Connect with us

Health

99% of COVID deaths in the US are unvaccinated.

Get vaccinated.

Published

on

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.

 

facebook.com/SoLetsTalkAbout/
twitter.com/RafiDAngelo
Email: rafi@soletstalkabout.com
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo
paypal.me/soletstalkabout

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Health

We have to protect each other from COVID.

It’s not an Us vs Them, and if you know better, you should do better, regardless of what the next person is doing.

Published

on

The White House just told Republicans to go die in a frosty ditch and y’all know my spirit leapt in agreeance!

(cont. White House)

However. We are where we are because the virus was politicized right out the gate, people refused to take it seriously, and Americans in general are uninterested in taking steps to protect each other if the cost is any small inconvenience to personal impulse. People who *are* vaccinated don’t want to wear masks, even though masks are the #1 way to prevent the spread of COVID. People who *are* vaccinated don’t want to put a pause on going to the movies or the bar or large gatherings while we have a much more transmissible strain making its way through the population.

The unvaccinated are going to remain unvaccinated. No amount of fear-mongering or finger-wagging or liberal-shaming will make them change their minds. So! The answer isn’t to posit the vaccinated as the occupiers of the moral high ground while the rest suffer and die. They die *in* hospitals — and now your dad can’t get treated for a heart attack because the beds are full of COVID patients.

Wear your mask (properly! it’s been two years y’all!), get tested before and after these gatherings that you have decided you can’t stay away from, and reevaluate risk. No, you’re probably not going to die if you pick up COVID, but think about who might die further down the line because you decided you didn’t need to wear a mask at the movie you had to go see.

 

facebook.com/SoLetsTalkAbout/
twitter.com/RafiDAngelo
Email: rafi@soletstalkabout.com
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo
paypal.me/soletstalkabout

Continue Reading

Health

Test your drugs for fentanyl.

The illegal drug supply is becoming less reliable and more contaminated.

Published

on

When I was in college hanging out in dive bars and chugging PBR while a steady stream of local bands competed to be the next Interpol, cocaine was everywhere. If you had told 7-year-old me in DARE how much recreational coke I would do before I turned 25, I would have been horrified. When I moved to NYC, it was easier to find a bump than a cigarette. In Williamsburg on somebody’s rooftop pregaming before a night out. On New Year’s Eve with some finance bro at a swanky hotel party. In the East Village listening to a band play. In Hell’s Kitchen on the dancefloor where no one has yet offered you coke, but your lips are tingly after making out with a stranger, so you ask and receive. In all of my years partying until the sun came up, I never once bought cocaine. I simply trusted the coke of whoever was offering, because they’re obviously not dead, so it must be fine.

I would never accept coke from a stranger now. And I wouldn’t even do coke I’d bought myself without testing it for fentanyl first.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid created in the 1960s that is used in hospital and medical settings primarily for anesthesia because it works fast and it only takes a little. Outside of those environments, fentanyl is prescribed for severe pain as a last resort measure. You climb the mountain of painkillers, and if none of them work, you finally hit fentanyl at the top. It’s 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin, and for many people, it’s the only drug that keeps them from committing suicide. This summer I was listening to Very Uplifting Podcasts about Enron and global warming and addiction, and Painkiller produced by Vice has a lot of interview subjects discussing their experience with Fentanyl. There’s a wide spectrum of the population, from fentanyl dealers to loved ones of overdose victims to addicts to patients who have been prescribed fentanyl for extreme pain. Listening to people who have struggled with chronic pain reach the end of their rope on the brink of suicide only to be pulled back after a fentanyl prescription is very enlightening for those of us who only hear the drug in association with illegal usage and overdoses. Those overdoses have now made it more difficult for legal users to obtain the drug, since the government is cracking down and making it harder for medical care providers to write new prescriptions. These people who wanted to die before fentanyl then realized they could live with fentanyl now want to die again.

So why are so many people suddenly overdosing on fentanyl? Well, the most basic answer is potency. Look at a lethal dosage of heroin next to fentanyl (next to carfentanil, another synthetic opioid on deck to become a widespread problem).

Buzzfeed has an in-depth article about the rise of illegal fentanyl usage in the United States, and I’ve read various works about where it comes from and who makes it and how addictive it is, but there isn’t enough focus on accidental contamination.

If I’m a heroin dealer and I want to make more money, I may mix a little heroin with quinine and milk sugar. I just stretched my heroin supply, but I also made a crap product. My users won’t get high the way they used to and they won’t buy from me anymore…unless I cut it with a little fentanyl. They’ll get the high they expect (or better!) and I increased my profit margin. They may become hooked on fentanyl and I don’t have to sell them heroin at all. That’s intentional. A heroin user who tries fentanyl is less likely to overdose than someone who has no experience with opioids.

If I’m a cocaine dealer, there is no reason for me to intentionally cut my product with fentanyl. The highs are different, so I’m not using it to recreate the feeling of a product I’ve watered down with junk for a higher profit margin. I’m likely to kill my customers, which is terrible for business. If there is fentanyl in the cocaine that I’m selling, it’s because it accidentally got there through cross-contamination. (There are cocaine users who intentionally lace with fentanyl, similar to a cocaine-heroin speedball, but that kind of overdose is what we typically think of when someone overdoses on a drug — they meant to use it, they just used too much.)

For some reason, people are very protective over their drug dealers. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard friends and acquaintances say “Oh my guy gets the best stuff…” or “Oh I buy from him all the time, I know it’s good…” We love brand loyalty in this country. I use Tide on my clothes mostly because my mama used Tide, so that’s just the laundry detergent I know. If you buy cocaine from the same guy all the time, I love that for y’all’s relationship. However, your dealer is the last person in a chain of people that stretches to South America.

Unless your dealer physically picked the coca leaves and performed the multi-cycle processes of dissolving and extracting with lime water, kerosene, and sulfuric acid in big metal drums, he is not 100% certain what’s in it. And making cocaine in the jungle is not an FDA approved process where people are wearing gloves and wiping tables and cleaning out containers. Fentanyl has exploded onto the market over the past five years and every supplier wants a piece. If your dealer gets your cocaine from a place that is now making fentanyl, he doesn’t know if the cocaine and fentanyl were packaged on the same table. He doesn’t know if bags were reused. You don’t know either until you get the first baggie of contaminated coke and your next line is your last.

If you take away nothing else about fentanyl take away this: You do not know if your regular supply will contaminated. You do not know if the bump you take in a bar from a friendly stranger is contaminated.

Cocaine has been my example because that was my party drug of choice, but recreational users across the board are dying from fentanyl. Snapchat is currently running from litigation because teenagers keep buying pills (typically Oxy) on their platform, and they’re dying from fentanyl.

Nobody stops doing party drugs because of something they read on the internet, but you can try to be safer and encourage those around you to be safer as well. If you are a regular partier, test your drugs with fentanyl strips. If you are regularly around people who party, learn how to use naloxone and carry it with you to stop an overdose and save a life.

There are many places to get both for free and the most popular in NY (or at least the one that I see the most) is endoverdose.net. You register, fill out an anonymous survey, and order what you need.

I don’t have anything to say about the War on Drugs. Addiction is complicated and should be treated as a public health crisis instead of crime and punishment. If we lived in a society that made space to talk about drug addictions openly and rationally, we would be able to talk about recreational drug usage. DARE would have us believe that every line of coke is another cobblestone on the road to destruction and embarrassing your family, but we know better. Illegal drugs exist right alongside alcohol and the fact that we can’t talk about it means we can’t regulate it. Lack of regulation means opportunity for intentional malfeasance and unintentional contamination. The only solution to accidental fentanyl overdoses that the law and the government will suggest is to simply Stop Doing Drugs. Humans have been doing drugs for all of recorded history, so take care of each other and use your best judgement. There is no reason to accidentally die from something you could easily test for free.

 

facebook.com/SoLetsTalkAbout/
twitter.com/RafiDAngelo
Email: rafi@soletstalkabout.com
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo
paypal.me/soletstalkabout

Continue Reading

Health

Does being “pro-mask” mean you have to wear one 100% of the time?

We have to change how we think about interaction and exposure.

Published

on

Yesterday, I posted this handy little reminder on social media, because some of us are tired of wearing masks and it’s important to remember why we’re doing it in the first place.

A mask is to protect others, and we should still be striving to protect each other.

Someone called me a hypocrite because I’m very pro-mask even when vaccinated, and yet I go to bars and restaurants where you don’t need a mask if you show your vaccine information.

So let me clarify!

I wear a mask on the subway, in grocery stores, picking up food at the deli, at the post office, in the gym etc.

I don’t wear a mask when I’m socializing in a bar or a restaurant. And that’s because I feel like those are two different social contracts.

I wear a mask so that if I have a breakthrough asymptomatic case of COVID, I’m not spreading it to other people who did not sign up for the risk. The post office, the subway, the grocery store — these are essential services that everyone has to participate in, vaxxed or not. I don’t know who around me on the subway is immunocompromised or can’t get the vaccine or lives with someone who can’t get vaxxed, etc. They are just trying to go about their day and I’m trying to do my part.

In a bar, everybody assumes the same risk. You know someone COULD have COVID, even though everyone is vaxxed, but that’s the contract you all signed to socialize. If some of those people get grandma sick, that’s their irresponsible action, not mine. I am not at risk of transmitting COVID to anyone because I wear a mask when I’m around people outside of the social contract, and nobody that I’m maskless around is vulnerable. If *you* live with Grandma then *you* should not be in a bar.

This is how I feel about COVID: it’s here forever. There is no point when we go back to pre-COVID where it is “safe” to go to a bar or restaurant. We have to change how we think about interaction and exposure. Social settings are consensual exposure. Everyone there signed up for the same risks. Essential services are nonconsensual exposure. Everyone *has* to participate in them, so we collectively do what we can to minimize risk and protect each other.

I don’t think that’s hypocritical.

 

facebook.com/SoLetsTalkAbout/
twitter.com/RafiDAngelo
Email: rafi@soletstalkabout.com
Venmo: Rafi-DAngelo
CashApp: $RafiDAngelo
paypal.me/soletstalkabout

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: