Covid: the shape of things to come

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daveb

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And on another tangent - requiring all persons in the healthcare industry to be vaccinated will mean losing the 40% or so of healthcare professionals that have elected not to get the jab. In the buildings I've managed it's well over 50% of the dietary workforce that have chosen not to jab. Where da phuck are their replacements going to come from? Staffing is already at a crisis point - the latest feel good initiative will shut down healthcare in the states as we know it.
There certainly is a movement in this country to villainize people who have not gotten vaxed - for whatever reason. Deny employment, attendance, participation, etc simply to drive the vax numbers up is not only folly but will have unintended but predictable consequences.
Here comes stupid:

Now that is a bluff in ANY country around the world...let's assume that even a mere 15 percent of nurses ultimately need to be replaces it is impossible due to a long existent shortage of nurses....
Politicians don't have to bluff, they can do stupid without consequence because there is no accountability.

For the day job I manage dietary services for healthcare facilities. In my current facility, 1 of 9 of my staff is vaxed. I was asked to assess nearby facilities (same company) and that 10(ish) percent is typical. Housekeeping staff is about same. Nursing and direct care has been and remains at about 40%

These are a good percentage of the people who have fed, cleaned up after and cared for the Covid patients over the last year and a half. There is no magic want that can be waived to replace these people and except for the "feel good" of doing something it won't accomplish anything (Except of course turning healthcare into more of a CF than it is now).

And when these likely unconstitutional decrees are thrown out of court, where does the shitshow go next?
 

tcmx3

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You're missing my point. I agree with you that people who refuse the vaccine are making the world a worse place for entirely selfish reasons. My point is that so are you. If you actually cared about increasing vaccine uptake, you wouldn't loudly proclaim your judgment on a public forum. Go ahead and vent all you want in private among others who you're certain share your sentiments. But public shaming will only solidify resistance among any unvaccinated lurkers who might be reading this. You are playing a small part in prolonging this pandemic by selfishly indulging in a puritanical desire to shame bad actors publicly. I share your anger with their behavior, but your method is entirely counter-productive if the goal is to get more people vaccinated.
blah blah blah.

heard this a million times about dealing with transphobes, homophobes, racists, etc.

your premise that being mean to anti-vaxxers is driving their anti-vaxx behavior is just obviously wrong.

what will cause vaccine uptake is when their kids die. not when I politely ask them to stop being bad actors.

anyway done with this line of conversation. I can only tolerate so much wrongness in the same vein. not only will I be continuing to state the truth about such people here, I will do so everywhere.
 
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gregfisk

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It’s hard to imagine that there are people who believe that they are NOT being selfish when they won’t get vaccinated. The information that is available makes it extremely clear that vaccines are safe and that they save lives. People who won’t get vaccinated are putting themselves and every other person they come in contact with at risk of dying. That is all I have and need to say.
 

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If you believe the reason people refuse vaccines is because they're stupid or selfish, then you're just as small minded and tribalistic as they are.
True, I think it is likely unproductive to call people 'stupid'. But using the term 'selfish' is legitimate for a certain class of individuals.

Extreme libertarians who choose not to take the vaccine, simply as a revolt against public 'authority', are close to the textbook definition of selfish. This is particularly true if they claim to acknowledge the science. Given that public health orders and vaccines are designed to stymie community spread, they are designed to protect the collective, not necessarily the individual. If person holds the position that their right to 'choose' is more important than public health and vociferously (or quietly) decide not to participate as some form of misguided protest... they are being selfish. I don't really see how you can argue otherwise?

I am not going to argue about libertarianism as a philosophy.... however, in certain situations it does strike me as hypocrisy if libertarians balk at being called selfish...
 

ian

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And on another tangent - requiring all persons in the healthcare industry to be vaccinated will mean losing the 40% or so of healthcare professionals that have elected not to get the jab. In the buildings I've managed it's well over 50% of the dietary workforce that have chosen not to jab.
Fwiw, this article indicates that in healthcare it's now 27% unvaxed and 15% opposed to getting a shot. I imagine the number of people that would rather quit their job than get a shot is significantly lower than 15%.

If I understand correctly, though, your point is that some industries can't afford even the small workforce reduction that would come with a vaccine mandate. Fair enough. Maybe for people in those industries, for the time being we have to rely on leisure-restricting inducements and hope for the eventual broader acceptance of vaccines.

