She made her choice


Kristen Lowery, 40 year old mother of four, anti-vaccine fanatic, chose poorly.

She’s dead of COVID-19, leaving behind a GoFundMe to pay for her funeral expenses.


Meanwhile, here in Stevens County, MN, we’re having a little spike, with 63 new cases reported yesterday.

There are only 10,000 people in the county, so this is a fairly substantial number. I’ll also note that this surge hasn’t made an appearance on campus yet — we don’t have good testing and reporting requirements, but we do have a vaccine requirement, and none of our dedicated quarantine spaces are currently in use.

That spike is just among the townies, I think — all those people who are running around maskless, going to church, going grocery shopping, hanging out in the bars, dropping by the pharmacy to pick up cold remedies…acting like plague lice. It sure is hard to be sympathetic anymore.

Comments

  1. quatguy says

    The nerve of her family is galling. She basically told society and the greater good to f-off with her vaccine denial BS, then asks for money from the same people to pay for her funeral. You made your bed, you lay in it. Actions have consequences.

  2. OverlappingMagisteria says

    #2 quatguy:
    Sort of, but its closer to “You made your bed, your family pays for it.” She paid for it with her death, but the funeral expenses are forwarded to her family. I’m not sure what her families stance is, but if they support vaccines they have my sympathies.

  3. quatguy says

    Her motherless kids and the the others that she probably infected are the biggest victims. Better to pay for their welfare than her funeral.

  4. Larry says

    My sympathy well has done gone dry. I now see the antivaxxers as leeches on society, selfish gits who put others at risk, and then, when they get sick, take up valuable resources and over-tax the medical personnel. Why should I be bothered if they, themselves, refuse to take precautions?

  5. kathleenzielinski says

    We’ve been lucky — if lucky is the right word — that Covid has the low virulence rate that it does. And what I find most worrisome about the anti-vaxers and anti-maskers is that if and when something far more virulent manages to hitch a ride from the jungle to some urban area, they’ve already demonstrated they’re not going to pay any attention to public health authorities. What happens when some virus that kills 25% of the people it infects rather than 2% suddenly appears on the scene?

    The real Covid lesson is just how unprepared we are for a black plague event, and how many stupid people would help spread it if we got one.

  6. raven says

    I’m not sure what her families stance is, but if they support vaccines they have my sympathies.

    They are still antivaxxers so you can save your sympathies for someone who is worth it.
    Someone showed up on sorryantivaxxers who claims to be her brother and posted a bunch of antivaxxer lies. It appears that he is really the father of two of her children.
    He claims to have already had Covid-19 virus and is still an antivaxxer.

    If watching your family members die from Covid-19 virus won’t change your mind, nothing will.
    The GOP and the fundie xians are truly a death cult these days.

  7. raven says

    Here is another one, dead antivaxxer.
    This has happened tens of thousands of time in the last 2 months.
    What is noteworthy here is how they ended up in the ICU, at high risk of dying (ca. 50%), and still wouldn’t get the vaccine. Then they die.

    Some of these patients have close family members who keep posting antivax lies while they are in the ICU. Then they die. And their family members keep on posting antivax lies. If watching family members die won’t motivate people to get vaccinated, what will?

    Idaho nurse who refused COVID vaccine dies: brother
    David Matthews, New York Daily News Tue, September 21, 2021, edited for length

    An Idaho nurse who refused the COVID-19 vaccine, and encouraged her family to do the same, even after her COVID-infected mother went into a coma, has died, according to her brother.

    “She was telling me not to get vaccinated,” Daryl Rise said. “I think it was from misinformation, I think it was falling into negative social media and bloggers, YouTubers.”

    The COVID crisis came at the Rise family swiftly.

    Daryl Rise told KXLY his mom was hospitalized with COVID pneumonia on Aug. 10 after a week of illness and trouble breathing. She was intubated and put into a medically induced coma. Days later, his sister became ill and was hospitalized “right down the hall” from her mother.

    Even while in the hospital and receiving oxygen, the former nurse told her younger brother not to get vaccinated.

    Natalie Rise, a 46-year-old mother of 10-year-old twins with special needs, died Aug. 22 in Coeur d’Alene,

    “I got it (the vaccine) out of fear,” he said.

    The Idaho man said his mother, who is recovering and out of her coma, has not decided on whether to get vaccinated.
    Whether or not his mother follows his lead, Rise is encouraging others to get vaccinated already.
    It doesn’t matter if we’re a donkey or an elephant. It is a personal choice, but the numbers don’t lie,” Daryl Rise told KXLY.

  8. kome says

    I gave up on sympathy long ago.
    They’re the ones who decided to turn a plague into a team sport and then picked the obviously stupid losing side, in spite of every single possible lifeline thrown to them.
    I’ll save my sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of new orphans they’re leaving behind, hoping against hope that they grow up to be different than their parents who died from willful stupidity.

  9. raven says

    No more orphaned children.

    Good luck with that. Not happening right now.

    A recent estimate is that the Covid-19 virus pandemic has produced 120,000 orphans in the USA. That is of July 20, 2021 so it is higher now.
    It’s not that unusual for both parents to die from the Covid-19 virus since the unit of transmission is often the family. A lot of children in the USA are brought up by single mothers or custodial grandparents. When those go, that is it.
    This pandemic is going to leave a mark on our society for a generation or two.

    Nearly 120,000 children in US have lost a primary caregiver to https://abcnews.go.com › Health › story

    Jul 20, 2021 — More than 609000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S.. … data reveals that a staggering number of children have been faced with the …

  10. Bruce Fuentes says

    I have decided to no longer call them anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers. They are pro-COVID.
    We are also seeing a spike here in Douglas County, WI. It seems we will be seeing a bigger one very shortly. In WI there are no mandates of any kind so I think the return to school spike is still a week or so ahead of us.

  11. asclepias says

    @7 I hope something more virulent does come along. If/when that happens, it will definitely decrease the population of my state (Wyoming). I am also done caring. Why should I care about them when they have shown that they couldn’t care less about me?

  12. aronymous says

    On the bright side, herd immunity will be achieved sooner as the antivaxxers self-cull the herd.

  13. unclefrogy says

    what can I do? The stupid pig headed are what they are and a large part of my sympathy has long since evaporated when it comes to them.
    My self interest as well as that of the population as whole requires a change in attitudes in regards to this pandemic and other infectious diseases that pose this level of existential threat to society. I am rapidly running out of all of my patients. I am beginning to not care about the precious feeling for liberty and self-determination. I did not ask my dog if she would like to get a rabies vac. I took her to the vet and had her vaccinated because I did not want to get rabies from her nor want her to get sick and die. As long as this infection is continuing to run through the population the longer we will be in peril, the probability of a more deadly mutation increases. Th ability to have a functioning economy now as well as cope with the continuing climate crisis and the accompanying problems of agricultural disruption and population mass movement will be greatly hindered. There are old infections as well as new ones waiting for their opportunity to proliferate.
    Why are we so hesitant to face the radical right over this?

  14. birgerjohansson says

    When I countered some anti-vaxxers on Facebook, one of them said a friend of hers, 24 years old, had gotten a shot of the Pfizer vaccine and suffered a heart attack afterwards.
    I did not know what to answer, not being an expert of cardiovascular disease among young people.

  15. raven says

    I did not know what to answer, not being an expert of cardiovascular disease among young people.

    Undoubtedly a lie.
    The antivaxxers lie about everything 24/7.

    It would be in the newspapers and on Fox NoNews if it was true.
    There have been rare cases of myocarditis among young people given the mRNA vaccines. These cases are mild and resolve shortly without any known permanent effects.
    I once looked hard for any evidence of vaccine related deaths from the mRNA vaccines. I couldn’t find any, although I could have missed them. The internet is a big place.

    That is probably not true for the adenovirus vector vaccines. They do have a side effect VITT, Vaccine-inducted thrombotic thrombocytopenia that has been fatal rarely.
    It effected mostly young people and VITT has all but disappeared since they stopped using those vaccines in young people. In fact, when that came out, more or less nobody gets the J&J vaccine in the USA and the AZ vaccine was never approved here.

    As to what you could say, ask for details and sources, preferably in the news. There won’t be any. Or just correct all their other lies. Nothing you say is going to make any difference. These people will literally die first rather than give up their lies.

  16. stroppy says

    a friend of hers, 24 years old, had gotten a shot of the Pfizer vaccine and suffered a heart attack afterwards.

    Shortly after her friend got the shot, I imagine there were cases of people all around the world having heart attacks.

    Correlation =/= causation, nor do anecdotes, nor do the fever dreams of gullible marks.

  17. aronymous says

    @16, @17 and @18:
    My niece says she uses the speaker on her phone because a friend of hers used his cell phone a lot and got a brain tumor from holding it next to his head. I pointed out that brain tumors existed before cell phone did.

