage of people who get severe symptoms. Optimal health does not affect the risk of suffering consequences from these severe symptoms. Those are the facts. But notice how your thinking only goes so far as to recognize death rates, which IS small. That fits your assumptions and so you continue to peddle it as if meaningful to your point. It’s not. Your point is factually wrong about presuming ‘optimal health’ reduces the risks unvaccinated people face from Covid. Delta LOVES this presumption and has thrived because of it. But you would have tweaked to this if you had actually LISTENED to these health care experts.

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            1. What does the date have to do with it?

              Obesity was (and remains) a major risk factor, not only for COVID, but for all the other degenerative diseases, as well.

              And what do you think promotes obesity? (Hint: all those “health” mandates that sequestered people indoors for that past 20 months.)

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            2. *sigh*

              Ron, vaccinations are about reducing several factors regarding this virus. That starts with RISK. What are the chances of getting Covid? Vaccinations DRAMATICALLY reduce this RISK across the board. That’s a fact.

              Yes, of course any compromising health condition is made more dangerous by getting Covid. Obesity was – notice the past tense, hence the reason I pointed out the DATE on the article you linked – a significant contributor to RISK earlier in the pandemic… as was age, as was any immunosuppressing condition. These factors increased the RISK. Nobody is disputing this. Being healthy is a good thing and usually promotes a good immune response (and there are exceptions to this, too). Nobody is disputing this, either.

              But the thing with Delta is that this difference has shrunk to almost insignificant when calculating RISK. In other words, in a room with 100 people, the RISK for becoming infected comparing those who are obese and those who are fricken Olympic athletes and bursting with vigor and health is almost identical. That’s a fact.

              Your position insists that this fact is not true. That is why I am commenting: you are factually WRONG to suggest good health mitigates the RISK from the Delta variant. It. Does. Not.

              I am not pounding the table; I am relaying facts that you disagree with. The problem is that your disagreement – and the actions and behaviors that your counter-factual opinion might justify in your own mind – puts EVERYONE else at higher RISK. Your good health and robust immune system is not going to protect you better than a vaccine. That is just the fact of the matter. And that fact is what makes you dangerous to anyone who might think you have a legitimate science-based medical opinion.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. You keep saying I’m wrong, yet you never link to any source data showing this to be the case. Could it be because you have none?

              Longitudinal Trends in Body Mass Index Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Persons Aged 2–19 Years — United States, 2018–2020
              Weekly / September 17, 2021 / 70(37);1278–1283

              “Among a cohort of 432,302 persons aged 2–19 years, the rate of body mass index (BMI) increase approximately doubled during the pandemic compared to a prepandemic period. Persons with prepandemic overweight or obesity and younger school-aged children experienced the largest increases.”

              https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7037a3.htm?s_cid=mm7037a3_w

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            4. And here is a highlight from a WHO DISCUSSION PAPER dated 19 August 2021:

              “Overweight and obesity in adults are associated with increased all-cause mortality, with a higher proportion of adults with disability being overweight or obese compared to adults without disability. People with obesity have also a four-fold higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease than people with no obesity.

              WHO Discussion Paper: Draft recommendations for the prevention and management of obesity over the life course, including potential targets

              https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/who-discussion-paper-draft-recommendations-for-the-prevention-and-management-of-obesity-over-the-life-course-including-potential-targets

              Liked by 1 person

            5. My goodness, you are dense:

              Again, this data you supply does not refute what I keep saying like a broken record: the RISK of becoming infected is almost equal across the board regardless of other health concerns. What you are quoting here has to do with once someone HAS Covid. What I’m saying how likely is it anyone can GET covid. Do you grasp this difference?

              Vaccination reduces the likelihood of GETTING infected in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not how good your health is prior as you keep believing and saying as if true when this claim is FACTUALLY wrong.

              Liked by 2 people

            6. I’m not sure you or John could understand the depth of the perception here. I understand why Ron may be reluctant. The US and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers. Watch tv or listen to the radio here in the US and commercial breaks are filled with pharmaceutical adds. “Ask your doctor if “X” medication is right for you.”
              It’s really amazing this is allowed, but medication and medication errors, the pressure doctors get to prescribe certain meds by their patients, is as big as big pharma itself.

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Yes, the risks of getting infected are potentially equal. But the risk of increased disease severity requiring medical attention is (and will be) much higher for those who are already in a poor state of health.

              As to vaccination reducing the likelihood of getting infected: it may; but then again, so does boosting your natural immunity via healthy living.

              However, the latter option doesn’t bring in the shekels for those who make their living treating illnesses, so it gets ignored. Can you name one policy advisor or public “health expert” who has promoted a change in diet and lifestyle during the past 20 months?
              Instead we got advice that further undermines our physical and mental health. Stress levels are through the roof. Substance abuse has skyrocketed.

              And the CDC released a report revealing that suicide attempts among teens — and especially among young girls — have increased dramatically.

              https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7024e1.htm

              Small wonder then, that obesity rates which contribute to the multitude of other non-communicable diseases cited by the WHO
              — coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, dyslipidaemia, osteoarthritis and gout, and pulmonary diseases, including sleep apnoea — have also risen in lockstep with the “lockdowns” and forced isolation.

              “Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.”
              ~Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia: Query XVII: Religion)

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            8. “As to vaccination reducing the likelihood of getting infected: it may; but then again, so does boosting your natural immunity via healthy living.”

              No. Wrong. The likelihood is about equal with Delta. How many times does it take for you to understand this central point? This is why you are spreading disinformation. You really must stop… if you have any care about what’s true. That’s the REAL choice you’re making.

              Liked by 2 people

            9. More table pounding. If you really want to convince me I’m wrong, all it takes is links to empirical data in support of your argument. How about it?

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            10. I don’t have the hard numbers (no time to search either), but Delta is having a bugger of a time spreading through Brazil due to the high vaccination rates here. Sao Paulo (97% vaccinated) would be a good case to look into.

              The strain, which is estimated to be almost twice as infectious as the original virus from early 2020, has caused fresh flareups across the world. Yet, it’s had a muted impact in Brazil so far.

              A major factor in the recent drop in cases, experts say, is the speed with which the region ultimately managed to vaccinate people. Governments in South America have generally not faced the kind of apathy, politicization and conspiracy theories around vaccines that left much of the United States vulnerable to the highly contagious Delta variant.

              Here’s two articles:

              https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-09-01/brazil-gets-its-vaccine-act-together

              Liked by 1 person

            11. That makes one wonder.
              “Israel, Once the Model for Beating Covid, Faces New Surge of Infections”—

              One of the most vaccinated societies, Israel now has one of the highest infection rates in the world, raising questions about the vaccine’s efficacy.

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            12. See, this is what I mean. The data from Israel SEEMS to indicate vaccinations are still penetrated by Covid so therefore vaccinations are part of some global conspiracy.

              You don’t know how to read the data, Ron. You take nothing into account like what kind of vaccine, when it was delivered, ongoing effectiveness REDUCING all kinds of negative consequences from being exposed to the virus, and so on. Israeli data is central to figuring out the timeline when considering boosters, also of which kind, and so on. Nope. No real understanding. Just whatever SEEMS to support your denialism. You are still very wrong in how you interpret this data.

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            13. Being near to 60 myself, and seeing the third dose doesn’t seem to be effective, how the hell am I supposed to know what to do? There is much conflicting data and hypocrisy and how can it be worded any differently that the most vaccinated society is having the highest outbreak worldwide?

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            14. There is no conflicting data here. This is expected. This normal. It’s going to happen everywhere. This is known. Yesterday a study came out for showing declining effectiveness post 8 months over 60 and compromised. Other boosters not effective. Yet. Moderna better than Pfizer, both better than AZ. Combo better. More spaced out better. Israel vaccinated double dose quickly. Other places more spaced out and much higher effectiveness. And so on. This is ongoing and not conflicting. What’s conflicting comes form people like Ron who don’t understand the data.

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            15. The data does requires some real expertise and even some mental wrangling. For much of it to make sense it is only if you want it to.
              My initial question was—is it ethical for our government to mandate vaccination using the threat of job and other financial sanctions to force compliance.
              We never really got there.
              I’m not sure I want to live the rest of my life on the vaccination tit. I hope we find another alternative to this. There has to be a better way.

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            16. Is it ethical for our government to mandate not masturbating outside primary schools using the threat of job and other financial sanctions to force compliance?

              Or seat belts
              Or wearing clothes
              Or having your child immunized against polio
              Or not shooting people

              Liked by 1 person

            17. Sure. Those are social constructs except for the seatbelts which was “ “Insurance companies lobbied for mandatory seat-belt laws and regulations that required car manufacturers to put airbags in vehicles. It was a money thing…
              Common morality and seatbelts clash a bit I think. It doesn’t really apply to others hurting others.

              Liked by 1 person

            18. Well I guess I answered my own question. If it is dangerous for others for me to refuse vaccination, then I suppose it could be ethical to mandate them. It seems to those in refusal, the safety of the vaccine is in question. Not enough time in the trials. Should they be able to force an experimental drug into the populous?
              Curious, does Australia follow the lead of the FDA, or pretty much call their own shots? (pun)

              Liked by 1 person

            19. It has it’s own “FDA” body, which blundered terribly in cautioning against Astra Zeneca. That’s why Oz is in the mess it is right now with Delta.

              Liked by 2 people

            20. Well for what it’s worth using Israel as an example, it may or may not have mattered much. Brazil seems to be holding steady though. It’s a an interesting follow. I’m not sure anyone is to blame but Mother Nature.

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            21. John hits a central point about unvaccinated enclaves versus population data. In places where enclaves remain largely unvaccinated even though (relatively) small as a total percentage of the population, you set the stage to undo the work of almost everyone BECAUSE there’s this misguided assumption that vaccination stops infection. It doesn’t. It simply lowers the RISK. I cannot stress enough how little people seem to grasp the concept of RISK and public health policies to mitigate RISK. RISK is reduced to zero only after one dies.

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            22. Blame?

              Cant blame the virus. Can point a finger at wet markets and deforestation for the bridge. Can also get mad at anti-vaxxers for their selfishness… which only prolongs the problem, and the longer the virus is circulating it’s mutating.

