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11 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

 

I can imagine how hard it is to listen if your friends are in the position that's being criticized. It doesn't mean anyone here wouldn't like them and care about them. It's not a personal attack. It's concern for their wellbeing, and that of others around them.

Thank you. I feel heard. This is exactly it.

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For what it's worth, my husband studies toxic torts -- so, essentially, products that turned out to be dangerous -- and he maintains that the things to *really* worry about are (1) things that you con

re scale of vaccinations vs Covid confirmed cases Responding just to this one part of your post-  As of yesterday, there have been 137 million vaccine doses into US arms:https://www.bloomb

For me it’s pretty simple.  Covid is known to cause death, and the mechanisms by which it does are known.  If someone has Covid and dies in the way that Covid is known to kill then Covid is a likely c

7 hours ago, Cnew02 said:

I was mostly saying that I’m not surprised by the rise, I’m actually more surprised that it’s declining in so many places. People are acting like we’re done, and we aren’t. We’ve barely started ramping up the vaccinations.  20% vaccinated isn’t enough to call the whole thing done.  But that seems to be our way.  
 

I am surprised , but also not at the same time, that people are looking at the rise and saying that the vaccines don’t work when clearly behavior is changing faster than the vaccines can keep up with, especially when you throw variants into the mix.  
 
 

 

Nobody said we're done.  What we're saying is that after a lot of people (including most high-risk people) have had at least one shot, we expect to see the tide start to turn.  If things go the opposite direction from what was expected, it is natural for people to question whether the "experts" missed something.

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1 minute ago, Masers said:

That’s exactly why I’m on here arguing for the other side. I feel really upset and angry on behalf of people who have simply made a different choice and are truly condemned and attacked for that choice. I am not trying to “spread misinformation” or use faulty arguments or whatever, just showing that lots of people are thinking about things or looking at things in a different way. I mean, I don’t really care of the article cited a veterinarian and a psychiatrist. They’re both entitled to share their opinion, and other people are allowed to agree with their opinion.

They can have their own opinions. But it’s possible to be wrong in one’s evidence. Are opinions immune from being challenged on the basis of evidence?

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13 minutes ago, SKL said:

Nobody said we're done.  What we're saying is that after a lot of people (including most high-risk people) have had at least one shot, we expect to see the tide start to turn.  If things go the opposite direction from what was expected, it is natural for people to question whether the "experts" missed something.

I don’t know how else to describe places like Arkansas, Texas or Florida that decided to get rid of mask mandates and open indoor dining to 100% while only 15-20% of their populations were vaccinated.  They are done.  The have finished the pandemic.  They are over it, they aren’t doing it anymore.  
 

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1 minute ago, Masers said:

Sure it is. I’m not saying that they’re NOT wrong. But so could all the opinions. Fauci could be totally wrong. Because there really is research and experts and evidence on both sides, or every side.

Anyone could be wrong, but throwing up one's hands and saying "anyone could be wrong, so let's not look at the evidence" is basically throwing out the scientific method. Which... I know lots of people do in their lives, but I don't have to agree with that decision. 

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2 minutes ago, Masers said:

I mean, if someone simply says, “I don’t want to get it because I’m not comfortable with it,” they don’t need a hundred different articles telling them why they should be comfortable and why they are wrong to be uncomfortable.

Yeah, I wouldn't do that, unless they started sharing bogus stats -- at that point, I tend to call people on it, because I think letting people share bogus stats is harmful for people reading along. 

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22 minutes ago, SKL said:

Nobody said we're done.  What we're saying is that after a lot of people (including most high-risk people) have had at least one shot, we expect to see the tide start to turn.  If things go the opposite direction from what was expected, it is natural for people to question whether the "experts" missed something.

What you would expect if only high risk people are vaccinated is for cases to continue to increase because you’ve still got lots of not immune herd but for deaths to drop because the most vulnerable are protected.  


One thing that could prevent that is an increase in the P-1 strain which seems to have a higher death rate in younger people (although that’s not 100pc confirmed yet.  It looks that way in Brazil but there may be other factors contributing).

Currently the US as a whole has a very gentle curve back upward but it’s only just starting but deaths haven’t followed.  However deaths lag cases so it would be too soon to say for sure if the pattern will hold.  

I don’t think it would be fair to say at this point that the vaccine isn’t working because you got a wave.  This is what health people have been warning about actually - if people relax precautions because of the vaccine but not enough people are vaccinated yet there will almost certainly be another wave, similar to what is being seen in Europe right now. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

Anyone could be wrong, but throwing up one's hands and saying "anyone could be wrong, so let's not look at the evidence" is basically throwing out the scientific method. Which... I know lots of people do in their lives, but I don't have to agree with that decision. 

But what I’m saying is that there IS evidence on the other side of the argument. Yet somehow that research and those researchers are seen as definitely in the wrong, simply because it’s a dissenting view. I don’t think that’s okay. I mean, there are scientists who believe in creationism. It doesn’t mean that they’re right, but do they have their reasons and their evidence? Yes. Could I be wrong? Yes. The study of immunity is really in its infancy. I am old enough to remember when we really had no knowledge of the role the gut plays in our immunity, and when “leaky gut” was a phrase that loony people used. Look how much we’ve learned in the last 10-15 years. I can’t imagine how much we still have to learn about how our immune system really works. I just feel like I have studied enough of history and science to realize that many mistakes were made, what was popular thought of the day turned out to be wrong, and that often the best intentions came with terrible consequences. 
 

and then the other thing I’m saying is that some reasons and positions don’t really need evidence. If someone doesn’t want it, they don’t want it. I know people not getting it for religious reasons, such as that they feel “convicted” not to get it, or because they put their faith in their god given immune system. (These people tend not to get any vaccines at all). I mean...okay. How can you argue with that? It’s their belief and their truth. To each their own. 

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1 minute ago, Masers said:

But what I’m saying is that there IS evidence on the other side of the argument. Yet somehow that research and those researchers are seen as definitely in the wrong, simply because it’s a dissenting view.

But the point is that if you're scientifically-minded, which I am, then you don't get to throw up your hands and say "there's evidence on both sides, so I dunno." You get to evaluate the evidence YOURSELF and figure out what you believe. That's why people are sharing all the links. 

A lot of people seem to be picking their evidence to match their conclusions, not the other way around. Which, again, is normal, but can be really frustrating to watch. 

 

2 minutes ago, Masers said:

Could I be wrong? Yes.

Yep. I could absolutely be wrong. I'm wrong all the time. Being able to accept being wrong is definitely part of the scientific method. 

 

4 minutes ago, Masers said:

and then the other thing I’m saying is that some reasons and positions don’t really need evidence. If someone doesn’t want it, they don’t want it. I know people not getting it for religious reasons, such as that they feel “convicted” not to get it, or because they put their faith in their god given immune system. (These people tend not to get any vaccines at all). I mean...okay. How can you argue with that? It’s their belief and their truth. To each their own. 

I mostly don't really argue with people to convince them, anyway 😉 . In my experience, some people are open to evidence (in which case you aren't debating them -- just sharing info) and some people aren't. So... I agree that you can't convince people. But I'm still going to vent to people online I agree with 😄

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I think a lot of this hand-wringing and anger over people not getting the vax may be (hopefully) for naught a couple months from now.    
I am acting as the guinea pig in my family.   I was ready to push people out of the vaccine line when it finally opened to everyone 16+ so I could get to the front of the line.  (Ok not really, but you get my drift).  I was sooooooo ready to roll up my sleeve.  I think a lot of people who are saying “nope, I’ll wait” just want to see how it affects the people they know irl who get it.... and then they’ll start (grudgingly probably) rolling up their sleeve.    I fully expect those around me to get vaxed as soon as they see I’m ok from it, which I think is totally understandable, btw.  
 

And I agree about people digging in their heels.  If some of y’all present your arguments to people irl the same way you do here, no wonder people are saying “no way!”   Talk about making people run in the other direction!   🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏼‍♂️

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1 hour ago, TexasProud said:

You can, just do not condemn them or make them feel bad. It will never persuade them, only make them dig in their heals.  Number has done a good job of that sometimes like validating me and sharing how she struggled with her friend. The condemning and hostile tone I get sometimes from here makes me want to take the other side and argue for them whether or not I agree with them, just so you will care about them and not hate them. 

Also the groupthink here is pretty strong.  People should always question what they are told.  Just because some of the people saying it are borderline bullies doesn't change the fact that each human can and should think for himself.

People here are talking like things are fully settled and proven when they are not.  Why do they think this way?  Because they hear it so often here, and in such a vehement tone, and from apparently decent people, that it must be true.

There is nothing dangerous or wrong about raising honest questions.

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38 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Anyone could be wrong, but throwing up one's hands and saying "anyone could be wrong, so let's not look at the evidence" is basically throwing out the scientific method. Which... I know lots of people do in their lives, but I don't have to agree with that decision. 

I haven't heard anyone say "let's not look at the evidence."  I've heard them say "let's keep looking for more information, because what we have isn't enough."

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I keep seeing people in the thread mentioning people being forced into getting a vaccination.  I haven’t read the whole thread so I may have missed something but is anyone actually advocating for that?  I’m certainly not.  A couple of years back our government linked one of the child social security payments to up to date vaccinations and I was against that as well.  I don’t think coercive measures are very a good thing.

I am very much in favour of educating people though.  

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35 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

What you would expect if only high risk people are vaccinated is for cases to continue to increase because you’ve still got lots of not immune herd but for deaths to drop because the most vulnerable are protected.  


One thing that could prevent that is an increase in the P-1 strain which seems to have a higher death rate in younger people (although that’s not 100pc confirmed yet.  It looks that way in Brazil but there may be other factors contributing).

Currently the US as a whole has a very gentle curve back upward but it’s only just starting but deaths haven’t followed.  However deaths lag cases so it would be too soon to say for sure if the pattern will hold.  

I don’t think it would be fair to say at this point that the vaccine isn’t working because you got a wave.  This is what health people have been warning about actually - if people relax precautions because of the vaccine but not enough people are vaccinated yet there will almost certainly be another wave, similar to what is being seen in Europe right now. 

I did not say the vaccine isn't working.  I am saying I am not ready to blindly accept that the vax is 95% effective at preventing spread.

To be clear, when I mention an increase in cases, I'm not talking about total historical cases.  I'm talking about current new cases (and also current hospitalizations).  As for deaths, they keep changing the way they are counting them, and the lag of info has gotten so long that it is meaningless as far as following what's happening now.

Also, I didn't say only high risk people have been vaxed, I said including most high risk people.  Many many people in all risk groups have been vaxed.

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4 minutes ago, SKL said:

I haven't heard anyone say "let's not look at the evidence."  I've heard them say "let's keep looking for more information, because what we have isn't enough."

I think everyone of us would love to be able to get a vaccine that’s been tested for four years or so.  The trouble is there’s a kind of urgency due to the rise of new variants. 

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2 minutes ago, SKL said:

I did not say the vaccine isn't working.  I am saying I am not ready to blindly accept that the vax is 95% effective at preventing spread.

To be clear, when I mention an increase in cases, I'm not talking about total historical cases.  I'm talking about current new cases (and also current hospitalizations).  As for deaths, they keep changing the way they are counting them, and the lag of info has gotten so long that it is meaningless as far as following what's happening now.

maybe I misunderstood you.  I thought you were saying that if there’s still an increase in daily new cases that would mean the vaccine wasn’t working.  But maybe you’re not talking about now you’re talking about when enough people are vaccinated for herd immunity?

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

I do know what you mean about that. People DO dig in their heels when they feel judged, and that's regardless of whether the people judging them are evidence-based or not. I think you're right that these threads wouldn't be an effective way to convince someone else... they are really just here for people to vent, I think 😉 . 

Absolutely! Someone who comes here vaccine skeptical will leave running in the other direction. 😂 And it isn’t because they are scared of all the wonderful facts being posted.

1 hour ago, J-rap said:

 

On a side note, I haven't heard much about strong religious reasons for refusing vaccines...  I'd be curious to know what they are.

Vaccines use fetal cells in testing and development (mRNA) or to actually grow the viral vector (JandJ) since it is engineered to not replicate on its own. The fetal cell lines come from aborted babies.

27 minutes ago, Masers said:

But what I’m saying is that there IS evidence on the other side of the argument. Yet somehow that research and those researchers are seen as definitely in the wrong, simply because it’s a dissenting view. I don’t think that’s okay. I mean, there are scientists who believe in creationism. It doesn’t mean that they’re right, but do they have their reasons and their evidence? Yes. Could I be wrong? Yes. The study of immunity is really in its infancy. I am old enough to remember when we really had no knowledge of the role the gut plays in our immunity, and when “leaky gut” was a phrase that loony people used. Look how much we’ve learned in the last 10-15 years. I can’t imagine how much we still have to learn about how our immune system really works. I just feel like I have studied enough of history and science to realize that many mistakes were made, what was popular thought of the day turned out to be wrong, and that often the best intentions came with terrible consequences. 
 

and then the other thing I’m saying is that some reasons and positions don’t really need evidence. If someone doesn’t want it, they don’t want it. I know people not getting it for religious reasons, such as that they feel “convicted” not to get it, or because they put their faith in their god given immune system. (These people tend not to get any vaccines at all). I mean...okay. How can you argue with that? It’s their belief and their truth. To each their own. 

Keep posting the other evidence. You are right, if you mean that there is more nuance than what is sometimes being posted here as settled fact and “science”. 
And there are legitimate questions that we don’t have evidence for or against yet.

There is also a lot of garbage and conspiracy stuff out there, which is why some people get their hackles up over any alternative viewpoints at all and want to put someone into a certain political group if you question the currently popular views. The social dynamic has really been something to see, and I mean all over, not on a message board.

Some things on this board read like more like the Twitter feed of Eric Feigl-Ding, or like the info is coming mainly from CNN and not from scientists.

8 minutes ago, WildflowerMom said:

I think a lot of this hand-wringing and anger over people not getting the vax may be (hopefully) for naught a couple months from now.    
I am acting as the guinea pig in my family.   I was ready to push people out of the vaccine line when it finally opened to everyone 16+ so I could get to the front of the line.  (Ok not really, but you get my drift).  I was sooooooo ready to roll up my sleeve.  I think a lot of people who are saying “nope, I’ll wait” just want to see how it affects the people they know irl who get it.... and then they’ll start (grudgingly probably) rolling up their sleeve.    I fully expect those around me to get vaxed as soon as they see I’m ok from it, which I think is totally understandable, btw.  
 

And I agree about people digging in their heels.  If some of y’all present your arguments to people irl the same way you do here, no wonder people are saying “no way!”   Talk about making people run in the other direction!   🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏼‍♂️

👍

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5 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I keep seeing people in the thread mentioning people being forced into getting a vaccination.  I haven’t read the whole thread so I may have missed something but is anyone actually advocating for that?  I’m certainly not.  A couple of years back our government linked one of the child social security payments to up to date vaccinations and I was against that as well.  I don’t think coercive measures are very a good thing.

I am very much in favour of educating people though.  

Opinions are all across the board on this, and laws will probably follow.  Some years ago, one US jurisdiction made the HPV vax mandatory for teens (though public outcry overturned that).  The likelihood of Covid vax coercion is probably higher due to the way Covid spreads.  And I think most people would actually be OK with, say, Covid vax for public school requirements, IF enough time had passed to really convince folks of vax safety before the pandemic ended.

Coercion may take various forms.  Like, you can't engage in certain everyday activities if you can't prove you're vaccinated.  At some point it crosses the line between my choice and my dictation of your choice.

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5 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

maybe I misunderstood you.  I thought you were saying that if there’s still an increase in daily new cases that would mean the vaccine wasn’t working.  But maybe you’re not talking about now you’re talking about when enough people are vaccinated for herd immunity?

I'm saying people are drawing conclusions about the effects of the vax without enough info, and ignoring info that is relevant, because they have wanted to believe xyz all along.  That is dangerous IMO.  If it turns out that some of the blanket statements made here are incorrect (like, "you can't spread Covid if the vax keeps you from getting ill"), people may put themselves and their loved ones in harm's way.

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2 minutes ago, SKL said:

I'm saying people are drawing conclusions about the effects of the vax without enough info, and ignoring info that is relevant, because they have wanted to believe xyz all along.  That is dangerous IMO.  If it turns out that some of the blanket statements made here are incorrect (like, "you can't spread Covid if the vax keeps you from getting ill"), people may put themselves and their loved ones in harm's way.

There's evidence for the decreased transmission. It's not "can't," it's "your chances of spreading COVID go down tenfold." 

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16 hours ago, TexasProud said:

I guess so. Then you  can have your echo chamber. I'm relatively new here. My one year homeschool experiment was a disaster. Not doing it next year, so I probably do not need to be on the board. 

I haven't read past this, and I could be wrong. But if I am not, you are not relatively new here. You have remade yourself several times, but it doesn't take long before your circumstances and your personality give you away. I am not saying this to be mean, I promise. But this board seems to turn into an unhealthy place for you very quickly. I mean this kindly, but I don't think it is a good place for you. If you feel it is, and the things you learn here are helpful, then wonderful! I hope you will find it an enriching place. But it may not be.

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 I think one reason people may be slower to get vaccinated in some places is that messaging is really terrible.

Its not to go and get vaccinated to protect yourself and those you love and to be able to get back to a pre-pandemic normal life. Instead, it’s to get the vaccine, but nothing will change, because the Scary. Variants! In fact, get the vaccine, but put a few more masks on, and maybe we should even have more restrictions.
 

Good grief! If I took that seriously, I might wait a lot longer to get vaccinated too, because we also hear that we have no idea how long immunity will last. So if I’m younger and low risk, with uncertain risks and benefits to me personally with the vaccine, and my life isn’t going to change anytime soon, I might not be in a hurry to get my shot.

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Just now, Jaybee said:

I haven't read past this, and I could be wrong. But if I am not, you are not relatively new here. You have remade yourself several times, but it doesn't take long before your circumstances and your personality give you away. I am not saying this to be mean, I promise. But this board seems to turn into an unhealthy place for you very quickly. I mean this kindly, but I don't think it is a good place for you. If you feel it is, and the things you learn here are helpful, then wonderful! I hope you will find it an enriching place. But it may not be.

I would say you're right, for what it's worth. 

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5 minutes ago, SKL said:

I'm saying people are drawing conclusions about the effects of the vax without enough info, and ignoring info that is relevant, because they have wanted to believe xyz all along.  That is dangerous IMO.  If it turns out that some of the blanket statements made here are incorrect (like, "you can't spread Covid if the vax keeps you from getting ill"), people may put themselves and their loved ones in harm's way.

That is true.  Have you had a chance to look at the data on Pfizer from Israel yet?  It’s looking promising.

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Just now, Ausmumof3 said:

That is true.  Have you had a chance to look at the data on Pfizer from Israel yet?  It’s looking promising.

I have looked at it, but I want more.

I also want to know who's funding the research, because there is a pretty high chance of biased research and biased reporting depending on who's doing it.

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2 minutes ago, kand said:

You seem to think people who agree with the large majority of scientists believe that way because of what they read from other people on TWTM. I expect there are few people for whom that is the reason. I expect for most, it’s because that is what THE SCIENTISTS are saying. I start my day, among other things, reading what some of the leading virologists, immunologists, and other vaccine scientists are saying. I’m not getting it from talk show hosts or CNN, I’m reading directly from people for whom this is their daily job. I do that before I ever even make my morning round to check TWTM. I’m pretty sure the reason you see so much agreement here is because most people here are pretty science and education minded, and they are following these things closely, and there are a lot of things there’s not much disagreement about in the scientific world at this point (like that the vaccines are working extremely well at this point). 

And to be fair, lots of people didn't have obvious priors. Like, I think most people did NOT expect 95% efficacy from the mRNA shots -- that's just amazing. People were NOT sure what the decrease in transmission risks would be, so the evidence of really decreased viral load is incredibly encouraging. Evidence is still coming in on all of this stuff, and there's largely a consensus about it. 

There's also stuff we don't understand all that well yet, like how long immunity lasts (the shots have only been around half a year, so who knows?) or how the shots do with new variants (that's not tested for some variants), or how natural immunity does with new variants (also not tested), or lots of other stuff. 

Anyway, there's a core group of posters on here who are trying to follow the studies in real time. We all make mistakes, of course, but the reason for the consensus right now is largely that the evidence for it is quite good. 

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27 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I keep seeing people in the thread mentioning people being forced into getting a vaccination.  I haven’t read the whole thread so I may have missed something but is anyone actually advocating for that?

I don't think we are seeing governments coerce people to get vaccinated, under threat of jail or fines.

I'm sure we will see private businesses only offer their services to people who are vaccinated.  For example, you'll only be able to fly on an airplane or go on a cruise with proof of vaccination.  Depending on how common this is, (e.g. if all your local grocery stores require vaccination to enter), it may be effectively forcing people to get it.  And I, for one, am OK with that.

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re race against variants

7 hours ago, Corraleno said:

I think the concern is that the 5 states that are currently having a "rough go" may be the leading edge of a much worse 4th wave, as well as the fact that the new spikes in cases and hospitalizations are predominantly in much younger people — a population that seemed to have escaped the worst of it with the original strain but are now being hit hard by B117. And since we (rightly) prioritized the elderly in the earliest stages of the vaccine rollout, the percentage of younger people who have been vaxxed is still quite low — e.g. in Michigan around 55% of over-65s have been vaxxed versus less than 13% of those under 50.

So if you look at the graph for the US as a whole, it looks pretty good — vastly better than what is happening in countries with lower vax rates. But if you look at the graph for Michigan and imagine if what is happening there was happening in every state, that's pretty damn scary. The CDC have been saying over and over that we are in a race with B117 to get as many people vaxxed as quickly as possible, lest we find our case rate back to what it was in Nov/Dec/Jan — which is exactly what is happening in Michigan.

 

Screen Shot 2021-04-07 at 10.39.56 PM.png

This. So.Much.This.

 

 

Re "coercion"....

1 hour ago, ktgrok said:

...No one has said we should round people up and vaccinating them against their will. There is no law forcing vaccination, nor will there be, nor is anyone in this forum saying there should be. We are talking about why people should be vaccinated, not how to do it against their will. 

 

... versus "persuasion" .... v

33 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

Well, sort of. You say their logic is faulty and why they are stupid and dangerous for believing what they believe. So you are implying they should change their mind or they will be dangerous. So therefore, they should get the shot whether they want to or not, whether they believe it is dangerous or not, for the good of the community...

 

... versus "frustration"

16 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

..The whole point is to persuade by debate and discussion, rather than to coerce...Their logic may be very faulty... Why shouldn't we correct rampant rumors which literally endanger people's lives?

Yes, in actual point of fact, people who decide not to get vaccinated do prolong this pandemic and endanger others. I know that's not their wish, and I don't think they should be hauled in for forced shots. But if they engage in discussion about the topic, and spread false information, why on earth shouldn't others counter with facts?

 

 

There's always a dance, any time the actions of one affect the wellbeing of others.  Within my adulthood, I've witnessed two big ones:

  • "if you don't smoke, that's fine... but don't tell ME I can't enjoy a cigarette after finishing my dinner in a restaurant."
  • "if you believe drinking and driving is dangerous, then don't do it... but don't tell ME I can't manage my own alcohol intake responsibly."

On both of those two issues, where the decisions/actions of individuals also affect the well-being of others, the culture has moved in the last 30 years.

There are many other issues, on which there is a similar dance, where as a society we have to muddle through to some sort of implicit social, or explicit mandated policy, compromise.  To throw out a few:

  • "If you don't believe in corporal punishment, don't do it... but don't tell ME how to parent my own children."
  • "If you don't like blaring music on the beach, don't play it... but don't tell ME that I can't if I want"
  • "If you don't like dogs/are allergic to them, don't have one... but don't tell ME I can't bring mine on the plane / let mine off leash in the park"
  • "If you don't believe that birth control is ethical, don't use it... but don't tell ME what options *I* am restricted from using"
  • "if you believe that mail-in voting is suspect, then don't use it... but don't tell ME that I can't vote the way I prefer"
  • "If your kid is allergic to peanut butter, don't use it... but don't tell ME what food I can send in with my one kid"
  • "If you don't want guns in your home, don't have them... but don't tell ME what I can and cannot do"
  • "If you don't believe abortion is ethical, don't have one... but don't tell ME what medical options are available to me"
  • "If you don't believe date rape is ethical, don't do it.. but don't tell ME how to manage my own affairs with this 'consent' garbage."

[and many, many, many other examples.] 

I'm trying to select a range of examples from trivial to very great harm; some of which are currently "hot button" and others not; some of which we deal with ad hoc and others through policy, some of which touch on our Constitution and others that don't; some of which I am personally on the perceived-"liberal" side of the question and others not. Because I'm trying to parse out the principle -- very often individual actions affect others in material ways -- from the specifics of any single example.

In the time of COVID: masking, or not. Distancing, or not. Vaccination, or not.

 

We're a society: we have to muddle through a way to live together whether we like it or not. So we TALK about such issues. We argue about them at the dinner table, over Thanksgiving, in coffee shops, on message boards.

Most of the time we muddle through, sometimes asking the boom box guy to please turn it down, which sometimes works, or not; other times fuming in silent frustration. Sometimes legislation is proposed. Most legislation efforts fail -- generally, on ALL topics -- but sometimes laws pass, or executive actions mandated.  Which then are contested in the courts, ajudicated, sometimes thrown out, sometimes refined.

That's the process.  It's the process whether we like it or not. 

There actually is no other way. As a society we are not in universal agreement on any of these issues.  Whatever ad hoc informal or policy mandates are in place, some folks will be unsatisfied.  Some folks will feel that the balance between individual freedom and the wellbeing/safety of others is in the wrong place.

That is what it means, to live in society where there are differences.

 

re "condeming" folks who disagree, or "making them feel bad," or being "hostile"

9 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

You can, just do not condemn them or make them feel bad. It will never persuade them, only make them dig in their heals.  Number has done a good job of that sometimes like validating me and sharing how she struggled with her friend. The condemning and hostile tone I get sometimes from here makes me want to take the other side and argue for them whether or not I agree with them, just so you will care about them and not hate them. 

TexasProud, I am glad you've joined us on the boards.

Disagreement isn't condemnation. Really: it isn't.  Disagreement isn't "hostile." 

Sallying forth into arenas that include differences does require a certain thickness of skin.  If a given thread makes you "feel bad," it's sometimes helpful to step away for an hour or two, take the dog for a walk or whatever, let the heated moment pass. Usually the hot threads move so fast, whatever triggered you in the moment is so long buried that it's easy to move on.

[As I've been typing this, 22+ new replies... lol]

 

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41 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I keep seeing people in the thread mentioning people being forced into getting a vaccination.  I haven’t read the whole thread so I may have missed something but is anyone actually advocating for that?  I’m certainly not.  A couple of years back our government linked one of the child social security payments to up to date vaccinations and I was against that as well.  I don’t think coercive measures are very a good thing.

I am very much in favour of educating people though.  

I suspect this fear is due to the American for-profit media.  One political side has been pushing anti-government propaganda since at least the 1980’s.

There are currently no real political controversies (because citizens on both sides are very supportive of recent legislation, despite no votes from one side of the legislature), the conservative media won’t discuss how conservative legislators aren’t supporting their constituents viewpoints, so instead they rant about things that aren’t real threats at all - government taking away freedoms or forcing vaccines or censoring books that aren’t actually being censored.

There is no longer a journalistic duty to accurately report anything, let alone both sides of any given issue, so people who listen to only conservative media aren’t aware that this thing they’re afraid of isn’t a real threat. It does keep them tuned into the same media sources though, which makes that source a LOT of money through advertising revenue. 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

But the point is that if you're scientifically-minded, which I am, then you don't get to throw up your hands and say "there's evidence on both sides, so I dunno." You get to evaluate the evidence YOURSELF and figure out what you believe. That's why people are sharing all the links. 

Right, so why can’t people be doing that? Looking at the evidence on both sides, and figuring out what you believe, even if it is the dissenting view? That’s exactly what I’m saying—people can be looking at research from the other side to make their opinion. 

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2 hours ago, TexasProud said:

Well, sort of. You say their logic is faulty and why they are stupid and dangerous for believing what they believe. So you are implying they should change their mind or they will be dangerous. So therefore, they should get the shot whether they want to or not, whether they believe it is dangerous or not, for the good of the community because YOU know you are correct and it isn't dangerous and better for the community.  The only way they win is to get the shot against their own beliefs like I did.  I sort of feel like I was forced into it. I hope I don't regret it.

I think the dangerous part is people getting locked into their opinions and treating serious global health issues like a high school debate where we'll argue our "side" to the death before we'll change our opinion and let the other guy "win." I think it all shines a bright, uncomfortable light on the science and math educations in this country and how those standards are vastly different by region.  

I've lost count how many times I've heard a version of "Well, the experts said A but now they say B, so they don't know what they're talking about." It's like people have never heard of the scientific method or don't believe it's real or are too inflexible to apply it to their real lives.  How does anyone live or learn with that level of intellectual stubbornness? If you're more committed to being right than you are motivated to seek and discover it's going to be hard to learn anything.  

I've also lost count of how many times I've heard people stress that they believe these vaccines are dangerous because they only have emergency use authorization.  In most cases, these are people who don't know what the EUA standards are, aren't interested enough to look it up, and have no idea how close any brand of vaccine is to full FDA approval.  If you're not interested in studying that stuff, that's fair, but you should be taking health advice from someone other than your friends or your favorite evening news reporter.  It's easy enough to skip all of the news anchors and get your information directly from Johns Hopkins or Scientific American or anyplace like that where you can skip the partisan "stuff" and just read the science.

@TexasProud, this whole rant wasn't aimed at you.  Your post was just my jumping off point.  I have relatives in another region and some of their Covid opinions sound like the medical version of "what about socialization?" I currently have an uncle in his 70s with covid because his granddaughter was hanging around him mask-free and insisting "it's just allergies."  Another relative is a nurse in Florida and they are just wide open, mask free, and living their lives down there completely in denial about their current covid rates.  It's surreal.

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21 minutes ago, kand said:

You seem to think people who agree with the large majority of scientists believe that way because of what they read from other people on TWTM. I expect there are few people for whom that is the reason. I expect for most, it’s because that is what THE SCIENTISTS are saying. I start my day, among other things, reading what some of the leading virologists, immunologists, and other virus scientists are saying. I’m not getting it from talk show hosts or CNN, I’m reading directly from people for whom this is their daily job. I do that before I ever even make my morning round to check TWTM. I’m pretty sure the reason you see so much agreement here is because most people here are pretty science and education minded, and they are following these things closely, and there are a lot of things there’s not much disagreement about in the scientific world at this point (like that the vaccines are working extremely well at this point). 

Me, too.

But who you read, and where, is still going to affect your perception of some issues, because 

-many, many important scientists are not on social media at all, perhaps most

-some of the most “popular” pandemic scientists with the larger Twitter or FB followings are the ones that the journalists like to talk to the most, and often represent a certain slant.  And these are the people who are also going to be the ones on CNN and in the NYTimes. And they have something that they want to sell you: FUD, because, clicks.

So if on Twitter, you only read and take seriously only certain voices, or primarily listen to and read what Michael Osterholm says, you will get a certain viewpoint that does not reflect the breadth of scientific discourse. 

So I read and listen only to reputable scientists and doctors, read papers for myself, listen to podcasts, and yet I have the sense many things about variants, as an example, are overstated at WTM. 
 

And beyond that, there is another sense of things that has absolutely nothing to do with what science is correct, but what do we do about it?

The overall IFR for Covid is probably about 0.2-0.3%. Even in the B117 papers showing this variant had higher mortality, it was 0.4%— only considering those over 30. For non variants it was 0.3% over 30. 
So, let’s just say it’s very, very low for children and young adults, even adults under 40 or 50. 
Many questions about how to deal with the pandemic and all its twists and turns don’t have much to do with science, but how people perceive risk, what they consider is most meaningful in life, and how they choose to live their lives.

 

 

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re why can't people look at the evidence from "both sides"?

4 minutes ago, Masers said:

Right, so why can’t people be doing that? Looking at the evidence on both sides, and figuring out what you believe, even if it is the dissenting view? That’s exactly what I’m saying—people can be looking at research from the other side to make their opinion. 

People right on this thread ARE looking at articles and youtubes from "both sides."

People ARE figuring out (or defending/ substantiating/ justifying) "what they believe."

Even if it IS "the dissenting view."

I don't understand what you seem to think *should* be happening, that isn't.

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18 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re why can't people look at the evidence from "both sides"?

People right on this thread ARE looking at articles and youtubes from "both sides."

People ARE figuring out (or defending/ substantiating/ justifying) "what they believe."

Even if it IS "the dissenting view."

I don't understand what you seem to think *should* be happening, that isn't.

I’m saying that people who look at both sides and decide NOT to get the vaccine are overwhelmingly seen as “wrong.”

what I think should be happening is that we should respect other people’s decisions and not assume that they are stupid, misinformed, and wrong if they choose to believe a different “side” than us.

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30 minutes ago, Masers said:

Right, so why can’t people be doing that? Looking at the evidence on both sides, and figuring out what you believe, even if it is the dissenting view? That’s exactly what I’m saying—people can be looking at research from the other side to make their opinion. 

I mean, it's possible to look at the evidence and to rationally come to the opposite point of view than the majority (God knows the majority isn't infallible), but very few people I see are actually doing that -- they are mostly just looking at the side that suits them. 

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1 minute ago, Masers said:

I’m saying that people who look at both sides and decide NOT to get the vaccine are overwhelmingly seen as “wrong.”

what I think should be happening is that we should respect other people’s decisions and not assume that they are stupid, misinformed, and wrong if they choose to believe a different “side” than us.

But that implies there's no right or wrong. If I think I'm right that the vaccine is a good idea for someone, then by definition I think they are misguided to not take it. I'm not going to push them, I'm not going to force them, I'm not going to DO anything, but I WILL have the opinion that they've evaluated the evidence incorrectly. 

And that's how it goes if you believe in any kind of objective truth, I'm afraid. I can't simply believe that they have their own facts and that their truth and my truth can coexist. 

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26 minutes ago, Penelope said:

Me, too.

But who you read, and where, is still going to affect your perception of some issues, because 

-many, many important scientists are not on social media at all, perhaps most

-some of the most “popular” pandemic scientists with the larger Twitter or FB followings are the ones that the journalists like to talk to the most, and often represent a certain slant.  And these are the people who are also going to be the ones on CNN and in the NYTimes. And they have something that they want to sell you: FUD, because, clicks.

So if on Twitter, you only read and take seriously only certain voices, or primarily listen to and read what Michael Osterholm says, you will get a certain viewpoint that does not reflect the breadth of scientific discourse. 

So I read and listen only to reputable scientists and doctors, read papers for myself, listen to podcasts, and yet I have the sense many things about variants, as an example, are overstated at WTM. 
 

And beyond that, there is another sense of things that has absolutely nothing to do with what science is correct, but what do we do about it?

The overall IFR for Covid is probably about 0.2-0.3%. Even in the B117 papers showing this variant had higher mortality, it was 0.4%— only considering those over 30. For non variants it was 0.3% over 30. 
So, let’s just say it’s very, very low for children and young adults, even adults under 40 or 50. 
Many questions about how to deal with the pandemic and all its twists and turns don’t have much to do with science, but how people perceive risk, what they consider is most meaningful in life, and how they choose to live their lives.

 

 

If worldometer plus my math is correct 0.2pc of the population of New York has died of Covid.  This is also true for several countries around the world.  Unless 100pc of the people in those areas has been infected the IFR should be higher.  
 

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4 minutes ago, kand said:

I’d be interested in some recommendations of who else you might suggest I add to my reading list. I want them to be people who are actively studying and working on Covid-related issues. 
 

 

 

Maybe a thread for just that would be good. I like new sources and reading multiple perspectives, too. 

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

But that implies there's no right or wrong. If I think I'm right that the vaccine is a good idea for someone, then by definition I think they are misguided to not take it. I'm not going to push them, I'm not going to force them, I'm not going to DO anything, but I WILL have the opinion that they've evaluated the evidence incorrectly. 

And that's how it goes if you believe in any kind of objective truth, I'm afraid. I can't simply believe that they have their own facts and that their truth and my truth can coexist. 

If you're talking about people you know intimately, maybe, but if you're talking about "everyone," the majority of whom you don't know at all, you are not equipped to have an opinion on what they individually should do.  Nor do they owe you an explanation why they personally choose what they choose.  And none of what I said is unobjective.  You don't know most people's objective pros and cons.

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3 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

If worldometer plus my math is correct 0.2pc of the population of New York has died of Covid.  This is also true for several countries around the world.  Unless 100pc of the people in those areas has been infected the IFR should be higher.  
 

New York is a bad example as the figures are seriously skewed due to policy decisions that caused thousands of deaths of the highest risk people.

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2 minutes ago, SKL said:

If you're talking about people you know intimately, maybe, but if you're talking about "everyone," the majority of whom you don't know at all, you are not equipped to have an opinion on what they individually should do.  Nor do they owe you an explanation why they personally choose what they choose.  And none of what I said is unobjective.  You don't know most people's objective pros and cons.

That's why I tend to ask for people's values before saying what my opinion is. But yes, if their claim is "I'm more likely to get sick from the vaccine than from COVID," which is absolutely what most people say, then I can have an opinion on that.

And I could be wrong. Such is life. 

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3 minutes ago, SKL said:

New York is a bad example as the figures are seriously skewed due to policy decisions that caused thousands of deaths of the highest risk people.

We already had this conversation, and you simply ignore facts you don't like. It happens to be the case that NY has the same ratio of deaths in nursing homes as most other states (even if you agree that moving those patients back to nursing homes was probably not a good idea, that's true.) And NY is far from the only state that had more than 0.2% die. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

We already had this conversation, and you simply ignore facts you don't like. It happens to be the case that NY has the same ratio of deaths in nursing home as most other states. And NY is far from the only state that had more than 0.2% die. 

Actually IMO it's you who are ignoring facts you don't like.  I smell a lot of bias but that's your prerogative.

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19 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

If worldometer plus my math is correct 0.2pc of the population of New York has died of Covid.  This is also true for several countries around the world.  Unless 100pc of the people in those areas has been infected the IFR should be higher.  
 

It’s not an established thing and obviously varies around the world. There is a huge meta-analysis published by the WHO that I believe is lower than what I said, but that’s a worldwide estimate. Of course there are inherent problems with determining this number and we don’t know. It’s not worth quibbling over the exact number and I’m not going to do that; it’s silly because people who know more than all of us put together don’t agree on these numbers. It’s higher in some places and much lower in others. Countries and even individual states with more elderly far worse, but obesity rates are also correlated with outcomes.
 

Were all those people that died in NYC hospitals residents of NYC? I don’t know if it has been looked at in fine detail, but yes, NYC is an outlier in Covid mortality. Might have something to do with overwhelm and the fact that they didn’t know how to take care of Covid patients as well then. Many sources agree that the current mortality is much lower, and that is what matters looking forward.

My point was that it is extremely low for younger people. 

And if you want to say that B117 is more lethal, then I think you have to accept the conclusion of some the research that came from, that calculated an IFR of 0.3% or 0.4% in the U.K. for those over 30. If you include cases under 30, it’s clearly going to be lower than that. And this is in a Western country that has very high mortality.

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n579.short

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1 minute ago, SKL said:

Actually IMO it's you who are ignoring facts you don't like.  I smell a lot of bias but that's your prerogative.

And how often do you cite actual sources compared to Not_a_Number?

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1 minute ago, Frances said:

And how often do you cite actual sources compared to Not_a_Number?

On New York's policy error she hasn't cited anything reliable.  I have in the past and won't be doing it again.

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