Preferential Treatment. Again.

shh

As many of you know, I live in Oregon. I mention this because I don’t know how other states are handling reports of the Corona-19 virus cases — so what I’m about to report could very well be commonplace.

An article in the local newspaper related to the virus indicates that the “public health network” is following several current church outbreaks. It goes on to say that at one church, more than 15 people have been infected and “secondary cases from that outbreak have been found at several local businesses, health care facilities and schools.”

Sidenote: Definition of secondary in this instance would be “depending on or incidental to what is original or primary.”

The article further states that the county will not publish the names of the churches with outbreaks.” 

Yet in all other instances, the names of the workplaces, nursing homes, and schools experiencing outbreaks have been provided! According to the article, this non-disclosure of religious entities is a ruling by the Oregon Health Authority.

Need I point out this is just ONE MORE incident where “religion” has received preferential treatment?

The First Amendment to the Constitution (just like the Second Amendment) is repeatedly used to support fallacious ideals. Contrary to what many claim, the Amendment was never meant to be the Defining Principle for U.S. citizens. Its primary goal was/is to allow people the freedom to worship. Period. It was NOT to allow preferential treatment to individuals just because they claim some religious identity!

Yet again and again this tends to be the standard course of action. 

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(BTW, it’s probably best that you don’t share this post because it addresses religion and may fall under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy established by some overzealous bureaucratic entity!)  *Snark!*

A Quora Response Re: Covid-19

This post is primarily for those who are convinced that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu … and only affects “old people.”

Is the coronavirus more dangerous than the flu? 

(The following response was submitted by Caroline Sim on January 25, 2021.)

I am currently recovering from Covid-19. My partner and I caught it at the same time, despite both of us working from home, rarely going out, and always wearing masks when we did. His symptoms were very mild and cleared up quickly, while mine, according to the physician who was treating me, were “classic.” Except that instead of lasting 2 weeks, my symptoms lasted 2 months (and counting).

Most people are aware of the relatively high death rates from Covid-19. And many have heard about the “long Covid” sufferers, who continue to be sick or have permanent tissue damage, as well as those who’ve experienced “cytokine storms” and other auto-immune responses. But very few understand how truly harrowing “normal” Covid can be. I had only the tiniest inkling myself, and was not at all prepared for what came my way. I’d assumed anyone talking about horrific symptoms were “acute” cases. But no.

Covid-19 has been orders of magnitude worse than any illness I’ve ever experienced, and that includes treatment for cancer. On my worst day, I could not lift my head or speak above a whisper. My partner was on the phone with my doctor that day, while I gave a thumbs up or down in response to his questions. We all wondered if maybe I should be in hospital, but in fact my fever was moderating and my wheezing was under control. I was actually better when it came to my breathing issues. But the breathing was not the worst part of it.

For me, and for many, the most challenging part of “classic” Covid is the deep, debilitating fatigue that accompanies it. And unless you’ve experienced it, it’s just not possible to comprehend it. Especially if you’re someone who naturally has high energy. Sometimes it was more than I could do to open my eyes, which became extraordinarily light sensitive, so I would just lie there in the dark, wondering when it would finally get better.

It took 2 months, but I’ve improved significantly. The deep fatigue is gone, and my fever finally broke after week 6. I’m still using a puffer, to help with breathing, and I still have to moderate how much I do, not just physical labour but “cognitive labour” too. I still can’t walk outside, when it’s cold, without wheezing and coughing uncontrollably, and I’m still taking painkillers. But all that is so much better than how I’ve been feeling that I hardly notice it. It’s such a relief to feel human again.

Is Covid-19 worse than seasonal flu? Yes, significantly worse. The mortality rates are frightening in and of themselves, but the severity and persistence of the fatigue, and the unpredictability of symptoms you might get (Covid toe, shaky hands, loss of smell, but also loss of hearing and sight, all kinds of bizarre psychological and neurological problems), and how long you might be sick, all add a harrowing layer of surreal unpredictability.

Think of it this way. Much like in gambling, you just don’t know what cards you’ll be dealt. Many of the cards are pretty much “get out of jail free”, basically a few sniffles and you’re done. But other cards, out of nowhere, are harsh beyond comprehension for something that we call a “cold”.

Anyway, in a nutshell: Covid is freaking scary, and the worst part, aside from the possibility of dying, is not knowing if you’ll experience a very mild version of it, or if you’ll be one of the people who might end up with chronic fatigue and permanent damage, to lungs or other organs. That’s not a bet anyone should be indifferent to. Covid is no joke.

This Is Real Life

I belong to a neighborhood “chat” group and today one of the members shared that two of his best friends — a former president (1986-2000) of the local community college and his wife — had both been admitted to the ER on Tuesday (12/8) with COVID-19.

A little over a week later (12/18), the couple’s son was also admitted to the hospital suffering from pneumonia and COVID-19 symptoms.

Later that day, the mother passed–dying alone because both son and husband were confined to their own hospital beds.

The father is now fighting for his own life and the son is being treated in hopes his condition doesn’t worsen. Neither can visit the other.

The writer made the comment how this event has put things into sharp perspective for him. When the virus hits this close to home, you suddenly recognize the very real danger it carries. He added that although he had planned to be with his sons over the holiday, he now felt it would be better for all to celebrate from a distance.

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Another COVID-19 case was included in our local newspaper. A woman who lives in a small Oregon community (2000 +/-) was not all that concerned about the virus. She did take some precautions (wearing a mask in public), but overall, lived life as usual — as did most others in the area.

In early November, she drove about 75 miles to visit her son (who has cystic fibrosis) and daughter-in-law. They all went shopping, had lunch, and just hung out at the house. Later in the evening as they were having dinner, the daughter-in-law got a call that her parents has gone to urgent care with flu-like symptoms … and it turned out to be COVID-19.

Just days before, the parents had driven to Idaho to pick up the girl’s grandparents, who had been there visiting a sick relative. I’m sure you can guess what comes next. The sick relative had COVID-19.

Now reality sets in. 

Without sharing a number of details, suffice it to say the woman, the son, and the daughter-in-law all ended up testing positive for the virus. The woman had the worst case with what she described as a severe head cold and breathing problems, but all the family members suffered the common symptoms. Fortunately, no one was hospitalized.

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What each of us needs to keep in mind is this virus is insidious. It can move undetected and be spread by people with no symptoms at all.

Once it manifests, it can make you feverish, tired, nauseous, out of breath, and may be accompanied by excessive coughing. Just a bad cold, you say? Perhaps. But that “bad cold” can land you in the hospital.

And it can kill you.

Along with the ones you love.

COVID-19 is Deadly Serious.

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Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Hypocrisy

As a quick follow-up to my last post …

Scottie (@ Scottie’s Toy Box) in a recent comment compared church attendance to abortion – and wow! Did his remark ever hit home!

Christians will argue and stomp their feet and carry signs and march and threaten pregnant women at Planned Parenthood because they believe abortion is KILLING a human being.

BUT … they will gather in churches in large numbers to sing and worship their god … along with hugging their “brothers and sisters in the Lord.” While some may be wearing a mask, there are many who aren’t simply because they support a president who denies the seriousness of the current pandemic.  AND who they believe is “god-anointed.”

In other words, they seem to think it’s OK to threaten the lives of human beings who, by all acceptable standards, are moving and alive with functioning brains — yet they throw a hissy fit if a woman chooses to have an abortion.

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in action?

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PLEASE NOTE: This post is NOT meant as a take-off point for abortion arguments, so please refrain from any comments/arguments related to same. I have a post waiting in the wings that I will publish one of these days on the topic — and once I do, the floor will be open. If anyone chooses to ignore this request, I will be forced to remove your remarks. Thanks for your cooperation!

Five to Four


As many of you have probably heard or read by now, the U.S. Supreme Court just gave Religion a vote of confidence. Of course, for many of us, this comes as no surprise since we knew Ms. Amy Coney Barrett was going to be an influencing factor in church/state decisions.

However, what was surprising – and gratifying – is that Chief Justice John Roberts took a much more egalitarian approach to the issue. A good sign, hopefully, of things to come … although we should never get too confident.

The entire matter is addressed in this article.

Beyond the fact the decision favored the churches in this case, I found the overall reasoning lacking in so many ways. It was Justice Neil Gorsuch’s comments, in particular, that really stood out to me.

He noted that other businesses, such as bicycle repair shops, did not have similar restrictions and went on to say:  … “according to the Governor [of New York], it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine or shop for a new bike.”

Does anyone else see the fallacy in this reasoning? How many people does it take to pick up a bottle of wine … or shop for a new bike? How many people might be in one of these businesses at any given time? 3? 4? Especially during the pandemic shutdown. From my perspective, it’s hard to imagine a liquor store or a bike shop ever having 25+ people on the premises at any one time – which is the lower end of the restricted number for church gatherings.

And this comment by the Rabbi involved in the case is also mind-boggling: “This landmark decision will ensure that religious practices and religious institutions will be protected from government edicts that do not treat religion with the respect demanded by the Constitution.”

DEMANDED BY THE CONSTITUTION??!!?

Finally, IMO, this remark by Chief Justice Roberts summed things up — and should have been the most compelling of all:

It is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic.”

Yet five justices of the Supreme Court did just that.