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            23. One thing, John. It has been an assumption that the virus is related to human activity in a number of possibilities, from the Wuhan lab to the wet market. I tried on Ark’s blog to explain why this probably isn’t the case – because bats harvest various kinds of corona viruses that do cross the species boundary and so we can get it in a variety of ways that has nothing to do with deforestation or eating meat necessarily (although it might) and everything to do with bats (highly beneficial creatures to humanity as a pollinator specifically).

              So today we have a report out of Laos:
              “Major new Bat sarbecovirus discovery in horseshoe bats in Laos. A virus with a spike protein containing an RBD only 2 amino acids different from Wuhan SARS CoV2 and uses hACE2 as efficiently. So now this is definitive. There is nothing unnatural or “uniquely adapted” about SARS2″
              (here)

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            24. During the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, researchers quickly tried to identify the source patient. Another researcher misread some scribbled notes reading ‘patient O’ (as in the letter O) as patient zero, a French-Canadian flight attendant Gaëtan Dugas.
Four years ago (nearly 25 years later) the patient zero hypothesis has been put to rest and Dugas ‘cleared’ as patient zero, but the term lives on, misleading those who do not understand how disease processes work—or pathophysiology (Dugas died believing he had killed 1000s) Researchers don’t like the term because it is misleading how disease processes develop.
Dr. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University in New York, said, “It is not uncommon for infectious agents to percolate in the environment for years or even decades without detection”, and finding the absolute beginning is a pipe-dream.
              Hard to say.

              Liked by 1 person

            25. Jim, don’t you think it’s handy to understand the spread? This necessarily involves working backwards and trying to figure out where the source is so that measures can be taken to contain it as best we can. This is EXACTLY how the WHO keeps a lid on Ebola, in which a marberg variant arose in the local population just over a week ago. A team went in and did mandatory vaccinations and the spread has now been stopped. Epidemic averted.

              You don’t see demonstrations at the airport demanding we allow Ebola to sweep the globe because ‘evolution’ donchaknow, or that we’d be better off after many millions bleed out through the eyes and ears and mouth while their organs turn to mush. In fact, it’s rather handy to be able to contain such an infectious virus (WAY less infectious than SARS-CoV-2 delta variant) BEFORE it starts killing millions of people and doing all that ‘good’. At least, I think it’s handy. And perhaps just a tad more ethical than interfering with vaccinations and trying to increase the casualty list in the name of ‘mY fREEdOM’. But that’s me thumping the old table again. I’m funny that way… thinking needless pain and suffering we can control much better should be controlled. I’m sure many more people of greater ethical depth than I will explain how and why I’m wrong, that pandemics are just the Best. Thing. Ever.

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            26. I agree it’s important to understand the spread, that’s why I’ll hold off on the finger pointing because these things are tricky. AIDS kicked around for decades and this likely has beginnings before what we want to scape goat into being the bad guy.
              I don’t really have an affinity for what goes on in wet markets or wuhan labs, but it’s an easy bogey man to throw under the bus.
              Remember in the 80’s, homosexuals were the bad guys but it actually it started long before Gaétan Dugas.

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            27. Holding off on recognizing facts is not a virtue, Jim. The unvaccinated are increasing the risk for themselves and every one else. Pointing out this fact is not ‘blaming’; it’s recognizing what’s true. Surely any rational person would agree that the basis for any ‘dialogue’ must start with agreeing that reality and what’s true matters… because if those are off the table, then reason and evidence – like with creationists – are meaningless and ignorance is just as valid as knowledge. Better stock up on Ivermectin and find a good spot to point one’s anus at the sun to take care of that Covid.

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            28. What the hell? I was commenting on John’s comment blaming wet markets and that these disease processes percolate sometimes for years in the environment. I just think we should know for sure before social media convicts the Chinese.
              I don’t take ivermectin, but I do have a good stash of Phenylbutazone. Maybe that’s the trick

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            29. No (it’s not ethical) to all but the last, because it’s the only one that actually inflicts direct harm upon others.

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            30. Preferably not but the dangers of remaining unvaccinated are great and grow even more so over time. One would hope more people would take advantage not only of the personal benefits but do so for the good of the populace. This is how we got rid of smallpox and malaria, how we keep a handle on ebola and other highly contagious viruses that are still out there. Diphtheria. Whooping cough. Tetanus. And so on. This is not rocket science but simple, practical, proven, and highly effective public health measures.

              Against all this we have deniers. Anti-vaxers. Conspiracy theorists. The stupid. The intransigents. The Merchants of Doubt. We have a cascade of dis- and misinformation.

              Because reason has left the playing field and reality has no impact on such people, what is a government to do? Sit back and allow another the pandemic to go on and on and on and on and on and on, wave after wave after wave after wave….. This isn’t a policy. It’s letting – allowing – the covijits rule the health and welfare of the public in the name of something else that when collected is synonymous with ignorance and stupidity. That’s the policy right now with so much kid glove treatment of those who don’t give a shit about anyone else AND help put more people at higher RISK. Needlessly. Stupidly. And driving people out of health care. And helping kill real people in real life by not exercising due diligence.

              So we face ever increasing moves to make vaccination more preferable than not. Boo hoo to those who don’t like it. Your intransigence has helped bring this about this need.

              Is it ethical? The point is how sad a statement this is that it is needed. Anti-vaxers and the ‘hesitant’ deserve public shaming and if they’re not going to act responsibly, continue acting as spoiled little gits mewling about a needle then the state will have to intervene and act as the grown up. How sad is that?

              The right question is how ethical is it for these gits to refuse vaccination? We know as a fact that refusing vaccination puts everyone else in so much more danger and imposes their idiocy on everyone else without any real appreciation or understanding or concern towards increasing the risk of others including themselves of what they are failing to do. Being forced to get vaccinated is standard procedure for kids to go school, for people to travel. Big deal. But with these anti-vaxers? How ethical is it to respect the rights of those who have zero respect not just for the rights of others but have no regard for their lives at all? You get what what give, you cats your bread upon the waters, you reap what you sew, you do unto others as you would have done unto you, and so on.

              Liked by 2 people

            31. It’s not ‘unevidenced’. The Delta wave has not materialized in places like it has where vaccination rates are extremely high. It’s still there… like polio… but it doesn’t do what it’s doing in places that have lower vaccination rates. But Delta is going to continue regardless. Israel’s situation does not demonstrate what you think it does.

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            32. Who mentioned Delta? You claimed there wouldn’t be a 4th wave if everyone were immunized, yet Israel, which has administered three doses, is now riding a 4th wave. And Israel reported they had a Delta outbreak in July, as well. Hence the reason for the third does. So even that attempted sidestep is in error.

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            33. *sigh*

              Why do you keep commenting to someone who only ‘pounds the table’?

              But still, the key word you’ve ignored (like you do all facts contrary to your belief), Ron, is wave. We wouldn’t have a 4th WAVE if more people had been vaccinated earlier. That’s what has happened in other places that did vaccinate over 90% before delta arrived. The ‘wave’ I specifically mentioned – in case the concept is still so discombobulating to you as to be meaningless – is the rise and fall of reported cases over time that when charted (in literally thousands of examples easily available to such serious ‘skeptics’ as yourself) and is the very data you say you need me to provide you. But being as helpless as you apparently are to find out this kind of common knowledge without a table pounder to lead you to these waters regarding how epidemics and pandemics are measured, let me help with this comment. The rise and fall of infections on these graphs look like a ‘wave’. Hence, the term.

              See? I knew you could grasp it… eventually.

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            34. Per their own data:

              90+: D1=83% D2=80 D3=66
              80s: D1=90% D2=87 D3=75
              70s: D1=90% D2=88 D3=78
              60s: D1=91% D2=88 D3=70
              50s: D1=89% D2=84 D3=57
              40s: D1=87% D2=82 D3=46
              30s: D1=85% D2=78 D3=34
              20s: D1=80% D2=73 D3=26

              16-19: D1=83% D2=71 D3=17
              12-15: D1=51% D2=37 D3=0

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            35. The 61 was officially double vax. The total number of shots puts it approximately 81%.

              But the point is that a well vaccinated population to suppress the risk of delta is ~90% and Israel is not there. That’s why delta has blossomed and is not ‘evidence’ to support your weird and utterly bizarre notion that widespread vaccination is just too darn risky. It’s not. It is a benefit across all metrics. Your position is contrary to all data.

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            36. Maybe we need to start thinking g of this as a prophylactic? Immunity implies something here the vaccination doesn’t provide

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            37. Right. That’s why you look at the date, Ron. For the original strain, that was a good bet. And when efficacy reports started to emerge about Pfizer and Moderna especially, it became recommended policy to reach these numbers. And because this is a total population figure that has to be achieved – but we have a significant percentage who cannot get vaccinated (under 12 years of age) – the rate for those eligible comes in around 90%. But now there’s a complication: we’re dealing with delta, and have been for a while. We’ve been collecting real world data and studying it. So we know more today than in December of 2020. Surprise, surprise. And the immunity level necessary to achieve herd immunity has risen slightly. Nothing you keep posting alters anything regarding what we know today, that vaccines are the only way to significantly mitigate the risk of Covid and has a net benefit across all metrics. And it’s safe. Nothing you have posted raises any concerns whatsoever about these facts. They only SEEM to justify SOME doubt, and that’s why it’s so pernicious what you’re intentionally doing.

              But why don’t you see what you’re doing? You are ignoring up to date info and searching ONLY for data that SEEMS to support your anti-vax position. In any other subject, you would point this out to someone committing the same error. But when it comes to vaccines, you seem oblivious to why that approach is considered a fallacy, a mistake, poor thinking. You are operating not just in bad faith by continuing to go to this poisoned well and using it repeatedly as a tactic but don’t seem to care. That should concern you, because we know that is EXACTLY how reality deniers and conspiracy theorists and creationists fool themselves. And that’s what you’ve successfully done: fooled yourself. And now you are trying to fool others. Shame on you.

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            38. You fail to notice that we’re talking total population and not by age cohorts when we speak of herd immunity through vaccination, which is what you’re suggesting doesn’t suppress the spread of delta when we know it does. And there are real world examples of this. Nan has a nice visual on her blog to show how interrupting the chain of transmission through vaccination helps do this. Your example of Israel is not relevant to this achievement and real world examples that demonstrate this. Why you are so intransigent to beneficial knowledge is a mystery perhaps best explained by your determination to try to find only data that confirms your opinion. This is a thinking error, Ron, and you commit it repeatedly here. To what ends? To prove yourself utterly and absolutely wrong? Well, mission accomplished.

