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Thread: No mas ks

  1. #1
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    No mas ks

    I'm flummoxed by the irrationality of current events. The CDC has reversed its policy of a couple of weeks ago (CDC Says Vaccinated Students, Teachers Do Not Need To Wear Masks Inside School Buildings July 9) to support a re-imposition of face masks (The CDC is recommending masks for vaccinated people in high transmission areas. What does that mean?).

    In Florida where I live "people are done with this shit." We'll see. Sentiment runs strong in that direction, but also this afternoon I saw a definite uptick in mask-wearing at the local Publix supermarket.

    I don't think there's any "Science" behind this latest move to control behavior. I wrote a letter printed in our local Hate-Trump newspaper a week or so ago, arguing against mandatory mask-wearing and vaccination, and concluding,
    I myself am vaccinated, and pose no significant threat to others, vaccinated or not. Nor do others, vaccinated or not, pose any significant threat to me. If the vaccine is safe and effective, and if COVID remains a problem, the vaccine will sell itself. Resistance will diminish to insignificance, as it has for other vaccines. Forcing the issue is fraught with potential for abuse and adverse consequences down the road.
    The newspaper, of course, is in full support of forcing vaccination, and is printing nonstop editorials and letters to that effect.

    In normal times we'd be moving on. According to the CDC, the chance of a "breakthrough" illness is less than one percent of one percent (Symptomatic breakthrough COVID-19 infections rare, CDC data estimates). It's clear masking children is not benign, Mandatory Masking of School Children is a Bad Idea, and I don't believe people will agree to relive last year's hunker-down experience.

    But many people are scared. I think irrationally so, and I believe that fear is being promoted for reasons unrelated to health. Big teachers unions, for example, are behind the startling reversal in CDC masking policy in schools (CDC changes course on masks in schools as delta variant complicates fall planning). Home-schooling will surge Sparked by pandemic fallout, homeschooling surges across US, for example.

    It seems that scared people are easily persuaded to impose controls on others to manage their own fear.

    This is a story that may not end well.
    • "If these governors won't help, I will use my powers as president and get them out of the way." — Joe Biden, explaining fascism.
    • "Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, misidentifying the common enemy.
    • "Thieves only carry weapons for self-protection and to provide the householder an incentive to cooperate." — Texas State House Rep. Terry Meza, proposing to bar "castle defense" protection for victims of home invasions.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." — Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” — Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." — CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.


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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman View Post
    But many people are scared. I think irrationally so, and I believe that fear is being promoted for reasons unrelated to health. Big teachers unions, for example, are behind the startling reversal in CDC masking policy in schools Home-schooling will surge
    It seems that scared people are easily persuaded to impose controls on others to manage their own fear.
    Boggles the mind why all these people are so scared.
    Teachers unions? Ah, well less work for them.

    Controls = power.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Boggles the mind why all these people are so scared.
    Teachers unions? Ah, well less work for them.

    Controls = power.
    Consider what they're reading and hearing. Here's a headline from the Daily Kos:

    People who are unvaccinated by choice are engaged in biological warfare against their own nation

    This fire-breathing stirs up extremes, as it's meant to do. What should be the fate of biological terrorists, for example? This writer wouldn't be the first I've heard declare that conservatives are mass murderers, yada yada.*

    As an aside, this jeremiad notes that the delta variant is only one of many:
    If delta is not bad enough, the World Health Organization is already tracking variants of interest eta, iota, kappa, and lambda. There are 14 even newer variants that contain features that may make them more contagious, more vaccine evasive, or more virulent. Five of those variants were first identified in the last month.
    So don't imagine that masks and lockdowns will be ending anytime in your lifetime. (I'm still waiting for the Xi variant.)

    *Yes, conservatives are the only villains here. The writer makes no mention that I caught that the largest groups of unvaxxed=by-choice are people of color, blacks in particular, and young people. Old conservatives like me are largely vaccinated. Cf. this Daily Mail report:

    Pelosi and White House blame Republicans for fueling spread of COVID but fewer than half of young people and 36% of black people have had shots while 92% of older Americans are jabbed
    • "If these governors won't help, I will use my powers as president and get them out of the way." — Joe Biden, explaining fascism.
    • "Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, misidentifying the common enemy.
    • "Thieves only carry weapons for self-protection and to provide the householder an incentive to cooperate." — Texas State House Rep. Terry Meza, proposing to bar "castle defense" protection for victims of home invasions.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." — Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” — Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." — CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.


  5. #4
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    FOLLOW THE SCIENCE WHATEVER IT SAYS TODAY
    “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I aim with my eye.

    "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
    I shoot with my mind.

    "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
    I kill with my heart.”

