Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 338182 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3765 on: May 18, 2021, 12:43:07 PM »
As businesses and other venues work out guidelines based on vaccination, it will be interesting to see the reactions.  This morning I was talking with an older gentleman who works for Walmart.  According to him Walmart will relax the mask wearing requirements for employees who are already fully vaccinated.  Which has predictably generated some grumbling from within the ranks.  I wonder if non-vaccinated people will be motivated to become vaccinated when they see that they have less freedoms available to them than the vaccinated folk?


The Walmarts in our area have taken down their signs saying "masks required."
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Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3766 on: May 18, 2021, 12:45:41 PM »
As businesses and other venues work out guidelines based on vaccination, it will be interesting to see the reactions.  This morning I was talking with an older gentleman who works for Walmart.  According to him Walmart will relax the mask wearing requirements for employees who are already fully vaccinated.  Which has predictably generated some grumbling from within the ranks.  I wonder if non-vaccinated people will be motivated to become vaccinated when they see that they have less freedoms available to them than the vaccinated folk?

Knowing that you're a Mets fan in waiting, Don, the new ticket sales component at Citi Field is that if you prove vaccination, you get ticket discounts and the ability to sit in a crowd of other vaccinated people, cheek to cheek and jowl to jowl.  The unvaccinated still have to prove a negative covid test prior to entrance, and then sit forlornly in their lonely little areas apart from the madding crowds.  Why not motivate in this way?  Take me out to the ballgame - take me out with the crowd.

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D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3767 on: May 18, 2021, 12:55:38 PM »
As businesses and other venues work out guidelines based on vaccination, it will be interesting to see the reactions.  This morning I was talking with an older gentleman who works for Walmart.  According to him Walmart will relax the mask wearing requirements for employees who are already fully vaccinated.  Which has predictably generated some grumbling from within the ranks.  I wonder if non-vaccinated people will be motivated to become vaccinated when they see that they have less freedoms available to them than the vaccinated folk?

Knowing that you're a Mets fan in waiting, Don, the new ticket sales component at Citi Field is that if you prove vaccination, you get ticket discounts and the ability to sit in a crowd of other vaccinated people, cheek to cheek and jowl to jowl.  The unvaccinated still have to prove a negative covid test prior to entrance, and then sit forlornly in their lonely little areas apart from the madding crowds.  Why not motivate in this way?  Take me out to the ballgame - take me out with the crowd.

Dave Benke

I'm rarely in a crowd and also rarely go to games.  But then the nearest stadium for major league baseball is at least four hours away, and I only recently got around to leaving my county.  Personally I wasn't opposed to being vaccinated and the motivation was heightened knowing that access to assisting living centers, nursing homes, etc. would be so much easier if I could prove I was vaccinated. 

Some will be similarly motivated by incentives, but there will be a few who will find their freedoms limited, including access to travel, or continued requirements for mask wearing that they detest, and will lash out in resentment.  As restrictions ease, especially for the fully vaccinated, I predict some kind of a backlash coming for those who are committed to not being vaccinated, yet feel their freedoms without the vaccine should the same as those with it.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3768 on: May 18, 2021, 04:39:59 PM »
As businesses and other venues work out guidelines based on vaccination, it will be interesting to see the reactions.  This morning I was talking with an older gentleman who works for Walmart.  According to him Walmart will relax the mask wearing requirements for employees who are already fully vaccinated.  Which has predictably generated some grumbling from within the ranks.  I wonder if non-vaccinated people will be motivated to become vaccinated when they see that they have less freedoms available to them than the vaccinated folk?

Knowing that you're a Mets fan in waiting, Don, the new ticket sales component at Citi Field is that if you prove vaccination, you get ticket discounts and the ability to sit in a crowd of other vaccinated people, cheek to cheek and jowl to jowl.  The unvaccinated still have to prove a negative covid test prior to entrance, and then sit forlornly in their lonely little areas apart from the madding crowds.  Why not motivate in this way?  Take me out to the ballgame - take me out with the crowd.

Dave Benke

I'm rarely in a crowd and also rarely go to games.  But then the nearest stadium for major league baseball is at least four hours away, and I only recently got around to leaving my county.  Personally I wasn't opposed to being vaccinated and the motivation was heightened knowing that access to assisting living centers, nursing homes, etc. would be so much easier if I could prove I was vaccinated. 

Some will be similarly motivated by incentives, but there will be a few who will find their freedoms limited, including access to travel, or continued requirements for mask wearing that they detest, and will lash out in resentment.  As restrictions ease, especially for the fully vaccinated, I predict some kind of a backlash coming for those who are committed to not being vaccinated, yet feel their freedoms without the vaccine should the same as those with it.

I agree.  And the skepticism in the urban/black/brown communities has been difficult to overcome; additionally there are older adults who are health-compromised as well as those with various medical allergies.  None to few of those folks whom I know are in the anti-vaxx or personal freedom removal camp, however.  That seems to me to come from a different chamber.  And in general there are people who are just late adapters to anything new or different.  Please refer to Page 5 and Page 15.

A congregation near to my hacienda opted out of both LSB and the Hymnal Supplement 1991 (?) on the grounds of doctrinal weakness and indifference.  Their pastor desired to serve as chair of our LSB introduction committee, and I had to say "if your own congregation thinks it's at best heterodox, but in fact is far worse, how can you push LSB to the rest of the churches?"  Maybe they've mellowed out since my reign of sub-standard service ended.  That pastor has departed in peace, or at least departed.  Late adapters.

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3769 on: May 22, 2021, 08:16:06 AM »
An examination of the "phylogeographic dispersion" of the virus in the five boroughs of NYC, showing the epicenter of the epicenter in Queens as well as the imbalanced affect on populations working in the "essential" low-paid categories.  This is some dense and highly specialized vocabulary stuff, for folks who like that:  https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1009571

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3770 on: May 27, 2021, 09:36:35 AM »
It may not be that incredibly critical in the large scheme of things, but a recent development in determining the origin of the coronavirus presents an interesting study in media bias.  And the New York Times is admitting it.  While many scientists believed the virus jumped from animals (bats) to humans, probably at a food market in Wuhan, China, other scientists never dismissed the idea that it could have originated in a laboratory in the same area.  Even those once skeptical of the theory that it originated in a laboratory are now open to investigating it further. Yet as the article notes: "The World Health Organization initially dismissed the lab-leak theory as implausible," and many were inclined not to question the WHO. And many did not want to confront China.

In answer to the question heading "Why all the dismissals?" author David Leonhardt writes: "It appears to be a classic example of groupthink, exacerbated by partisan polarization.

Global health officials seemed unwilling to confront Chinese officials, who insist the virus jumped from an animal to a person.

In the U.S., one of the theory’s earliest advocates was Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas who often criticizes China...

The media’s coverage of his argument was flawed, Substack’s Matthew Yglesias has written. Some coverage exaggerated Cotton’s comments to suggest he was claiming that China had deliberately released the virus as a biological weapon. (Cotton called that “very unlikely.”) And some scientists and others also seem to have decided that if Cotton believed something — and Fox News and Donald Trump echoed it — the idea had to be wrong.

The result, as Yglesias called it, was a bubble of fake consensus. Scientists who thought a lab leak was plausible, like Chan, received little attention. Scientists who thought the theory was wacky received widespread attention. It’s a good reminder: The world is a complicated place, where almost nobody is always right or always wrong.


Now Pres. Biden is calling for a redoubling of efforts to determine the origin of the virus. But will it really matter? What if we had known the truth? The article continues: First, if the virus really did come from a lab, an immediate airing of the details might have led to even faster vaccine development and more effective treatments. Second, a leak that caused millions of deaths could lead to widespread change in laboratories’ safety precautions. Third, confirmation of a leak would affect the world’s view of China — and would put pressure on China to bear the burden of vaccinating the world as quickly as possible.

We have debated over and over the source of information and who is best qualified to establish the truth.  In our highly partisan environment it is easy to trust sources that confirm the bias we support, or argues against a source we don't particularly like.  But it reinforces the simple fact that we are responsible to find the truth, even when it is not politically or socially popular at the time.



Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

jebutler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3771 on: May 27, 2021, 10:26:01 AM »
It may not be that incredibly critical in the large scheme of things, but a recent development in determining the origin of the coronavirus presents an interesting study in media bias.  And the New York Times is admitting it.  While many scientists believed the virus jumped from animals (bats) to humans, probably at a food market in Wuhan, China, other scientists never dismissed the idea that it could have originated in a laboratory in the same area.  Even those once skeptical of the theory that it originated in a laboratory are now open to investigating it further. Yet as the article notes: "The World Health Organization initially dismissed the lab-leak theory as implausible," and many were inclined not to question the WHO. And many did not want to confront China.

In answer to the question heading "Why all the dismissals?" author David Leonhardt writes: "It appears to be a classic example of groupthink, exacerbated by partisan polarization.

Global health officials seemed unwilling to confront Chinese officials, who insist the virus jumped from an animal to a person.

In the U.S., one of the theory’s earliest advocates was Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas who often criticizes China...

The media’s coverage of his argument was flawed, Substack’s Matthew Yglesias has written. Some coverage exaggerated Cotton’s comments to suggest he was claiming that China had deliberately released the virus as a biological weapon. (Cotton called that “very unlikely.”) And some scientists and others also seem to have decided that if Cotton believed something — and Fox News and Donald Trump echoed it — the idea had to be wrong.

The result, as Yglesias called it, was a bubble of fake consensus. Scientists who thought a lab leak was plausible, like Chan, received little attention. Scientists who thought the theory was wacky received widespread attention. It’s a good reminder: The world is a complicated place, where almost nobody is always right or always wrong.


Now Pres. Biden is calling for a redoubling of efforts to determine the origin of the virus. But will it really matter? What if we had known the truth? The article continues: First, if the virus really did come from a lab, an immediate airing of the details might have led to even faster vaccine development and more effective treatments. Second, a leak that caused millions of deaths could lead to widespread change in laboratories’ safety precautions. Third, confirmation of a leak would affect the world’s view of China — and would put pressure on China to bear the burden of vaccinating the world as quickly as possible.

We have debated over and over the source of information and who is best qualified to establish the truth.  In our highly partisan environment it is easy to trust sources that confirm the bias we support, or argues against a source we don't particularly like.  But it reinforces the simple fact that we are responsible to find the truth, even when it is not politically or socially popular at the time.

It is nice to see some of these media organizations changing their opinions. Matthew Yglesias' Substack was very informative, especially how media organizations conflated Sen. Cotton's statements with those of conspiracy theorists.

The problem with putting the burden on China for vaccinating the world is that their vaccines aren't much good. Studies in Brazil and Chile have put the effectiveness at 50% at best, sometimes as low as 6%.
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3772 on: May 27, 2021, 11:06:33 AM »
It may not be that incredibly critical in the large scheme of things, but a recent development in determining the origin of the coronavirus presents an interesting study in media bias.  And the New York Times is admitting it.  While many scientists believed the virus jumped from animals (bats) to humans, probably at a food market in Wuhan, China, other scientists never dismissed the idea that it could have originated in a laboratory in the same area.  Even those once skeptical of the theory that it originated in a laboratory are now open to investigating it further. Yet as the article notes: "The World Health Organization initially dismissed the lab-leak theory as implausible," and many were inclined not to question the WHO. And many did not want to confront China.

In answer to the question heading "Why all the dismissals?" author David Leonhardt writes: "It appears to be a classic example of groupthink, exacerbated by partisan polarization.

Global health officials seemed unwilling to confront Chinese officials, who insist the virus jumped from an animal to a person.

In the U.S., one of the theory’s earliest advocates was Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas who often criticizes China...

The media’s coverage of his argument was flawed, Substack’s Matthew Yglesias has written. Some coverage exaggerated Cotton’s comments to suggest he was claiming that China had deliberately released the virus as a biological weapon. (Cotton called that “very unlikely.”) And some scientists and others also seem to have decided that if Cotton believed something — and Fox News and Donald Trump echoed it — the idea had to be wrong.

The result, as Yglesias called it, was a bubble of fake consensus. Scientists who thought a lab leak was plausible, like Chan, received little attention. Scientists who thought the theory was wacky received widespread attention. It’s a good reminder: The world is a complicated place, where almost nobody is always right or always wrong.


Now Pres. Biden is calling for a redoubling of efforts to determine the origin of the virus. But will it really matter? What if we had known the truth? The article continues: First, if the virus really did come from a lab, an immediate airing of the details might have led to even faster vaccine development and more effective treatments. Second, a leak that caused millions of deaths could lead to widespread change in laboratories’ safety precautions. Third, confirmation of a leak would affect the world’s view of China — and would put pressure on China to bear the burden of vaccinating the world as quickly as possible.

We have debated over and over the source of information and who is best qualified to establish the truth.  In our highly partisan environment it is easy to trust sources that confirm the bias we support, or argues against a source we don't particularly like.  But it reinforces the simple fact that we are responsible to find the truth, even when it is not politically or socially popular at the time.

It is nice to see some of these media organizations changing their opinions. Matthew Yglesias' Substack was very informative, especially how media organizations conflated Sen. Cotton's statements with those of conspiracy theorists.

The problem with putting the burden on China for vaccinating the world is that their vaccines aren't much good. Studies in Brazil and Chile have put the effectiveness at 50% at best, sometimes as low as 6%.

One of the investigative pieces that caught my eye was the involvement of the Gates Foundation in monetizing the vaccine production and distribution process and ensuring that the megabucks that are listed as R and D end up in the profit column for pretty much ever.  How about vaccines that work being globally available?  That might help.

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jebutler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3773 on: May 27, 2021, 12:44:33 PM »


One of the investigative pieces that caught my eye was the involvement of the Gates Foundation in monetizing the vaccine production and distribution process and ensuring that the megabucks that are listed as R and D end up in the profit column for pretty much ever.  How about vaccines that work being globally available?  That might help.

Dave Benke

The problem is simple: there is only so much production capacity. That is why both Moderna and Pfizer have partnered with other pharmaceutical manufacturers (e.g. Merck) to produce more vaccine.

