living la vida loca…with covid

A friend posted this and I grabbed it from her social media. It kind of sums it all up.

Here we are in August 2021, and the COVID of it all still hums around the edges of all of our lives, and threatens to cause uproar in our lives once again. We have not obtained herd immunity in this country because not enough have gotten shots.

Please don’t misunderstand me, there are people who are legitimately UNABLE to get the COVID shot because of health conditions like severe allergies. But then there are all of these people who either just haven’t bothered, or they see it as a Don Quixote political stand.

So now there are these variants of COVID. Delta and Lambda are two. Here is an article from Reuters from the other day:

Aug 2 (Reuters) – The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Delta breakthrough infections likely contagious

Among people infected by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, fully vaccinated people with “breakthrough” infections may be just as likely as unvaccinated people to spread the virus to others, new research suggests. The higher the amount of coronavirus in the nose and throat, the more likely the patient will infect others. In one Wisconsin county, after Delta became predominant, researchers analyzed viral loads on nose-and-throat swab samples obtained when patients were first diagnosed. They found similar viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, with levels often high enough to allow shedding of infectious virus. “A key assumption” underlying current regulations aimed at slowing COVID-19 transmission “is that those who are vaccinated are at very low risk of spreading the virus to others,” said study coauthor Katarina Grande of Public Health Madison & Dane County in Madison, Wisconsin. The findings, however, indicate “that vaccinated people should take steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus to others,” she added.

Lambda variant shows vaccine resistance

The Lambda variant of the coronavirus, first identified in Peru and now spreading in South America, is highly infectious and more resistant to vaccines than the original version of the virus…In a paper posted on Wednesday on bioRxiv ahead of peer review, the researchers warn that with Lambda being labeled a “Variant of Interest” by the World Health Organization, rather than a “Variant of Concern,” people might not realize it is a serious ongoing threat. Although it is not clear yet whether this variant is more dangerous than the Delta now threatening populations in many countries, senior researcher Kei Sato of the University of Tokyo believes “Lambda can be a potential threat to the human society.”

~ Reuters 8/2/2021

Ok so locally and regionally it has been welcome to crazy town over to mask or not mask. And restaurants and other businesses are choosing to not have the non-vaccinated and even just the non-masked in their establishments. That is their prerogative, it’s their business.

A place called Martha in Kensington apparently is causing a hullabaloo over this. I read about Martha and their decision in Philadelphia Magazine first, courtesy of an article by Victor Fiorello. Comments across social media accuses them of being racist to very pointed and funny comments like:

“The government can’t tell them what to do! It’s their individual right as Americans to decide who to let in! Gee…. That works TWO WAYS!”

Let what is happening in Provincetown, MA be a warning via The New York Times:

By the Fourth of July, Provincetown’s tourist season had built to a prepandemic thrum. Restaurants were booked solid, and snaking lines formed outside the dance clubs. There were conga lines, drag brunches and a pervasive, joyous sense of relief.

“We really thought we had beat Covid,” said Alex Morse, who arrived this spring as town manager. “We had internalized those messages, that life will be back to normal. We beat this. We are the most vaccinated community in the state.”

Mr. Morse didn’t think much of it, five days after the holiday, when the town’s Board of Health logged two new cases of coronavirus. A week later, though, the cluster of cases associated with gatherings in Provincetown was growing by 50 to 100 cases per day. Alongside the numbers was an unsettling fact: Most of the people testing positive were vaccinated.

Provincetown, a quirky beach community at the tip of Cape Cod, has provided a sobering case study for the country, abruptly tugging Americans back to the caution of winter and spring.

~ New York Times 7/31/21

I happen to agree with the restaurant Martha. What they are doing is both common sense and brave. They represent an industry that took a direct hit across the country and all over the world because of COVID. They are choosing to try to keep their patrons and employees safe. Respect.

Now I read an editorial (also Philadelphia Magazine this by Ernest Owens) that came out yesterday:

The rise in cases caused by the Delta variant could be halted if we stopped coddling the source of the problem. More institutions should follow the lead of the Philly restaurants refusing service to those who won’t get vaxxed.

In one of my all-time favorite films, Mean Girlsthere’s a scene in which the alpha-female of her high school, Regina George, decides to wear sweatpants on a Monday — a violation of the code of her inner circle, the Plastics.

“So that’s against the rules, and you can’t sit with us,” says Karen Smith, a member of the Plastics.

I’m reminded of this scene because this is exactly how we must treat those who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19: You can’t sit with us.

The infuriating rise in cases caused by the Delta variant has led to an increase in public restrictions, including, in some places, a return to mandatory mask-wearing regardless of vaccination status. This time around, the science behind what’s setting us back couldn’t be more clear: Unvaccinated people are at a higher risk of infection, given how much more contagious this particular variant is. In other words, if more people got vaccinated and practiced other safety protocols, we wouldn’t be wading right back into this clusterfuck of restrictions.

At the very beginning of this pandemic, I had a little more empathy for those who were hesitant to get vaccinated…..Which is why we should all cut to the chase and clamp down, both socially and institutionally, on those refusing to be vaccinated. It’s time to pull out all the stops, via more restrictions and peer pressure. I cannot emotionally afford another government lockdown….Playtime is over. We have the power to stop the spread, so let’s do so now.

~ Philadelphia Magazine, Ernest Owens 8/3/21

I am with Ernest. Read the rest of the op-ed. He also remarks on the unvaccinated by choice who wanted everything to open up, but didn’t do their part (get vaccinated or at least wear a mask.)

I am still leery going out. I still carry and wear masks. And I also carry my vaccine card with me. Sorry not sorry, I do not have a problem if someone asks me I am vaccinated, and would show my card. Do I like still wearing a mask here and there? No of course not, it’s no fun. It kind of sucks and we are all tired of the COVID games, but if we don’t pay attention, we will go back to lockdown.

Of course to mask or to not mask is also a hot topic with school districts. To me it is kind of maddening. What is the big deal? Little kids especially are among the most vulnerable of our population so why are masks such a big deal? The option is we can go into lockdown again and kids will not be IN school if that happens. And for those who can’t grasp students wearing masks, this just in: Penn State is requiring masks indoors on ALL campuses. And even Vanguard is offering employees $1000 bonus if you get vaccinated. Genesis Healthcare is making a COVID shot a job requirement. They own nursing homes, and people in nursing homes are SO at risk so who has a problem with that? Seems kind of positive to me.

To follow are THREE video snippets. Two are from a very recent West Chester Area School District School Board meeting. One speaker is the QAnon WCASD school board candidate Ada Nestor (@AnonymousAda on Twitter and yes she was in DC January 6th, correct?), and the other is some woman who was just good theater because she was so off the rails. Apparently she is the IHOP mom (as in International House of Pancakes) because she lets people of different races, etc into her home. The third video snippet is that delightful nutbag martyr running in Great Valley School District for School Board, Sallie Campbell. What makes her profoundly disturbing other than she is utterly clueless, is she used to be a nurse.

I just don’t understand. I don’t. Yo’ put on a mask already (you’re a long time dead). I had to miss a funeral of a friend because I knew there are too many who don’t want to wear masks or get the vaccine, and was afraid to run into that in an enclosed space with questionable ventilation.


For those of us who live immunocompromised and more, it’s not a political conspiracy, and I don’t care if you “don’t get COVID as bad if you have the shot” I don’t want to get COVID at all.

People are legitimately terrified of COVID. As a cancer survivor and still active cancer patient I live an immunocompromised life every day. It’s not discriminatory to want more to have shots or wear masks in certain situations, it’s just life as we know it for now even if it’s unpleasant to some. Just my humble opinion.

Your personal freedoms will enjoy you surviving COVID much better. So just wear a mask when you are out. And yes, I know of people who have gotten COVID who are fully vaccinated. And these were people who were careful.

And for those who think you are wearing a Superman and Wonder Woman costume with “natural immunity”? Natural immunity is not enough. Getting COVID and recovering (known as “natural infection”) doesn’t appear to generate protection as robust as that generated after vaccination.

Don’t believe me? Check out what National Geographic published today:

As the U.S. grapples with its troubled vaccine rollout, an alarming increase in coronavirus cases across the nation has resurfaced a long-simmering question: Do people who’ve already had COVID-19 need to be vaccinated?

Natural immunity is a powerful force against certain diseases, such as chickenpox and measles. Surviving a natural measles infection can yield immunity that is comparable—or in some cases, superior—to vaccination, says Ruth Karron, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

But first, of course, the patient has to survive.

It’s also not yet crystal clear whether immunity from contracting COVID-19 is as powerful as the protection of a vaccine. What is evident is that the available vaccines mount crucial defenses against severe disease and death—even against more contagious variants such as Delta….Researchers already knew that COVID-19 vaccines “reliably induce antibody levels” that are as high or even higher than those of people who have recovered from severe cases of coronavirus, says Karron, who was not part of the new study. 

~ National Geographic 8/4/21

Don’t try to tell me that everything about COVID is “all political.” That is a bunch of happy horseshit. And I am very unapologetic in my opinion. TOO many people have gotten and/or died from COVID. Mortality ain’t politics. It’s being dead in the morgue. I know someone who couldn’t say goodbye to an immediate family member because they hadn’t gotten a shot. That will weigh on them for years to come.

The COVID shot is FREE. Death, however, is expensive.

Sorry, not sorry but I am low on patience and becoming increasingly leery of going out again because of all of the people who can get shots and don’t, people protesting safety protocols in schools, and who are telling me COVID is as real as the tooth fairy.

Just stop. Because if y’all don’t stop, we are going to be back on stay at home orders faster than whiplash. I like being at home, and don’t have to gallivant, but these people who put the rest of us at risk, and I do have a problem with that.

I don’t want to infringe on anyone else’s rights, so kindly stop infringing on my right to live. Being careful and wearing a mask and getting a shot are still not a big deal. But getting COVID is a big goddamn deal, often leading to death.

Yes, this was somewhat of a rant, but no one has a gun to your head saying “read this blog.”

xoxo

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