It’s probably an ethical grey zone, but I’ve been running genetic experiments on my family. I keep a spreadsheet of who got what type of vaccine and what their reactions were. Since I have extended family spread out across the world, I feel like I can learn about our gene pool and use that info to help me make the best decision about which vaccine I want when my time comes.
Mutti had her 1st Pfizer shot Monday, no reactions other than a mild soreness about 10hrs after, which went away after an hour. Da had the same shot with mild soreness and then muscle spasms in his arm for 16 hours. I attribute the spasms to the shot hitting in his muscle awkwardly, not the vaccine. Gran had Moderna and got covid arm. Not a big deal, it’s common because the Moderna first dose is so high. Pfizer is the winner so far. It’s what I’ll make an appointment to get next week when I become eligible.
In California, you get to pick which vaccine type you want. Most places, you can’t do that. I think having a choice of vaccines actually helps. I think more Californians decided to get vaccinated because they could decide what they put in their bodies. It gives people a feeling of control. Which is true, they do have control. But it’s also illusory to some extent. The choice is high risk of death from covid vs 100% no risk of death with any type vaccine. But, hey, whatever gets people to get vaxed? I’m for it.
The Significant Other’s parents got the AstraZeneca vaccine this week. It’s what the EU was using, but stopped over blood clot concerns. It’s what Canada has been and still uses. I’d get it, personally. I asked them if they had concerns. They said “Only not to be vaccinated.” They were happy they could get it. Had they still been in the Netherlands, where the govt shut AZ vaxing down, they think they’d still be unvaxed.
I can’t wait for the SO to get it. Neither can he. BC is getting hit with a third wave, driven largely by being hit with 3 variants (Brasil, UK, and So Africa) arriving at the same time, and slightly relaxed rules. They’re being advised to stay at home once again. The growth rate is exponential. Despite Canadians doing the really hard work of following prevention measures. It’s not like it’s Florida or Michigan. The SO said absolutely don’t come home until I’m fully vaccinated. He’s hoping in 7 weeks it’ll be better there. But I’m going home, once vaxed, better or not. Period.
I wish Pres. Biden would release all the US-held AZ vaccines to Canada and Mexico, where they’ve already approved the AZ vax for use. Those folks both really need and want those doses. They can use them today. When our border partner countries are safer, the US is safer. If you want to stop variant spread and new variant developments hitting the US, stopping this kind of 3-card monte toxic stew in the north would be a good way to do it. (If you want more info on this, @TrevorTombe)
No one likes to talk about it, but with all 3 of the world’s most powerful variants partying together….a 4th super-variant might well be born. No one wants that. Already we’re seeing people who had original, wild covid, get covid second time because the new variants can elude the original wild covid immune response. Vaccinated people will not be hit as hard. But if you thought “Oh I had covid already, I’m gonna be fine vaxed or not.” My answer is this “No, honey. You’re not gonna be fine.”
I think it’s interesting to see how the virus mutates. As it’s blocked off by vaccine from older victims, it’s becoming more refined to easily target younger ones. But also, as it gets blocked, it simultaneously finds ways to go around those blocks. The longer this virus goes on, in the whole world, the more years were all going to spend having to get booster shots — and watching people die. It’s super scary when you understand the basic science.
I worry about So Cal getting hit again because the LA film industry does a lot of back and forth to shoot shows in Vancouver. I think we’re more protected because we’re more vaccinated and vaccinating at a record pace. But there’s lots of people who are still waiting for their turn to get a vaccine. And of course, there’s the hesitant. I had an hour long conversation with an elderly neighbor of Gran’s who isn’t getting the vaccine because her children don’t think she should get it.
I didn’t try to persuade her. I just laid out the position she was in. Her husband was frail with health issues and already vaccinated. She wasn’t so she could get it and die, and he’d be alone. If she needed in-home care for him, she’d be relying on those folks coming into her home to be vaccinated and not infect her. She’d already had bronchitis every year for years. So she was vulnerable to lung diseases. And on top of all that, she was going to be banned from seeing her friends in the nursing home because they require visitors be vaxed.
I left it at, “Even if you make an appointment for a week from now, you can cancel it on the day if you decide you don’t want to get the vaccine then.” It was all I could do. When I went back inside and told Gran, she just sighed and said, “You can lead a horse to water.” What was really sad, was it was her children visiting that gave her husband covid. Some of her children are vaccinated –because they work as RNs and are required to be. They live in HI, an island in the middle of nowhere, that has 100% control over their borders and covid. And they’re telling her not to get vaccinated. Really?
I shouldn’t be surprised I guess. A lot of Americans these days don’t really operate with a full deck of logic. Not trying to be mean here. It’s just I’ve noticed more and more that Americans have become excessively reactive and emotional these days, way more so than in times past. We used to think deeply about things. We used to be creative thinkers and problem solvers. American ingenuity. American gumption. Now? Not so much.