  18. klatu says

    @kathleenzielinski

    What happens when some virus that kills 25% of the people it infects rather than 2% suddenly appears on the scene?

    Nope. It’s already bad enough. People have just gotten dull to the immense pain and loss this virus is still inflicting across most of the world. Media outlets have simply stopped reporting about India’s mass graves because it’s too fucking depressing. You see, that kind of talk might cut into tourism profits.

    Covid’s 2% mortality is technically per infection, not per person. Immunity lasts for a year or less, similar to the common flu. Sure, some people are practically immune to current Covid variants. But the rest can catch it again and again and again over a lifetime. Then there’s Long Covid and children with perforated organs and so on. None of this factors into those benign sounding 2%. There will be hundreds of millions of people with life-long health problems.

    The problem is–and always has been–our sluggish, economy-driven response to a public health crisis. And I’m not talking about the US, specifically. I’m talking about every country with access to mass vaccination. All it would have taken is an actual lockdown for a full month or two and the virus would have mostly starved itself. The vaccine would then have given it a final kick in the nads.

    But that would have taken a level of rationality and solidarity that I’m afraid simply doesn’t exist. So here we are, still fighting this battle one and a half years later and probably for many years yet to come.

    Remember how at the beginning it was all about “flattening the curve”? What a fucking stupid own-goal. The goal should always have been ZERO new infections. Instead we’ve been trained to rejoice when there were fewer new sick people today than there were new sick people yesterday. Somehow, we forgot to add those two numbers together…

    But you’re right. The longer we nurse this virus, the more chances we give it to mutate and spawn more variants, some of which will be worse than the delta variant.

    And if we take long enough? Some unrelated second pandemic will eventually overlap with the current one. I mean, it already happened. We never beat the common flu.

    In fact this shit happens all the time. Every year there’s a new swine flu or birdemic. We just usually react quickly enough–killing livestock in the millions–before it jumps over to humans.

    My point being: You don’t need a Back Plague. You just need to be really incompetent and you’ll eventually arrive in a similarly awful place.

  19. Rob Grigjanis says

    klatu @21:

    All it would have taken is an actual lockdown for a full month or two and the virus would have mostly starved itself. The vaccine would then have given it a final kick in the nads.
    But that would have taken a level of rationality and solidarity that I’m afraid simply doesn’t exist. So here we are, still fighting this battle one and a half years later and probably for many years yet to come.

    Amen. This is what infuriates me. There are politicians in Canada (and elsewhere of course) who should be serving jail time for their mishandling of the pandemic. Instead, they remain in office and some of them will win their next elections. And enough people believe the blatant misinformation, and the braindead conservative dogma (business first!) to keep this thing going for years. Fucking lethal idiots.

  20. PaulBC says

    aronymous@19

    I pointed out that brain tumors existed before cell phone did.

    I don’t mean to be a pain in the ass. (I just can’t help myself.) I would counter that birth defects existed before thalidomide was marketed as a drug.

    I agree with your big point that cell phones probably don’t increase the likelihood of brain tumors, but your reasoning is a non sequitur. Something can be one possible cause without being the first or only cause.

  21. John Morales says

    PaulBC:

    <

    blockquote>I agree with your big point that cell phones probably don’t increase the likelihood of brain tumors […]

    <

    blockquote>

    Ahem: demonstrably don’t. Plenty of research has been done, and neither observation nor theory suggests any such effect.

    (Enough with the mealy-mouthed qualifiers)

  22. PaulBC says

    John Morales@24 Sorry. If you insist on reading my comments, you’re going to get qualifiers. It’s just how I write.

  23. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @24:

    demonstrably don’t

    The only demonstrable thing about this is that people are addicted to their cell phones. You should read more. A google exercise for you; what does the WHO say about cell phone use?

  24. Rob Grigjanis says

    jaredcormier @27: Holy crap. I’ve thought xkcd was crap for ages, but that’s a new low. I’ll give you a few minutes to think about why that graphic is absolute shit (hint: think about possible factors which could affect ‘total cancer incidence per capita’ over the last 50 years).

  25. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @30: I’m telling you that you should educate yourself before blathering about what’s ‘demonstrable’.

  26. John Morales says

    Rob @33

    I’m telling you that you should educate yourself before blathering about what’s ‘demonstrable’.

    You have any idea of how many billions of mobile phones are now ubiquitously in use?

    (Brain tumors must be through the roof, right? Demonstrably :) )

  27. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @36:

    Brain tumors must be through the roof, right?

    Whence your confidence that sufficient time has passed to be sure that they won’t be?

    Do you stand by what you wrote in your #24, that cell phones demonstrably don’t increase the likelihood of brain tumours? The WHO uses the phrase “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. That’s certainly not as strong as “known to be” or even “probably”, but it’s a far cry from “demonstrably not”.

  28. John Morales says

    Rob,

    Whence your confidence that sufficient time has passed to be sure that they won’t be?

    On the same basis as claiming that sufficient time has passed to be sure that, when I get up off my chair, I shan’t thereby precipitate our Sun going supernova.

    That is, there is no plausible mechanism for it, and no evidence that it has or is happening.

    Hitherto, of course.

    Do you stand by what you wrote in your #24, that cell phones demonstrably don’t increase the likelihood of brain tumours?

    Of course. Why wouldn’t I, other than on the basis of epistemic uncertainty, which equally applies to my response above (supernova!)?

    Demonstrably, there is no demonstrable increase indicating some sort of linear relation between cell-phone (we call them ‘mobiles’ in my neck of the woods) usage and brain tumour incidence.

    And, hey… you’re a physicist, right?

    So, how does low flux EM radiation supposedly cause brain tumors? I mean, if that were the case, radio and TV stations would also be causative, no?

    The WHO uses the phrase “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

    Does it?

    That’s certainly not as strong as “known to be” or even “probably”, but it’s a far cry from “demonstrably not”.

    Heh. OK, so let me rephrase: Demonstrably, there is no demonstrated mechanism nor evidenced correlation between cell phone usage and brain tumors.

    (Are you disputing that?)

  29. Rob Grigjanis says

    Whence your confidence that sufficient time has passed to be sure that they won’t be?

    On the same basis as claiming that sufficient time has passed to be sure that, when I get up off my chair, I shan’t thereby precipitate our Sun going supernova.

    This qualifies for addition to my list of silliest responses I’ve seen on the internet. It amounts to “it hasn’t happened yet, so I believe it never will”.

    you’re a physicist, right?
    So, how does low flux EM radiation supposedly cause brain tumors?

    Nuts, I missed the class in which my EM theory prof talked about brain tumours, and I couldn’t find anything about it in my copy of Jackson’s book.

    The WHO uses the phrase “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

    Does it?

    Yes.

    OK, so let me rephrase

    Now I’m bored.

  30. John Morales says

    Rob:

    This qualifies for addition to my list of silliest responses I’ve seen on the internet. It amounts to “it hasn’t happened yet, so I believe it never will”.

    Ahem. “Hitherto, of course.”

    I mean, sure… it may be that the next time I get up off my chair the Sun will go supernova.

    Hasn’t happened yet, but. ;)

    Nuts, I missed the class in which my EM theory prof talked about brain tumours, and I couldn’t find anything about it in my copy of Jackson’s book.

    Well, to cause a brain tumor it would pretty much have to be ionising radiation, no?
    Otherwise, it would just be the thermal effects, which would coagulate the proteins in a cell.

    More to the point, were such an effect real, as I insinuated, there’d be loci around TV and radio station transmitters, where the incidence was proportional to the distance from said stations. But there isn’t.

    (What next, powerlines?)

    Now I’m bored.

    By which you mean you can’t show that, demonstrably, there is no reason whatsoever to believe mobiles cause brain tumors. Heh.

    Yeah, slink off with a bit of bluster. It behooves you.

  31. indianajones says

    Well, I may have some GOOD anti-vax news. I heard this on ABC Radio National on the way home, sorry I can’t source it any better than that BUT: A chiropractor in Victoria got a ‘go sit in the naughty no practicing chiropracty chair and think about what you done for 6 months’ commencing 12 Oct today for spreading anti vax nonsense. While I don’t consider this optimal news, I’d have opened the bidding at attempted murder, still, 1 less chiropractor in general and actual consequences for anti vax in particular is a good news start.

  32. KG says

    klatu@21,

    What you say is absolutely true for rich countries, and even middle-income ones such as China. Far less obvious for poor countries, where a large proportion of the population lives more or less hand-to-mouth in the informal economy, and the state hasn’t the facilities to distribute either income or the necessities of life to them all for a month. I completely agree that rich countries could and should have had a proper lockdown starting in early February 2020 at latest, which would have saved a couple of million lives; and then focused on helping poor ones with massive programmes of economic, administrative and medical assistance. Just as, now, they should be helping those countries manufacture their own vaccines, and meanwhile, not hogging the ones that have been manufactured or will be in the next year or so. But to have actually contained the pandemic from the start, we’d have needed to start such a programme of integrated global cooperation a decade or so ago (as, of course, we will to limit the extent and effects of climate disruption). We’d also have needed to halt all but the most essential air travel – which we need to do anyway for the climate.