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            39. You determined all that from a chart of numbers? Amazing!!!

              Missed in your table-pounding rant is that herd immunity also includes those who have already acquired a natural immunity to the disease. But that doesn’t fit your forced injection protocol — does it Dr. Mengle?

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            40. Your fists must be getting awfully sore from all that pounding by now. Perhaps you should consider taking a break to let then recover.

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            41. The proper initial response would have been to isolate the most vulnerable and let the disease runs its course throughout the general population. But that ship has sailed. Based on the current data, it appears that people under 60 are now becoming more susceptible to the new variants than they were to the first and the efficacy of the vaccines appears to be waning. So yearly booster shots will become the norm, for those who choose to go that route.

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            42. You’re right Having healthy people line up for a never-ending succession of booster shots to ward off a low-risk disease is idiotic.

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            43. Stop searching for data that SEEMS to agree with your counter-factual belief and start looking and listening to reality. Stop hiding behind, “YOU have to convince me” and, “I demand YOU give me more data and YOU provide me citations on demand” and look at who are the people who are getting Covid, listen to the people who work with Covid patients. The message is the same as what the data everywhere tells us is the case: the percentage who are unvaccinated are massively OVER represented in infection. There’s all the data any reasonable, rational person needs to have to err on the side of caution and GET VACCINATED.

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            44. I posted two articles about how vaccination rates have slowed Delta’s spread through Brazil, but Jim has to approve the comment.

              The strain, which is estimated to be almost twice as infectious as the original virus from early 2020, has caused fresh flareups across the world. Yet, it’s had a muted impact in Brazil so far.

              A major factor in the recent drop in cases, experts say, is the speed with which the region ultimately managed to vaccinate people. Governments in South America have generally not faced the kind of apathy, politicization and conspiracy theories around vaccines that left much of the United States vulnerable to the highly contagious Delta variant.

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            45. It’s almost like there’s a reason for medical expert consensus on why everyone should get vaccinated. I think it’s called ‘real world data’. And I think ( because I keep on encountering gobs and gobs and gobs of aligned data) it also is unidirectional. It takes a special concerted effort to try to find some way of interpreting all this data to find some means – any means – to question, to disagree, to assume one’s contrary opinion is somehow equivalent.

              This is why selling doubt takes on the mask of ‘skepticism’ and uses detail that SEEMS to go against the consensus… as if, “Ah ha! Look at what I found! Something that I think bolsters my denialist opinion!” And it’s constant. And this is the ‘special’ feeling I mentioned previously by those who think they REALLY ARE smarter and more insightful on this issue than every real world expert on the planet. I think this monstrous ego is a necessary component to qualify if not as a Talk Radio conspiracy host then a contrarian commentator who ‘knows better’.

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            46. To be perfectly frank, watching this politicized anti-vax anti-mask circus going on in the US is unnerving. It’s sickening to know there is a media machine (filled with vaccinated celebrities, mind you) telling the un-vaccinated not to get vaccinated… Because they are making money off it.

              Here in SP we’re 97% vaccinated, and NO ONE has a problem wearing a mask. Shit, I wear a mask walking the dogs in the bush! It doesn’t bother me. Everyone wears a mask. It doesn’t bother them. And, because we’re 97% vaccinated Delta, while here and spreading, has not taken a hold.

              Liked by 3 people

            47. I know a lady here that was vaccinated just a couple weeks ago, now she is panicked about it because her friends cued her in on what the government isn’t telling us. It does make the play more exciting and anxious, on the edge of your seat to have these doubts. Wondering if you’ve just slowly killed yourself by changing your dna on the advice of the medical machine, is quite a twist in the plot vs just everything being fine. People thrive because of it. Gives life meaning for them. Is conspiracy theory any less organic than data? They sort of go together her in america. It’s a cute little twist of the bias hairs I think.

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            48. There’s always been these fringe nuts. There always will be. Lampooning them was what kept that bubble of gentle madness small and manageable [read: not spreading]. The difference today is that they have a media machine backing them, egging them on, feeding them.

              Honestly, I really don’t know what the US is going to do about Fox/OANN/NewsMax.

              Liked by 2 people

            49. Makes me wonder when I think about evolution, which side it’s on? It is the pressure that makes it improve. Maybe life has just been too good to go anywhere interesting?

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            50. It’s easy to think that we’d be miles ahead without them, but as you know everything is as exactly as it could be. Have you ever read ‘On The Problem of Good’? Great book! Haha. For every perceived goodness there are a million variables that may or may not turn out the way we want. I trust evolution to do its thing. What side I choose is irrelevant to it.

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            51. Ron is not alone.


              This is a headline from this morning from liberal Washington state, thousands of state employees are seeking exemption

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            52. Of course he isn’t. That’s why we have Delta causing the mayhem it is. There are tens of millions in the States alone!

              Something has gone badly wrong when so many think they shouldn’t get a vaccine.

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            53. I often think the US is what a country run by hormonal teenagers would look and act like. Occasionally a grown up surfaces but that is often the exception. And the influence this teen has on the rest of the world tends to reflect what a clique would have instigating peer pressure. So it is refreshing to see people of other nations set a better example like the level of vaccination in other populous places. The data shows effectiveness in many ways. But the people of the US generally are as oblivious to the rest of the world as any self-absorbed teen would be pondering who ‘deserves’ to be hated this week.

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            54. A simple “no” would have sufficed.

              I’ll regard your refusal as an inability to defend your position. In essence, you’ve taken the stance of the religious apologist who demands I ignore the data and accept their personal testimony as evidence instead.

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            55. As you know, I try to pass along good info (the podcast I mentioned a couple of days ago here has some interesting info on those grocery store test kits – and what the different results actually means – I know you’ve encountered).

              I’m not going to play Ron’s game. If he’s interested in what’s true, he has every capability to find out without involving such a terribly biased person as myself. But as long as he chooses to deny reality he’ll do what contrarian believers have done forever: convince themselves they know better and slot those who don’t go along with the charade to have some kind of character flaw. Boilerplate denialism. And the accompanying Grand Conspiracy to account for all the contrary data. And just look at all those super rich climate scientists and evolutionary biologists, donchaknow, peddling their lies and making a fortune out of all of us gullible people. It’s tedious.

              Liked by 2 people

            56. It’s not my position! This is the medical consensus. Global medical consensus. Expert consensus. You know, because of overwhelming compelling evidence consensus. This is what people are equating with an alternate point of view as if both are reasonable. They’re not. To borrow a phrase, to think an alternate point of view is as reasonable, as well informed, as compelling because of evidence, is – literally in the case of Covid – batshit crazy.

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            57. I didn’t say you did. My point is that I prefer my data raw, not filtered through others. And if you think NYT and Bloomberg are unbiased sources, then you’re sadly mistaken.

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            58. You don’t care at all about data. You ONLY care about data that SEEMS to align with your vaccine denialism. You’re like a creationist.

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            59. ”The bad news, doctors say, is that half of Israel’s seriously ill patients who are currently hospitalized were fully vaccinated at least five months ago. Most of them are over 60 years old and have comorbidities. The seriously ill patients who are unvaccinated are mostly young, healthy people whose condition deteriorated quickly”—NPR

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            60. Yeah so? This doesn’t look good for the effectiveness. This is concerning data, maybe we need a second look.

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            61. Your “beyond reproach” attitude toward the vaccine is concerning.
              ”Interpreting vaccine efficacy data is a complex task that requires considering many nuances such as the size of the study’s population, the dates and length of observation, multiple types of vaccines in circulation, and many other variables. But one thing is clear, there is a distinct waning in the effectiveness of the immunity and protection that the vaccine provides over time.

              As one of the quickest countries to roll out the vaccine, Israel acts as the canary in the coal mine for us all, especially in the United States, where we have few other modes of public health protections. As weary as many of us are about Covid protocols and interventions, we must not remain complacent, as this virus is far from running out of tricks”

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            62. I have a question considering viral interference and interferon. I wonder if it would be just as effective to just start everyone on a booster regiment of our more common vaccines? If you don’t know where I’m going with this, never mind, but it seems like we could do something different than fighting fire with fire.

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            63. I’d like to know how their social distancing/mask wearing is going. I do recall a massive orthodox gathering just a few weeks ago. One person with Delta in that group, and you have a breakout.

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            64. I know I’ve got my own office and wear a mask and stay shy of gathering. I haven’t had a sniffle in 17 months. I usually get URI with a cold a couple times a year, but no one in my family has had anything. Distancing does seem to work.

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            65. Yeah, so there’s evidence that during a pandemic that BMI for 2-19 years old went up. Yeah. So? How does this in any way deflect the fact that Delta’s risk is not much affected by obesity like earlier in the pandemic, that you were using old data about obesity’s role not relevant to Delta, and that you continue to claim good health is mitigation enough for Delta when factually it is not?

              Again and again, you return to the same confirmation bias tactic of searching for data that only SEEMS to support your contra-factual beliefs?

              Look, Delta is about 1000 times more contagious than earlier variants. This is WHY it is now the dominant strain and why Mu is making very little headway against it. To suggest this doesn’t have a dramatic impact on how contagious it – the RISK – is pretty silly, Ron. The more people who have it, the higher the risk to everyone. The only way to curb it is by mass vaccination.

              Another way to think of it is that if everyone who could have gotten vaccinated had done so by July 4th, we wouldn’t be in a 4th wave. And this is supported by evidence out of both Denmark and Iceland where Delta has made little inroad – even against obese people! – because the risk of coming into contact with it is dramatically lower BECAUSE so many people have been vaccinated.

              Again and again and again, the evidence is clear: mass vaccination is good public health policy. Wouldn’t it be great if more people were responsible citizens like the Danes and over 90% got vaccinated without being bribed or threatened or vilified but because their trust in public health wasn’t intentionally eroded by those determined to spread mis- and disinformation?

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            66. “How does this in any way deflect the fact that Delta’s risk is not much affected by obesity like earlier in the pandemic”

              [citation needed]

              “if everyone who could have gotten vaccinated had done so by July 4th, we wouldn’t be in a 4th wave”

              [citation needed]

              Liked by 1 person

            67. Obesity — pardon the self-promotion, but keep an eye on my blog as I will be posting on this topic in the near future. I think some people will be surprised at the information I’ll be sharing.

