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Posts posted by Amira

  1. 1 hour ago, wathe said:

    Re the bolded:  I agree that that probably wasn't the intention, but it was the effect.  The US has a de facto export ban on covid vaccines; "America First" order signed Trump and kept in place by Biden.  The AZ that got exported to Canada and the Mexico was not manufactured with the intent for export; it was manufactured with the intent of domestic consumption.  An exception was made to the export ban because batches of AZ were literally going to expire in while sitting in US warehouses.  Some see it as the US selling to other countries what would literally otherwise have become garbage if it stayed at home, and only because it would have otherwise become garbage if it stayed at home - it feels like profiteering.  This vaccine would not have been shared if it were usable at home.  Obviously, letting it go to waste would have been worse.  But the optics of profiting from what would otherwise be waste, and sharing only because it would otherwise be garbage, aren't great either.

    I totally agree with this.  While I am concerned that Canada hasn't been able to move very quickly in vaccinating its own population, it will get there. And its policies regarding the supply it does have access to are more equitable, which I definitely think is a good thing.  I've been very disappointed in how the US is handling this.

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  2. 9 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

    Are they (Egyptian govt) talking about mostly northern Africa or any country in Africa that wants it? Either way I think their willingness to produce enough to share is commendable. I wish the U.S. had done the same. 

    I haven't seen anything with that much detail, but usually when they talk about Africa here, they mean sub-Saharan Africa so I'd assume the focus wouldn't be on North Africa.  

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  3. Egypt started talking last summer about producing what we now know as Sinovac to distribute to Africa, and they’re apparently finalizing the deal now.  I haven’t seen any real estimates of how long it will take to start produce vaccine at any useful level, but when Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa, it would really help to have local production.  They’re only talking about 80 million doses annually though, and Egypt needs 150 million to get to herd immunity, plus Sinovac might only be 50% effective. 

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  4. These stories of random countries getting people vaccinated quickly are so interesting to me.  Seychelles, Chile, UAE, Israel, the one Spy Car wants people to guess about.  There aren't a lot of patterns except an usually proactive government that really pushed for vaccines.  But there are other proactive governments who haven't been able to produce the same results. 

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  5. Haiti has also been especially vulnerable to conspiracy theories regarding vaccines. https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2021/3/16/how-haitis-political-crisis-is-fanning-vaccine-fears

    Vaccine rumors have been devastating to local health care in many countries.  One of the most concerning examples is polio in Pakistan. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)32101-4/fulltext

    This is such a huge issue.  Individual Americans and Canadians can refuse vaccines with little personal consequence because of herd immunity and good national healthcare (although there have been local community consequences when vaccine refusal rates get high enough) but it’s devastating when there isn’t herd immunity or good local healthcare.  I am really concerned about how this will affect getting corona under control around the world. 

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  6. Conspiracy theories and fear of the vaccine are major hurdles right now, so one very simple thing that people who have access to the vaccine can do is to not spread rumors and false information.  Those false ideas are certainly not only being spread by Americans, but they contribute to the problem.

    The ship has already sailed on wealthy countries, including the US, hoarding the vaccine so far, so probably the best thing individual Americans can do is get vaccinated ASAP so that US attention can finally turn to countries who need vaccines.  If we have to spend a long time convincing hesitant Americans to get vaccinated, it will only slow access for people in other countries.

    Support COVAX. https://www.who.int/initiatives/act-accelerator/covax  COVAX vaccines have been delivered to the country I live in, allowing for the first significant round of vaccination to happen, although COVAX's base goal of 20% of countries' populations isn't anywhere near enough. See here too  https://www.unicef.org/supply/media/6176/file/UNICEF-ACTA-SFF-Mar2021.pdf

    Push for US dollars to be spent on vaccines that will target populations that won't have access for a long time, and make sure they are available at zero cost to the recipients.  The earliest EOs in December regarding US vaccines actually prohibited US-sourced vaccines from going to non-citizens.  This isn't the case anymore, but even then, that restriction caused problems.  We can't limit vaccine access, even if US tax dollars pay for it.  And the main question I get asked about future vaccines here is whether it will be free.  Wealthy countries will have to fund this, and it will be worth the money.

