1. birgerjohansson says

    Text on a T shirt: “If you trust prayer will keep you safe from infection, why do you need a *☆€ gun?” (or words to that effect, it was more eloquent than my poorly recalled version)
    Another bunch of weirdos, but they prefer killing people in a direct way: weapon cultists. The spree killer in Britain that just murdered five -including a small child- before offing himself was a far-right kook who was into American-style extreme gun culture. Even ideas infect.
    Now I am only waiting for Mericans to take up the Brit habit of destroying 5G cell towers. Because they cause covid.

  2. submoron says

    … and nowadays they tell us that the smallpox vaccine didn’t get rid of the virus but the virus mutated into something else. I’m not certain which disease they claim but it isn’t closely related to smallpox. The argument makes no sense.

  3. John Morales says

    unclefrogy: “the more things change the more they remain the same.”

    No. That’s a stupid claim — a contradiction in terms.

    The ‘less things change, the more they remain the same’ is more correct.

    (Yes, I know… it’s supposed to be a sardonic and witty idiom. But it isn’t)

  4. says


    Seriously? You don’t know that the beauty and wit in epigrams is what they leave to the intelligence of the reader through what they elide?

    The more things change (in their small details), the more they stay the same (in the large).

  5. PaulBC says

    John Morales@9

    (Yes, I know… it’s supposed to be a sardonic and witty idiom. But it isn’t)

    Uh, well, I won’t say it’s brilliant or deep, but I think the intended point is that a lot of perceived change is superficial, while the significant underlying properties stay fixed. For example, fashions change all the time, but the need for some people to dress fashionably is a constant. It’s not really that complicated. The epigram in French is (I googled) attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr and at least memorable enough to have stuck around.

    Are you always so literal? (Don’t bother answering.)

  6. chrislawson says


    Not quite. There was no influenza vaccine in 1918, so there were no anti-vaccinators. Of course, there was plenty of other ill-informed, anti-public health sentiment…

    From a review of Laura Spinney’s history of the 1918 pandemic: “The flu didn’t just inspire development of science; ironically, it also led to the propagation of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. One of the most interesting categories of conspiracy theories was the belief that the flu was deliberately manufactured as a biological weapon. There was even fear among the British and the Americans about the flu being linked to Bayer aspirin, which was manufactured in Germany. Of course, these fears were completely ungrounded.”

  7. wzrd1 says

    @christoph #5, indeed! There was a significant protest movement in San Francisco against wearing masks during the 1918 pandemic.
    Masks that proved their worth when first used in Mongolia by doctor Wu (a French physician insulted the masks and doctor, refused to wear a mask and died of pneumonic plague three days later).

    chrislawson #12, there was a centuries old smallpox vaccine, indeed, vaccine is a word rooted in the virus used, vaccinia. The other method being variolation, using fluids from recovering smallpox patients to deliver an attenuated virus to the vaccinated.
    I still wake up in a cold sweat after a nightmare showed me one of the other pox viruses making the jump into humans. There was a case of monkeypox imported from abroad to Texas just a few weeks ago. Thankfully, it remained with the index patient, who subsequently recovered.
    Hopefully, the smallpox vaccine replacement program will get an injection of money to bring a safer vaccine to the market, as being vaccinated against smallpox is cross-protective for the other pox viruses still around and first responders for foreign outbreaks, selected public health workers and the military still get the most dangerous of all of our vaccines – with its attendant 1% misadventure rate.

  8. wzrd1 says

    @chrislawson, ironically, doctors were ginning up vaccines against all manner of bacterial infections in their own labs as a matter of routine during the 1918 pandemic. Alas, the very existence of viruses was only theory and not widely embraced yet, as nobody had developed a microscope powerful enough to see the infernal things. Add in an erroneous report from a world respected researcher in Japan reporting that h. influenzae was found in his influenza patients misdirecting a sizable amount of research in isolating the infectious agent, one whoopsie misdirected a hell of a lot of research.
    As for Bayer, that might’ve also been part of a justification campaign to eventually cancel Bayer’s patent on aspirin.

  9. raven says

    Xpost from the infinite thread edited for length

    Representatives from Asante, Providence, and Jackson and Josephine County Public Health held a press conference on Thursday to outline the dire COVID-19 situation in southwest Oregon.

    Posted: Aug 12, 2021 10:51 AM Posted By: Jamie Parfitt
    MEDFORD, Ore. — Representatives from Asante, Providence, and Jackson and Josephine County Public Health held a press conference on Thursday to outline the dire COVID-19 situation in southwest Oregon.

    “We have surpassed anything we’ve seen before, in terms of this disease,” said Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County health officer.

    Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center
    Jackson County reported a dizzying 416 new cases on Thursday, another new record for daily cases after hitting 267 earlier this week. Across Jackson and Josephine counties, 150 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those patients, 41 were in an intensive care unit (ICU) and 13 were on a ventilator. There were only four ICU beds available across the region as of Thursday morning.

    “This is the worst condition our hospitals have seen, likely ever,” Weber said.
    For Asante and Providence, the sustained rise in hospitalizations means that their hospitals are essentially operating at maximum capacity. In some cases, healthcare workers are working around beds and medical equipment set up in hallways, some of them pulling 20-hour shifts to helps serve the needs of patients.

    Kotler said that Asante has had to cancel more than 350 surgeries to make room for the surge in COVID-19 patients, denying more than 200 patient referrals, and daily have between 10 and 40 patients waiting for available Emergency Room beds. Kotler also clarified that the kind of “elective” surgeries being canceled are not merely cosmetic — many of them are vital, life-altering procedures.

    “We are beyond full,” Kotler said.

    Jackson County has made a request to the state for the establishment of a field hospital to handle hospital overflow in the region, in addition to requests for more ventilators and solutions to the crisis in staffing.

    Statewide, hospitalizations for COVID-19 reached 670 as of Thursday. Of those patients, 177 were in an ICU. Both numbers continue to rise on a daily basis.

    “Our hospitals are full. Patients are boarding and being cared for in emergency departments when they should be admitted to hospital beds. Our ICUs are full,” said Dr. David Zonies, associate chief medical officer and professor of surgery at OHSU. “Our doctors and nurses are exhausted and rightfully frustrated because this crisis is avoidable. It is like watching a train wreck coming and knowing that there’s an opportunity to switch tracks, yet we feel helpless while we watch unnecessary loss of life. That is why it is essential that we all do our part to get vaccinated and wear a mask indoors.”

    The hospitals in southern Oregon (Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass) are beyond full of Covid-19 patients. They are putting patients anywhere they can including in the hallways.
    Their latest plan is to set up a field hospital in the parking lot, if they can find one.

    This is happening everywhere.
    And oh yeah, 95% of these patients are not vaccinated.

  10. astringer says

    John, ahcuah, Paul (@9,10,11)

    at the risk of derailing the thread: there is a highly literal interpretation of plus ca change which holds. As you get to higher frequencies in Fourier integrals (where e^pi.i.w is rotating faster and faster) , in overall shape of the evolving integral hardly changes. ; )

    Perhaps because Fourier was also French? Or something.