Where we are now
This past week’s number of COVID-19 deaths in America is roughly 20% of the total number of America’s COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic started. This past week’s number of COVID-19 deaths in America is roughly 1% of the number of COVID-19 deaths the world has seen so far.
The head of the CDC has said that we are likely to have more deaths in the US from COVID-19 every day for the next two months than we suffered on 9/11.
It’s life and death time. We have to stop this however we can and we have to survive this however we can.
I’m having a disagreement with another blogger on how seriously to take vaccines, whether it’s OK to avoid vaccines because vaccines have historically been used to lethal effect on his ethnic group.
I am not always viewed as respectful when I take that tack, particularly given a recent article about this phenomenon in the Washington Post.
Let me be completely clear where I stand on this:
I would rather be disrespectful to my friend than see him die.
I am not being overly dramatic. He is part of more than one high-risk population and, as previously stated, the overall risks are historically high.
I do not view the reverse position as more moral.
I do not view the reverse position as being more indicative of friendship.
There are times when dealing with lethal threats where my attitude toward identity politics is……..less than patient. That’s as gently as I can express myself here. Given what I believe on the matter, I’ve impressed myself by my ability to express my view that gently.
I will not respect a viewpoint that will pointlessly get people killed. This is not a question of self-preservation. I intend to get the damned vaccine as soon as it’s available to me. It will reduce my risk and the risk I pose to my family.
If you choose to view this through the lens of identity politics, make a case as to the feasibility and nature of the ethnic threat. If you can’t, you’re risking your life for your identity in a way that doesn’t preserve the group with whom you identify but instead increases its vulnerability.
I don’t care how many people want to avoid vaccines based on this reasoning. Saying that millions believe it is no more a compelling argument than saying that millions believe that Trump is a good President.
And I’d rather be disrespectful to all of them than see them die.
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12/12/2020 @ 6:57 am
70 percent of the population needs to be inoculated in order for the virus to begin to die out. That is the rate that is estimated for the process to take place, regardless of the virus. Nature doesn’t work in round numbers necessarily, so that is just an estimate, but for the sake of discussion, if it is 70, and only 69 percent are inoculated, the virus will remain in epidemic proportions. That being the case, whether someone is a friend or not isn’t important.
This isn’t a one off. The world population is growing. The oceans are rising. Temperatures are rising. Habitat for wild animals is diminishing. Everything points toward this experience happening more than once every hundred years, which was awful enough. The history of vaccination will never change, but the future will. Nature’s demands on the family of humans will increase. It is increasing. This is one of the ways that nature is making greater demands.
I hope the predictions are wrong. I hope there is never another pandemic. There have always been pandemics, but I hope this is the last one. I would not wish it on the world 100 years from now, much less in another year. Maybe when the film industry returns, viruses will be pushed back. Maybe when bars and restaurants go back to normal, that will protect us. Maybe some new version of smartphone will defeat pandemics and remove humanity from ever having to face one again. I suppose it could just happen…like Trump said.
And then, there is science…
12/12/2020 @ 7:01 am
I like Ron too and want him to stay safe.
You are so damn logical. Your argument is airtight. But is it persuasive? I’m glad you read the articles about this. And I wouldn’t call it a phenomenon. I’d say it’s the chickens coming home to roost, a perfectly natural and expected result of a white medical establishment neglecting and even abusing minority communities and women. When you do that, of course you sow mistrust.
I really like that Dr. Fauci turned to Kizzmekia Corbett, who worked to develop Moderna’s vaccine, for help in getting the word out. He recognized that this was a time where his whiteness would not persuade and where her Black excellence could.
Fwiw, Moderna is a Boston company and has been in the news weekly here since they began working on the vaccine. Although theirs hasn’t finished going through the approval process it’s supposed to be easier to administer, more effective, and in greater supply than the Pfizer vac. Also, it’s the one Ms. Corbett developed, so maybe this will help.
12/12/2020 @ 10:19 am
I heard today that one of the vaccines tests MORE effective on blacks than whites. Wasn’t paying close attention but it could be true?
That said, I tried to say it before, no matter how much Ron rationalizes, his position Is. Not. Rational. His decision not based on reason. All the reasoned arguments you can come up with won’t convince him.
Despite the large portion of the black population who believe as he does, it may be a small enough number overall that, with time and some attrition in their ranks, they may be where the importance of herd immunity kicks in. Or the irrational fear will be overcome with time and experience.
12/12/2020 @ 12:32 pm
I’m getting really tetchy on this subject. When a Facebook ‘friend’ (I don’t know her in IRL) posted that it was time to fight for freedom and rights, I jumped right on her. I don’t know for sure what she’s referring to, and she’s being cagey about specifying, but the wording and the current scene makes me suspicious.
12/12/2020 @ 12:46 pm
Personally I’d prefer the Moderna vaccine if it becomes available. The reason I like it is one detail from its testing:
It was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19, but what else I noticed is that no one in the 5% who got the virus got a severe case. In other words, in trials it was 100% effective in not allowing anyone to get sick enough to die. Funny that that aspect of it wasn’t emphasized.
Sure the chickens are coming home to roost, but who’s going to die from that? All that’s happening here is we’ll get another generation of the same casualties from those chickens, and that makes no sense, particularly if it’s self-induced.
Maybe Dr. Fauci is going about this wrong. I don’t know. Maybe what he has to say is:
“Here’s what I can tell you about the trust issue. If you’re worried about how fast we developed this, I can walk you through the science of why we can do that now. If you’re worried about being racially targeted, because that’s the history that’s causing your hesitation,
“You can’t be, because vaccine administration isn’t segregated. We’ve got the same couple of vaccines, everyone gets the same vaccines, and we aren’t limiting them to or from any ethnic or racial populations. We’ll start with the people most at risk: health care workers and the elderly, but that’s regardless of ancestry. The only way a vaccine can kill you is if it kills everyone. If that’s really your worry, most of the country are your hostages. The only way the boat sinks is with all of us in it. Speaking personally, I’m getting in the boat, and I know more about vaccines than most people do – I’m the Surgeon General of the United States. So is President Obama getting in the boat. So is Rev. Sharpton. We are advising you that for your safety, join us. If you don’t, you’ll be victims again of the people who harmed you generations ago – they’ll manage to jeopardize your safety in 2021. Tell them Not This Time.”
So, to answer your question, that’s probably how I’d persuade them. I’d go straight to their worry and address it directly. It’s not how most people handle this kind of thing. As has happened before with my writing, people will say “He’s really going there?” Why not, they’re there already. No point in pretending they’re not.
I think it’s possible. After all, there are certain diseases that concentrate among certain populations, though those tend to be genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs and Sickle-Cell. If it happened it wouldn’t be absolute, it would just be a statistical tendency.
If I were addressing the populations that hesitated about the vaccines, I wouldn’t talk about 70% of the general population, I’d talk about 70% of their local population. Ron made a comment in another threat that I was advocating this for my safety. Mostly, no. If an ethnic group is concentrated and 70% of that group in that area isn’t inoculated, that group in that area is at risk. It’s their own families. I didn’t say it out of fear for me or my people, I said it out of fear for his.
I think Mrs. Raptor is wrong for the same reason but here the conversation is more difficult because her current circumstances are scarier, and I don’t mean her personal medical condition. The few Native Americans I know don’t get segregated medical care. They’re insured through their jobs. But if your medical care comes through a completely segregated channel and it isn’t administered by your own people, the optics are scarier and the feasibility of what they’re afraid of is more credible. It still means that those who abused them in the past abuse them again now just by keeping them from accepting vaccines, and I’d make the same case, but I’d understand that the kind of assurances they’d need could very well be more extensive. The mechanism for abuse is more present, which could make acceptance more difficult. Of course, this is a two-way street: we will see objections from people being urged to take the vaccine and we’d see objections from the same people if they were denied the vaccine. However, if you bother to make yourself informed, you take the vaccine. And I would certainly argue that this is important enough to make yourself informed.
12/12/2020 @ 2:21 pm
KS, the head of Moderna lives in Cambridge and has been interviewed a number of times in the press and on talk radio. He’s no fan of Trump and has said that he would not be rushed or play politics. I liked him. It’s the vaccine I think many of us in the NEast will get.
MA was divided into three ranked categories. #1 is health care workers and nursing home staff/residents. They’re starting next week and will get the Pfizer vaccine. #2 is police, firefighters, people with 2+ comorbidities, people over 65, then people with 1+ comorbities. These folks are scheduled for Feb-April and may get the Moderna. Dana Farber just sent an email telling me I’m in the top rank of #2 and they will vaccinate all their patients there, rather than at CVS or Walgreens. #3 is everyone else, and CVS and Walgreens have those contracts. Apparently they are hiring thousands of people to administer.
My point about Dr. Fauci pulling Kizzmekia Corbett into the persuading, is that because she’s Black and she developed the vaccine, Black folks may trust her more than a gray haired white doctor like himself. The arguing here seems a microcosm of the greater dynamic. Your intentions are good, but you’re still a white guy, trying to get a Black guy to do something, not understanding why he’s not taking your advice. I guess we’ll see how things go down.
Also an important consideration: your focus is on the vaccine itself. There are X factors, e.g. who administers it, where, how was it stored. Someone leaves the Pfizer on the counter overnite. The pharmacist who looked at you all racist when you bought aspirin will be the guy that pounds the shot into your arm. That kind of thing.
12/12/2020 @ 3:01 pm
And, by the way, I think one can pretty well assume that if the head of Moderna lives in Cambridge he’d be no fan of Trump.
12/12/2020 @ 3:34 pm
Lol! The running joke here is that three Cambridge residents voted for Trump, but they were asked to leave, so now things are good again.
12/12/2020 @ 5:00 pm
You’re in Cambridge? I’ve got a friend and a cousin there, both quite close to the main commercial area across the street from Harvard.
12/12/2020 @ 2:58 pm
Oh, Dr. Fauci was right in recruiting Dr. Corbett.
I’m glad to hear Moderna is what’s likely for the Northeast. I don’t remember where you are if I ever knew but I’m in NY state. I assume that qualifies as NE.
12/12/2020 @ 5:02 pm
If you ever run across a guy outside playing melodica or maybe violin, thin, maybe 5’6”, longish grey beard, that’s my cousin.
12/12/2020 @ 6:05 pm
Not a Cambridge resident now, but was for 17 years when the former Mr. Heron was in school. I still have friends who live there and know where all the secret parking spots are. We lived in Porter Square for awhile, then moved to Somerville, another bastion of the radical left (/s), in a triple decker that rented for $165.00/mth. The former Mr Heron and I sometimes dine together when in each others’ city, and we googled our old Somerville address and found it was converted to a condo that sold a few years ago for 565K. The real estate pix were still online, and it was still a dump–same old wall of masonite peg board in the kitchen, mildewed tiles in the bathroom, the front yard paved over in asphalt.
I used to build guitars with a luthier who was primarily a violin maker, secondarily built guitars, archtops mostly. He knew lots of Cambridge street musicians. There was a Saturday afternoon weekly jam at his shop, and a lot of them came to that–some of the best music you’d ever want to hear. Nearly every one of them had a long gray beard! Ask your cousin if that sounds familiar 🙂
12/12/2020 @ 5:35 pm
This conversation is what I developed BindleSnitch to cultivate. With each additional post, my commitment to keeping this place open for the mutual support alone.
About the content of this conversation, there is a corollary from my years in Boston running drug treatment programs.
The corollary concerns methadone, and the tendency of the treatment system to direct black addicts toward the methadone track.
Sure, there were white people on methadone, but most of the methadone dispensing stations – according to my recollections – were in black neighborhoods.
