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The “vaccination divide” in the US


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5 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

Do you know what the population of adults vaccinated there is? 

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On 7/23/2021 at 5:59 PM, lewelma said:

Very interesting post, but I will say that I was left scratching my head in quite a few places until I remembered that the red/blue aligns to politics in the wrong way in America!

from wikipedia "political colour"

In the United States, the colour blue has been associated with the liberal Democratic Party since around the 2000 presidential election, when most of the major television networks used the same color scheme for the parties.[19][20] This makes the United States an exception to the general rule that blue represents conservative parties; the major conservative party in the United States, the Republican Party, uses red.

I remember when they first started doing this  & the election results not making any sense to me because of it. I still have to routinely think about it - like every year when November rolls around I need a refresher course! 

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

Not everyone who is unvaccinated thinks those things. There’s a multitude of reasons people aren’t getting vaccinated from access to health reasons to waiting for approval and none of those have to do with politics.
 

I know it’s easier to think everyone who hasn’t gotten it yet is selfish or ignorant but there’s a good portion that have given this considerable thought and are facing ridicule and shame from their fellow citizens. There are people who haven’t gotten the vaccine yet and still don’t go out and always wear a mask. They do exist. I’m sorry if you haven’t met any but they do. 

I think pretty much everyone doesn’t include those for whom the vaccine is not recommended due to health reasons when discussing the unvaccinated. Likewise for those who haven’t yet been able to yet access it despite trying.

I don’t think people lump all vaccinated together and I don’t doubt there are unvaccinated people who never go out and always mask. But on this very thread there are unvaccinated people who say they aren’t afraid of covid and have worked unmasked for a long time and regularly host large gatherings in their homes for the last year and travelled with others outside their pod. They either don’t get or don’t care that vaccinating and masking is not just about them. So selfish and/or ignorant? I’m sure they would say they’ve given it considerable thought and done their research.
 

And just last weekend at the local Farmer’s Market there was a tent full of anti-vaxers spreading their misinformation and conspiracy theories, just as a poster regularly does here. I’m also sure they would all say they’ve given it considerable thought and done lots of research.
 

So yes, there are all sorts of reasons people aren’t vaccinated. Health reasons, access, lack of approval, ignorance, selfishness, misinformation, conspiracy theories, etc. It would be interesting if we could somehow quantify the percentage in each group, but I don’t think that is possible. 

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7 hours ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

They should add proof of infection/antibodies to the "acceptable" list.

92% of people in the UK have antibodies for COVID. There are still a lot of cases there, although these are declining in most areas (not my local area though) this week.

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8 hours ago, KSera said:

Do you know what the population of adults vaccinated there is? 

44% of eligible individuals. However, I don't know how they count college students. Memphis has multiple schools that will be coming back in the next month.  

 

Positivity is 1.26 and rising, so while the idea that we have 76% with antibodies is nice, obviously it's not at a level to be terribly protective yet. It's also almost certainly skewed to middle/upper income bands, just due to who can afford diagnostic bloodwork. There are a lot of people in Memphis who have no health care other than the ER department at the hospital for urgent stuff and the health department for childhood vaccinations. 

Edited by Dmmetler
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I am finding it hard to understand the rationale that most people who get covid don’t get very sick as a reason not to get the vaccine. It isn’t just about the severity of the illness. Nor is it just about protecting vulnerable people who are unable to vaccinate. It’s also about preventing mutations. Anyone who gets covid has the potential to contribute to the mutation of the virus by acting as an incubator for the formations of variants. 
I don’t hear people acknowledging that reality when 

The variants act differently, as we are learning with the Delta variant. Delta spreads faster and the existing vaccines aren’t as effective against it. So, when someone choses not to get vaccinated, they are also choosing to play a part in prolonging the pandemic and contributing to mutations. A person may decide that they are willing to take the personal risk for the current variations, yet they may not be willing to take a risk for a omicron variant, should it come to pass, for example,  because Omicron might be so much more deadly. But, it is because they didn’t get vaccinated back when we were only concerned about Delta that Omicron even comes into existence. 

So, for those of you that are choosing not to vax based upon an evaluation of personal risk factors - Does your evaluation take into account the fact that you are an incubator for COVID variants? How to you assess that? 
Also, where is the tipping point in your risk benefit analysis? What variables are you taking into consideration and what is the threshold at which time you will change your risk benefit analysis to be weighted in the opposite direction? 
 

Also, when assessing risk factors does the health and well being of your community have a place in the equation? How much weight do you give it? What are the thresholds that would cause a change in your calculation?

The emphasis on economic considerations when it comes to public health recommendations is stunning.
The risk side is given far more weight than the benefit side. The economic risk is far more important than the benefit of preventing illness and saving lives. But, in the long run, economic stability is best served by having a healthy population that works and spends money. 

Last year all the kids stayed home from school to reduce spread & the resulting risks to others. Now those groups have access to a vaccine and many are refusing to take a jab or two in order to protect others, including the kids heading back to school. 
 

It all seems like people are 1) only thinking short term  and 2) are limiting who and what is taken into consideration when they engage in risk/benefit analysis.  

Covid is a long game. It is a team sport. Vaccination is the key to winning. If people don’t play by the rules, so to speak, how do they expect to win the game? 

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7 hours ago, Plum said:

Not everyone who is unvaccinated thinks those things. There’s a multitude of reasons people aren’t getting vaccinated from access to health reasons to waiting for approval and none of those have to do with politics.
 

I know it’s easier to think everyone who hasn’t gotten it yet is selfish or ignorant but there’s a good portion that have given this considerable thought and are facing ridicule and shame from their fellow citizens. There are people who haven’t gotten the vaccine yet and still don’t go out and always wear a mask. They do exist. I’m sorry if you haven’t met any but they do. 

In the part where you quoted me I specifically said “those who are against the vaccine” not “all unvaccinated”.  If someone is waiting for full approval, or waiting for a good time to get off work, or waiting until they deliver a baby, I wouldn’t consider those people to be against the vaccine, they are just not yet vaccinated.  Those who are rabidly against the vaccine are a different group.   I do know some of the “not yet vaccinated” who are still masking and being safe.  But they pale in comparison to the number of people that I know who are rabidly against the vaccine, are done with masks, think the whole thing was a hoax anyway and are back to life as usual.   Pretending those people don’t exists doesn’t make any sense.   

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I can think of 3 people I know who aren’t yet vaccinated but either plan to get it, or aren’t against it.  
1 had Covid and doesn’t think he needs the vaccine  He’s waiting for more definitive info showing one way or the other.   Doesn’t mask, always thought masks were stupid.

 
1 is not comfortable getting the vaccine while pregnant but plans to get it once the baby is born.  Still masks. 


1 was waiting for her doctors to say she was healthy enough to get it.  She actually just got the ok and got her first shot.  Stopped wearing a mask prior to getting vaccinated.  
 

I can think of 10 people easily that have no plan to get vaccinated, think it’s “drinking the kool aid”, dangerous, “only for sheeple”, etc. etc.  All of them only masked when required, never did the distancing, and have all stopped masking entirely.  
 

So I know 1 unvaccinated person who is still masking and at least 12 who are unvaccinated and are out there unmasked without a care.  

Edited by HeartString
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2 hours ago, TechWife said:

I am finding it hard to understand the rationale that most people who get covid don’t get very sick as a reason not to get the vaccine. It isn’t just about the severity of the illness. Nor is it just about protecting vulnerable people who are unable to vaccinate. It’s also about preventing mutations. Anyone who gets covid has the potential to contribute to the mutation of the virus by acting as an incubator for the formations of variants. 
I don’t hear people acknowledging that reality when 

The variants act differently, as we are learning with the Delta variant. Delta spreads faster and the existing vaccines aren’t as effective against it. So, when someone choses not to get vaccinated, they are also choosing to play a part in prolonging the pandemic and contributing to mutations. A person may decide that they are willing to take the personal risk for the current variations, yet they may not be willing to take a risk for a omicron variant, should it come to pass, for example,  because Omicron might be so much more deadly. But, it is because they didn’t get vaccinated back when we were only concerned about Delta that Omicron even comes into existence. 

So, for those of you that are choosing not to vax based upon an evaluation of personal risk factors - Does your evaluation take into account the fact that you are an incubator for COVID variants? How to you assess that? 
Also, where is the tipping point in your risk benefit analysis? What variables are you taking into consideration and what is the threshold at which time you will change your risk benefit analysis to be weighted in the opposite direction? 
 

Also, when assessing risk factors does the health and well being of your community have a place in the equation? How much weight do you give it? What are the thresholds that would cause a change in your calculation?

The emphasis on economic considerations when it comes to public health recommendations is stunning.
The risk side is given far more weight than the benefit side. The economic risk is far more important than the benefit of preventing illness and saving lives. But, in the long run, economic stability is best served by having a healthy population that works and spends money. 

Last year all the kids stayed home from school to reduce spread & the resulting risks to others. Now those groups have access to a vaccine and many are refusing to take a jab or two in order to protect others, including the kids heading back to school. 
 

It all seems like people are 1) only thinking short term  and 2) are limiting who and what is taken into consideration when they engage in risk/benefit analysis.  

Covid is a long game. It is a team sport. Vaccination is the key to winning. If people don’t play by the rules, so to speak, how do they expect to win the game? 

Unfortunately, those that have been vaccinated can still get Covid-19 and are able to be "incubators for Covid variants" . They are also able to infect others as evidenced by the Texas Democrats.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/lone-star-politics/covid-19-derails-texas-democrats-lobbying-in-washington/2686702/

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36 minutes ago, Fritz said:

Unfortunately, those that have been vaccinated can still get Covid-19 and are able to be "incubators for Covid variants" . They are also able to infect others as evidenced by the Texas Democrats.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/lone-star-politics/covid-19-derails-texas-democrats-lobbying-in-washington/2686702/

This is like saying that people who don't drink and drive can still have accidents. 

Yes, of course. But do we conclude that people can drink and drive based on an accident with a sober drive? 

Really? 

We all how risk works. It can never be eliminated entirely. But risks can be reduced by taking by prudent precautions such as getting vaccinated, wearing seatbelts, not driving while under the influence. 

 

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Additionally, some on this board seem so quick to shame, blame, and assign motivations to our fellow citizens for their personal decisions regarding covid-19 vaccinations, while making no noise about or demands for vaccination or testing from those illegally pouring across the southern border from multiple countries carrying who knows what potentially new variants. Those folks are being transported all over the country. 

