9/11 Reflections

RICHARD DREW/AP
RICHARD DREW/AP

Do you remember the Falling Man photo taken on 9/11? Of course you do, if you were alive then and old enough to absorb the news and what was happening, you could not forget this image. It’s stunning how it jars you instantly back 20 years and how quickly the familiar raw emotions of anger and grief pop up.

Time has softened the sharp edges around those emotions though and transformed them to a more reflective stance on the preciousness of life and nostalgia for a more innocent time of national unity, when we truly were all in this together.

Esquire Magazine has a beautiful article about the Falling Man written by Tom Junod. It tells the moments leading up to photographer Richard Drews taking the iconic shot and the lengths to which investigative news reporter Peter Cheney went to find out the man’s identity, which even today remains unknown.

Of course there were many unfortunate people that also jumped from the Twin Towers that day, which was widely reported on at first. This sparked a weird and uniquely American phenomenon, in that it became taboo to talk about these poor souls. It was considered a slur against them, that highlighting their choice to jump out the window to certain death instead of being incinerated by extreme heat and fire was somehow a poor reflection on their character.

I don’t view it that way at all. I posted this picture because to me it perfectly captures both the awful, ugly horror of that day, along with the divine beauty of a man who has accepted his fate and chooses, courageously in my view, to exit this earth by his own standards. Pure grace in action.

So that is my September 11 memorial post for this year. May God bless the 9/11 victims, their loved ones and all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice hunting down justice and defending our freedoms.

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A Vapid Speech By a Vapid Man

Joe Biden has been in every way, shape and form worse than I expected as President and that was a pretty low bar to begin with. His 6 prong nonsense Covid speech today will do nothing but further divide a nation already at high broil. As far as altering the course of this virus, he has an equal chance of altering the earth’s axis.

We are in unchartered waters here, with a feckless, dementia riddled President who appears to enjoy shredding constitutional norms. Buckle up folks, things are gonna get rough.

Stay tuned…

Posted in Covid vaccines, COVID-19, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Human Ecosystems Need Exposure

This post provides an excellent description on how we are literally soaked with viruses since the day we are born. The relationship between humans and viruses is symbiotic in that viruses need warm bodies as hosts to continue living and in return those bodies benefit from the protective effects exposure to those very same viruses provide.

In short, by trying to “hide” from SARS2 for these last 18 months, we’ve actually made things worse, by forgoing the protective effect exposing children to it provides for the rest os us, as well as hiding them from other viruses which are now exploding.

Basically, we’ve done everything wrong.

As the article states:

“In July 2021 New Zealand and Australia, who have both been lauded for their lockdown and physical distancing practices in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, have reported high rates of children being hospitalised with RSV infection. Lockdown practices may have reduced exposures to SARS-CoV-2, although there are other possibilities for the pattern of Covid-19 disease in this region. However, outbreaks of RSV suggest that respiratory viromes have also had less exposure to other viruses which, when present in enough of the population, normally offer protection to vulnerable groups. Due to a lack of population immunity, these groups now face higher risk of disease. “

alicespringstomind

By Helen Tindall

We have a simple message to all countries – test, test, test”.
~ WHO Director General, Tedros Gebreyesus, 16.03.2020

In the same press conference, Tedros went on to claim that without the testing of all suspected COVID-19 cases, they could not be isolated and the chain of infection could not be broken. On 24 May 2021, he declared that the pandemic “will not be over until and unless transmission is controlled in every last country”.

As a result of this test and trace idea, mass SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing has been undertaken globally. In unwell individuals there has been a fixation on SARS-CoV-2 testing to the exclusion of other possible diagnoses. Healthy individuals have been forced to take tests, stay home, close businesses, wear masks, physically distance and follow many other locally determined lockdown policies. This response ignores the fact that serious illness occurs…

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Letter To My Employer

Like many of you, I’m starting to get pressure from my company to get the vaccine. They’ve not made it a requirement for employment yet, but you are expected to mask up while on company grounds if not vaccinated. I hate this, but as a remote employee it also doesn’t effect me much.

More recently they implemented a double vaccination requirement to attend our upcoming sales achievement bonus trip, which is an annual event that rewards sales people for meeting their quotas. I’ve always enjoyed these trips, as you get to mingle with colleagues, who for most of the year you only communicate with virtually and everyone feels appreciated and rewarded for all their hard work.

I won’t be attending this year because I have not gotten the vaccine, nor do I plan to.

I know many of you are facing much more dire circumstances with these mandates and risk losing a job, or perhaps you already have. I’m so saddened that this is happening, but really am not surprised. I think those of you that share my concerns have realized by now that no one is coming to save us from this Covid madness.

There is a mass psychosis going on that’s hostile to common sense, data and logic and thus more of the same failed policies from 2020 are being re- implemented with the addition of vaccine mandates. It’s up to us to say no, to speak out for others who can’t and to push back hard against harmful narratives and policies.

After a discussion about this with my boss, I decided to write a letter that I’m hoping will be shared with the policy decision makers at my company. Even if it goes nowhere it felt good to get this off my chest.

If you’d like to create your own letter, feel free to use any part of my mine that you think will help. This is what I wrote:

For what it’s worth, I want to expand on our conversation the other day about the company’s vaccine requirement to attend the Club trip. While I understand and can respect its desire to protect employees from Covid infection and the liability issues involved, there are some things that disturb me.

First, these vaccines do not provide sterilizing immunity, which means a vaccinated person can get and transmit the virus just like the unvaccinated (1), something that’s become obvious these past few weeks. In fact an infected vaccinated person may spread the virus even more than an unvaxxed person due to large viral loads found in nasal passages during the highly contagious first 5 days of infection (2). A vaccinated person is also likely to have less symptoms and thus not apt to change behavior and quarantine, becoming their own super spreader.

If this is true, and as of now there is no reason to believe it’s not, then what is the purpose of singling out unvaccinated employees? This doesn’t seem aimed at mitigating viral spread, but more of a punishment to coerce people to get vaccinated.

Second, what about those of us that have had Covid and who now have natural immunity? It’s pretty well known that the Covid recovered have long lasting and robust immunity to the virus (3,4,). This is true of most viruses actually, look at SARS1 where almost 20 years later those those that were infected with it still have protection (5). Natural immunity also provides better protection than the vaccines (6) because the body is exposed to the whole virus, while the vaccines just target the spike protein. That’s probably why we’re seeing so many breakthrough cases with Delta, as the vaccines were not targeted to this variant.

Given this information, why is the company not acknowledging natural immunity? I don’t want a special exemption for the trip because I’ve had Covid (I want everyone to attend), but it troubles me that natural immunity is not part of the discussion. Again it leads me to think that the vaccine requirement is more about coercion than creating a safe environment for employees.

The decision to get vaccinated is a highly personal one and the choice should be left to each individual based on their own medical history and risk assessment. The vaccines were designed to give protection to the people taking them and no one else. Seeing as how they are available to anyone who wants one, there should be no restrictions for those of us that have chosen not to get it.

This goes for masks mandates for the unvaccinated as well, which also seems more about punishment than safety. It’s been known for quite some time that they are useless at mitigating aerosolized viral particles and wearing them for extended periods is harmful both physically and psychologically. (7, 8)

Vaccine mandates to participate in every day life activities don’t make sense medically or ethically, are a gross violation of privacy rights and have no place in free and democratic societies. By demonizing the unvaccinated and pressuring the private sector to impose restrictions and/or withhold employment from them, our government has opened the door to medical tyranny that history has taught will lead to atrocious and horrific acts of violence. My hope is that our company will not participate by not imposing policies that withhold privileges to employees who choose not to inject themselves with experimental drugs.

I love working for this company and and want to continue doing so for many more years. I’m worried though that this trip vaccine requirement will lead to further restrictions down the road and am hoping you can bring my concerns up during your meetings this coming week. Feel free to share this with anyone.

  1. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/30/1022867219/cdc-study-provincetown-delta-vaccinated-breakthrough-mask-guidance
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02187-1
  3. https://news.emory.edu/stories/2021/07/covid_survivors_resistance/index.html
  4. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01442-9
  5. https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3563
  6. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/373/6556/eabh1766.full
  7. https://www.city-journal.org/do-masks-work-a-review-of-the-evidence?wallit_nosession=1
  8. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.18.21257385v2
Posted in Coronavirus, Covid vaccines, Uncategorized, Vaccines | Tagged , , | 39 Comments

The Kids Are Not Alright

Photo Credit:Anonymous Internet Person

Photo Credit: Anonymous Internet Person

The above photo sums up the awfulness of how children have been treated throughout the pandemic and the sheer hypocrisy of our anointed elites. They always claim to be for the children, but their behavior and policy preferences somehow seem to always screw them over for someone else’s benefit.