              Liked by 1 person

            68. There is an entire branch of medicine aimed (wasted?) on people that don’t control their diet and exercise. According to this same reasoning refusal to do so is a waste of resources and treatment should be to the end of the line

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            69. It would be interesting to address obesity in this same manner as covid. We won’t treat you because you eat too much and don’t exercise —

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            70. This seems to be the sort of medical apartheid the pro-vax advocates are calling for. You smoked? Sorry, no cancer care for you. You drank alcohol? Guzzled pop and ate junk foods? Engaged in unprotected sex? Didn’t wear a seat belt? Too bad. No medical treatments for you.

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      2. Ron, you have assumed we’re at peak (meaning Ontario) or that overcrowding is the current problem. We’re not there right now. BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. Alberta is already at 95% capacity. Nurse and doctors ARE quitting. Almost all Covid patients using these incredibly expensive resources are UNVACCINATED ( (some places over 85%, some over 95%). They are causing surgeries to be cancelled. They are causing heart and stroke patients to die. Thjey are advancing cancer in thousands of people BECAUSE taking up an ICU bed is not for a few hours; often, it’s for a few MONTHS! Yet the gits are outside DEMONSTRATING against the ONE thing that helps mitigate every single aspect of this disease. Vaccination. Plain. Simple. Honest. Fact.

        Look, you keep on using the same tactic here: using whatever information you can find that SEEMS to support your skepticism. That’s why it’s disinformation! That’s why you are very much part of the problem and very much an active supporter of spreading this disease and feeling good about it: through your refusal to respect reality and continue to doubt the known solution, you’re not helping, Ron. You’re hurting real people in real life by supporting the elevation of risk to EVERYONE in the name of spreading disinformation. The doctors and nurse in this coverage are trying to talk to YOU! Listen!

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        1. you’re such a slut for science, tildeb. every time the word science is said, you fall on your back.

          even scientists don’t trust science as much as you do. why they know so little about this virus, and they admit it. for example, nobody talks about why some people die, and the majority hardly have any symptoms with covid. what exactly makes that difference?

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          1. I believe ‘skepticism’ is a central pillar of the method of discovery we call “science.”

            That being said, I haven’t heard of any specialist expressing skepticism. Can you give me some examples of these specialists?

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            1. watch for language like “the illness (meaning covid) evolves in unpredictable ways” which hides the fact they don’t understand it fully.

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            2. and typically, with scientists, what they know, they thinks it is ALL there is to know.
              basically, they don’t know what they don’t know.

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            3. That’s true of everyone though. Like anyone that invests a lot of time and effort it’s hard to admit you may have chosen the wrong path. It becomes the sunken cost fallacy.

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            4. Obviously Monicat doesn’t know any scientists. They are the least sure you’ll every meet and the most likely to admit they know almost nothing about everything. But here’s the thing: what they do have high confidence in is worth knowing. And the value of vaccinations to reduce risk for SARS-CoV-2 and all of its variants has very high confidence. You can bet your life on it.

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        1. There’s nothing to dismiss. In fact, the numbers reveal there’s little to fear.

          The WHO reports that the world’s top ten killers (Ischaemic heart disease, stroke, COPD, lower respiratory infections, neonatal conditions, trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers, Alzheimer’s and dementia, diarrheal diseases, diabetes and kidney diseases) account for 55% of the 55.4 million deaths worldwide. Of these the world’s biggest annual killers are :

          – Heart Disease (8.9 million, 16%)
          – Stroke ( >6 million, 11%)
          – COPD (>3 million, 6%)

          https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death

          Dividing the 4.8 million cumulative deaths over 21 months into the world’s 7.8 billion population works out to 0.0615% deaths attributed to COVID. And that number fizzles even further once you factor in that ~95% of those reported COVID deaths also listed three or more of the above 10 comorbidities in the death certificate.

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            1. Packed ICUs are entirely attributable to the decades of mismanagement that led to declines in per-capita health expenditures and ICU to population ratios. Prior to this big COVID scamdemic, the ICUs were overrun by flu patients every winter.

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            2. Overcrowded ERs does happen. But cancelling life-saving surgeries and higher risk therapies like cancer treatments because of an overcrowded ER is not true. And so it is very much a distinction you fail to grasp. Perhaps if the cancellation were for your organ transplant, you’d begin to see people who wave away the life-saving differences as if irrelevant in a much, MUCH harsher light.

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            3. From another article posted Feb 27, 2015:

              For months, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been operating beyond its capacity. Patients are crowded into hallways and common areas. Elective surgeries have been cancelled.

              The departing president of the hospital, Andrée Robichaud, said on Wednesday the overcrowding is not her fault. Rachlis agrees. He said health care funding is tied to running as close to capacity as possible.

              “Even if everything is being done perfectly, hospital executives are required to run at 95 per cent capacity,” Rachlis said. “You don’t need anything more than Grade 3 math to understand if you’re running at 95 per capacity and then flu season comes along, you’re going to get a surge and you’re guaranteed to get gridlock.”

              https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/hospital-overcrowding-inevitable-in-ontario-expert-says-1.2974339

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Yes, 2015, elective surgeries. Doesn’t explain the full ICUs today from Covid, especially when ICU capacity has been expanded to multiples of 2019.

              Come on, Ron. All you’re doing is mining for data that SEEMS to support your position and then hiding behind those as if it ‘explains’ your current beliefs. You know the opposite is true: you have imported your beliefs, imposed them on reality, and THEN mining for data to try to support them. This is what climate change deniers, creationists, and conspiracy theory aficionados do. That’s a clue…

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            5. You have that reversed, because my opinions on the ICU shortage are formulated on data that’s been available (and reported upon) for nigh over a decade. It’s you who chooses to ignore these “inconvenient truths” staring you in the face.

              Liked by 1 person

          1. You Stated — “there’s little to fear”

            My Response — Nearly 5 million people dead and your advise to me is not to fear it, go about your day as normal and don’t wear a mask and don’t get a vaccinated.

            And before you reply with, “I didn’t say don’t..” but there’s the rub, if you don’t want me to fear it then I don’t need to take any precautions.

            I’m not convinced by your argument that almost 5 million dead men, women, and children is a peaceful reminder for men to ease up on my concerns of covid being something I should fear.

            You Stated — “The WHO reports that the world’s top … killers – Heart Disease (8.9 million, 16%)– Stroke ( >6 million, 11%)– COPD (>3 million, 6%)”

            My Response — So your argument is to only fear a few things that kill people and ignore the rest. Why protect yourself from a rising serial killer with 3 others on the loose.

            Applying that logic we should all stop trying to prevent teenage suicide since more kids die in the world from bad drinking water.

            Police should stop responding to domestic abuse calls since most people die from heart disease. We should defund the police and create a heart response force.

            I’m not convinced by your argument that I should ignore a hazard to human life based on other hazards to human life existing elsewhere.

            You Stated — “Dividing the 4.8 million cumulative deaths over 21 months into the world’s 7.8 billion population works out to 0.0615% deaths attributed to COVID. And that number fizzles…”

            My Response — So, for you, 4,819,145 dead humans, countless families devastated, children left without parents is basically just a “fizzle”.

            237,345,042 people currently infected, some going to die, others left with permanent health issues is just a “fizzle”.

            Your advise to me is to ignore it and take no precautions. (No fear = no precautions)

            I’m not the least bit convinced by your argument.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Did I say you shouldn’t take precautions? If you parse through my comments, you will find I linked to a study showing that obesity was the primary health risk for those dying of COVID and succumbing to other degenerative late-stage diseases (like those mentioned in the WHO report), and advised people to strengthen their immune systems by taking better care of their health, because if you abuse your body, it will eventually repay you with ill health.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. You Stated — “Did I say you shouldn’t take precautions? ”

              My Response — Then we are in agreement. We should wear masks and definitely take the vaccine as a precautionary measure.

              Liked by 3 people

            3. I’m of the opinion that we should wear masks and/or get vaxxed if we so choose, but leave those same choices up to each individual.

              I’ve chosen to focus my efforts on looking after my health, because maintaining one’s natural immunity guards against a wide ranged of diseases, rather than just a single one.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. You Stated — “I’m of the opinion that we should wear masks and/or get vaxxed if we so choose”

              My Response — I 100% agree…. AND I agree that the government and private businesses can set rules for any job site they control… so, if they want a person vaxxed and wearing a mask to work onsite, then they must be or they can find another place to work.

              You Stated — “maintaining one’s natural immunity guards against a wide ranged of diseases, rather than just a single one.”

              My Response — As you already know Ron, Covid causes a self damaging autoimmune response in the host body. A strong healthy immune system is not the solution to this virus.

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            5. Sure, in an ideal world, an employer would be able to implement whatever hiring policies and standards it wants to set: dress codes, hours, wage rates, break periods, PPE, age, physical condition, medical conditions, marital status, religious and political beliefs, ethnicity, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, etc.

              So when the police/fire/paramedic services and military set their requirements for fit young men of certain height and weight who can endure intense physical labor and lift heavy objects, that should be their prerogative.

              As for COVID, the evidence shows it’s similar to other viral infection: people with healthy immune systems will either ward it off entirely, or suffer only minor symptoms, while those who have neglected their health will suffer more severely.

              Liked by 1 person

            6. SHEESH! This blog of Jim’s has taken on a life of its own!!

              Anyway, Ron, you said that people with healthy immune systems will be able to ward off the virus. But SOME people are not BORN with these healthy immune systems you speak of. Thus, based on your reasoning, this would make them more vulnerable to the virus, yes? So, wouldn’t it make sense for them to take the necessary precautions (like masks and vaccines) in order to stay as healthy as possible?

              Further, immune systems are not something that are visible via an x-ray or other diagnostic machine so while a person may be overall healthy, they may still have weaknesses that could come into play if they were exposed to the virus.

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            7. Good points, Nan. It’s almost like some people care about others. Weirdos (and potential nazis-in-waiting). Of course, some people don’t – the true patriots and freedom lovers, donchaknow – and it’s hard to argue them into giving a shit or accepting any responsibility beyond their own narrow concerns… something as horrendous as getting a pair of safe and effective needles. End of days, surely.

              What Ron’s misguided belief fails to take into account is the overwhelming evidence that age – and not morbidities – is the primary risk factor and not the health of one’s immune system. Again, the key word there is ‘age’. This is by far the greater consideration even though I’m sure Ron can come up with thousands of examples of people who produce complex symptoms AND have comorbidities. His belief must stay firmly in place. That is his mission.

