Is it Only a Matter of Time?

I know the medical community is harking on how the vaccines are reducing severe illness and death. The vaccines seem to be doing their job. For now anyway.

It’s concerning when you read about cases rising in every state and you learn that in your very highly vaccinated state breakthrough cases have surpassed 5,000 with 80 people dying, 23 of them weren’t even in the hospital and 272 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized after becoming infected.

At least two communities in my state have told people to start wearing facemasks again and visitors to Provincetown have been urged to self-isolate and get tested. There have been 256 confirmed cases from that town alone. Nantucket just issued a mask order today. I’m expecting the rest of the state to catch on soon enough.

We can understand hearing about the daily unvaccinated cases. But when you also hear about daily breakthrough cases in vaccinated people, and see the numbers rising all around the country, not just for the unvaccinated, it’s understandable how the confidence in the vaccines can be waning. Add in the fact that many didn’t have much confidence in them to begin with, being only emergency authorized, I can understand the hesitancy of many.

And you can say, well, would you rather have the vaccine and possibly be safer from Covid than if you didn’t have the vaccine, or go unvaccinated and get Covid and become really sick. Especially with the Delta variant running loose. And yes, on the surface getting the vaccine does seem like the right thing to do. For now.

But considering we don’t know how long the vaccines last, and the number of breakthrough cases rising daily, my fear is that soon the vaccinated crowd getting Covid is going to surpass or equal the unvaccinated crowd. And there’s going to be higher numbers of hospitalizations and deaths among them. And then what? We finally put our facemasks on, go back to social distancing six feet apart and start washing our hands again? Because all of that has stopped along with the virus suddenly being “gone”.

With the creation of the vaccines, which have been great and were much needed, and with the CDC declaring facemasks off (for the vaccinated–but read as everyone) and not such a great idea with Delta on our doorstep back in May, it has created a great false sense of security in many minds that, hey, that Covid thing is gone and we’re free! We can run around maskless (I still wear one) and go out to eat at that buffet (which I have recently done–not a good idea), we can go to the movies again (and pay the price), we can travel again (and pay the price), we can go back to work (I am still working from home), etc., etc. We have been fooled into believing it’s gone because we’ve gotten a shot and some highly paid medical authority figure told us because of the shot we can go maskless. Well, when she said that, everyone heard her. Not just the vaccinated ones.

For the past several days I’ve wondered how high the cases would be right now if the CDC hadn’t said it was okay to remove our masks back in May. I know the cases would still be high, considering many weren’t wearing masks to start with. But I have a feeling the cases would not be as high as we are seeing. Even among the unvaccinated.


What Happened To Being In This Together?

The other day the CDC director declared that, because of the current rising of COVID-19 cases in the United States, the virus is “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated”. She is very far from the truth.

The pandemic hasn’t changed. It’s always been there. It’s just changed variants. Also, the pandemic has always affected everyone. Only a year ago we were singing along to “We’re All In This Together” because we were in it together. And even then we weren’t because there were your “the virus is a hoax” people and your anti-maskers. But there were more of us than there were of them. Now with the creation of a vaccine and a mix of people either getting vaccinated or not getting vaccinated, the rise of cases in both unvaccinated and vaccinated people, the CDC and others, probably in frustration, because, hey, they actually believed everyone was going to get the vaccine, are pointing the finger at the unvaccinated.

Saying that what we are going through has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated is an unfair statement. Considering there are many people who have no choice but to not get vaccinated. Such as children under age 12. You want to blame the over 10,000 babies born every day in the United States for being unvaccinated? And don’t say infants don’t get the virus because they do. And how about the many adults who, for one reason or another, usually a medical one, have been advised to not get vaccinated. Such as this woman.

I know there are the regular people out there who could get vaccinated but won’t for their own personal reasons: it’s too new, it’s not FDA approved, it’ll magnetize me, Bill Gates will be able to watch me sleeping, whatever. That’s their choice. Just as it was the choice of many people to get vaccinated.

The problem really didn’t start with the choice of people either getting vaccinated or not. It started in May when the CDC director said that vaccinated people could go maskless. I really think it was her roundabout way to try to get the unvaccinated vaccinated. It was nice of her to have so much faith in humanity but she should’ve known better. Because what she did was give a free pass to everyone. And now, two months later, here we are with Delta cases going up and up all over the country, with no end in sight. We have an Olympics game about to start in a country that is under an emergency state due to Covid. And at this count, at least three athletes in the Olympic village have tested positive. And the games haven’t even begun yet.

In getting back to the masks for a minute, I always found it interesting how the CDC declared that masks must still be worn in a medical setting as well as on public transportation such as planes, buses, trains, taxis, etc. If they need to be worn in those settings, why shouldn’t they be worn in any setting? In essence the CDC is telling us it’s okay to go to that concert and stand in that crowded pit without a mask, mingle with the two people closest to you in that pit, but then when you get on a plane with those same two people and sit next to them, you need to wear a mask. That makes no sense.

I don’t feel this pandemic has become one just for the unvaccinated. It’s everyone’s problem. And Facebook isn’t to blame either because (1) you can block misinformation sites and (2) I know several unvaccinated people who don’t even use Facebook. I think the first blame lies with the CDC. I just think the CDC is using the unvaccinated as an excuse for their poor judgement in letting the masks go. How else do you explain so many vaccinated people getting infected? Other than maybe the vaccines aren’t as effective as we were told.

Going Up?

Yes. Yes, we are once again going up on COVID-19 cases in the U.S., with almost all the states reporting increases.

And yes, it’s mainly happening in the unvaccinated. But not entirely. Just ask many vaccinated people who visited Provincetown, Massachusetts within the past week or so.

But let’s hold off on even making a booster vaccine for the already vaccinated. You know, in the case of rising COVID-19 breakthroughs. Because, unlike almost two years ago, we now can actually foresee what is going to happen. But let’s ignore it for now because, you know, lack of “data”. And the vaccinated getting sick aren’t dying. Yet. And we don’t know how long the vaccines last. Let’s just wait until the cases are out of control and then scramble our asses around trying to come up with something…you know, like when we were using bandanas as facemasks.

Speaking of which, keep those facemasks handy. Because you’re probably going to be needing them sooner than later. Whether you want to or not.

Enjoy the remainder of the summer. Because the fall, winter and 2022 may not be very pleasant.

What Wasn’t Learned In School

For my teen-age daughter another school year has come and gone. She has officially spent an entire 15 months in school remotely, which is a good twelve months longer than she spent in public online school back in 2017.

I give teachers all the kudos in the world for teaching remotely. It became even more difficult for them when they had to teach both remotely and in person. And my daughter’s teachers did a remarkable job. As did my daughter. Maybe it was the environment she was learning in that helped, but her grades were either the same or slightly better remotely than being in school physically.

With all the changes that occurred this school year, one thing remained constant: the curriculum. I understand the state has certain learning requirements. But for once, especially at the high school level, I’d love to see something taught that students may actually be able to use in the real world one day.

Take biology, for instance. It was a class freshmen had to take. I know it’s great to know the basics about biology, why we get diseases, how body systems function, etc. But is it that important to know all the ins and outs of the body to survive in the world? Is it going to make you a better person? Teach you what to do in looking for your first apartment? How to apply for a job? Biology may be helpful if you’re going on to medical school. But even there you’re bound to take a lot more biology and learn a lot more ins and outs of the body. Maybe teaching them something as simple as knowing when to see a doctor, because I know adults who don’t even know when they should see a doctor about something.

I’ve always found English class to be enjoyable. My daughter not so much. So when she told me they were reading “The Odyssey” and asked why she had to read it, I told her I didn’t know. Because I had to read it once and wondered the same damn thing. So I got thinking “In real life how can we benefit from what happens to Odysseus”? I got nothing.

“Oh my God! My car was stolen!! Shit! What would Odysseus do?”

“Damn! I was just robbed at gunpoint. What would Odysseus do?”

From my memory of the story, and from what my daughter reminded me, he’d probably run away on his boat as fast as he could. Yeah, Odysseus and his gang isn’t going to help anyone in real life.

And after teaching that, the teacher taught about disastrous events for the remaining three months of the year. My daughter got to learn about Chernobyl, which really bothered her, and “War of the Worlds”. Maybe stuff you’d teach in a history class but not something I’d imagine being taught in English.

Environmental Science, if taught correctly, could come in handy with regards to dealing with climate change, but only if someone is there enough to teach it. Which wasn’t exactly the case. And if the work is challenging enough for a high school student. Not something meant for a fifth grader to do.

And then we have good ol’ math. Algebra. Still trying to solve for X after all these years. Linear equations. When do they start teaching kids how to balance a checkbook? Or file taxes? You know, useful every day things. I think my daughter had a few word problems that had to do with percentages. Those may come in handy somewhere in life.

Why can’t people just go to a fucking movie and *enjoy* it, without bitching about who is or isn’t in it? For chrissakes, most of us haven’t stepped foot in a theater for over a year. Be grateful you can physically go see a movie, no matter what race the people cast in it are.