R U a Covid Mary?

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To keep it all real, right from the get-go (even back in the pre-vaxx era), the death march of the Coronavirus could’ve been slowed, perhaps even halted dead in its tracks, IF humankind had united to comply with all of the easiest, most painless, disease mitigating strategies imaginable; e.g.: mask up and stay at least two meters apart in public and hunker down at home as much as possible. WTF is so tough about ANY of that?

I find it utterly incomprehensible how, even now, over a year and a half later, people are still whining, boohooing and throwing hissy fits over (in no particular order) not being permitted to [1] view (oft forgettable) first run flicks, [2] root for (pumped up on performance enhancing drugs) professional jocks, [3] zone out on (gas guzzler) race cars going ‘round and ’round in circles, and [4] pig out at some eatery (be its rating greasy spoon or 5-Star swank).

I’ve gotta ask, are such superspreader venues really, Really, REALLY TO DIE FOR?

Truth be told, it’s been society’s widespread, flat-out resistance to these basic precautions, which has needlessly prolonged the human suffering and (so far) has snuffed out (the known) 4.3 Million members of our human family.

There are side effects, too. Such (are we there yet?) childishness inordinately pressured the entire white lab coated community; so much so that these learned souls were not permitted sufficient time to… oh… say…

Add more muscle to the vaccines; discover the very elixir that could’ve not only immunized us, but also would’ve wiped our nasal passages free of Corona-V; thereby making it damned near impossible for the vaccinated to become Typhoid Marys. I do suppose we outta update that. Let’s rebrand ’em as Covid Marys.

And while its understandable that frustrations do surface re the anti-vaxxers, that does not mean that vaxxed folks, who are still able to shed Corona-V, should be permitted to do whatever they God Damned please.

Of late, we see far too many of these Covid Marys haughtily venting their outrage; i.e. seemingly (conveniently?) forgetting that children under the age of 12 (to the tune of 48 Million in the U.S., alone) have yet to be FDA OK’d for inoculation AND that the vaccines cannot protect the immunocompromised (there are at least 10 Million such souls in the U.S., alone).

That totals out at 58 million at risk Stateside people! And, lest we forget, there are too damned many less fortunate nations, worldwide, where few, if any, comprehensive inoculation programs have even been established. Indeed, we’re now speaking of veritable billions of at risk souls! Factoring in humankind’s wanderlust / globe-trotting nature, that means, wherever people go, Corona-V can easily become an unseen, hitch-a-ride stowaway.

The entire point being that UNTIL the risk of Covid-19’s spread becomes negligible, nobody is truly safe! To refuse to mask up in public, be one inoculated or not, IS the height of irresponsibly!

(Obviously, the acceptable exception being medical issues, which contraindicate facial coverings.)

Full Disclosure: This yet to be vaxxed man, most assuredly, is NOT an anti-vaxxer. So WTF gives? Well, to cut to the chase, I am the exact opposite of the hypochondriac. Throughout most of my nearly seventy years, it has not been my nature to camp out in doctors’ offices. Unless I’ve been injured beyond my body’s ability to repair itself, I’ve relied on Ma Nature to be my primary care physician. By the by, my last ER room treated injury (back on 07/21/2017) was even inclusive of a jab to protect me; not only from Tetanus, but also Diphtheria and Pertussis.

Now here’s the rub. Turns out that such a way of life, has been fully compatible with my sheltering at home during the pandemic, so much so, that this near-hermit did wind up lulling himself into a false sense of security; to the point of procrastinating; i.e., not rushing out to get my jab(s) in a more timely manner.

And now, that I really, Really, REALLY DO want to mask up and head off to my local pharmacy to vaxx up, what I fully expect to encounter will be the non-masked, vaxxed Covid Mary store patrons. No doubt, there will even be a few non-masked, unvaxxed shoppers, tossed into the mix, too. And lest we forget, mask effectiveness breaks down unless everyone is wearing ’em. Anyway, that any of these customers could easily infect me with Covid-19 and the bat shit crazy transmissible, far more deadly delta variant, long before I’m fully protected?

Well… let’s just say that I’ve woken up from night terrors far more pleasant than suffering such a fate.

Alas… long sigh… that’s the bed I made for myself. Looks like I’ll either lie in it or die in it.

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Da Dungarees’ Dung Ick Factor?

I spent 30 long years doing my time in Retail Hell (5 of which were not all that bad). Too often, I got to eyewitness boss-wardens at their worst; the dog eat dog unprofessionalism; the up and down the corporate ladder, anything goes, diseased sexual shenanigans; (and more to the point) how all that crap not only negatively impacted our day-to-day store ops, but also compromised the well-being of customers and subordinates, alike.

Let’s check out a few horror stories…

• My very first boss had opted to adopt, not one, but two, non-housebroken schnauzer pups; gave ‘em free run of our stockroom; allowed ‘em to urinate and defecate in any, within reach, open shipping carton. Seeing how neither the (eventually dried) pee nor the (more or less solid) poop had perceptibly stained our primary product line (dark indigo Levi™ jeans) we, the underlings, were ordered to stock the shelves / racks and sell these crawling with microbes jeans, AS IS, to our unsuspecting clientele. To my truth-in-advertising minded readers, I suppose we could say our, on the QT, corporate motto had been: “We put the DUNG in DUNGarees!”

• It was about that same time when overhead slashing, corporate tightwads had ordered all store restrooms’ hot water heaters turned off. And then, just to earn extra brownie points, our boss soon stripped her monthly store supply orders of hand soap. Beyond that, our toilet bowl soon wound up… uh… well… let’s just say I’ve seen far less gross public restrooms.

• Our health compromising work conditions were inclusive of fatigue, too. Yep, as overworked, underpaid and undervalued subordinates, we were oft scheduled to work well past midnight, yet, be expected to return (bright-eyed and bushy-tailed) by 5 or 6 the same a.m. It’d be an understatement to say groggy employees (especially cashiers) were, indeed, fortunate to catch costly errors, in time; i.e., to avoid being falsely accused of internal theft.

Folks, it’d be a forgone conclusion to say that the above-mentioned working conditions are hardly unique (to me) AND, in all likelihood, have worsened since workplace related injuries necessitated my way too early departure from Retail Hell (now, some thirteen years ago).

So… other than rehashing retail’s revolting side… just WTF is my point here?

For starters, I absolutely DO NOT want anyone to co-opt the following discussion into some sort of lame excuse. All this amounts to is my trying to better wrap my head around the BIZARRE nature of Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, and, that does demand exploring BIZARRE possibilities.

While I’d hope that Retail Hell, as I’ve known it, is NOT APPLICABLE to Retail Pharmacies (oft, our primary inoculation sites), WHAT IF, in part, it’s been our workforce’s negative perception of retail, which has been causing some of them to view such venues as managed by unsanitary un-professionals, who staff their stores with burnt out, too pooped to participate, error-prone, transient employees?

After all, prior to the pandemic, we have been accustomed to inoculations within sterile, doctor’s office / emergency room / hospital settings.

Could a switchover to those traditional, more clinical venues boost the vaccination rates within hesitant homelands, such as America?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Which End Nears? ~ Quick Limerick 109

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Even pandemic pros can’t say for sure
Determine Corona V’s M.O. du jour
Might each variant, new?
Turn / tighten the screw?
Will Covid vaccines get trounced or endure?

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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blogging, liberal limericks, Listener Limerick Challenge, NPR, NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, one quick limerick, Peter Sagal, poetry, political limericks, politics, wait wait don’t tell me, WordPress, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, pandemic, COVID-19, mask making tutorial, vaccines, variants, vaxxing, jabs, Science 101

Station Axing

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In Have nations; rich in vaxxing
Administrations, regulations are relaxing
Expectations, explorations are waxing
Emancipations, celebrations are maxing

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In Have-Not nations; in need of vaxxing
Perturbations, trepidations are overtaxing
Debilitations, decimations are waxing
Cremations, inhumations are maxing

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth

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As a lifelong, steadfast, science adherent, over the course of the past sixteen months, my preexisting respect for our world’s pandemic professionals could only intensify. To CliffsNotes what I’ve learned from them:

Whenever / wherever folks impulsively and prematurely let down their guard, the opportunistic coronavirus has rushed in to fully exploit that unfortunate, unforgivable lack of resolve.

For the corroborating, damning evidence, reasonable people need look no further than the alarming worldwide Covid-19 infection and fatality spikes (past and present); in particular, within the United States, India and Brazil.

In other words, what that godforsaken Corona-V and HIS asshole, inbred, variant varmints have taught me is that THEY… NOT HUMANS… are the SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth. Sorry to coin such a phrase, but from the microbial POV, that’s, precisely, how they assess the damned dump. Beyond that, whenever THEY decide time is ripe to collect the rent, we wee mortals can wind up coughing up (our lungs); worst case scenario, wind up paying in full (with our very lives).

Alas, of late, my pandemic expert heroes have begun to (impulsively? prematurely?) minimize their own masking up / social distancing protocols; my word choice, indeed, intentional. To further drive home my point, let’s take a few secs to free associate several synonyms of “minimize”: belittle, downplay, make light of, pooh-pooh, etc.

That’s not too harsh an appraisal, either, seeing how when “The Suits” follow suit / let down their guard, too, they’ll need to rely on the easily exploited “honor system”; one where their hardcore antimasker, antivaxxer “Karen” customers will shamelessly lie about being inoculated; for the express purpose of satisfying their psychotic urges to go maskless.

True, the vaccines are becoming a game changer; playing a significant role in ushering in our return to a more normal life.

However, everything these experts have taught us, tells me that it’s not, yet, time to be letting down our guard. The last thing we need is for yet another variant to rear its ugly head; to get its (literal) choke hold on humanity. What if such a mutation winds up bamboozling the available vaccines, oh, say, one month, one week or even one day from now?

On a more uplifting note, just yesterday, I did manage to breathe a sigh of relief into my pandemic mask when I discovered how my fellow grocery shoppers (store employees, too) were not, yet, buying into shedding their masks; even though the proprietor had impulsively and prematurely torn down his entryway’s “you must mask up to shop here” signage.

Look, there’s nothing I’d love more than to be proven dead wrong. But, how is erring on the side of caution wrong? How does masking up and staying socially distanced harm anyone?

It’s the alternative that could be dead wrong; could even involve the permanent microbial overthrow of society; all “courtesy” of Corona-V and “his” variants; a.k.a. The SlimeLords of OutHouse Earth.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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To Don or Doff; that is the Question?

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Of late, as the vaccine “have” nations have just begun to protect their populaces, an impatience has been (shall we say?) germinating / incubating. Yep, immature folks have been demanding the relaxation of pandemic mitigating protocols; chomping at the bit to eschew (chew off?) their pandemic masks.

While modest gains have been cause for celebration, pragmatists (I among them) regard such a course of action to be too much, too soon.

More to the point, for reasons I shall never understand at all, throughout the pandemic, mask wearing has been so hyper politicized / ostracized, its as if facial coverings brand wearers as what? Some sort of wusses?

Far be it from me to rain on anybody’s way too early VCV-Day (Victory over Corona-V) parade, but…

Even as I type / you read these words, it is still conceivable that epidemiologists have yet to discover the full range of dirty tricks, which that filthy pathogen still has well hidden up its figurative sleeve. My gawd, the experts did not brand Corona-V “novel” just for the “fun” of it. And, lest we forget, until late 2020 / early 2021, Covid-19 variants had been unheard of.

Little doubt, these same experts (and critical thinking laypersons, too), at present, are all wondering:

  • Just how long will present day vaccines continue to protect the public?
  • Might anti vaxxer movements / vaccine hesitancy thwart herd immunity?
  • What impact will vaccine “have not” nations have on the “have” nations?
  • What if there are yet to be born microbial cousins; e.g., Covid-21? 22? 23?

Should any of these concerns prove problematic, that’d mean our current pandemic woes are far from over; that that next “once every 100 years” pandemic could arrive significantly sooner.

Granted, such worries tend to sound rather iffy. Nevertheless, what does anyone have to lose by continuing to, bare minimum, social distance and mask up? Are not those who balk at doing something so simple to comply with the actual wusses here?

In other words, why piss away what little progress we have made, so far?

Look, as of my posting time, 3,385,901 (known) souls have already perished, worldwide (and still counting). Seeing how even one of those deaths has already been one too many, is it really too much to ask for everyone to continue playing it safe? After all, this pandemic can never truly be over until IT IS over.

On a more positive note, there is no denying that our masking up, this past fall/winter. did kick conventional influenza and rhinovirus ass; not to mention prevent aerial allergens and pollutants from entering (even damaging) our lungs / bodies.

Even in pre-pandemic times, many civilized, compassionate peoples throughout our world already respected one another sufficiently to mask up.

I headlined this post, To Don or Doff; that is the question? So, what is the answer?

Well… long sigh… the grown-ups “in the room” would not only automatically consider the former D-word the easiest, wisest, smartest possible, no-brainer solution to our pandemic woes, they’d also be sufficiently patient to allow the eventual arrival of actual, favorable conditions to settle the matter / answer the damned Q for us.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Commiseration To: India / From: Me

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The recent, still ongoing upsurge of Covid-19 cases, within India, and the consequent magnitude of human suffering and death, finds me pausing to reflect and commiserate. And, seeing how, my own home state, Michigan, is also getting hit hard, I can identify with what’s going on.

Other than echo your sorrow and angst, I feel helpless to offer up little more than some counsel; for whatever that may be worth.

Everyone, everywhere (up and down the hierarchy) must heighten our respect for Corona-V. To too soon let down our guard, grants carte blanche to that sickening pathogen and its even more communicable and deadly variants; all of which are hellbent on making life damned near impossible for us all.

More to the point, be our leaders science subscribers or scofflaws, too damned many of them still don’t seem to fully grasp how that mindless microbe is still calling all the shots. And, wherever / whenever the leaders mislead, the misled masses wind up paying the price.

The empowered foolhardy have been in strict violation of Pandemic Rule #1. Were we to ever get that statute in writing / on the books, it’d go along these lines.

Never prematurely declare a pandemic over; i.e., unless you enjoy eating crow. With very few exceptions, expect to be proven wrong; dead wrong. And, even one more death will be one death too damned many.

Additionally, we must prepare for the possibility that today’s Covid-19 vaccines will not completely end the peril; that booster shots will become a regular (annual?) part of our lives. As to whether virologists can keep pace with all of the variants? Well, that’ll remain to be seen.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

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Alt-Headline: Covid-21? 22? 23? 24 etc.?

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In some respects, this liberal man has opted to live his life conservatively; i.e., cautiously. That stems from my determination not to depart the Land of the Living prior to the arrival of the Best By / Expiration Date, which my bygone manufacturer(s) had invisibly, indelibly stamped on my butt. How adamant am I? Glad you asked!

I am fully prepared to adopt an interminable coronavirus common sense stance. The Covid-19 vaccines notwithstanding, I fully intend to continue hunkering down at home as much as possible and keep on publicly social distancing and masking-up; as in long, Long, LONG after the medical experts, eventually, silence the Star Trekian RED ALERT klaxons. Why?

For starters, our donning our masks during late 2020 and early 2021 did dramatically reduce transmission of the regular flu virus (and rhinoviruses, too).

Beyond that? There’s insufficient certainty re the duration of the existing vaccines’ protection and whether or not the virologists will be able to keep up with the arrival of the insanely dangerous, coronavirus variants.

Beyond beyond that? What if, as I type and you read these words, there’s another global pandemic looming; oh, say a Covid-21? And if not a 21, what about a Covid-22? 23? 24 etc.?

Year numbers are no different that regular numbers. Just as you and I can easily pick a number, just as easily, virus hunters can always tack on one integer WHEN they discover a new microbe. And note that word choice BOILS DOWN to WHEN and not IF.

Even the idiomatic phrase BOILS DOWN is likely apt. To e.g. that…

What if climate change, in other words, our far, Far, FAR warmer planet, is already providing a more hospitable environment for microbes? In other words, what if human shortsightedness has resulted in our unwittingly constructing something akin to a global lab; its petri dishes incubating / cooking up / churning out difficult to contain, ferociously communicable, deadly to humankind pestilence?

While, for now, that may all sound like some scary, nightmarish plot to a bizarre Sci-Fi flick, do keep in mind that it’s also insanely easy for you and I to twice press our keyboards’ delete key to eliminate that above “Fi”.

Ergo… I’ll copy and paste this post’s above headline:

What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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