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Mon Jun 21, 2021, 06:38 PM

 

I'm going to make the Covid / Flu comparison...

No, not the one where itís claimed the flu as we know it is just as bad as Covid.

I remember talking to people about herd immunity and we all thought it was a possibility. We arenít even going to come close. The world population wonít even come close.

Iím seeing preventative measures that will look very similar to the flu, as we know it.

Annual vaccine. A board will make an educated guess about which strains will be bad that year.

Thatís going to be the long game.

Unfortunately Covid 19 is more harmful.

Flame away. Even if Iím spot on here Iíve done something in the last week to earn your scorn. 😁

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Arrow 70 replies Author Time Post
Reply I'm going to make the Covid / Flu comparison... (Original post)
RegularJam Jun 2021 OP
SoCalDavidS Jun 2021 #1
RegularJam Jun 2021 #2
Wounded Bear Jun 2021 #3
RegularJam Jun 2021 #4
Wounded Bear Jun 2021 #5
RegularJam Jun 2021 #8
Crunchy Frog Jun 2021 #36
Yavin4 Jun 2021 #10
Ms. Toad Jun 2021 #14
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #16
Ms. Toad Jun 2021 #19
Yavin4 Jun 2021 #27
Yavin4 Jun 2021 #26
Ms. Toad Jun 2021 #29
Yavin4 Jun 2021 #31
Ms. Toad Jun 2021 #32
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #45
Caliman73 Jun 2021 #11
Wounded Bear Jun 2021 #12
lapfog_1 Jun 2021 #13
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #21
lapfog_1 Jun 2021 #23
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #42
womanofthehills Jun 2021 #30
lapfog_1 Jun 2021 #35
Ace Rothstein Jun 2021 #6
RegularJam Jun 2021 #7
Ace Rothstein Jun 2021 #9
abqtommy Jun 2021 #15
brush Jun 2021 #17
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #22
brush Jun 2021 #24
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #37
brush Jun 2021 #50
brush Jun 2021 #25
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #38
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #46
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #52
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #55
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #56
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #57
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #59
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #62
moonscape Jun 2021 #39
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #43
moonscape Jun 2021 #44
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #51
moonscape Jun 2021 #60
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #63
Ms. Toad Jun 2021 #18
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #20
smirkymonkey Jun 2021 #28
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #40
smirkymonkey Jun 2021 #48
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #54
smirkymonkey Jun 2021 #64
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #65
smirkymonkey Jun 2021 #69
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #47
smirkymonkey Jun 2021 #49
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #53
smirkymonkey Jun 2021 #58
GulfCoast66 Jun 2021 #61
smirkymonkey Jun 2021 #68
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #66
Yavin4 Jun 2021 #33
roamer65 Jun 2021 #34
PoindexterOglethorpe Jun 2021 #41
argyl Jun 2021 #67
RegularJam Jun 2021 #70

Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 06:40 PM

1. I NEVER Thought Herd Immunity Was A Possibility

I think America will end up with around 65% vaccinated when all is said and done.

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Response to SoCalDavidS (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 06:46 PM

2. I got wrapped up in the idea of herd immunity.

 

Looking back, I should have known better.

I think the images I was seeing and the stories I was reading did impact my ability to apply logic in this area. Wishful thinking being accepted as a possible truth.

Iím pretty sure that is how I came to my seriously flawed conclusion last year.

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 06:48 PM

3. Most people misunderstand herd immunity anyway...

and some diseases just don't get there anyway.

You're probably right about the annual boosters.

One other similarity is the airborne nature. Anybody else notice the lack of colds/flu this last season? Most likely due to the wearing of masks in public. If people would respect the cold/flu and not feel they have to 'power through' them and go to work sick, or would at least wear a mask when ill, those diseases would be far less of a problem.

We need to dump the whole "macho" thing about sickness and refine how we treat them.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 06:52 PM

4. Love the content of your post.

 

Thanks.

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Response to RegularJam (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:00 PM

5. Herd immunity doesn't mean that nobody gets sick...

generally it just means that most people survive and don't suffer serious adverse consequences. Under that definition you could surmise that we have 'herd immunity' to flu and colds, because not that many people die from it and a fairly manageable number of people get hospitalized. This round of covid was about 10 times more fatal than flu, IIRC and my historical memory serves, and had significantly higher hospitalization rates.

There is a chance that if we had done nothing, like the deniers and anti-vaxxers wanted, the death rate in subsequent waves of covid would have dropped off to where there were "only" 30-50k deaths per year (a 'normal flu season) and it would be considered "managed" in the public eye. Nobody really knows, though, and there's no telling how many years at 500k+ deaths we'd have to go through to reach that level, and the disruption to the medical industry and the economy to go along with that.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:17 PM

8. I think we are a bit far off on the flu.

 

There are years where itís believed that over 15% of the population contracts it. Recently, over 60k died from it in a year. Then there is the unspoken in those numbers. All of those who contract it in any given year and are never the same. The flu is some nasty stuff and runs pretty rampant.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:33 PM

36. That's not what herd immunity means.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

I know it's Wikipedia, but it's also what I learned about in microbiology class, years before anyone heard of Covid.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:28 PM

10. If masks stopped the colds/flu, why didn't they also stop COVID-19 transmissions

which were at their highest during the last three months of 2020?

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:55 PM

14. Because COVID 19 is even more transmissible than influenza and colds. n/t

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:58 PM

16. More to the point, a lot of people were casual at best about wearing masks.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:07 PM

19. That, too -

but because it is so much more transmissible - while casual mask wearing took a significant bite out of colds and influenze, it was less effective at tamping down COVID.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:37 PM

27. Casual mask wearing is, in itself, an argument against masks as an effective weapon against COVID.

Masks wearing needs universal compliance in order for it to be effective which is something that can almost never happen.

In sum, the most effective weapons against COVID are (in order of their effectiveness):

1. Social distancing enforced with lockdowns.
2. Both doses of the mRNA vaccines and wait after two weeks.
3. Mask wearing in public.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:33 PM

26. So masks are not as effective as everyone assumes, right?

Or maybe the reason why colds/flu were down was more due to social distancing (remote work and capacity limits) than masks.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 09:30 PM

29. The means of transmission is not identical -

and COVID is more highly transmissible via aerosolized matter.

So combine highly effective means of transmission + masks below the nose/mouth + masks that gap at the sides or around the nose + a whole bunch of people not wearing masks and no one enforcing the mask orders. That leaves a lot of gaps for a disease whose primary means of transmission is by aerosolized matter.

On the other hand even ill-fitted masks are far more effective against droplets, which drop like little rocks rather than floating about on the breeze.

And - the social distancing does play a role (colds and flu are more transmissible via fomites - so staying home has an added impact of fewer hands touching shared surfaces).

Bottom line - when masks are properly fitted and consistently worn, they are highly effective at dramatically reducing the transmission of all 3. But because air flow plays a much larger role in transmission of COVID than it does for colds and flu the impact of even poor masking on transmission of colds and flu will be greater than on COVID.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #29)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 09:52 PM

31. "when masks are properly fitted and consistently worn"

So, how do we go about making sure that everyone "properly fits their masks and consistently wears them"? What mechanism(s) are there to enforce that at all times?

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 09:59 PM

32. We obviously aren't willing to do that.

And far too many people can't be bothered.

But I'm not sure what your point is.

The questions was why the COVID cases were so high during a time when flu and colds were low. I've explained that.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 11:36 PM

45. Because it is more contagious.

Masks would do almost nothing against some diseases. Like measles.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:35 PM

11. I agree about the "Macho" thing, but it also has to come from work culture.

Employers need to understand that and keep sick workers home AND pay them. If it is between a meal or making rent, then I am more likely to go to work sick than stay home without pay or possibly get fired.

We cannot leave it all to employees to determine when they should work. Employers need to step up and make it okay to stay home when you may be contagious. Problem with certain viruses is that you are contagious before the symptoms show up.

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Response to Caliman73 (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:37 PM

12. I cannot argue that at all. It has to be both sides, employer and employee...

Currently, the employer has almost all the leverage in this. Many places have sick pay, but probably not enough.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:52 PM

13. we will eventually get to "herd immunity"

might be a decade or so to kill off the unvaccinated... but the variants seem to be able to strike someone who has had and survived a different variant.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:10 PM

21. The unvaccinated are not going to die in large numbers.

Yeah, they'll die more than the vaccinated, but not significantly.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:24 PM

23. I can always hope, no?

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:53 PM

42. And you can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 09:39 PM

30. Probably a large percentage of the unvaccinated have natural antibodies by now

You guys never mention natural immunity. My whole county now has very few cases and zero masks. Some days our whole county has zero cases and half the county are non mask wearing Republicans. There must be natural immunity here. We will see what happens if the Delta variant gets here. Who knows?? 15 deaths in our county since the start of the pandemic.

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Response to womanofthehills (Reply #30)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:04 PM

35. natural immunity and acquired immunity have been shown to

be of limited value when presented with some of the mutations like Delta.

Vaccination acquired immunity is much better. At least until the next variant that defeats all immunity.

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:05 PM

6. Natural immunity is also a thing.

I feel like that gets glossed over at DU, a lot.

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Response to Ace Rothstein (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:09 PM

7. It doesn't apply here.

 

Even if combined with a secondary concept.

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Response to RegularJam (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:19 PM

9. Please explain how.

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 07:56 PM

15. No flame here. I've gotten the regular flu vaccine every year now for many years. I

anxiously waited to get fully covid vaccinated. Getting a covid booster every year or 6 months is fine with me. And I'll keep on getting regular flu vaccines too.