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2 hours ago, Fritz said:

Unfortunately, those that have been vaccinated can still get Covid-19 and are able to be "incubators for Covid variants" . They are also able to infect others as evidenced by the Texas Democrats.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/lone-star-politics/covid-19-derails-texas-democrats-lobbying-in-washington/2686702/

But the vaccinated are less than half as likely to get Covid and be in incubator. That cuts the chances. That's important. 

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5 hours ago, TechWife said:

 

So, for those of you that are choosing not to vax based upon an evaluation of personal risk factors - Does your evaluation take into account the fact that you are an incubator for COVID variants? How to you assess that? 
Also, where is the tipping point in your risk benefit analysis? What variables are you taking into consideration and what is the threshold at which time you will change your risk benefit analysis to be weighted in the opposite direction? 
 

Also, when assessing risk factors does the health and well being of your community have a place in the equation? How much weight do you give it? What are the thresholds that would cause a change in your calculation?



 

Ok, I'll try to answer.

1. I don't worry about being "an incubator for covid variants" because I've studied biology. I know that all viruses mutate as the host population develops immunity. Variants usually get more contagious and less deadly. 

 

2. I watch the numbers every day. My county counts any hospitalized patient who tests positive as a covid patient (so someone going in to have a baby who tests positive is included in the numbers, not just those hospitalized for covid) and today there are two people hospitalized, none in intensive care. If I saw that changing drastically and I thought I could help by getting vaccinated, I'd do it. 

3. Yes, I consider community factors. My boys got the rubella shot to protect others, for example. In this case the shot is new and we don't even know how effective it is long term, against variants, etc. 

I think that lockdowns, closed schools, etc. were the result of poor government policies. They have just drawn out the pandemic. You can compare the numbers between states and see this.

 

There you go. You asked, so I answered. I'm not trying to convince you, just tell you that I have thought about these things and come to a different conclusion than you have.

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Our state tracks breakthrough cases on their vaccine dashboard. Vaxxed are .095% of cases and .005% of hospitalizations.

We broke 1000 new cases today for the first time in a while and the dashboard says 86.7% of our cases right now are Delta. We only have around 46% of people here vaccinated and I really don’t understand why so many are still choosing not to have it. Some schools here start this week and I’m just hoping it doesn’t get truly awful.

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I just had a friend ask on Facebook for where to get the COVID shot.  She said she had procrastinated long enough and needed to just get it done already.  So that was interesting.  Access where we are is easy, but she has 3 kids under 3 and doing anything at all is complicated. She can get it done, but it will take effort and coordination and I guess she’s just been putting off.  

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2 minutes ago, HeartString said:

I just had a friend ask on Facebook for where to get the COVID shot.  She said she had procrastinated long enough and needed to just get it done already.  So that was interesting.  Access where we are is easy, but she has 3 kids under 3 and doing anything at all is complicated. She can get it done, but it will take effort and coordination and I guess she’s just been putting off.  

Good for her for getting it now! 

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44 minutes ago, Muttichen1 said:

I think that lockdowns, closed schools, etc. were the result of poor government policies. They have just drawn out the pandemic. You can compare the numbers between states and see this.

What, in your opinion, should have been done instead? Let the virus rip through the population, with refrigerated morgue trucks in cities, until everybody has either gotten ill and developed immunity, or died?

There is not a single state or country that has ended the pandemic. It's drawing out because it hasn't run out of people to infect.

Edited by regentrude
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4 hours ago, Fritz said:

Unfortunately, those that have been vaccinated can still get Covid-19 and are able to be "incubators for Covid variants" . They are also able to infect others as evidenced by the Texas Democrats.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/lone-star-politics/covid-19-derails-texas-democrats-lobbying-in-washington/2686702/

I am not asking about breakthrough cases. What I don't understand is people choosing to be incubators for Covid variants. As part of their risk/benefit analysis, I would like to understand if this is a factor for people who decide not to get the vaccination (not the people who can't - the people who won't - the people that are clearly making a choice). If this is not a factor, why not? If it is a factor, what is the tipping point? How many variants are acceptable? What kind of variants are acceptable? Do people who are making this choice understand that the development of new variants can't be slowed or stopped until the spread of the virus itself is under control? Do they understand that we have no control over how the new variants act and that those actions and the reactions of the human body are unknown until the variant is detectable and enough cases have occurred to provide meaningful data? Do the people making this choice understand that their choice affects other people? If so, what is their tipping point  - how sick are they willing to let others get before they take advantage of the best preventive measure that currently exists? If they don't understand these things - then from my perspective they are not making a fully informed choice. If they understand these things and chose not to take the incubator effect into consideration in their choice - then from my perspective their choice is not well thought out because they are choosing to ignore a significant piece of information.

The larger  questions I have that encompass answers to the questions above are:

Why are people making the choice not to get the vaccine?

What factors did they take into consideration in making their choice?

How did they weight those factors and why did they weight them in that way?

What is the tipping point that they would encounter that would change their minds? For example - How much data? What effectiveness rate? What breakthrough rate? What positive test rate? What death rate?

What methods do they see that they are willing to follow and will request that others follow will help us reach whatever their goal is?  Then relatedly - what reputable information can they offer the wider community that their preferred methods will result in attaining those goals?

 

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On 7/26/2021 at 9:21 AM, ktgrok said:

Just to clarify for anyone, even though there are more breakthrough cases with Delta than other variants, vaccination still does prevent a significant percent of infections, which means fewer people transmitting. And it seems to likely lower viral load, which also means less transmission. 

It isn't as good as we would like, but the best option for reducing cases and transmission. 

DH just sent me a link from CNN that claims unpublished research reviewed by the CDC found that the vaccinated shed just as much virus with Delta as the unvaccinated. They’re only less likely to die.  It doesn’t credit where the research comes from though, so idk how credible it is.

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2 hours ago, Muttichen1 said:

Ok, I'll try to answer.

1. I don't worry about being "an incubator for covid variants" because I've studied biology. I know that all viruses mutate as the host population develops immunity. Variants usually get more contagious and less deadly. 

 

2. I watch the numbers every day. My county counts any hospitalized patient who tests positive as a covid patient (so someone going in to have a baby who tests positive is included in the numbers, not just those hospitalized for covid) and today there are two people hospitalized, none in intensive care. If I saw that changing drastically and I thought I could help by getting vaccinated, I'd do it. 

3. Yes, I consider community factors. My boys got the rubella shot to protect others, for example. In this case the shot is new and we don't even know how effective it is long term, against variants, etc. 

I think that lockdowns, closed schools, etc. were the result of poor government policies. They have just drawn out the pandemic. You can compare the numbers between states and see this.

 

There you go. You asked, so I answered. I'm not trying to convince you, just tell you that I have thought about these things and come to a different conclusion than you have.

Thank you for answering, I do appreciate it. If you don't mind answering a few follow up questions, I'd appreciate it. If you'd rather not, I understand, just ignore them, it won't bother me a bit!

1 - How do you think that the host population is going to develop immunity?

2 - How would you know if your getting vaccinated would help at some future time? What criteria are you using to evaluate this?

3 - How much data would you need in order to be comfortable with the knowledge surrounding longevity and variants? How many vaccinations, how many cases, how many variants? Also, what effectiveness rates or other information does that data need to show in order for you to consider a vaccination for covid to be a contribution you can make to your community?

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Katy said:

DH just sent me a link from CNN that claims unpublished research reviewed by the CDC found that the vaccinated shed just as much virus with Delta as the unvaccinated. They’re only less likely to die.  It doesn’t credit where the research comes from though, so idk how credible it is.

What I read said that it’s appearing that breakthrough cases shed as much as unvaccinated cases. But vaccinated people are still less likely to get it, so they’re not shedding virus if they’re not infected. That still sucks, but if someone isn’t infected, they’re not shedding the virus. Fortunately the vaccine is still working incredibly well for preventing severe illness and death. The high levels of transmission happening right now do make me worry about our good luck with the vaccines working so well eventually running out if people continue to not get vaccinated and we have transmission lasting long enough. Then we could be right back at the beginning of this with a variant that’s even worse. 

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ugh, until someone said it, I hadn't thought about how ick it is that someone won't take the risk of the vaccine to support the public health, but will take the risk of the vaccine in order to go on a cruise. That's...disheartening. I've heard a few people give cruises as a reason to vaccinate, and now I'm going to think of it that way. Ugh. 

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37 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

ugh, until someone said it, I hadn't thought about how ick it is that someone won't take the risk of the vaccine to support the public health, but will take the risk of the vaccine in order to go on a cruise. That's...disheartening. I've heard a few people give cruises as a reason to vaccinate, and now I'm going to think of it that way. Ugh. 

Whatever it takes.  I’d be happy to give free cruise tickets to anyone who gets a vaccine and pay for it with public funds at this point.  

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

Good to see it’s not just me.
Matt Taibbi’s email today: 

The Vaccine Aristocrats

Covid-19 cases are rising, but the "Pandemic of the Unvaccinated" blame-game campaign is the worst way to address the problem

Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means. 

— Joseph Heller, Catch-22
 

I’m vaccinated. I think people should be vaccinated. But this latest moral mania — and make no mistake about it, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” PR campaign is the latest in a ceaseless series of such manias, dating back to late 2016 — lays bare everything that’s abhorrent and nonsensical in modern American politics, beginning with the no-longer-disguised aristocratic mien of the Washington consensus. If you want to convince people to get a vaccine, pretty much the worst way to go about it is a massive blame campaign, delivered by sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem with large chunks of the population, and now insist they’re owed financially besides. 

There’s always been a contingent in American society that believes people who pay more taxes should get more say, or “more votes,” as Joseph Heller’s hilarious Texan put it. It’s a conceit that cut across party.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-vaccine-aristocrats-b5d

I’m not into a blame campaign but I am into the truth. People who have been vaccinated are so protected from serious illness and death. I guess it depends on how much you value that. To me, seeing the sharp end of this, it seems massively important. It is incredibly frustrating see people die in this fashion, when it is almost certainly preventable with vaccination. Carry on arguing over the finer points, but I want the suffering and death to stop. 

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10 minutes ago, Plum said:

I want it all to end too. I believe it's equally important that we all like each other when it's over. We are already polarized enough. 

All unvaccinated are getting lumped together whether previous posters want to admit it or not. People who have legit reasons to not yet get vaccinated and still take precautions will be treated the same as the ones who don't. If it's "unvaccinated are not welcome here", that goes for both groups. If they didn't come up with a system to prove medical waivers for masks, they aren't going to start with vaccinations. It only gets uglier from here. 

There already is a system in place for general exemption from vaccines for medical reasons, at least in every state I’ve lived in. So it doesn’t seem like a stretch to imagine there could be a card just like a vaccine card that could be given out by medical providers for those who can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons.

It likely wasn’t worth doing it for masks, as so many places dropped all mask mandates or didn’t actually require any proof. Plus, those most at risk who were able to vax were often still masking.

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2 minutes ago, Plum said:

Then why haven't they done that yet? The vaccines have been out for over a half a year. They want full compliance and are starting to mandate it. One would think they would have already started a program like that. 

Are there places that don’t allow the unvaccinated? I haven’t seen any in my state and healthcare systems here cannot by law mandate it for their employees. Now that CA and NY have made mandates for some, I’m guessing they will have to develop something for medical exemptions.

I’m also wondering how much those who can’t vaccinate for medical reasons are actually out and about? I would guess most are still being very cautious, even with masking.

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2 hours ago, Plum said:

Good to see it’s not just me.
Matt Taibbi’s email today: 

The Vaccine Aristocrats

Covid-19 cases are rising, but the "Pandemic of the Unvaccinated" blame-game campaign is the worst way to address the problem

Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means. 

— Joseph Heller, Catch-22
 

I’m vaccinated. I think people should be vaccinated. But this latest moral mania — and make no mistake about it, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” PR campaign is the latest in a ceaseless series of such manias, dating back to late 2016 — lays bare everything that’s abhorrent and nonsensical in modern American politics, beginning with the no-longer-disguised aristocratic mien of the Washington consensus. If you want to convince people to get a vaccine, pretty much the worst way to go about it is a massive blame campaign, delivered by sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem with large chunks of the population, and now insist they’re owed financially besides. 

There’s always been a contingent in American society that believes people who pay more taxes should get more say, or “more votes,” as Joseph Heller’s hilarious Texan put it. It’s a conceit that cut across party.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-vaccine-aristocrats-b5d

I don’t see the parallel. The “pandemic of the unvaccinated” is simply a descriptive term of exactly what we have going on right now.  It has nothing to do with a moral mania, it’s just simple science that with a highly protective vaccine providing good protection for the vast majority of people, the people getting very sick right now are those who are unvaccinated.  They are the ones still suffering most in this pandemic. How is that a moral mania? Once again, this virus and the vaccine have absolutely nothing to do with politics.

1 minute ago, Plum said:

Then why haven't they done that yet? The vaccines have been out for over a half a year. They want full compliance and are starting to mandate it. One would think they would have already started a program like that. 

The places I’m familiar with that have vaccine mandates (universities) are doing this. I think we are in a tricky place though, in that if everyone who could be vaccinated was, then it wouldn’t likely cause any problems for those not able to be vaccinated to be exempted. With the current low vaccine coverage, it’s a lot more problematic. At the same time, people not vaccinating (and especially those not vaccinating or masking) are excluding whole swaths of the population from public life because of that decision, because it makes it too dangerous for them. 

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3 minutes ago, Plum said:

Then why haven't they done that yet? The vaccines have been out for over a half a year. They want full compliance and are starting to mandate it. One would think they would have already started a program like that. 

Because people have been screaming about “vaccine passports “ and equating them to Nazi Germany for a year. If they had started to mandate anything earlier how do you think that would have gone?  Even now I anticipate lots of pushback from the very quarters who weren’t vaccinating voluntarily.
 

(And as had been said ad nauseum the most vocal opponents are not actually medically contraindicated). As someone who couldn’t get mandated tb tests as a teacher (because I test positive for tb and can’t get repeated tb skin tests)there are medically recognized ways to prove medical exemptions. 

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8 minutes ago, Frances said:

I’m also wondering how much those who can’t vaccinate for medical reasons are actually out and about? I would guess most are still being very cautious, even with masking.

Exactly. It’s like early on with masks. It was much ado about people with various lung problems not being able to mask, so it being unfair, but every single person with lung issues that I heard from said that their doctor absolutely made clear that they needed to mask if they were going to be going out. Those at most risk are getting vaccinated and/or masking if it all possible, and staying in if not. 

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The one person I know who was advised to wait on the vaccine was not interested in being cautious.  Never locked down, still did gatherings, only masked when absolutely required, even though there were many risk factors that would have made a bad outcome likely in the case of catching COVID.   Several  family members are at high risk for poor outcomes if they got COVID, but they aren’t interested in being safe or getting the vaccine.   It’s a Russian roulette mentality mixed with YouTube expertise that makes them think this is all over blown.  

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On 7/25/2021 at 9:33 PM, Plum said:

It's not just the US, there is a vaccine divide in the world as well. Just look at the protests in France, the UK and NSW. 

I don't see how this all ends. Say all of America gets 100% vaccinated while the rest of the world lags behind and creates more variants. All the while our immunity wanes and we have to get boosters that the rest of the world won't have access to. The vaccinated still seem to be transmitting Delta which means more spread which means more variants. It doesn't seem like a good idea to create this divide through mandate, shame and blame when we aren't really eliminating this and we are not shutting our borders anytime soon. 

If we were really interested in closing the divide, we should stop trying to control other people. We aren't going to get down to zero cases. That's an unrealistic goal.

Instead, we should be focusing on transparency. We should track ALL breakthrough infections and take an honest look at ALL reactions. We should encourage widespread testing for anyone who wants it, not just the symptomatic. We should be developing or repurposing cheap over the counter treatments that could be widely available to all countries. What incentives does big pharma have to end this?

If they really wanted to bridge the divide, they'd have Fauci step down from the public for awhile and bring someone else out that both sides trust and listen to. There's a chunk of the remaining unvaccinated population that isn't going to believe anything that comes out of the current WH or the msm and a new face that has less baggage or is even a moderate to conservative or a scientist that can speak their language would go a long way. There are a lot of D's that worship him. He's not bringing anything new to the table for them. The big questions is do the holdout unvaccinated trust him? I don't think so. He's not going to convince them to do anything.  

That is, if they were really interested in bridging the gap. Otherwise, it's all politics and noise. 

There are not enough likes for this post, Plum.  Thank you. 

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2 hours ago, Plum said:

Good to see it’s not just me.
Matt Taibbi’s email today: 

The Vaccine Aristocrats

Covid-19 cases are rising, but the "Pandemic of the Unvaccinated" blame-game campaign is the worst way to address the problem

Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means. 

— Joseph Heller, Catch-22
 

I’m vaccinated. I think people should be vaccinated. But this latest moral mania — and make no mistake about it, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” PR campaign is the latest in a ceaseless series of such manias, dating back to late 2016 — lays bare everything that’s abhorrent and nonsensical in modern American politics, beginning with the no-longer-disguised aristocratic mien of the Washington consensus. If you want to convince people to get a vaccine, pretty much the worst way to go about it is a massive blame campaign, delivered by sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem with large chunks of the population, and now insist they’re owed financially besides. 

There’s always been a contingent in American society that believes people who pay more taxes should get more say, or “more votes,” as Joseph Heller’s hilarious Texan put it. It’s a conceit that cut across party.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-vaccine-aristocrats-b5d

I can’t access the article, so I admit to not following much of what you wrote, especially the reference to 2016. Moral mania in politics goes back far further than that (welfare moms, family values, Christian coalition, gay marriage, anti-abortion, etc etc). 
 

And what is a bluenose (I looked it up, but none of the definitions seemed to fit) and how are they insisting they are owed financially?

And I’m also not understanding what paying more taxes and thinking you get more say has to do with the vaccines.

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17 minutes ago, Halftime Hope said:

There are not enough likes for this post, Plum.  Thank you. 

 

7 minutes ago, Frances said:

I can’t access the article, so I admit to not following much of what you wrote, especially the reference to 2016. Moral mania in politics goes back far further than that (welfare moms, family values, Christian coalition, gay marriage, anti-abortion, etc etc). 
 

And what is a bluenose (I looked it up, but none of the definitions seemed to fit) and how are they insisting they are owed financially?

And I’m also not understanding what paying more taxes and thinking you get more say has to do with the vaccines.

I’ve been thinking hard on this (this latest post and the one Halftime is responding to). When it comes down to it, I think my main disconnect is that I can’t even come up with what the political reasoning is that is being suggested in either of these posts. Clearly it seems to be thought by some that liberals or Democrats are somehow wanting people to be vaccinated for political reasons, but try as I might, I’m not understanding what those would be. Everyone I know, Democrat and Republican, wants people to be vaccinated so that people stop getting sick and dying and so that society can get back to normal. What are people seeing as the liberal/Democrat side of this whole virus and vaccine thing? (I’m very much an independent, so perhaps I just don’t come at things from an innate us vs them perspective.)

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Just now, KSera said:

 

I’ve been thinking hard on this (this latest post and the one Halftime is responding to). When it comes down to it, I think my main disconnect is that I can’t even come up with what the political reasoning is that is being suggested in either of these posts. Clearly it seems to be thought by some that liberals or Democrats are somehow wanting people to be vaccinated for political reasons, but try as I might, I’m not understanding what those would be. Everyone I know, Democrat and Republican, wants people to be vaccinated so that people stop getting sick and dying and so that society can get back to normal. What are people seeing as the liberal/Democrat side of this whole virus and vaccine thing? (I’m very much an independent, so perhaps I just don’t come at things from an innate us vs them perspective.)

I admit to not understanding it either. But on various threads, I’ve seen claims that Democrats just want to use the vaccination issue to divide people, rather than to save lives and end the pandemic. It’s appeared pretty recently, so I assumed it just must be a new talking point from certain media sources. I honestly felt pretty stupid reading Plum’s last post because I couldn’t access the article and couldn’t connect the dots.

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1 hour ago, Plum said:

It only gets uglier from here. 

Considering that tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands (in the US alone) may still die, yes.

I consider that possibility pretty darn ugly.

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34 minutes ago, Frances said:

I can’t access the article, so I admit to not following much of what you wrote, especially the reference to 2016. Moral mania in politics goes back far further than that (welfare moms, family values, Christian coalition, gay marriage, anti-abortion, etc etc). 
 

And what is a bluenose (I looked it up, but none of the definitions seemed to fit) and how are they insisting they are owed financially?

And I’m also not understanding what paying more taxes and thinking you get more say has to do with the vaccines.

I believe bluenose refers to elite Democrats. The paying more taxes bit referred to these lines from a recent Atlantic article: 

"Biden’s America produces 70 percent of the country’s wealth—and then sees that wealth transferred to support Trump’s America." and "Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk by people and places whose bills it pays?"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/07/vaccinated-america-breaking-point-anti-vaxxers/619539/

Matt Taibbi, btw, for those unfamiliar, is a pretty classic liberal journalist. 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, whitestavern said:

I believe bluenose refers to elite Democrats. The paying more taxes bit referred to these lines from a recent Atlantic article: 

"Biden’s America produces 70 percent of the country’s wealth—and then sees that wealth transferred to support Trump’s America." and "Will Blue America ever decide it’s had enough of being put medically at risk by people and places whose bills it pays?"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/07/vaccinated-america-breaking-point-anti-vaxxers/619539/

Matt Taibbi, btw, for those unfamiliar, is a pretty classic liberal journalist. 