It's definitely important not to demonize people if you want to convince them of something, and I totally agree that sometimes the rhetoric here goes in that direction. But I don't think that in general, denying employment, attendance and participation is demonization. It's a public safety measure. Most places seem to be also letting you in to leisure events with an antibody test or a PCR test, which also seems like a good idea. If that's allowed in lieu of vaccination, it seems even harder to call it demonization. And as has been said many times, it's crazy how the covid vaccines are so politicized but noone seems to care that they're required to get the MMR vaccine. (Although it seems like a couple politicians just realized they were being hypocritical and started campaigning against all vaccines. 🤦‍♂️)
 

spaceconvoy

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your premise that being mean to anti-vaxxers is driving their anti-vaxx behavior is just obviously wrong.
You're misrepresenting me - not driving, but bolstering. What evidence do you have of this 'obvious wrongness'? It is not my premise, but clearly what the science says if you listen to anyone with expertise in public health and/or sociology.

what will cause vaccine uptake is when their kids die. not when I politely ask them to stop being bad actors.
Yes, you're somewhat right about this. They will change their behavior when they see consequences in their own communities. They also respond to messages delivered by people whom they trust. They will only respond negatively to self-righteous shame-dispensing strangers, no matter how correct the message is. Have you perhaps not interacted with many other humans? This is pretty basic, and hard to understand how you consider this a false premise.

Also, you're mistakenly assuming that I'm asking you to be nice to them. Not at all. I'm saying that as an anonymous internet poster you're completely unhelpful no matter what your message is. Positive messages will be simply ignored because you hold no status in their communities. But negative messages are actively harmful and increase resistance. You seem to believe you have an important role to play here, but have you considered that you're simply powerless to make any positive impact in this situation?

not only will I be continuing to state the truth about such people here, I will do so everywhere.
Soldier on culture warrior! Keep making the world a worse place while wildly overestimating your ability to affect the behavior of strangers on the internet (yes I'm aware of the irony). Keep on fighting because it feels good, whatever the results might be. You're obviously right, and that's what's most important here.
 

Luftmensch

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Good job culture warriors for making the pandemic worse.
You are playing a small part in prolonging this pandemic by selfishly indulging in a puritanical desire to shame bad actors publicly.
I agree that forcing people into polarised positions is not productive... It is a bad way to conduct good-faith public discourse. This is particularly true for public figures.

But come now.... claiming that "culture warriors" are in some way similar to anti-vaccine, anti public health order people is a looooooong bow.

Anti-vaccine, anti public health order people have a material effect on keeping R0 values from decreasing as quickly as they could. "Culture warriors" may have some effect on R0 values by polarising people... but it has got to be negligible values.


Just to be clear, I agree with you about trying to keep a level head... but lets not use the wrong reasons for doing so...
 

spaceconvoy

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"Culture warriors" may have some effect on R0 values by polarising people... but it has got to be negligible values.
I agree it's likely a small effect, but greater than zero. Yes one random person on a niche message board is negligible, but I don't think the collectively-built atmosphere of shame and polarization is negligible at all. It's not a stretch to equate anti-vax people with their antagonists if you understand how emotionally-charged opposition only fuels resistance. It's lower-order primate behavior with fancier vocabulary.
 

Luftmensch

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I agree it's likely a small effect, but greater than zero.
😂

For sure. It is not a logical impossibility. N is most definitely >= 1.

It's not a stretch to equate anti-vax people with their antagonists if you understand how emotionally-charged opposition only fuels resistance.
I understand the similarities you are using to draw this argument. I think both sides do an awfully good job at baiting and yelling at the other... Both sides are certainly equally culpable of creating tribal conditions. Beyond that equivalence, I would still say it is an imbalanced argument.

Epidemiologists and mathematicians don't include tribalism as a factor in modelling the pandemic. It may appear as a footnote... but the fact that it doesn't appear as an explanatory variable should tell you something. At best it is of second-order importance - and I am sure even that is a big stretch.

Don't get me wrong. Again, everybody should try take the high road. But one group directly impacts public health through their actions. The other group may have an impact on the way a small group of people think. These are two very different propositions.

I guess it is also worth pointing out we are far better at self radicalising than being influenced by others. True; tribalism likely makes everybody more stubborn. I would agree with that.... but I find it difficult to believe there is a significant population of people who have been polarised into one camp or another through bad faith arguments from the 'opposition'. Where these people exist, I suspect the main cause for choosing a 'side' is really due to underlying, pre-existing personal biases and cultural context. Put another way, given enough time, most people within this group were probably going to join their chosen 'side' anyway. Beyond this minority, most people indulge in their own bubbles.... I have no shame in saying that I do.
 