Everyday, I see people do irrational stuff. Not just personally, but writ large in the public sphere. I mean what rational person spends $3 million to try and recall a governor who has done a great job managing the state through a once in a 100 yrs pandemic? It’s crackers. And the people doing the recall accuse the governor of mismanagement. Really? It’s going to cost the state $120m to run a pointless special election. That’s money that could have gone into helping people, businesses and schools get back to normal. That’s mismanagement. That’s you taking money out of the public purse.
A rational person would just wait till the 2022 election. They wouldn’t force an election in Nov 2021. Talk about stupid. And you want me to vote for you? Oh…. not you? But a GOP candidate you support. And the candidate you want to run for the job in place of our tried and true Governor? A TV personality, and political know-nothing with a degree in PE, you say? MS Caitlyn Jenner, who is being supported by Trump’s wife-beater buddy Brad Parscale? I gotta say, the only thing I’m recalling here is why the GOP stopped being a viable rational political party.
So much of American civil life these days is tainted by irrational even hysterical thinking. Consider the trial of Derek Chauvin. There’s only one question here, and it’s scientifically verifiable. How long does it take to put a healthy person of Mr Floyd’s size into a life-threatening state (when being sat upon by 2 large men, and a third man putting his body weight on his knee on the healthy person’s windpipe and carotid artery)? I’m not being flippant here. This is a fact you know via a safe, controlled, medically monitored science experiment.
If Mr Chauvin’s position is anyone in good health could have survived, then Mr Chauvin should be allowed to lay on the ground and be sat upon and have a knee placed on his windpipe to prove it. Me personally, if I was hinging my defense on that kind of thing, I’d throw myself on the ground and let the science begin. I’d want to show that scientific proof that backs me up. Not conjecture. But no one is doing that. No one is even attempting to do that. It’s all he said, he said. And it’s not that helpful.
Why testify that this is deadly force and leave it open to anyone’s opinion (even an expert’s) when you can safely scientifically prove it was deadly force? And after that is sorted, then you can have the discussion about intent. Manslaughter, accidental no intent to kill. Negligent homicide, where actions could reasonably be construed to cause death. Or actual homicide, with intent to kill. Personally, when the optics of the situation are most easily compared to a 19th-century safari hunt picture, and multiple bystanders are repeatedly begging the accused to stop his irrational, inhumane, homicidal actions, I think this is a homicide.
I see this kind of irrational hysteria in the new Georgia election laws. It’s not a question of suppression or expansion. It’s a question of equality. Either all voters are being treated equally, or they are not. If absentee voting, or Sunday voting, or early voting, or ID law disproportionally affect a group of voters ability to vote, that’s not equality in voting. It’s also a math equality question. Per every 1K voters, how many polling places? how many ballot drop boxes? how many polling place staff? how many polling place machines? how many feet of space venue? how accessible? how many minutes wait? how many miles from the furthest voter residence in a precinct to a polling place?
This applies to other things too. For instance, abortion laws. It’s not about pro or anti. It’s about equality. The laws says you can’t discriminate against women or people that are pregnant. But in fact, laws that make a common medical procedure (abortion) difficult to access for women, who are pregnant, is a double case of discrimination. These laws harm a 2 protected classes, women and the pregnant. They deny equal access to reasonable safe medically approved health care on the sole basis of them being women and pregnant.
Suppose the law made it so there was only one place a man could get a prostate removal in a state. Even though it’s a common medical procedure. But suddenly he had to cross through picket lines, and then have counseling, and then an ultrasound so he could see his prostate. It all sounds ridiculous. But that’s the equivalent. If only men with prostate issues were subject to these laws, it would be creating a class that was discriminated against with respect to obtaining healthcare. The same thing goes for these anti gender-affirming care laws. These laws create a class of people being discriminated against, preventing them access to common reasonable safe medical care.
And the kicker is, every day, Christians turn down vaccines because of “aborted fetal tissue.” And that’s ok. They’re allowed to reject safe, reasonable, medically approved health care and take less safe, less reasonable, alternative care, just because it doesn’t coincide with their personal beliefs. So, some personal beliefs are okay to take into medical consideration, but other personal beliefs are not. That’s discrimination. And in the case of children seeking gender-affirming care, it’s even worse because the children didn’t even get to choose their belief the way Christians (and other faiths) get to choose their beliefs.
Children are assigned a gender at birth. They have no say over that. The state does that. A nurse or doctor writes it on a birth certificate, for the state. But the child, whose body and life it is, has no say in that process. Every day we let people choose everything, what they eate, wear, read, do, think. It’s a fundamentally American freedom. People of all ages get to do it. Even in a divorce, children are asked which parent they’d prefer to live with. But somehow children aren’t asked what gender they are? They aren’t allowed to express the gender they believe they are? And be treated accordingly?
Like I said, it’s irrational, and it strikes at a pillar of our democracy, equality. And speaking of democracy… Burma. People keep saying Burma is a democracy. And it’s tragic what is happening there. Tragic? Yes. Democracy? No. It was a military dictatorship, it became a Buddhist dictatorship, with multiple levels of citizenship. But let us never forget, it kicked the Muslim Rohingya to the curb. It denied their citizenship. It burned them off their lands. It killed them, murdered them, raped them. And as the Burmese military did this, the Burmese Buddhists in govt, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were totally fine with it.
But now that the military has turned on the Buddhists? And the Buddhists are going through what the Rohingya have endured?
Would it really be so bad that the “pro-democracy” folks that cheered on killing the Rohingya end up in the same refugee camps with those Rohingya they tormented? Maybe the “pro-democracy” group needs to actually learn what real democracy is? Democracy is unifying the people of your country. All the people. Not just those you like or share a religion with. Maybe they could start by asking the Rohingya for help fighting back the military, and promise to restore their lands and citizenship and then compensate them once they have Burma back?
The idea that the US or the UN should help one dictatorship over another is kind of nuts. When I look back at how the US saved the “good Germans” from Hitler’s Nazis, while all the while managing to overlook the sufferings, loss of property, etc the Jewish people who fled rather than be murdered by those Germans … like still to this day. (I can say this stuff, being half German.) I think it’s important the US not to keep making the same mistakes.
Save Burma’s Buddhist “pro-democracy” dictatorship from it’s own military dictatorship? Okay, but what’s Burma going to do for the Rohingya once they have Burma again? To me it’s all the same problem, history repeating. I’d rather save the Rohingya. Rationally speaking, we were blessed in saving the Jews we did during WWII. But we all know, we should have save more. We should have opened our doors. I think we should learn from that mistake too, and open doors for the Rohingya. It’s the rational thing to do in the situation.
Ok, on to far less important matters. The mouse removal topped out at 40. I still have a trap set up, to catch any stragglers, but I think I may have achieved victory there. On the other hand, I failed to notice 40 mice. I may be delusional about the victory.
The lilacs are about to bloom. They missed Easter but I don’t mind. A sprig of fragrant lilac in a vase makes for the definition of spring, even as we go into yet another drought. Also the cherry blossom trees will bloom in a week or two. So, for now, the world is green with life. It is enough.
I spent my poetry week reading Tagore, Rumi, Hafiz, Khayyam, and the 1904 Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten written and illustrated by Oliver Herford. Since I’ve got that part of the world covered for now, I’ll be I’m moving on to female poets of Africa and So America next week.
My Bender bender at Easter got replaced with March Madness – of the Canadian kind. It’s time for the 2021 World’s Curling Championships (men’s division). Going on in Calgary right now. They mostly just show the US team games on US TV, and they typically don’t play well. They quite playing Canada after 3 ends (it was 10-1). They didn’t even stick it out and play to the finish. Ugh. Awful. But I do get to see the top-flight Canadian, Swedish, and Swiss teams too sometimes. And Youtube has all the games. The women’s WCC games start April 30, so… Good News, everyone!
Obviously last week I was a little ragged, so I blipped on a couple things pertaining to Resident Alien. Skip over this section if you want to avoid potential spoilers. One of the most fascinating things you’ll never hear talked about is how much the RA’s obsessional behavior around food, and scuttling toward/away from others, is actually quite octopus-like. If you watch the series, and you’re looking for an excuse to re-watch episodes. I invite you to watch a few PBS documentaries on octopus and then check out RA.
I’ll also mention that the finale episode implies that the RA could actually get stuck being human eventually. And therefore subject to human vicissitudes, such as the common cold. Maybe down the road, when the series ends, there’s a choice to be made? One of the other things that struck me was the possibility of human mental break down. In a previous episode, the RA imaginarily talked to Dr Harry’s corpse, but only while in a state of drug and alcohol fueled delirium. This was not the case in the finale. No drugs. No alcohol.
I’m hard pressed to explain this beyond severe mental stress. In watching the RA cry for the first time, to experience deep emotions that were foreign to his race, his first rejection, abandonment, love all at once, was a bit like a mental breakdown. It may be also that molecular mimicry another gives one access to stronger memories stored in the molecularly mimicked brain. That seemed to be the case when Isabelle sang Nature Boy. But what’s the long-term effect of that? I can only guess.
Anywho, I think I’m done for now. I’m certainly done with Resident Alien thoughts. You’re definitely up to speed on all my thoughts on current events. As always, you are free to reject my points of view. I’ll still like you and respect you. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to report I have a time and place for my 1st covid vax shot. Oh, glorious day! At last I’ll be – at least partially – out of the topsy-turvy pandemic constant state of feeling like I’m in the right place, at the wrong time and wonderin’ which way do I go, to get on outta here.