Diary Blog, 3 May 2021, including a few thoughts on vaccination

Afternoon music

Vaccination victim

Image

I suppose that some people will accuse me of being “anti-vaccination” or an “anti-vaxxer”, which is not (necessarily) the case either in general or in respect of the vaccine(s) which have been developed in respect of the “panicdemic”. I myself was, as a child, vaccinated against various diseases; I have also been vaccinated a few times since then, in respect of tropical diseases, prior to visits to places in Africa and elsewhere.

However, while historically, vaccines are said to have saved millions from terrible conditions, and even lingering or other death, the matter might not be as clear-cut as many, including I myself, have always thought:

I have seen similar graphs for half a dozen deadly diseases, all of which seem to show that the diseases in question were already very fast-declining in incidence before the vaccine in question was introduced.

There is little doubt that the improvements in public health in the 19th and 20th centuries were largely a result of improved water supply, sanitation, air quality, food quality and quantity, rather than a consequence of vaccination, though that too may have contributed in a minor way.

The girl in the picture above may be simply an unfortunate victim, a statistical anomaly. I do not know (and I concede that I cannot vouch for the veracity or accuracy of the facts asserted with that picture). It may be that people will say that her case is one in a million, or one in a hundred thousand etc. Cold comfort for the girl herself, to be regarded as simply a sad casualty of the “war against Covid-19”, or as an unfortunate guinea-pig.

Had someone such the notorious Dr. Mengele conducted a test with such a result, people would be less charitable (ironically, the girl in the picture seems herself to be Jewish). True, the girl in the picture was presumably a volunteer, but can a girl of 12 really give informed consent to be such an experimental subject?

Another graph, showing the experimental use and effect of the same vaccine given to that girl:

I do not want to be too “ideological” about this, and I concede that I am not medically-qualified. However, even the NHS doctors and nurses often so zealous about the “anti-Covid” vaccines are not, usually, specialists in vaccination, virology, epidemiology etc.

I myself have not been vaccinated against Covid-19. My choice and my risk. Were it to become a condition of using international public transport, or UK pubs, then too bad. No more travelling or pubbing for me. The pleasures of both are, in my view, over-rated anyway.

My provisional view is that the vaccination(s) are being used as a painless way for the UK government (and others?) to wind down the panicky measures introduced over a year ago. They will be able to say “thanks to vaccination, we can all return to normal”, rather than “we got it wrong”…

Tweets seen

I blogged briefly about this yesterday: the fact of “postcode selection” in State-school intake, not only in the UK but in Paris, Moscow etc.

I disagree with tweeter “@BeesterGee”. If you want reasonably stable communities, you have to create stability, via security. You cannot create a feeling of security when people fear that they may have to move within 5 years, and moreover move if others say that they must move.

Late music

17 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 3 May 2021, including a few thoughts on vaccination”

  1. Hello Ian: Very good observation regarding pubbing and travelling, particularly the former. First of all, we, Latin people (Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian) do not share the Anglo-American culture of drinking alcohol (rather immoderately) when meeting friends. The equivalent to the pub is our “cafe” or coffeeshop. Having said that, I have found, “thanks” to the lockdown, that even that, and I don’t mean the silly act of drinking coffee but the nice conversation with friends, is really overrated. I survived perfectly well without meeting any of my friends for well over 6 months.

    Travelling meant a lot to me as I am a great lover of art and architecture, but, the awful restrictions imposed by the “pandemic”, plus my pathetic income, made it impossible. However, thanks to this wonderful creation called the Internet I can visit the world’s finest museums and palaces without leaving my house, with the added bonus of not having to put up with the disgusting black and brown riff-raff that have spoiled most European and North American cities.

    In other words, I consider myself a quite happy hermit. (LOL)

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    1. Claudius:
      Most of our lives we are slaves to habit, as Ouspensky realized. When I lived in Little Venice, London, in the 1980s and early 1990s, I would almost always breakfast at Raoul’s cafe (always the same: scrambled egg, brown toast, cappuccino); also (1990s especially) would almost always lunch at Lincoln’s Inn (where I would always drink a bottle of cider), etc etc…

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      1. Thank you for that interesting observation. Speaking about cider, is it popular among the English? I always thought it to be something limited to France, Spain and, via the strong Spanish immigration, my country where cider is quite popular, although, for some strange reason is mostly drank at Christmas (?)

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      2. Claudius:
        Cider is a very traditional drink in the UK, esp. in England. In the past, duty (tax) was far higher on spirits and wine than on the drinks favoured by the less wealthy people, beer and cider. Cider in particular was very cheap, even the ciders with high alcohol. Not so much, now.

        There has been a resurgence in interest in cider in recent years, though mainly (I am guessing a bit) sweetish ones such as imports from Ireland and Sweden.

        A similar drink (which I like) is perry, aka pear cider. Good versions are made in the county of Hereford. Herefordshire and Somerset are the areas of the UK most associated with cider. Long ago, I trekked part of the Wye River trail, which between Hereford and Hay-on-Wye goes through the orchards of Bulmers, a leading cider-maker.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wye_Valley_Walk
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulmers
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Bulmer
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cider
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry
        https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/no1-english-vintage-perry-herefordshire/060843-30760-30761

        I noticed when I lived in Brittany that cider is popular there, and I think in Normandy, but maybe less so in much of France.

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  2. Claudius, Romanians are not a ‘Latin people’. They are Vlachs who like to think that they have Latin ancestry. Even so, very few speak their recently invented weird Latinate Esperanto. And another proof: One can easily mistake an Italian for a Spaniard, or a Portuguese for a Frenchman, but a Romanian for none of those.

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    1. Hello Sophie: If we are speaking about ethnicity you are right, but I was using the word Latin in its linguistic sense. According to that, the so-called Latin languages are those who derive from the old Latin spoken by the Romance, hence in Spanish (my native language) we also call them “lenguas romances” (Roman languages).

      Having said that I must say that I don’t know if Romanians share the same love for coffee as Italians, French, Spaniards and Portuguese do. Being Eastern Europeans perhaps they don’t.

      Thank you for your observation.

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  3. Dear Claudius,
    Yes: We call those ‘Romance languages’ too. But the point I am trying to make is that Romanian is not one of them. It is a recently concocted artificial language; it does not have the linguistic roots of Spanish and Italian. Neither, strictly, does French, given its strong Gallic strain — unless, of course, we listen to the Occitan of the Catalonians, which is much closer to Spanish than to French.

    Actually, I don’t know why I’m labouring this. Perhaps because my native language is Hungarian? (This is not a linguistic point; it is a political one.)

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  4. Dear Ian,

    An email arrived from Alison just now, 4 May. She wrote it on 2 May. To quote her: ‘Hopefully, by the time you get this, I will have been released.’ She explained also that ‘a manager’ told her that two managers have to sign off her release. But she does not know what sort of manager that is: one who ‘works for the prison, or the probation service, or for another organisation altogether’.

    Oh, heck! This was two days ago! What can be happening, Ian?

    Like

    1. Sophie:
      At present I have no more information than you. Alison was due to be released on electronic tag last Friday. On Thursday, I was told that the district judge/magistrate at her plea hearing for the *current* upcoming trial (1 September) had said that she “should be” released on such an electronic tag by Friday morning. That did not happen.

      I was later informed that there is some kind of tick-box that those released on electronic tag usually have to have an interview with a probation “officer” prior to release. For whatever reason, that did not happen, so Alison’s release was delayed. Stupid, but no more stupid than so much else in the UK now (from eg imprisoning a woman for a satirical song to eg importing 5 million Hong Kong Chinese).

      My understanding is that Alison would be released today or tomorrow, but that was not a definite fact, and I am occupied with other matters today. I have heard nothing so far.

      Alison’s sentence (the prison part of it) has only about 2 weeks or so left anyway. Still, I expect that she will be released on that electronic tag soon.

      ps: only prison officials (pursuant to statute or a judge’s order, can actually have a prisoner released).

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    1. Watcher:
      I had not previously heard of Freedom Alliance. I have just read the other link you sent. I can agree with much of it, as far as it goes. Of course, such a party or group will get nowhere, but I hope that it can pick up a few councillors, anyway.

      Like

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