It doesn't look that way, but maybe that will make us realize we're all in this together
I wish everybody in the country would read this, as it’s the most cogent explanation of where we are that I’ve seen.
Clear- headed analysis that all Americans need to read and consider today, now! It summons us to modify our behavior.
Thanks Lucian,I am saving your piece because it is such a nuanced analysis of where we are. This nation's ongoing dialog today about reality is manichean, lunching back and forth between absolutes and often ending in no resolution at all. Reality is more complicated.
I got down in the weeds of the same scientific article you did Lucian, and I think you cleared out the tangles and delivered the bitter flower of what the Sam Hill has been going on with this Delta variant. It lives in the nose at such a high viral load. This is what makes the vaccines in the blood unable to reach it. This is what mutation does at its worst. Knowing all this is a shock to the system. At the same time, I feel a creeping optimism after I’ve gotten over the initial shock. We’ve all lived with colds and the flu for all my life all sixty plus years of it. I’m ready to live with this.
We are masking up again here in New Orleans, per citywide mandate. At worst it is a minor inconvenience. Masks and vaccines are the only way out.
Well said & sage advice! Your explanation is detailed yet easily understood! Thank you!
That which we are accustomed to thinking of as 'normal' has been obliterated, never to be seen again in our lifetimes, if ever. What we are seeing is a phenomenon described in Complexity Science as something called "punctuated equilibrium". Basically, it describes an inflection point at which some form of long-term stability is suddenly disrupted, to be followed by a period of fluctuation and adjustment, after which an indeterminate period of time occurs, setting the terms of what then becomes the 'new normal', whatever that might happen to become. These events are usually described in epochal terms. This is one of them.
What this disruption has been laid bare is the insouciant attitude by too many who should know better, that they can do whatever they please with no concern for the consequences. Maybe when the death tolls in Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Tennessee, to name a few of the states where the coronavirus Delta strain runs rampant hits every family in those locales will they be willing to put aside their ignorance and stupidity that we are witnessing. But in a real sense, this has not been a debate over alternatives that might describe a rational response to the coronavirus pandemic. For some of us that has been the case because we are not wedded to a particular way of life, and because we have been required by our circumstances to adapt ourselves, sometimes radically so in order to survive.
Those of us who come from immigrant stock going back now several generations, understand how radical those changes were at the time, and how frequently we needed to adjust to the changing circumstances of our lives. We survivors maintain our footing as the conditions of life here in America have changed over the years much better than those who are ill prepared to adapt themselves, and we see the consequences of their disorientation. As frequently happens, adaptation occurs gradually over the course of several generations. In the case of coronavirus, particularly with the shock of experiencing the Delta variant, a generation's worth of adaptation has been compressed into two calendar years. And whatever we have been taught to believe about ourselves has been called into question, if not denied outright. It is as if everything people were taught to believe in turns out to be untrue, with the result that people respond with confusion and resistance to new knowledge.
It is absolutely a scandal the way in which Republican-controlled legislatures are able to stymie simple measures that would avoid sickness and save lives. But that is the consequence of a traditional society caught in the vise under the circumstances, and crushed beyond endurance. The bad part about this is the fact that these Republican-dominated institutions have shown themselves to be incapable of leadership in any meaningful sense. Rather than think through the problem, they draw upon their grab bag of political tropes and stereotypes to find ways to resist having to change their ways. All that is done is kill a great many of the people these elected officials were supposed to protect
In the meantime, there were reports coming out over the past several days that large numbers of people living in those states are now clamoring to be inoculated against coronavirus Delta. Regrettably, for many it will be too late. This need not ever have been made the subject of political controversy, except that Republicans and the party they claim to represent have long since abandoned any sort of principled policymaking or philosophical positions that can be expressed and defended by rational argument. Even today, six months into the Biden presidency, Donald Trump still rules the roost, not because he has any real power to do anything, but because he represents the atavistic attitude that got him elected President in 2016. Trump promised to restore them to a place in American society which they believe to have been denied them for so long, that recognition they were somehow superior to others, even after they had fallen on hard times. Everyone else is hell-bent on not alienating Donald Trump because he claims to speak for a white nationalist 'lumpen-electorate' that continues to pretend that they and their values predominated in American life, and that preeminence has been wrongfully stolen from them. It follows then that mask-wearing and vaccination represent some form of surrender to alien forces they are sworn to resist.
These pretensions have become a life-and-death battle, not with the 'Liberals' these people claim to dominate, but with coronavirus, which has no political program. How else do we explain the sheer perversity of these folks stuck in a plague-ridden landscape that only a Boccaccio or a Poe might be called upon to chronicle their decline and death. But in the end degradation and death follow, just what we are seeing now, because some people cannot accept the idea that the natural order of things that they were brought up to believe in is incapable of protecting them, and that they need to follow the science, rather than asserting some cobbled up version of natural law theory that has them at the apex of life on earth. Not surprisingly, the segment of the population most adamant about refusing vaccination is also the one that has been dominated by evangelical Christian ministries whose epistemology comes from the Judeo-Christian Bible, quite literally word-for-word. Given that dearth of sound political leadership, it is not surprising that people who subscribe to those apocalyptic faiths belief systems grounded on religious faith are those who claim to be the most skeptical about the claims of science, and especially epidemiology. Coronavirus, as with other epidemic illnesses sweeping a population in the past, carries with it among these people a sense of divine punishment for past transgressions; that is the way it was handled in the Middle Ages, and modern times have not alleviated the sense of fear and hopelessness that people feel when exposed to these invisible pathogens. We are dealing with a primal fear that science cannot alleviate. Prayer and fasting are useless against the predations of the virus. Worse yet, scientists and the medical community are distrusted because their advice is tentative and subject to change, and because they are not propagandists they cannot deliver the message that priests and bishops have relied upon for millennia to alleviate the fear and suffering of their believers.
It is that divinely inspired willfulness and conceit that have put us in the situation that we are now. They would mask up and get themselves vaccinated if the ghost the Robert E Lee were to show up and tell them to do it, but not if it happened to be someone from Boston, New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. That is what it has boiled down to: they reject the message because the messenger comes from a place they were taught to dislike.
Thanks as usual Lucian. It's been difficult to ride around in this bumper car and know exactly what is what. I don't know what went wrong, but I have a theory. The synchronicity of TFG and his herd of followers were given a green light to kick the values and spirit of fellowship off the playing field. Just because they were pissed off at 'whatever and whomever'. They felt justified in refusing to play nice. They no longer wanted to be part of the solution to anything except their own selfish vengeance. What a sorry lot! And so, as they get sick and their parents get sick, and their children get sick perhaps the numbers will shift and when they dwindle away they can all move to an island and pray for a 'Mother Teresa' to tend to them as they die off.
Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus. Even with a raging pandemic killing us off, I don’t think there was ever a goal that we were all working toward. Whether it’s herd immunity or herd understanding, I regretfully don’t see it happening.
This is absolutely the clearest explanation I've seen.
In the meantime, vaccinated though I am (and possibly already exposed to the Delta variant), I've decided to pull back from any and all associations with friends and family who are around babies or the very young, the very old, those who are immunocompromised and others who are vulnerable. This includes a farewell gathering of theater friends who are sending one of our own off to Ireland - the hostess has Lupus and many of those invited are in a MUSICAL of all things. These kinds of celebrations may very well turn out to be literal "wakes" when one considers the prevalence of Delta and the attitudes of elected officials in this state (Texas.)
Wear the mask. Get the shot! Live to see the sun rise.
That is really interesting, I knew that we vaccinated people could still get it but not why. That explanation makes sense. One wonders if a little antibiotic ointment in the nostrils would offer some protections, it is sticky too so maybe would trap the virus and stop it from traveling further. I get these crazy ideas sometime, but you never know unless the medical people would do some experiments. At least my suggestion is not dangerous, like injecting bleach :) But seriously, I just read this morning that as Lucian says a lot of vaccinated people are getting infected and passing it. on 350 infected in Cape Cod alone: "A large COVID-19 outbreak in a Cape Cod town has changed health officials' understanding of the coronavirus delta variant, and played a key role in the decision to recommend masks indoors even for people fully vaccinated against the virus."
I just wish to high heaven there would be a PSA that shows everyone what a properly fitted mask does as opposed to wearing one that is like a chin guard for drooling fools.
It infuriates me no end to see all those stupid "I'm wearing a mask, but I'm a stupid moron" types wearing in as a chin guard and nasal drip catcher.
I just can't imagine what they think the virus is-flavor of the month plague? Because that's certainly how they're acting.
And that's part of the problem too-arrogant fools who think that just because they're vaccinated they've become immortal.
I really think we ought to bring back that course in health and hygiene. It would do a lot of good.
Misinformation on the Internet about vaccines has contributed to this more than any single factor, at least in my opinion. The "Experts" and "Nobel Prize" winners and "Top virologist" who warn publicly (and the public) not to get vaccinated, have blood on their hands. I saw one "Expert" virologist say that anyone---key word anyone---vaccinated would be dead within 3-5 years. This is the kind of bullshit we really face.
This: "We’re never going to reach herd immunity, but it behooves us as a nation to reach a herd understanding that for better or worse, we’re all in this together."
Hey Lucian, great explanation of our situation. Better than the med professionals who tend to use language that is foreign or confusing to the average person.