Vaccine reluctance & General COVID Discussion

If the intent was to purposefully get people sick in Texas, I don’t know what actions our governor would take that he hasn’t already.

So maybe the intention IS to get everyone sick.

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I keep thinking that if I was a comic book villain who wanted to spread covid as part of a secret world-domination scheme, I’d bribe certain politicians to do…. exactly what they’ve been doing.

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Too unpredictable. Just have it leak from a lab :wink:

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It’s not outside the realm of possibility. I’ve seen it proposed as “the” solution long before vaccines were around. “Get everyone sick, let it kill off who it’s going to, and the “stronger” humans can resume life.” Those proposing that solution always know they’re in the stronger group, of course.

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From the TX Trib article:

Abbott’s latest order is simple, saying “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” The order preserves exceptions for places like nursing homes and state-supported living centers.

At the same time, Abbott asked lawmakers to consider legislation addressing whether state or local governments could issue vaccine mandates and, if so, which exemptions should apply.

“Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said in a statement.

Lawmakers are currently in their second special session, and time is limited to make progress on the 17-item agenda that Abbott previously announced. The House finally restored quorum last week after Democrats staged a nearly six-week protest of the GOP’s elections bill, and the current session is set to end Sept. 5.

My non-expertise legal understanding is that mandates of this sort are, indeed, the proper responsibility of the state legislature. So it appears that the governor has issued the executive order so that the lawmakers can take up the issue and resolve it one way or the other. IMO, that makes a lot of sense.

These sound a bit extreme, people.

My son’s been in Austin all summer working in public policy (an interesting time of it, too, but that’s a story for another day). Travis County’s vax rates are comparable to those in other localities he was considering for his internship, so between that fact and his decision to take care of his mandated vaccination for school early in the summer, he was not only fully vaxed when Delta hit, but we figured there wasn’t much differential risk being in TX vs. elsewhere. There are no guarantees, of course, but so far so good and he returns this weekend after staying on for an extra week due to the special sessions called by the governor. He’s also just not the type to be hanging around at crowded bars or parties on the UT campus, even though he lived in that area. Weekends were spent with friends hiking, visiting other towns, or attending a rodeo, so mostly outdoor stuff. He’s eaten way too much BBQ, visited the bats on Congress Ave Bridge a few too many times for my comfort, and - to my horror - fried himself paddle boarding on Lake Austin (he sent me pics). I guess I’m more worried about cardiovascular health, skin cancer and rabies than I am about Covid at this point.

My friends who live in Austin are horrified, I can tell you that.

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I don’t keep up on TX in general, so he’s ok with private businesses mandating masks and/or vaccines if they choose to do so? That would be a plus. I know in FL DeSantis is against that (have an Aunt who lives in FL - and an Uncle who used to - he didn’t make it).

Overall, the NYT chart as of this writing has TX as #11 in the most new cases per capita list with:

Mississippi
Florida
Louisiana
Kentucky
South Carolina
Tennessee
Georgia
Arkansas
Alaska and
Wyoming ahead of them

For hospitalized per capita they’re tied for 6th:

Florida
Alabama
Louisiana
Mississippi
Georgia
Texas
Arkansas

I see a lot of states on the list with dubious Covid control efforts.

Specifically with your son, I wouldn’t worry (vaxed, youth, health) though his chance of getting rabies from watching bats at the bridge is far lower than Covid troubles to put risks in perspective. If he were to pick up a sick/injured bat, then his odds could change I suppose. Hopefully he knows better than to do that at his age. Watching bats is fun. There are many evenings we like to sit by our barn and watch them drop out of our bat box on their way to bug patrol.

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It might totally depend on degree of perceived risk. My son doesn’t seem to be concerned much, even though I’m not sure many of his friends are vaxxed and of course the Delta variant is pretty contagious. Travis County infection rates have been declining. My county in MN is about the same population, half the number of infections, but has seen a steady increase and some days hits the same number as in Travis. And school - including our flagship - doesn’t even start for another 12 days. Our state fair starts today and there will be a bump from that. No masks or vaccines required to get in (some vendors may require masks inside their exhibits). Will we be horrified? No. But I don’t perceive my degree of risk to be that high. Our state hit the same number of average daily deaths (normalized) as did TX last December, and our vax rates are reasonably comparable to TX’s - a bit better but not by much. So I’d probably not feel any more unsafe in TX than I do in MN, but of course it would depend on my immediate surroundings in either locale.

Also, Delta has said if you get sick with Covid, you can’t use sick days to stay home

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We have bats here and see them in the evening from our deck, but nothing like what’s available in Austin, apparently. I hope he’s too smart to pick up a bat, but unfortunately they can also bite you w/o your being aware. A gentleman in MN died of rabies not too long ago because he was bitten by a bat on his front deck w/o knowing it. And occasionally we find them inside our house and then I’m worried again that someone has gotten bitten w/o realizing it. Our pets are vaxed for rabies but with humans it gets more complicated. I’ve already had the rabies vax as a toddler (the old 12-day series - memorable, to put it mildly) and so has one of my kids - both of us bitten by stray cats that were the aggressor. And we have rabid fox here too - one of which was near my kids before collapsing on the path in our yard. The number in our county is actually quite significant, per our animal control people. So I actually believe there’s a lot of rabies around here and I’m notably worried about it. It’s terminal by the time you are symptomatic. That’s why I didn’t like hearing my son’s tales of going to see the bats. I remember “Old Yeller” and the terrible fears of Hydrophobia. I believe that was in TX.

On the other hand, no one we know has gotten significantly ill or died from Covid.

Don’t forget that Texas’ Lieutenant Governor said that it was ok for old people to sacrifice themselves to save the the rest of us.
“No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” But if they had? “If that is the exchange, I’m all in”.

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Hmm, that sounds like more of a personal expression. I have the same sentiments, by the way (not quite a senior citizen but I would make those sacrifices for my children). As to whether others should or shouldn’t . . . that is their personal choice. There is a difference between “I’m older and I’d sacrifice” and “you are older so YOU should sacrifice.” I think you get that.

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Rabies vaccine for humans is available, and some professions (veterinarians, animal handlers, etc.) are more likely to get it before exposure. Vaccination and rabies immune globulin (RIG) starting within 10 days after exposure is used against rabies; those with previous vaccination need fewer doses after exposure and do not need RIG.

https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/medical_care/vaccine.html

Human rabies cases in the US are rare, according to

https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/location/usa/surveillance/human_rabies.html

His contention was that the older folks would/should make that tradeoff, not that it merely a personal expression.

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Private businesses are still banned from requiring vaccination proof from customers under the new state law, Senate Bill 968. Neither Abbott’s latest order nor the law address vaccine requirements for private business employees.

An Abbott spokesperson, Renae Eze, confirmed private businesses still have the option of mandating vaccines for their workers, saying, “Private businesses don’t need government running their business.”

Irony is dead.

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This was early in the pandemic, March 2020, when there were no vaccines and there was a very limited supply of PPE, ventilators, hospital beds, medical people. There were cases in Italy where the triage did include who was the most worthy of getting the vents. An elderly priest gave up his vent for a younger person who was more likely to survive.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to make this decision often in the US with vents. We did prioritize vaccinations, but didn’t let grandparents give their slots to relatives so his statements aren’t relevant.

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Except that he said it was for the sake of a strong economy. Texas was arguing against lockdowns and restrictions because it would hurt the economy. In his opinion, it was altruistic for the elderly to agree to put their lives at risk for the “greater good”.

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