COVID-19

Anti-Mask and Vaccine Madness comes to my son’s school

My son is back in school after a year and a half, and parents have gone mad.  I’m reading articles in the local paper about our and nearby communities having heated debates over mask mandates.  Just now I read about school board resignations and threats from parents.  Superintendents are scared to do what must be done.

I’m just glad my entire household is vaccinated, including my son.  We’re highly unlikely to experience anything worse than a bad cold or flu.  But Delta’s viral load is said to be strong even in the vaccinated, so we could still spread it if we catch it.

It’s scary to see in my own country, my own town, the danger of mass delusion.  Before now, I just read about it happening in other countries, such as Nazi Germany, the charismatic leaders spreading lies that too many people believe, until it causes real harm and damage to others.

The science is clear, and so are the news reports, but too many people refuse to believe the truth.  Many people are dying.  This is, unfortunately, Darwinism at work.  Will the survivors be smarter after this?  Who knows?  Or will they find some way to, say, blame Biden for a pandemic raging even though–because of him–vaccines are plentiful, and even though people refuse to take them?

After being inside for so long, the past several months I’ve finally been venturing back out again–but what I find disturbs me.  I can’t even go to a frickin’ barbecue without people yelling about CRT and complaining about being called racist (after they’ve just said things that are in fact racist).

The pod people are in my own family, very close to me.  The pod people are among my friends, “laugh emojiing” at my Facebook posts and harassing me in the comment section.  They’re at writer’s club.  They’re in church (the new person who keeps saying things like “masks in church are clown masks” and “don’t be driven by fear”).

I go out to an appointment and pass a house with a “STOP VACCINE MANDATES” sign.  On the way to church, the doctor, pretty much anywhere, I pass a house with so many disturbing signs on the lawn that I fear a future mass shooter is lurking there.

I go to the doctor, and the next day, read an article saying that a bunch of staffers there protested the vaccine mandate.  If someone is involved in some way with my health care, I want them vaccinated!!!!!!!

Over a decade ago, my narcissist ex-friend Richard made these same crazy comments about the swine flu and swine flu vaccine.  He said if there were a mandate, he would refuse, even if one of his kids died.  He sounded so heartless and asinine.  And now there are thousands of Richards all over the country!  I had thought when I cut off relations with him, that I wouldn’t hear any more of this kind of idiotic rhetoric.  But then the TEA Party took over the Republican Party, and they all went crazy.  Richard’s friend Chris is even crazier than he is about vaccines etc., seeing alien nanite overlords everywhere, and now there are Chrises all over the country!

I fear for this country and its future.  We have little dictators convincing people that God wants them in office.  We have mass hypnotism.  We have raging climate change that people still deny.  We have idiocy forcing its will over everyone else.

This is why some of us ex-Evangelicals can’t help wondering if the End Times prophecies were for real after all.

 

I got my COVID shot! It’s almost time to go back to Life

I got mine on April 10 at a hospital vaccine clinic, where they gave out J&J–yes, right before it got yanked.  This was the kind of thing I feared would happen right before my appointment, so I’m just glad I got mine in time.  Still, I’ve had zero problems with the vaccine so far, and hope that it will quickly be available again, so it can help vaccinate all the people in places and countries that can’t do two shots or a deep freeze.

I saw some Net rumors about the J&J affecting menstrual cycles–Nope, none of that, either.

The hubby’s fully vaccinated now.  My son is about to get his first shot.  (He’s under 18, Pfizer-only, so this was the earliest I could get him a shot.)  For this household at least, the COVID threat is finally going away.

When I got the shot, I had 24 hours of mild flu-like symptoms, then they all just went away.  It took about 11 hours before I even started to feel feverish; before then it was just a bad headache and a sore arm.  My fever spiked to 100.7 overnight but soon dropped back down to normal, with the slightest bit of nausea that disappeared about 24+ hours after the shot.  Then I had a sore shoulder for several days.  But imagine: If I ever got COVID, it would probably be much worse than that.

My “robust” immunity (72% against severe illness) is supposed to kick in within 15 days–which means just in time for Easter!  I plan to attend Palm Sunday services next week, and then all the Holy Week services I can manage.  How fitting for my re-entry into the World again!  A couple more weeks, and my immunity should be up around 85%, then 90-95% a month later.  I’m not sure yet when I’ll start sharing the Communion spoon again.  Immunity against hospitalization and death is at 100% on May 8.  It’s also doing great against variants.  And with only one shot, it seems like the best vaccine all-around.  So forget the naysayers about the J&J vaccine: They don’t have all their data.

One of those naysayers was one of my oldest friends–friends with my other friends, friends with my husband, plays D&D with him–taking potshots on Facebook.  First she took the usual snotty Tr**per tone, not concern or questioning like another of my friends, but more of a “Sure take a vaxx of only 66% effectiveness against an illness with only a slight chance of killing you” tone (not an exact quote BTW).

