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It’s time to have honest conversations about how much we can socially distance.

Don’t throw parties. Don’t be selfish. Don’t be stupid. But be honest with yourself and everyone you know about how much social distancing you personally are prepared to follow-through with.

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The LA Times is reporting that Los Angeles County has extended their shelter in place order through July. I’m expecting Cuomo and de Blasio to keep extending NYC’s every few weeks, so it’s effectively the same thing. And I think it’s time to talk to your friends and your loved ones and your roommates about how you’re going to see each other and stay safe.

I would love to be able to say “Yeah! We can do it! Shelter in place for the good of the community!” but clearly we can’t.

We’ve seen the videos of parties and the pictures of crowded parks and everybody isn’t built the same way. Instead of sneaking off and endangering people without their knowledge or consent, we all really need to be honest with the people in our lives about how much we’re prepared to distance.

The only advice I have is to build a circle that you trust and you all agree not to venture outside of that circle. It’s definitely hard in a place like NYC where most people have roommates so your circles expand exponentially, but it’s better to know what your roommates and friends are doing so you can protect yourself and your space accordingly. I know both of my roommates each want to see one person. If I also know that that person isn’t seeing anyone else, I feel safer. If I know that that person has open communication with their roommates who are also only seeing one person (and so on down the line) I feel like the damage is as minimal as possible. If the person you want to see does not have that agreement in place with the people they live with, then that is not a person I’m comfortable with you seeing. All the way down the chain — the link should break when you run into someone who doesn’t live with people who are on the same page.

One of my dear friends has two roommates where one is behaving and one isn’t. That’s not a friend I’m comfortable seeing because I don’t know what their roommate is bringing into the house from all their excursions. Another friend has a roommate who only sees one person, and that person only sees him back and lives alone. That’s a closed circle. I feel like I could safely see that friend.

Do y’all follow me? These are the kinds of conversations that will have to be had going forward so people don’t reach their breaking point of No Human Contact and end up at a house party with 50 other people breathing on each other. Think about your friends, who is responsible, who is living with others who are responsible, and figure out how you’re going to get through the summer as safely as possible. And then potentially the fall. And maybe winter! We are going to be dealing with this until there’s a vaccine because this is what the government would have to do for us to resume our daily lives without risking thousands of casualties:

South Korea and the US reported their first coronavirus case on the same day. The population of Seoul is 9.8 million people. It’s a densely packed city with an extensive subway system. Only two people have died from COVID-19. Two. In NYC — population 8.4 million — the death toll is over 5,000. That’s why you need to have these conversations about how you’re going to stay safe and still see your friends, about how you’re going to keep everyone in your home and community safe. I don’t have any science-based wisdom to impart here, but just from a common sense standpoint:

1) Pick a friend to hang out with who lives alone so you don’t have to worry about contamination from roommates.

2) Pick a friend in walking distance. All public transit is dangerous, and getting into an Uber somebody just got out of isn’t all that safe either.

3) Take a two week break. Hang out with those people you trust for a few days, and then everybody agree to isolate themselves for two weeks, which is a few days longer than the incubation period of the virus.

4) When you leave, wear your mask at all times so you don’t potentially spread the virus to strangers. Stay six feet away from everybody you meet. Wash your hands.

Don’t throw parties. Don’t be selfish. Don’t be stupid. But be honest with yourself and everyone you know about how much social distancing you personally are prepared to follow-through with.

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99% of COVID deaths in the US are unvaccinated.

Get vaccinated.

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I’m vaccinated. I caught the coronavirus bug in March 2020 right at the beginning of the pandemic, before we really knew what was going on. I thought I had the flu until reports came down that a lack of taste and smell were associated with COVID-19. When I was able to get a test for antibodies, I had a whole gang of em (and I kept making antibodies for the next year, right through my vaccination appointment). I was pretty sick, but I was never near death. Before I got vaccinated, I personally was never all that afraid of dying, because I’d contracted COVID and kicked it just fine. I was living life with my antibodies and felt pretty safe going about my day. When I got vaccinated, it was more out of a responsibility to everyone around me — the vaccine made it less likely that I would contract COVID-19, which means I would be less likely to spread it around the community to people who weren’t vaccinated. Now that the Delta variant has become the dominant strain in the US, I’ve gone back to wearing my mask whenever I go inside a business because it’s more contagious than the original strain and people who are vaccinated are testing positive for the virus. Am I afraid of dying or getting sick? No. Am I afraid of catching it and passing it on to others? Yes.

To me, this is how you behave in a civilized society. You do things you may not need to do for yourself, but those actions would potentially benefit those around you. I’m not wearing a mask for myself. I didn’t get vaccinated for myself. I did it to keep other people from getting sick because those people may not have the relatively easy experience with COVID that I had last year, or they may be unvaccinated and more susceptible to contracting it in the first place.

That’s one reason to get your vaccine — protecting others. The other reason is the knowledge that vaccinated people aren’t dying of COVID, so if you get vaccinated and contract the coronavirus, it’s a pretty safe bet that you won’t die. Neither of those reasons make space to make fun of a vaccine that could save your life and the lives of those around you, so I don’t make space to feel bad for people who play stupid games and win stupid prizes.

Meet Stephen Harmon who thinks the vaccine is ridiculous.

He doubts the necessity of the vaccine because it’s not 100% effective. As you know, if something is not 100% effective, there is no reason to do it. You may still die if you get into a car crash wearing your seatbelt, so why wear it at all? You can still get shot in the head if you’re wearing a bulletproof vest, so why even bother?

^The math ain’t mathing, but y’all already know that. He doesn’t want a vaccine and this is the United States, not France, so we can’t make him get one.

That was July 8th. One day later we have…

…an introspective COVID journey already? Life, and Miss Rona, comes at you fast. And the hits just keep on coming.

I really want Black people to set themselves free of the chains holding us to a blind allegiance to Christianity with no critical thinking. Even if you are the most devout Christian, you can still believe that DOCTORS and SCIENCE are tools by GOD to help save you.

The miracle was the vaccine. Asking God for a miracle after you scoffed at the one he sent you is punching your ticket straight to the other side to tell him to his face why you ignored the perfectly good resources he already sent.

The critical choice was months ago when he could’ve gotten the vaccine and didn’t. Had he gotten it, he wouldn’t have been in a hospital bed giving doctors permission to intubate him. And he’d be alive right now.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. This is what happens when you don’t get vaccinated because you don’t understand science, believe you know better than the people who’ve devoted their lives to studying infections diseases, and pray to God instead of trusting the doctors God already sent. (I’m an atheist — I just grew up in the church.) I don’t care that this guy is dead any more than I care about all of the other stubbornly unvaccinated people on ventilators. I care that they have selfishly left their loved ones to deal with their totally preventable death. I care that they are walking around infecting other people before their symptoms are bad enough to send them to the hospital. But I don’t have any space to care that they got what they signed up for.

 

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CNBC: WHO urges fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks as delta Covid variant spreads

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The World Health Organization on Friday urged fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks, social distance and practice other Covid-19 pandemic safety measures as the highly contagious delta variant spreads rapidly across the globe.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that about half of adults infected in an outbreak of the delta variant in Israel were fully vaccinated with the PfizerBioNTech vaccine, prompting the government there to reimpose an indoor mask requirement and other measures.

(cont.)

Which is why I still wear a mask when I go to the store.

Am I worried about dying of COVID? No.

Do I want to avoid contracting COVID and helping to transmit it through the population to other people who might die? Yes. So I wear a mask when I go inside a business, even when they have a little sign that says I don’t have to. It’s really not that inconvenient.

 

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Health

WaPo: Coronavirus infections dropping where people are vaccinated, rising where they are not, Post analysis finds

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Today in “Duh!”…

States with higher vaccination rates now have markedly fewer coronavirus cases, as infections are dropping in places where most residents have been immunized and are rising in many places people have not, a Washington Post analysis has found.

(cont.)

Who knew having people get vaccinated against a disease would ((checks notes)) prevent people from getting that disease? What a shocking development. I wonder if they’ve studied the link between drinking water and not being thirsty anymore…

 

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