  33. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @40: My boredom fluctuates…

    it may be that the next time I get up off my chair the Sun will go supernova.

    Nah, the sun isn’t massive enough to go nova or supernova.

    to cause a brain tumor it would pretty much have to be ionising radiation, no?

    Based on the principle that stuff can only be caused by known mechanisms? There is enough doubt from enough studies showing an apparent correlation that the WHO uses the phrase “possibly carcinogenic”. But John Morales knows better, apparently.

    More to the point, were such an effect real, as I insinuated, there’d be loci around TV and radio station transmitters…

    Let’s look at this. From what I’ve read, the power output of a 4G tower is about 1,000 to 10,000 times the output of a cell phone. Let’s say 10,000. The possibly dodgy distance of a phone from your brain would be a few centimetres. The corresponding distance from a cell tower (by the inverse square law) would therefore be a few metres. How tall are cell towers?

  34. Rob Grigjanis says

    stroppy @46: Right, and even microwaves are non-ionizing. They just heat up your innards. As has been pointed out by John, there’s no known mechanism whereby radio waves could cause cancer. But the WHO (and some other reputable scientists) have decided there is enough doubt raised by the data (as opposed to the theory) to warrant caution.

  35. stroppy says

    Rob Grigjanis @46

    Thanks. Clearly I’m out of my depth here. Somehow I had it in my head that ionization wasn’t the only route to cancer, but the key for me in your statement is “no known mechanism”– aside from possible cumulative effects I guess. (I didn’t know that it wasn’t known.)

  36. Pierce R. Butler says

    It remains logically possible that the new vaccines cause harm and c-virus infections can kill.

    All those fools dying defiantly in the ICUs (and corridors) could have a valid point.

    If they had valid data – or even good evidence of suppression thereof. A bit more work needed for that part.

  37. says

    The one that irritates me the most is the notion that you should not “get sick” if you are vaccinated. Infection and vaccination both prime the adaptive immune system and add speed and specificity to an immune response. You still fight an infection. That initial population of dying cells had to wave around bits of what is killing them for the primed immune system to react.

    You may feel some symptoms because avoiding infection isn’t what vaccines are about. Ignorance and incompetence.

  38. says

    I think we should cut the no-vaxxers/no-maskers some slack. For most of them, they are ordinary people, no more selfish than you, but they live in parts of the country where most people around them are denying the need for masks or vaccination, and they are also listening to their news on Fox or Newsmax or OneAmerica. In addition many are working-class people who feel left behind by the economy and who are susceptible to the fake populism of these neo-fascists. As for the people they are listening to in the media, let’s not cut them any slack. This part of the pandemic should be labeled the Fox/Newsmax/OneAmerica Pandemic.

  39. raven says

    Here is what it is like in Fox NoNews land, Idaho. They are now triaging patients. In one major hospital 50 out 51 Covid-19 patients are unvaccinated.
    The governor recently signed a law forbidding vaccine mandates and Boise appointed an antivax quack to their Central Health board.
    A lot of the patients are hostile and sometimes attack the health care workers. They are also being threatened by the families of the patients.

    “An Unprecedented Event In Modern Medicine”: What Happens When A State Fails To Flatten The COVID Curve
    David Mack Wed, September 22, 2021, Buzzfeed News edited for length

    She thought of the abuse she’d received from one man’s angry family members, who had berated her for not treating him with ivermectin, a deworming drug falsely promoted as a cure in conspiracy circles but that the FDA has warned against using in COVID patients. She thought of how police had had to remove the man’s family after his son-in-law told her, “If you don’t do this, I have a lot of ways to get people to do something, and they’re all sitting in my gun safe at home.”

    Like other medical workers in her state, Carvalho is exhausted and exasperated. Idaho currently has the lowest vaccination rate in the country, and the number of vaccine doses administered hasn’t been climbing significantly — but infections have. As of Saturday, there were 686 patients hospitalized in the state with COVID, 180 of them in ICUs. That’s hundreds more than what flooded hospitals during the previous surge in December 2020, before safe and effective vaccines were widely available.

    Currently, 50 of the 51 COVID patients in ICUs part of the St. Luke’s Health System — a chain covering southeastern Idaho, eastern Oregon, and northern Nevada — are unvaccinated.
    Hospitalizations have soared. In July, there were 33 patients with COVID across all the St. Luke’s hospitals. This week, there were 289. Currently, more than two-thirds of all patients in St. Luke’s facilities are being treated for the same virus,

    Idaho is what a state looks like when it fails to flatten the curve.
    The crisis standards apply to all patients — not just those with COVID-19.
    Keller said. “We have not yet hit our peak.”

    …and require more mechanical ventilation, they are staying in the ICU longer, and they are dying more frequently (the ICU mortality rate has jumped from 28% to 43%).

    Misinformation is also rampant. Republicans in one county that includes Boise this month voted to appoint a fringe doctor who has called vaccines “fake” to a regional health board.

  40. klatu says

    @KG

    What you say is absolutely true for rich countries

    Okay.

    even middle-income ones such as China

    Okay.

    Far less obvious for poor countries

    Uhm? Did I say otherwise?

    Please read my post again. I never once criticized anyone unduly. I’m certainly not blaming 99% of the world for not being world powers.

    Let me quote myself (ugh!):

    I’m talking about every country with access to mass vaccination.

    There. I’m criticizing the people with means of not using those means.

    So… maybe I’m sensing an attack where none exists. If so, sorry KG. Maybe we’re just misunderstanding each other.

    As for everying else in your #43, I completely agree!

  41. klatu says

    @Rob Grigjanis #22

    Amen. This is what infuriates me. There are politicians in Canada (and elsewhere of course) who should be serving jail time for their mishandling of the pandemic. Instead, they remain in office and some of them will win their next elections. And enough people believe the blatant misinformation, and the braindead conservative dogma (business first!) to keep this thing going for years. Fucking lethal idiots.

    Yep. I agree. Get used to being very alone with that feeling.

    Because by that metric, everyone is guilty (and they ARE). Every idiot tourist is guilty. They just had to go to Rome or Madrid or whatever. They even wore two different masks on the plane. (That’s just being careful!)
    Every dumbass sportsball fan is guilty for going to a stadium packed with ten thousand other dumbass sportsball fans, all opening their mouths and breathing in each others’ virulent excess exhalations.
    And so on.

    Yeah…

    I maintain that Covid is the underpowered tutorial-level fluffball the universe gave us to practice on. Because climate change will make us murder billions, if we fail. Get ready for it. It will suck. It will suck a lot. And nobody wants to admit it.

  42. beholder says

    @40 John Morales

    Well, to cause a brain tumor it would pretty much have to be ionising radiation, no?

    A minor quibble, completely unrelated to radio waves, but there are bands of ultraviolet radiation which are non-ionizing in the conventional sense (they don’t have the energy to strip electrons off of atoms), but are known to react with and damage larger molecules in living cells. All of the ultraviolet light emitted from the sun which reaches Earth’s surface is of this non-ionizing type, and we know it can cause cancer.

  43. klatu says

    @Joe Felsenstein #53

    I think we should cut the no-vaxxers/no-maskers some slack.

    Huh? Why?

    For most of them, they are ordinary people

    Sure. We ALL are.

    no more selfish than you,

    HARD disagree!

    but they live in parts of the country… [excuses]

    Let me ask: When does ignorance finally stop counting? In the case of this pandemic, how many people do you need to infect before “sorry, I’m dumb” no longer counts as an excuse? Ten people? A hundred?

    Tell me the number.

    In my view, even one death is terrible. “Sorry, I listened to Fox News and therefore suck at truth-related tasks” is not much of an excuse, is it? Are you really willing to be this rubber-necked? Why? Because they’re your relatives? The best thing you can do is push back. If they shun you for it, then what was that relationship ever actually worth?

    …Shit. Excuse me. I’m being aggressive.

    I’m just sick of all of this. I’m really not looking for a fight. I’m just… exasperated and quite drunk.

    (Okay. I’m out. No more internet for me today!)

  44. says

    To me a deciding factor in harshness is in (or bluntness) is the willingness of the person to make statements of fact. A person willing to make a statement of fact should be able to show the fact, and explain the fact. Speaking from knowledge instead of belief has more of a potential or actual social cost depending on what I choose to do.
    If they can’t show the fact and explain it that is demonstrated ignorance. Actions taken based on some kinds of ignorance (willful, political…sometimes open and honest) in public areas are more dangerous than others.