    The Gunslinger Creed, Stephen King, The Dark Tower

  6. #5
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    I seldom read Andrew Sullivan these days, and I no longer check the Drudge Report, ever, but I think Sullivan gets this one about right:

    HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LIVE WITH THE VIRUS…
    . . . Is Provincetown our future? Count me skeptical. In Fourth of July week, the town was completely swamped this year, followed swiftly by Bear Week; lines for the bars lasted for blocks; the bars themselves were packed; the weather was dreadful, forcing most of the crowd to pack tightly inside. A tiny town built for a few thousand residents has to absorb up to 40,000 in peak season. One bar in particular — the home for a dance party with the inspired name of “Fag Bash” — resembles a kind of dank dungeon where sweat drips from the ceiling and mold reaches up the walls. It might have been designed for viral transmission. A big swathe of the crowd had also just come from a week of Pride partying in New York City and were likely not, shall we say, at their immunological best. It was a muggy, viral heaven in a classic post-plague burst of bacchanalia. I’m way too old for that kind of thing these days, and don’t like crowds, and so stayed away, finishing the audio version of my forthcoming essay collection. Good call, it turns out.

    But would I have gone if I’d had the energy? You bet I would have. Maybe not into the crammed basements, but I had a blast at the open-air tea-dance the same week and since. And why not? I’m double-vaccinated. The chances of becoming sick enough to be hospitalized are extremely small; the chance of death, none at all. My friend who first texted me is super-fit (as are most of the young torsos who show up that week), but he’s also my age (weirdly enough, he’s the same friend I went to stay with when I first tested HIV-positive in 1993). He endured a nasty week of a fluish bug: the kind of thing that happens without any plague at all. Just part of the inherent risks of being human on a planet that does not belong exclusively to us.

    And this seems to me to be the key question here: do we really want to get back to living? I do. So take the rational precautions — a solid vaccine — and go about your business as you always did. Yes, I’ll wear a mask indoors if I’m legally required or politely asked. But I don’t really see why anyone should. In a free society, once everyone has access to a vaccine that overwhelmingly prevents serious sickness and death, there is no reason to enforce lockdowns again, or mask mandates, or social distancing any longer. In fact, there’s every reason not to.

    We are at a stage in this pandemic when we are trying to persuade the hold-outs — disproportionately white Republicans/evangelicals and urban African-Americans — to get vaccinated. How do we best do this? Endless, condescending nagging won’t help. Coercion is not an option in a free country. Since the vaccinated appear to be able to transmit the virus as well, vaccine passports lose their power to remove all risk. Forcing all the responsible people to go back to constraining their everyday lives for the sake of the vaccine-averse is both unfair and actually weakens the incentive to get a vaccine, because it lowers the general risk of getting it in the broader society.

    So the obviously correct public policy is to let mounting sickness and rising deaths concentrate the minds of the recalcitrant. Let reality persuade the delusional and deranged. It has a pretty solid record of doing just that.

    The government cannot be held responsible for sickness and death it has already provided the means to avoid. People are responsible for their own lives. The government can do some things — like making vaccination mandatory for federal workers and contractors, and especially in the military as George Washington did in the Revolutionary War for smallpox. It could offer money — or entry into a lottery, as many states are doing. All good. But the most potent incentive for vaccination is, to be brutally frank, a sharp rise in mortality rates. The more people who know someone who has suffered and died the likelier they will see the logic of taking measures to avoid the same fate. In other words: if people recklessly refuse to face reality, call their bluff.

    So let it rip. The one silver lining of plagues in the past is that, at some point, they blew themselves out, by creating herd immunity. What we have done with Covid is greatly slow that process down. We did so for good reasons — because it would give us time to get a vaccine, and because a full-scale epidemic would overwhelm the healthcare system. But now that we have several vaccines, and can adjust them from time to time, and the healthcare system is not on the verge of collapse, the logic for lockdowns and masking has completely disappeared.

    By getting rid of these barriers to transmission, we can actually accelerate the end of the plague, by allowing natural forces to take the helm. Which suggests another reason for getting this over with more quickly: the longer a virus hangs out in a population, the more able it is to mutate and evolve. Quickening this process can reduce that possibility. . . .
    Daily Mail
    • "If these governors won't help, I will use my powers as president and get them out of the way." — Joe Biden, explaining fascism.
    • "Put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties and personal liberties and realize we have a common enemy and that common enemy is the virus." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, misidentifying the common enemy.
    • "Thieves only carry weapons for self-protection and to provide the householder an incentive to cooperate." — Texas State House Rep. Terry Meza, proposing to bar "castle defense" protection for victims of home invasions.
    • "The way I see it, there's always, c'mon, there's always money. It's there." — Elizabeth Warren, explaining socialism.
    • “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.... We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” — Saikat Chakrabarti, then AOC's Chief of Staff.
    • "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." — CNN's Don Lemon, showing how to stop demonizing people.


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