Aisle Of Wit

Read More Articles

Moving Closer To Free-dom

I was under the weather when I woke up yesterday; I hand’t been able to hold down any food or water the night before.  As a result of the gastric bypass I had two decades ago, plus subsequent surgeries since, I occasionally can develop these issues if a small piece of food gets trapped in my rewired intenstinal tract.  I have lived with my body in its worst times and now in better ones, and I know myself way better than most doctors can.   I strongly believed all I needed was a quick endoscopy, a procedure I’ve had previously, and I’d be more than fine.

But because of the times we live in, and the fear-mongering that at times even gets to me, yes, I was concerned that maybe, ironically, as I approach my birthday weekend, maybe finally COVID got me?  A few of my symptoms matched those from the CDC website.  And wouldn’t it have been just my damn luck if fate chose to give me that for my birthday present–double vaxxed, double boosted be damned?

So yep, yours truly shoved the damn swab up his nose, collected the fluid, stirred it around in the tube, and waited just like some women have to find out if they were pregnant.  It was the longest 15 minutes of my year.

But during my wait, the news of the revised CDC guidelines came through on my phone, and its details actually were in line with what has been my line of thinking for far too long–vaccines are essential, while social distancing and restrictive isolation are arbitrary, knee-jerk reactions that got instituted for reasons that may seem obvious–avoid the chance for close contact, you can’t transmit microscopic drops, thank you, Captain Obvious–but have truly never been proven conclusively to be a way to avoid infection.  Were that the case, this virus would have been extinct two years ago.   As numerous sites reported yesterday morning:

The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” Greta Massetti, who leads the Field Epidemiology and Prevention Branch at the CDC, said Thursday.

“High levels of population immunity due to vaccination and previous infection and the many available tools to protect the general population, and protect people at higher risk, allow us to focus on protecting people from serious illness from Covid-19.”

The new CDC guidelines say contact tracing, another hallmark during the pandemic, should be limited to hospitals and certain high-risk group-living situations such as nursing homes, and the guidelines de-emphasize the use of regular testing to screen for Covid-19, except in certain high-risk settings like nursing homes and prisons.

Well, in spite of the fervent wish of a certain person once close to me, I have no intention of spending any quality time around a prison in the foreseeable future.

I detest the fact that whenever my views became known, I’d get ridiculed, rejected, ghosted and even shamed by people who think they have my best interests at hand and think my view that trusting science blindly if the scientists themseles can’t be fully trusted is, frankly, ovine behavior.  Here’s what I do–directly from the mouths of actual people who work in actual health clinics.

Every patient who is logged into hospitals with symptoms of COVID-19 means financial reward for the hospital.  There is economic incentive for them to include COVID in the numbers reported to county health officials.

Every dose of a vaccine that a site administers nets a profit in the range of $20 per for the pharma companies who have sold them.  So somehow, I’ve been personally responsible for around $80 in profit for someone–which is more than twice the money I’ve made this week.

The fifteen minutes finally ended, I went back into the other room (I couldn’t bear to have the test kit in my line of sight) and, thankfully, no “t” line showed up.  I wasn’t preggers, nor was I infected.

And as it turns out, I was incorrect in my self-diagnosis as well.  When I chose to walk the three miles to the clinic rather than drive, I dislodged enough of the material in my tract that one test swig of water was all it took for my intestines to open up–quite literally–and allow my body to dump the traces of the toxic particules into a waiting toilet.  Thankfully, there was a LOT of Lysol on hand.

See, I’m just as fallible as the CDC has been.  I just was able to admit it a lot faster that they have been.

Cynics have already come out and chastised the agency for the timing of this revised policy as being in line with the start of the new school year, and the reality that these new rules will materially impact schools’ abilities to stay open and optimize enrollment at a time they are facing an existential crisis.  Those that called out the CDC for taking risks said they are essentially priortizing business over safety.  Yet the majority of those who are doing the complaining just happen to be workers in the same kinds of clinics that my friends’ friends who admitted the truth of the financial incentives they receive.  So perhaps they might be the ones prioritizing business, over common sense in this case?

The prevailing wisdom of the moment is that we are in an endemic, not a pandemic, and we simply have to move on with our lives.  If there’s an actual infection, deal with it.  If there’s actual close contact with someone who is proven to be infected, deal with it.  If and when that happens, I’ll do my part.  But it hasn’t happened to me yet.  And trust me, I’ve put myself in a heckuva lot more potential situations than most of my friends have over the last 29 months.  And I’m about to again.

I sure hope that yesterday’s news at least will impact some of them enough to stop friggin’ worrying about nothing, get them out and about and personally interact with me in the flesh.  And I’m gonna ask for a handshake and hopefully even a hug–offering me your elbow is, honestly, so 2020.

We’re getting closer.  In many ways.  I pray that continues.

Until next time…