    Advocate for more US dollars to be spent on global health initiatives overall.  There have been huge improvements in global health as people work together, but there's still a long way to go.  Healthier populations will get through future pandemics better.  If enough Americans ask for US tax dollars to be spent on global health, it can happen.

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  7. 1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

    I want to thank everyone for sharing and being respectful.


    I do want to mention, some folks have addressed how they will go back to normal for their lives and their families, and I am also wondering about what folks think about the legal aspects.  Meaning, when will you be comfortable with, for example, no attendance restrictions on football games, or mask mandates being lifted.  

    We have Ramadan, Easter, Sham al-Nassim, and Eid al-Fitr all coming up in the next 3-7 weeks, and they’re all major events here, basically like the holiday season in the US. They were all pretty much shut down last year with only small in-home observances.  They’re discouraging gathering this year, but I’m not sure how much it will be enforced. I think churches and mosques will be more open than last year. People don’t want to go through another round of their major holidays being difficult.  Vaccination is pretty much at zero here.  But a lot of things are outside, so we’ll see what happens.  I’m personally planning to be on the streets during those holidays, masked and staying away from big crowds, but I avoid crowds in normal life anyway. 

    There is a mask mandate and people always have a mask with them to put on if they are asked to. There’s no indication that the mask mandate will end anytime soon, which is fine with me.  Masks are about all we have here to slow the spread.

  8. I think it might be possible for some level of normalcy to return to a city/state/region/country once there is a fairly high vaccination rate in any of those given areas.  But there will always be some pieces of the old normal that won’t return until corona isn’t a problem around the world.  Friends living in Europe are frustrated with vaccinated Americans who are talking about international travel this summer when Europe is locking down, not opening up, and vaccination isn’t moving as quickly as people had hoped. We’re seeing more Americans coming where I live because it’s relatively easier to travel here, but it’s certainly not safe to do so (and I always wonder what Americans will do if they get a positive corona test and can’t return to the US, especially if they’re stuck in a country that has limited medical care). 

    For me, normalcy won’t return till my country and the rest of the world gets corona under control either through vaccinations or some other means.  Pieces of my life will get more normal when I am vaccinated, but since international flights are a necessary part of my normal, just to see my adult children, I’m honestly not sure how long it will take to get to normal.  Travel will be limited even with a vaccination, depending on the restrictions different countries have. And then there are all the other things that have been affected worldwide by corona that will have ripple effects for a long time.  It really depends on how international your old normal was.  I think we’re all more interconnected than we realize though, and I’m curious to see if that becomes more apparent to Americans who will be vaccinated sooner than most of the rest of the world.

    I suspect it will take years for my country to recover from the economic fallout of corona.

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  9. Church. yes, as gardenmom described above.  Our global church leadership is also supporting vaccination, masking, and social distancing.  I don't live in the US and those messages are coming through here too, not just in the US.  My family has only been to church a few times in the last year.

    But individual members?  I've seen a higher-than-average number of people pushing back on masking, vaccinating, and social distancing in general, or who think the restrictions at church aren't necessary.

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  10. I think they've administered around 1000-2000 doses here for a country of 100 million, so no, I haven't gotten it.  A little over 1/3 of the population here is under 16, so we need 130 million doses for a two-dose vaccine.  I think the country can count on 20 million right now, so there is a very long way to go.

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  11. Paneer uses lots of milk.  You can freeze it if you don't want to use it now.  This is a pretty good description of how to make it.  You can use more milk if you want to, and just add in more vinegar till it curdles, depending on how much milk you're using.  https://www.indianhealthyrecipes.com/how-to-make-paneer-cubes-at-home/

    Fried paneer is really yummy in lots of different things, which is our favorite way to eat it.

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  12. I was so worried a year ago about the impact of corona on my friends here who already were barely surviving.  It has definitely not been an easy year for them. A year ago today, our city was flooded with an epic rainstorm. Water was cut for 20 million people, almost everyone had water somewhere in their home, no matter what floor you lived on, trees were down across major roads, and it was almost impossible to go very far from home, even to get food or bottled water.   It was surreal dealing with that local and brief natural disaster while knowing that a long-term, global disaster was looming.

    Shutting down was different here since most people in my country don't have constant internet access and most jobs couldn't go remote.  Most schools couldn't either. Tourism is a major part of the economy and was finally recovering after political instability 10 years ago, but it will be a while before there will be tourists like there were before.  No one really will know what has happened here with corona until we can compare excess deaths since everything has been underreported here.  Surviving this year has been a lot more than just not dying of corona, though, even in a country that has overall had fewer restrictions than many others.

    It will still be a very long time before vaccines come to my country in any number to actually make a difference.  I honestly don't see how this is going to end here in 2021.  In some ways, I hope the US gets everyone vaccinated ASAP so it can turn its attention to helping other countries since I know it won't happen before that.  This pandemic has made the world so much more insular.

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  13. A woman doesn’t have to be literally locked in her house to have her choices so thoroughly limited that she only actually leaves the house twice in four months. I’m a little shocked at people blaming Meghan for the circumstances she described, or saying that she should have known what she was getting into.  Having experienced a similar type of unwanted isolation for very different reasons, I know in a small way how incredibly oppressive this can be, even if someone can claim that I could have left the house whenever I wanted to.  I knew exactly what I was getting into, and it was still awful.  

    Also, a significant amount of human trafficking that goes on around the world is against competent adult women who are trafficked into forced labor or sexual situations where they cannot leave the place they are living. I’m certainly not trying to say Meghan was trafficked, but plenty of women are not able to leave home for a wide variety of reasons.  Even people who are very privileged in many ways.

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  14. So, my brother-in-law who lived in Switzerland for a couple of years was the one who taught me how to make German pancakes. I just emailed him to ask him exactly where he got his recipe and what they’re called in German because I have wondered that for years but never remember to ask since I rarely get to see him in person.  For the record, the German pancakes my BIL makes are like Dutch babies.  We also made them when I was growing up and called them volcano pancakes.

  15. It’s really hard to know exactly what is actually happening.  We recently stayed in hotels and Airbnbs in three different states, two of which have some kind of quarantine rules.  But it didn’t affect us at all, even when we were arriving at a major airport and obviously were coming from out of state.  Even though I just travelled, I have no idea what the rules are because our actual experience is different from what the guidelines say online.

    If I *had* to travel, I’d call hotels now and talk to a person to make sure that I could book ahead of time, and then reconfirm right before travel. But it seems much better to not travel at all right now.

  16. Not for a vacation, but we recently stayed in several different Airbnbs in the US.  We had no in-person interaction with the owners and no one stayed in them the night before.  We were booking during the off season so that cut down on how much the Airbnbs had been used.

    You can ask your host about their cleaning procedures.  They have to at least comply with this. https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2809/what-is-airbnbs-5step-enhanced-cleaning-process

    You can cancel without a penalty if your host doesn’t follow those steps, although it can be difficult to know what happened before you arrived.

    I felt much, much safer at our Airbnb in a rural area than going to the grocery store there where many people weren’t masked.  Our grocery store trips were really quick (delivery wasn’t possible, at least not for all eight days).  We were tested during one of the stays and again three days after.  Both tests were negative for all of us. 

    I’d definitely do it again if we needed a larger place to stay.  We stayed in hotels a few times too, and as long as we took the stairs and stayed out of the lobby where lots of people weren’t masking because they were snacking and drinking, I felt comfortable there.  I don’t know if it would have been worth it for a vacation though because traveling was stressful.

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  17. I’m another person who was appalled by the election results in 2016, and I wished they were wrong, but I didn’t think they actually were wrong, and I still don’t. I didn’t “accept” the results, but from the perspective that I didn’t want to believe the election had turned out the way it did, not that I was going to join a mob to stop the new president from taking office.

    And yes, I’ve spent the last four years “fighting” the results.  But I did it the way I was supposed to, by opposing policies with my voice and joining other women to do so, not by stockpiling weapons and joining a militia.  We want people to speak up, not arm up.

    Those of us who are citizens of the US or who live there have so many peaceful ways to effect change.  We have one of the best election systems in the world, even if it’s far from perfect.  We actually can make a difference as ordinary people - I’ve seen it happen over and over in the last four years.  People resorting to violence over fraud claims that we all rationally know are false (even if they might be hard to dismiss emotionally) belies the principles of our Constitution.  We should be working to make sure everyone has an equal voice in the US rather than continuing to indulge fraud claims that have seen their time in court.


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