Posts Tagged ‘Vaccination’

A vaccination-only anti-virus strategy

July 22, 2021

It seems as if the Biden administration intends to rely on vaccines alone to fight the COVID-19 virus.

The official advice is that once you get vaccinated, it’s safe to do anything you want, including spending time unmasked in poorly-ventilated indoor spaces.

That’s wrong.  Even if you’re vaccinated, you can be infected and you can infect others.  Masking, ventilation and other safety measures are still needed.

It’s true that availability of vaccines has dramatically reduced the death rate from COVID.  The chart above, showing waves of COVID infection before and after vaccines were available, indicates this.

Vaccination, however, does not confer 100 percent immunity.  The vaccines stimulate the immune system, so that, if you are infected, you are unlikely to experience symptoms of the disease and even less likely to be hospitalized. 

But they often fail to kill the virus.  You can be vaccinated and symptom-free and still be a spreader of the disease.

I’m in favor of vaccination. I got two shots of the Moderna vaccine as soon as I could, one in March and one in April.  I don’t take that as guaranteeing perfect safety.

It’s going to be a while before I eat a restaurant  meal indoors or watch a movie in a theater.  I may never take an airplane trip again.  I intend to wear a mask any time I am indoors with people I don’t know.

That’s not because I like masks.  I get short of breath when I wear one for a long time.  Everybody looks like they’re either terrorists, robbers or assisting in surgery.  But I can put up with this minor annoyance in order to reduce my own risk and the risk I create for others.

I understand that not everybody is willing to live as I do, or in a position to do so.  I am 84 years old, retired, unmarried, an introvert and a recluse. 

I don’t have to venture out into the world to earn my daily bread, and my temperament makes it easier for me than for most people to do without hugs and kisses.


Vaccination and the pro-life philosophy

February 27, 2015

VaxExemptionsThe basic argument of the anti-abortion movement is that the right to life is more important than the right to choose.

I agree with that argument.  My freedom of choice ends where the threat to your life begins.

My disagreement with the anti-abortion movement is over when human life begins.  I agree with the older Christian philosophy which Dante expressed in the Divine Comedy, that conception creates a vegetable soul, capable of growth, which develops into an animal soul, capable of movement, and only later becomes a human soul, capable of understanding.

Be that as it may, it seems to me that anyone committed to the right to life philosophy would deny that there is a right of parents to withhold vaccination or life-saving medical treatment from children.

The right of the child to live is more important than the right of the parent to choose.  And in this case, there is no question as to what constitutes a human life.

The case for vaccination (if one is needed)

January 2, 2015

vaccinationVaccine Infographic via Mike the Mad Biologist.

The passing scene: Links & comment 8/13/13

August 13, 2013

Saudi prince defects: ‘Brutality, oppression, fear of Arab revolts’ by RT News.  Hat tip to O.

Saudi Prince Khaled bin Farhan al-Saud, who has fled his country and family for Germany, said in an interview with RT Arabic that Saudi Arabia is seething with discontent against an increasingly repressive government, which outlaws political parties and recently sentenced one blogger to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.  He said dissenters gone from asking for freedom of speech and representation in government to advocating regime change.

Baltimore researchers turn some carnivorous fish into vegetarians by Darryl Fears in the Washington Post.  Hat tip to Jack Clontz.

University of Maryland researchers have devised a new fish food, consisting of plant-based protein, fatty acids and an amino acid-like substance found in energy drinks, which they can feed to factory farm fish as a substitute for meal made from fish lower on the food chain.   This may help slow overfishing and lessen contamination from mercury and PCBs.  Even so farm fish still would be more exposed to disease and parasites than caught fish.

New Water Offers an Ocean of Hope on Paris Tech Review.

Fresh water is vital to life and it is being consumed at a faster rate.   According to this article, progress in distillation and reverse osmosis technology offers hope of cheaper desalinization of sea water, and also of recovery of brine used in hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.  The United States is a leader in this technology, along with Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Last Person to Get Smallpox Dedicated His Life to Ending Polio by Michaeleen Doucleff of National Public Radio.

Ali Maow Maalin, a Somali hospital cook, was the last person in the world known to have had smallpox.  He regretted that he had refused to be vaccinated because he feared it would hurt, and so he spent the last 10 years as a volunteer polio vaccinator in dangerous areas of Somalia.  Sadly he died recently—of exposure to malaria.

Why did Japan surrender? by Gareth Cook of the Boston Globe

Historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa of the University of California at Santa Barbara argues that the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not compel Japan to surrender.  The Japanese would have fought on, he said, except for the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, which ended their hope that the Soviets would broker a peace allowing them to hold onto territory and preserve the imperial system.

Welcome to Russia, Mr. Snowden by Irina Galushka of RT television.  Hat tip to O.

A Russian journalist sketched life in Moscow.  She advised Snowden to read Ilf and Petrov’s comic novels, The Twelve Chairs and The Golden Calf, rather than Dostoyevsky, to avoid traffic jams by riding the Moscow Metro and to get used to everybody having an opinion about everything he does.  And “I’d like to warn you about our summer: We don’t have one.”