              I think I mentioned having an Olympic athlete as well as many (many dozens, anyway) of extraordinarily fit and healthy young people (several triathletes and Iron Man competitors, weightlifters, martial artists, marathon runners, and a slew of yoga instructors) get not just complex symptoms and require ICU help to live but a life-changing alteration to their fitness after the infection was beaten. This doesn’t fit Ron’s narrative, but hey. People like Ron will not allow compelling evidence contrary to their imported belief interfere with a soothing narrative. That’s why mandatory vaccines are necessary: because reason and medical advice from the most highly trained virologists and infectious disease experts in the world doesn’t do the job, not when belief is already fixed.

              My problem isn’t that some people don’t agree with the science or have concerns about why they should be a recipient of mandated vaccination; it’s that he spreads misinformation by hiding behind cherry-picked data that he intentionally uses to try to undermine not just respect for reality but puts others at greater risk for real world negative consequences to serve his belief. He’s willing for everyone else to pay the cost of his beliefs in action and thinks this is somehow ‘ethical’.

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            8. To your first question, I think I’ve already affirmed that those who know they are immunocompromised should take extra precautions in previous comments.

              To your second question: sure, anything is possible. Just as one can take defensive driving courses, wear seat belts, purchase a vehicle equipped with multiple safety features (like anti-locking brakes, stabilization control, airbags, shatter-proof glass, heavy duty bumpers and enhanced steering control) and obey all the traffic rules, yet still get killed by a drunk driver speeding through a red light or stop sign, so too can someone who takes good care of themselves still get infected by an illness. But it’s about proactive mitigation of risk — not seeking out ironclad, foolproof guarantees.

              Liked by 1 person

            9. You Stated — “As for COVID… people with healthy immune systems will either ward it off entirely, or suffer only minor symptoms”

              My Response — But we both know that’s not true since the scientific community has not completed a census on how the virus is triggering an autoimmune response.

              What you stated is impossible to know at this time and is flat out incorrect. People with terrible health conditions have also warded off the virus with no issues. As have people in near perfect health fallen victim to it.

              The vaccine is currently the most effective tool in our box to slow the spread and intensity of the virus, and is nothing more than that.

              It’s just buying us time until we know why it can do what it does.

              But this is a moot point since me and you both agree that we should fear this virus and take any precaution needed to protect ourselves.

              Have you been vaccinated Ron?

              Do you wear a mask?

              I have and I do.

              Liked by 1 person

            10. No, the most effective tool in the box (per every health study ever done) is to keep your body healthy by eating healthy, exercising, getting adequate rest, breathing fresh air and avoiding stressful environments. The more stressors you place on your body by neglecting the above, and the longer you do it, the more you’re likely to become ill and suffer.

              In response to your questions:

              No, I have not been “vaccinated” for C-19 and don’t plan to. And no, I don’t wear masks and never have. Nor do I religiously wash my hands every time I touch something.

              Liked by 1 person

            11. You Stated — “…the most effective tool in the box (per every health study ever done) is to keep your body healthy by eating healthy, exercising…)

              My Response — That would be true for many attack vectors but not for an autoimmune sickness since it uses the body’s “Strong Immune System” to attack a “Healthy Body”.

              Just saying…. science 😉

              You Stated — “No, I have not been “vaccinated” for C-19 and… I don’t wear masks…”

              My Response — Then I’m going to need you to put on a face shield when replying to me.

              Liked by 1 person

            12. I don’t discount the fact that a certain number of people may be born genetically susceptible to developing autoimmune diseases. Nevertheless, the health risks associated with maintaining a poor diet are now fairly well-established and of greater importance for the majority of the population.

              As for face shields, I’m pretty certain we’re way more than six feet apart from one another; so the social distancing measure alone should be more than adequate to keep us both protected. And since you’re double-poked and masked you should be extra safe. But if you’re still nervous, I suggest wearing latex gloves and wiping down your keyboard and monitor with antiseptic cleaners on a regular basis. That should make you coof-proof. 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

            13. You Stated — “I don’t discount the fact that a certain number of people may be born genetically susceptible to developing autoimmune diseases.”

              My Response — Your statement is correct but somewhat deceptive since autoimmune diseases are not limited to inherited genetic instruction.

              Environmental factors like exposure to chemicals or solvents are a strong factor.

              A bad diet (as you are well versed) is also a strong risk factor for developing an autoimmune disease (high-fat, high-sugar, and processed foods).

              The medical community does not have consensus, at this point in time ,on what the exact causes of many autoimmune diseases
              are. Which is why you could be at risk (at any given time).

              My Perspective –At the end of the day I believe you should do whatever you believe is best within your power to do so. I respect a strong position no matter if I agree with it or not.

              For the Record: I believe that ignorance will not suffer reason and thus people die that would have otherwise survived.

              Just Saying

              Liked by 1 person

            14. Good point! I wholeheartedly agree that exposure to environmental toxins is also a major contributing factor. Which is why I also advocate growing as much of your own food as you can and buying from local farmers who practice sustainable agriculture whenever possible for the things you can’t.

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            15. You Stated — “buying from local farmers who practice sustainable agriculture whenever possible…”

              My Response — I agree with this practice. I find local grown food to be the best, especially when it’s from the Amish.

              We also stopped drinking alcohol and stopped eating red meat.

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            16. Risk is logarithmically linked to age. You keep using death rates and comorbidities to push the false narrative that risk is more closely related to stuff you can do something about, that if you do something about these morbidities, you can reduce your risk. This is only partially true and to very small degree IN COMPARISON. But you CANNOT avoid getting older and so you CANNOT reduce your overall SOCIAL risk from infection. For that risk to be affected – and it’s the PRIMARY risk – only a mass vaccination program is effective. As I’ve explained elsewhere, it takes about 800 vaccinations to those over the age of 60 to keep ONE over the age of 60 person out of the hospital (regardless of comorbidities); it takes about 25,000 vaccinated children under the age of 12 to keep ONE person over the age of 60 out of the hospital. In other words, making vaccinations subject only to volunteer choice WILL increase not just the death rate but also increase the risk to EVERYONE no matter how healthy, no matter how few comorbidities an individual has. Your narrative about being healthy significantly reduces your risk is only partially true because you become a greater and greater risk to those people who are as healthy as you but older. It is a vicious cycle of increasing risk NEEDLESSLY that unvaccinated people are forcing on everyone. That’s why not getting vaccinated if one can get vaccinated is UNETHICAL not to mention myopic, stupid, and deeply selfish. Are we not our brother’s keeper?

              Liked by 2 people

            17. Yes, being as healthy as possible improves one’s immune system. That’s all this Pakistani paper says. This has been known forever. It does not address the algorithmic risk age presents by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, other than we already know age decreases the robustness of the immune system (which is a mixed bag of good effects and bad when it comes to developing complex symptoms AFTER infection… meaning sometimes a robust response shortens the time for life-saving medical intervention when the onset of complex symptoms can kill and cause permanent damage).

              Again, you are presenting this as if it justifies not getting vaccinated. It does do what you think it does. If you wipe your imported beliefs from this issue and just go with best evidence, the data is very clear: mass vaccinations are a highly significant and effective intervention across all age cohorts that unquestionably reduces both attributed deaths and resulting harm from the targeted virus. As the virus mutates – so far, ONLY from unvaccinated populations – these vaccinations reduce the population pool from which mutations arise.

              Liked by 1 person

            18. Again, you are engaging the conversation you would like to be having instead of the one that’s actually in motion.

              So for the umpteenth time, I never said “Don’t get vaccinated”. I said “Get your health in good order.” (paraphrased)

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            19. No, you’re not JUST saying get your own health in order: you are saying doing so JUSTIFIES keeping vaccinations strictly a personal choice. On this you are wrong.

              Liked by 1 person

            20. Wrong about what? Short of those suffering from some form of physical or mental infirmity, choices concerning one’s personal health are (and should remain) a matter of individual choice. You have no more right to force vaccinations upon others than I (or others) have the right to force changes in diet and exercise routines upon you.

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            21. What you are describing is called statute law. Common law concerns laws derived through judicial decisions concerning criminal and civil wrongs committed by one person (or group of persons) against another.

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            22. Getting infected from you removes all choice by me. You have a duty when you swing your fist not to connect to my nose. Vaccination helps to protect my nose from other peoples irresponsible swinging of their due diligence. It may not be completely effective but it helps the noses of the entire population.

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            23. There is no moral, legal, or medical “right” to tell others what they must, may or may not put into their bodies.

              Moreover, your entire “protection” argument becomes a moot point in light of the fact that the jabbed can spread the disease, as well, .

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            24. My region serving ~750,000 people has 11 Covid patients in hospital, 5 in ICU. The vax rate is 100% for all hospital staff and running just shy of 85% total population. This following mandatory vaccination for almost all public workers about a month ago and almost all manufacturing implementing mandatory vaccinations. Sure, several hundred skilled workers left or were not willing to get vaccinated, but good riddance. They have no place working, eating, celebrating, or being entertained in the presence of others. That’s what a selfish ‘choice’ should look like everywhere.

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            25. Key data missing from your report includes the following:

              – total ICU beds available in your region;
              – the exact number of patients who’d received 0, 1 and 2 doses of the vaccine; and
              – any other health complications they might have had in addition to contracting COVID.

              And your cavalier attitude towards trampling upon on the liberties of others is duly noted. In essence, it’s no different than the disdain others direct towards gays, blacks, Jews, women, the homeless and other social outcasts.

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            26. Key data? You’re funny Ron. I mention these numbers to simply illustrate the effects a mass vaccination program produces, namely, significantly declining rates of infection (well below 1 now), much lower risk for everyone, a significant lifting of restrictions, and much more freedom of gathering of various communities! But apparently this result is too much like Nazi concentration camps and Soviet gulags. You think very strangely, Ron.

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            27. Yes, obesity is a significant risk factor across every category of good health… including getting Covid (developing complex symptoms from a SARS-CoV-2 infection). No real medical professional is denying this to the best of my knowledge. But- again – this does not explain the logarithmic risk correlated to age.