Keith Sinclair

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blah blah blah.

heard this a million times about dealing with transphobes, homophobes, racists, etc.

your premise that being mean to anti-vaxxers is driving their anti-vaxx behavior is just obviously wrong.

what will cause vaccine uptake is when their kids die. not when I politely ask them to stop being bad actors.

anyway done with this line of conversation. I can only tolerate so much wrongness in the same vein. not only will I be continuing to state the truth about such people here, I will do so everywhere.
Bro think you better read this book if you want to get point across.

IMG_20210923_190005176.jpg

😁
 

spaceconvoy

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😂

For sure. It is not a logical impossibility. N is most definitely >= 1.



I understand the similarities you are using to draw this argument. I think both sides do an awfully good job at baiting and yelling at the other... Both sides are certainly equally culpable of creating tribal conditions. Beyond that equivalence, I would still say it is an imbalanced argument.

Epidemiologists and mathematicians don't include tribalism as a factor in modelling the pandemic. It may appear as a footnote... but the fact that it doesn't appear as an explanatory variable should tell you something. At best it is of second-order importance - and I am sure even that is a big stretch.

Don't get me wrong. Again, everybody should try take the high road. But one group directly impacts public health through their actions. The other group may have an impact on the way a small group of people think. These are two very different propositions.

I guess it is also worth pointing out we are far better at self radicalising than being influenced by others. True; tribalism likely makes everybody more stubborn. I would agree with that.... but I find it difficult to believe there is a significant population of people who have been polarised into one camp or another through bad faith arguments from the 'opposition'. Where these people exist, I suspect the main cause for choosing a 'side' is really due to underlying, pre-existing personal biases and cultural context. Put another way, given enough time, most people within this group were probably going to join their chosen 'side' anyway. Beyond this minority, most people indulge in their own bubbles.... I have no shame in saying that I do.
I think you're wrong to assume that because scientists haven't measured something it's probably not an important factor. One of the blind spots in many areas of science is the tendency to study what is easily quantifiable, for purely practical reasons. Measuring political polarization is far more difficult than measuring mask usage, not to mention beyond of the training of most epidemiologists. This is compounded by the inaccessibility of this data - we know facebook has revoked access to other data for researchers who have been critical of them. Can we be sure that anyone is able to see the full picture?Another factor here is the newness of the situation: we have never before had a global pandemic in the age of social media. Much of the analysis is still to come.

You might be right, but I suspect not, for the very big and glaring reason that vaccine hesitancy is astoundingly high today. There are a number of reasons why this could be, and researchers will continue to argue about them for years to come. But to dismiss social media polarization as a negligible factor just because it hasn't been quantified yet seems presumptuous to me. I'll concede I may be blowing it out of proportion, but it is one huge difference between this and previous pandemics, and I find it hard to believe it's not a significant factor.
 

ian

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😂

For sure. It is not a logical impossibility. N is most definitely >= 1.



I understand the similarities you are using to draw this argument. I think both sides do an awfully good job at baiting and yelling at the other... Both sides are certainly equally culpable of creating tribal conditions. Beyond that equivalence, I would still say it is an imbalanced argument.

Epidemiologists and mathematicians don't include tribalism as a factor in modelling the pandemic. It may appear as a footnote... but the fact that it doesn't appear as an explanatory variable should tell you something. At best it is of second-order importance - and I am sure even that is a big stretch.

Don't get me wrong. Again, everybody should try take the high road. But one group directly impacts public health through their actions. The other group may have an impact on the way a small group of people think. These are two very different propositions.

I guess it is also worth pointing out we are far better at self radicalising than being influenced by others. True; tribalism likely makes everybody more stubborn. I would agree with that.... but I find it difficult to believe there is a significant population of people who have been polarised into one camp or another through bad faith arguments from the 'opposition'. Where these people exist, I suspect the main cause for choosing a 'side' is really due to underlying, pre-existing personal biases and cultural context. Put another way, given enough time, most people within this group were probably going to join their chosen 'side' anyway. Beyond this minority, most people indulge in their own bubbles.... I have no shame in saying that I do.
I think you're wrong to assume that because scientists haven't measured something it's probably not an important factor. One of the blind spots in many areas of science is the tendency to study what is easily quantifiable, for purely practical reasons. Measuring political polarization is far more difficult than measuring mask usage, not to mention beyond of the training of most epidemiologists. This is compounded by the inaccessibility of this data - we know facebook has revoked access to other data for researchers who have been critical of them. Can we be sure that anyone is able to see the full picture?Another factor here is the newness of the situation: we have never before had a global pandemic in the age of social media. Much of the analysis is still to come.