    Another option is focusing on the most aggressive, ignorant, and/or political person in the room (or two) and consider the audience in terms of the priority messages.

  45. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @60: I’m old enough, but I wonder what percentage of the commentariat gets that joke.

  46. John Morales says

    klatu, I think you’re being kinder to Joe Felsenstein #53 than I would have been.

    After all, the claim boils down to “forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

    And you’re being kinder to those people, since Joe is basically claiming they are saps who fall for charlatanism, whereas at least you concede they have some agency.

  47. consciousness razor says

    Joe Felsenstein:

    but they live in parts of the country where most people around them are denying the need for masks or vaccination

    This kind of thing has been “reported” a lot in the “news,” and you can certainly notice a big difference in how some groups/locations as opposed to others are highlighted and discussed. But it doesn’t seem to actually explain all that much.

    There is a geographical discrepancy between US counties which had a Biden majority versus those which had a Trump majority. (See here, for example. For another breakdown at the state level, along with more data about different age groups, see here.)

    So, there is a gap. However, the gap is currently only 12.9%, as the first link shows. A difference, certainly, and every little bit helps. But it’s not actually that big of a difference — not as big as you would think, if you listened to some.

    And you still have only 52.8% in the “blue” (Biden-voting) counties anyway, even this far into the process. The remaining 47.2% are definitely “around” lots of people who are assumed to be pro-vaccine because they were pro-Biden. So that’s not likely to be their actual problem. (If we’re going to be somewhat less simplistic about how we model things, it’s going to imply even more mixing not less. But I think this already makes the point well enough.)

    Also, that gap, instead of decreasing as you might have hoped or expected, has also grown significantly over time — it started at only a 2.2% gap in April. To me, this suggests that the last several months of attempting to “persuade” (or shame, etc.) the people who we think need this sort of intervention have been mostly failures, counterproductive even. Why did it get worse and not better? (Probably lots of decent answers.)

    As an aside, it’s still not easy for me to imagine how the vaccination effort would’ve gone, if Trump had won in 2020. Many were at least extremely skeptical/hesitant (if not totally opposed) to taking any vaccine that was ostensibly coming from or endorsed by him, prior to the election. So i don’t think it’s clear how those people would be acting now, if he had won.

    But after it was known that he lost, their attitude or really their entire approach to the subject has been as different as can be. Why? Maybe understanding that is a decent first step for understanding some of the current anti-vaxxers. I guess the trouble is that there’s no genuinely good reason for those two things to be so entangled with each other in anyone’s mind, so it’s still not like you can easily make sense of it. But maybe that could help to clear some of the cobwebs at least.

  48. John Morales says

    cr,

    so it’s still not like you can easily make sense of it

    No.

    Weird thing, many medical professionals (nurses, paramedics) are vehemently anti-vax, even here in Oz. Not a small minority, either.

  49. consciousness razor says

    No.

    That’s a “no” of agreement, right?

    Weird thing, many medical professionals (nurses, paramedics) are vehemently anti-vax, even here in Oz. Not a small minority, either.

    Sure, I believe it. Same deal here in the US, although I couldn’t tell you how large it may be.

    However, what I was thinking about was that, around this time last year, there was a surge in anti-vaccine sentiment among some Democrats, partly reinforce by Biden and Harris themselves. It’s now all but forgotten, but I’m sure google can help if you’re looking for examples. It was very specifically connected with opposition to (or severe distrust in) Trump. I don’t recall any expressions of a prior generic opposition to vaccines, while many were explicitly “I’m not an anti-vaxxer, but….” or a similar formulation.

  50. tuatara says

    John, likewise not far from me is the town of Mullumbimbi which is a hotbed of anti-5G and anti-vax sentiment.
    In fact, stores there are still posting signs in their windows advising the recently vaccinated that they are not welcome in case they are “shedding” the virus (shows zero understanding of how mRNA vaccinations work), and to prevent menstrual disruption in unvaccinated women (WTF?).

    I couldn’t help also noticing the ‘discussion’ about cell-phone radiation a little earlier too.
    I agree that cell-phones do not demonstrably increase the risk of brain tumours.

    The World Health Organization established the International EMF Project in 1996 to assess the scientific evidence of possible health effects of EMF in the frequency range from 0 to 300 GHz. They have stated that although extensive research has been conducted into possible health effects of exposure to many parts of the frequency spectrum, all reviews conducted so far have indicated that, as long as exposures are below the limits recommended in the ICNIRP (1998) EMF guidelines, which cover the full frequency range from 0–300 GHz, such exposures do not produce any known adverse health effect.

