I knew that

Why else do you think I’ve been aghast at our university’s policies for starting up school as if we’re back to normal?

Somehow, though, the lyrics for “Enter Sandman” seem entirely appropriate.


  1. cartomancer says

    The problem I have is that it is very difficult to assess the potential risks of going out and doing anything these days. Obviously a lurid phantasmagoria of contagion like the scene in the clip is right out of the question (not that I’d want to go to that sort of thing anyway), but what about less crowded places and events? What about a pub with ten other people in it? What about a restaurant with three? What about a shop with one? What about somewhere with fifty other people that has powerful air circulation fans and requires proof of vaccination at the door? Is a train journey safer than a bus journey?

    Obviously more people is riskier, staying longer is riskier, closer proximity is riskier, not wearing masks is riskier, the presence of filthy unvaccinated plaguebearers is riskier, and so on, but these are just generalisations. One cannot make practical decisions based on such anecdotal vagaries. How MUCH riskier is each one? This is clearly very difficult to put even approximate numbers to, thanks to the huge numbers of variables. So how am I to make sensible decisions about what I do and do not risk? If I knew that, for instance, there was a 10% risk per hour of catching the disease at a local restaurant, but that increased to 20% at a pub, and was reduced back to 5% at that same pub should it require masks and proof of vaccination at the door, then I could begin to decide whether I was comfortable taking those risks. It would be very different if the chances were one or two percent than fifty or sixty. But that information is not available.

    I mean, I could carry on doing what I have been for the last eighteen months and more or less going nowhere beyond the flat apart from work (and when we were teaching online, not even there). The problem with that is that it has taken a substantial psychological toll on me. The loneliness and sense of isolation are crushing, particularly now I have alienated and lost one of my three friends and get half the remote social contact I once did. If there is a possibility of getting out and about without too much extra risk I would quite like to take advantage of it. If the increased safety of not going anywhere is only a few percentage points then the benefits of doing so would probably outweigh the risks. But I don’t know enough to make that call.

  2. hemidactylus says

    Exit light
    Enter night
    Take my hand
    We’re off to never-never land
    Yeah, yeah

    Eerily right after I had gotten vaccinated and was starting to buy into the tragic optimism of the pandemic winding down I kept these ironic lyrics from “No Leaf Clover” in the back of my head. May have saved me from going unmasked to a restaurant prematurely:
    Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
    Was just a freight train coming your way

    I had an epiphany while laying into an obstinate antivaxxer last night. Given that we are supposed to be on a war footing in this pandemic, I’ve never served, but the two movies I really loved about war We Were Soldiers and Black Hawk Down emphasized the reason for fighting being the person next to you. That’s why we do it…get vaccinated and mask up. Trying to picture storming the beach in Saving Private Ryan with the current crop of snowflake antivaxxers collapsing to the ground in a screaming tantrum.

    We’re doomed.

    Also another epiphany. The actual “plandemic” is the viral spread of misinformation online clustering around vaccines altering DNA, ulterior motives behind Faucism, and crazy alternative cures such as horse paste (among other things). These brain parasites seem so deliberate at this point that Hanlon’s razor entirely misses the point.

    Not sure if the war footing and ideologically driven “plandemic” notions can be worked into an effective rhetorical countermeasure. Nothing seems to be working. So sad. Eventually the virus will burn through the obstinate, with tragic consequences for them and those affected. Books will be written.

  3. hemidactylus says

    “Enter Sandman” being played at that potential superspreader event (college football game) reminds me of a time when my dad was still alive and we were watching some military (naval?) graduation footage on FoxNews(??) where they started playing Metallica’s “One”. I turned to my dad and told him that song was inspired by a rabidly anti-war film. I would later watch that movie and be scarred for life, but the segments in Metallica’s video would be sufficient to warrant incongruence with a formal military ceremony. Go on kids to get maimed and rendered apparently decorticate by mortar fire, stuck in a hospital bed communicating via morse code for a mercy kill.

    As with the officials who picked “One” for a military ceremony were those who chose “Enter Sandman” for the crowded football game not thinking it through?

  4. raven says

    For many or most of us, it is like the pandemic never ended now.
    I’m back to masks and gloves everywhere and all the other social distancing procedures.

    I’m vaccinated but breakthrough infections are a thing. It’s quite possible my immune system is such that I would never get one or at least a symptomatic one, but who knows? The ICU’s are full of healthy younger people that “never get sick”, until they got very sick with the Covid-19 virus.