You might be right, but I suspect not, for the very big and glaring reason that vaccine hesitancy is astoundingly high today. There are a number of reasons why this could be, and researchers will continue to argue about them for years to come. But to dismiss social media polarization as a negligible factor just because it hasn't been quantified yet seems presumptuous to me. I'll concede I may be blowing it out of proportion, but it is one huge difference between this and previous pandemics, and I find it hard to believe it's not a significant factor.
Gotta say, I think @spaceconvoy is right here. Almost noone is innately vaccine hesitant or pro vaccine. They are hesitant because of a media machine that spreads bad information, and because trust in other media has been eroded. (Again, compare covid vaccine hesitancy to hesitancy with other vaccines, which exists, but is more fringe.) And these things are directly related to the partisan divide, at least in the US. But partisan divide also seem like a factor that’s on a different level from what mathematicians and epidemiologists might usually study (idk tho). This seems like asking “if gravity is so important, why don’t race car drivers have to learn Newtonian mechanics?”
 
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MarcelNL

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if anything I cannot imagine that the partisan divide has a lot to do with it, we see the same divide in many countries just not as markedly different as in a.o. the US. That divide in itself is probably food for thought for the next 2-3 years to come, and a couple of PhD thesis. I have a hunch that social media utilization is a factor somehow affecting what information folks see, would be interested to see a study where factors of influence are investigated.
 

ian

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if anything I cannot imagine that the partisan divide has a lot to do with it, we see the same divide in many countries just not as markedly different as in a.o. the US. That divide in itself is probably food for thought for the next 2-3 years to come, and a couple of PhD thesis. I have a hunch that social media utilization is a factor somehow affecting what information folks see, would be interested to see a study where factors of influence are investigated.
Yea, I imagine the divide is more of an effect than a cause. Maybe the root cause is people realizing that with social media and cable tv, they can make a lot of money by entrenching viewers/consumers in an us-vs-them rage cycle. This seems like it naturally leads to further polarization in politics. But then at some point it becomes hard to distinguish the effects of social media on vaccine hesitancy vs the effects of social media on polarization, which then together with social media affects hesitancy.
 

LostHighway

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I regard social media (KKF aside) as, on balance, a pernicious evil and would not shed a tear if Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc. all disappeared tomorrow. While it may be that social media acts as an amplifier for fringe beliefs and/or allows their adherents to feel more empowered there is nothing particularly new about vaccine resistance or the broader category of fringe/extremist beliefs. Humans as a species are far more suggestible, subject to bias, and less rational than they like to believe. History is replete with examples of beliefs that now seem crazy or repugnant gaining significant followings long predating social media.

Not quite germane but here is a piece on online advertising that I found interesting.

Slightly more germane
 
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ian

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I regard social media (KKF aside) as, on balance, a pernicious evil and would not shed a tear if Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc. all disappeared tomorrow. While it may be that social media acts as an amplifier for fringe beliefs and/or allows their adherents to feel more empowered there is nothing particularly new about vaccine resistance or the broader category of fringe/extremist beliefs. Humans as a species are far more suggestible, subject to bias, and less rational than they like to believe. History is replete with examples of beliefs that now seem crazy or repugnant gaining significant followings long predating social media.

Not quite germane but here is a piece on online advertising that I found interesting.

Slightly more germane
Yea, idk. The current period seems really different to any other period in my life, but I haven't been alive that long, and I'm not a great student of history, so what do I know.
 