Coronavirus, unfortunately, has put this concept on steroids; where the welfare of kids and younger people as a whole have been sacrificed to meet the neurotic needs of older people who view children as vectors and spreaders of disease.

As I explained in a previous post,

The most epic public policy failure of our kids though certainly goes to shutting down schools in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  It was not in any way shape or form for their benefit and once it became known that children don’t suffer from nor transmit Covid much, keeping schools closed seemed purposefully cruel.  

As with school closures, since we know cloth masks do diddly at mitigating aerosolized viral particles, forcing kids to wear them is equally purposefully cruel. We also know that thankfully kids don’t suffer much from Covid, nor do they seem to spread it. There is no scientific reason to mask children; it brings both physical and psychological harms to the wearer and offers no benefit.

Of course none of this matters to ignorant government and public health officials who are implementing mask mandates again for the new school year.

This madness has to stop and Emily Burns from The Smile Project can help. She created a very thorough and science based letter that you can use to send to the policy people in your district. I’ve cut and paster the it below, but you can also download it and others here.

You can also follow her on Twitter under @Emily_Burns_V where she regularly posts fantastic, stats/studies on masks.

I’d like to encourage all of you who don’t want your kids masked for another year, but are stuck in a school district that’s requiring them to please get proactive and start hammering your local school boards.

I don’t have kids, but I’ll be sending letters because this issue effects all of us. As Emily states in her letter, if they can require masks be worn now based on current Covid metrics for kids, there is no off ramp as there is nothing to stop them for doing this for the flu.

The sad fact of the matterthe Coronavirus anti-human mitigation measures are not going to stop until significant pushback happens.

Here is Emily’s letter full of lots of stats and graphs:

Dear [Name], 

First of all, I want to thank you both for a wonderful year, and for the flexibility you’ve offered on masks during summer camps.

With that in mind, as schools are making decisions around what to do with masks in the fall, I’d like to share our preferences. This has become such a polarizing topic, that I think many people who might not want to have their kids in masks, will be shy about standing up. So, I’m going to stand up and share my thoughts 😊

As you are no doubt aware both DESE and the governor have not mandated masks, but have instead made a strong recommendation that students and staff mask. Governor Baker reiterated this in his recent press conference. There is a world of difference between a mandate and a strong recommendation. The CDC strongly recommends that people not eat raw fish or under-cooked meat, and yet many people—especially in this state—choose to enjoy our oysters raw. My hope is that [your school] will embrace the flexibility offered in this “strong recommendation” and not mandate masks—or distancing—for students in any setting.

I believe the data is firmly on the side of this position. The policy response to COVID—particularly as applied to children—has been wickedly inept. We now have nearly a year-and-a-half’s worth of data. Not to use that data to craft better policies and create better outcomes for our children, would be simply wicked.

That data tells us several key things that argue strongly against masking children. To wit (all of these claims are supported with data and links below):

  • Children are at extremely low risk from death, hospitalization, or other adverse events due to COVID-19. They face a 3-4x higher mortality risk from flu vs. COVID, and a 10x risk of suicide.
  • Even with Delta, children are at extremely low risk, with some data suggesting that pediatric hospitalization rates for Delta are less than half what they were for earlier variants.
  • Children are NOT super-spreaders. They are not the reservoir of COVID-19 that is “prolonging the pandemic”. Multiple contact tracing studies have shown that the R0 for children is actually BELOW one, meaning it is mathematically impossible for them to drive this epidemic. They are epidemiological dead ends.
  • Mask mandates–especially in schools–do not reduce school or community transmission. 

With these facts in hand, it becomes clear that if we are to continue masking children for COVID with vaccines universally available to the at-risk, there will be no logical point at which we can un-mask them. Even with widespread vaccination of children for COVID-19, using the arguments currently in vogue, the greater lethality of flu would council permanent masking to limit its spread (never mind CDC analyses showing that doing so does not limit its transmission). If we do not take this off-ramp for masking, there will be no other.