    I was planning on going to an outdoor rock concert this weekend, and really excited to be going somewhere fun. Then the ICU’s starting filling up with Covid-19 virus patients. It just seemed silly to be at a mass event while tens of thousands of people were in the hospital, so I cancelled. Didn’t miss much. The rock group and the venue decided to cancel the show and refund all the tickets.

    This is happening a lot of places. Mass events, both indoors and outdoors are getting cancelled everywhere.

  5. raven says

    Nampa Schools missing 20% of students due to illness – Idaho … Idahopress.com 9/04/2021

    NAMPA — Cases of illness, including many COVID-19 infections, have risen sharply across the Nampa School District since its first day of school on Aug. 19. The district is currently missing 20% of its students due to illness, said Kathleen Tuck, communications director for the district.1 day ago

    Did you know that children aren’t affected much by the Covid-19 virus?
    I’m sure you’ve heard that but if it was once true, it isn’t any more. The Delta variant is hitting children a lot harder as well as adults.

    This school district in Idaho (near Boise) has 20% of its students out sick. They also have a lot of staff out sick. I’m sure they also have a lot of family members sick. In many cases lately, children in school are going home and infecting their parents.

    This is also happening everywhere. Schools open for classes, the virus runs wild, then they end up closing again.

  6. rabbitbrush says

    I like this comment under that twitter video:

    fabucat Baseball
    @fabucat Sep 3
    This is why God created introverts. I always wondered what the evolutionary advantage of introverts until 2020.

  7. says

    For us it’s a race between the younger kid turning 12 and the younger kid catching Covid. Seven weeks until vaccination 1, 12 until 2, 14 weeks until full effect. We’re in the middle of election campaigns and kids are being sacrificed on the altar of gaining the 60+ vote, because they must keep believing that the pandemic is over and can do whatever they want.
    Though probably the biggest disappointment in this crisis has been the paediatricians. The latest here in my neck of the woods was a child psychiatrist arguing against quarantine for kids, even if they tested positive, because that’ll severely affect them… Obesity! Video Game Addiction! Loss of Childhood! Depression! If they ever cared about all these things outside of a pandemic.

  8. Becky Smith says

    “…and in the South football is a religion, and Saturday is the holy day.”— Hall of Famer Marino Casem, longtime Coach at Alcorn State and Southern University, on football in the South.

  9. Jazzlet says

    I saw my fully vaccinated cousin and her husband today for the first time since before the pandemic started. We went to a wool shop (well wool warehouse really) masked, and early enough that it really wasn’t crowded so we were able to distance properly as well, then we went to a cafe with plentiful outdoor seating to chat. We were all comfortable doing that as we were again able to be sufficiently distanced. It was lovely, I am so glad we did it, but I trust her – she used to be a nurse, a properly scientific, one not a woo-ey one – there are certainly people I don’t trust and wouldn’t spend time with because of that. I have had that conversation with others I trust, we all have some friends who do not understand our worries, and don’t respect us enough to take them seriously, so we won’t see them. But it is of course us being unduly fussy. sigh

  10. says

    @3 of course they don’t think it through. These are the same people who think “Born in the USA” is a proudly patriotic and not an indictment. People listen for atmospherics, not lyrics.

  11. davidc1 says

    My RA is playing me up today ,so I am feeling pretty rancid ,not only that but the Methotrexate might have affected my lungs ,so I am waiting for a chest xray .Which is a pity because it seemed to have been working ,stopped it until after the results of the xray .
    Anyhow ,after saying that ,I hope every single anti vaxxer suffer a long lingering death .
    Selfish moronic bastards everyone of them .

    Feeling better for having said that .

  12. Sean Boyd says

    If you thought “Enter Sandman” had appropriate lyrics, try on “Creeping Death” for size.

  13. Bruce says

    In the video, I saw ONE person (an employee working) wearing a mask.
    I would have thought that lots of people would feel able to go to a game and still wear a mask.

