Tag Archives: influenza

Tyranny of the minority will not stand

I’ve been waiting to use this great meme for a while now. Now is the time. The right-wing, batshit-crazy push to prematurely open up the nation’s churches (and other public spaces) during a lethal pandemic exemplifies this meme.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:5-6:6

Gee, was Jesus Christ himself for social distancing and for staying at home to pray?

I say that only in half-jest. Indeed, today’s “Christians” rarely actually follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as they readily are available in black and white in the New Testament.

Indeed, today’s “Christians” — at least the “President” Pussygrabber-loving kind — are the demonic that they claim that they oppose. They certainly have a death fetish if not a death wish.

Despite a plethora of church attendees and church officials already having contracted and having become ill or having died from the novel coronavirus, the “Christians” and their “leader,” “President” Pussygrabber, are demanding that all of the nation’s places of worship be opened up immediately.

Pussygrabber is wrong about just about everything and represents only the minority, wackadoodle viewpoint on just about everything, including “treating” the novel coronavirus with a household disinfectant and with bright light somehow introduced inside the body. (Maybe just shove a very bright flashlight up in there?)

Of course, for Pussygrabber, everything these days is about his “re”-election*, such as his jihad against voting by mail, even though voting by mail is supported by almost two-thirds of Americans and will go on nonetheless at least in those states that are not paralyzed by anti-voting Repugnican “leaders,”** since Pussygrabber has zero legal authority to prohibit voting by mail anywhere in the United States.

Pussygrabber is pushing for the re-opening of churches right now — something else that he has zero legal authority to do — only because he wants the churchgoers’ votes in November. He is perfectly OK with many “Christians” dying from the coronavirus, because all that is important to him is his “re”-election. Marinate on that fact for a while.

To me, ever since January 2017 it’s been like we don’t even have a president at all. It’s like a vacancy in the White House. I mean that entirely. And, of course, in the most important sense of what a president should be, should not be, should do and should not do, we do have a vacancy, a gaping vacancy, in the Oval Office.

I believe that people who believe in God — and it’s almost always a God who hates everyone they hate and who likes everyone they like, and otherwise always agrees perfectly with them on everything, isn’t it? — range from being incredibly immature and gullible to being mentally ill, but I do believe in the First Amendment right to believe whatever cray-cray you want to believe; it’s the item in the Bill of Rights that Americans seem to exercise the most.

A right that Americans do not possess, however, is the “right” to harm others. The Second Amendment allows you the right to own a firearm for your own actual self-protection; it does not grant you the right to go around shooting people with whom you might have any issue or dispute.

Similarly, the First Amendment allows you to gather for religious purposes, but what happens if by so doing, you endanger all of those around you with a potentially lethal infectious disease? Is your “right” to infect other people with a potentially deadly pathogen absolute?

No, when it comes to the prevention of the spreading of illness and death, your constitutional rights that certainly are protected under normal circumstances may be — and should be — curtailed. You have rights, we all have rights, but it’s not actually all about you. You are a social creature, and your actions and your inaction routinely affect others.

But how great it feels to pretend that one is standing up for Jesus Christ and for God and for freedom and for liberty, blah blah blah, against that

But we don’t have modern-day martyrs. We have modern-day dipshits. A true martyr would care about not sickening or even killing others. Today’s “Christians” don’t give a fuck about that at all. They are, as I have said, in a word, demonic.

And what these demons want is total control over the United States of America. They want theocracy — their theocracy, a “Christo”fascist theocracy — as much as if not even more than do those who supposedly want to impose “Sharia law” on the United States of America.

Yes, this nationwide shutdown does suck. It affects all of us in some ways to different degrees. But thus far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we’ve had about 1.6 million apparently confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus, and we are approaching 100,000 deaths from the virus.

Many more Americans will continue to die of the novel coronavirus, whose future course is unknown, and if you want a comparison, each year for the past decade, an average of about 37,000 Americans have died from the flu.

So while no, the novel coronavirus’ body count thus far has not been like that of the plagues that decimated huge swaths of the populace in world history, the novel coronavirus is not just like the flu. The flu, with rare exceptions, such as the 1918 flu pandemic, doesn’t wipe out this many people.

There is, therefore, not just a public-health justification for trying to impede the transmission of the novel coronavirus, but there is a public-health obligation to do so.

From what I can tell, the batshit-crazy “Christians” (redundant…) in the United States are too few in number to do much more than ludicrously claim to be persecuted “Christians,” you know, just like in the days when Christians were tossed to the lions.

Their deluded fantasies of being able to use national catastrophes like 9/11 and the novel coronavirus pandemic for instituting their own brand of theocracy on the entire nation are just that: deluded fantasies.

But, should these “Christo”fascists ever actually pose a threat, we can fight the coronavirus and these nasty viruses who call themselves “Christians.”

I might say that I’d be happy for the “Christians” to give each other a lethal disease by refusing to take sensible precautions — I remember how giddy most of these “Christians” have been over us gay men having died from AIDS (just like Jesus Christ taught them to be!) — but it won’t be only the “Christo”fascists who will be infected with the coronavirus should the nation’s churches return to business as usual right now. (And it sure is a business, isn’t it?) It will be probably tens of thousands of innocent people dying, too.

We, the majority of Americans, who aren’t batshit-crazy “Christians,”*** have the right not to allow a minority to cause actual harm to the rest of us. Our constitutional, human right to stay alive and well supersedes the “right” to infect others with a potentially lethal virus.

*To me, if you didn’t win the popular vote, as Pussygrabber did not and as George W. Bush did not before him, then your entire “presidency” is illegitimate.

Democracy means that only the candidate who won the most votes should fill that office. Otherwise, it means nothing.

**To clarify, the Repugnicans just don’t want you to vote if you have a propensity to vote for Democratic candidates. They’re A-OK with you if you’re going to vote for them.

***Per Wikipedia, only 6 percent to 35 percent of Americans are evangelical “Christians,” but I’ll be generous and go with Gallup’s finding that 41 percent of Americans say they are.

That’s still a minority of 41 percent of Americans to a majority of 59 percent of Americans.

The majority must rule again in the United States of America — including having a president who is elected only by an actual majority of the American people. (Yes, the Electoral College must go.)

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How about the ‘PC flu’? (Part II)

To follow up on what I posted on April 28:

Scientists say that the majority of the genetic code of the new human-swine-bird-hybrid influenza virus comes from swine — and that it is accurate, therefore, to call the new outbreak of influenza “swine flu.”

(Quotes from virologists include: “Scientifically, this is a swine virus” and “It’s a flu virus from a swine; there’s no other name to call it.” That’s good enough for me.)

Ha ha ha! Take that, Israel!

The World Health Organization announced today that it will stop calling the current influenza outbreak “swine flu” in order to prevent the unnecessary slaughter of pigs, such as has happened in Egypt.

I’m all for preventing the unnecessary slaughter of pigs — in fact, all of us probably should go vegetarian anyway — but why do I have the sinking feeling that primarily the WHO caved in to the pork industry? And maybe even in to Israel as well?

In any case, “swine flu” already has stuck, and I think that it thus is irresponsible to change the name of the outbreak at this point in the game. Changing the name at this point probably will cause some confusion, such as whether the new name adopted by the WHO — the onerous “H1N1 influenza A” — is yet another new outbreak of influenza.

It will remain “swine flu” to me.

Oink.

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Because things weren’t bad enough

Updated bel0w (Monday, April 27, 2009)

Commuters wear face masks to prevent the infection by the swine ...

AFP photo

Subway riders in Mexico City wear masks to prevent the spread of the new human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus that has killed more than 60 Mexicans so far and spread to at least three U.S. states.

Really, all that we were missing was a pandemic plague.

I refer, of course, to the new human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus that has killed more than five dozen people in Mexico thus far and has been found in at least three U.S. states (California, Texas and Kansas and probably New York as well).

In 1918, a strain of the influenza virus killed millions of people worldwide. Notes Wikipedia

The 1918 flu pandemic (commonly referred to as the Spanish flu) was an influenza pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world. It was caused by an unusually severe and deadly [strain of the type-A influenza virus]…

Historical and epidemiologic data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin of the virus. Most of its victims were healthy young adults, in contrast to most influenza outbreaks, which predominantly affect juvenile, elderly or otherwise weakened patients.

The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands. It is estimated that anywhere from 20 to 100 million people were killed worldwide, or the approximate equivalent of one third of the population of Europe, more than double the number killed in World War I.

This extraordinary toll resulted from the extremely high illness rate of up to 50 percent and the extreme severity of the symptoms… The pandemic is estimated to have infected up to one billion people — half the world’s population at the time.

Travel between the United States and Mexico is such that even if the border between the two nations were sealed, it’s probably too late to stop the new influenza virus’ spread into the United States and elsewhere, experts say; besides, the virus already has been found in at least the border states of California and Texas and also in Kansas, although no U.S. deaths have been reported thus far.

I have a friend who plans to travel to Mexico next week for a two-week stay; I am a bit concerned for her, and I have expressed my concern to her, but she’d probably still go even if it were an ebola outbreak instread of an influenza oubbreak south of the border. Her name starts with “I” and I told her that if she brought the virus back to Sacramento, in the spirit of Typhoid Mary we’d have to call her “Influenza I–––.”

My friend is in her 30s and so I’m further concerned for her because, as The Associated Press notes, “Another reason to worry [about the current influenza outbreak] is that authorities said the dead so far don’t include vulnerable infants and elderly. The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 40 million people worldwide in 1918-19, also first struck otherwise healthy young adults.”

(If you’re wondering why healthy young adults would die of influenza, it’s because of something called a “cytokine storm,” an overreaction of a healthy immune system to certain strains of the influenza virus and to certain other pathogens that can cause death.)

Besides traditional flu symptoms, the new human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea, a bout of which my boyfriend had earlier this month. I have to wonder now if maybe he was infected with the virus.

Those who were immunized against influenza recently, as I was in November, may or may not have some degree of protection against the new strain, news reports have quoted the experts as having said.

The main reason I get the flu shot every year is that not only do I not want to get the flu, but, as The Associated Press notes, “Scientists have warned for years about the potential for a pandemic from [influenza] viruses that mix genetic material from humans and animals.”

My thinking has been that immunization against influenza might offer me some protection from such a pandemic.

As much as I love to be right, hopefully I won’t be proved right because hopefully there won’t be a deadly flu pandemic like there was in 1918…

Update (Monday, April 27, 2009):

So upwards of 150 Mexicans have died of the new influenza epidemic and at least 40 confirmed cases have been found in the United States, including at least 20 in New York City, although no one in the United States has yet died from the human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus, which, because it is transmissible from person to person (and not just from animal to person), has the potential to become a pandemic.

Sacramento’s annual Festival de la Familia was yesterday, and while I at first was disappointed that I had no one to go there with, as I love Festival de la Familia, after the news of this new potential pandemic, with its epicenter in Mexico, broke on Friday, it seemed to me perhaps wiser and safer not to go, as there is such travel between Mexico and the United States (and elsewhere in the world) that probably several people at Festival de la Familia yesterday had to have been infected with the virus, statistically speaking. (The annual festival of Latino culture usually draws thousands of people, most of them Latino.)

We might as well have called it Festival de la Influenza, I told my boyfriend, who didn’t think that I should repeat that joke to anyone.

Anyway, as if the plague (which has spread from Mexico to the United States and to Canada and even to Europe, because of world travel) weren’t enough, central Mexico was hit with a 5.6-magnitude earthquake today, prompting one resident of Mexico City to remark that “it feels like the Apocalypse.”

While I doubt that it’s the Apocalypse, I do hope the best for our brothers and sisters south of the border. I’m not the praying type, but I might be compelled to say a prayer for them shortly…

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