In case you don’t know. methadone is much more addictive and dangerous than good quality heroin (but of course how were you to know if your heroin was good quality.) Harder to detox off, more adverse side effects, an all-around bad drug but it had one thing going for it: it didn’t get you high. It knocked you out, yes, but you never got the buzz, so you suffered the drowse without first having had the high.
How this correlates is that, except for programs like ours, no one was telling the community the truth about methadone.
This is all ancient history now, but back then (and this is way before oxycontin became a thing) it was clear that having first hook millions of people on heroin, the government was using a wholesale experiment to shift those addicts to methadone.
The other difference between heroin and methadone was that, unlike heroin or other drugs like crystal meth, methadone (originally named Adlophine in honor of the leader (Hitler) of the country where it was developed) is very difficult to manufacture and therefore much easier to control and since methadone is seven times more addictive than heroin, you can easily convert a heroin user to a methadone patient but it would be very difficult for someone to get off methadone by returning to heroin.
So, with the personal knowledge of how methadone was force-fed into the black community during the 70s and 80s, I can understand how Ron and Mrs. Raptor might look askance at these vaccines, because this has been done over and over again.
But there is a difference. The Tuskegee Experiment was conducted under a cover of secrecy. The introduction of heroin into the black community in the 60s was also a covert operation, as was the methadone experiment (it was considered an experiment because I do not believe they had FDA approval) but these vaccines are being distributed out in the open and, should side effects develop that attack specific populations, the hue and cry will rise up around the world.
This is one time when there is safety in numbers and in being part of the herd.
And that’s the point. This time, we are all part of the herd.
That said, I will wait a while before I take this stuff and I want the Boston vaccine, thank
12/12/2020 @ 6:23 pm
Alan, oh man, google ‘Methadone Mile’. It’s an area of several blocks where Mass Ave intersects Melnea Cass Blvd. It’s the locus of multiple methdone clinics and always was a sad place, but in the last few years, it’s ballooned to a 24/7 Woodstock for addicts, so many that an ambulance parks there to narcan the overdoses. There are multiple tent cities that form, then are broken up by police.
The abutting residents are demanding the mayor move the clinics and now with covid, it’s an even bigger issue because no one will go to a shelter. If you google, you may read quotes from people you might have worked with. I used to drive through there on my work commute, but it got so dangerous I stopped. People stagger in groups up to cars when they stop for the traffic light, pound the windows and windshield and ask for money. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying at the same time.
12/13/2020 @ 12:27 am
After centuries of neglect and indifference re our health, safety, and well-being, Black people should now simply take the word of a systemically racist medical establishment, and a personally racist president, a system and an individual who have trouble with acknowledging black people as human beings, that the vaccines are equally beneficial to all…
One of the reasons that the virus has become such a national disaster is that someone told Trump that the virus will do more harm in communities of color than anywhere else….
So he ignored it and created a series of false narratives to justify and rationalize doing so…
The virus has proven Trump and his advisors to be egregiously in error….
The virus has the potential of infecting the entire population…
Operation Warp Speed came into being because all sorts of white folks are dropping like flies….
If it were killing only or black and brown people predominately, the reaction and response would significantly different…
You’re deluding yourself if you think or believe otherwise.
There’s absolutely no way a truly safe and effective vaccine could be developed and properly tested within a year’s time without cutting corners on the ethical standards and protocols…
How many black and brown people do you think we’re included in the tests conducted by firms based in Europe?
Given what we know about the normal timelines for the development of vaccines, the development and distribution of the vaccines in less than a year makes mass inoculations little more than a global field test…
That said, the vaccines have been given emergency approval by the FDA for distribution and use in hopes that doing so will curb the spread and bring an end to the pandemic…
50% of the general population are hesitant and 60% of the black population remain skeptical re the efficiency and efficacy of a COVID vaccine shot…
You characterize the situation as a matter of life and death…
Rather than wringing your hands and decrying my posture and position as emotional, irrational, and potentially lethal, why don’t you put your interest, energy and concern into use here…
You have formidable and prodigious skills and abilities as a salesperson.
You’ve got a reluctant and recalcitrant customer base.
You’ve got your product.
Now, go sell it on the mountain.
Show us how your sales pitch would bring us to the threshold of the 70% needed to bring about the level of immunity required for a return to normalcy….
12/13/2020 @ 1:07 am
Bitey has explained repeatedly why vaccines can be tested faster at this point. He’s better at making that case than I am.
The Trump administration did not develop either vaccine under consideration, neither the Pfizer that was just approved or the Moderna that is probably about to be. The chief scientist in charge of developing the Moderna vaccine is a Black woman.
The UK and Canada have already approved, meaning this approval isn’t some weird characteristic of the Trump administration. In other words, the Trump administration isn’t doing anything peer governments aren’t. They don’t have anything to do with the development of the vaccines and their fast tracking is not internationally exceptional. The role of the Trump administration in this process just isn’t that significant in terms of endangering minorities.
The trial phase is over. The vaccines will now be bought. They don’t need to test, they need to supply. Further testing costs money. With approval, why spend it?
We have two vaccines and no mechanism to segregate distribution on either. We’re all getting the same vaccines. Black people are not at greater risk than White people. Actually, because of contagion rates, the Black community will probably benefit more.
It is in White interests to reduce Black contagion. More Black cases means more White cases. The incentives for Whites in power apply to success with the Black community’s immunity, not failure.
At this point in our history, if anyone White tried to segregate vaccine distribution, they wouldn’t be capable of getting all the people who would need to cooperate in such a venture to support it or, at the very least, keep quiet about it.
No available means, motive actively against doing what you fear, and no opportunity generally clears a suspect. You of all people get that. It’s not that there aren’t racists in government, it’s that the racists don’t meet the criteria that would make them dangerous in this case.
12/13/2020 @ 4:05 am
Why don’t we just pay people to take the shots and be done with it?
12/13/2020 @ 9:33 am
People are being paid to take the shots. First, they are administered for free. Then, as the immunity reaches a certain level (70%), the global economy becomes viable again. As that opens up, the bifurcation of economic stratum begins to close again. Those who must face the public in doing their jobs can do so more safely. Employment levels can be maintained and efficiencies are gained. Training like college and occupational instruction can be done more efficiently and allow for movement through the strata. And maybe the greatest payment that the people of the world receive is the relief of burden on medical professionals who are overburdened by the global failure to comply with hygienic practices or sufficient resources dedicated to health maintenance. Those workers are dying at a higher rate than the general public because it is an occupational risk. We receive wealth by reducing their risk, increasing their effectiveness, and supporting a public resource from which we all benefit.
12/13/2020 @ 8:18 am
“It is in White interests to reduce Black contagion.”
Where do you think we’d be if it wasn’t?
White folks are dropping like flies so now you want black folks to get vaccinated.
I would tell black people that it may be in our best interest to get the shots because if mass inoculation doesn’t work as well as expected, black and brown people can’t be blamed for the failure and become the scapegoat….
12/13/2020 @ 9:05 am
Where I think you’d be if it wasn’t is in the same position everyone else is. I don’t think it would currently be possible for racists in government to limit vaccinations to Black Americans, but that is conjecture, albeit educated conjecture.
But at this point you’re trying to play both sides of the argument. For the sake of deciding whether to be vaccinated, whether you’d have equal access to vaccines if Black immunity didn’t help White immunity is irrelevant. All that matters for this decision is that Black immunity is in White interests and obviously in Black interests.
The question on the table isn’t whether or not there’s racism. The question on the table is whether the vaccines are safe for Black people to take. That’s really two questions. The first is whether the vaccines are safe for anyone to take. Bitey is far better informed and thereby more capable of answering that question than I am, and it is comforting to note that the notoriously unreliable Trump administration is not alone among peer governments in approving vaccines for current use, nor can we assume that Trump’s actions influenced either the British or the Canadian decision as neither of those governments has much respect for Trump.
The second question is whether the vaccines are as safe for Black people to take as for White people to take, being as this question is what minority trust of the vaccination process is really all about. All the evidence we can see about the current process indicates that Yes, the vaccines are as safe for Black people as for White people. There is every reason for them to be, including the fact that the White population is incentivized to promote Black immunity. You can be as cynical as you like about that but your cynicism is functionally irrelevant because the ultimate question is whether the vaccine is good for you.
The only way your cynicism becomes relevant is if you object to being vaccinated on the grounds that it would promote White immunity. If that’s the case, a cost-benefit analysis doesn’t work in your favor because Black people not being vaccinated would do way more harm to the Black population than to the White population.
12/13/2020 @ 9:17 am
Kosher, while I get your point about “Black immunity” and “White immunity”, there actually are actually no such things as those separate categories. Making the categories and naming them to say that they are identical is not helpful. Also, with respect to this pandemic, which is not compartmentalized in hermetically sealed areas, there are effectively no such things as “White population” or “Black population.”
To the degree that such a distinction exists, it is sociological, and not scientific. The access and distribution of the vaccine may have sociological aspects, but the way it works on your cells is entirely scientific/biological. Further, if a patient managed to contract the virus from say, picking up a can off of a grocery store shelf, or from breathing vapor in that grocery store, both (or all) ethnicities pass through that space. The people affected are indistinguishable by ethnicity.
The vaccines are made safe for humans. Making a distinction where none exists is like saying, dont think of a pink elephant. You establish a myth in order to debunk it.
12/13/2020 @ 9:33 am
The premise of this piece is that minority (Black and Hispanic) resistance to being vaccinated is predicated on the assumption that the vaccination process would result in the immunities of those populations being different. After all, the history that has these populations concerned did involve artificially induced differences in the overall health of populations. That assumption is already on the table to the point of being a functional impediment to immunization. I’m not introducing it to counter it.
As to differences in immunity between populations, it is not a biological fact but differences in contagion between communities is absolutely a social fact and thereby relevant. Populations are not evenly distributed, they’re concentrated. Reduced rates of immunization in concentrated communities results in amplified differences in contagion between communities. In other words, a refusal of Black people to be immunized at greater rates than a refusal of White people will not result in differences in contagion between the populations being at exactly those rates – a greater rate of refusal would result in an even greater rate of contagion because those populations are concentrated.
12/13/2020 @ 9:44 am
“Populations are not evenly distributed, they’re concentrated. Reduced rates of immunization in concentrated communities results in amplified differences in contagion between communities…—-KS
The above is an example of what I mean. Ask yourself, how are these populations “distributed”? Do you mean, where they live? Where they work? More directly, do you think these people never come within 6 feet of one another? Even more to the point, to what degree do you think that not a SINGLE individual comes in contact from one population with a member from another? All it takes is one.
In the way that our continent is arranged geographically, there is no effective separation. None. The contagion is not spread by numbers of types of people. It is spread by conduct. Part of that conduct is intermingling. There is no effective absolute shut off of contact of any group from any other group on this containment biologically. Sociologically, sure. People may pass within 6 feet of one another and never be aware of the other. They may not pass, but occupy the same space within minutes or hours, and never be sociologically aware of the other. However, biologically, they are in the same time and the same space. The virus can function in that time and space for which there is no distinction. No separation. The distinction must be made from the perspective of the virus.
12/13/2020 @ 10:25 am
There is no absolute separation between populations but there are absolutely different concentrations of contagion in different places. If you’re Chasidic in greater NY you have a greater probability of contagion because your community is lousy at isolating. There are differences in contagion rates between states in spite of the fact that there is commerce between them. My original point is valid.
12/13/2020 @ 10:54 am
Is it possible that a single member of that community works, say, in the diamond industry, and passes within 6 feet of a person not in that community? Do they receive mail? Do they use airports, or public parks? Is there any contact outside of that community within 6 feet and/or several days, which would allow a virus to remain viable and contagious? 100% chance, yes.