LostHighway

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Yea, idk. The current period seems really different to any other period in my life, but I haven't been alive that long, and I'm not a great student of history, so what do I know.
I'm old plus I enjoy reading history. The current times feel really dark to me, I think the early-to-mid '70s would be closest analogue in my lifetime in terms of feel despite no pandemic and somewhat different grievances. The country was extremely divided, it is important to note that Nixon's favorable polling did not start to dip below the unfavorable until mid-1973 and even during the last six months of his presidency he was still polling at about 25% favorable. The Vietnam war was the biggest wedge issue but far from the only one. Racial tension was high (the Republican Party was all in on the "Southern Strategy") with several major urban riots, there was a recession, concern about the environment (Cuyahoga River fire was in 1969) was high,...
If you want to go back further the US we can talk about the nineteen teens and twenties. There were major political divisions during the period of the Spanish flu.
 

ian

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I'm old plus I enjoy reading history. The current times feel really dark to me, I think the early-to-mid '70s would be closest analogue in my lifetime in terms of feel despite no pandemic and somewhat different grievances. The country was extremely divided, it is important to note that Nixon's favorable polling did not start to dip below the unfavorable until mid-1973 and even during the last six months of his presidency he was still polling at about 25% favorable. The Vietnam war was the biggest wedge issue but far from the only one. Racial tension was high (the Republican Party was all in on the "Southern Strategy") with several major urban riots, there was a recession, concern about the environment (Cuyahoga River fire was in 1969) was high,...
If you want to go back further the US we can talk about the nineteen teens and twenties. There were major political divisions during the period of the Spanish flu.
I gotta learn things from you more often. :)
 

Keith Sinclair

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I regard social media (KKF aside) as, on balance, a pernicious evil and would not shed a tear if Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc. all disappeared tomorrow. While it may be that social media acts as an amplifier for fringe beliefs and/or allows their adherents to feel more empowered there is nothing particularly new about vaccine resistance or the broader category of fringe/extremist beliefs. Humans as a species are far more suggestible, subject to bias, and less rational than they like to believe. History is replete with examples of beliefs that now seem crazy or repugnant gaining significant followings long predating social media.

Not quite germane but here is a piece on online advertising that I found interesting.

Slightly more germane
Get good programs on PBS sometimes, about people out to make money off unsuspecting fools. They will say anything.

Could but won't bother how in history & now
people have been taken to destruction.

I've learned hard way ordered exercising smartly, only to be swamped with emails about everything else he was selling mostly pills.
 

MarcelNL

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I hardly watch TV, can't stand the commercials, politics, the half informed nonsense, misinformation, product placement, plugging, scare mongery to keep folks glued to their TV and I simply lack the patience to watch long enough to find out if a programme fits in one of the categories I mentioned (probably more exist).

I listen to music for approx 5 hours a day, I'm currently listening to les graind airs du coloratura (in mono) by La Callas from the French national library who digitized a bunch of vinyl for easy acces...plops and clicks included for free, but what emotion, reach and power, sigh

Covid, what was that?
 

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Gotta say, I think @spaceconvoy is right here. Almost noone is innately vaccine hesitant or pro vaccine. They are hesitant because of a media machine that spreads bad information, and because trust in other media has been eroded. (Again, compare covid vaccine hesitancy to hesitancy with other vaccines, which exists, but is more fringe.) And these things are directly related to the partisan divide, at least in the US. But partisan divide also seem like a factor that’s on a different level from what mathematicians and epidemiologists might usually study (idk tho). This seems like asking “if gravity is so important, why don’t race car drivers have to learn Newtonian mechanics?”
Dont get me wrong.

There are many reasons why social cohesion appears to be tearing apart. Social media is playing a real and significant role in that. It is the most powerful tool humanity has developed for allowing the general populace to communicate and share information. We set Frankenstein's monster on the loose by letting it be an unregulated space. Shame on us. As a result it is a hotbed for disinformation.

Like @LostHighway and @MarcelNL, my life would be no worse off if social media disappeared over night. I don't use them. I don't like them. I acknowledge they bring people joy at an individual level... but they appear to have done some real damage at a population level.


My argument a few posts above is much more narrow. The main point I was trying to communicate was this line:
I find it difficult to believe there is a significant population of people who have been polarised into one camp or another through bad faith arguments from the 'opposition'
Basically what I am trying to say is this: neutral people who turned anti-vaxxer because some pro-science evangelicals called anti-vaxxers doo-doo-heads is likely a tiny, tiny size of the population.

I touch on tribalism and stubbornness. What I find very, very concerning is the ability for social media to amplify personal biases. Social media prays on confirmation bias. We have a nasty addiction to seeking out information that confirms our world view. I think this is the main reason people 'choose a side.' They are seeking out information that already confirms their social/economic/political/religious context. This is likely reinforced by family and/or friends with similar views. It can be a slippery slope. I can easily imagine how fairly mild and flexible positions turn into extreme and rigid ideas. Self radicalisation, if you will. Surely that has got to rank amongst the top reasons why social media is dangerous. That and the way it flattens expertise. Social media seems to support the idea that a million 'Kevins from down the pub' somehow hold as much or more weight than an international expert at a top institution.
 
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MarcelNL

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One of the folks I'm working with has become an anti vaxxer, a former ICU nurse who at first was hesitant about getting vaccinated as she thought the risk of Covid was low for her (being a bit of a health freak).
Over the past months she has been sharing some of the 'news' she has been following with me, most of it was the blatant nonsense saying that covid did not really exist and it was no bog deal. Every now and then I have been providing some international background illuminating scientific information and the actual situation.
Her plan until a few weeks ago was to get vaccinated if she had to, yet her position somehow recently changed into denying the vaccine.

Last week she shared a video by some guy cobbling together some of the most crazy consipracy theories that are flying around....hold on, this is just te part I could reconstruct from the comments below the video as I had no appetite to watch that nonsense;
the Pfizer vax contains graphene which is not disclosed as the composition of the vaccine is a secret, the graphene will be used for mind control using radio waves. The graphene came into the vaccine due to thebrother of the health minister of Australia who is in the graphene business...

Now she is possibly the most friendly person in the world as far as I'm aware, and totally reasonable and going out of her way to accomodate pretty much everyone.

I am baffled by this about face from someone who is a bit sceptical about the impact of Covid to someone who clearly believes that the aliens have landed and are taking over the world. The only potential explanation I can offer is the algorithms in social media exposing people to more of they seem to like and her own choices in media sources...
 

chefwp

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This article is a fascinating look into the future of the virus and what may come next. Hopefully it is not behind the Post's paywall... It is about the amazing vaccination rate that Portugal has obtained and the challenges that remain. Of course that amazing rate is only on people eligible, as like here in the US, young children are not yet able to get inoculated.

a couple quotes that stood out:

in many African nations, vaccination rates remain in the single digits — potentially giving breathing room to rampant infections and new variants capable of evading vaccines and racing around the world.
Gouveia e Melo pointed at his screen.
“These countries will have their revenge on us,” he said.

On the road for the vaccinated, a sniper would kill one of every 500,000, Gouveia e Melo said. On the road for the unvaccinated, a sniper would kill one of every 500.
“So,” he said, “which road do you want?”


I especially agree with this: “You cannot win just by vaccinating everyone in your own country,” he said. “The war ends after we give shots to everyone in the world.”
 

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NSW had its 'freedom day' at the beginning of the week.
ACT had theirs at the end of the week.

This has to be said in the context of recognising that several other states didnt have a lockdown in the first place!! Australia has been a bit of a patchwork. I doubt it is a case of tortoise and the hare... but after a pathetic, mishandled start to the vaccination rollout, we're slowly working off our shame. Given enough time, it's not inconceivable Australia could find itself in the top 10 vaccinated countries. Not bad for a middle-size population.

The recent stats are positive. The national average is 67% double-vaxxed. Single does is 84%. Not amazing numbers but the states are interesting indicators. NSW passed 80% double-vaxxed on the weekend. ACT is hot on its heels at 79%. When it comes to a single dose, ACT is pulling an impressive >95%. NSW has managed 92% so far. The other states will no doubt catch up. I rather suspect NSW received an unfair allocation of vaccines during the recent wave.

It will be interesting to follow the effects of the high vaccination rates in NSW and opening up of the economy. It is not a complete free-for-all. There are still capacity and space/density restrictions. There are still mask orders. It does look like the high vaccination rate has had an effect on transmission numbers. Anecdotally, at least in my local area, people are taking compliance seriously. I had two meals out this past week. Both restaurants checked our vaccination status (as they should). Both restaurants ensured we had checked in (as they should).


There has been a hilarious amount of COVID political chest beating recently (state and federal). Including heads rolling, musical chairs and bewildering messaging. Too much to summarise here... But it has been a pantomime.
 
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Michi

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I expect case numbers to rise sharply with the relaxed restrictions. But, hopefully, hospitalisations will remain manageable. The problem are the large numbers of still-not-vaccinated people. Once people move and mingle more freely, they'll be sitting ducks.

I've heard reports from a number of epidemiologists who fear that this might turn into a disease for children, seeing that no-one under the age of 12 can receive a vaccine yet. And, even over the age of 12, around 16% of the population has not had even a single dose of the vaccine. Meaning that there are over four million sitting ducks over the age of 12 right now. Plenty of targets for the virus…
 
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