Archive for the ‘Dumbing’ Category

I keep hearing everywhere: It’s just a virus and eventually we will all get it.

I never got Herpes. I never got HIV. Those are just viruses, and I took steps to never get them. I am glad I did.

The following summary is apparently attributed to Amy Wright on Facebook, even though it was later attributed to Dr. Fauci, and many re-posters, including myself, did that. I cannot tell if Amy was the first to post this as her original text, but I’ll give her attribution here:

Chickenpox is a virus. Lots of people have had it, and probably don’t think about it much once the initial illness has passed. But it stays in your body and lives there forever, and maybe when you’re older, you have debilitatingly painful outbreaks of shingles. You don’t just get over this virus in a few weeks, never to have another health effect. We know this because it’s been around for years, and has been studied medically for years.

Herpes is also a virus. And once someone has it, it stays in your body and lives there forever, and anytime they get a little run down or stressed-out they’re going to have an outbreak. Maybe every time you have a big event coming up (school pictures, job interview, big date) you’re going to get a cold sore. For the rest of your life. You don’t just get over it in a few weeks. We know this because it’s been around for years, and been studied medically for years.

HIV is a virus. It attacks the immune system and makes the carrier far more vulnerable to other illnesses. It has a list of symptoms and negative health impacts that goes on and on. It was decades before viable treatments were developed that allowed people to live with a reasonable quality of life. Once you have it, it lives in your body forever and there is no cure. Over time, that takes a toll on the body, putting people living with HIV at greater risk for health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, bone disease, liver disease, cognitive disorders, and some types of cancer. We know this because it has been around for years, and had been studied medically for years.

Now with COVID-19, we have a novel virus that spreads rapidly and easily. The full spectrum of symptoms and health effects is only just beginning to be cataloged, much less understood.
So far the symptoms may include:

Acute respiratory distress
Lung damage (potentially permanent)
Loss of taste (a neurological symptom)
Sore throat
Difficulty breathing
Mental confusion
Nausea or vomiting
Loss of appetite
Strokes have also been reported in some people who have COVID-19 (even in the relatively young)
Swollen eyes
Blood clots
Liver damage
Kidney damage
COVID toes (weird, right?)

People testing positive for COVID-19 have been documented to be sick even after 60 days. Many people are sick for weeks, get better, and then experience a rapid and sudden flare up and get sick all over again. A man in Seattle was hospitalized for 62 days, and while well enough to be released, still has a long road of recovery ahead of him. Not to mention a $1.1 million medical bill.

Then there is MIS-C. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. While rare, it has caused deaths.

This disease has not been around for years. It has basically been 6 months. No one knows yet the long-term health effects, or how it may present itself years down the road for people who have been exposed. We literally *do not know* what we do not know.

For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want to ask, without hyperbole and in all sincerity:

How dare you?

How dare you risk the lives of others so cavalierly. How dare you decide for others that they should welcome exposure as “getting it over with”, when literally no one knows who will be the lucky “mild symptoms” case, and who may fall ill and die. Because while we know that some people are more susceptible to suffering a more serious case, we also know that 20 and 30-year-olds have died, marathon runners and fitness nuts have died, children and infants have died.

How dare you behave as though you know more than medical experts, when those same experts acknowledge that there is so much we don’t yet know, but with what we DO know, are smart enough to be scared of how easily this is spread, and recommend baseline precautions such as:

Frequent hand-washing
Physical distancing
Reduced social/public contact or interaction
Mask wearing
Covering your cough or sneeze
Avoiding touching your face
Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces

The more things we can all do to mitigate our risk of exposure, the better off we all are, in my opinion. Not only does it flatten the curve and allow health care providers to maintain levels of service that aren’t immediately and catastrophically overwhelmed; it also reduces unnecessary suffering and deaths, and buys time for the scientific community to study the virus in order to come to a more full understanding of the breadth of its impacts in both the short and long term.

I reject the notion that it’s “just a virus” and we’ll all get it eventually. What a careless, lazy, heartless stance.

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Our government obviously has something against immigrants, and the whole thing does not make any sense to me. Clearly, the current government is a nationalist government, and they think that is a good thing. I think it’s a terrible mistake, which sets the United States back in the world intellectually and scientifically, and it does damage that it will take decades to repair.

I am not going to talk about agricultural workers for now, service workers, and all those “low income” workers that we depend on every day for the goods we consume and the services we hire. I am not going to talk about the moral abomination of separating children from their parents and putting them in cages.

I am talking about revoking student visas from foreign students if they are only taking online courses during the pandemic. What good could that possibly accomplish other than looking good for a political base that apparently does not understand the foundation of our scientific community and our tech economy.

Do they know that 29% of all Medical Doctors in the United States are foreign born? Have they noticed that just about every emergency room physician interviewed on television during this pandemic appears to be foreign born? We need these doctors. We could use twice as many of them right now.

Do they realize that 79% (yes, 79%) of all Ph.D. candidates in Computer Science studying in the United States are foreigners (as of 2015)?

Do they realize that 75% of all Ph.D. candidates in Industrial Engineering are foreigners?

Do they realize that we need highly educated people in this country if we want to remain competitive in biomedical sciences – like inventing vaccines?

Do they realize that we need computer scientists for the economy of the future if we want to remain at the top of this field?

Our government does not appear to know what it is doing, and the only thing I can think of is that it’s systematically trying to dumb down America as fast as it can.

It seems to be working.

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The guy on Internet saw one YouTube on the subject.

Then Trump sees that YouTube, calls the guy “very good man” and the study is “Fake News.”

Americans gobble it up.

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There is so much wrong with this picture, where do I begin?

My eyes are now wide open.

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