 

 

Thank you for explaining that part of the post. I hadn’t seen the article or heard of Taibbi and that definition of bluenose did not come up in any of my searching. I guess the idea of “blue” America paying more taxes and getting less for it is nothing new. But the electoral college and Senate elections very much favor rural, red America (not to mention gerrymandering), so I don’t think it’s accurate to say the bluenoses want more votes. Maybe just one person one vote, at least at the presidential level. And representation for places like DC and Puerto Rico. So more each vote, whether red or blue, being worth the same.

I’m still very confused by the moral mania starting in politics starting in 2016. While that might be somewhat new for the Democrats starting then, it’s long been a central component of the other side. So I’m confused by why it’s an issue now? Because the right can’t remotely claim the moral high ground anymore after Trump and the pandemic?

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1 minute ago, Frances said:

Thank you for explaining that part of the post. I hadn’t seen the article or heard of Taibbi and that definition of bluenose did not come up in any of my searching. 
 

I’m still very confused by the moral mani starting in politics starting in 2016. While that might be somewhat new for the Democrats starting then, it’s long been a central component of the other side. So I’m confused by why it’s an issue now? Because the right can’t claim the moral high ground anymore after Trump and the pandemic?

I'm not sure how much I can quote from the article. I'm too lazy (and still reading the article) to summarize. I will say, I'm a subscriber, and find his writing to be well worth the $50/year subscription, but I'm 99% sure you can read an article for free before subscribing. You can also pay $5 for a month to try. 

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38 minutes ago, whitestavern said:

I'm not sure how much I can quote from the article. I'm too lazy (and still reading the article) to summarize. I will say, I'm a subscriber, and find his writing to be well worth the $50/year subscription, but I'm 99% sure you can read an article for free before subscribing. You can also pay $5 for a month to try. 

I think I previously did a substack trial and that’s why I can’t access the article.

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3 minutes ago, Plum said:

The vaccine divide is a symptom of a much deeper divide that's not necessarily political, but value-based. 

Thanks for explaining that. Do you think it’s possible when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail? Like, perhaps a bunch of those things are all legitimate issues, but maybe they don’t actually have anything to do with the virus and vaccine issue? It kind of seems to me like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Like, to not get vaccinated and to instead let this pandemic just drag on and on and get worse and have thousands upon thousands more people die that don’t have to… I just don’t see how that had to follow and is the greater good even if all of those other things are problems. Not everything has to fit within the schema of existing political issues. This is a serious illness that has killed  over 625,000 Americans in less than 18 months. At what point is it legitimate to do what we need to do to end this thing? To what degree is it moral to not do those things in order to make a political point?

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7 hours ago, ktgrok said:

ugh, until someone said it, I hadn't thought about how ick it is that someone won't take the risk of the vaccine to support the public health, but will take the risk of the vaccine in order to go on a cruise. That's...disheartening. I've heard a few people give cruises as a reason to vaccinate, and now I'm going to think of it that way. Ugh. 

Makes sense if the people had Covid already though.  My friend who had Covid antibodies decided to get vaxed so she could travel.  Given that people who've had Covid tend to have worse vax reactions, I think it stinks that she had to vax in order to travel despite having antibodies.

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5 hours ago, Plum said:

Good to see it’s not just me.
Matt Taibbi’s email today: 

The Vaccine Aristocrats

Covid-19 cases are rising, but the "Pandemic of the Unvaccinated" blame-game campaign is the worst way to address the problem

Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means. 

— Joseph Heller, Catch-22
 

I’m vaccinated. I think people should be vaccinated. But this latest moral mania — and make no mistake about it, the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” PR campaign is the latest in a ceaseless series of such manias, dating back to late 2016 — lays bare everything that’s abhorrent and nonsensical in modern American politics, beginning with the no-longer-disguised aristocratic mien of the Washington consensus. If you want to convince people to get a vaccine, pretty much the worst way to go about it is a massive blame campaign, delivered by sneering bluenoses who have a richly deserved credibility problem with large chunks of the population, and now insist they’re owed financially besides.

Yeah, the grossest facebook post I saw about the vax was the friend who bragged about getting her "fauci ouchie," and then lamented how sad it was that not everyone cared enough to do the same.  She wasn't even an early taker.  She is also a person who doesn't vax her kids.  But whatever.  The blinding virtue.  If her post influenced anyone, it wasn't in a positive direction.

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3 hours ago, Plum said:

I want it all to end too. I believe it's equally important that we all like each other when it's over. We are already polarized enough. 

All unvaccinated are getting lumped together whether previous posters want to admit it or not. People who have legit reasons to not yet get vaccinated and still take precautions will be treated the same as the ones who don't. If it's "unvaccinated are not welcome here", that goes for both groups. If they didn't come up with a system to prove medical waivers for masks, they aren't going to start with vaccinations. It only gets uglier from here. 

Yeah, I feel like boycotting any place that discriminates against the unvaccinated.  (Since I hardly go anywhere anyway, I haven't had the opportunity to boycott....)

And yes, I see a lot of sentiment here that promotes such discrimination.

