Day 537 – Lee Hurst says that I’m a moron

Oh dear.

[clutches pearls]

But then again, Lee Hurst says that Lee Hurst is a comedian.

And he describes vaccination as [clutches pearls again] the “death lottery”:

So maybe we shouldn’t actually care what he thinks.

I really can’t be insulted by someone when I have zero respect for any of their opinions.

Day 523, part 2 – Called it

Sometimes I get things right. Those times are always worth celebrating. I’ve been celebrating quite a lot recently.
(Please note that I am not celebrating the actual story here – I was a huge fan of Christopher Biggins.)

How about this Whatsapp message I sent last week, regarding this subreddit, which details the stories of Covid-deniers and anti-vaxxers who have then sadly gone on to die from the virus?

Well, my wish is their command, apparently.

Yes. Something is very definitely going on, Red.
Whatever could it be?

Day 516 – Damn you (all), Big Pharma!

I have grown tired of being told to “follow the money” by the you-know-whos when it comes to “Big Pharma” and the Covid-19 vaccines. Sure, I accept that the system is far from perfect, and sure, Pfizer et al. have made a shedload of money from selling the vaccines, but then they have invested a shedload of money in research, development and production of the vaccines. Contrary to layperson belief, these products didn’t just appear overnight.

To the anti-vax crew, “Big Pharma” conveniently consists of the companies that are making Covid-19 vaccines: Pfizer, AstraZenica, Moderna etc. And yes, they are doing very nicely, thank you very much with market caps of $279.94B, $133.9B and $100B, respectively.

Clearly, Big Pharma = Big Money.

You could take the view then that “Big Pharma” is evil and merely all about the wonga – and the alt-right whatsapp groups have done just that – but then we mustn’t just consider these vaccine-producing companies as “Big Pharma”, we must surely look right across the market and well… “follow the money”.

Let’s take Merck. Merck employs 74,000 people, managed almost $50b in revenue last year and is apparently worth $194.64B

Note that Merck is much “Bigger Pharma” than AZ or Moderna. Clearly, they must also be just as evil or even eviller.

And look! Merck does have a foot in the Covid-19 door as well: they hold the licence to Stromencol – that’s their trade name for “miracle wonder drug” Ivermectin.

Just another arm of “Big Pharma” making money from a crisis. THEY’RE ALL THE SAME, GARY!

But Merck has also stated very clearly that Ivermectin doesn’t work against Covid-19 and is unsafe to use for that purpose:

But Merck are (as demonstrated above) very much “Big” and “Pharma”, so why are they not profiteering from people’s pandemic misery? Merck is like the Eskom of pharmaceutical companies: actively telling people not to use its product.
It’s an odd way to do business.

Presumably then, this is where the “this pandemic is just a money-making scam for Big Pharma” argument stops.
Or at least is conveniently overlooked. Cognitive bias at its finest.

Pfizer says that their vaccine works against Covid-19 and is safe, and the moonbat brigade refuse to listen to a word of it.
Merck says their Ivermectin doesn’t work against Covid-19 and isn’t safe, and the loons still run to swallow horse wormer in their thousands.

It’s almost as if Ivermectin doesn’t work against Covid-19 and isn’t safe. But then, I guess this is just a clever example of “Big Pharma” reverse psychology. Which the anti-vaxxers have seen right through. Well done, guys.

What a weird situation. But then, they are, aren’t they?

Day 503 – Virus update and vaccination

I’m on Day 22(?) of my nasty viral infection, so I thought I’d share an update.

I’m improving. This time last week, I was at the hospital for blood tests and x-rays. This time this week, I’m sitting at my computer with a beagle at my side, contemplating life (both of us).

Things are definitely getting better: fewer headaches, less coughing, resting heart rate dropping to near normal levels, fever is gone. Much to be happy about.

But it’s not all plain sailing. I’ve still got a few ongoing issues. Fatigue is the big one. The “chronic” sort: I struggle to stay up past 8 o’clock each evening – I’m just absolutely exhausted. And the “acute” sort: completing any sort of energetic (ha!) task – like climbing the stairs, moving a chair, doing some ironing, answering the door – leaves me light-headed, out of breath and needing a sit down. This bit doesn’t seem to be getting much better at the moment, which is equally frustrating and ridiculous. At this point, I’m not sure how I’m ever going to get back to my supreme, pre-Covid levels of athleticism. Jokes aside, I was happily doing about three 5km runs a week and playing 5-a-side football just a month ago and now I can’t walk 100m without a break.

I’m still not eating a lot. I have a limited appetite, perhaps partly because I cant smell or taste anything. Or can I? Bitterness is definitely there, maybe occasionally some saltiness. And if I eat anything spicy, I feel the burn, but with no actual flavour. Sometimes, I think I can taste proper flavours, but when I concentrate, maybe I’m only imagining what I know things taste(d) like. It’s just plain weird to lose something so very innate and basic that you – quite reasonably – take for granted. And texture becomes hugely important, which is why I can’t eat banana again until my taste completely returns. And possibly not even then.

And then there’s the mental stuff. Wow. Thinking and remembering stuff is really difficult. Concentrating for any length of time is pretty much impossible – a real effort. I’ve drifted off several times while writing this. I know that this might also be a symptom of just getting older, but it’s come on awfully quickly for me. Hopefully this “brain fog” clears sooner rather than later – it’s actually quite scary.

Other than that, though, I’m getting there. I’ve lost 6.5kg and a few weeks of my life, but I’m very glad to have avoided a stay in hospital and I’m very much looking forward to my second jab and even more protection in a few weeks.

If you’re hesitant about getting vaccinated, please take it from me: go and get jabbed – you don’t want this.

Image

I’m so very tired of the anti-vaxxers – I always have been – but I’m getting equally tired of those people on social media who tell us “I’m not anti-vax; I’m pro-choice”, and then fill their timelines with blatant anti-vax propaganda.
The stats are great for avoiding serious and disease through vaccination, but as I mentioned here, I would do anything to avoid even what I have had. Please take it from me, this was right up there with the worst I have ever felt, including Salmonella (enteritidis PT4, nogal), malaria, viral meningitis and (It’S jUsT lIkE) Influenza.

And you simply don’t know if it’s going to stop there. You could end up much sicker than I did. And then there are often ongoing symptoms that we’re still learning about: see here and here – and yes, of course we will be vaccinating our kids asap like we have with polio and TB and measles and mumps and chicken pox and HiB etc etc etc, because decent parents look after their offspring.

Anyway, brain fog rambling all done: if you want a personal account or if you have specific questions about how this can affect your life, maybe just to help push you into getting the jab, feel free to get in touch.
Spoiler: it’s zero fun (and I’m not just talking about my personal account).

Day 502 – Bits n pieces

  • The Ashton Arch is due to be… er… “launched” into its final position on the 14-15th August. This has been a ridiculously big engineering project in a tiny town in the Western Cape and it seems to have been going on forever.

But this is it virtually finished. I don’t pass through there a lot, but I’ve only ever seen it not existing at all or completely buried in scaffolding:

IMG_2969 | new bridge, work in progress, ashton, western cap… | Flickr
ashton_montague_september_2019.jpg | Western Cape Government

This is a lot of scaffolding. Now all they need to do is move… er… “launch” the completed structure into the path of the actual road. Livestream above this weekend.

  • Cape Town will get drier and more extreme. And I’m not talking about our sense of humour:
  • And finally, ahead of our Fantasy Draft Night tomorrow evening, I was looking at my chosen team and thinking that it looked pretty much invincible. And then I realised that the other guys in the league get to choose some of the players as well, because that’s how a draft works. I’m suddenly far less confident.