No, vaccine refusal isn’t just like other stupidity

Somewhere in the confusion of moving, I managed to publish this before it was ready. Oops.

So on Tuesday the movers came and moved my bed and bookshelves. I had already moved all twenty books of books and other media in my library.

That afternoon, Verizon came and installed FiOS at my new address. It’s working great, absolutely splendidly for me.

My new apartment sits atop a garage that the landlord uses for storage. The garage is atop a basement, which the landlord uses as a workshop. In the workshop, there is an old legacy telephone extension line. Or, I should say, was.

It seems that one of the old lines that the installer removed to run fiber to my apartment was that extension line. Oops. I have one very unhappy landlord and I spent hours with Verizon this morning trying to get them to come back out after they failed to show up yesterday to fix it. They are due tomorrow, at least according to an SMS message I received.

Meanwhile I’m moving more stuff into the new apartment, often from the old apartment, but sometimes new stuff because the new space is smaller and I have to make different decisions.

The bad news is that landlords in this part of the world want two months’ notice of intent to vacate. The good news is that this means I still have most of two months to sort it all out.

But God help me if I ever have to move again.

And I’m still not caught up here.


Pandemic

National

Nancy Gibbs argues against denying medical care to those who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting that the argument could be applied to any of a number of putatively “stupid” things people do. Of her examples, however, only smoking,[1] by way of second-hand smoke, really even begins to compare to the hazard the unvaccinated pose to others. My obesity certainly endangers myself, but it endangers no one else; COVID-19, on the other hand, is highly transmissible and specifically endangers the very people who would provide care.

Meanwhile, the problems of a medical care system stretched beyond its capacity increase,[2] with the attendant problem that, as Gibbs acknowledges, deserving, or at least more deserving, patients are having trouble accessing care.[3]

Rong-Gong Lin, II, “Anti-vaccine forces pushing ivermectin. It can be toxic, dangerous, officials say,” Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-08-31/what-is-ivermectin-officials-say-covid-treatment-toxic

Paul Farhi, “Four conservative radio talk-show hosts bashed coronavirus vaccines. Then they got sick,” Washington Post, September 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/conservative-talk-radio-covid-deaths/2021/08/31/a912a89c-0a66-11ec-aea1-42a8138f132a_story.html

Nancy Gibbs, “Do the unvaccinated deserve scarce ICU beds?” Washington Post, September 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/01/do-unvaccinated-deserve-scarce-icu-beds/

Pennsylvania

Andrew Seidman, “Mask and vaccine mandates have broad support, polls show. But some Pa. Republicans are campaigning against them,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 29, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/news/pa-republicans-mask-vaccine-mandates-2022-20210829.html

Stephen Caruso, “Pa. GOP candidate says he’ll bring ‘strong men’ to intimidate pro-mask school boards,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, August 30, 2021, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-gop-candidate-says-hell-bring-strong-men-to-intimidate-pro-mask-school-boards/

Megan Guza and Julia Felton, “Pennsylvania mandates masks in K-12 schools, day cares,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 31, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-to-mandate-masks-in-k-12-schools-day-cares/

Public Source, “School masking required across PA as COVID cases rise,” August 31, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/important-info-on-coronavirus-preparation-in-allegheny-county/

Paula Reed Ward, “Legal experts say Wolf administration has authority to issue mask mandate,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 31, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/regional/legal-experts-say-wolf-administration-has-authority-to-issue-mask-mandate/


Abortion

Robert Barnes et al., “Supreme Court refuses to block Texas law banning abortions at six weeks,” Washington Post, September 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/texas-six-week-abortion-ban/2021/09/01/e53cf372-0a6b-11ec-a6dd-296ba7fb2dce_story.html


Jobs

The evidence that enhanced unemployment benefits have kept workers from seeking employment remains, at best, mixed.[4]

Sarah Chaney Cambon and Danny Dougherty, “States That Cut Unemployment Benefits Saw Limited Impact on Job Growth,” Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/states-that-cut-unemployment-benefits-saw-limited-impact-on-job-growth-11630488601


Voting rights

Jon Kamp, “Texas GOP Lawmakers Send Voting Bill to Governor’s Desk,” Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-gop-lawmakers-send-voting-bill-to-governors-desk-11630449811


Pittsburgh

WTAE, “Strong odor reported in Pittsburgh area reportedly coming from chemical company on Neville Island,” September 2, 2021, https://www.wtae.com/article/strong-odor-in-multiple-downtown-communities-being-investigated/37461467


  1. [1]Nancy Gibbs, “Do the unvaccinated deserve scarce ICU beds?” Washington Post, September 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/01/do-unvaccinated-deserve-scarce-icu-beds/
  2. [2]Brianna Abbott, “Covid-19 Rise, Vaccine Hesitancy Frustrate Doctors in Hospitals Saturated by the Delta Variant,” Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-rise-vaccine-hesitancy-frustrate-doctors-in-hospitals-saturated-by-the-delta-variant-11628760602; Krutika Amin and Cynthia Cox, “Unvaccinated COVID-19 hospitalizations cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars,” Peterson Foundation on Healthcare and Kaiser Family Foundation, August 20, 2021, https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/unvaccinated-covid-patients-cost-the-u-s-health-system-billions-of-dollars/; Hailey Branson-Potts, “Mortuaries fill, hospitals clog in rural California towns with low vaccination rates,“ Los Angeles Times, August 28, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-08-28/la-me-rural-california-covid-surge-vaccinations-lag; Marisa Fernandez, “As hospitals fill, more ambulances forced to wait,” Axios, August 27, 2021, https://www.axios.com/local-ems-covid-surge-wait-times-611657fc-8ddf-4b32-a6dc-c7f2eb799487.html; Katie MacBride, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, August 21, 2021, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1429287685244420101.html; Michael McGough, “Sacramento hospitals ‘at capacity’ and COVID deaths at 6-month high as delta spreads,” Sacramento Bee, August 26, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article253761928.html; Sudhin Thanawala and Jay Reeves, “Virus surge breaks hospital records amid rising toll on kids,” Sacramento Bee, August 26, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/article253764343.html
  3. [3]Nancy Gibbs, “Do the unvaccinated deserve scarce ICU beds?” Washington Post, September 1, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/01/do-unvaccinated-deserve-scarce-icu-beds/
  4. [4]Sarah Chaney Cambon and Danny Dougherty, “States That Cut Unemployment Benefits Saw Limited Impact on Job Growth,” Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/states-that-cut-unemployment-benefits-saw-limited-impact-on-job-growth-11630488601

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