              This correlation is actually really interesting because it means an obese 45 year old who is unvaccinated has a lower risk of getting Covid than a perfectly fit, ideal BMI, great cholesterol levels, robust immune system, no heart disease, fully vaccinated athletic 70 year old. And the correlation continues across all age cohorts to the point where the risk doubles for every 5 years regardless of other considerations that you keep raising (ad infinitum). This means very little risk even with a doubling for under 12s but highly relevant over the age of 60. The 6 years old kid can get infected, spread it to other kids and no big deal almost every time, but one infected person at an old age facility can leave a swath of dead people. That’s why it’s relevant to seriously consider the social obligation everyone has to everyone else across the age spectrum because the risk to others an infected person presents changes RADICALLY depending on the age of the person exposed. That same kid offers negligible risk to a classmate but a potentially deadly risk to a fully vaccinated person over the age of 90. Same infected person, different risk to others.

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            28. Yes our bodies weaken and wear out as we age. Even fitness guru Jack LaLanne eventually succumbed to pneumonia — at the ripe old age of 96. But it doesn’t change the fact he got there following a healthy lifestyle.

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            29. I fail to see the point of your argument, given that I’ve already stated (repeatedly) that the hospitalization records have revealed the risk is largely dependent on age and/or underlying health issues. So it comes as no surprise that the unhealthier you are and the longer you maintain an unhealthy lifestyle, the more likely it becomes that you’ll eventually succumb to life-threatening illness as you get older.

              And your claim that only a mass-vaccination program is the ONLY effective solution is pure bunkum, because hundreds of millions of people have already been exposed to the natural virus and built up a natural immunity to both it and successive variants, as opposed to just being protected against the one strain covered by the vaccine. The evidence of this is demonstrated by the very fact that booster injections will be necessary for the aged and vulnerable every six to eight months to address the waning efficacy of the previous injections.

              Liked by 1 person

            30. Ron says, “I fail to see the point…”

              Right. This is the problem. You presume the fault lies elsewhere for this problem. It doesn’t. It resides in your mind caused by your belief. As long as you hold the beliefs you do and think they are true, you will consistently and constantly fail to understand why you are factually wrong to presume morbidity is the risk and not the virus.

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            31. Why am I not surprised to see that you’ve chosen to quote mine what I wrote wile leaving the meat of my comment unaddressed? Could it be because you are incapable of mounting a defensible data-based argument in your favo(u)r?

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            32. No, it’s because your imported beliefs imposed on reality filters out the very understanding you claim you have. It’s no different, Ron, than a creationist who ‘knows better’ and will obfuscate every niggle about evolution to support that imported belief and reject any and all evidence to the contrary but skew it to mean what is desired.

              For example, the places where vaccination is about 90% unequivocally have every measurable metric demonstrating that these populations fare far better than a similar population that does not. Furthermore, the lower that percentage, the higher the numbers of Covid-related complexities. This is not open to debate nor subject to any serious qualifications; it’s just a fact. Now, actual numbers vary and the effectiveness of this vaccine can be compared to that vaccine and, over time, these numbers do indeed change, and so on. In other words, there’s a forest of data here. But like with climate change deniers who try to obfuscate clear trends with selective data that can made to APPEAR to go against the trend, you do exactly the same thing over and over and over.

              So it really is a question of figuring WHY you continue to fail to understand and spend so much amateur effort trying to pretend every major medical organization with vast expertise is wrong. I mean, seriously… That really should be a clue to someone who honestly desires to understand something. You obviously don’t. Instead, you want to get lost in the forest of data and think yourself informed because you think you’re finding what only supports your already petrified beliefs. This doesn’t surprise me; it’s no different than the earnest creationist believer or climate change denier. You have fooled yourself and think it it is therefore ethical to try to fool others.

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            33. You realize that long comments don’t disguise the fact that what you are presenting is all fluff and no substance. The links to the health reports from Israel and the UK paint an entirely different picture than the one you are attempting to present — namely they show that over the long haul the effectiveness of the “vaccines” wanes most for the elderly and vulnerable, no matter how many people get jabbed.

              Liked by 1 person

            34. See? There you go again, selecting what you believe supports your opinion. Yes, vaccines wane BECAUSE of time. Different kinds of vaccines have different timelines. The mRNA has a short span BECAUSE it’s so targeted. You conflate this to mean it demonstrates increased risk. But the risk is from the VIRUS first and foremost, so, if your population is widely vaccinated, your chances of encountering the virus is drastically smaller than if a non vaccinated population spreads the virus without interference. You advocate for the second and pretend the risk is related only to comorbidities. This is absolute and utter BULLSHIT. The risk is related to encountering the VIRUS. This risk is compounded by AGE, which doubles with every 5 year cohort. This is why a fully vaccinated person who is 75 and in otherwise perfect health is at MUCH higher risk than the obese 45 years old person with a heart condition.

              What you spectacularly fail to grasp is that it is the unvaccinated person alters this risk that everyone else has to face because the LIKLIHOOD of an unvaccinated person carrying the virus is about 100 times greater than from a vaccinated person. But you don’t care about ANY these facts; instead, you’ll get busy busy busy searching the internet for information that you think denies or calls into questions or offer some reason to doubt these facts. That’s why what you think is being driven not by reality, not by expertise, not by good interpretation of relevant data, but by YOUR CONTRARY BELIEF. And in order to maintain this foolishness you believe is the case, you will relegate the medical consensus to be some kind of conspiracy. If your contrary beliefs and willingness to doubt facts weren’t so dangerous to others, your foolishness and egoism wouldn’t matter to me. I’m pretty foolish about certain things myself. But when you try to present your denialism as if well informed and valid to doubt public health policy, I feel obligated to call a spade a spade.

              Liked by 1 person

            35. Once again I’m compelled to remind you that you’ve ignored what I’ve actually written in order to argue against points I’ve never made. At no point in this conversation have I ever stated, suggested, hinted or implied that the short time spans mean it demonstrates an increased risk.

              What I have stated (in many ways and many forms) is this: focus on improving your overall health to diminish the risk of acquiring chronic and debilitating age-related illnesses that are excaerbated by viral infections because the vaccines alone are a poor substitute for mitigating against diseases you could have avoided getting entirely by making changes to your lifestyle. Naturally, if you’ve reached the end of the road, health-wise, the vaccines and/or expensive medical interventions will become the only options available to remedy the situation. But it needn’t have to be that way if you take proven preventative measures from the outset.

              Why you’ve chosen to ignore sound health advice and turn this into a personal vendetta against me, escapes comprehension.

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            36. Part of the issue here is you fail to see your arguments are heavily directed by belief as well. I would probably give Ron the edge in this discussion based on the presented facts and the actual mortality rate and the entirety of the “pandemic” that from the get-go has been heavily panic influenced from month one by the amount of available beds that were near capacity as always. That’s been the isssue and it’s not really a fair one to impose martial law on the population.

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            37. No. This isn’t an ‘argument’ between a few people with differing viewpoints, Jim. This either standing up and facing reality or trying to believe it’s different than what it is. That’s the only ‘choice’ going on here.

              How soon we forget.

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            38. Actually, as I have watched this debate you have illustrated as much belief as any believer. Every single differing study of contrary evidence has been heavily discounted and deduced to rubbish by the status quo—that same status quo that has the world exactly where it is today.
              The real questions are existential fears and freedoms. For many life isn’t worth living under the thumb of big brother. For others the fear of death drives some to protect life at any unreasonable cost, only to watch every single one of them die later in the blink of geologic time. You may be an atheist, but you are very religious my friend. The force (hebrew influence) is strong in this one Obiwan..

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            39. How about this forgotten little gem out of Spain in April or 2020:

              “20 March.

              Of 218,652 COVID-19 cases, 45.4% were hospitalised, 4.6% were admitted to ICU and 11.9% died. Among those who died, 94.8% had at least one underlying disease. Healthcare workers (HCWs) represented 22.9% of cases.”

              And almost all of us have an underlying disease, whether diagnosed or not.

              Liked by 1 person

            40. What I’ve seen and heard, Jim, is this pandemic roar into the West and public health scramble to try to cope while considering the needs of economy and supply and income. That’s why I sent in the reminder of these reports at the time. Now, things like mass vaccination programs, for example, have to planned using best available data at the time.

              So here’s the thing: put yourself in the position of having to recommend policy when you are receiving information like that from Italy and Spain in March and April of 2020. Hear about the various vaccine efficacies as trials are being done and consider the various costs and how they can dispersed and over what timeline and to what effect – best and worst case scenarios. Now stick Ron’s opinion in these decision-making places and you get literally tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of premature deaths YOU are professionally responsible for preventing if possible and THEN try to live with that result, thinking ‘natural immunity’ is the way to go because, hey, here’s some data about longitudinal effectiveness comparing survivor immunity versus vaccinated a year post vaccine. Ron’s notion is morally indefensible in the same way putting out a fire once a building is gutted and smoldering is much safer and more effective than trying to stop the fire at its zenith, so why bother even trying? It’s a conspiracy, donchaknow. What’s lost following Ron’s advice are these lives and those affected by them that’s a price Ron is more than willing for everyone else to pay in order to be free from social obligation to get vaccinated. As long as it doesn’t impinge on HIS freedom to do as he likes today, of course. Then it’s a threat to democracy, you see. That threat to his fREeDom versus the threat so many lives affected, is just too dear for HIM to pay.

              Good grief.

              In other words, I understand this has been a process not organized or orchestrated but a group of dedicated professionals across the medical world trying their very best to do a very difficult ever-changing job filled with uncertainty but loaded with necessity. Now throw in a variant of concern, then two, then three. How might any of us have done better?

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            41. The medical establishments may very well be offering g their best foot, but it has and is more a political grab than a medical offering.

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            42. It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society—J Krishnamurti
              We are demanded now to risk our lives to benefit those who have already lived theirs, or to those who live it poorly. But really from day 1 this has been a knee jerk based on the fear of bed shortages from an already sick society.

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            43. You are missing the point. I don’t care about the covid risk that someone else want to take for themselves. So what?

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            44. I understand. This is part of the issue: it’s NOT personal, it’s PUBLIC. In other words, it’s fine to get vaccinated for one’s self – lots of good mitigating reasons to do so. But I think the primary duty is for the safety of others. That’s the main role and reason for mass vaccination: you get vaccinated for others because it reduces the risk YOU present to them.

              Liked by 1 person

            45. Oh, and the same is true for masking. The surgeon puts it on not protect him- or herself from you the patient but to protect you the patient from him or her.

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            46. Not really true. He masks to protect himself as well from body fluids and blood spatter? You ever stand in on orthopedic surgery? They even wear a hood to protect themselves.

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            47. From an abstract on the use of surgical masks during surgery:

              It has never been shown that wearing surgical face masks decreases postoperative wound infections. On the contrary, a 50% decrease has been reported after omitting face masks. The present study was designed to reveal any 30% or greater difference in general surgery wound infection rates by using face masks or not.

              During 115 weeks, a total of 3,088 patients were included in the study. Weeks were denoted as “masked” or “unmasked” according to a random list. After 1,537 operations performed with face masks, 73 (4.7%) wound infections were recorded and, after 1,551 operations performed without face masks, 55 (3.5%) infections occurred. This difference was not statistically significant (p greater than 0.05) and the bacterial species cultured from the wound infections did not differ in any way, which would have supported the fact tha the numerical difference was a statistically “missed” difference.

              These results indicated that the use of face masks might be reconsidered. Masks may be used to protect the operating team from drops of infected blood and from airborne infections, but have not been proven to protect the patient operated by a healthy operating team.

              Tunevall, T.G. Postoperative wound infections and surgical face masks: A controlled study. World J. Surg. 15, 383–387 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01658736

              https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1853618

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            48. Personal attacks, ridicule, appeals to emotion, appeals to authority, appeals to the majority, appeals to tradition, special pleading, quote mining, strawman arguments, shifting goals posts, loaded questions, etc., are a clear indication that the other side has no real arguments at his/her/their disposal.

              Liked by 1 person

            49. Whether I agree or not with the vaccination policies, his argument is packed with reasoning for for a believer.
              I’m wary when science is beyond reproach like ones favorite politician or religion.

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            50. We don’t know the data is beyond reproach. And all scientific knowledge is provisional. There’s no such thing as “scientific proof” of anything — only a best explanation given the current information available.

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            51. Anyone who does not have direct access to whatever data happens to be in question And even then, there is no guarantee the data is accurate or complete, or representative of the population as a whole.

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            52. If you’re questioning it then you obviously have access to it.

              Methodologies are published. Sample sizes/compositions are published. Collected data is published. Conclusions are presented, as are often suggestions for further studies if findings are inconclusive.

              I don’t see much nefarious, secretive business going on here.

              Liked by 1 person

            53. I wrote “direct” access to whatever data is in question” for a reason, John. I’m speaking towards data as a general topic, not just the data relating to the topic of this particular post. A published report is not direct access to the data, and the conclusions reached (as stated previously and as you also concur) are always provisional and open to further study.

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            54. Ah, so you’re now shifting your argument to data as a ‘general topic.’

              You sure that’s suitably nebulous to serve your conspiracy theories? You know, you still have to demonstrate that you do not have “direct” access to published data… whatever that even means.

              Liked by 1 person

            55. I’m not shifting anything. Grammar and spelling mistakes aside, I endeavour to choose my words very carefully to remove the opportunity of having my message misconstrued — either accidentally, or intentionally.

              The point remains: the only people who have direct, first-hand access to the data are those who initially recorded it, and everyone else is merely a second-hand recipient of that data unless they (re)conduct the experiment/study for themselves.

              No conspiracy theories required.

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            56. All I can see is your own projections into my comments.

              Moreover, your stock talking points (FOX news, Trump supporters, conspiracy theorists, etc.) contribute little to the conversation.

              Liked by 1 person

            57. Then I will not comply with that request, because I only listen when Simon says to do things — and sometimes not even then. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            58. There is obviously some mincing of numbers when the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu has virtually no change in the world death rate.
              97% efficacy when a persons normal immune system is already 99.6% effective.

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            59. Certainly is advancing. I think the original argument is whether it’s right to mandate, sanction, and threaten citizens for non compliance. Don’t you think this is playing out just fine? Could it be any different than it is? Is conspiracy any less organic than any other accepted scheme? Eventually all the non compliant genes will be eradicated and we’ll be one big happy family with nothing to argue about.

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            60. Right, the original argument was/is the necessity to protect populations against a deadly disease… Just like we do with smallpox, measles, polio, whooping cough, mumps, etc. as well as the diseases we may come in contact with when travelling, like yellow fever.

              You drifted into a wild conspiracy theory suggesting the numbers were being “minced” 😉

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            61. Just like we do with smallpox, measles, polio, whooping cough, mumps, etc
              You really think that’s a fair comparison? It’s more like the seasonal flu with constant tail chasing, guess work, and endless vaccination and no cure.

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            62. We can cure it all right now with gene splicing tech… But that’s another (enormously fun) GATACA debate.

              Do you think we should ‘construct’ humans who’re not only free of diseases (including things like alcoholism), but are bigger, stronger, smarter?

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            63. Construct better humans? Not really. Who gets to decide which traits will be valuable in a future setting? These things always change. I think I’ll let evolution do it’s thing. It has a long track record. Maybe we should splice in a believer gene so everyone thinks the same. That would be a boring existence.

              Liked by 1 person

            64. The topic of this post — for those who might have forgotten — was given within the very first paragraph:

              Concerning bioethics —is it ethical to mandate vaccination of citizens with an unnatural selection processes that, based on fear, have bypassed established checks and balances? Is it an ethical mandate regardless?

              To date, very few commenters have dared to touch — let alone justify — the draconian responses and policies set in place in response to this disease.

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            65. Another sarcastic response. COVID ain’t polio. But even if it were, the ends (imprisoning the healthy and forced injection mandates) don’t justify the means.

              Liked by 1 person

            66. Not sarcastic. Factual. You know, full of real world *facts* and *data* as to the efficacy of vaccines against deadly diseases.

              Imprisoning the healthy? LOL! Q says calm down, Tucker.

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            67. Fact: the efficacy of the experimental COVID “vaccine” wanes after six months — especially for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. That’s why “booster” shots are now being recommended for those two groups and the Israeli “health” minister has forewarned that the “green passport” will be denied to anyone who doesn’t get another hit . . . fix . . . dose.

              https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-may-deny-green-passports-to-people-who-have-not-received-covid-booster-1.10147312

              I said, “God damn, God, God damn the pusher man.”

              As for evidence of imprisoning the healthy, search “COVID lockdowns”.

              Liked by 1 person

            68. Experiment?

              You mean the FDA approved vaccine?

              “The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

              But hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of a good Ancient Aliens rant….

              Liked by 1 person

            69. Yes, experimental. Per their own press releases, the drug manufacturer’s long-term clinical trials will continue until 2022/3. So saying that all the data is in, is just plain out wrong.

              As per the FDA, it’s little more than the fox guarding the henhouse. The former commissioner — Scott Gottlieb — now works for Pfizer, and one of the current candidates vetted for consideration to assume that role now, has close ties to the pharmaceutical industry (paid consultant to be exact) and was the same one who approved the drugs that led to the opioid crisis during his first term as FDA commissioner.

              So if that’s also a conspiracy, it’s a pretty open and in-your-face one.

              Liked by 1 person

            70. If you look at what Italy is doing with the vax passes and workers around the country, it’s not really far fetched to see it here when the rest of the world has been following their lead on lockdowns, green passes and then sanctions against the unvaccinated.

              Liked by 1 person

            71. Really? Well, then, exactly which of my statements fell into the “tinfoil hat” category?

              Was it the one where I claimed the Pfizer study wouldn’t end until 2022/3?

              Actual Study Start Date : April 29, 2020
              Estimated Primary Completion Date : May 2, 2023
              Estimated Study Completion Date : May 2, 2023

              https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04368728?term=NCT04368728&draw=2&rank=1#studydesign

              Or the one about former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb working for Pfizer?

              https://www.pfizer.com/scott_gottlieb-md

              Or the one about former FDA commissioner Rob Califf (now vetted to reprise that role) ceiving consulting fees from drug compaines?

              https://web.archive.org/web/20150301020601/https://www.dcri.org/about-us/conflict-of-interest/Califf-COI_2014

              Liked by 1 person

            72. Here in Washington we still have a statewide mask mandate even though it’s not effective according to the experts. Our governor is an executive order junkie high on himself. Do we trust all this if we can’t trust that?

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            73. Tildeb is arguing against masks.
              I find it interesting as Ron and Tildeb are two that I rely on for reason and consistency. Yet here we are.

              Liked by 1 person

            74. I’m not arguing against masks; as I’ve explained into the void and with as much effect, masks capture droplets. Droplets can be covered in virus. Reducing this spread of droplets is an effective way of reducing the risk of infecting SOMEONE ELSE.

              The point that seems to have confused you is that I’ve explained that the virus itself is too small to be captured by a mask (even the N95s unless properly fitted sealed PLUS goggles only reduces a percentage). So the mask is not a protection for ONE’S SELF.

              Why did I say this?

              Preventing the community spread of the virus requires more than a mask, more than good health, more than a robust immune response. I wonder what that might be… if I intentionally plug my ears and pretend every medical association around the globe and a scientific consensus by the world’s best and brightest infectious disease experts have it all wrong.

              Golly, gee… I’d better ask Ron. He seems to have access to the important data the entire medical community has missed AND he knows how to interpret it better and with greater insight than all these highly trained people. Yup, Ron is the data guy. He’ll let us know which data to use and how to interpret it all correctly. He’s no shill of Big Pharma and the coup into totalitarianism that mandates foreshadow. (Just like what happened with the mandatory smallpox vaccine. Chaos and disorder and the rise of liberal democracy, donchaknow. Makes on shudder.

              So I’m sure he’s equally well beyond the curve of every medical professional on the planet on masking, too.

              Liked by 1 person

            75. TL;DR

              I, tildeb, don’t like being confronted with data that goes against my carefully-crafted beliefs, so I will post another long-winded rant ridiculing the person who brought it to everyone’s attention and call it a day.

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            76. Well, you also pointed out to me that the surgeon wears the mask to protect the patient. Words—without having attended a surgery will do this. Your specific word on masks was “um, nah” if I remember correctly.
              The totalitarian ways are already here, if you haven’t noticed. Just try traveling without your card…papers please.

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            77. By the way, the person on the right is free to attend events if he is vaccinated. Then it’s ok to spread covid here if you’ve had the shots.

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            78. I’m confused — are you arguing against efforts to mitigate and/or slow/contain the spread of a deadly disease through a population?

