Archives for posts with tag: covid

“To boldly go where no man had gone before!”

None of us had been asked for their ‘informed consent’.
Yet all of us are cramped together on Space-ship Earth towards the place where ‘no man had ever gone before’.

Now that this very suggestive image has been published, what is our voyage going to morph into?

Hell on Earth, as so many apocalyptic movies/novels have advertised?

Or are we going to heed to the present ‘wake-up call’? As we already did so many times before?

We have managed to eradicate, through vaccination, the smallpox. Polio, measles, diphtheria, rabies and so many other diseases are no longer a real danger. For those of us who had been vaccinated or have access to the relevant vaccines.

Yet faced with the current challenge, COVID 19, we have ‘doubts’…

Some of us have doubts about getting the vaccine, others about making the vaccine available to the entire ‘crew’.

What’s going on in that collective brain of ours?

What’s the rationale behind making the polio vaccine available for everybody, practically for free, while that for COVID is still out of reach for most of those who need it? Given our current industrial prowess…
Why is it so hard to understand that given enough time SARS Cov 2 will certainly mutate far enough from the original version to evade the current vaccine?

The fact that the authors above are working the equity angle speaks volumes.
Equity is, indeed, very important.
Only it relates more to ‘metaphysics’ than to the immediate reality.

Equity has to do with the perceived reality while people die in the immediate one.
The perceived reality will end up haunting us, indeed, only we have to survive the current situation in order to get to that stage.

The real problem with the lopsided access to the Covid vaccines being that while we ‘race to secure doses’ the virus has the opportunity to mutate out of our ‘control’.
Our concern with ‘equity’ somehow blinds us to the fact that ‘cutthroat’ is no longer a metaphor.
The longer it takes for us to understand that the entire crew of the space-ship Earth must be immunized the longer it will take for us to get ‘out of the woods’.

Why had our parents been able to eradicate small pox and almost do the same thing to polio?
While we’re still dragging our asses? And not exclusively about COVID… When we have so much information about everything?

What made the anti-vaxxers of those times less powerful than the current ones?

What makes me so sure the erstwhile anti-vaxxers had been less powerful?
Small pox had been eradicated, right?
I had measles. Before the vaccine had been made available. Never heard about anybody having measles until very recently.

A weakness in herd immunity contributed to the recent measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York. The level of vaccination in that community was down to about 70 to 80 percent, well below the critical level of herd immunity, which was due to the spread of misinformation about the safety of the MMR vaccine among other causes. A child who had visited relatives abroad brought measles back into his neighborhood in Brooklyn, causing one of the worst measles outbreaks that New York City has seen in decades. A total of 654 individuals were infected, causing the city to issue a mandatory vaccination in people living in the four Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Let me wrap up with this.

Whoa!
What’s going on here?
Israel, the country, had made a huge effort to save its people from the misery caused by Covid!
Why would the Ultra-Orthodox community need any extra-effort to let itself be immunized?

Why was Israel’s manner of thinking closer to that of our fathers’ than to ours?
What makes us so similar, in this respect, to the Ultra-Orthodox?

Well, our fathers had to fight for their rights. And Israel for its place on the map.
We, and the Ultra-Orthodox, had our rights granted to us.

Our fathers had to cooperate among themselves in order to get through.
Israel had survived, and thrived, as the consequence of a coordinated effort.

We are cocooned in our bubbles.
We have become spoiled brats. One way or another.

We really need to start thinking outside our respective comfort zones.

For no other reason that mutinies tend to make matters worse.
It so happened that during the last 80 years no major conflict had disturbed the peace on our ship.
No thanks to us. We haven’t done anything special. Being aware that a conflict between the major powers would have ended in MAD doesn’t count as ‘doing anything special’.
During the last two generations we sorta lost our bearings.

Hopefully we’ll wake up to the fact that the next disturbance will no longer be a ‘top down’ event.
Think about it. Ever since the French Revolution – the last bottoms up upheaval, all other ‘disturbances’ had been the consequence of somebody planning for them. Initiating them.

30 years ago, the socialist lager had crumbled. Under its own weight.
Nobody had planned that event. Nobody had planned for that event!
The democratic world had been stunned by the speed with which things had unfolded.

The socialist lager had crumbled for the simple reason that the people living there had become pissed of.
Pissed of by the growing distance which separated them from those living in the ‘capitalist’ world.

Some of that distance has survived to this day. But it’s shrinking! Fast!

Unlike the distance between the ‘civilized’ world and the ‘developing nations’.

This ‘cutthroat race (among nations) to secure doses’ while so many ‘civilized’ people share-antivaxxer propaganda only adds insult to the injury felt by those who don’t have access to vaccines.
And demonstrates how far off we have distanced ourselves from the ‘hard core’ reality.

The native speakers among you don’t need to be reminded of what ‘bounty’ means.
How ironic is it?
People manning ‘the Bounty’ had had enough and chosen mutiny in place of a continuation of what they already had.
Captain Bligh, on the other hand, had learned nothing of his first experience… “Bligh, who eventually would fall prey to a total of three mutinies in his career, was an oppressive commander and insulted those under him.”

Are we going to make anything of our present predicament?

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As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
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If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
Your contribution will be appreciated!

As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
And to provide for my family.
Earning money takes time.
If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
Your contribution will be appreciated!

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Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Get a vaccine, wear a mask…

“You can’t deprive others of their liberty without forfeiting your own. Liberty is lost with every person seeking to control others for their comfort and sentiment.”

Getting a vaccine and wearing a mask are sensible things to do, right?

Establishing a free environment, where all individuals might enjoy their liberties, is also a sensible thing!

For the simple reason that even a casual examination of history provides ample proof that freer societies fare far better than those which curtail individual freedoms.

Simpler said than done…
Mention the mandatory mask and the imperative advice to get vaccinated to those passionate about individual liberty and you have a hornets’ nest on your hands.

Or maybe this is an excellent occasion to discuss the ‘gap’ we constantly need to bridge between individual freedoms and a free society?

Can you have a free society composed of slaves?

The answer depends on who gives it to you.
I’d spent the first 30 years of my life under communist rule.
My country, Romania, was declared, by those who were ruling it at that time, as being free. Both domestically and internationally.
The only free individual was the ruler. Nicolae Ceausescu. He was the only guy who could do as he pleased. And only for a while… Until 25 December 1989…
In the end, the regime had crumbled and the only ‘free’ individual had met with the consequences of how he had chosen to use his freedom.

So no, you cannot have a free society when one individual, or a group of individuals, impose their will on everybody else.

‘Your liberty to swing your fist ends where my nose begins’

Otherwise put, if you refuse to get vaccinated/wear a mask you might be instrumental in getting me sick. Or dead.

‘Might’! It’s the ‘might’ part which troubles you!
Why should you shoulder a minimal risk/discomfort for my safety? Specially when you’re not convinced that my safety is in danger… Or, maybe, you’re thinking ‘let him take whatever precautionary measures he considers to be necessary!’

Because of India, that’s why!

Do you consider present day India to be a free society?
Do you consider that people currently living in India are truly enjoying their freedom? Today?!?

And no, I’m not going to contrast what’s going on in India with what the Chinese government had done.
First pretend nothing had happened then lock up the entire population.

No!
I’m going to contrast what’s going on in India with how the ‘other’ China had reacted to the Covid pandemic. Or with the South Korean response.

Different economic realities… Different cultures…
Maybe!
But also different levels of economic and social disruption!

Don’t tell me that what’s going on in today’s India won’t have repercussions!

A good place to start understanding what Covid had done to us is the cemetery.

A man had died. A good man had died.
Of old age. Covid had nothing to do with it.

But his beloved wife, and one of his daughters, could not attend his funeral service. They had tested positive while he was in hospital.

On the other hand…
On my way home, I stopped by to see an old friend. He lives alone and has a rather frail health. No relatives and, due to his relativelly old age, only a couple of able-bodied friends.
It’s a good thing that we have phones. If I’ll ever be quarantined simultaneously with his other friend, he’ll depend exclusivelly on delivery services….

Cei care numesc masca, botnita, sunt aceiasi oameni care daca maine s-ar da lege ca este obligatoriu sa circuli incaltat pe strada, ar incepe sa circule desculti ca “labutzele lor trebuie sa respire si nu li se incalca lor drepturile fundamentale”.
Normal ca considerati masca botnita daca sunteti niste javre.

E o problemă imensă cu spunerea asta.
Pe de o parte este extrem de exactă iar pe cealaltă este cât se poate de contraproductivă.

Propaganda anti ‘botniță’ are ca scop divizarea societatii.
Îngreunarea procesului de regrupare a forțelor și de reconectare între diversele segmente sociale. Proces esențial pentru depășirea crizelor. Inclusiv pentru depașirea crizei Covid.

Cei care stau în spatele genului ăsta de propagandă înțeleg Covidul ca pe o oportunitate. Ca pe un prilej pentru a-și pune planurile în aplicare.
În situația asta, orice raspuns în stil ‘pamfletar’ – oricât de haios ar fi el, le cântă-n strună.

