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bstnh1

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Not my creation. This was sent to me by a friend:

T’was a Month Before Christmas 2020

T’was a month before Christmas,
And all through the town,
People wore masks,
That covered their frown.

The frown had begun
Way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic
Changed everything.

They called it corona,
But unlike the beer,
It didn’t bring good times,
It didn’t bring cheer.

Contagious and deadly,
This virus spread fast,
Like a wildfire that starts
When fueled by gas.

Airplanes were grounded,
Travel was banned.
Borders were closed
Across air, sea and land.

As the world entered lockdown
To flatten the curve,
The economy halted,
And folks lost their verve.

From March to July
We rode the first wave,
People stayed home,
They tried to behave.

When summer emerged
The lockdown was lifted.
But away from caution,
Many folks drifted.

Now it’s November
And cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived,
Much to our disliking.

Frontline workers,
Doctors and nurses,
Try to save people,
From riding in hearses.

This virus is awful,
This COVID-19.
There isn’t a cure.
There is no vaccine.

It’s true that this year
Has had sadness a plenty,
We’ll never forget
The year 2020.

And just ‘round the corner –
The holiday season,
But why be merry?
Is there even one reason?

To decorate the house
And put up the tree,
When no one will see it,
No-one but me.

But outside my window
The snow gently falls,
And I think to myself,
Let’s deck the halls!

So, I gather the ribbon,
The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols,
My happiness grows.

Christmas ain’t cancelled
And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other,
I know we can cope.

Author unknown


 

Rice_Guy

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at this point I have to argue that we need universal testing, we are blind
. . . But in fact people differ greatly in terms of vulnerability and in terms of propensity to spread the disease.
it has been an interesting week,
I had the annual physical which felt like it was minimal, “they will get close enough to give a flue shot but really didn’t want to stand in front and listen to the breathing/ cough or scope the ears/ nose/ mouth. The doctor is frustrated that they really don’t know a lot about why corona acts so erratic.
Todd the neighbor who services mechanical systems at six regional Walmarts two days ago said that he felt sick saturday and Sunday, ,, mild stuff congestion/ fever, ,, and Friday he was at one of the kids so the girlfriend decided Todd might have exposed her and she ought to get tested, ,, and yesterday the test came back positive, ,, so Todd called his boss to discuss what to do? the boss deciding well you are asymptotic and have been servicing your accounts Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday so why stop to quarantine on Thursday. Todd isn’t going to bother getting a test, ,,, would be nice if he did the antibody though, ,, would be nice if he masked up when he walked over a week ago.

Oh Sugar! ,,,,
if I look at Korea and Singapore as models infrared scanning is common, you go in to work and your temp is checked, to school and your temp is checked, ,,, why not change the rules so that a church that wants to go to court isn’t ORDERED to stop having gatherings above ten people, but instead ORDERED that they have everyone scanned or quick tested every time they hold a gathering above ten people, ,,, and likewise for Walmart or other big businesses
WE ARE BLIND, and Todd is a gregarious type which could make a super spreader event
 

BernardSmith

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We are a society that has absolutely no understanding of the difference between public health and personal illness. In fact I would argue that US society is a clone of the Thatcher approach to society in the UK in the 1970s. She said, and I quote: Society? there is no such thing as society.
Here we admit that you and I can get sick and die . That's personal illness but no such thing as public health. We are now dying at a faster rate than 1 person a minute every day BECAUSE of this virus. Well, it looks like we are racing pell mell towards the iceberg while our federal government is reclining on their deckchairs sipping martinis or playing rounds of golf.
 

Chuck E

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@Rice_Guy The state of Washington has a nice testing regime. People take the test themselves and send in the samples. You log in to web portal for the results in a couple of days. The US is testing a million people a day, but it needs to test more. My wife has tested 3 times negative, and 1 negative antibody test. She has been exposed to me and at least 3 other positive carriers. My pulmonologist has seen many reports of this in his study group. His theory is that many people have been exposed to other corona viruses (common cold types) which confer some immunity. There are also studies on "viral load" which indicate that you need a large exposure to become infected.

@BernardSmith The Federal government does not have the constitutional authority to do much more than they have done. Public health has always been a state/local responsibility. I believe that is as it should be.
 

BernardSmith

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Constitutional authority? I am talking about providing states with necessary resources and consistently offering best practice advice neither which this government has felt able, bound, or desirous to offer. In another country this would be called gross and blithering negligence.
 

Rice_Guy

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@Chuck E , an interesting model is out which suggests that anosmia is a function of mucosal immune response (Russell, University of Buffalo)
 

Rice_Guy

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This is the US, ,,,, yes constitutional, the Wisconsin court knocked down mask orders based on the governor not having the legal right to give such a state wide order, kinda funny the lame duck session when Walker lost the last election narrowed the new governor’s authority more
Constitutional authority? I am talking about providing states with necessary resources and consistently offering best practice advice neither which this government has felt able, bound, or desirous to offer. In another country this would be called gross and blithering negligence.
* the federal government has taxing and funding tools which are persuasive, ex schools buy into expressing equal rights as a cost of accepting funding
* it is OK to be negligent if it keeps one political tribe in power, decades ago I observed that an emotional argument is every bit as strong as a logic or statistical risk argument, ,,,, so what a few thousand old farts die, but the base will be happy

* what would a wise leader/ person do?
 

BernardSmith

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I guess we need to work to change the constitution to make it befit the 21st century rather than the 18th. The 13th amendment still permits slavery and if the constitution does not permit the government to issue orders to protect people from viruses that are a life form unknown to the Founding Fathers then perhaps we need to bring the constitution into the 21st Century; health, being a human right and not simply a private benefit for those who can afford it.
 

BernardSmith

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@Rice_Guy The state of Washington has a nice testing regime. People take the test themselves and send in the samples. You log in to web portal for the results in a couple of days. The US is testing a million people a day, but it needs to test more.
Not an epidemiologist, but tests need to be performed routinely and regularly. The private school (K-12) where my wife teaches history tests teachers and students every few weeks and they are moving to group testing (to reduce the cost) but they still maintain that testing needs to be done regularly and I completely agree. Even those who are asymptomatic can still infect others and if you are asymptomatic why would you think to get tested?
 

BernardSmith

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I am not sure that admins of this forum want this to be used for philosophical discussions, so if they think that this is inapropriate they may delete this but I am very happy to pay the taxes needed to ensure that public goods are produced and equitably distributed and if your needs are greater than my needs then an equitable distribution would mean that you should get more of the scarce resources than I. I have no problem with that.

I don't sit back and say "gimme ME more. I work to try to get everyone what THEY need. My needs are few and small. But many of the things you mention should be PUBLIC GOODS and not private goods to be sold and bought to enrich a select few. Housing, education, health, transportation and food are fundamental parts of the infrastructure of society yet we have created a social system and a society where these essential public goods have been transformed into private goods that produce gtreat wealth for a few. We have created a social systen where you MUST buy into these goods as if they are private goods and not part of the public wealth. Those with power and authority have created laws and to treat these things as private goods.

But the thing is - and contra Ronald Reagan - You and I are the government. Government is not some alien creature distinct from us all . Government is neither good nor bad. It is only as good as we make it. Government is not the problem unless we, the people, are the problem. And we, the people, are not the problem.
 

David Violante

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Part I and II of the book Sapiens by Yuval Harari explains fairly well one theory of human behavior as related to this topic among many others like it. It is a very interesting read if only to see another perspective and ponder it.

I have been involved in Public Health for many years locally and internationally. What I've found in that arena and other public benefit type programs like it (read: designed for the public at large, not designed for individuals at the public's expense) is that people tend to believe and do what is best for everyone until a personal threshold is reached. That threshold declines over time with exhaustion, confusion, politics, economics, confounding factors, social influence, belief systems, etc... We are far into that threshold for many reasons, right, wrong, good, bad, or otherwise, and trying to swim among all the information, experiences and influences. The influences are the toughest piece, especially within the social media driven scape we live (watch The Social Dilemma for yet another perspective).

To that end, discussion is good at every level, and we are very uniquely positioned to be able to have it, as opposed to some other places around the world that are not. Maybe it's here, maybe it's not, but a place to have the discussion is paramount to not having it at all.
 

Chuck E

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@Rice_Guy Thanks for the tip on the U of Buffalo article. Very interesting. Since I've recovered from Covid, I read just about every scholarly journal report I can get my hands on. This is the first I've seen on developing immunity in the upper respiratory system.
 

Chuck E

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But the thing is - and contra Ronald Reagan - You and I are the government. Government is not some alien creature distinct from us all . Government is neither good nor bad. It is only as good as we make it. Government is not the problem unless we, the people, are the problem. And we, the people, are not the problem.
I disagree with you. Government is a problem on many levels. Ie: the bureaucracy and lack of motivation to do good work. Over-dependency on functions it is unsuited for. Over regulation. I could go on, but you get the idea. As a society, we have lost our appetite for risk. Consequently, we expect the government force the precautionary principle on to all of us. Each of us breaks numerous laws everyday, because there are so many no one can know them all.
 

BernardSmith

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If we think that bureaucracy prevents needed actions we have the power to change that. If we refuse to change what we think is wrong then that is not the fault of "government" . That is our fault. When was the last time you called your local, state or federal representatives? When was the last time you lobbied to get what you want government to do? Some reguklations are good, some are poor, and some are bad but regulations as a tool are neither good nor bad. They are what allows us to control and manage our very complex civil society. To argue otherwise is like saying that your car brakes and accelerator is bad. Those are "regulators" and they are bad only if they don't work when you need them to or you don't know how to apply them appropriately.
 

Rice_Guy

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@bstnh1 Good question, ,,, the human right is to be treated fairly.

the job of government is to do actions for the common good, frequently this is health (ex covid), and defense, and regulations, and improving the economic well being of all.
A century ago it was considered common good to find a cure for polio, for cholera, for small pox, , , we have stories as typhoid Mary who was confined against her will because she was an asymptomatic super spreader. The court decided that she could be confined for the common good even though she had not committed a crime, ,,, was typhoid Mary treated fairly? ,,, Today we have a similar outbreak in covid. asymptomatic people are spreading it and some unfortunates then get sick, with about 2% developing lasting lung damage and about 1% of symptomatic folks get to die. What is fair? the majority will live, ,,,, reduce the risk for all with masks/ capacity limits/ etc ,,, and why has our neighbor’s health become a tribal issue? apparently not enough have died yet and we have lost the memory of iron lungs/ polio.
I laugh that monoclonal antibodies were used a month ago to treat the leader with covid. Science took fetal stem cells and manipulated genetics to make the cocktail,,,, Was this fair? the leader did not earn that health care (and also he's against the health care which produced the fetal cells which turned into new technology to allow him recover symptom free), ,,, and so far you and I are not offered this technology, at any price. Good question above, ,, is health care a right, better question, what would be fair if it were your kid?
The Japanese system is designed so the lowest paid worker and highest paid are separated by 70x. The US is a lot farther apart, I see numbers in the high 200s every year. With covid we are calling lots of bottom wage workers “essential”, really? if they really are/ were essential then why not treat the bottom more equally? ,,,, did the CEO get paid health care and transportation? probably, ,,, do we as a people find it important that all are treated fairly? (especially the next generation)

OPINION; no the government should not and frankly can not give everyone everything, work is good and individuals who have stupid behavior patterns should not have them rewarded ,,, HOWEVER the rules should be established so that all are treated fairly, AND especially that the kids all have a chance to be productive and smart and honest and lead happy lives, kinda treated like we would want ourselves and our grandkids to be treated.
I worked in research which only existed because we as a society have enough resources that we can burn through our surplus and never go hungry, we are a rich species! I have also seen the other side, ,,, I was willing to be a single parent of a special needs kid, was willing to be the 24 hour care giver, and on food stamps, and on mom care etc ,,,, because I love my kid. What would you want if it were you? what is the common good if it is you?

We as a species have developed monoclonal antibodies, electricity, clothing, wine, basically everything today, , , , , only because we have worked together for the common good


Health care a human right???? Well, we need clothing, housing, transportation, food, personal care items and a whole lot more. Should we make those "human rights" too?? It amazes me how many people think the government should provide everything they need while they sit back and say "gimme more".
 
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jswordy

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In the rural county where I live in Tennessee, NO ONE wears a mask and the state does not have a masking mandate nor does the county. I just got back from a farm store in town, and ONE employee was masked, ZERO customers masked. That's typical all across the county, which ranks as having an epidemic of COVID and is sixth in Tennessee in daily new cases. I wear a mask at all times when I am rarely out in public, and I get angry stares for doing it.

Even as these folks are seeing their friends and relatives get seriously ill and die, they refuse. Even as COVID has overtaken heart disease as the #1 killer of Americans (source: NBC News), they refuse. I can only surmise that, in the face of all science and research and empirical evidence of an epidemic level of local infection, the motivation for not wearing a mask is mostly political. People here are the "Don't Tread on Me" type and they say masks infringe on their freedoms.

I just can't see, for my part, that there's much freedom in a box with six feet of dirt on your chest. Just can't see it.

Because of this insanity and my ability to work from home, we don't go out anywhere unless absolutely necessary for food or supplies. And we won't for months yet to come. We're higher risk, and I am not going to die of it just from sheer complacency.
 

BernardSmith

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To me this is "political" in the more philosophical sense - Nothing to do with party politics as much as a deeply ingrained ideology that dismisses the social almost entirely and invokes the individual as the only thing that matters. Public health has absolutely no meaning in that ideology. YOU are on your own. I take care ONLY of myself.

But in reality, wearing a mask has really as much to do with my NEED to protect YOU in order to also protect myself. The refusal of people to understand that we all have a need to protect each other at least as much as we need to protect ourselves is a recipe for the end of the American Century. Of course, I come from an understanding of the world that views the "individual" as a particular aspect of the more fundamental social organization and not the social system as being made up of a collection of "individuals" who have made some "contract" with one another. (individuals can exist, literally, only within the context of a social system and cannot exist prior to any social system - language could never have evolved otherwise).
 

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