12/13/2020 @ 9:57 am
Also, the damage of the virus is not necessarily from death or illness. As bad as that is, the main damage is from the threat of death or illness. The thing that puts the strain on everything that we require from our modern, intermingled reality is the threat to that set-up. While a million or so deaths globally is tragic, it is a number that 7 billion can easily lose if that were the only issue. The real issue is the prospect that it could be you or anyone you know within a week or so. And to accomplish that, all it takes is one person traveling between one person and another. And since it can take 2 weeks before any signs are seen, it is extremely hard to detect.
12/13/2020 @ 10:11 am
All of this is great stuff for the well educated and we’ll informed but I don’t believe that either of you could ‘sell’ or incentivize taking. the COVID shots…
How do propose taking your case to the streets and neighborhoods where hesitancy and skepticism dominate the interactive exchanges on the question of whether to get the shots?
“…the bifurcation of economic stratum begins to close again…”
Will never work as well as an immediate and direct cash payment of $200 for taking the shots…
Put the money in the next COVID relief package…
Which approach would be more apt to move the folks in the neighborhood barbershop or beauty parlor to get immunized ASAP?
12/13/2020 @ 10:39 am
Let’s take that assumption just for starters. What exactly are you using to make that determination? As you think about that, thank about this. I am not trying to “sell” you or anyone on taking the vaccine. That is not the issue here. I am talking about what is. As I have said previously, you may come to what which is if you want or not, for your own reasons. That is quite literally not selling. Do as you please. Your reasons are yours.
On the other hand, if the question is, what is real, that is what I am saying. Now, with that said, if you are saying, “that which is real” (my words)…”will never work” (your words)…then the history of vaccination for numerous illnesses stands as a counter to that notion. Blankets aside, Smallpox has been essentially eradicated by this process. Polio has also. Now, in that time have there been people who have not trusted the process, and refused to be vaccinated? Absolutely. That is a 100% certainty that some exist. However, what they can not say is that no one should trust the process. The history stands as proof of that. The process has worked. People may choose for themselves, but their personal choice does not determine universal reality. The important thing is not getting those two areas confused.
12/13/2020 @ 11:18 am
“I am not trying to “sell” you or anyone on taking the vaccine.”
This is why Democrats win debates and Republicans win elections.
If it weren’t for COVID19, Trump would have won a 2nd term….
12/13/2020 @ 11:20 am
If it weren’t for chocolate, we would have milkshakes made of ketchup.
And…what exactly does that have to do with mRNA?
12/13/2020 @ 11:51 am
As to winning elections, Biden just won more votes than any American politician in history at any level. Secondly, winning at the presidential level is different from any level below for that type of determination, EC, etc.
As to selling, part of the original conversation is about respecting people’s individual reasons for their individual decisions. Individuality has been respected the entire time. To end with saying, well, I am not sold, is to deny that your were respectfully not being sold from the beginning.
Third, Trump’s approval rating never once moved above 50% during his term. Chances are he would have lost the election, just as he did. It did not hurt that Trump was the worst administrator in the nation’s history, particularly as he managed Covid-19, but that is not necessarily the only reason that he lost.
Trump lost the military vote, which is hard for a Republican to do. He did not lose the military vote because of Covid. He lost them because of how he treated them.
To the degree that Republicans win elections is greatly determined by how they choose their constituents, and not how constituents have chosen them. This process stemming from gerrymandering was not open to public debate, but rather accomplished by quiet organization. It is happening, we know that it is happening, but it has never been subject to a debate about whether or not is should happen. That is why Republicans win elections (to the degree that they do) on lower levels, and Democrats have won the popular vote in 7 or the last 8 contests.
Republicans win based upon bad information, no information, or bad beliefs. Winning debates does not determine the loss of elections. That is bad information.
12/13/2020 @ 1:31 pm
“Winning debates does not determine the loss of elections. That is bad information.”
Neither does winning debates…
Democrats score rhetorical points and get no points at all for their poor messaging habits and practices….
Trump got more votes losing this time than he did winning the last time….
74 million people didn’t seem to care about his approval rating….
12/13/2020 @ 3:00 pm
Ron, 74 million people are his approval rating. It did not appreciably change from before. What changed was the size of the sample. It is a ratio, and the ratio is virtually unchanged.
The odd thing is that the rating did not drop, but it has always been a losing rating. Another thing is that the concept was developed before a single American candidate had a captive news network. Approval in 1992, or 2000 is a different sample of intellectual discourse than it is in 2020. Trump did one thing well, he lied to the faces of his constituency, and they accepted it. One eighth of the American public struggles to find food. It is something in excess of 50 million people. A good portion is the “economically insecure” that has described his constituency. They watch him give breaks to corporations, and go without eating, and Fox News never shows them lines for food pantries stretching many city blocks. That would not have been possible in previous eras.
12/13/2020 @ 11:22 am
Fresh from reading news. Apparently, a Biden presidency is expected to work hard to assuage vaccine concerns. Trump has put an inordinate amount of energy into lying about and minimizing the virus, as well as claiming the vaccine as one of his signature achievements. Biden has already begun his public education program which will move to the forefront once Trump’s done and gone. I cannot wait.
(sidenote: threats to fire the head of the FDA if the vaccine was not approved Friday, even though they’d said it would be approved by Saturday, the difference of one day– how shaky looking is that for vaccine PR? Not to mention how normalized this behavior has become that this was reported as just another Trump antic. Arrrggggh.)
Psychologists have determined there are five different learning styles and effective persuasion involves multiple approaches. In the teaching biz, these are lobbed at you, so that you can reach all students effectively. I won’t bore my fellow posters with the finer details, but if those interest you they can be googled. Educators fall into these styles too, and are most effective with the students that share their group. The learning style that lies directly opposite theirs in the pie chart diagrams they make about this is the learning style that an educator has the most difficulty reaching.
Not surprisingly, the person you tend to fall in love with also tends to lie across the diagram from you. I’m in a group that learns best via creativity and intuition, feeling and experience. Mr. Heron was a lot like KS. President of his award-winning high school debate team. Told me once that a painting had never made the hair stand up on the back of his neck and he never wanted one to, because that would affect his ability to objectively criticize it. I loved him anyway 🙂 His library was arranged with each book the same distance from the edge of the shelf so that the spines of all books lined up. My library was the floor pile method. It drove him crazy.
Anyhoo, in education, if you try to tailor course material and assignments designed to include multiple information intake styles, and adapt class discussion and projects to those, you reach more students. What we’re seeing in this discussion is a micro view of the larger national vaccine yes/no discussion. Six or seven posters have delivered their thoughts on this topic of vaccines, and displayed about four different learning styles. If you think someone else is dead wrong, most likely they sit in the psychological pie chart diagram wedge directly across from yours. To persuade, you want to visit their pie wedge. I think Biden will do this. Hoping.
12/13/2020 @ 12:06 pm
“Persuasion” is an interesting word in this comment. It actually does not apply in this entire process.
This process was more analogous to one person saying, I want to walk from point A to point B, but I am concerned about Visigoths in my path, so I think it may be dangerous to make that trip.
Then the second person says, you may choose not to walk, and that is fine, but if you persuade someone else to not make the trip, you have caused harm. No danger from Visigoths exists because no Visigoths exist. Belief that they do should be limited to those who think it, and not spread to those who already do not. That is not persuasion. Reality does not require it. Reality already exists.
Joe Biden, conversely, must persuade. It suits his and our purposes for him to persuade. His method is different. Joe Biden as the public figure named Joe Biden must present a persuasive case. An anonymous commenter is not, nor could he/she/they persuade in the way currently being conflated with merely stating that which is.
12/13/2020 @ 1:35 pm
Let’s assume that we want to persuade more people who are inclined not to get vaccinated because they don’t trust the government to get vaccinated.
Now we get to why. My primary reason is simple: I’d rather they – and others in their community – lived. There are others who, in addition to or not in addition to my primary reason, want them to get vaccinated to reduce the rate of infection among the population at large. Some want them to get vaccinated for the specific purpose of reducing their own (“some’s” own) risk.
Now we get to how. My own inclination is to find out why they don’t want to be vaccinated and to answer their specific objections. However,
We now get to Greenheron’s issue: Learning styles, which I ask her to elaborate on. This becomes important because if we want these people to get vaccinated we need to look at the most effective way of accomplishing that.
To a certain extent, this conversation in that it involves Ron and me is funny because it reverses our normal roles. We’re usually talking about reducing racism and it is I who say to him: Worry about HOW. Now he’s saying that to me. And, being as it is my normal point, I am in favor of addressing that question. And so I turn to Greenheron.
By the way, Greenheron, I am intellectually organized but not physically organized.
12/13/2020 @ 2:53 pm
Lol about organization. I bet you have some sort of system though, one that you designed and understand. My system of ‘filing’ books in piles on the floor may look disorganized, but I can find any single volume in two minutes. My studio is the same way, looks like a walk in the woods really, except for the Cone of Cleanliness that surrounds whatever work is in progress on my table.
The psychology of learning styles has made for volumes of writing. There’s actually so much to it that my employer offers weekend workshops. I went to one, a three day weekend in NH. There was an armload of take home material, which I probably never read. It’s based on psychological temperaments, kind of like Myers Briggs, only not so new agey. Like much of psychology, it’s basically common sense. A student who takes in new information when it involves detailed logic, thrives most with assignments designed to address material logically. A student who takes in new information through their senses, you deliver the material using plenty of pictures, maybe recordings. Maybe you assign a research paper to the logical student and a zine to the student who processes images.
Another effective tactic is to form small learning groups with students of each type, and ask them to achieve a curricular goal together as a unit. The logical one decides to do X for their part, the intuitive one takes on a Y responsibility, the emotion driven one takes the Z project aspect. I’ve done that a number of times, and like that approach, because everybody pretty much knows their temperament and what works best for them, saves me the guessing.
Btw, students who are somewhere on the ADD/ADHD scale comprise about 50% of an art school population. Creativity seems to be a facet (or an asset as we think of it) of the disorder. When a student comes in with accommodations, I always ask what will support their learning, and they always know. Sometimes it’s that they need to work while in motion, so one of my guys wore roller skates to class. One student told me they needed cry breaks, nothing to do with me or the other students, but as a stress release, so their accommodation was that they could head to the bathroom for a cry, whenever. No one made a big deal out of it.
Temperament also takes into account levels of initial resistance to material. Some of the types dig right in. Others, not so much. In working with artists, this is a big factor. A student resists when you suggest say, trying a composition that doesn’t involve placing the subject in the center of the page. Some will say, hey! I never thought to try that! Another will say, hey! I never tried that, it sounds dumb, or I’ve always done it this way, or I don’t believe you, or what’s the logic in that?
The types each have much more to them than the simplistic way I’ve described, and presenting material multiple different ways is a challenge, because remember, the teacher is also in one of the temperament categories. While adjacent categories speak to them more, the one diametrically opposed, usually not at all.
Seems Biden will ramp up his virus public education using a variety of tools and approaches. Dr. Fauci recognized that a Black vaccine developer could better speak to Black people than he could as a white doctor. The science has already persuaded you. I think success will be measured by the half of the population that is resisting.
This is long, sorry. But you asked 🙂
12/13/2020 @ 3:09 pm
Much of that which you just said assumes that the assessment of minority communities, and the rejection of vaccination is greater than I think it is. Black people and everyone else live in the 21st century. Is there suspicion, certainly. Would it alone remove 30% or more from being vaccinated? Doubtful. In fact, would 30% or more even know about the Tuskegee experiment, or a number of other things to develop this suspicion? Doubtful. I doubt 30% of the general population knows about it, could tell you what Tuskegee is, or could find it on a map. Introducing this dark tragedy into a discussion of the vaccine is probably the single greatest adverts using it has ever had. I don’t know if it is accurate, but I bet fewer people than that know about how smallpox was introduced to Native American populations, or that it happened.
Should they learn about those things? Yes. Is now, when a vaccine is needing acceptance the optimal time to raise that concern? No. Strategically, it is unsound, and that is not taking a side on the ethics of the historical issues.
12/13/2020 @ 3:42 pm
Not long. My wife is a professor in a department of student affairs administration (actually the dept. chair) and her specialty is student development theory. Though I don’t always retain it, I’ve been through a lot of theory so I have a basic understanding of what an answer to my question would entail. I used to have a greater familiarity with Myers-Briggs than I do now because when my wife was a Masters student the only way I could participate in conversations we were having with her grad student friends was for me to learn what all those letters they were throwing around meant. Incidentally, the variable that I have found most useful over the years is E/I. It really helps to know that one and I’ve gotten to the point where I can often figure it out, by which I mean given the numerical discrepancy that I have gotten better at recognizing I’s. Some of the stuff I’ve learned about how students of various ages process (a lot like Piaget for older kids) I find interesting because I can remember being at at least one of those stages.
Some of the stuff I’ve learned about moral development has helped me understand some of what I’ve witnessed both on blog sites and in elections. People can get stuck at certain stages. I found it frustrating as all Hell explaining things I thought were straightforward and obvious only to have them not understood at all.
I am one of the ADHD population but I wasn’t diagnosed until my forties. It really would have helped to have known it sooner. I had no idea why I’d start to read an assignment after setting the time aside from it but had to stop after fifteen minutes because my head wouldn’t stay on the page, or why whenever I practiced piano after a few minutes I drifted off fooling around. I figured it was some sort of personality defect, not a syndrome, particularly not one that could be medicated.
12/13/2020 @ 4:36 pm
“Incidentally, the variable that I have found most useful over the years is E/I. It really helps to know that one and I’ve gotten to the point where I can often figure it out, by which I mean given the numerical discrepancy that I have gotten better at recognizing I’s.”
Totally agree. The Ns and Js and Fs seem more variable than E/I, which seems immutable. However, if you met me at work, you’d judge me as a solid E, except I’m an I who learned to be E for work. Four days of classes, I’m all theirs, but approach me with a question once I’ve headed to the parking lot Thursday nite, and I’ll shake you off my sleeve like a tick.
“My wife is a professor in a department of student affairs administration (actually the dept. chair) and her specialty is student development theory”
Hah! Is she an I, and you an E? Because Es are great at sales. Is would go hide under the bed to get away from customers.
“Some of the stuff I’ve learned about moral development has helped me understand some of what I’ve witnessed both on blog sites and in elections. People can get stuck at certain stages”
YES. And I’ve often wondered, but don’t want to do the research, what happens over at Fox News, because that is a mode of moral education. What morality does someone bring there? Entertainment helps slip a curriculum in the back door. Do Fox viewers even understand they are being entertained? And to your point about moral stasis, does Fox arrest it for them, or was it already arrested, and that was what drew them in?
I’m about halfway thru Obama’s book (he’s reading it to me on audiobook as I work in the studio) and he talks about a premise I’ve always held, that anyone who wants to run for a high political office has a personality disorder of some variety. Not the garden variety neuroses that you and I might have, but something much bigger.
When Obama was surveying trusted colleagues about running for president, someone told him–sorry I forget who–you’re too sane. Obama then goes into a revealing paragraph about what his psychological agenda might have been, an appeal for approval from absent dad, some other assorted baggage, but he’s brutally self aware. That’s key I think. Trump has no idea how mentally disabled he is, or why.
When Obama finally decides to run, the reason isn’t his absent dad, but because he and and Michele were at something where he was mobbed by crowds of Black people wanting his attention, his handshake, his smile. On the way home, he realized that by becoming president he could show people that it could be done, that a Black man could become president and that Black people would see this and realize they could too. And he was right. I cry constantly through his book, because it feels like we won’t see the likes of him again, not for a long time. His reason to run is the sanest reason any of our presidents has ever had.
Re: your ADD. That’s classic. What might have happened if you played for fifteen minutes, followed by a walk, played fifteen minutes more, a different piece maybe, then a little reading, then go for coffee? That’s what happens in art school. Music school too I’d guess. There’s a myth that artists and musicians paint/practice ten twelve fifteen hours every day, then fall exhausted into bed. Truth is NOBODY does that. Nobody. Yet the myth is strong.
12/14/2020 @ 12:19 am
Yes, my wife is an I. And yes, in front of a class you’d never know it. Same is true of my head rabbi in North Carolina. (I never got attached to my local congregation here but I still have many attachments there; in fact, during COVID, I attend on line Torah study there on Saturday mornings, which I used to do in person.) In front of people he seems the warmest guy in the world. In person, less so. I didn’t get that that was because he was less comfortable until one day, when Jonah was still alive, we’re in the very crowded lobby of the Temple when Jonah sees the rabbi and shouts Hi Fred!. Rabbi Fred gives him a quick glassy-eyed stare with a mechanical smile and says hi, then moves on. Oh. Got it. Suddenly he made sense.
A lot of I’s do very well at appearing to be E’s because they have to work at it and they get really good. Unfortunately for us, that hasn’t happened with some key politicians, Hillary being the best example. She’s known to be fantastic one on one, even among Republicans, but I guess she never developed the skill as most of the time she didn’t need to, being married to the biggest E in the world. It’s also probably why Al Gore lost – same problem. It didn’t prevent Richard Nixon from winning in ‘68, though. All of them were obviously uncomfortable in front of crowds and none of them sounded conversational or natural when giving a speech.
A lot of my wife’s colleagues, particularly female colleagues, are I’s. I used to notice this strange phenomenon where I got the impression they disapproved of me but I didn’t think I was doing anything particularly gauche at the time, even though my social skills aren’t always what they should be. I finally figured out that their E reserves had run out and they were now uncomfortable. Took me a long time to figure that out, though. But if I didn’t know anything about Myers-Briggs, all this would be a mystery to me. That concept really helps.
12/14/2020 @ 9:21 am
How did I suspect that your wife was an I and you an E? 🙂
Richard Nixon was an I? He was raised as a birthright Quaker. Of course you’re right.
It’s interesting how Is tend to partner with Es. Of my three life loves, two were Es and one was I, which was pretty intense, both needing to disappear into another room for long periods of restorative solitude. Annie Leibovitz’s loft was directly across the street from Susan Sontag’s loft. They did that purposefully, so they each had their own space for work and for retreat. Leibovitz made some memorable images from her loft of Sontag’s windows at night when Sontag was inside. They were a perfect pictorial metaphor for two introverts in love. Leibovitz’s pictures weren’t about longing to be with Sontag, but spoke more about the feeling of closeness when alone.
It seemed that introverts were generally viewed as mentally disabled, and Es as healthy outgoing social people. Now it’s known that Is are fine, just wired differently, and although they retreat from the world, they’re relishing their solitude and recharging. Now that we’re in the house much of the time, Is are living the life they’ve wanted all along. I’d guess if you stopped someone in a bar at the Sturgis motorcycle festival last summer, you’d probably have yourself a frustrated E.
Forgot to wish you and The Monkey a Happy Hanukkah!
12/14/2020 @ 10:53 am
My wife is on online meetings constantly. She’s busier than before COVID. My mother, also an I, is completely happy with her isolation.
12/13/2020 @ 5:34 pm
Have a look at the segment starting at about 1:10, particularly the percentages
12/13/2020 @ 6:03 pm
I’ve seen that report. 14% is a low number, but the question answers “do you trust vaccine safety.” I offer to you that that does not mean 14% would allow themselves to be vaccinated.
Who knows how big that sample was, or where it was taken, but asking whether or not you will take this vaccine is another question. Black people live in the 21st century. They live, work, and worship in places where everyone else does. I’ve known a few in my lifetime, like my family.
You live in and negotiate the world that you’re in, and not the one that you hope to be in. Given the choice of living, or dying, or making someone else ill, I am reasonably certain Black people would choose in sufficient numbers. Many will work in ways where their employer might require it. People they know would suggest it, etc. That percentage is a hint at a general suspicion, but not an answer about this specific case. There is a huge difference.
Black people have suspicion of police departments too. We have discussed many of the reasons for that. As a group, who calls the police most frequently? Black people. You negotiate the world you are in…not the one you want.
12/13/2020 @ 6:03 pm
I’m not especially concerned about those who at this point say they won’t take the vaccine. That’s because their response is perfectly rational. To be honest, I felt that way myself until about a month ago. My feelings towards the manufacture changed when they didn’t release the news of the trails until AFTER the election So this isnt a Trump steak.
Look we’ve had to endure that lying self aggrandising psychopath who’s selling it like a steak – or was until the country came out and did itself proud. Dear heaven wasn’t Oct/Nov magnificent??!!
Who in their right mind wouldn’t have reservations. The anti vac-ers are what they are – nuts. I believe the bulk of the people unwilling to submit to vaccination will feel differently once a few million eager beavers get theirs and everything goes according to plan. I trust Fauci. The rest including Burks – not so much. But I definitely have strong faith in Fauci’s word and that of BIden, and as such his task force. When it’s available and it’s approved for people with allergies I’m there with bells on.
I believe strongly we are in the midst of a national hysteria due to 4 years with the aforementioned lying lunatic and real death all around us coming in the form of the people we love or trust ro just take for granted – and if not death than a ghastly bout with the relentlessly insidious virus plus all the hell and damnation that shithead has brought upon our economy with his non leadership. We’re in hell. Biden’s got his work cut out. I don’t normally pray but I am for him. And us.
That said – we have to be kind and understanding. I intend to live. I havent interacted with the people I love since I don’t know when. We don’t go anywhere or do anything as we are very vulnerable. We’re being smart. We have to be smart to stay alive.
When we know it’s safe the sane among us will be vaccinated because they want to live as much as anyone.
12/14/2020 @ 9:28 am
“I believe strongly we are in the midst of a national hysteria due to 4 years with the aforementioned lying lunatic and real death all around us coming in the form of the people we love or trust ro just take for granted – and if not death than a ghastly bout with the relentlessly insidious virus plus all the hell and damnation that shithead has brought upon our economy with his non leadership. We’re in hell.”
Monkey I recently read that psychologists think our brains are being rewired by all this trauma, and that sounds about right to me. I agree with every word in your above quote. Our ability to trust is being shattered by daily exposure to lies and take backs and things we never thought we’d see in a million years presented as normal. Our anger is fostered and encouraged, even if we’re not normally angry people. I also agree that it might not be possible for Biden et al to fix this.
12/13/2020 @ 6:05 pm
PS. Hey Kosh!
12/14/2020 @ 12:07 am
Hi FM/MM. How you been?
12/14/2020 @ 12:08 am
12/14/2020 @ 1:04 am
I’m fabulous. Also half insane but I think who isn’t?
I had hoped to find a menorah emoji but no such luck. (Sad face here)
But we did drive over to see the pretty big (can’t call it giant) home made menorah on rt 9.
12/14/2020 @ 11:24 am
One last thought that occurred to me this morning:
In further consideration of the c19 vaccine I wonder why this particular vaccine is being associated w Tuskegee experiments, in light of the fact COVID has been so devastating to blacks, Latinos and those dependent on govt support/assistance ie the elderly and handicapped. Who wouldn’t give a fiddlers ass when they suffer and die?
Im not suggesting anyone put aside concerns regarding inoculation. I’m wondering why THIS vaccine at this especially dire time? It’s not like this is the first vaccine made available since 1932.
I hate these bastards who have so dirtied the waters, who have so set us against every science that might save our lives. Yes I have concerns too. Thank goodness for the brave first line who are getting the vaccinations on faith.