Supporting data: 

Children are extremely low risk from COVID: 

As of now, there are 332 deaths of children with COVID in the U.S. This compares to about 450/year in a normal flu season—and remember, these 332 deaths occurred during TWO COVID seasons. Beyond this, the CDC has noted that 35% of these deaths could not possibly have had anything to do with COVID (e.g., they were car accidents, suicides, etc., etc..). Thus, the actual number is not possibly above 219. Of these, virtually all were extremely ill. Researchers from Johns Hopkins recently found a mortality rate of zero for children who were not extremely ill with prior conditions, like leukemia. Nor does this reflect lower spread due to our world-breaking interventions. The CDC estimates that through May, 2021 there were 27 million COVID infections in children (23 million symptomatic).  Using the number of deaths where COVID might actually have been causal, this yields a maximum infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.001% for symptomatic infection in children. This compares to around 12.5 million symptomatic flu infections in the same age group in any given year, which with an average of 450 deaths, yields an IFR of 0.003%. Thus COVID is significantly less dangerous for children than flu—3-4x less deadly depending on the year—even without a vaccine. The risk of hospitalization is also miniscule. Again, on 23 million symptomatic infections, the CDC estimates there to have been 209,000 pediatric hospitalizations—a rate of 0.9%. The rate for flu is ~0.4%, approximately half that of COVID. However, here, too, there are caveats. A recent study found that 45% of pediatric COVID hospitalizations were in no way related to COVID. This would bring pediatric hospitalization rates for COVID in-line with those for flu. There is of course the question of “Long COVID” in kids. Once again, there is much more heat than light here. In a recent study, researchers found no difference in long-COVID symptoms in children who had antibodies for COVID, vs. those who did not—i.e. those who were never infected. This study found the same. From all of these data, it should be clear that at a minimum, if we are going to mask children to prevent COVID, logically, we must mask them for flu as well. Is that what we want? What are the trade offs?  When it comes to children, their risk of death from suicide (under normal circumstances) is nearly 10-fold higher than their risk of death from COVID. I did not choose this statistic at random—I believe this is a potential trade-off to masks that is not being considered. The sense of isolation and alienation created by masks seems likely to aggravate this much more serious risk. If the risk of suicide were increased by masking and distancing by even 1%, it would need to be offset by a reduction in pediatric COVID deaths by at least 10%. Given the very fragile nature of the children who have died from COVID, that is extremely unlikely. Unfortunately, no concern has been given to the potential downsides of masks by public health officials, especially when it comes to children.

Delta has NOT changed the game. Children are STILL at extremely low risk from hospitalization or death from COVID. 

The same applies for Delta, which while more transmissible, appears to be less deadly, not more, for children. In the UK, where Delta has come and gone, and hospitalization rates for children with delta were nearly 50% lower. Data from the CDC shows that pediatric hospitalizations are at nearly identical levels as last year at this time, and significantly lower than winter peaks. The most recent data from HHS shows just 2 pediatric hospitalizations in Massachusetts—and a winter peak of just 20 out of a population of 1.5 million children in the state.

Children are not Super-Spreaders—Even Unvaccinated

The original rationale for masking kids was that they were super-spreaders—that while they wouldn’t get sick, they might kill grandma. In fact, they are not. This study from the CDC found that each student infected generated an additional 0.77 infections (27 student infections, yielded 21 additional infections clearly related to a student), where each teacher generated an additional 2.6 infections—3.4 times the rate of the children. This is important, because it shows that children are effectively dead ends when it comes to transmission—even unvaccinated. 0.77 is effectively the R0 for children, meaning that they CANNOT be responsible for driving community transmission. A similar—but much larger—study of 400,000 children in Germany found that children generated just 0.25 cases for each infection, where teachers generated 1.1—4-fold more. Interestingly, the children were not masked in this study, except for at the end, when cases rose significantly. Children’s lower transmission rates appear to protect not just them, but those around them. In Florida, where 98% of the school year was offered to students full-time, in-person, and where 20 districts were mask optional for the full year, the case rate for children was 0.088%, per week—i.e. less than 1 child in 1000 contracted COVID/week. For Floridians unassociated with schools, the weekly case rate was 2.4 times that, 0.214% (( 1.66m infections – (these infections))/18.3 M non-teacher-staff, non-student population)/37weeks). To underscore the “protective effect” provided by these kids’ lower transmission rates, teachers and staff in Florida schools contracted COVID at less than half the rate of other Floridians—0.11%/week (13,991 infection/~329K teachers and staff/37 weeks). Furthermore, researchers analyzing Florida, Massachusetts, and New York schools found that there was no association between school mask mandates and case rates either in the school, or the community.

Mask Mandates—especially in schools—do not impact school or community transmission

In the study noted above, the authors state, “We do not see a correlation between mask mandates and COVID-19 rates among students.” A longitudinal study consistently shows no impact of mask mandates on either in-school transmission, or community transmission. In fact, the rate of transmission is routinely higher in both schools and the community in areas where masks are mandated. Other research has shown that more broadly, there is no impact from masking on case transmission rates.

With all of this, the only possible remaining rationale for masking children, is to protect adults who chose not to be vaccinated. Given that vaccines are available to all adults who want them, and that children never saw any increased mortality—including extremely fragile children—this rationale seems specious. Indeed, in Massachusetts, there has been no excess death in any age group under 65 since June of 2020. For any people who may still be at-risk in these older groups, even after widespread vaccine availability, it seems far more prudent to develop measures that allow them to protect themselves (e.g. N-95s or greater), rather to continue to sacrifice the well-being of our children. While there is no excess mortality among children in any state, should there be parents who feel their children are at greater risk, developing tailored mitigation strategies to support those families would be far more prudent—particularly given that mask mandates in schools have no impact on in-school transmission. Universally masking in schools, while very visible and socially invasive, sadly appears to do nothing to protect the vulnerable in those populations.

Finally, as you make your decisions, I hope that you will bear in mind the seasonal nature of this disease—otherwise, I believe you will be pressured to re-mask come fall—should you elect to make masks optional now. Even with extremely widespread vaccination, the seasonal patterns appear to persist (peaks in southern U.S. states were off by only 1 week from last year’s). In Iceland, where 75% of the population—i.e. all of the adult population—is completely vaccinated, the case rate is identical to ours in the U.S.. Again, this is not because the epidemic is being driven by un-vaccinated children—mathematically, it can’t be. This is because the vaccines while very effective at reducing severe illness and death, appear to be far less effective at limiting infection and transmission. Thus, should you choose to make masks a recommendation, rather than a requirement, I hope you will think about what course of action you will take when our inevitable winter case surge arrives. I hope you will elect to keep masks optional at that time, too, given their lack of impact on in-school transmission, and the efficacy of the vaccines in preventing serious disease in the at-risk population.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I realize that this is a very fraught time, and I appreciate how challenging your position is. I hope that hearing as many perspectives as possible will help you in your decision-making process.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

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Posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 39 Comments

Without Freedom There is No Point To Anything

The 6 minute video below features Scottish broadcaster Neil Oliver, who could be my brother from another mother the way he speaks about freedom. Honestly, his words pierced my heart, meeting a deep need I hadn’t known existed.

You see, while I think about freedom a lot and understand its importance to a fulfilled and meaningful life, it can be tricky to define. This makes it difficult to realize it’s gone before it’s too late.

Oliver’s definition is outstanding and he speaks much of how I feel. I’m extremely concerned, as I know many of you are, about the state of liberty in this country. Medical tyrants that we did not elect and have no accountability are making grave decisions that affect the most personal areas of our lives. We seem to be in a moral panic, a permanent state of emergency where eliminating a virus is the ONLY priority at the expense of well, everything else.

All hail to the God of Covid Safety Protocols, for there is nothing that cannot be sacrificed for it.

A few quotes from the Oliver:

For me, it’s always and only about freedom. Without freedom, you don’t have anything.”

Freedom is not negotiable, you’re either free or you’re not”

If your freedom means I might catch Covid from you, then so be it. If my freedom means you might catch Covid from me, then so be it.

Pleas do take a few minutes and give it a watch.

Posted in Coronavirus, Covid vaccines, COVID-19 | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

They Won’t Stop Until We Tell Them To

In light of the CDC’s absolute face plant yesterday in announcing new guidelines for vaccinated folks to mask up and blue state governors threatening Coronavirus restrictions redux over the delta scariant, I thought I’d reblog this post from January. The Brostradamus in the video below was sadly spot on. Do you get it yet?