I come back on Facebook and find this, along with her arguing with TWO of my other (not mutual) friends.  So I delete the entire fight.  Come back later, ALL MY OTHER FRIENDS are liking and hearting and hugging the post, while she uses a laugh emoji instead.  *SIGH*

I can’t delete reaction emojis, so I blocked her from that post and all those thereafter–my way of putting people into Facebook Timeout without actually unfriending or blocking them.  (She’s been in Timeout before, BTW.)  I checked the Facebooks of a couple of mutual friends who are also liberal and also got their shots, and there was absolutely nothing snotty there from this person.  Sure they could’ve deleted snotty comments, but you can’t delete the reaction emojis, and there were no laughs on their posts.  So I get to be the lucky one.  Story of my life.

The Tr**p Era has turned a lot of people I once liked into Tr**per bullies.  And before Tr**p was the Walker Era, which also drove friends and family members apart in Wisconsin, but the Tr**p Era seems to have made it even worse.  Then the pandemic came along and it got to a breaking point.  I’ve unfriended people in the last year and probably got unfriended as well, since some people stopped responding to my posts.  I don’t dare go through my friends list, so I’m often pleasantly surprised to see who still shows up in comment sections and birthday notifications.

And the ones who are still there–I swear, it seems like just when I finally unfriend somebody for being what my mom would call a Pill, somebody else jumps in to take their place.  I have such a low tolerance for right-wing bullshit these days.  I shut down conversations and sometimes boot people when it starts up.  Losing friends and getting annoyed with people was manageable before when everything was online, but going back to Writing Club could be dicey.  At least I didn’t see any trouble with people from church.

I spend more time on Twitter and blogs these days, hanging out with my buddies like Sam (who is NOT a catfish: Meri Brown is lying) and Giacomo (of Orthodoxy in Dialogue) and Hairball and Kate and Wondering Eagle and Headless Unicorn Guy and others, and keeping an eye on my favorite timelines, like Christopher Titus and Angry Staffer and now John Kovalic (Dork Tower guy–He’s from Madison!).  Over there, you can find sane conservatives like Charlie Sykes and Bill Kristol and Joe Walsh.  They’re still conservatives and can potentially drive me crazy politically, but they see right through Tr**p and GOP lies.  They also provide articles I can post for my conservative friends on Facebook, my “mission field.”  😉

Meanwhile, I take a quick swing over to Chris’ Facebook page….Still a bunch of fake crap.  Complete lack of knowledge about how science or vaccines work.  Spreading bullshit that’s going to get lots of people killed or disabled.  Usual arrogance of the ignorant.  Nothing new here.  And the former narc blogger, now QAnon blogger, is getting more and more insane.  She seemed sane once upon a time; what the heck happened to her??!!

But hey, after a year of hermitting, I have not only gotten a much-needed break from the World–which had been tiring out this introvert before the pandemic–but my whole household has successfully evaded the Plague.  We have a chance to see another 50 years of life (and without COVID-related disabilities).  My husband and I are fully vaccinated, and my son is about to start his rounds tomorrow.  It did hit my mom and brother, but they survived.  My mom, however, said, “You don’t want COVID!”  It made believers out of my mom and brothers, so they’re all vaccinated now.  I believe my in-laws have also been vaccinated.  So no, not all Republicans are Covidiots.

Now, back to reading Les Misérables.  It’s getting late and I’ve barely started the day’s reading yet.  But this book is awesome.  I saw the movie with Liam Neesom 20 years ago; now I’m finally reading this massive chunk of a book.  Yet it’s still nowhere near as long as Clarissa.  (My copy of Clary is so huge that it finally fell apart under its own weight, so I have it on my Kindle now.)  Speaking of long things that not everybody gets, I just saw Tenet.  Amazing special effects, and hey, Kenneth Branagh!  Awesome movie if you don’t get too hung up on it all making sense the first time.  Turn the captions on, use the back button, take your time.  And read this when you’re done.

Classical Liberal=Ayn Rand=Godless Scrooge

A guy calling himself a “classical liberal” has been posting in the comment section of a blog post I read recently.  He sounds like Scrooge, not caring about the deaths of the “excess population.”  Now I see where the “your fear doesn’t infringe on my freedom” attitude is coming from: Ayn Randian libertarians.  Ayn Rand’s philosophy is screw the poor, screw human lives.  It’s godless, and a cancer that’s been spreading through the GOP for years.  Once Discus finally loads, search here for matthew harvey and you’ll see what Randian philosophy is really all about: Republicans Have Become the Party of Death  The other commenters are appalled at his callous indifference towards the people who will die if we let COVID run rampant.

Richard is a libertarian; this may explain his own callous attitude toward the poor.  Years ago, he explained to my husband his view of taking away governmental programs for the poor, and putting it all on the churches.  My husband said it would result in years of suffering.  Richard’s response: “oh well.”  (And Richard was poor, himself, relying on governmental programs, so I never quite understood this.)

BTW, I see here what becomes of the kind of libertarianism that Richard and his friend Chris (who moved to Free Keene) were into: Calling out libertarians for what they really are (review of book about Grafton, New Hampshire, which fell apart under libertarian principles).  Quote:

The message is that Ayn Rand was very wrong. Given the total freedom they seek, Americans cringe in fear. They fear losing any part of their freedoms. They fear their neighbors. They fear any kind of authority. Their community crumbles before their eyes at their own instigation. There is no cohesion, only suspicion. The libertarian ethic is anti-everything, pro-nothing, and a horrible way to live.