  14. unclefrogy says

    Is everyone aware that COVID-19 cases in the US are currently 4 times higher than they were this time last year?

    it is also higher when it was announced that there was a new pandemic caused by a corona virus.
    A friend asked me the other day will it ever be over? when will it go back to normal? For some values of normal we are reacting as would be expected. It will be over when it is over. This sort of thing has been with us for as long as we have been here it is how a biosphere on a planet works. Our civilization has fostered the illusion that we have become some how outside of the ordinary function of it. So it is a shock more so for those who do not understand how it works the sheltered, protected and ignorant who are screaming about things they know little about. for many it is the first time they ever had to do more then put on a coat or turn up the thermostat when they feel the cold. life is a precarious thing always a balancing act
    I to feel like cartomancer @1 every time I have to go somewhere. As for the loneliness and feeling of isolation I can finally say there is a benefit having suffered from both for much of my life they are old friends familiar and I have learned how to cope with them. to not take them to heart as some kind of negative about me it is not like i do not feel it I just try not to let it dominate my feelings. So the panic and desperation I felt when I was young only comes back as a kind of memory reaction which sort of dissipates when I realize the memories are memories. Yes they are “old friends” I do not hate them anymore nor really fear them.

    was reminded by an old song

  15. birgerjohansson says

    The cases in Sweden are mercifully younger not-yet-vaccinated people who survive (but with sometimes considerable suffering, as they lie in hospitals and even ICUs ).
    The segments of the population without the first or the second shot are shrinking steadily.
    Unfortunately the delta variant may make it impossible to reach bona fide herd immunity.
    The students are back, I am not up to date with the precautions the University is using .
    Meanwhile the work finding molecules that can block reproduction of the virus continues, but the list of canditates (of which most will be disappointing) is very long. I have reached the point of not having enough energy left to worry.
    Either we will get hit by an asteroid, or there will be good news.

  16. JoeBuddha says

    Being down with the substance of what is being asked, I nevertheless have this quibble. 4 time higher or 4 times as high? I’m thinking it usually means the latter, but I’m never sure.

  17. brightmoon says

    Almost wished I hadn’t seen that. Even republicans are somewhat vaccinated in NYC and were still losing people.

  18. stroppy says

    Wow, look at that massive, swarming herd of humans “thinking for themselves!”

    (Psst, if only they knew covid was a space alien plot to depopulate the earth for colonization. Pass it on.)

  19. raven says

    Psst, if only they knew covid was a space alien plot to depopulate the earth for colonization. Pass it on.)

    No it isn’t.
    It is a Chinese made bioweapon. Or a Globalist/Illuminati produced bioweapon.
    So that is why they don’t wear masks and get vaccinated.

    (Obviously there is contradiction here but ask an antivaxxer to explain it.)

  20. MHiggo says

    Hemidactylus @3: “As with the officials who picked “One” for a military ceremony were those who chose “Enter Sandman” for the crowded football game not thinking it through?”

    The song is something of a tradition at Virginia Tech. The football team has entered the field to Enter Sandman since the 2000 season, so if anyone was of a mind to pay attention to the lyrics, I imagine they’d have done so by now. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/hokies-journal/post/the-story-behind-metallicas-virginia-tech-themed-introduction-before-the-miami-game/2011/10/10/gIQAbXmgaL_blog.html

    People are, perhaps not unreasonably, noting that Virginia Tech requires students to be vaccinated. (https://ready.vt.edu/vaccinations/student-vaccine-faqs.html) That’s a fair point, but on the other hand the university has an enrollment of about 30,000 students and all 65,000 seats at Lane Stadium were sold out for that game against North Carolina. Considering that Montgomery County is reporting about half its adult population is fully vaccinated, that’s not exactly encouraging.

  21. birgerjohansson says

    Sweden: 72% fully vaccinated.
    82% at least one shot.
    Of course, there are some anti-vaxxers. Between them and those who have legitimate medical reasons for not taking the vaccine we will probably never get herd immunity (if the delta varian even permits herd immunity).

  22. birgerjohansson says

    OT (but good news)
    Matthew Fontaine Maury -a legendary oceanographer- was also a defender of slavery, and even went to Mexico where slavery continued after the US civil war.
    Now, it finally looks like his statues will be taken down in Virginia.

  23. Katie Marshall says

    For me with classes starting next week, the vibe around faculty meeting is very “Charge of the Light Brigade”:

    “…Some one had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred…”

  24. KG says

    Slavery was legally abolished in Mexico in 1829. It survived in Texas (then part of Mexico), and Mexican attempts to end it there were an important factor in the white supremacist revolt that produced Texan independence. At the time Matthew Fontaine Maury went there, Mexico had in effect been invaded by Napoleon III’s France, which imported the Hapsburg Prince Maximilian and installed him as a puppet Emperor. But in 1866 French forces withdrew, and in 1867 the forces of the legitimate President of Mexico, Benito Juarez (a full-blooded Indian), captured and executed Maximilian – who had during the civil war following his installation ordered the execution of all captured “rebels”.