“The mask is about compliance, next they’re gonna tell you, you have to contact trace, then they’re gonna tell you, you have to take the vaccine and guess what kids, once you take your vaccine, they’re gonna tell you sorry the vaccine isn’t as effective as we thought it was gonna be so now you’re still gonna have to wear your mask, still gotta get contact traced, still have all the restrictions and social distancing and still take the vaccine.  And what did you get out of all of this

I don’t know who this guy is, but he completely nails it in this video clip from last spring on the charade of coronavirus restrictions, the destruction of small businesses and turning life as we know it upside down.

While he infers that the end game here is a master/slave society where us compliant little sheep are ruled by elite technocrats, I just can’t give our current crop of hapless pro lockdown politicians that much credit, at least here in the U.S.  They are just too dumb to be such masterminds of evil.

Don’t get me wrong, many are without a doubt exploiting the pandemic for their own benefit, but I think most of really have no clue what to do as far as combating it so they enact endless and senseless dictates that give the illusion of doing something and then run around with their hair on fire when this has 0 effect, blaming and shaming their citizens for behaving like human beings and doing bizarre things like spending time with other people.

Take pro lockdown Governor extraordinaire, Gavin Newsom, of California where I live.  We have been in some sort of hard shut down since last march, with even outdoor dining banned in most counties and schools, gyms, nail & hair salons still shut down.  Mask mandates too have been in place for several months and yet despite all this California has some of the worst Covid #’s in the country.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is covid-california.jpg

Here’s a little secret that’s not so secret really because deep down everyone knows this.

“They’re isn’t much that can be done to stop the spread of a highly communicable, airborne, respiratory virus.”

Oh you may slow things down a little, maybe, but in the end the virus is gonna do what viruses do, which is infect as many people as possible until herd immunity kicks in, either naturally or in combination with a vaccine. There is nothing a governor, mayor, city council person or even president can do to protect you other than provide truthful stats on transmission methods, death rates and demographics of who it affects most seriously so you can decide on the proper precautions best for yourself and family.

In fact, I would argue the more the government tries to help you, the worse things get and nowhere is this more apparent than with the never ending ill conceived lockdowns and forced distancing policies.

While it’s questionable whether lockdowns have done any sort of good at all towards squelching the virus, we do know the devastating consequences they have brought. Sky rocketing poverty, mental health woes in children, major suicide and addiction issues, and increased in non-Covid related mortality rates to list just a few.

The worst in my view is the societal effects from the constant fear mongering and shaming.  It’s a form of psychological abuse really and has  always been part of politics, but many politicians have taken it to an art form during the pandemic. Combine this with mandated work closures, forced isolation of others, restricted gatherings and the breakdown of interpersonal communications through anti-science mask mandates and this will break society.  In many cases it already has.

As I’ve said in previous posts,“I believe the extended coronavirus lockdowns to be the single biggest public policy mistake made in our lifetime, if not ever, whose negative effects will be with us for years to come and in many ways we haven’t yet realized.”

We have a severe crisis of courage within our political class in that instead of telling us the truth about this virus and leading the way in fearlessly facing it, they cower and hide behind nonsensical mandates and shutdowns, pretending that this will somehow eradicate it.

What will people do when they realize it’s all been for nothing? I was hoping by now that more would have caught on and be willing to just ignore the mandates and get on with life.  Many of us in California are doing just that to the extent we can, but so many others here are crippled by fear, clinging to the restrictions like a life preserver and angrily lashing out at anyone pointing out their gaping holes of logic.

Maybe folks will finally come around after the vaccines are administered and cases still rise and politicians double down on restrictions.  More likely that will usher a mass descent in to madness and chaos as the public realizes the shiny coin of vaccine that was supposed to open the door to normalcy is not the panacea it’s being made out to be.

Look, the virus is a nasty bug, no question but it affects mainly very old and/or very frail people most seriously. For most of us we are looking at mild to moderate symptoms (if any at all) with an overall estimated survival rate is 99.5 percent, according to the CDC,  Yes, there are always outlier cases which are tragic, but this is true of the flu too and the numbers just don’t justify a complete re-ordering of society

The fact of the matter is many of us will get the virus and most will end up just fine.  The best we can do is keep things as normal as possible while directing resources and brainpower towards protecting the vulnerable.   As Donald Henderson, the man credited with eradicating smallpox once said,

“Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of community is least disrupted.”

