Not a very productive day.
I took the Silverado into a mechanic because of issues with the brake/trans-shifter interlock. His test tool indicated it was likely to be the switch on the brake pedal.
This truck had brake-light issues before I bought it and the dealer monkeyed with the vehicle trying to sort it out. I can imaging the switch got fiddled with.
Kubota was exposed to Covid at work and it took some serious convincing to get him to go in for a test. It isn't just him. Belladonna (who has had both Moderna shots) works in a healthcare setting. Mrs ERJ had both of her Moderna. I had my first. Both Mrs ERJ and I take care of my mom on Fridays.
For what it is worth, Kubota is running a fever of 100.
I got a phone call from an engineer who I used to work with. He built a pole barn and is fixating on the posts he used. He described the oddity he had uncovered in the construction, a slightly undersized joint between the concrete piers and the 6"-by-6" posts.
Did I mention that this engineer designs things to withstand nuclear strikes and other severe events?
As I listened to the options he had come up with to remediate the issue (box in with plywood and fill box with concrete....and other options) it occurred to me that his building would survive any Michigan weather event short of a direct strike by a tornado...and nothing he could do would make it survive that.
Then he went off on a tangent about the "vaccine". Neither he nor his wife plan to take it.
So here are my thoughts on the vaccine:
Public health is not concerned so much about the outcome for the individual but with aggregate "statistics" or characteristics like mean-distance-between-naive-targets and "number of infected per patient" and "time patient remains infective" and "cost to treat a patient and opportunity costs incurred there-in".
Where Fauci jumped the shark is when he stopped thinking like a public-health epidemiologist and started attempting to re-engineer society to withstand direct hits by tornadoes and nuclear devices.
Herd immunity is an aggregate characteristic. Pockets of Covid will smolder but that should be a very minor concern for public health epidemiologists. Heck, Polio and Bubonic Plague are out there smoldering.
One thought that sticks with me is when large, successful landowners were driven out of Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe). Their large operations were taken over by uneducated natives.
It is worth noting that Rhodesia was so successful at growing food that it was known as the Breadbasket of Africa.
Many of the natives who took over the land had never really "farmed" before. The woman may have scratched out a plot and grown some maize and pumpkins to stretch the food dollar but it was nothing like the scale of the large land-owners.
Is some cases, the natives had worked with the land-owners before driving them off or murdering them.
While the natives worked with the land-owners, they saw the land-owners spread fertilizer (i.e. "magic dirt") on their fields and immunize their cattle with vaccines.
After murdering them, the natives found places where the dirt looked like the material used for fertilizer and they spread that dirt on the fields.
For a while, there was enough residual fertility to produce some decent crops but then the yields fell off a cliff.
Same deal with the vaccines. The vaccines looked like a few drops of milk in a glass of water. Unfortunately, a few drops of milk in a glass of water do not protect cattle from the extreme disease pressure of Rhodesia and the cattle died like flies.
A more recent "magic dirt" example is from Flint, Michigan. Flint opened their own water treatment plant when the City of Detroit informed Flint that the cost of water was going to go up.
Suppliers of chemicals to treat drinking water informed the officials from the City of Flint that they needed to buy this-that-and-the-other thing. One of those chemicals was phosphate.
One of the Flint executives determined that he did not need to spend money on phosphate because A.) He knew people and could tell when somebody was trying to swindle him and B.) The physical quantity was so small it could not possibly be important.
Without the phosphate added to the drinking water, the lead in service pipes and solder experienced intergranular corrosion and kids in Flint experienced lead poisoning.
The commonality of all three stories is that the buyer (more accurately the person who decided to not-buy) did not trust the science because he could not see it or did not understand the mechanics behind it. The buyer thought he was sophisticated because he did not trust what others were trying to tell him.
I am still a trusting sort. From a public health standpoint, the
vaccine would be useful even if it only conferred immunity to 65% of
those who receive it.
What does this graphic tell us? First, realize that the vertical axis is logarithmic and every hash-mark varies by a factor of ten. The range of antibodies for a naive-naive subject (one who never had Covid and has not been vaccinated) ranges from 10e-2 to 3x10e+1. Stated another way, in one hundred random samples naive-naive patients, the person with the most anti-Covid antibodies has three thousand times more than the naive-naive with the fewest. In fact, 4% of the naive-naive sample had 1000 times more antibodies than the least protected naive-naive. Those four patients are circled in red.
Those four naive-naive patients also had as many antibodies as the median naive patient with one dose of the rna vaccine and the worst performing patient with two doses of rna vaccine (circled in purple).
The second take-away is that a single dose of the rna based vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) provide almost as many antibodies as a case of Covid-19.
The third take-away is that the typical naive patient who never had Covid and then received two doses of the rna based vaccine has approximately five-times the number of antibodies as the person who had a case of Covid.
This is not unique. Tetanus vaccines produce more antibodies than a case of lockjaw because tetanus infections typically occur in anaerobic pockets or clumps that are not accessible to the immune system. Apparently Covid has a bag-of-tricks to hide from our immune system, one of which is a pass-key to enter cells so quickly as to elude B-cells.
Please note that I am NOT trying to convince anybody to take the Covid vaccine. That is an intensely personal decisions. I am simply sharing the reasons why I, and Mrs ERJ took the vaccine.
Gratuitous garden picture
|Lettuce seedlings. Can you tell the window was to the right of the seed tray?|
I cancelled the delivery of the freezer. Eight-hundred-and-forty-six thanks to Chuck who commented on the April 1 post.
I read the reviews for that particular freezer. And even though the average was 4.5/5 for the reviews, there is a class-action suit against the manufacturer for paying reviewers to write positive reviews. Note: reviewers, not people who actually bought the unit.
Major problems included the door (not an issue for me) and the sealed unit durability (a show stopper).