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            79. No I’m not arguing against it at all. In fact I haven’t even had a sniffle in 20 months, probably due to masking, no handshaking, and social distancing. What is wrong is Tildeb making his own message on masking based on the data, while Ron is making his own message out of the data, and as you can see, there are a lot of mixed signals and ambiguous rules that make no sense at all.
              You realize a vaccinated person can still spread covid, yet are allowed to go to events and wotnot because of compliance, not science. It’s a mess of idiocy. Now vaccines are mandatory but spreading covid isn’t regulated.

              Liked by 1 person

            80. The silliness will come to an end when the people finally rise up en masse to say “SCREW YOUR MANDATES” (preferably with an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent) and then go on with their lives ignoring the non-sensical and contradictory edicts coming from the politicians. But that requires a spine.

              “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.”― Malcolm X

              Liked by 1 person

            81. You are correct. “Listen to the ‘science’ experts” is no different than “listen to the religious experts”. Who exactly are these experts and what are their qualifications? And why are they never cited directly?

              I look at the actual data, not the declarations of policymakers who claim to be following the advice of unnamed “experts” cheered or their MSM cheerleaders citing unsourced studies.

              Liked by 1 person

            82. How about this longitudinal data for families relevant to how many have been vaxed here?

              If it were based on immunocompromised in some way, these charts would not look like these do. Vaccination mitigates risk across all metrics.

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            83. Here’s the 7 day rolling death rate average including 3rd shot. Again, if morbidity was the key factor as Ron keeps on believing, these averages would not look like this. Ron is wrong. Factually wrong.

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            84. Of course, research never stops. Novovax uses nanoparticles that is similar to using ‘live’ virus’ but in a much smaller dose to emulate an infection and give the body time to develop various immune responses. Here is the take away:

              ” Efficacy against moderate-to-severe COVID-19 was 100%, and efficacy against severe disease alone was 100% (post-hoc). Efficacy amongst high-risk populations was 91%”

              Against delta? 93.6% efficacy.

              Sample size? 30,000 Stage 3 trial reports. Fact sheet here.

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            85. According to blood donations, combining vaccinated and those with natural immunity, roughly 80% in the US have covid antibodies. That’s supposed to do the trick
              The death toll from 2020 worldwide held at 7.6 people per 1000 of population, the same as the year before and the year before that. It’s either a miracle, or things aren’t what they seem with everything covid in every statistic.

              Liked by 1 person

            86. Now why haven’t all infectious disease experts simply used Google and blood donations? They are all such fools!

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            87. I didn’t say that, but I’m betting the death toll isn’t any different for 2021. I could be wrong, but so far estimates are in the ball park. Sometimes death is inevitable no matter what your flavor of flu season.

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            88. It’s not JUST about death, Jim. It’s about all the effects of the virus. Using this kind of information as if relevant to vaccinations and why they are important says more about the state of knowledge the person using it has than what the table actually says.

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            89. They do combine several methods to arrive at the predictions. With an aging boomer population we all know what that means.
              Since the beginning I’ve held this is an overwhelming example of bringing a gun to a knife fight. We now have bazookas and tanks for this one, as well as a hotline to report party goers to the policiá.

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  12. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/18/doctors-caring-unvaccinated-covid-patients

    “Medicine is based on science and experts. I don’t know when expert opinion or expert knowledge took a backseat to politics”

    “Moral injury occurs when the nurse or doctor feels that, ‘The patients I’ve dedicated my life to treating are now here because of their own negligence and now they’re imposing upon me and my team to treat them, while also exposing us to continued danger from this virus.’”

    “That’s what makes this wave of the pandemic so hard to watch, because we have a vaccine and we know that it works.”

    ” … a California-based infectious disease doctor, can’t help but feel angry at patients that are life-threateningly ill from Covid-19 but could have avoided their illness by taking the vaccine.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I wonder how it would go over if a nurse or doctor made a public statement accusing her AIDS, or diabetes, or high blood pressure, or lung cancer patients of personal negligence for their condition.

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      1. As seems to be your practice, Ron, because you’re so convinced this whole virus thing is just a fluke, you miss the point entirely …

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            1. It gets frustrating having highly trained medical healthcare workers leaving the profession because their patients don’t care. It’s frustrating to have these gits force others to suffer and die. Shame is a very very very small price to pay for their idiocy.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. I can see it now:

              You have AIDs Dave. Guess you shoulda used protection, huh?

              Hey Carl! You wouldn’t have chronic emphysema if you’d stopped smoking thirty years ago.

              Well Mary, it’s like this: you wouldn’t need a double bypass if you’d exercised more and ate less Krispy Kreme donuts.

              You want me to mend your broken bones? Who forced you to climb that rickety ladder, George?

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            3. None of those are indicative of what’s going on today. Today I heard an ICU nurse say she’s sick and tired to death of having to call family members of unvaccinated people EVER DAY with terrible news. She has to go through demonstrators EVERY DAY. She has to listen to the ignorant and stupid and malicious who spread false information and doubt about vaccinations. You can claim membership, Ron, in doing your small but malicious part to drive such people out of hospitals and away from being able to sustain the compassion needed to do the job. You.

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            4. People die in hospitals every day, so informing someone of their loved one’s passing goes with the territory.

              As to your accusations: I’ve spread no misinformation. I’ve simply presented the data released by the CDC and other health bodies. Nor have I ever told anyone not to get the vaccines — I’ve merely cited the reasons why I won’t be getting them. What others choose to do is up to them. I’m pro-choice all the way.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. I think our government handled the entire thing about as clueless to human nature as it could have been handled.
              Coercion is the last straw for for many, who now will refuse vaccination on principle.
              I used to run cattle with a guy who liked to put a rope out there any time he could. He never learned the nuances of herd behavior. They’ll come around if you just leave ‘em alone. I can’t count the times, but those times he failed to get a rope on em, at the end of the day all the cows were at the corral. Even the ones that pissed him off.

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            6. I don’t think that analogy works… Although I understand what you’re saying. In the US right now you just have a bunch of fucking wankers taking pleasure in being politically-motivated nuts.

              Any one of them could go down to a graveyard and count all the gravestones for babies and children before, say, the 1950’s, and then count all the gravestones for babies and children after 1950.

              Liked by 2 people

            7. Jim, the wankers are drinking horse de-wormer.

              These are not rational people.

              Horse-dewormer…. Now think about how the rest of the world is viewing the US right now.

              Liked by 1 person

            8. Victims of misinformation. There are a slew of health care workers refusing too. Mostly because of the way it was handled.
              Every denier should watch the video

              Liked by 2 people

            9. Just called into Twiter, and this was the first tweet:

              My Grandma passed away this morning from COVID.
              And while I am devastated, I’m more pissed off than anything.
              She wasn’t vaccinated. Why? Because she believed all of the right wing conspiracy bullshit on Fox.
              Their fucking lies are KILLING people. They deserve to be in prison.

              Liked by 3 people

            10. Easy blame game. It’s those politicians. But not accurate. Sure, many of his points are right on but many are not. The intransigence is not rational. And because this guy is American, he doesn’t get that all of his solutions have already been put into effect – certainly here in Canada – that does not alter the intransigence. He’s also wrong on a couple of points – like ‘natural’ immunity, which is very low versus delta but boosted 100 times by a single mRNA vaccine – and like masking, in that it does reduce transmission by about 3-10%, but this is almost entirely based on outdoor versus indoor (because it’s an aerosolized virus).

              But here’s the thing: not being vaccinated raises the risk to one’s self AND to everyone else. So it’s not a question of my body, my choice, but anti-vaxers insisting that My choice TRUMPS your body AND your choice. That’s a different thing when a communicable disease threatens EVERYONE. I didn’t hear this guy recognize this central point at all, about the public health THREAT the non and under-vaccinated pose to everyone. And this ongoing threat is absolutely central to the reason why mandatory vaccination against it is justified to trump one’s personal choice to be a higher risk.

              Unvaccinated people DO NOT have the right to impose this risk on everyone else. They think they do. They are wrong. This has already been legally established with intransigence against the polio vaccine overturned by the Supreme Court (here in Canada and the State Supreme Court in… Massachusetts, I think? ) allowing mandatory vaccinations for the public welfare. There was also a court case for Typhoid Mary in that her freedom was deemed reasonably constrained because she was carrier and an ongoing risk that had already killed something like 16 people even after being ordered not to come into close contact with others. But she continued to work in various domestic settings. She was incarcerated for this.

              All I’m saying here is that there are many legal precedents in various countries and their court rulings that imposing mandatory vaccinations is justified when the public health is at stake and there is unreasonable intransigence on the part of some that threatens the whole. And this is why legislation for public health officers gives them sweeping powers – in Canada, over and above elected representatives AND the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – to impose all kinds of temporary mandatory rules that do impose restrictions and curtail freedoms.

              I didn’t hear this guy explain any of this but pretend reasonable conversation will magically turn into mass vaccination. Well, THAT is entirely dependent on the reasonableness of those who are not vaccinated. And there are tens of millions in the US who are not reasonable.

              Liked by 1 person

            11. He has many videos. I’m not sure anyone could please you. The fact is it has been handled poorly with no clue about human nature at all.
              And yes we can blame politicians. There are 535 of them and everything happening at every level from taxes to healthscare is 100% on them. This is how they want it. There is no other explanation

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            12. “He’s also wrong on a couple of points – like ‘natural’ immunity, which is very low . . .”

              Longitudinal analysis shows durable and broad immune memory after SARS-CoV-2 infection with persisting antibody responses and memory B and T cells

              https://www.cell.com/cell-reports-medicine/fulltext/S2666-3791(21)00203-2

              SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positivity protects against reinfection for at least seven months with 95% efficacy

              https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(21)00141-3/fulltext

              Liked by 1 person

            13. Here, we evaluate 254 COVID-19 patients longitudinally up to 8 months and find durable broad-based immune responses”
              Maybe the doctor knows best? I thought the video presentation was more comprehensive and inclusive to what’s really going on and what’s working. It’s not just pure vaccination cheerleading but a more reasonable approach.

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            14. My point is that these same methods he recommends have been used outside the US, and still the intransigent cannot be moved. In all my local vaccination centers, for example, were a minimum of four tables set up and staffed for anyone who had any questions or concerns with no time limit. Local medical press conferences occurred weekly headed up by the local health officer and every health unit and every hospital. All politicians are onboard. And still the intransigents cannot be mov