We must learn to do normal life along with the coronavirus, there is just no other way.  We will get there eventually either with or without a crushed economy and broken society.  I choose the latter.

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We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident…

The Declaration of Independence expresses the ideals necessary to America’s foundation and its separation from Great Britain, “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.”

The money sentence in my opinion is the first one in the 2nd paragraph which states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The phrase self evident of course means obvious, not needing to be demonstrated or explained. In another words the Founders believed it so obvious that governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed that no demonstration or further explanation was necessary.

They then go on to lay out all the ways which justify a people overthrowing their government that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

During the Founders time and for much of America’s history, being skeptical of government power was the norm, as people understood the misery tyranny brings and how important individual liberty was to living a fulfilled and purposeful life.

It’s an understatement to say that today many people not only have no problem with a large, intrusive government, but have very little understanding of what individual liberty means and why it’s so important.

Two posts I read today can help with this. One was Citizen Tom’s, So It Is Independence Day, where he asks,

Why do we need to celibrate such a day? Why do we need to celebrate the beginning of a long, bloody, and arduous war? Don’t we need to remind ourselves of the cost of freedom, of the price that those who went before us paid? Don’t we need to pull our heads out of our day-to-day lives and contemplate what we must do to remain free?

Great questions! Read Tom’s post for the answers.

Another great post comes from insanitybytes22, called Independence Day, where she’s discusses the important differences between independence and inter-dependence. Here’s a teaser:

Where I live in the 9th circuit of hell, which often seems to be a bit like a playground for everyone’s utopian visions, there’s been a push the past few years to change Independence Day to Inter-dependence Day. It’s somewhat amusing, in an area full of rugged individualists, seeking never-ending counter-cultural I-dentities, independence has become a bad word that makes some people uncomfortable. It’s an odd juxtaposition, because the very same freedom and independence that grants people the liberty to pursue their individualism, is being shunned.”

Definitely give this one a full read too, excellent stuff.

For me personally I do think America’s foundational principles are under attack, but this is nothing new, as it’s been this way since the country’s birth. I think the number one threat we face today is from within. Too many people take for granted the freedoms they have and don’t understand at all the importance of individual liberty.

Aside from that, I wish you all a Happy Independence Day with family and friends! For better or worse, we live in an amazing country where the good outweighs the bad.

Stay sane, healthy and free!

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Public Health Jumps the Shark

I’m so very sorry for the 3 minutes of life wasted if you watched this video all the way through. Personally I couldn’t stomach it past 30 seconds, but I posted it because it exemplifies perfectly the absolute clown world we live in, where shallow virtue signaling by pampered celebrities is supposed to mean something significant, while serious issues remain hidden and undiscussed.

It also brings the phrase, jumping the shark to mind. For those unfamiliar with it, this is when gimmicks are used to promote something once very popular that has lost relevance and the gimmicks completely fall flat. Just google “Fonzi” and “shark jump”, you’ll see. It was the beginning of the end for the beloved TV show, Happy Days.

I had thought we were well past this moment for the vaccines after the giveaways of booze, doughnuts, cash and even joints (way to go Washington state!) were offered as incentives to get the jab. This, mind you for protection against a disease whose number one risk factor is obesity. Silly me, I had forgotten that anything Covid related is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes new levels of absurdity.

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Posted in Covid vaccines, COVID-19, fear mongering, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

The Importance of Speaking Out

This is a touching essay by Martin Kulldorff, one of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration from Spiked-Online.com.  The GBD was written as an alternative to the warped and tragically wrong lockdown narrative that had caused governments from around the world to shutter  business, schools and otherwise every day life in order to combat the coronavirus.

Kullfdorf and the other authors felt strongly that the collateral damages from lockdowns were causing immense harms and that the most effective and humane strategy for getting through the pandemic was to focus protection on vulnerable populations, while keeping society open as much as possible for the rest.

Needless to say, the GBD authors, all extremely accomplished in their respective fields of epidemiology, virology and public health, were immediately vilified and anyone referencing them on social media, myself included, were harassed, bullied and shamed for promoting a “let er’ rip” response to the coronavirus that would kill millions. Continue reading

Posted in COVID-19, fear mongering, Free speech, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments