Previous “COVID-19” posts

Covidiots Temporarily Delay Vaccinations 

Monday, February 1st, 2021

It’s bad enough that there are so many thoughtless people in the world who refuse to take basic precautions to keep themselves and their fellow humans safe, such as socially distancing and wearing masks. But the existence of people actively interfering with those who are trying to protect themselves is almost too much to bear.

Rod and Ekaterina Baker Are Selfish Morons 

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

A Canadian casino executive and his wife chartered a private plane to a remote area of the Yukon territory, then posed as local motel workers to improperly obtain access to doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that had been brought in for an elderly and high-risk population. How were they caught?

Mr. Streicker said the two people asked if someone could take them to the airport after they were vaccinated, which “raised flags” with the vaccination team. They called the enforcement unit for the Civil Emergency Measures Act.

So in addition to being selfish, they’re also idiots. Don’t be like the Bakers.

The COVID Crisis Continues 

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

In the past ten months, all manner of rules and regulations have been modified to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. A moratorium has been placed on evictions, and the expirations on things like car registrations have been extended, to reduce the need for folks to leave their homes. These changes were made to reduce the spread of the virus, and to lessen its harmful societal impacts.

Unfortunately, it clearly hasn’t been enough. Now, another rule is being modified, as Los Angeles County has suspended cremation limits. So many people are dying from COVID that LA needed to choose between the threat to public health caused by diminished air quality and the threat caused by an excess of corpses.

Stay home. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

No, No, No 

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Weddings occupy far too prominent a place in American culture, with some couples going so far as to take on massive debt to finance excessively lavish celebrations that they can’t really afford. In the era of COVID, however, weddings have the potential to kill more than just your credit score. It’s unfortunate, but as with so many things in the past year, the responsible thing to do in a pandemic is to cancel gatherings.

Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to do that. It’s been nearly a month since I read this article on weddings in Texas during COVID-19, but I can’t get it out of my mind. It begins with a bridesmaid telling a wedding photographer that the groom had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The woman thanked [the photographer] for still showing up, considering “everything that’s going on with the groom.”…“So I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And she was like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine.’ ”

No! That is not how this works.

She recalls one bridesmaid telling her, “I’m a teacher. I have fourteen students. If I’m willing to risk it, why aren’t you?”

No! What?! One fears this selfish person teachers her students that if all their friends jump off a cliff, they ought to as well.

[The photographer] recalled one conversation from that wedding, before she left the reception. “I have children,” she told a bridesmaid. “What if my children die?” The bridesmaid responded, “I understand, but this is her wedding day.”

No!

Stay home. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

There’s No Shortage of Available Numbers

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been amused by the various phases governments throughout the US have used for their re-opening plans. In Massachusetts, the whole thing is an overcomplicated mess, with steps within phases. Fortunately, by staying home as much as possible, I’m able to avoid the need to really understand our current status.

More recently, I found similar nonsense when it comes to vaccine waiting lists. My mother lives in New Jersey, and I wanted to get her in line for the COVID vaccine. After signing up, she wound up in “Phase 1C”, which amused me.


Via NJ.gov

The rather difficult to read graphic above shows that Phase 1A is healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, while Phase 1B is other essential workers. Phase 1C is adults over 65, and adults with various medical conditions, while Phase 2 is the general public. New Jersey has four distinct groupings, yet only two phases. It’s needless nonsense.

When it comes to receiving the vaccine for a deadly pandemic, being in Phase 1C sounds pretty good. But for anyone who stops to think about it, that’s obviously just Phase 3. Calling it “Phase 3” would make it more clear that it’s behind “Phase 1” and “Phase 2”, which I suppose some view as a downside. To me, avoiding insulting attempts at diversion is a good thing, as is being honest.

I’m pleased to note that while Massachusetts doesn’t yet have a waiting list, we do have just the type of straightforward system I’m suggesting.


Via Mass.gov

I’m in Phase 3, which I much prefer to Phase 1C. That said, the “order of priority” could well turn into a source of unnecessary complication.

Somehow, however, it’s already even worse in California. Friend-of-the-site Chris D. was researching there on behalf of his own mother, and found this chart:


Via CA.gov

While California’s chart is the easiest to read, its contents are even more absurd. Imagine actually trying to explain this to someone:

“So, you’re in group 1C.”

“Oh, great, it sounds like I’ll get the vaccine soon.”

“Well…”

“Ah, I guess there are two groups ahead of me, right? I’m after 1A and 1B, so I’m really in the third group.”

“Close! Group 1C is actually the fourth group, behind 1A, 1B Tier One, and 1B Tier Two.”

There are, literally, an infinite number of whole numbers. Perhaps New Jersey and California could just call things what they are.

An Air-Powered Costume Is a Bad Idea 

Monday, January 4th, 2021

Previously, we had superspreader Santa. Now, it appears a Christmas tree costume may have led to the infection dozens of people in San Jose, and at least one death so far.


[Photo via Marianne Favro]

There are countless ways folks are being foolish as this pandemic rips through America, and it’s quite literally killing people. Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay home.

Be Better 

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

We don’t have to “be best”, because that’s nonsense grammar. However, we should all strive to be better. To give just one example, in the era of COVID, restaurant patrons should strive to be better than this:

“Workers frequently are subjected to sexualized comments from customers, the majority of which were a request from male customers that women service workers remove their mask so that the men could judge their looks, and, implicitly, determine their tips on that basis,” states the report.

Tipping is a terrible custom, but we’re all stuck with it for now. Sexism and misogyny, however, we each have the power to reduce.

Superspreader Santa 

Monday, December 14th, 2020

In the midst of a global pandemic, Santa Claus is a really bad idea.

The Brutal Reality of COVID-19 

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

The Washington Post has a remarkable piece wherein seven nurses detail their experiences working during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The entire thing is gut-wrenching, but this story from Utah nurse Nate Smithson really knocked me back.

If a patient’s heart stops or if they stop breathing, we call a code blue, and that’s when the doctor, respiratory therapist, nurses, everybody comes into the room. We start chest compressions or CPR or that kind of stuff. This one patient’s heart is not working. So I call the code blue. We all get in there. We start doing the chest compressions. Five minutes later, we get the patient back. We all go back about our work. Twenty minutes later, same thing happens again. We start doing the chest compressions. We start pushing medications as fast as we can to get the patient back again.

The spouse comes into the hospital. I explain: “Just so you know, this is what happened before. It could possibly happen again. If it does, I’m going to need you to step outside of the room.” And as I’m explaining this, sure enough, it happens again. We lose the pulse. We lose the heartbeat. So I ask her to leave the room. Everyone gets in there, and we start going for it. We went for almost two hours: chest compressions, pushing medications, shocking the patient’s heart.

The doctor is ultimately the one who makes the decision about when we stop, and they call time of death. But typically in situations like that, where it’s unexpected and sudden, they want to make sure that everybody can go home that night feeling OK about what they did, knowing that they did everything. And after an hour, he stops, turns to the room and asks: Does anyone have a problem with us stopping?

I didn’t have a problem, but then as he’s saying that, I look out the window, and the patient’s wife is just watching us. She’s been sitting out there watching us for an hour, and no one’s saying anything.

And I ask them to keep going.

So we did. We went almost for another hour after that, and we didn’t get the patient back. He ended up dying.

But I think for me, that was important — to keep going. Not because we thought we would get them back, but so that his wife would know that we did everything we could.

I still go to bed with her face kind of burned into my mind, of just seeing her sitting out there watching us, and that’s what kills me.

Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay home.

Read the Room, American Airlines

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

What do you do the day after perhaps the most contentious election in American history, when the winner of the presidency has yet to be determined? Apparently, if you’re American Airlines, you send out a marketing email entitled “Why our cleaning strategy works”. Said email touts the ability of their cleaning practices to reduce COVID-19 risks on their planes:

An email from American Airlines touting their cleaning practices, for flights you almost certainly shouldn't be taking.”

Even if air travel weren’t something best avoided while a global pandemic is raging, maybe not today, huh, AA?