One Shot Down

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? Things are pretty much the same here. I’ve started crocheting again. I swear I will eventually finish this shawl and take pictures to prove it. I’m just annoyingly slow even when I work on it regularly. But it will get done. Writing is still fighting me, which is why I decided to crochet instead. At least I’m doing something. Reading and submissions are still happening regularly, so at least there’s that. Anyway, I mentioned last week that I was getting my first shot. I did! Dad takes our 92-year-old neighbor to get her second shot today and we’re scheduled for ours in a couple of weeks. So, I thought I’d ramble about vaccines today, since I have nothing else to talk about.

I wasn’t actually planning on getting vaccinated yet. The vaccines weren’t tested on people with any of the Muscular Dystrophies, so I admit that I was concerned about the lack of everything regarding people with disabilities. I don’t know if people with disabilities are prone to worse reactions. Don’t know the effects down the line. We know nothing. At least people without disabilities had some information about how it affects them in the short term. I had nothing to go on and zero desire to be a guinea pig. But at the same time, I wasn’t adamantly against it. I mostly just didn’t want to have to go to Fair Park (Dallas drivers and roads are horrible) to get something I didn’t really want in the first place. So, when I was able to get Dad scheduled close to home, I looked for one for myself.

Sadly, our Walgreens didn’t have any (our pharmacist probably would’ve brought it out to the van so I wouldn’t have had to risk being around people, because he’s cool like that), so we had to go to CVS. Dad’s was right down the street and mine was a few miles up the road. In case you missed it in my last post, if you’re trying to schedule an appointment via the CVS website, all I can tell you is to ignore their lists of availabilities and actually go through the process of trying to schedule an appointment, then try at least three or four nearby zip codes/cities (for some reason our closest pharmacy only showed up when I searched for Forney, a neighboring city, instead of our own zip code and the pharmacy I’m scheduled at only showed up under our zip code when it’s actually in Sunnyvale). Do this multiple times a day. And be prepared to be told that you can’t make the first appointment without making the second one too, which is sometimes available and sometimes not. That’s the most annoying part of the process, so far.

On the day of the appointment, CVS sent a text message with a link to check in. This was mostly annoying because they want you there early, but you can’t check in until 15 minutes before your appointment at the earliest. At that point, I already had my mask on, so I couldn’t see my phone in my lap to do it myself, which meant Dad had to check me in and he has a strangely hard time operating my phone for some reason. Otherwise, the whole thing was over within half an hour. Dude took my temperature and chatted with us until the guy came to get me for the shot, then we had to wait for 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t immediately die. Everyone was nice and friendly. People wore masks, including the customers that I noticed. They covered their noses and everything. I was actually a little impressed.

As I mentioned on my personal Facebook, I wore one of my Cthulhu shirts, my Yggdrasil bracelet, and my sparkly rainbow Cons. If an elder god, the world tree, and spiffy happy vibes couldn’t protect me against a bad reaction, I figure nothing could. It must’ve worked because my only reaction was the one I get with every shot: soreness around the injection point. But seriously, I just wanted an excuse to wear the bracelet and shoes. The shirt was just next in line. I’m aware the second shot is usually the one to cause problems. We’ll see how that one goes.

Anyway, all this post is really meant for is to help give people an idea of what to expect from CVS if they’re trying to get an appointment there. If you’re having doubts about the shots, you’re not alone. For all we know, they could be mass sterilizing us (I kid… kind of), but if it helps us not die from Covid, I guess that’s okay. I’m not going to judge anyone for not getting it until there’s more evidence as to its effectiveness and how long it actually lasts. But I will definitely judge you for not wearing masks. That is all.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

Abbott is an Idiot: A Rant

Hello, hello! It’s Tuesday (March 2nd) as I’m writing this and I have to say that governor Abbott is a fucking idiot who has no idea what he’s doing or he just doesn’t care what he’s doing as long as he’s doing it for the highest bidder. Personally, I think it’s both of those things, but what do I know? Sane people wouldn’t reelect corrupt imbeciles over and over again. Oh, wait. My bad. They do it all the time. Anyway, in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m feeling a little ranty at the moment. I try not to blog when I’m in this mood because there are enough angry people on the Interwebz, but I don’t currently have anything else to talk about. So, feel free to come back next week when I’m in a better mood. Or read on. Your choice.

Me reading the executive order.

In case you haven’t been following things down here in Texas, after the atrocity that was Snowvidpocalypse a couple of weeks ago and the horrible handling of that by everyone involved, governor Abbott has hit a new low. Just because we’ve been in a slight downward trend of new Covid cases (which I believe has at least stalled if it hasn’t already turned upward again), he issued an executive order lifting all of the restrictions on businesses and getting rid of the mask mandate. If you don’t believe me, you can read about it for yourself here. There’s a link to the actual order at the bottom of that page. But anyway… His reasoning? Covid numbers have dropped, the vaccine rollout is going so well, and so many Texans have been adhering to the protocols for social distancing/mask wearing/etc. And that’s just a few of the ridiculous things he says. I don’t know what the guy’s been smoking, but he should probably share it with the rest of us.

Sure, let’s say the numbers are dropping. I’m too lazy to look it up, so I’ll ignore the fact that the US has surpassed half a million deaths due to Covid and I’ll take his word for it. But the vaccine rollout going well? That’s a joke. There were 29 million people in Texas as of 2019. Apparently there have been 5.7 million shots administered in Texas. Each vaccine requires two shots (at least until J&J’s vaccine comes out). We’re no where close to vaccinating everyone. I haven’t even tried to get the vaccine myself yet, but judging by the fact that I can’t even get my 92-year-old neighbor an appointment, I don’t have high hopes for me and Dad. Is Texas doing better than some other places? Yes, but it’s not doing well enough to brag about it. And it certainly isn’t doing well enough to tell people that the worst is behind us and that we can all burn our masks (I’m being dramatic, but you know that’s exactly what a lot of people are thinking now).

Feels like a good place for a dramatic sigh.

Also, I want to know where Abbott has been going in Texas that makes him think so many people are adhering to social distancing and wearing masks properly and all that jazz. I haven’t left the house much in a year, but videos and pictures and the rare occasion I watched people from parking lots while waiting for curbside deliveries have proven that to be a lie. Most people try, but they don’t seem to realize masks go over the nose. And lately, fewer people are even trying it seems. Of course, Abbott strongly suggests keeping masks and social distancing and all that, but without repercussions, most people aren’t going to do anything that slightly inconveniences them. I feel bad for the stores who keep mask policies, because a ton more asshats are going to throw fits when they run into those kinds of places. If Abbott really encourages masks, why is he ending the mandate? Who are these expert medical people he’s supposedly listening to that say everything is fine? I don’t get it. Show me proof that this crap is a good idea?

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I think I’ll stop ranting and go eat. If you made it this far, you must really like me. As always, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages.

The Great Mask Debate

Hello, hello! How is everyone doing? Last week, I had to go to the doctor’s office because I hadn’t seen her in over a year and I needed a prescription (she doesn’t do televisits). I wore a mask that Dad had custom-made to work with my ventilator, plus I wore a face guard for extra protection. I looked pretty stupid, but that’s better than getting Covid. Anyway, as many of you know, I’m in Texas. It’s a hotbed for the virus right now, but a good chunk of people are still making a fuss about wearing masks. So, I thought I would take the time to articulate my thoughts on some of the most common arguments against masks that I hear.

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At least my Cowboy Bebop shirt is cool.

1. “Being forced to wear a mask infringes on my civil liberties!”
Two questions: a) What are “civil liberties?” and b) Exactly which liberties do masks infringe upon? Let’s start with question a. Civil liberties are individual rights that protect us from tyranny and laws that are not created for the good of the community as a whole. In other words, your civil liberties are stuff like the freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial, freedom of the press, the right to vote, etc. Mask laws are for the good of the community as a whole and don’t stop people from saying whatever they want or anything else like that. So, question b is a trick question because masks don’t affect your civil liberties at all. That argument only makes you sound like an uneducated sheep who heard someone else say it and thought it sounded legit. It’s not.

2. “Young, healthy people aren’t killed by Covid, so they don’t need to wear masks.”
First off, that information is false. Young and healthy people are dying from it too. But the biggest issue with that statement is the fact that masks are not meant to protect the wearer. They’re more effective at keeping the wearer from unknowingly spreading the disease (any similarly transmitted disease, not just Covid). Basically, it’s a matter of protecting the people around you at the expense of your own comfort.

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3. “Masks are hot and uncomfortable, so I don’t wanna wear one.”
I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way about clothes, but we still have to wear those in public. But this selfish argument stems from the fact that America is an individual-centric society instead of a community-centric one. Many of us are raised to put our own needs and desires above everyone else’s. So, the thought process of “I’ll endure some mild discomfort to protect my fellow citizens” is literally a foreign concept to many Americans. It’s not an excuse, but apparently it’s a hard habit to break. Add it to the misinformation from the above argument and the selfishness just gets worse and worse.

4. “There’s so much conflicting data.”
Is there, though? I mean, are you actually approaching this topic from a research perspective or are you just looking for “studies” that confirm your bias? Are you looking at peer-reviewed articles and studies with appropriate sample sizes? Let’s say you’re writing a research paper and you require ten sources… are you sifting through (and ignoring) hundreds of studies that don’t support your hypothesis just to find ten that vaguely support your hypothesis? Have these studies been replicated with similar findings? Or are you just spouting “data” you saw on some Joe Schmoe’s website? The data in favor of masks is pretty overwhelming if you look at legitimate studies. Stop being willfully ignorant.

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5. “Covid is a hoax and masks are the Lefties newest way of trying to control us through the government!”
I see you want to go full conspiracy theorist on me. Challenge accepted. So, the government is using masks to control you? They give you your own personal identification number at birth and track it until the day you die. They make you register every major purchase you make (homes, vehicles, etc). They allow tech companies to install bugs in our homes and vehicles to track our every movement and purchase preferences (because every smart device we own is listening to us). But, yeah. Masks are how they’re controlling us! It has nothing to do with the fact that they want to keep us divided about every little thing to distract us from how inept all of them are at actually running a country. The conspiracy theorist in me wouldn’t be surprised at all if the conflicting reports on the effectiveness of masks were all funded by the government just to sow dissent among us. But instead of erring on the side of caution and wearing your masks while you take a good hard look at how poorly the government is actually handling everything, you’d rather throw hissy fits in Costco. Congrats on being a pawn of the government! /end conspiracy theorist mode

There are other arguments I could address, but writing this post gave me a headache, so I’m going to stop and do something happy for a bit. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages. Disclaimer: arguments based around facts are completely acceptable even if they get a little heated, but if it devolves into name calling and rudeness, I will intervene.