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:03 PM

17. If herd immunity was possible, wouldn't it have happened with the flu years ago...

as many have been getting vaccinated against the flu for decades now?

It won't happen because of vaxxers, those who think they're so healthy that they're immune and people who just can't be bothered to take the time to get a shot.

It's much the same with covid.

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Response to brush (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:17 PM

22. No, because influenza mutates readily and steadily.

Every single year (and honestly, we mostly have China to thank for this) the influenza virus changes and sends out new mutations. Which can infect people who previously had a different version of that influenza.

Something else to keep in mind about flu. If you get the flu and recover, you have a very long-lasting immunity to any similar version. The vaccine offers only a limited protection, which is why you need to get the vaccine regularly. Keep in mind, that there's strong evidence that getting a flu shot every single year is not really the best strategy. Every other year is better.

Also, keep in mind that the main reason older people tended not to get influenza in the 1918 epidemic was that some fifty years earlier a similar type A flu pandemic occurred, and so those alive then either got it and died, got it and survived, or were already immune from it.

Personally, I don't get the flu vaccine and I don't ever worry about getting the flu, is because while growing up, I got influenza any number of times, including (I'm pretty sure) the Asian Flu in 1957. I am not about to suggest that anyone else pass on the flu vaccine. And it's possible I may change my mind at some point and start getting it. I have an exceptionally strong immune system, and so far I'm willing to trust it.

And yeah, I did get the J&J one and done shot back in March. I'm not a total idiot.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:26 PM

24. And all these covid variants aren't mutations? We'll probably get yearly covid shots...

just as we do yearly flu shots. Herd immunity is a nice aspirational goal but the chance of it happening is slim.

Good luck to you with your natural immunity but I'm going with getting vaccinated every year just as I do with the flu. It's not a hard thing to do.

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Response to brush (Reply #24)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:36 PM

37. They are mutations.

But Covid is still not the flu.

Keep in mind that even with yearly influenza shots, herd immunity doesn't happen with flu.

And yes, get your yearly flu shot.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #37)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 12:30 AM

50. I said all along that herd immunity doesn't happen with the flu.

And it's likely going to be the same way with covid...vaxxers and those who think they're immune being factors in that.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:30 PM

25. What happened in Sweden with their health minister's herd immunity strategy...

of exposing the nation to covid? They had to back off on that.

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Response to brush (Reply #25)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:38 PM

38. Sweden's death per million has them

number 35 in countries by that measure. I'd say their herd immunity strategy wasn't all that bad.

We're number 20.

Here's the link: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

You can play with various things to find what you want.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #38)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 11:39 PM

46. But you can't discount they are healthier than us.

And have more access to healthcare.

But mainly healthier and with less obesity and the conditions that come with it. They were a major factor in who died and who survived.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #46)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 12:44 AM

52. Good points.

Those all matter. Especially the less obesity.

Last year, sometimes when I saw a notice of some young person dying of Covid, I'd do a Google search for that person. Invariably, it was someone who from the photo posted was clearly overweight, more likely obese. I am NOT fat shaming. I've been overweight, borderline obese myself. And last summer I finally decided to take off the excess weight and got my BMI down from 31.6 to 24.3, meaning from the beginning of obese to the top end of normal.

In this country we have gotten so used to so many of us being overweight or obese, we've forgotten what normal looks like. Go back and look at high school yearbooks from the 1960s and you'll see. The very few overweight students are almost never in the full obese category. Virtually everyone is a normal weight.

I was overweight/borderline obese for several decades, and I'd come to see that as normal for me. I'm very happy I've been able to make the change. I truly hope it is permanent.


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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #52)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 01:02 AM

55. Me to. Or getting there thanks to covid. I've lost 35lbs in the last 14 months.

Still going down. Not dieting. Just changed my eating lifestyle. Covid drove home how dangerous my weight was becoming.

We go to Europe every year or two and I speak a little French. Although Iíll need to study up some since it has been a while since we could travel. When I was thinner twice we had French folks mistake us for fellow citizens. Once in Normandy, once in Dijon. Never in Paris. They easily spot tourist no matter how the dress. Once I got fatter it would never happen. Heavy people stand out.

Ironically, until I put on weight when I visited my family in rural Arkansas and Louisiana they joked about my wife not feeding me, despite the fact I do all the cooking. Their idea of a normal weight was heavy.

Iíve got 30 lbs to go to get back down to 190 where I look good and what I weighed at 23. But Iíll be there by New Years.

Iím only 5í11Ē and under some of the new criteria I should be 160. But Iíve always been big boned. 160 and I would look sick. My dad was my height but small boned. I got one of his wrist watches when he passed and it was almost an inch to small to fit on my wrist. And I was 23 then.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #55)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 01:14 AM

56. Good for you for losing the weight.

I'll also say, do not fall for the "Big boned" thing. Most of us are not big boned. It's a bit of a myth. Do a bit of rethinking. The BMI thing is enormously helpful. Yeah, people will look at that and point out that professional football players don't really fit those numbers. But if you're not a professional football player those numbers really do apply to you.

Hang in there. We love you.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #56)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 01:29 AM

57. At 190 I have no belly. I have not been 160 since I was 16.

When I was 23 I dug trees up all day. Hard physical work. Then went and lifted weights after work. And still do enough to keep my muscles fit. That said I have no weight final goal. Iím eating a very southern European or Japanese diet. Lots of veggies and not much meat except for lots of seafood. And yogurt and such.

I figure my body will tell me where I need to be. If I get down to 180 thatís fine. But lord Iíd be like my wife with my hips 2 inches bigger than my waist. And Iím a guy!

But Iíll never be 160! You would have to remove bones and muscles!

Have a nice evening

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #57)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 01:53 AM

59. Sounds like you are paying careful attention to your body.

Good for you!

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #59)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 02:07 AM

62. Unfortunately my body likes beer and bourbon. I've cut out the bourbon.

Had I cut out the beer I would be down 45 lbs!

But we do our best.

Have a great week.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:41 PM

39. Why is every other year preferable to annually? n/t

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Response to moonscape (Reply #39)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:55 PM

43. Apparently there's a peak in immunity given by a vaccine.

And the next year, the shot is far less effective.

I wish I could give a better explanation, but I'd come across that statistic a while back, and then attended a lecture by someone who was an expert in the field, and she said the same thing about flu vaccine being best if gotten every other year. And this was NOT some sort of anti-vaccine person.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #43)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 11:06 PM

44. Interesting. Since each year the vaccine is for a

different strain, does that mean if one theoretically gets the vaccine in even years, that one will be well-protected, and in odd years have some residual protection or need to be super careful with no protection? Iím not understanding but will probe my docs about it.

Thanks.

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Response to moonscape (Reply #44)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 12:36 AM

51. I and you need to do a bit more research.

I'd come across this fact about the influenza vaccine being better if taken every other year, and then I attended a talk by a scientist from LANL (Los Alamos National Labs, and notice I don't expect everyone to know the abbreviation) who talked in great detail about influenza and the vaccine, and stressed that very point.

I happen to be a huge proponent of natural immunity, meaning people get exposed to stuff, get infected, get over it, and are now immune. That's intended to be a very general statement, but is very important. Here's the essential problem. People don't fully understand how the immune system works. It's like this. We're programmed, meaning evolved, to be subjected to a whole lot of immune challenges in the early years of our lives, about the first 15 or 20 years, and if we survive, we're good to go for the next fifty years. After which, we slowly succumb to whatever.

I grew up in an environment where I was exposed to lots of other kids, got sick a lot when I was young. I lived in a low income housing development from age 2 to 7, was exposed to everything. Got all the childhood diseases -- this was in the 1950s long before the current vaccines for such things. I recall missing a lot of school in my kindergarten year, and almost nothing after that. Lucky me.

In the modern world, people have been saved from all sorts of things. They've survived medical/immune/whatever challenges thanks to modern medicine. You and I are not going through life with the horrific scars of smallpox thanks to smallpox vaccination and the total eradication of that disease. Nor do I expect to deal with shingles in the remainder of my life (I'm 72, and yes, I did get chicken pox early in life, meaning I'm at risk for shingles) since I did get the most recent vaccine for it. Eventually, shingles will go away thanks to the chicken pox vaccine. Hooray!

So get an influenza vaccine, every other year is best. Get the Covid19 vaccine. And so on. But understand that if you try to protect yourself from any and all illness, you will eventually be like the boy in the bubble, and have no immune protection of any kind.

In the very long run, we all die.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #51)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 02:01 AM

60. We're peers. I was never a germaphobe and just

rolled with whatever. My immune system seems surprisingly existent even though Iíve been on maintenance chemo for quite a while. The results of a Labcorp antibody test specifically to test antibody production from the vaccine showed a presumably healthy response. They still donít know what the numbers mean in context. That said, being immuno-compromised Iím not as cavalier as I was pre-elderly, and pre-cancer.

Yes, weíre all gonna die, and while not shopping for bubble wrap, I am in market for as many more days as I can muster.

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Response to moonscape (Reply #60)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 02:16 AM

63. I am absolutely not a germaphobe.

And when my kids were young, if another mom called me before a play date to let me know her kid had come down with something, and should we cancel, I was always saying, Nope. Not unless you want to.

I do realize that being on chemo is a totally different world from mine.

I will add this. Both of my sons have alopecia areata, an auto immune disorder that causes hair loss. It does seem as though for them, they have a hyper active immune system and so have rarely gotten sick. My older son, who lost his hair when he was four, went through three outbreaks of chicken pox (back before the current vaccine) in elementary school, and I was beginning to despair that he wouldn't get it. Then, one spring break, we were headed to visit my sister, who lived in a different state. She called me the night before we were setting out to let me know her oldest had just broken out in chicken pox, so maybe I might not want to come. Oh, no. I was on my way. My kids played with her for a week. When we got back home, at exactly whatever the incubation period is for chicken pox, both my sons broke out, within two hours of each other. Yes!

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:06 PM

18. I suspect we will be getting boosters -

but COVID is not like the influenza in which an educated guess results in an effectiveness of less than 50% or so each year for the last decade.

Variants (which still all share the same spike protein) are different from influenza strains (which have far less in common).

The booster is more likely to be to bump up the immunity the initial vaccine created (with perhaps minor tweaks where there is a deficiency noted as to identified variants) than to create immunity to an entirely new strain (like the original SARS or MERS)

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:08 PM

20. Several things to keep in mind.

Covid is no doubt here to stay. And while I don't want to seem to be dismissive of it, in reality, it's simply not all that fatal. And as bad as it can be, people are just not dying in numbers that are greater than births.

Yes, each and every death is a tragedy and might have been prevented, but the population overall is totally unaffected by this.

Heck, even the 1918 flu epidemic did not noticeably decrease overall population.

What really matters is not so much herd as individual immunity. We all have our own unique individual immune system. Some of us get sick with every little thing, others (like me) simply never get sick at all. Along with those individual differences, there are people with some sort of compromised immune system. To be frank, a lot of people are alive these days, especially in first world countries, who would not have been around a hundred years ago. The very hard question we need to ask is: do we continue to protect and keep alive everyone possible?

Another thing that's connected to this. A lot of people think it's fantastic that there were very few cases of cold or influenza this past year mainly because of wearing masks. And so they think continued mask wearing is the way to go. However, our immune system really is designed to be challenged with all sorts of things, fight them off, and get stronger. If we keep young children from being exposed to stuff, they are going to be in serious trouble as young adults. They'll have almost no working immune system and that's not good.

Read John M. Barry's The Great Influenza . Among the things he talks about is how these young men from the farms of Kansas, who'd never been more than ten miles from home, who'd never interacted with more than 50 people in their entire lives, who'd simply never gotten the then normal childhood diseases, were now put into army training camps, housed in cramped quarters with hundreds, sometimes thousands of other young men from similar situations. Surprise, surprise. They got sick in vast numbers and lots of them died. And then the Great Influenza struck.

Being exposed to stuff is, in the long run, highly beneficial.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 08:46 PM

28. That's very interesting.

I was talking with some friends a few weeks ago about this. We were wondering if the reason that children today have so many allergies to so many different things (peanuts, eggs, dairy, seafood, strawberries, pets, etc...) is because their environments are so protected and sterilized.

I have noticed that my nieces and nephews and a lot of their friends have more than their fair share of allergies. It just seems kind of commonplace these days.

When I was growing up, hardly anyone had any allergies. It was extremely rare. Then again, we would spend our days playing outside in the dirt, in streams/ponds and climbing trees all day. We'd eat wild berries and stick all kinds of things in our mouths. In short, we were probably just exposed to a lot more "germs" than today's children are.

I don't know for sure, but I almost think that kind of exposure made us more resistant to allergens and viruses as we were growing up.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #28)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:51 PM

40. Yes. Overprotecting kids has a downside.

Polio is more or less a disease of affluence. From various things I've read, children in the past or in third world countries were exposed to lots of things that gave them immunity to polio. In first world countries, those exposures didn't happen, hence polio outbreaks.

There's also a lot of evidence that kids who grow up with dogs and other animals wind up with far fewer allergies than those kids not so exposed.

You are absolutely right that those kinds of exposure make people far more resistant. Here's my own history: I'm a middle child of six kids. From age 2 to 7 we lived in a low income housing project, surrounded by lots and lots of other kids. I was sick a lot in my early years, through kindergarten. My first grade year, I was only sick one day. After that, aside from finally completing the childhood diseases of the time (measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox) and occasional influenza, including the Asian Flu of 1957, I wasn't sick all that often. At least not by the standards of the time. Over the years I got my share of colds and various other unnamed, undiagnosed diseases. I'm now 72. For at least 20 years I have almost never been sick. I'm sure it's because I've been exposed to most of what is out there, and so am immune. I have gotten the recent two-shot shingles vaccine, and the J&J one and done Covid vaccine.

But back to your question. There is a lot of evidence that overprotecting kids is not the right thing to do. Those people who are pleased that this past season went with almost no colds or flu, and so they should continue masking, simply don't understand the immune system and how it works. It's designed to be challenged with lots of stuff so that it gets strong. If that challenge is circumvented, the immune system simply won't be as strong.

There's actually a lot to be said about survival of the strongest.


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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 11:56 PM

48. Yes, exactly! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Of course, you have to be sensible, and I am about certain things like vaccines. I also got the J&J and the two-shot shingles vaccine. I am still a little young for it, but it was offered, so I decided to get it since it is something that terrifies me.

I almost always get the flu shot, since I have come down with some bad flu viruses whenever I haven't had them and I just think the older you get it's always good to have extra protection.

My ex-landlord died from the flu a few years ago and he was only in his 60's and didn't have any major health complications, so I am always a little afraid.

I'm only 57 and don't have any major health problems, except for getting run-down because of stress, which makes me susceptible, but sometimes I think it might be psychosomatic.

I still feel guilty justifying a mental health break, so I seem to "get sick" (and I genuinely do not feel well) whenever I am stressed beyond my limits. Psychosomatic illness is not always just in one's head. It can actually manifest physically, even though it is primarily psychological or mental by nature.

It's interesting, but my mother just decided to expose me to my siblings who had chicken pox so that I would catch it and get it over with, however I never really came down with it. I just got about two or three itchy bumps and that was it. Never got it. I had a terrible, almost fatal, case of pneumonia when I was about 2 1/2, but I survived it and I wonder if that early experience helped to develop a very strong immune system.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #48)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 12:52 AM

54. Intersting.

My younger son had a shingles outbreak when he was only 20 years old. Alas, he is no longer with us, so getting that vaccine is a non issue for him. But were he still with us, he'd be only 34 years old and would probably not be able to get the vaccine.

A mental health break is a very good idea for almost all of us at some time. I have always been extraordinarily healthy, and I'm honestly sorry I didn't call in for a mental health day on occasion back in a former job. Not that I could have called it that, but I will always regret that I left that particular job after ten years and left behind more than 100 unused sick days. And no, I did not get paid for them. I simply gave them away as a gift to the company.

That was back when sick days and vacation days were totally separate. More recently, I had a job where time off was simply leave time, accumulated at about one day per pay period, and to be taken at the employee's discretion. That was much better. I used time off for travel as needed, used exactly one day as a sick day, and was paid for the unused days when I left the job. Much, much better system.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #54)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 02:51 AM

64. I am so sorry to hear about your son, Poindexter.

He was so young. How sad. Please accept my condolences. How are your other children? Are you close with them?

We all have tragedy in our lives and should all be closer to one another and appreciate each other more. I lost my mother when I was two and a half. She died a few days after childbirth with my brother. It was a very difficult time for everyone.

It was a long time ago, but I still miss her. The older you get, the more you realize that other family members and friends will start disappearing from your life, mostly through death and growing apart.

I am lucky that most of my family members are still alive and that we get along well, but I live in fear of losing them or something happening to them. Have a good evening and I wish you well. Take care!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #64)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 03:35 AM

65. Thank you.

He chose to take his life, a bit over four years ago. He'd been dealing with depression that most of us had no clue about. He had many friends, and it was astonishing how many honestly thought they were his very best friend ever. That's the kind of person he was.

He had lived in Portland, OR, the last seven years of his life. His friends there held a wonderful, joyous, celebration of his life about ten days after it ended. I was totally touched by their love for him.

I will miss him forever, of course. In an odd way, I feel as if losing him to suicide is easier than if he'd been murdered, or had been in some kind of terrible accident, because his leaving was clearly his own choice. I hope that doesn't sound weird. I wish he had not done so, but it's what happened. The night before he took his life he called me, and we talked on the phone for well over an hour, much longer than most of our calls were. He brought up lots of things, including his earlier relationships with earlier loves. I realized much later that he was saying goodbye to me, without actually saying that. I wish I could have said something that would have made him stay, but that was not possible. Here's the good thing: our final words to each other were, "I love you." Many years ago my mother, who died in 1999, started ending phone calls by saying, "Love you." It was weird at the time, as my family wasn't all all demonstrative or vocal about such things. But after a while we got used to it, and to this day I regularly end phone calls with, "Love you." So if I say that to you, please don't think I'm weird or demented. It's just that I do love you.

My other son is just fine. He's in a PhD program in astronomy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va, just outside of Washington, DC. In fact. GMU is one of my old alma maters.

I was 50 when my mother died. I cannot begin to imagine how different life would be to lose my mother at a very young age, as you did. You grew up in an entirely different world.

I am one of six children. My older sister died a few months before my son, and a younger brother died in December. We are all getting older (duh!) and currently range in age from 78 to 67. Oh, dear lord, when I actually type out those numbers I'm astonished at how old we all are.

I am old enough, 72, that I spend a lot of time these days thinking about life and death and how long I might have. I honestly expect that at some point in the foreseeable future I will be in independent/assisted living and I'm more than okay with that. I've seen too many older people who totally resist that option long past the time when they should have moved into such. Recently my 77 year old sister in law had a car accident that resulted in her losing her license. Her husband, my brother, is blind and cannot drive. They live in a suburban area outside of Washington DC and honestly, should have several years ago moved into independent/assisted living. I do hope they give it serious thought at this point.

Thank you so much for your post. Oh, and I love you.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #65)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 06:07 AM

69. Thank you for sharing that with me.

And with all of us. I am so sorry for the tragedy you have been through in your life. Especially your son. How heartbreaking!

I lost my mother when I was 2 1/2 (in childbirth w/ my brother), but other than that, have not had any other great tragedies befall me, other than grandparents passing, but those were events that were expected given their ages. I am getting up there in years as well, and it's only a matter of time before losses start happening to friends and family. It terrifies me.

I am the oldest child in the family, but my parents are 78 and 82, and although in good health, they are starting to have medical issues. I have to call tomorrow to see how their ly CAT scans/orthopaedic tests went. They are fortunately both very self sufficient, but I am starting to worry very much.

Anyway, thank you for sharing. I hope that you and your family stay very healthy for the forseeable future and that you remain in good health! My dad is 10 years older than you are and he's still entirely independent, (well, other than my mom cracking the whip) and he's still enjoying life!

Please take good care of yourself and love you too!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #28)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 11:44 PM

47. You are correct. 3rd world folks have very few allergies.

In my motherís childhood she lived on a small farm in the South. No AC. No running water. Pigs, cows, horses, chickens and more. She was exposed to everything before she was 4. No one had allergies back then.

Iíve read several articles on it, my favorite in Science.

They ended the article saying to prevent allergies live with no AC and a pig in your house! Tongue in cheek, of course. But it made the point.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #47)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 12:20 AM

49. It's interesting, isn't it?

I don't know if you have any young people in your family, but in mine, there are so many allergies in the younger generation (and none of my siblings have any allergies) and so many of their little friends are allergic as well.

I have one niece who has to carry an EpiPen with her everywhere she goes because she has a severe allergy to peanuts (and eggs, dairy, seafood, etc.). Of course Joe Manchin's lovely daughter just jacked up the price of those pens from about $55 to $320 - $350, depending upon insurance. A standard 2-pack now costs between $600 and $700 (because you always need a backup). Her name is Heather Bresch (Joe Manchin's daugher) if you want to read more about her, but she is a sickening, typical, capitalist, republican pig.

Luckily, my sister and her family can afford this, but many people can't and it's a matter of life and death for them. You can die from an anaphalactic reaction to something that you are allergic to. Those pens are needed to save lives. I just find it so disgusting that these people are playing games with people's lives in order to satisfy shareholders and make a bigger profit for themselves.

It just repulses me. Sorry for the rant, but I feel like these people are seeing children's allergies as an opportunity to cash in, instead of a problem to solve. It just makes me so angry.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #49)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 12:46 AM

53. The worst thing you can do for your kid is keep them too clean every second

Let them live their entire life in AC and not feed them every food you can between 6 and 18 months.

That is when the immune system is able to best respond to new things with no adverse reactions.

In my moms day in the south peanuts were everywhere. Papaw grew them. They were the most common snack. Their dust covered everything in harvest season and there was no AC. So what was outside was inside. Know how many people died from peanuts? None. Same with other substances.

I see it in my cousinís kids. The ones still in rural areas where there families farm and kids are outside all day from almost birth they have no allergies. The kids in cities that have lived their in good southern AC often do. Nothing life threatening. But some.

I was raised kind of feral. Running around with no shoes or shirt all summer long. Coming home so dirty mother would make us strip to our underwear(which only meant taking off my shorts) and spraying us down with a hose before we could come in the house.

We have photos of mother in the garden with me as an infant in a carry crib next to her while she worked. Sheís sucker and tie up some tomato plants then move my crib up. Not really a crib, but kind of a little bed with a handle. Never had kids so not sure what it is called. I have no allergies.

Something that does scare me a little is adult onset seafood allergies which can be life threatening. Iíve met 2 people who after spending a life of eating seafood almost died after it kicked it. I often eat self caught seafood in areas far away from medical care so talked to my doctor about getting an EpiPen for the first aid kit in my truck and boat. But it would be $700 like you said. So have not got one.

We scallop off the super clean west coast of north central Florida. Sometimes find oysters or even Penn Shells and regularly eat them raw on the boat. If the wife or I had a reaction there, we would be dead. EpiPens cost $30 to make. Itís bullshit what they can charge.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #53)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 01:38 AM

58. I worry about you. Even though they are expensive, you should have those EpiPens just

in case if you are allergic to seafood. Seafood allergies can be violent. Talk to your doctor and your health plan and see if there is a way you can get them cheaper.

There are always ways around it. Or try GoodRx.com https://www.goodrx.com/ and see if there is a place you can source them for less. You should always have them with you just in case. Sometimes doctors will give you free samples if you ask, but you really should make sure that you have a few back-ups.

