Web Miscellany: Compilation #102

Hello, there! I’ve been super fatigued. My shoulder and wrist have been sort-of bothering my since I fainted five months ago, so I’m finally getting x-rays next week. My home has mold and rats. The upstairs unit installed hardwood floor just before selling, in violation of the bylaws, and surely unbeknownst to the heel-clicking prospective buyers. My boyfriend’s crafty birthday gift is a month overdue, I have a few library books out that I don’t have time to read due to excessive sleep needs, and I’m generally bummed.

Some good news is my grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, was just moved into memory center, and his caretaker said he seemed excited to have his own place. Assuming he does okay for the next week, my grandmother will move in just down the hall in the independent living section, so they can still spend lots of time together.

More good news is my boyfriend and I had the chance to video chat with a good friend for several hours. She is the mother of his college roommate (and the mother he wishes had been his own). She worked as sci-fi novel editor, was into nerdy films and games, and is just an absolute hoot.

Hope your week to come is a good one!

Food for thought

I have a double-dose of tangential ideas for you today on differential treatment based on vaccination status. Please consider these ideas in the context of a person with a dysfunctional immune system, PEG allergy, and the ability and willingness to strictly quarantine indefinitely.

“What is the scientific evidence to support vaccine mandates today? Today, we have vaccines that are very effective at preventing severe disease in the vaccinated… many treatments to further reduce the severity of illness, if infected… enormous expertise to treat infected patients in hospitals… a dominant variant in Omicron that is nowhere near as virulent as its predecessors. If this were really about science, why would we not allow previous infection, which confers all the benefits of vaccination, if not more, the same rights?… If we are being honest with ourselves, are the mandates truly for the protection of the vaccinated, or do they exist to punish the unvaccinated?”

Dr. Peter Attia, MD, Why I’m for COVID vaccines, but against vaccine mandates

“Unlike vaccine mandates, which limit the jobs unvaccinated people can hold or the spaces they can enter, withholding medical care would be a matter of life or death… Complex illnesses that disproportionately affect women, such as myalgic encephalomyelitis, dysautonomia, and now long COVID, are often dismissed because of stereotypes of women as hysterical and overly emotional. Black people are undertreated for pain because of persistent racist beliefs that they are less sensitive to it or have thicker skin. Disabled people often receive worse care because of ingrained beliefs that their lives are less meaningful. These biases exist—but they should be resisted…. Blaming or neglecting unvaccinated people won’t save the health-care system or end the pandemic. It will just be the latest manifestation of America’s instinct to punish individuals for societal failures.”

Ed Yong, It’s a Terrible Idea to Deny Medical Care to Unvaccinated People

I recently saw an online comment where a fully vaccinated person contracted Covid, admitted that they had become complacent and stopped being careful, and then proceeded to viciously attack the unvaccinated because “if it weren’t for them, this would have been over a year ago.”

I’m not against vaccinations, personally. I received my standard 1980’s childhood vaccines, decennial Tdap boosters, and just got a pneumococcal vaccine just last year. A 2015 infection sent my immune system haywire and, as data has come out, my doctors have flip-flopped and at no point during the last year have they agreed on vaccine recommendation for me. I work from home, live a healthy lifestyle, have acquired an arsenal of prophylactics to prevent severe illness, and fully isolate whenever the state has more than 1 new case per 5,000 populous. I’m not running around coughing on strangers, and I think I am taking greater precautions than most vaccinated folks. Yet, people like me who are simply trying to survive this thing are being villianized as antivaxxers, proliferating the spread.

My partner is disabled and his physician has a unique concern with the Covid vaccinations, as it related to his disability. Yet, there were whispers that the state may threaten to pull benefits from disability recipients who refuse vaccination. No exemptions. If his doctor is right, his choice is between his life or $700 per month. That feels like punishment.

Something actionable

“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer.

Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! You aren’t a child anymore. The sooner you set yourself to your spiritual program, the happier you will be. The longer you wait, the more you’ll be vulnerable to mediocrity and feel filled with shame and regret, because you know you are capable of better.

From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.”

Stoic philosopher Epictetus on taking action, Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness

What do you value? Does your life align with your proclaimed values? If not, now is the perfect time to consider those small actions that could set you on the right path. Decide to be extraordinary. Be the person that only you can be.

Just for fun

I read an article from my inbox while in a doctor’s waiting room this week. I don’t have social media, am completely out-of-touch with whatever the young and the hip are into, and I don’t really understand influence culture. Though, I am deeply intrigued. That’s where Culture Study comes in.

“Neeleman is a Juilliard-trained dancer, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the mother of six (soon to be seven) children. She lives with her husband, Daniel, on a ranch outside of Park City, Utah. Another important detail: Daniel’s father is David Neeleman — founder and former CEO of JetBlue, as well as four other airlines. The Neelemans currently sell Ballerinafarm beef and pork, along with a cornucopia of Ballerinafarm-branded merch. But the real product is the lifestyle: pastoral, filled with beautiful moppy-haired children and their graceful, angel-faced mother.”

Anne Helen Petersen, Culture Study, The Edenic Allure of Ballerinafarm

There are lots of interesting bits to this story. Many who have grown up in the city dream of one day going rural, working the land, raising a family, and going back to one’s roots. I know that’s something I long for. Yet, in reality, I know I’m not going to be mucking out the pig pen in a gingham dress and cowboy hat. I’m not going to have a gorgeous-yet-impractical vintage stove. I don’t think I could manage seven kids and a cattle ranch with no help outside my nuclear family.

When Ballerina Farm pretends their reality is reality, it warps the dream of those who don’t have financial help to purchase a multi-million plot of land or childcare help to raise a half-dozen kids. Large swaths of the population are doing everything they can to buy a home, send their kids to college, or save for retirement, and sometimes everything isn’t enough. An influencer’s reality may be, and likely is, propped up with support beams just outside the frame. It’s fascinating to have a little behind the curtain analysis, and simultaneously a bit sad because there are surely people out there striving for this impossible reality.

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