We cannot require other domestic companies to move to vaccine production any more than we could require Ford to start producing airplanes: they do not have the equipment nor the expertise to do it. How many companies overseas would have the equipment and expertise is a good question as well.

Here is a good comparison on the various vaccines, their effectiveness, and cost:
https://www.biospace.com/article/comparing-covid-19-vaccines-pfizer-biontech-moderna-astrazeneca-oxford-j-and-j-russia-s-sputnik-v/
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3774 on: May 27, 2021, 03:27:16 PM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-ends-ban-on-posts-asserting-covid-19-was-man-made-11622094890

This is one of many examples. Politifact and other “fact-checkers” are doing likewise. The problem it reveals is that it proves they never fact checked it in the first place. If the statement was knowably false when they banned it it could not be potentially true now. It wasn’t knowably false. It was a controversial theory. It would be one thing if they had banned such theorizing as needlessly inflammatory. But they didn’t. They called it false as though they knew what was true. They didn’t. News media fact checkers are propaganda tools.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3775 on: May 27, 2021, 03:59:50 PM »
I use FB as it was originally intended as a "social media" site, connecting with friends, classmates, etc., sharing my hobbies, etc..  I have no desire to tangle with them over political issues.  They are biased and have a long history of targeting people who express ideas contrary to the company's convictions or popular hot-button issues.  If you happen to fall on the right side of the political spectrum it's a 'no win' situation from the start.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3776 on: May 27, 2021, 04:04:12 PM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-ends-ban-on-posts-asserting-covid-19-was-man-made-11622094890

This is one of many examples. Politifact and other “fact-checkers” are doing likewise. The problem it reveals is that it proves they never fact checked it in the first place. If the statement was knowably false when they banned it it could not be potentially true now. It wasn’t knowably false. It was a controversial theory. It would be one thing if they had banned such theorizing as needlessly inflammatory. But they didn’t. They called it false as though they knew what was true. They didn’t. News media fact checkers are propaganda tools.


"Facts" are often an odds game. Which is more likely? Our son used to program slot machines. He was often asked, "How can I win?" His answer, "Don't play." The odds are set by state gaming commissions, and the house will always win more money than the players. This doesn't mean that occasionally a player will win more money than they lost; but that's the exception.


The odds that a new virus was transmitted from animals to humans is greater than the idea that it was created in a lab and somehow leaked out. It doesn't mean that it couldn't happen; but that's the exception.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3777 on: May 27, 2021, 04:07:34 PM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-ends-ban-on-posts-asserting-covid-19-was-man-made-11622094890

This is one of many examples. Politifact and other “fact-checkers” are doing likewise. The problem it reveals is that it proves they never fact checked it in the first place. If the statement was knowably false when they banned it it could not be potentially true now. It wasn’t knowably false. It was a controversial theory. It would be one thing if they had banned such theorizing as needlessly inflammatory. But they didn’t. They called it false as though they knew what was true. They didn’t. News media fact checkers are propaganda tools.


"Facts" are often an odds game. Which is more likely? Our son used to program slot machines. He was often asked, "How can I win?" His answer, "Don't play." The odds are set by state gaming commissions, and the house will always win more money than the players. This doesn't mean that occasionally a player will win more money than they lost; but that's the exception.


The odds that a new virus was transmitted from animals to humans is greater than the idea that it was created in a lab and somehow leaked out. It doesn't mean that it couldn't happen; but that's the exception.

But banning free speech on a given social media platform should be based, I would hope, on more than "odds."  The truth of this is that one theory was politically acceptable at the time, and the other was not.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3778 on: May 27, 2021, 04:30:10 PM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-ends-ban-on-posts-asserting-covid-19-was-man-made-11622094890

This is one of many examples. Politifact and other “fact-checkers” are doing likewise. The problem it reveals is that it proves they never fact checked it in the first place. If the statement was knowably false when they banned it it could not be potentially true now. It wasn’t knowably false. It was a controversial theory. It would be one thing if they had banned such theorizing as needlessly inflammatory. But they didn’t. They called it false as though they knew what was true. They didn’t. News media fact checkers are propaganda tools.


"Facts" are often an odds game. Which is more likely? Our son used to program slot machines. He was often asked, "How can I win?" His answer, "Don't play." The odds are set by state gaming commissions, and the house will always win more money than the players. This doesn't mean that occasionally a player will win more money than they lost; but that's the exception.


The odds that a new virus was transmitted from animals to humans is greater than the idea that it was created in a lab and somehow leaked out. It doesn't mean that it couldn't happen; but that's the exception.
By that logic, anyone who thinks anything unlikely happened is lying.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3779 on: May 27, 2021, 04:32:02 PM »
Also, by your son’s logic I won the U.S. Open by not playing in it.