Vaccine reluctance & General COVID Discussion

I don’t know if even personal experience will make a lot of difference. I have a Facebook friend whose unvaccinated, schizophrenic son got COVID. After advanced age, schizophrenia is THE biggest risk factor for death from COVID - researchers aren’t sure why, but it’s been confirmed repeatedly. The young man was hospitalized for days and sent home with a BiPap machine - that’s what my dad was on, and it’s a big deal. To my surprise, my friend is STILL anti-vax. She said her son had so many health issues that it was the right decision not to subject him to the vaccine. ?!?!? I just don’t get it. I’ve tried reasoning with her without success. She is still actively posting on Facebook against vaccinations.

I don’t know if you read my link to the New York Times Magazine article about smell, but one of the interesting things they said was that one of things that often happens with the onset of schizophrenia is the loss of smell. So maybe there is something wrong with the immune system with schizophrenia that causes bad reactions to Covid.


My D is currently taking the rabies post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) shots. She was walking on the sidewalk in our suburban neighborhood and out of the blue she felt something fly into her face. She stopped and looked around to see what it was, and it was a bat that was now grounded on the sidewalk. She came home, washed her face (didn’t see a bite or scratch, but with teen acne there certainly were breaks in the skin, and any possible animal saliva contact with broken skin/mucus membranes is exposure) and took a shower, and told us what happened. We went looking to see if the bat was still there and found it within 50 ft of the incident. She had taken a photo of it on her phone when it happened and the map made it easy to locate. We searched around to see if there could’ve been more than the one downed bat, and that was the only one. We trapped it under a bucket and notified animal control who came out the next morning to retrieve it. We learned that once bats are on the ground, they cannot launch themselves into flight, their anatomy doesn’t allow for it. So just finding a bat on the ground isn’t necessarily a sign of illness. In this case a bat flying into a person is probably a more concerning symptom since bats have such exquisite echolocation.

We spoke with her doctor’s office the next morning and were told if there wasn’t a bite to not worry about it. :unamused: We spoke with public health who advised to wait and see if the bat tested positive; it would take 3-4 days for results. We checked with our insurance company’s teledoc service and that doc also said to wait for the test results. That’s three professionals who said to wait. So we did.

The strange thing is that if we hadn’t trapped the bat, the advice would have been to start PEP right away. The thinking goes that if the bat was negative, then she wouldn’t need to do PEP at all. With the caveat that since a couple hours had passed between the incident and us trapping the bat, we couldn’t be 100% sure it was the same bat even though it almost certainly was the same one.

The bat tested POSITIVE.

And now we had delayed treatment by days. Rabies virus travels along nerves to the brain and once it’s there, game over. The distance between nerves in the head and the brain is short. It’s not like being bit on a hand or other extremity. I wish the professionals had told us to pursue PEP immediately, I feel like we were penalized for having trapped the bat. I feel fairly confident that she will be fine, but I would feel more certain about that if we had started treatment right away. And what’s so bad about being vaccinated against rabies anyway? I was vaccinated years ago for work, it was no big deal. Even H is thinking about it now, not that he has any known risk exposure but then again, neither did D. Until a rabid bat in our neighborhood flew into her face.

It was the rabies immune globulin injections that were more uncomfortable for D, just because it was 2cc (of the more concentrated IgG, if it had been the less concentrated IgG it would have been 4cc) into each leg. The 1cc rabies vaccine causes a bit of local soreness but that’s been it so far.

A win in the courts! I hope it stands. Time will tell.


Wishing your D well. I too am surprised they said to wait because it sounded like classic bat rabies to me. Bats avoid people when they’re well. They don’t when their brain isn’t working properly - just like other wild critters.

I’ve heard one can delay the treatment and be fine so the doctors probably know what they are doing, but like you, I wouldn’t have wanted to wait considering the specific circumstance of what happened.

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I think that Biden and advisors knew the moratorium wouldn’t survive judicial scrutiny but did it as a sop to the progressive wing of the party. They can say, “I tried. I can’t help it if the evil Supremes won’t let us extend the eviction moratorium without Congress.”

Similarly, I think a number of governors’ executive orders to restrict vaccine and mask mandates are playing to the anti-vax wing of their party. Today,

But, the governor can say, “I tried. The evil court blocked me.”

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THIS is what happens when hospitals are overrun and operating at or over capacity. This makes me physically ill. This is a routine operation with almost 100% success rates. But this young man DIED because of no ICU beds in a HUGE metropolitan area where you can’t swing a cat without hitting a hospital.

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That is seriously one of the saddest stories I’ve seen TBH. I really feel for his family and definitely think they should save some ICU beds for these types of things instead of filling them up with unvaxed Covid patients who could have gotten the vax.

“They weren’t able to do the procedure on him because it had been too long,” his mother told Begnaud. “They] told me that they had seen air pockets in his intestines, which means that they were already starting to die off. They told me that I had to make a decision, and I knew how Danny felt; he didn’t want to be that way. And, so, we were all in agreement that we had to let him go.”

Roughly 24 hours after he walked into the emergency room, Daniel Wilkinson died at the age of 46.

Kakli told Begnaud that if it weren’t for the COVID crisis, the procedure for Wilkinson would have taken 30 minutes, and he’d have been back out the door.

“I’ve never lost a patient from this diagnosis, ever,” Kakli said. "We know what needs to be done and we know how to treat it, and we get them to where they need to go. I’m scared that the next patient that I see is someone that I can’t get to where they need to get to go.

Agree 100% that hospitals should reserve some capacity for non-covid cases. By default the current system puts unvaxxed covid patients above all others, simply because they’re the ones filling up the hospitals every single day.


My D and SIL (and at least some of their friends) in the twin cities are steering clear of the state fair because of the no vaccine/no mask policy. I am willing to bet others are too.

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LOL - time flies. I recall hearing about this rabies case when it happened but for the life of me couldn’t remember when but it seemed just a few years ago! UCB brought up the same point. I think this underscores how rare rabies is, and the article certainly affirms that with the additional information. I acknowledge that this is 100% based on personal experience with not a small amount of irrational thought process mixed in. It won’t change my amount of worry should the same happen again, though.

I follow the numbers on Covid pretty closely and I do believe there are revealed differences in those Covid lottery odds, depending on age, underlying health, racial and ethnic demographic and so forth. We can’t depend on sensationalist news stories about the young dad or the healthy mom who died of Covid because in a pandemic that’s inevitable - and the news people are sure to track those stories down. It’s really about the numbers overall (even with Delta). I’m not young, nor at the healthiest weight, and I have cardiac arrhythmia (fortunately the arrhythmia is not chronic; unfortunately the weight and age issues are). When I look at underlying contributors to death from Covid for my age group, both obesity and arrhythmia are factors, but not major ones. Hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases are the big ones. I’m very, very lucky to have none of those, nor do most of them run in my birth family (hypertension does but is successfully controlled by medication). Of course, there are those who have no underlying co-morbidities and still die from Covid. DIC might be a factor. Or perhaps there are no obvious factors. Nothing’s set in stone. But - by seemingly complete chance - my overall state of health is associated with better outcomes for my age. however, my age itself is not a low-risk category; and as we know, the lottery odds vary by age, even aside from underlying disease (which might also increase with age). So getting vaxed was a smart idea for me which is why I did earlier this year, once it was my turn. But I think I’d feel a lot more unnerved day-to-day if I found myself or my birth family to be in a different place vis-a-vis those health numbers. Even with the vaccine.

I suppose I could get the rabies vax in order to feel “completely” safe from our friendly neighborhood bats, but I doubt I’m an appropriate candidate for that. Our pets have always been vaxed except for one cat who was 100% indoors at all times. Of course that was the same cat who cornered a bat in our house . . .

Completely agree that experience forms a lot of our feelings of confidence or unease and probably contributes notably to our decision making. As it should. General odds aren’t the same thing as personal odds. Based on family experience, we can probably say that some families are more at risk of certain diseases than my family is, and vice versa for other diseases. Right now, my biggest problem isn’t Covid (IMO) - it’s that my elective procedure to correct my heart arrhythmia keeps getting put off due to lack of hospital beds. Two years ago my Doc advised me that this was an inevitable procedure so the sooner the better. I should have listened! However, I’m willing to wait till it’s my turn. Others have more critical healthcare needs than I do right now.

That is crazy. As it happens, when I opened a door apparently I knocked a bat who’d been sleeping there to the ground. It brushed against me, but I was pretty sure I got neither scratched nor bitten. I thought it was a dead mouse, because that’s what usually greets us at the camp, and I didn’t see wings, but I thought it was an odd color for a mouse. In any event I got a paper towel to toss it into the woods and when I tossed it flew off. I’m still here.

My son got a rabies vaccine when he went to Jordan for his junior year abroad. The main reason was that if you do get bitten you have a bigger window to get yourself to the doctor for treatment.

But the rabies story was ok?

To me, we learn from the occasional rabies stories and act accordingly if in a similar situation. Get treated if there’s exposure. Don’t pick up distressed wild animals. There’s absolutely nothing one can do for a rabid animal except kill them quickly to be kind to them. Their minds aren’t thinking. A hug or caress won’t help.

In a similar manner, to me we should learn from the multiple young dad or healthy mom who dies of Covid (or other bad outcomes) stories and realize any one of us can be that person. We don’t know ahead of time. There are vaccines that give us far better odds. Get one. (I know you and your son have - I’m speaking in general.)

Other things I put into the same category are using seatbelts, not drinking and driving (or any other mind altering substance), and not using cell phones while driving. I’m sure there are more. Those are just on the top of my head.

We Creeklanders are adventurous doing quite a few things others consider too risky. Going around unvaccinated is not one of them. As medical Creeklander said, “I wish all those who choose not to get vaxed could work a week on a Covid hall.” They aren’t all old people there.


Has anyone read any articles about why the government isn’t mandating vaccinations for all domestic air travel? We’ve had to cancel a visit from my dad because we don’t feel air travel possible shoulder to shoulder with the unvaccinated would be safe for him at his age.

The employees of some airlines must be vaccinated. Why doesn’t the administration, the FAA, the CDC, say that you must show proof of vaccine before flying. Period. I don’t understand the reluctance to do this.


@TatinG - we have been wondering the same thing.

Oh I’m so sorry this happened to your family and wish the best for your D. She will more than likely be fine but I share your worry and feel a bit triggered just reading about it.

We couldn’t catch the cat that bit my D (although it re-appeared a day or so later and bit another child) and our pediatrician said don’t wait - get to Children’s immediately for the vaccine series. It was many hours in ER that first visit. Then I found out that of course we had to come back to the same hospital for the rest of the series. Had I known that we would have gone to our community hospital up the street! Children’s is not close to home or school. And I had two other very young children at the time.

My 12 day series as a toddler - right in the abdomen. I still remember crying even before the shot was administered. No one but me saw that cat. It was a feline bite and I remember the incident quite well, including the description of the animal. I thought it scratched me, I never noticed the bite. Same with my D - she saw the claws but not the teeth, even with a distinct bite mark in her leg. Because there were no witnesses and no animal about to catch in my case, I had to be vaxxed in case it had been a wild animal (we lived near the mountains). We all witnessed the cat that attacked my D so could identify that it was, indeed, a feline animal. We were told the chances of it being rabid were quite small but still the series was needed, just in case, as the animal had yet to be caught. With a bat, of course, the odds of rabies are just significantly higher.

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Well, attendance on opening day yesterday was less than half of the prior year (which was a record-setting year). Covid and also significant rain. Both may hamper attendance at least through the weekend. I’m not a native Minnesotan but I’ve noticed something here that doesn’t exist in some other states: people here like their distance from others LOL. It might be a German or Norwegian thing - no offense intended!

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Yes, we can assume most of the covid patients in ICU are unvaxxed. And so those folks (perhaps the ones saying, I don’t need a vaccine cause I won’t get sick) are responsible for this man’s completely unnecessary death. So horribly sad.


Probably because it will mostly result in more forgery of the easily-forged vaccine cards.

I had a big surprise today. I went to the grocery store and about one third to half the people in there were masked, both shoppers and employees. There are no mask mandates from the store or any gov’t and in the past you’d be hard pressed to see anyone masked, even a week ago.

Apparently some people are watching the news and acting on it. I seriously doubt they were the unvaccinated among us (except some kids).

Then life was back to normal. I went to the township building to pay our school taxes, dutifully wore a mask in and not a single other person in there was masked. There weren’t as many there as the grocery store though, so smaller sample size. It’s a smaller room, but folks are in and out relatively quickly so it might not be more of a risk.