    Also, in reference to the power outputs of wireless devices….

    In a 2018 statement, the FDA said that “the current safety limits are set to include a 50-fold safety margin from observed effects of Radio-frequency energy exposure

    This is only from a Wikipedia page I know, so, umm….it might be bollocks.

    However, the now [in]famous (my opinion of it anyway) NTP study here on RF exposure in rats and mice does show results that indicate that high-dose radiation might increase the rate of incidence of tumours. But that study used frequencies modulated to mimic 1st and 2nd generation cellular phone radiation at levels of 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12W/kg, as whole body exposure, for 9 hours and 10 minutes per day. Given that the maximum permitted SAR set by the US FCC is 1.6W/kg (and most modern cell-phones emit far less than this), and 1st and 2nd gen cellular networks have largely been retired in many parts of the world, a study of this nature is bogus to say the least.

    In fact, the sceptical inquirer covers this study well here: https://skepticalinquirer.org/2018/07/cell-phone-radiation-and-cancer/ in which they also cite another study thus:

    Given that the results are not consistent across or even within species, one must ask whether the results of the NTP could be due to chance alone. Given the small number of tumors that occurred in each group, random chance could have a significant role in these findings. We often fail to appreciate just how important random chance can be in statistical analyses. The ISIS-2 study offers up a perfect example (ISIS 1988).

    The ISIS-2 study demonstrated that giving aspirin to patients after a heart attack improved outcomes. However, even though the study was overall positive, one subgroup of patients showed no benefit. That subgroup was patients born under the zodiac signs of Gemini and Libra. In fact, the authors of the ISIS-2 study purposely highlighted this rather ludicrous and totally spurious statistical finding to demonstrate that “all these subgroup analyses should be taken less as evidence about who benefits than as evidence that such analyses are potentially misleading.

    Of course the WHO will classify RF exposure as group 2b or “possibly carcinogenic”. But equating this to the RF one is exposed to from modern cellular technology is misleading.

  51. Akira MacKenzie says

    Fuck her. I hope she died in agony. I only wish I could have watched this cur as she died in the pain and fear she deserved.

    ALSO fuck the four, sub-humans that flopped out of their right-wing mother’s over-used twat. Nits make lice.

    And a preemptive “FUCK YOU” To anyone who dare criticize me for my comments! After centuries of abuse, ALL theists and capitalists deserve neither mercy or compassion and NO atheist should defend them! Any insult or “indignity” is justified and anyone who objects had no right to call themselves as coward in the face of fascism and theocracy!

  52. John Morales says

    Akira:

    Fuck her. I hope she died in agony. I only wish I could have watched this cur as she died in the pain and fear she deserved.

    I doubt she did; she probably passed silently away, out of it.

    Had you been there, I reckon your sadism would have been less than satisfied.

    And a preemptive “FUCK YOU” To anyone who dare criticize me for my comments!

    <snicker>

    Ranting loonies’ blustery fuckyas are kinda sad.

    (A nicer person might pity you)

    After centuries of abuse, ALL theists and capitalists deserve neither mercy or compassion and NO atheist should defend them!

    There, there.

    (BTW, that should be ‘nor’, not ‘or’)

  53. Akira MacKenzie says

    Oh, I’m sorry John. I’m just sick and tired of sharing a universe with evil scum and the fucking liberals who want me to be nice to them. Pardon the fuck out of me if I don’t want to sit around the campfire, sip organic kombucha, and sing Kumbuya with right-wingers, anti-vaxxers, Christians and other scum!

  54. Rob Grigjanis says

    Akira @71:

    ALSO fuck the four, sub-humans that flopped out of their right-wing mother’s over-used twat. Nits make lice.

    You have much in common with the fascists you profess to oppose. I’d never call you sub-human, but you are a nasty piece of work. Fuck you too, sunshine.

  55. snarkrates says

    Akira, seriously, are you happy being that angry all the time? I would think it takes a toll. Maybe take a step back and ask yourself if it’s really worth letting idiots get you that upset.

  56. says

    Akira
    Go take a walk. A long one. You use Nazi language (sub human, lice), you use Nazi ideology (judging children for their mother), you are a misogynist (“over used twat”). In short, you are the evil fascist. I used to have a lot of sympathy for you, because you are lonely. But honestly, there are reasons why people probably avoid your company. You’re showing them here.

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