Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A Short Note

Just to let regular readers know that I probably will not be posting much for a little while, as my time is required on a family matter (trying to get my brother into a seniors' residence).

Hope to be back soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

For Your Saturday Consideration

With apologies to anyone (well, almost anyone) who suffers from a reading disability, I enjoyed this, and hope you do too:

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Dismantling Of Democracy

I'm not writing much in the way of commentary these days, partly because other matters require my attention and partly because I feel almost anything I say may simply be stating the obvious, especially at it pertains to our benighted neighbours to the south. Nonetheless, when I see items that others might have missed, I like to post them on this blog.

The following is one such item; the story is essentially another in an ongoing series of efforts by Donald Trump and his enablers (in this case Louis DeJoy, the new Postmaster General) to disrupt and dismantle what is left of American democracy. The images are disturbing, the implications frightening.

Please start at about the 13:15 mark:

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Americans Do Love Their Snake Oil

Fortunately, people like Anderson Cooper have the real cure:

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Know Your Limits

Having worn glasses since I was nine, I learned early in life about limitations. Being myopic meant having to accept that I could never become an airline pilot, play most contact sports (not that I was ever so inclined), be a 'cool-looking' guy, etc. Nonetheless, I managed to eke out a reasonably successful life within those parameters. A mark of maturity is accepting things you cannot change.

Since the advent of Covid-19, a new and apparently widespread affliction has emerged: the 'inability' to wear a mask to mitigate the spread of the disease. This has led to an array of problems, not the least of which is the accusation that 'sufferers' don't give a damn about their fellow citizens. And no amount of effort to convince them that they will not suffocate or become ill if they wear a mask seems to help.

I therefore have a modest proposal for such people. Like I did long ago, learn to live within your limitations:

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Bottom Line

While the emphasis thus far has been on the fact that wearing a mask protects others from contracting Covid-19, new research suggests that they are also effective in protecting the wearer.

The Journal of General Internal Medicine reports that there
are two likely reasons for the effectiveness of facial masks: The first—to prevent the spread of viral particles from asymptomatic individuals to others—has received a great deal of attention. However, the second theory—that reducing the inoculum of virus to which a mask-wearer is exposed will result in milder disease [italics added]...has received less attention and is the focus of our perspective which compiles virologic, epidemiologic and ecologic evidence.

Masks, depending on the material and design, filter out a majority of viral particles, but not all. The theory that exposure to a lower inoculum or dose of any virus (whether respiratory, gastrointestinal or sexually transmitted) can make subsequent illness far less likely to be severe... has been propounded for some time. Indeed, the concept of the 50% lethal dose (LD50), the virus dose at which 50% of exposed hosts die, determined via controlled experiments in which a range of exposure doses are administered to animals to calculate a dose-mortality curve, was first described in 1938. Other studies have examined the LD50—or the dose that leads to severe disease or death—for a variety of viruses in hosts or animal models.

The bottom line: Wear a mask.

Monday, August 10, 2020

When Pathological Liars Speak

Hold them to account.