It is bullshit what they charge. They are slowly killing us all. Fortunately, most of my medications now have generic versions or else I would not be able to afford them. I have been lucky. But so many people in this country are not.

Healthcare, or what they call "Healthcare" in this country is really appalling in this country.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #58)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 02:04 AM

61. I don't think the risk is that high.

I eat seafood 3-5 times a week. Mostly fish we catch and locally caught shrimp. I have 3 freezers to keep it all in. Plus the Venison and pork and veggies. And all the frozen soups and gumbo and such. Between November and March I always have oysters in a cooler in the garage. We average Iíd guess 10 dozen a week. Maybe more. But a whole lot. The wife, a friend and me. Donít eat them in warm months.

Never had a problem and donít worry at home. Iím 5 minutes from a hospital. But when we pull the boat to very isolated places on the gulf Iím often an hour or much more away. If we had anaphylactic shock there we would be dead. Iíd happily drop a hundred bucks or so. But 700 is pretty steep for an unlikely chance. Until I heard about people getting the allergy later in life I did not even think about it.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #61)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 05:43 AM

68. I know, but it's just the of the idea of the thing.

Nobody should have to pay that much for life-saving medication. You should not have to choose. It shouldn't have to be a question.


The drug should be cheap enough so that people can have multiple copies of it - in the kitchen, in the BR.


I just think it's evil to try to make a profit of of life long saving proceedure.


















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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #53)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 03:51 AM

66. The worst thing you can do for your kid is keep them too clean every second.

That is so true. One thing that bothers me about people thinking that because masks more or less eliminated colds and flu this past winter, is that we should continue masking, is to what extent they do not understand how immunity works.

We absolutely need to be exposed to stuff. And honestly, if people die because their immune systems can't handle the stuff, well take a deep breath and realize that's how it needs to be. And while adult onset seafood allergy is disconcerting at the least, and fatal at the worst, at least those people who get it will have reproduced by that point.

I grew up mostly out in the countryside, in farming country in northern New York State. We did not farm ourselves, but we were surrounded by farms. We did have dogs and cats and spent a lot of time roaming outdoors. That, along with my earlier childhood spent in a low income housing development with lots and lots of snotty-nosed kids, helped. I got sick a lot until I was about six, and after that, other than whatever childhood diseases I hadn't yet had, and several bouts of influenza, I was never sick. Well, okay, I got the usual rounds of colds. But the last time I got flu was some time in the early 1970s, and I have sufficient faith in my incredible, extraordinary immune system, that I simply don't get flu shots. Which is not to suggest that any reading this who prefers to get them should change their policy.

Oh, and I've had maybe three colds in the past ten years. If that many.

Perhaps more to the point, each and every one of us has a different, individual, specific immune system. That should be glaringly obvious by the vastly different outcomes of those who've gotten the Covid 19, as well as the very different responses to the vaccines. I happened to get the J&J one and done, and had zero reaction to it. Others have had completely different reactions, especially to a second vaccine. I honestly think those differences are just different immune system reactions, not that one is better than another.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:03 PM

33. Globally, COVID-19 has killed 3.6 million people which is probably below the rate of death from...

poverty. The average age of those who died is approx. 80 years old. For people aged 50 and over, the virus can be very deadly. For everyone else, it's a little worse than the flu, but your chances of survival are good unless you have a co-morbidity. Even today, the global counts are falling all over the world including India.

I think that social distancing (people working from home, capacity limits on social gatherings, etc.) had more to do with the decline in colds and influenza than masks. I think that masks are becoming a crutch that people put too much value into. You're right in that people need to take charge of their own individual health. Build up their immune systems through better diets and exercise. And getting vaccinated.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:03 PM

34. 50-80 million out of 1.5 billion was a noticeable decrease.

Life expectancy also dropped in 1918 and 1919.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #34)

Mon Jun 21, 2021, 10:52 PM

41. And it promptly increased the next year.

Meanwhile, the actual global population was unaffected.

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 05:03 AM

67. No flames from me.

If we can get it down to " the flu but worse " stage with annual vaccines lessening the lethality that may be as good as we can do.

It's a virus, " a piece of bad news wrapped up in a protein" as Nobel laureate Sir Peter Medawar described them.

If we can damp down its spread that may be the best we can do. And be vigilant in its mutations.

And pray the hell that if, more like when really, another viral strain as or more lethal than Covid rears its ugly head we'll have a President who doesn't think he can wish the problem away.

The whole world could have done better but that orange idiot pulled us out of something we've always led at.

We're back to doing one of the things the world has looked to us for, battling this pandemic with all our considerable knowledge and influence at the front.

But for one whole year that despicable bastard stuck his thumb up his ass and sidelined us.

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Response to RegularJam (Original post)

Tue Jun 22, 2021, 06:13 AM

70. Woke up this morning and read all of the replies.

 

Very thoughtful and I learned some things.

Thank you.

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