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COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Motorcycle news mah Brothahs and Sistahs! Read on or post your own.
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Jaeger
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Jaeger » Tue May 18, 2021 9:30 am

I won't post the whole thing in here as it's rather long, but this fellow goes into depth regarding the shakeup at CDC that really caused the sudden shift in policy vis-à-vis mask wearing.

https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/cdc-s ... mask-order

Still, he does a nice job of summing it up:
OTB wrote: ...
While I’m generally speaking a “follow the science” guy on this, managing a pandemic is inherently political. Epidemiologists, immunologists, virologists, and other medical specialists have unique expertise and policymakers ought to weigh their advice heavily. But they’re not experts in economics, mental health, and so many other things that must factor into decisions like when and under what conditions people must lock down, when masks must be worn, what capacity businesses may be at, who gets priority in vaccine distribution, and so many other decisions. They’re inherently political calls that we elect politicians to make in accordance with applicable conditions—which include the public mood and issues of political culture.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I did not trust the Trump administration to make these judgments. Ditto many Republican governors and mayors. (But not just Republicans; Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsome haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory, either.) I think President Biden is an honorable man and have no reason to think otherwise of Dr. Walensky. But that doesn’t mean that People Are Tired of This Shit isn’t a major factor in the calculus to change the guidelines.

We went from clearly being too slow to being abrupt. I think the new guidelines are right. But there should almost certainly have been more lead time for state and local officials and businesses to prepare. Because, post-announcement, the momentum shifted almost instantaneously. People like me, who dutifully wore their masks in support of the community goals of flattening the curve and follow-on goals and got vaccinated as soon as our turn came, were still begrudgingly masking because we understood that there was no way for others to know whether we were vaccinated. But the sudden green light means that I’m now more than a little annoyed if a store proclaims that I need to mask up despite the CDC, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Defense Department all telling me I don’t.
Having just come back from the grocery store in roughly the same area where this guy lives, I'll say that most stores still have "masks on" signs up front, and most everybody I saw was complying. I certainly did considering my neighbor 2 doors down is still recovering from a bout with The Shit, I know it's still roaming around the area -- though she probably picked it up traveling to a dance competition in Pittsburgh a month or so ago.

Nevertheless, I'm still looking forward to walking into a retail establishment sans mask at some point in the foreseeable future. At the very least skipping the formality of pulling it up while passing people on the sidewalk will be nice. I'm glad I don't live in NYC. :mrgreen:

--Jaeger


Bigshankhank wrote:The world is a fucking wreck, but there is still sunshine in some places. Go outside and look for it.
<<NEUTIQUAM ERRO>>
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motorpsycho67
Double-dip Diogenes
Location: City of Angels

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Wed May 19, 2021 12:24 am

OTB wrote: ...
But the sudden green light means that I’m now more than a little annoyed if a store proclaims that I need to mask up despite the CDC, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Defense Department all telling me I don’t.

This just about negates everything he said previously.


Common sense trumps the government....
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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Wed May 19, 2021 3:59 am

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:24 am
This just about negates everything he said previously.


Common sense trumps the government....
I just realized I went on a little rant re government.
I'm not sure how you meant what you said there, @motorpsycho67, so please don't feel offended if I misinterpreted snark as sincerity. Or vice versa.

Short version of my rant: anyone who accepts that it's a good idea that government meat inspectors enforce regulations, because botulism bad, has really no excuse why government shouldn't enforce regulations for public hygiene because covid bad.
That doesn't mean any regulation must always be good and be obeyed. But when the experts study the subject and suggest what should be done to stop the pandemic and save lives? Yeah, that one. Rejecting that one is inexcusable for anyone who hasn't died of botulism recently.
Common Sense vs. Government, the LONG version
Show
The problem with common sense is that it is uncommon. Unless they are all parroting some social leader, influencer, news outlet, most people will barely agree what common sense tells them they should do if they touch a hot stove.

Government is as good as people demand it be, and as good as people let it be. Decisions get made by those who show up.
Who shows up when the masses are busy working three jobs to just put food on the table? Who shows up when billionaire-owned mass media tells its audience that government bad, shouts down anyone who disagrees, will only report on government misdeeds or incompetence, and on how everybody only ever has negative experiences when dealing with government?
Who will show up when many feel that they should have only horrible experiences when dealing with government, because the people their hind-brain herd-instincts tell them they should listen to have taught them as much, and that anyone who disagrees must be any number of things, like stupid, a liar, a fraud, an attention whore, a momma's boy, whatever?
Who shows up when a society has spent decades or centuries teaching itself that government bad?

People who can't get enough of the refreshing taste of billionaire boot. People who never even question that laws should be written by lobbyists, that the only expert opinions should come from industry, rather than scientists or (horror!) the people, that the opinions and interests of campaign donors are the only opinions and interests that really matter. After all, money is speech, and if the masses wanted to say something, they could just pool their money...

Government has to take care of shit like enforcing hygiene measures during a pandemic because nobody else will. Or can. Rule .303 is one of the terms some use to describe such a situation.
Who questions that government meat inspectors are a good thing? But shouldn't the private sector and common sense be the better solution to protecting people from botulism, or from the whole catalog of other meat-borne infections? I experienced how the private sector and common sense take care of that. I had diarrhea coming out of my mouth.

When government regulation fails, it's rarely because the people working in government, or the whole concept of government, can only be incompetent.
When government regulations fail, it's usually because the regulations aren't written by experts, with a single purpose. But by lobbyists, industry representatives, and any number of detestables lurking in the shadows of government, doing political dealing and wheeling and backhanding.
Or it is because of straight up violations by private sector entities who either figure their common sense is good enough, or that they don't need no meddlin' government telling them how to do their business. Or who need to satisfy the expectations of their corporate superior who explicitly don't want to be told about how many laws middle management must break to achieve that (I'm betting dollars to donuts that's how Dieselgate happened). Or who just do the numbers, extra profits vs. fines if caught and find that, oopsie, whoever wrote that regulation didn't math.

Average life expectancy didn't crack 40 years until the late 19th century. One of the reason more people didn't keel over dead from botulism was that industrial laborers couldn't afford to eat much meat.
Even if an infection from tainted meat didn't kill someone outright, it wouldn't do a person's overall health many favors. Particularly in an era when surgeons washing their hands was still relatively new technology.

In the United States, the first federal law requiring meat inspections was passed in 1890.
Food hygiene, eating tainted or spoiled things becoming the exception, has been (to my knowledge) a critical factor in extending life expectancy so far, even poor people can, barring accidents or whatever, expect to reach retirement age. Perhaps they cannot expect to actually ever retire, but they'll get old enough.

Common sense tells plenty of people that, so long as they cook it to 250°F for three minutes, that pork chop won't harm nobody.
But many don't have the common sense to wash their hands after handling the raw meat and before they touch, say, any of the other food items they are preparing.
Common sense seems to be telling a lot of people that, if they aren't sick, there's no reason they should wear a mask to protect others. Asymptomatic? What's that?

If the past few centuries of scientific progress have demonstrated one thing, it is that, even when people uncommonly agree on what common sense is telling them. More often than not, it's wrong.
Common sense tells most people that, if you just eat less food, you will loose weight. While medicine has demonstrated the body's amazing ability to reduce its energy consumption, preserving calories, something that evolved to get us through the lean months.
Common sense tells many people that someone poor, only able to buy cheap shit (shoes, clothes, etc.), spends less money than a wealthy person, who buys more expensive shit. The poverty trap, meanwhile, is a well documented phenomenon - being poor is expensive.
There are very, very few aspects of either relativity or quantum physics that even get near anything resembling what most people might accept is common sense.

The list of examples is endless. It's not just hard science that disagrees with it. When someone does a person an unprompted favor, that second person's common sense likely tells them the first person wants something from them. While con artists, and successful salespeople, know the way in is to make the mark do them a little favor - the sunk cost fallacy is the best way to describe what motivates the mark going forward in the interaction.
motorpsycho67 wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:24 am
OTB wrote: ...
But the sudden green light means that I’m now more than a little annoyed if a store proclaims that I need to mask up despite the CDC, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Defense Department all telling me I don’t.
Me, I would suggest it's common sense that everybody keeps wearing masks when stepping outside their abode, that they are careful when touching surfaces or objects anybody else has handled (perhaps not by using multiple layers of gloves and disinfectant by the gallon as I do, but a little care), that people don't touch their face unless they have thoroughly washed/disinfected their hands, that people keep their distance to anyone not part of their household.
I should think it's common sense to keep the hygiene measures up until the pandemic has finally and actually petered out.
I also think that it's common sense people get fucking vaccinated - and that patents protecting the vaccines, all of them, are suspended, so that developing countries can actually acquire the stuff for their populations.
I really should think it's common sense that, if the billions of people who don't have the means to acquire the vaccination really don't get vaccinated, the pandemic will not go away. We in the developed nations will not be safe, even if we vaccinate every last person in Europe, North America, etc.

Actually, fuckit, no, that's not just common sense.
The developed nations couldn't feel safe from smallpox until it was wiped out in the developing nations, too.
It was finally wiped out - but that took more than just vaccinating everyone in the developed world. It took a great effort of tracking down every last reservoir of smallpox in human populations to get it gone. That is historic fact.
If we want to get rid of Covid, squeezing the developing nations for money they don't have will at best slow down the effort. Giving the virus more time to mutate, giving it opportunity to come back at us. At worst, it will keep ravaging vast swathes of the world, killing millions - and mutating even more and even quicker and coming back at us.
In a situation of extraordinary danger to the entire species, intellectual property rights must take a back seat.The developed nations should either suspend those patents until such a time as the virus is no longer endemic anywhere in the world, or should buy them under eminent domain and then put them into the public domain.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Jaeger
Baron von Scrapple
Location: NoVA
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Jaeger » Wed May 19, 2021 6:47 am

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 12:24 am
OTB wrote: ...
But the sudden green light means that I’m now more than a little annoyed if a store proclaims that I need to mask up despite the CDC, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Defense Department all telling me I don’t.

This just about negates everything he said previously.


Common sense trumps the government....
No, he's entitled to being annoyed. It's absolutely normal to get aggravated by conflicting or contradictory instructions, especially after more than a year of this shit (never mind the prior 3 years of Jackass...)

Additionally -- and I don't know whether you read the whole article, which is long and confusing and largely deals with the internal politics of CDC -- it sounds like at least some scientists within CDC genuinely think that being vaccinated is sufficient protection, and thus if you have the shot you don't need a mask.

The only reason they didn't release the information before was because the White House said not to due to politics, not science.

I don't really know whether it's wise to lift the mask mandate or not. It seems premature to me, but then again there were only 31 new COVID cases in my county of >1.1 million people yesterday. Not fantastic, but not catastrophic either. I'm not an epidemiologist, I dunno.

Nevertheless, were I a restaurant owner I imagine I'd be desperate to get people back into my dining room (or hotel, or amusement park, or whatever). The economics of all this do matter, especially in a country where one's healthcare is tied to employment. :Jeez:

Y'know all those jokes about "stupidity should be painful"? We're going to see lots of examples of that.

--Jaeger
Bigshankhank wrote:The world is a fucking wreck, but there is still sunshine in some places. Go outside and look for it.
<<NEUTIQUAM ERRO>>
2018 Indian Scout -- "Lilah"

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DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:21 am

Jab #2, day 2 (or is it day 1? I got it yesterday, so do your own math).

Ouch.
Same flu-like joint pain and general misery as last time.
Judging by these effects, my immune system is responding as it should, which make a day of misery worth it. Or two days (one for each jab).
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Pintgudge
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Pintgudge » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:02 am

I am glad to hear this. I am all shotted up.
It is confusing about masking, Dr. Fauchi said you don't need masks with other vaxed people, or outside, but to protect unvaxed, you should mask inside. But, no, major supermarkets are saying that if you are fully vaxed you don't need to mask, and we're just going to trust you on that!
They think I have trust!!?!!??!!!
If man is fit to be governed, is any man fit to govern?

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motorpsycho67
Double-dip Diogenes
Location: City of Angels

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:53 pm

They can argue back and forth all they want.


Just wear your mask until YOU feel it's safe not to.
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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:09 pm

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:53 pm
Just wear your mask until YOU feel it's safe not to.
Oh noes! But Tucker Carlson says you shouldn't wear it if it makes someone else uncomfortable, because... freedom?
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

motorpsycho67
Double-dip Diogenes
Location: City of Angels

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:27 am

DerGolgo wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:09 pm

But Tucker Carlson says....

Are you under the impression I'm an idiot?
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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Wed Jun 02, 2021 3:06 pm

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:27 am
Are you under the impression I'm an idiot?
I was under the impression that it is hilarious that this particular smear of a person, someone who rails against "SJWs" so loud I hear it over here, someone who seemingly can't open his mouth without complaining how everybody is getting offended by everything these days (except to declare how offensive anything not tailored to straight, white, cis men is by its very existence, yes, he can open his mouth for that).
That he should not just suggest his viewers demand other people take their masks off. But that they should explicitly declare they make this demand because the other person wearing a mask is making them feel uncomfortable.

Sorry, I think that is fucking hilarious. And I thought this was thew moment to share it.

Also, I am now seriously considering whipping up some [sarcasm] tags Not sure what those should do, but this sort of thing, for this sort of thing:

Code: Select all

[sarcasm]Oh noes! But Tucker Carlson says you shouldn't wear it if it makes someone else uncomfortable, because... freedom?[/sarcasm]
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

motorpsycho67
Double-dip Diogenes
Location: City of Angels

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:09 pm

It just seems odd that anyone here would even bother joking about that clown.
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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:29 am

We must relearn living, I guess.

Friend of mine is already twice vaccinated. Second jab more than a week ago, so he is protected. New cases/100k have dropped to the low 20s in his area, below 20 where I live.
He had been a fairly fearless traveler throughout most of the pandemic. On multiple occasions, I had had to plead with him not to go on a 4 hour train ride just to visit me. When the new cases were knocking on 100.
The other day, he either took the train, or tried to take the train, just a short trip to see his mum. And that train was not quite as packed as in ye olden days, but orders of magnitude more packed than during the height of the 'demic, when on that line (so he tells me), the only other people in the car beside him were the conductors/train attendants.
Now he is terrified of any train journey, still fearing infection, fearing it more on the train now that it's filling up again.

Me, I've finally gotten used to no longer gloving up when I go outside. I still vigorously disinfect my hands and my groceries, and I don't think I'll stop any time soon.

I wonder now, how long will the plastic curtains between the checkout lines at the grocery store remain? The tapes on the sidewalk outside shops and doctors' offices, that are supposed to indicate minimum distances?

And what about rents?
How many people will not revert to going to the office every morning, now that their employers have found they can save on rent? What are rents gonna do when all that office space frees up? In recent years, many retail spaces have become offices, for tax attorneys, dentists, all kinds of stuff, what with bricks-and-mortar retail already dying out.
What little unused real estate there is left in most cities here, it usually will have been handed around in a speculator circle-jerk for decades. When finally somebody does build on it, if zoning allows, it'll be office or retail space, or "doctor houses", buildings specifically laid out to be a concentration of medical practices. Apartments, places for people to live? What for?
And now, all that office space freeing up, while retail space won't get any more crowded, either.

A lot of office space, including doctors' offices, is squeezed into buildings that, from the outside and in the stairwell, look no different from apartment buildings. I had to change my dentist once, because my regular guy was not accessible with crutches. So there's potentially plenty of space that could be converted to residential space.

So on the one hand, a lot of space that is perfect for conversion into apartments might free up, and rents might go down.
Or, what with working from the home office, and no longer commuting (much), many people might be willing to pay more rent for more space, driving rents up again?
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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boz
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by boz » Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:39 am

New York has dropped mask mandates and occupancy restrictions for restaurants and bars. Most bars now are "back to normal" and everyone's just hanging out and drinking. [CW: kissing] I made out with someone in a bar a week ago and the whole experience kinda blew my mind. I've been single since Dec '19 and gotta say that was a truly "holy shit it's been so long" moment. Interesting times.

It took a solid week to feel comfortable being in public without a mask and it's funny how often I automatically put one on before standing up or standing on line at a cart. It reminds me of how I'd push my non-existent glasses up my nose for years after I lasered them off my face.

Stoked to see some of you at D00M and I'm curious to see how things are in Germany - I'll be in Berlin late August and hope the rollout is finally figured out before then!
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red
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:46 am

I've been to a few stores without a mask and it definitely feels awkward! We've begun taking the kids more places, but they stay masked. It's damn nice to see friends and family again, that's for sure.
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motorpsycho67
Double-dip Diogenes
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:30 pm

I'll continue to wear a mask in public until I deem it safe not to, not the government. As long as there are hundreds of new cases daily, I'll err on the side of caution.
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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 am

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:30 pm
I'll continue to wear a mask in public until I deem it safe not to, not the government. As long as there are hundreds of new cases daily, I'll err on the side of caution.
Ditto.
Problem right now here seems to be that the increasing vaccination rates make more and more people more and more careless.
My friend, whom I mentioned earlier, finally did take a train.
And was mortified.
In a train more packed than any he had taken since the first lockdown, over a year ago, he was apparently more or less the only one still wearing a mask.
Despite the law still mandating masks on any form of public transport, or in train stations, at bus stops, etc. Despite violators still facing a fine of €150 for not masking up.

And what really worries me is the Delta Variant. Aka B1.617.2.
In the UK, where they had begun vaccinating a bit earlier than in the EU, that variant is going around and has reversed the trend of falling indices. The Brits started vaccinating before the EU did, and no fewer than 40% of them have already gotten both jabs.
And yet.
On dw.com, Louisa Wright and Kathrin Wesolowski wrote:The UK had confirmed more than 42,000 cases of the delta variant as of June 9, with an increase of nearly 30,000 reported from June 2-9.
So June 2 would have been at 12,000 cases. Up to 42,000. That's a jump of 250% in just a week.
Sure, early on, when absolute numbers a low, and increase will look big. But I'm not sure that 42,000 qualifies as a low number, in a country of ~68 million people. It's "only" ~0.06% of the whole population. But it's nearly 1% of the totality of Covid infections registered since this mess began (4.46 million, according to the googles).

What appear to be more recent numbers published by the authorities in the UK seem to support my concern.
On Her Majesty's gov.uk, someone wrote:PHE’s weekly COVID-19 variant cases data show that numbers of the Delta (VOC-21APR-02) variant in the UK have risen by 33,630 since last week to a total of 75,953. The most recent data show 99% of sequenced and genotyped cases across the country are the Delta variant.

And the vaccines appear to not work so well against Delta.
On dw.com, Louisa Wright and Kathrin Wesolowski wrote: A PHE study awaiting peer review found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 94% effective against hospitalization after one dose and 96% effective against hospitalization after two doses. AstraZeneca was 71% effective after one dose and 92% effective after two.

Efficacy against symptomatic disease from the delta variant for Pfizer-BioNTech was 36% after one dose and 88% after two doses. For AstraZeneca it was 30% after one dose and 67% after two.
A lot of people seem to be in a "Finally! We're through this!" mood. And may not be very receptive to having to maintain hygiene measures, even as more and more people got the jab.
I can already hear the covidiots. Shouting about yet another conspiracy, and how now that "the old lie" didn't work anymore, "they" come up with a new variant, etc., etc.

We are not at the end. We are merely at the beginning of the end.
Evolution by natural selection doesn't stop because someone invents a vaccine or masks up. Rather, that natural selection will then favor whatever mutations allows the virus to keep spreading through a vaccinated population, or despite masks and hygiene measures.
I'm not saying those measures, the masks, or vaccination, are pointless, useless, or some other covidiot shite.
I'm saying that, whatever we do, the virus will adapt. And if we stop doing it, it will likely hit us worse than its predecessor variants.

We must remain vigilant until the pandemic has burnt itself out, or until it is overrun by a new mutation that is not dangerous (yes, that happens sometimes - natural selection favors reproduction, not lethality).
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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