Friday Reads: The War on Vaccines and Masks (i.e Health)

“JAN 14 1956, JAN 15 1956; Nurse Cuca Martinez (Left) does her best to soothe Elizabeth Tarrant, 7, of 881 S. Umatilla St., Dr. Rosalind Ting (right) readies the needle for child’s first polio injection. Elizabeth received her inoculation at the last free public clinic of the current series. Which was stopped because of a shortage of Salk vaccine.; Credit : Denver Post (Photo By Cloyd Teter/The Denver Post via Getty Images) – . GettyGetty”

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

I’ve spent the early morning basically hearing one colleague after another at LSU beg their President and Board to take this 4th surge of Covid-19 seriously.  They were interrupted because the Board just had to listen to a sportscaster. They are not going to test students, staff, and faculty. They are not even taking the State’s order of indoor masking seriously.  We’ve done all of this before and politics and idiots are making things unsafe.

I remember getting in the station wagon, Daddy drove us to the gymnasium of Herbert Hoover Elementary school where everyone from my toddler sister and kindergartner me waved and smiled at all our friends and neighbors and got shots. I had the measles, the chickenpox, and enough of those diseases that Me–the mother–took both my kids to get what vaccines were available.  While Dr. Daughter had about as bad of chickenpox experience as I did, Baby daughter got into the trials for the chickenpox vaccine and had exactly one of the crusty little things show up near the injection site and no misery.  I had a wallet-sized record of vaccines that I had to show whenever I went to a new school or university.  No big deal. I’m pretty sure that was a nearly universal experience. Anyone who lived through any pandemic or massively deadly outbreak of something just did what they should do.  Roll up your sleeve and be thankful you’re not going to be the next person sick.

WTF has happened?

I’m watching this thread of Robert Mann who has basically said that he’s resigned himself to getting covid-19 even though he’s vaccinated because there will be massive numbers of unmasked, unvaccinated people on campus all crammed into rooms with inadequate ventilation.  The only ones the President and the board seem concerned about are the damn football players.

“Children receiving diphtheria immunization, New York City, 1920s
Metropolitan Life Insurance company promoted diphtheria immunization in New York in the 1920s. The children lined to up receive what at that time would have been toxin-antitoxin mixture from school nurses.”

UNO–no longer part of the LSU system but the LU system–still plans to open up too. I’m not teaching there this fall and frankly, I see that as a good thing for me. I can’t believe that everything will not be shut down again by September because of deliberately stupid people’s politics.  Meanwhile, the private sector is stepping up.

Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:  CNN fires three employees who went into the office unvaccinated.

Alison Sider / Wall Street Journal: United Airlines to Require All U.S. Employees to Get Covid-19 Vaccines

Jake Harris / WFAA-TV: Back to School: Here’s what to know about vaccination requirements

Christa Emmer / Our Community Now:  Disney to Reinstate Mask Requirements at US Parks

Meanwhile, President Biden is getting more creative about ways to get the country vaccinated. This is from WaPo: Biden administration considers withholding funds and other measures to spur vaccinations.”

The Biden administration is considering using federal regulatory powers and the threat of withholding federal funds from institutions to push more Americans to get vaccinated — a huge potential shift in the fight against the virus and a far more muscular approach to getting shots into arms, according to four people familiar with the deliberations.

The effort could apply to institutions as varied as long-term-care facilities, cruise ships and universities, potentially impacting millions of Americans, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations.

The conversations are in the early phases and no firm decisions have been made, the people said. One outside lawyer in touch with the Biden administration on the issue is recommending that the president use federal powers sparingly.
There is a particular focus in the discussions on whether restrictions on Medicare dollars or other federal funds could be used to persuade nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities to require employees to be vaccinated, according to one of the people familiar with the talks.

If the Biden administration goes forward with the plans, it would amount to a dramatic escalation in the effort to vaccinate the roughly 90 million Americans who are eligible for shots but who have refused or have been unable to get them.

The discussion at the highest level of government also signals a new phase of potential federal intervention as the White House struggles to control the delta variant of the virus, which is spreading more rapidly than even some of the more dire models predicted.

Elvis Presley receives a polio vaccination from doctors at the CBS studios, New York, in 1956. Photograph: Seymour Wally/NY Daily News via Getty Images

Headlines on the Delta surge from Republicans are beyond ridiculous including DeSantos blaming the Delta surge on Biden and refugees at the Southern  Border while totally ignoring his mismanagement of Florida’s Public Health. This is from the Miami Herald: “Incredibly, DeSantis blames Florida COVID surge on Biden, immigrants. Scapegoat much?”  This is an Op Ed by Fabiola Santiago.

Florida Gov. Ron

DeSantis has failed to protect Floridians from COVID-19.

That fact alone is grounds for condemnation, but this week he’s throwing into the mix a little xenophobia for political effect.

Instead of supporting common-sense, expert-guided public health measures to deal with highly transmissible variants in Florida, the governor bet on GOP-branded rhetorical rubbish about “freedom of choice” on life-saving masks and vaccines.

And we lost.

Florida continues to lead the nation in COVID cases and hospitalizations, breaking most of the coronavirus statistical records that chronicle the sickness and suffering residents were, and still are, enduring. It doesn’t get any more gut-wrenching and infuriating than to see cases of children infected with the deadly delta variant soaring in Florida hospitals, more so than in any other state.

These lying bags of conspiracy shit are killing people.  It’s insane because it’s mostly their voters that listen to the nonsense but it drags innocent people along for the ride to the cemetery.  Los Angeles is looking for ways to mandate vaccines.

Here’s our crazy republican Attorney General shaming the Bishop of Layfette Diocese’s Catholic Churches

Texas and Louisiana are now facing the Lambda variant and it’s uglier than the Delta,

On April 18, 1955, 8-year-old Ann Hill of Tallahassee, Fla., received one of the first Salk polio vaccine shots.

I’m beginning to feel like we’re a group of Cassandras here.

The new COVID Lambda variant has been detected in Louisiana, doctors told WBRZ Thursday.

It was first reported in the U.S. in Houston and health care officials believe since Texas and Louisiana share a border, the virus variant was easily spread.

“I do know that with the proximity with Texas, there have been a few cases detected in North Louisiana with the Lamda variant.  But we don’t know whether this is going to be a more aggressive or less aggressive virus,” Dr. Aldo Russo, the medical director at Ochsner said.

Dr. Russo said the Lambda variant has not been detected in the capital region yet, but health care professionals are testing for it.

“We are monitoring this very closely. Our teams are sequencing the different variants,” Dr. Russo said.

The Lambda variant was first reported in Peru in December and has become the dominant strain of the virus there.  It’s concerning for the country because the vaccine used in Peru is not effective against this new variant.

“They have stated that there may be some resistance to the vaccine, but that it was a different vaccine that they were using. They were using the Chinese vaccine,” Dr. Russo said.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was down in July with big gains in employment for Black and Latinx workers. This is via the AP. The entire economy rests on getting through this Delta variant.  Maybe that’s why Employers are getting a lot more serious about testing and vaccines than Republican stooges.

 U.S employers added 943,000 jobs in July and drove the unemployment rate down to 5.4% in another sign the economy is bouncing back with surprising vigor from COVID-19. But there is growing fear the fast-spreading delta variant will set back the recovery.

The worry is that the resurgent virus could discourage people from going out and spending and trigger another round of shutdowns or other restrictions.

“That is a definite downside risk,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. “The risk is from a more cautious consumer, if they don’t want to engage in outside activities. … You’re also hearing about big companies that are delaying a return to work. That might be something that slows things down.’’

The Labor Department collected its data for the report in mid-July before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week reversed course and recommended that even vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in places where the variant is pushing infections up.

Still, the July numbers looked good. They exceeded economists’ forecast of more than 860,000 new jobs. Encouraged by their prospects, 261,000 Americans returned to the job market in July. And the unemployment rate fell from 5.9% in June.

I think most people prefer mitigation and vaccinated neighbors and workers to another potential shutdown. However, I’m staying put here in Lousyana where our Republican Stooges like everyone miserable but themselves.  Here’s so more on the struggle to get folks vaccinated.

Peter Slevin / New YorkerThe Struggle to Vaccinate Springfield, Missouri

Heather Long / Washington Post:‘We’re back to panicking’: Moms are hit hardest with camps, day cares and schools closing again

Nicole Carroll / USA TodayThe Backstory: My brother is one of millions who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.  I asked why.  Here are his reasons, my responses.

So, have you made any lifestyle changes yet?  More open or back to staying mostly home?

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

35 Comments on “Friday Reads: The War on Vaccines and Masks (i.e Health)”

  1. I’m fully vaccinated & I’m back to wearing a mask in public & staying mostly home.

    • dakinikat says:

      Yeah. That’s where I am at too. I don’t think I’m getting to Seattle to see my grandbabies any time soon.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Ditto here.

      As for DeSantis – does it matter where the latest surge came from? Besides being a lying POS he’s about as unhelpful as it gets.

  2. quixote says:

    The only good news about the lambda variant: it appears to be slightly *less* transmissable than delta. So it’s still delta that’s the benchmark for how many precautions to take. (All of them 😦 .)

  3. bostonboomer says:

    That USA Today article made me want to scream.

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. dakinikat says:

    HISD Superintendent Will Propose Houston Schools Mask Mandate
    If approved, HISD would likely be the first school district in the state to violate Gov. Greg Abbott’s mask mandate ban, and set up a potential confrontation between the state and the new Houston superintendent.

  7. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      • djmm says:

        Sad thing is, the social distance rules that worked (mostly) for the original “wild” strain will not necessarily work for Delta, which is much more infectious. Staying 6 feet apart might still help, but it seems to take less of Delta for infections, so limit the exposure time as well, even with masks.

        Please get N95 or better mask and add a second surgical mask on top. A pair of glasses, goggles or face shield would also help reduce your risk. Chinese studies found people with glasses were less likely to be infected with the original Covid.

        Fingers crossed for a new delta-epsilon-lambda booster. (The MRNA technology would make one fairly easy to do.) Mask up when with others and, if possible, mostly stay home. That’s the new normal until this disease is under control. Best wishes to all!

  8. darthvelma says:

    • dakinikat says:

      Wow … that surprises me. I would think a larger number of people wouldn’t want to identify with the conquering armies of Spain.

      • NW Luna says:

        They want even less to be called something-X. That spelling did not come from Hispanics themselves.

      • quixote says:

        Puzzled, genuinely, not trying to be snarky. How does not wanting the X have anything to do with Spain? If they objected to Latin*, I could see that being anti-Spanish. But in what way does the X have anything to do with it?

        I grew up speaking Russian, which is also a language with gendered nouns. It seems to be hard for English speakers to understand how bizarre it sounds to gendered-language speakers when it’s messed up. Maybe an analogy would be if a foreigner decided English handled plurals badly and made all nouns singular. It would just sound weird and it would interfere with understanding, because your brain has to do this unpleasant little tap dance of “wait, what, oh, they mean plural, but why use singular then?, oh, they’re trying to make a point” etc etc.

        • dakinikat says:

          Hispania is the Spanish conquering reference. Latin is a Roman thing. Plus, poor Indigenous Brazil was invaded by the Portuguese. I’d stay away from any label that basically indicates who colonized and killed off the indigenous.

          • quixote says:

            Oh, okay, I see the connection of ideas. I’m guessing, though, that in this context, “Latin” is used as in “Latin language group.” So no reference to Rome, but a synonym for hispanic. So much of language is rooted in patriarchal, bigoted thinking it’s really hard to root it out. All you can do is your best, like you’re doing!

          • NW Luna says:

            Unfortunately nearly every part of the globe has a history of a group moving in and conquering or displacing the prior group. Probably started back with Homo sapiens sapiens moving into the territory of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

            Yeah, I realize the H. s. s. and H. s. n. names aren’t accepted by all paleoanthropologists, but with what’s coming out in recent findings on Neandertals it seems appropriate.

        • NW Luna says:

          Also they didn’t have the choice of another descriptor, only those 3 options.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    • djmm says:

      This is one of the most serious charges against Gov. Cuomo. If true, it is appalling and could be criminal. However, we should look at all the facts before he is condemned. Her story (EA 1) does not seem to match with the documentary evidence and provable events of the day she said she was attacked. It does not appear that the people doing the “independent” report even looked for such evidence. That raises red flags for me.

      I’ll wait until all the evidence is in.

      • quixote says:

        I still want to know why all these sudden defenders of women’s honor (yes, I’m annoyed) didn’t make more noise about the Rapist-in-Chief all those years? (Looking at you, NYT editorial page.)

        And who will Cuomo be replaced with? If there’s even a chance it’s some Repub who will shut down the NY criminal investigations of the Dump, I think we know why this blew up now.

        Women are just political fodder for these assholes.

  10. bostonboomer says:

  11. NW Luna says:

  12. dakinikat says: