Kamikaze anti-vaxers, Infidel753 blog
INFIDEL753, Portland, Oregon, writes at a blog of his own name Infidel 753. Describes himself as an individualist, transhumanist, socialist, atheist, liberal, optimist, pragmatist, and regular guy — it has been my great good fortune to live my whole life free of “spirituality” of any kind.
I know Infidel from Crooks and Liars. He posted many of our topics at Mikes Blog Round Up whenever he was in charge.
At the current phase of the covid-19 pandemic, the US finds itself in the peculiar position of being morally obligated to attempt that which is almost certainly impossible.
I assessed the situation here last week. Of 258 million US adults, 80 million (31%) are unvaccinated. Given the far higher transmissibility of the delta variant, it will probably infect most or all of that population within about four months (except for those among them who do get vaccinated in the meantime). And given the greater severity of the disease it produces, including in young and otherwise healthy people, this could mean a death toll in the millions.
Vaccinated people can still contract the delta variant — the main protection the vaccine provides is that if they do contract it, it very rarely progresses to really serious illness. So vaccinated people are basically potential carriers — they almost never get very sick, but they can transmit the virus to unvaccinated people who are at much greater risk of severe illness or death.
Frankly, I am long past caring about the willfully unvaccinated — the Trumpanzees and conspiracy believers and miscellaneous idiots who make up the great majority of that 80 million. These are the people in the “fuck your feelings” T-shirts, the ones who cheered Trump on through every lie and betrayal, the BFYTW assholes, the people who keep bellowing that global warming is a hoax while half the northern hemisphere dries out and burns, the morons who call masks “face diapers” and spent the last year and a half bullying store clerks who were required to enforce masking rules, the Deliverance mutants who will shit on anything and everything to “own the libs”. They hate and despise people like me, and they aren’t shy about saying so straight out, and I have no qualms about returning the sentiment. The more of them the delta variant mows down, the better off the country will be.
So it’s tempting to say, as Andrew Sullivan does: let it rip. Almost all the people who die will be those who freely chose to make themselves vulnerable while spitting in our faces, and there’s no reason for those of us who were responsible, who wore masks and got vaccinated, to accept any further annoying precautions to protect assholes who refuse to lift a finger to protect themselves (or anyone else).
The problem is the potential innocent victims.
There are some people who, for legitimate medical reasons, can’t get the vaccines. There are some people with immune-system problems for whom the vaccines do not work. There are some people who, even if they are fully vaccinated, have other medical conditions which put them at risk of serious harm if they do nevertheless get infected (here is the voice of one such person). The numbers of such cases are relatively small, but they matter, and the wingnuts are endangering them by rejecting the vaccines and other precautions. So the government needs to press on with its efforts to vaccinate as many of the remaining 80 million as possible.
This is, by the way, why even vaccinated people should return to mask-wearing in high-transmission regions. Masks mainly protect other people, not the wearer. Since vaccinated people can get the virus and transmit it even though they rarely get very sick, wearing masks still helps protect those who are vulnerable for the above reasons.
There’s also the issue of indirect effects of overwhelming the health-care system. As hospitals get swamped with covid-19 patients, the capacity available to treat “normal” emergencies like heart attacks and strokes is correspondingly reduced. Some number of additional deaths will result from this.
Unfortunately, as I noted at the beginning, the task of persuading the great majority of the vaccine refusers is almost impossible. As far as I can see, right-wing blogs and sites are still just doubling down on the same old misinformation and conspiratardia. The vaccines are killing huge numbers of people and may even be a plot to reduce the world’s population by killing or sterilizing people. It’s a conspiracy of globalists / Jews / Satanists / pedophiles (yes, really) to enslave us all. Doctors are exaggerating covid-19 death numbers because they somehow make money that way. Biden is a pedophile and Fauci is an evil monster who conspired with China to create the virus in the first place. Most of the people now getting hospitalized are vaccinated, not unvaccinated. Hydroxychloroquine works (yes, some of them are still pushing that) and the vaccines don’t. The fight against masks and vaccines is an existential struggle against descending tyranny. Republican leaders who now urge vaccination are “cucks”, lackeys of the vast conspiracy. You need to spend some time reading this stuff in their own words, not mediated through left-wing paraphrases, to grasp how hopeless the task of coaxing the hard-core wingnuts out of this seething maelstrom of bullshit really is. It’s become part of their tribal identity.
Yes, the number of people getting newly vaccinated has ticked up a bit; it’s about half a million a day now. But that’s nowhere near enough to work through eighty million people fast enough to avert mass deaths, even if it continues at that rate, which I doubt it will. What we’re doing is collecting the last of the low-hanging fruit, the people who hadn’t been vaccinated out of laziness or relatively weak objections. For them, monetary incentives or restrictions on unvaccinated people’s access to workplaces and public spaces are effective. The hard-core Fox-addled wingnuts, who really believe that this is all a vast evil conspiracy, are a different matter.
The one thing that, so far, does seem to be able to bring them around is seeing their unvaccinated relatives or close friends die of covid-19. But each such death convinces only a few other people, so to reach tens of millions of anti-vaxers would take millions of deaths.
The government must do what it can, and we must do what we can, for the sake of the innocent potential victims. But the wingnuts are now in what amounts to kamikaze mode, and while they can’t win that way (whatever that would even mean), we must recognize that we probably can’t stop them from doing a lot of damage.
Thanks. I have read a few articles by Infidel753 before. Herein as always he is ominously accurate in his account of reality.
I found myself very sympathetic with this. However, in some cases, there may be a better way. Here’s a somewhat long-winded youtube by a friend, colleague and pediatrician.
“to reach tens of millions of anti-vaxers would take millions of deaths”
Most people have trouble understanding probability and statistics. Sadly, the above quote may have a reasonable probability of being an accurate use of statistics.
I had a bad reaction to a Shingles shot some years ago –
it was a particular vaccine that has been replaced by
Shingrix. Before receiving the Moderna Covid vaccine
several months ago, I was queried about ‘bad reactions’.
I mentioned the event above. Medicos took that to mean
I was ‘antivax’. Not so, I explained. Totally different
exigent circumstances I said. Still, if you don’t want
to get Covid shots, then don’t get them – put your
own life at risk – just don’t proselytize. Society
as a whole will be much better off if we all get
the shots, however.
FDA Requires a Warning for Shingrix
(The Shingrix vaccine is not entirely safe either.)
Charts: The Delta variant is hitting hard across the country, but especially in less-vaccinated places
The super contagious Delta variant is driving up coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country, especially in places where fewer people have gotten vaccinated, public health officials say.
Officials are pleading with people to get their shots, saying it remains the best way for people to protect themselves and others. …
(Charts & graphs at the link.)
Percent of people fully vaccinated in cases per 100,000, by state
I think that the public health services should have stuck with the “it is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated” line more uniformly and indicated that vaccination was the final step for anyone to take. I’m thinking if we simply managed to turn the vaccinated away from even thinking about the unvaccinated, it would be a lot easier for many of the unvaccinated to just do it. If you want to “own the libs” and the libs are using a lot of energy screaming about that, well you kind of did “own the libs”. Don’t play your role in the drama if you are vaccinated. Just smell the flowers and smile.
I’m smelling the flowers and smiling.
If the wingnuts want to believe they “owned” me as they die, that’s fine with me. Just so long as they do, in fact, die.
Meant to tell you. Just been busy here writing on Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and keeping people on topic. I wanted you here too.
Famous last words:
– Get the vaccine
– Can I get the Vaccine?
– I wish I got the vaccine
– I thought it was a hoax
– I did not think I would die
etc. Feel free to add . . .
So, blame the victims.
“You’re being mean to me!”.
No, if I was being mean I would say just go
fuckyourself you selfish, ignorant asshole.
we have a whole lot of people who don’t want to get vaccinated. so we talk dirty to them. about them.
we also expose our true commitment to humanity: humanity is those people who agree with us.
and there is this: ” there’s no reason for those of us who were responsible, who wore masks and got vaccinated, to accept any further annoying precautions to protect assholes who refuse to lift a finger to protect themselves (or anyone else).”
does this mean it’s all about inconvenience to ourselves? which inconvenience: masks? distancing? things that might protect ourselves as well as “anyone else”?
sorry folks, fear makes us hate, and hate makes us stupid. and it’s just what our enemy wants.
\”…it’s just what our enemy wants.”
[OK, not far off up until then, but then you completely lost me. What enemy? Covid-19 is our immediate enemy other than ourselves, but Covid-19 does not care about our feelings or what we think of it. A virus does not get angry and seek retribution. Are you talking about the Left versus Right war of words. Words make confusion and sometimes hurt feelings among those predisposed to seek the approval of others, but guns rather than sticks and stones make enemies these days. So, don’t take sticks and stones to a gun fight. Words don’t even come close. The only thing that words ever kill is time. OTOH, the Left and Right have been endlessly killing time since 1968 in their angry lust for retribution. I am sure that you were not referring to China as our enemy, but if you were then Trump is your guy. Myself, I am with Pogo Possum when he said “We have met the enemy and it are us.”]
BTW, “…so we talk dirty to them. about them…”
[Well, eventually we you got it correct. If we talked to them, really talked, then this is not where we would be. Mostly people talk at each other or about each other but rarely to each other, with some exceptions among spouses – but not very many. At times we discuss stuff, you and I, but I only have time for this during torrential downpours and devastating heat waves of which today is still the latter. We expect the former to begin tomorrow evening and end around the middle of next week.]
There may be a law of mass action effect (kind of a psychological herd immunity): When the death rate in the anti-vax parts of the country get high enough, people will start to notice even if they don’t yet know any of the victims personally.
Meanwhile, I would guess that if you get vaccinated yourself, continue to distance, and wear a mask when you can’t distance, you will be doing the best you can to protect yourself “and others” without “accepting any further annoying precautions.”
Quite possibly, it seems, the same precution you might have to take if it turns out that even the vaccinatied can get Covid, carry it without dying, and transmit it to others.
Then we wait and see if the vaccinations and other precautions bring the infection rate down enough so the virus either dies out for lack of new hosts, or mutates to a new more deadly variant. A possibility our resident experts don’t seem to appreciate.
Still trolling for a fight, heh?
My wife resents having to wear a mask again for the sake of the unvaccinated, but she will still do it resentfully. I still love her though. I don’t care whether I wear a mask or not as long as I do not have to go back to eating a bunch of cheese one day so that the next day I can shop senior hours in the dark of early morning. See, I like to be just a regular guy, but it does not always turn out that way.
In any case back in January 2020, I made some predictions about Covid-19 to my wife and so far they have all turned out correct. To keep batting 1000 here, then this bug will need to hang around in the US until at least the spring of 2025. The other points that I made to her (accelerating spread, peak infections, vaccination rollout) were almost inevitable, but now this one also appears to be so too. Since the reality is entirely contrary to prevalent wishful thinking, then bad judgement is ubiquitous.
not understanding formal statistics is not a culpable sin. and knowing formal statistics does not mean you will never commit grave errors in applying it to the real world.
Arne never said it was a sin.
Sin does not always kill. Stupid does not always kill. Between the two though, sin is usually more fun.
I never said Arne said it was a sin. I said it wasn’t a culpable sin.
And I am not trolling for a fight. I am trolling to stop a fight.
I never understood if trolling meant being a troll, or being a trawler.
In spite of the fact that many bad and stupid things are done by people calling themselves “religious,” calling yourself “infidel” does not necessarily make you smart, or guarantee we can trust you not to say something stupid or do something bad. Stalin and Pol Pot come to mind. And the Terror following the French Revolution was a product not of the Church, but of people who hated the Church.
An observer from Mars would note that the people of Earth have many “religions.” Among those are Catholic, Protestant, Moslem, Jew, and Infidel.
Of all semantics domains none is so poorly understood as the fields of spiritualism. Of course, it could not be any different because spiritualism involves the semantics of sharing abstract thoughts and feeling between individuals incapable of reading the thoughts of other or having had the same experiences. So, such communications requires more than words, but also patience and authentic empathy. Now where it hell would one find any of that?
I suppose I would be spoiling for a fight if I walked into a “christian right” church and announced that Jesus was a Democrat.
Oddly enough years and years ago a respected psychiatrist who had never met me walked into a room and before I said a word announced that i was a paranoid schizophrenic, and further announced that i was the sort of person who would pee on a Confederate Memorial. Brilliant man.
I never did any of those things. I did once walk into the middle of a mob of Florida Blue Key frat boys who were beating up some Vietnam war protestors and put a stop to it. Not because of my brilliant rhetoric, but because they had not expected anyone to fight back.
I never expected to have to become a trimmer to keep my friends.
Sorry about my typos in my replies to you above, but I suspect that you got my drift anyway. I am running out of time for more today. I got the pool to clean up from last night’s thunderstorm by the time that wife Kellie gets off work. As a parting shot, when Kellie gets full of angst and frustration then I remind her how lucky we are to still be alive. It is worth considering.
If there was ever a time for change, then it was some time other than now. The ramparts have been manned by the loyal troops while the rest of us remain hidden in the forest.
re enemies: you and Pogo are right.
As for me I was referring to the politicians who sow hate in order to keep us divided so they can rule us with less trouble to themselves.
They are the real enemy. Always have been.
Unless you count the biblical Enemy who is always on both sides of every fight.
btw, you are right about using words that people won’t understand. hard to avoid actually, but i have to confess to doing it sometimes just for fun.
Thanks for all the comments. I enjoyed them. Try to convince your wife she is not masking up to protect the anti-vaxxers, but to protect herself, if by no other means than by encouraging others to wear masks to protect her.
I have been forgetting my masks lately. Bad Dale! Bad! But it would be easier to remember if anyone else was wearing a mask, or requiring them. Wearing a mask is not an existential threat to your freedom.
I find it funny that Texas and Florida governors will defend your right to not wear a mask, but they won’t defend your right not to send your child to a school wear no one wears masks during an epidemic.
“Sin does not always kill.” True, unless you take the view that “sin” is what can kill your soul, as when you waste your life nursing anger, lust, greed, gluttony, pride…
I never found “not understanding statistics” on any list of sins, but there are people not far from here who talk as if it were.
again, thanks for your comments. i never notice typos…until it’s too late. wish my comments were as entertaining as yours, but i take myself too seriously.
it’s too hot today for me to work on the porch. working on a swimming pool might not be such a bad idea.