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July 28, 2021



Has a different neurologist said that hot showers are okay? (there is also a difference between "this will *harm* you" vs. "this will make you temporarily more symptomatic, and you don't want to be symptomatic.")

Re: sous vide, it depends on how high the temp gets as to whether the resultant product is safe or not, but also unless you're getting pork from a local friend, it's all been frozen to kill off the Really Bad Pork Thing; presumably you could still get transferred pathogens like salmonella from it, though, and I would like you to Not Die At This Time so please do be careful about sous vide. (the FDA required temps are *very* cautious temps, because people mess up temperature measurements all the time, though. So there is that. I do not know whether there's a list of "if you've got a near-scientific-lab set-up, here's what's safe" time/temp pairs out there somewhere...


KC - I actually had the nerve to ask, and he had a patient who fell in the shower for the weakness that people with MS get in the heat. I think it’s a common sense thing, not a rule. It did make me extra cautious in the shower.


Ah, that makes sense: "this thing makes you more likely to be weak/dizzy; being weak/dizzy is a fall risk: therefore, avoid this thing."

But yes: being aware that you've got added risk probably knocks the risk down a bunch (also, there are shower benches which might help?). Also you are not endangering anyone else.

(today: our local hospital is at full capacity for ICU and inpatient beds, thanks Covid, state government, and those who insist on having FREEDOM to kill other people.)(come on, though: we have DUI laws that don't let people decide whether they're drunk enough to drive; not everything in our laws has to maximally prioritize "freedom and personal responsibility")


KC - I am encouraged to wake up to the news that some of the hold-outs are getting vaccines, the vaccine rate ticked up this week. And the UK has mysteriously ticked down for some unknown reason.


I am SO GLAD more people are getting vaccinated.

A republican relative said that the reason Australia has done so well vs. the US is that they don't have a southern border, and I'm just like: no. The first cases came from China; the NYC infection was mostly people returning from fashion week in Italy; most if not all the new variants have come in with people traveling by plane to the US, and we have unchecked community transmission, which many states are now not even trying to reduce.

I'll totally grant that an island nation has more capability to isolate themselves than a nation with two long borders if they're willing to make the sacrifices necessary to isolate themselves, but the US has had exactly zero willingness to do tight, universal travel restrictions and legally-mandated and supervised quarantines for all those who do enter the country, and zero willingness to do Australia-style lockdowns, and given that the UK, an island nation, has not had Australia/NZ-style success (and it shares more insanity with the US than Australia does), I'm reasonably confident that even if we *did* have only ocean (okay, and Chunnel, but come on, you could lock down the Chunnel) borders, we'd still be sitting in a pandemic stew.

(are immigrant retention centers great places to spread covid because of being packed in with little ventilation? Yep! But so are jails, movie theaters, and Trump rallies...)(and do some immigrants have covid when they come in? Yep! But from the numbers I've seen, illegal immigrants probably have a lower per-capita-infection rate than many US states at this time, so...?)


KC - I am always hearing about relatives who don’t believe in vaccination — and now the stories are about how they are starting to get sick. I wonder how long it takes to get from self-preservation to societal preservation.


I read something (no idea whether it's apocryphal or not) about how the first sign of civilization in an area is a skeleton with a femur that had broken and re-healed - because if you break your femur, you cannot hunt/gather personally, you cannot defend yourself effectively, etc., so *someone* had to decide to take care of you for long enough, while you stayed in one spot, basically, for your femur to heal.

I am slightly worried that we are not seeing how long it takes for a large sub-segment of society to go from self-preservation to societal preservation, but rather we may be seeing how long it takes for a large sub-segment of society to go from societal preservation to exclusively self-preservation without a legitimate threat (some people will go Donner Party when in a serious pinch and some won't, and it's a scale and not a binary like with which people will participate in mob violence or not [person 1 might take very little provocation to; person 2 might do it if *extremely* provoked]) but with mostly straw-man and non-immediate threats [antifa will overrun your suburbs! - I could see people making stress-choices if people with guns are literally *there* but when they're entirely theoretical...???]. Anyway. The messaging seems to be shifting to "get vaccinated" but we'll see how long that ship takes to turn around (and whether the iceberg it has hit is enough to sink a lot of people while the message-producers who've been pushing anti-vax float off in their already-vaccinated-for-months life boats).

(this particular relative was vaccine-hesitant, but got vaccinated, which is GOOD. The latter part mostly, but also it is nice that the hesitant can sometimes tip over the line into "fine, I'll do it")


KC - wow, you’re right to call that quote apocryphal. Supposedly Margaret Mead, but evidently the two people who shared the story about MM waited decades before they did it.
I want that fax in with the flu shot next month. People won’t ask, they won’t know, and they won’t feel lik their rights are violated, yet they’ll still feel superior to everyone else.


Yes, the format in which I read it was adequately un-cite-able as to smell funny to me, which does not make it apocryphal but which does make me want to toss the 'take with a pinch of salt' in. That said, it'd be nice if compassion were a civilization benchmark. (I think some of the things that are often used as civilization/advancement/success-as-a-culture benchmarks are not good things, really [see also: imperialism; monopolies; etc.], and it'd be nice if people were aiming for good things.)

I suspect that a lot of the people who got flu shots as a matter of course before this will no longer get flu shots, based in part on the (fortunately now reversed) "you can't advertise *any* vaccines for children" decision in Tennessee, because that suggests that at least some people were thinking in the direction "vaccines=bad" in general - or at least thinking that would give them political points. Could be wrong, though; but that's what I'd expect, because people lump things together in their head, and if one vaccine is Untrustworthy and Has Mind Control etc., then...?

If they thought it would give them political points and it *didn't* give them any, though, that would make me at least a wee bit more optimistic.

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