Cei care, din diverse motive, au căzut în plasa propagandiștilor se simt jigniți. Devin opaci la orice argumente. Și încep să-i urască pe cei care poartă masca.
‘Mascații’, la rîndul lor, după ce iau contact cu genul asta de mesaje, se simt îndrituiți să le disprețuiască pe ‘javre’.
În loc să-încerce să-i convinga!

Iar propagandiștii se distrează văzând cum dezbinarea se întinde precum pecinginea. Precum un virus.
Precum un virus pandemic….

A new pandemic is gripping us.
By our egos!
One which is a hell of a lot more dangerous than Covid….

In fact, narrow mindedness is a disease which occurs naturally. It probably affects some 10 percent of the population in ‘normal’ times.
When things are no longer normal – and people become nervous because uncertainty does all kind of ‘funny’ things to our minds, narrow mindedness becomes an opportunity.
A golden opportunity for those who ‘professionally’ fish in troubled waters.

“The Petersons weren’t wearing pro-police T-shirts,” notes Churchill. “They weren’t carrying a banner, holding a sign or waving a black-and-blue flag. They appear to just be listening. But merely listening to an opinion that some Skidmore students find objectionable is apparently enough to get a professor in hot water.”
Professor Greg Patton at the University of Southern California (USC) was telling students in a communications lecture last month about filler, or pause words, such as ‘err’, ‘umm’ or ‘you know’ in English.
Footage of his lecture, which has now gone viral, shows Prof Patton saying: “In China, the common pause word is ‘that, that, that’. So in China, it might be na-ge, na-ge, na-ge.”
Enunciated, na-ge sounds like the N-word, which led several of the professor’s students to complain to the university. Responding to the complaint, the dean of the university, Geoffrey Garrett, told students that Prof Patton would no longer be teaching the course.
“It is simply unacceptable for the faculty to use words in class that can marginalize, hurt and harm the psychological safety of our students,” he said.

Indiferent de motivul pentru care ai făcut pactul cu diavolul, la un moment dat realitatea te va pune într-o situație fără ieșire.

Iar cel mai nasol este atunci când diavolul însuși este acela care se ‘răzgândește’. Și te lasă, efectiv, în curul gol.

Aseară, Senatul României a votat, aproape în unanimitate, legea care stabilește condițiile pentru carantină și izolare pe caz de pandemie. Lege tergiversată, din ‘varii’ motive, de o ‘anumită’ parte a spectrului politic. Tergiversare sprijinită, din punct de vedere mediatic, de o ‘anumită parte a presei.’

Nu m-am mai uitat de mult la Antena 3. Nici la Gâdea. L-am admirat pe vremea când era singurul care îi ținea piept lui Băsescu și m-a pierdut atunci când a început să ‘lingă’ unde-i spunea succesorul acestuia.

Aseară, după ce PSD a fost nevoit sa-și calce pe suflet și să voteze o lege extrem de necesară, Gâdea l-a avut ca invitat pe Arafat.
Același Arafat care nu s-a plecat, nici el, în fața lui Băsescu. Care și-a păstrat verticalitatea indiferent de cine a fost la putere. Care nu este infailibil – cine dintre noi ar putea avea această pretenție?!?, dar care greșește – atunci când o face, pe mâna lui…

Arafat n-a spus nimic nou… nici n-ar fi avut cum…
Dar ce față avea Gâdea!
Ce-o fi fost în sufletul lui…

Dar ce mă interesează pe mine de fața, sau de sufletul, lui?!?
Pe mine mă intersesează oile rătăcite de minciunile ‘gâzilor’ care răstălmăcesc realitatea în direct și la ore de maximă audiență!

Oi care aduc virusul până în intimitatea vieții mele!

Dâmbovița e tot mai aproape să devină o zonă roșie în România, după ce numărul de cazuri COVID din județ s-a dublat în ultimele două săptămâni și a ajuns la peste 1.000. Spitalul Județean din Târgoviște, unde sunt tratați pacienții COVID, e aproape plin. Din cauza exploziei de cazuri, autoritățile au transformat încă un spital din județ în unitate suport.
Cu toate acestea, pacienți care nu primesc verdictul „vindecat” profită de vidul legislativ și continuă să plece acasă din spitalele din județ, pe propria răspundere. Nu fără consecințe. Deja cel puțin 6 dintre ei și-au infectat rudele apropiate. 26 dintre cazurile nou apărute în ultimele zile în Dâmbovița sunt din noile focare de familie.