Whaz Up!?! Monday 18 October 2021

Howdy y’all!

A lot of my thoughts and reading this week have been taken up with #COVID19 and the worldwide pandemic that is shifting to being endemic. Let me first tell the story of Cambodia and our experience with the pandemic since it is an interesting tale and speaks to the struggles we are all having with the prolonged pandemic. Then, I’ll move on to some more hopeful articles published in Medscape about the pandemic. I’ll close out with a look into the calendar past, present, and future.

#COVID19 News


Loyal readers know that a superspreading international prostitute turned herself into a superspreading #COVID outbreak last February. Here’s what happened to Cambodia in the past eight months:

  • from a few hundred infections and no deaths to 116,000 total cases and 2500 deaths today. That’s eight months. Zero to 116,000 cases in eight months. Zero to 2500 dead in eight months.
  • The Vaccination miracle: 80% of the population — the entire population over five years of age — has gotten one dose of the vaccine, and over 70% is fully vaccinated. But, in their rush to vaccinate everyone, they’ve been giving both doses of the Chinese vaccine within weeks of each other one, two, three weeks.
  • The delta variant took off last July. At one point last summer daily infection rates had fallen to a few hundred and deaths were down to just a few a day, and I thought, Cambodia just might be able to vaccinate its way out of the February outbreak. No such luck.
  • Things looked bleak. We were up to 890 daily new infections and 10 – 15 deaths a day by the end of September. Active cases were growing rapidly outpacing recoveries.
  • In one day we went from 890 new infections a day to 200, but deaths still climbing. We’re averaging 20+ a day. What the hell happened that one day in early October while we were on the beach? The government declared #COVID19 endemic and stopped testing, but no one told the virus that it should stop.
  • The vaccine should protect against transmission, severe disease, and death. In a population as vaccinated as the Cambodian population is, we shouldn’t be having a climbing death rate. We shouldn’t have had 890, either. I don’t know what hospitalization rates are like.
  • Sinovac and the other Chinese vaccinations weren’t very efficacious — and it was never entirely clear how much protection they gave, either — against the regular #COVID; I think they are less so against delta. Between the weakness of the Chinese vaccines and giving the doses too close together, we don’t have the protection that we ought to have.
  • vaccine passports are now required in Phnom Penh. You’ve got to produce your vaccine papers to enter businesses and educational facilities.

#COVID19 in the News

A couple of articles on Medscape caught my attention this week — I’m on their email list, but you’ve got to register with them to get access to their articles — and a couple of them had to do with the #COVID19 pandemic.

  • Filed under, no shit! Researchers have found that — and hold on to your asses — rates of anxiety and depression correlate with the severity of the outbreak! As the infection and death rates rose last winter, so did the rates of anxiety and depression, and they rose and fell in concert all year. Hunh, you think?
  • Filed under, That few?!? Many scientists report that they endure harassment and abuse after they speak in public about the pandemic. Scientists in the U.K., U.S., and Germany were surveyed and 22% reported threats of physical or sexual violence and 15%, death threats. I thought those numbers would be higher. But, it is bad enough that scientists are more reluctant to speak to the media and are suffering emotional distress as a result. That sucks.
  • Filed under, I’m breathing easier now. Families with only one member having immunity to #COVID19 either through vaccination or prior infection, the chances that other family members would become infected dropped by 45 to 60%, with two immune members, 75 to 86%, three, 91 to 94%, and four, 95%. In a three member family, and two immune members, the remaining member had a reduction of 80%. It tells you something about how the disease spreads, doesn’t it?
  • Filed under, that really worked?!? In trying to convince the vaccine hesitant to get vaccinated, statistics don’t work. That’s not surprising because thinking is hard, so most of us avoid it, and conservatives avoid it more than liberals (science fact). So, what does work? From the article:
    • Emphasizing the trends of more people getting vaccinated
    • Focusing on everyone’s freedom of choice
    • Listening to concerns without judgment
    • Offering credible information
    • Correcting myths when necessary
    • Helping them fit vaccination into their “world view.”

From My Lil’ Tweeter!

I may never wash my lil’ tweeter agin:

Who got the last word on Sinema's trip to Europe?
Shout out from Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors

The Calendar

Last Week in Review

Just in case you missed any of these marvelous post, we review them for you here:

  • Wednesday 13 October saw a follow up post to our depressing World Mental Health day post on Saturday 10 October in which I noted the root of our #COVID19 anti-vax issue is the GQP desire to privatize Medicare and keep the rest of our healthcare system a for-profit enterprise. To do so, they need to PROVE that Medicare doesn’t work, so underfund it, refuse to expand it, underfund rural healthcare, and hamstring the ACA, all so they can shout from the rooftops, SEE! IT DON’T WORK! PRIVATE ENTERPRISE DOES!
  • Thursday 14 October had me screw up my disciplined scheduling because I was so moved by a Medscape article that I didn’t want to wait to share it. “I Don’t See My Patients’ Race”: The Myth of the Color-Blind Psychiatrist inspired the insight of If you don’t see color, what the fuck do you see? The whole thing is just another excuse so white people don’t have to do the hard work of confronting their own implicit bias. And, it just pisses me off.
  • The week’s stats were somewhat lackluster due to the hangover from the Mike’s Blog Round Up boosts in the previous weeks, but we saw a continuation of the an odd number of views out of India and Switzerland, so there’s that. And, we’re grateful.

Next Week in Preview

We’re continuing to work on understanding the continuing frenzy of non-governance out of federal, state, and local GQP elected and appointed office holders, the impenetrable cognitive dissonance of the rank and vile, and the seeming inexplicable intransigence of Manenema, you know what I mean, don’t pretend you don’t or that it is too ugly of a thing to say about people who would condemn us to a life in an earth-bound purgatory of climate change and pseudo-democracy just so they can continue to rake in the big bucks from the fossil fuel and big pharma industries.

  • Wednesday 20 October sees another double posting — is it becoming a trend? I don’t think so.
    • First, it is our very own VP’s birthday! Help Ye Olde Blogge wish Kamala Harris a happy one on that day with our extra and extra special blog post! Hooray!
    • And second, Ye Olde Blogge publishes a post reviewing some research that suggests that (1) conspiracy theorists don’t use their critical thinking capacity as much as the rest of us do, (2) children can be taught to be more analytical thinkers, and (3) conspiratorial thinking is driven, in part, by a need to be special and unique — who’s the snowflake, now? When you add it all up, it spells a roadmap to freeing those who’ve chased the rabbit down the conspiracy hole.
  • Friday 22 October will have us publishing an as yet unwritten post reviewing the psychological needs that are being met by participating in the GQP authoritarian power grab. We’ll look at what the rank and vile of MAGA Nation are getting out of it, the backbenchers, and the leadership as well as the commonality that links all of them together. It should be a raucous informative good time.
  • The calendar continues to be anemic:
    • The week after next there are NO special dates! Help us out by suggesting some, will ya?
    • Next week has only a few of interest. After Kamala Harris’ birthday, we had to scrape the barrel to come up with World Statistics Day, celebrated only once every five years — statisticians, amirite? — and World Mole Day promoting the always aggravating Agravados Number and chemistry in general.
    • Last week gained a couple more notables for next year, though. In our wild desperate search for anything to include on the callendar, we discovered that
      • Thursday 14 October was the anniversary of Anita Bryant, infamous homophobe, taking a cream pie in the face back in 1977! We’ll be looking forward to that one next year.
      • Friday 15 October was particularly busy with these two notables joining King Sihanouk’s commemoration:
        • World Hand Washing Day given the #COVID19 situation, this one takes on new significance.
        • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day given Ye Olde Blogge’s personal experience with miscarriage and other pregnancy mishaps — it ain’t as easy as they make it look in the movies, y’all — this date has personal importance.
      • Saturday 16 October was World Food Day hopefully everyone donated to their local food banks.

And that is Whaz Up around Ye Olde Blogge for another week.


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14 replies »

  1. There’s all kinds of “conspiracies”, of breathing together; just last week I conspired with the neighbors over the potential of a wheelchair ramp along side their house and up onto the back (shared) deck. Later this week I’ll conspire with EcoMuffler to install a new cat on my pickup,; and just last night my son and I were conspiring a visit with my grand-daughter.

    On-the-other-hand, I’ve spent decades reading about The Grand Game. There are numerous examples of world-ruling conspiracies: The Church, be it catholic, christian or muslim. And though the anti-church, the Achurch, has been driven deep underground it hasn’t gone away. None of which of course mentions our corporate masters: the international bankers and insurers, the oil and drug lords, the mainstream multi-millionaire media. The Military Industrial Complex.

    Conspiracy theories are just another “football”, another circus in the bread and circuses …

    Wo! Look over there! Some dumb white-broad’s not wearing any underwear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten!

      Many scholars and other people have noted that (a) conspiracy theories have always been among us dating back centuries, (b) the actual conspiracies haven’t changed much over the centuries — certain details are updated, but the themes remain the same — and (c) the number of believers has stayed about the same. The hordes of MAGA QAnon foaming at the mouth protesters are actually only a few folks photographed in close up and the rank and vile of MAGA Nation don’t know what QAnon is or most of the conspiracies they’re espousing. They do, however, believe the Big Lie that there was a conspiracy to steal the election by some exotic unlikely impossible nefarious means and that the #COVID19 pandemic has been started and propagated by an ever shifting cable of shadowy figures with dubious ability to profit from its continuance. In essence, it is less of a conspiracy theory believing group than it is a group that’s been conned.

      And, we’re back to social media being the newest opiate of the masses. Since publishing the post in 2017, one of the most searched posts is the one I wrote up the upskirt photo of Natalie Morales. Apparently, a lot of people search for that photo and end up on my blog. I’m surprised it has become the newest Rickrolling.



      • ‘Course the problem with all of this is I do think there is a shadowy cabal of deep state operatives that really are trying to rule the world. That they may be descended of those who fell from the sky, found the daughters of men attractive and mated with them is moot in the generally accepted vernacular, non-germane to the topic at hand, is beside the point. They may be lizards. No bark off my shin.

        The Big Lie is just application of Goebbels Lie, history repeating itself to the few paying attention. And though I have issues with social media dating to my teaching days I don’t hold it the root of the problem. “Owning” the Land. The root is as it ever was in the concept of “ownership” ~ that one could “own” the Land; own things, people … that three, five perhaps ten thousand years ago the Cults of Male Domination usurped the womans’ rightful place in the proper ordering of the world and all that follows: War, politics, The Church, pornography, The Church, pornography (did I successfully connect those) … War, politics serves naught but to reinforce the domination.

        They knew it then as we know it now: it’s not sustainable, but once once you start down that path there’s no turning back. We are in the foreseen End Times because they knew it then as we know it now: these things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.

        All else is scale …

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Ten!

          Capitalism has to continue to expand sales in order to survive. You probably remember as I do the transition to the throw away society so that we can all consume more to build in that expansion. We were warned against it then. It is just as true now. We can’t expand forever. No capitalist worries about anything further away than the next sale. They don’t care about sustainability, they want that next sale. It is alike an addict jonesing after that next hit.

          I wrote about the adaptation of Hitler’s propaganda playbook by Trump Inc. about a year ago. And, the results of the implementation of it over the summer when I wrote about mass psychosis and waves of terror. There is a deliberate use of those techniques. I think Bannon is trying to orchestrate it. But, people who have similar clusters of personality traits, similar means, and similar goals often come up with similar problems solved with similar solutions which gives the facsimile of conspiracy. I do think the coordination of the Koch’s et al. through ALEC and other organizations pushes the conspiracy. At the end of the day, it is hard to say just how much of a conspiracy to undermine liberal western democracies there is out there.



  2. On the conspiracy fans and critical thinking and kids: Forming the habit of critical thinking requires both training and practice, and supportive adults valuing the results, even when those results may be uncomfortable. It is hard to teach it in schools if the parents are going to punish the kids for doing it, or go to school board meetings and threaten the teachers and administrators for teaching it (example: “CRT”).

    Liked by 1 person

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