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3 minutes ago, SKL said:

Yeah, I feel like boycotting any place that discriminates against the unvaccinated.  (Since I hardly go anywhere anyway, I haven't had the opportunity to boycott....)

And yes, I see a lot of sentiment here that promotes such discrimination.

This isn't ebola, obviously, but I'm wondering if this perspective would be the same for you if we had a massive ebola outbreak. Would it seem understandable in that circumstance to have public health mandates to protect the public from uncontrolled spread of ebola?

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2 hours ago, Plum said:

Thanks @whitestavernfor posting that about bluenose. I had to wait until I got to my keyboard to type this. 

 

Sigh. No talking points. Just thinking out loud after careful observation. 

Sorry. I didn't want to copy the whole thing since it is a subscription. He actually brings up welfare reform from the Clinton era that resulted in home cohabitation checks

Where am I going with all of this? On a massive scale, we're seeing the idea floated that if you want x you have to jump through hoops or you will be humiliated, shamed and blamed. I've seen suggestions like if you don't get vaccinated, your health insurance shouldn't pay for your treatment. If you don't get vaccinated, you should not be able to work or go to school or do anything in public. And much much worse. This isn't a new idea and both sides have their own versions of this for their own political pet peeves. 

To randomly quote Joe Strummer from The Clash's song Know Your Rights

And number two
You have the right to food money
Providing of course
You don't mind a little
Investigation, humiliation
And if you cross your fingers
Rehabilitation

It's not just about vaccinations. That's probably where the disconnect is. For me, it's about the current trajectory of controlling behavior, controlling speech, controlling thought. Weren't they just talking about getting into people's phones to correct misinformation in texts? Any other day that's an insane thought and no one would have approved of that idea during Trump. 

At what point do we start the education camps? You sir have shared too much misinformation. You ma'am refused to say someone's preferred pronouns. You have not done your anti-racist training. There is no finish line where we can say "mission accomplished." It's been awhile since I read it, but isn't that how the always watching Big Brother ended up in their living rooms in 1984? 

I find all of this extremely concerning. There is a natural tension between public health and civil liberties. We should be discussing that openly. Public Health has one job, to keep people alive even at the expense of civil liberties. It's up to the people to reign them in. How much of our civil liberties are we willing to give up for public health? That line will be different for everyone. It's up to politicians to reassure us that they will be restored at the end of this pandemic, which they are failing at spectacularly. 

The vaccine divide is a symptom of a much deeper divide that's not necessarily political, but value-based. 

Thank you for explaining it more. I’m also glad that you acknowledged that both sides do this, just the issues might be different (eg drug testing for benefits, banning CRT, etc). Attempting to control behavior through legislation is certainly nothing new for either side.

The whole social media and extreme media misinformation thing is very concerning to me and I don’t see anyway we will ever solve it because it works so very, very well and some people benefit significantly from it through either power and/or money.

I certainly don’t want to see anything like correcting texts in phones (and hadn’t heard anything about it) or re-education camps (can’t imagine it here), but having so many elected leaders perpetuating lies about things like a stolen election is an absolute direct threat to our democracy, just as much as attempting to restrict free speech. So I don’t see it at all as a problem from only one side.
 

Eroding our democratic norms and institutions and constantly attacking our free press as was done relentlessly during the last administration also threatens the very core of our country. And now people are dying due to misinformation about covid and the vaccines and many leaders are joining in spreading it because it plays to their base. Where does it end? An attack on our Capitol certainly didn’t seem to be a much needed wake up call about the dangers of perpetuating lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. Those brave R leaders who spoke the truth were very quickly put in their place. Untold covid deaths due to the same doesn’t seems to make a difference. So what is the solution when so few leaders are willing to speak the truth because they might lose votes?

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20 minutes ago, SKL said:

Yeah, I feel like boycotting any place that discriminates against the unvaccinated.  (Since I hardly go anywhere anyway, I haven't had the opportunity to boycott....)

And yes, I see a lot of sentiment here that promotes such discrimination.

I’m guessing though that many who think it is fine to discriminate based on say sexual orientation (so who someone is) are some of the same people who don’t want vaccine (an action) mandates for entry to certain places or jobs. I’m not saying this is true for you, just that as Plum acknowledged, both sides try to control behavior through legislation.

I’m curious if your opposed to the unvaccinated being charged higher insurance premiums (of course not applying to those who can’t vaccinate for medical reasons) are you also opposed to insurance companies charging higher premiums for smokers or giving premium breaks to those who take certain health actions like getting physicals, dental cleanings, etc.?

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22 minutes ago, Plum said:

I don't know. This is only what I'm thinking and observing. I don't speak for anyone. It's frustrating. 

It's why I think finding common ground and appealing to them in ways that makes sense to them is a much better way to get through to them. So much c**p has accumulated, it's nearly impossible to get down to the root of it all. We need to be able to find a way to talk about all of this civilly but that takes time, effort and empathy. Instead we're driving a wedge further between us so that even when we do get out of this, we'll never be the same. 

I do think healthcare and public health officials are doing this at the local level and trying to involve religious and elected leaders which is where it will have the most impact. It’s amazing to me the extreme backlash so many public health officials have dealt with, yet so many of them just keeping trying and trying to reach out in an empathetic and supportive way. Of course others have been fired or burnt out, but so many have given so much. We can’t forget them either. And of course not the healthcare workers who have been through so much.

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