Ain’t it the truth?

January 17, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

In answer to the question of “how you doing” one of our readers wrote the following:

Burst pipes under the house, flooded basement, washing my dishes in the bathroom sink, credit card got hacked over the holiday, some rogue wind fueled branch performed an emergency skid landing on my roof which now leaks, my ears ring, I can comb my hair with a hot dog, nobody ever ever warned me about the ridiculously vast amount of time I would have to relinquish coughing and clearing my throat strictly due to my moronic inability to correctly and effectively swallow my own spit, but other than that – I’m pretty good dag-nabbit!

That made me laugh. Dag-nabbit!

It’s been two years since the pandemic and its associated wave of insanity ran over us like an out-of-control truck.

I haven’t yet figured out if 2022 is slowly returning us to some level of sanity or if it’s just me getting used to it.

Ain’t it the truth?

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97 comments on “Ain’t it the truth?”

  1. Whilst COVID seems to have polarised the USA because it was politicised by You-know-who, and the subsequent 50:50 split has made getting anything done impossible, here in the UK the National Health Service managed COVID and it has been quite unifying. It has masked the economic mess of Brexit. We had an election just before Covid and the Marxists took a hammering, so we are back to good old centrist politics, which means the country runs itself and our only worries are the state of English cricket and that prices are going up. As we have a pretty high vaccination rate Omicron turned out to be a non-event and things are now probably 98% back to normal. Everyone is beyond COVID. People are now travelling like before COVID. We haven’t yet started to complain about the weather, which is when you know everything is back to normal, but it’s not far off.

    1. Australia has removed Novak Djokovic from our sunny shores for
      arrogantly believing that he can come here without being fully vaccinated.
      Novak may be the world’s number one tennis player, but he’s not very smart.
      Even Macron doesn’t want him in France without being fully vaxxed…there goes the French Open….
      Boris & Joe??

      1. The chances of Boris being around by Wimbledon are slim. I think he’d like to still be around by the end of the Aussie Open. I think Comatose Joe would like to be breathing by the time of the US Open.

        Should be a good Australian tour in Pakistan in March, then England losses to NZ resume in June. After going to the last Eng v NZ at Edgbaston, even though the first mach is down the road at Lords, I’m not sure I can bear the thought of it. I’ll watch from behind the sofa.

      2. Hey now! You take that back about Novak Djokovic not being smart. He has an 80% stake in a biotech firm working on a “TREATMENT” for Covid. I’d say it’s a pretty smart business move to use his global platform to push against something that is gonna hurt his bottom line. I can tell you here in the US there are plenty of suckers who would rather pay for medics to follow them around as they drive in case they crash, instead of just putting on a seat belt.

        1. macros,
          And yet not smart enough to get double vaccinated during a pandemic so that he could’ve had the chance to become the first male tennis player in history to reach 21 grand-slam titles…dumb, dumb & dumb.

          1. Hahahaha very good point- he could have used that claim to fame in his marketing no doubt. Ce la vie! Which is a phrase he will not hear spoken in France anytime soon it seems as it looks like they won’t be letting him in either.

            1. macros,
              Here’s the thing…I had my first ‘Pfizer’ injection on October 1st & my second one on October 30th last year & I had no ill effects from either shot/jab; none.
              So I have no idea what Djokovic’s problem is about getting vaccinated.
              We live in a global community; our personal freedom has to be balanced out by our consideration for our fellow human beings.
              People who don’t get vaccinated are arrogant & selfish & they deserve my disdain.

    2. Boris seemingly was a bit early in party mode, but just a bit and a bit too periodic. Probably just a genius ahead of the time if what you tell makes sense 😉

    3. I watched an interesting long video about the rise (and fortunate fall) of the belief vaccines for children were resulting in autism, which was based off a very very flawed/dishonest study by a con artist in the UK (to give credit where it’s due, the pseudoscience part started here in the USA. We’re number 1, we’re number 1!) . I’m not an expert in anything besides self deprecation, but the video at least was very well done and one of the interesting theories presented in it was that as the UK had gone through this period of anti-vaccine hysteria (there was a graph and everything!) a decade or two before Covid hit they were less stupidly skeptical (skepticism good. stupid bad.) of taking preventive measures in form of a shot/jab. Video was called “Vaccines: A Measured Response” btw if you’re interested!

  2. Jeff Kippen, take a bow 😉
    Funny thing is, Jeff’s got more hair on his head than I do, so I’ve
    even given up on combing what’s left up there with said hot-dog.
    Whether we are discussing home-audio topics here
    or anything else, isn’t it great just to have a laugh.
    “Laughing makes your brain work better”

    **NEWS FLASH**
    ‘The Ashes’ Cricket series between England & Australia is over for another two & a half years.
    So for all of you sportsphobic lovers of music & home-audio, you wont have to read anymore comments or replies about that particular Cricketing event for at least 30 months from today, here on this site…REJOICE!! 😀

    1. Well Martin final words England did not try, they seemed to have no interest in playing and just wanted to move on . It was disgraceful conduct but saying that there was an underlying reason one of which is they did not want to go did not prepare and also it appears we have no opening batsman in the country at present time

      1. Alan,
        Please see my 4:53am post (reply) from yesterday’s Paul’s
        Posts, addressed to Richard, Steven & your good self.

        Australia: 34
        England: 32
        We’re pretty-much neck & neck.

    1. Nothing beats a good conspiracy. If someone turned off the internet we could get back to being human. We could do Paul’s Post by postcard and PS Audio would have to go retail again.

  3. “Returning to some level of sanity”

    “ Ain’t that the truth?”

    I would say absolutely not. Here North of the border, Canada is exercising there 4th lockdown and operating the government in a totalitarian fashion with communistic approaches to restructure the economy.
    My government has lied to its people repeatedly and yet many
    Still haven’t caught on that Covid is being weaponized far worse than it actually is through our evil politics and media corporations in order to coerce, bully and bribe people into taking more vaccine shots.

    Other than that I’m good Dag Nabbit! 🙂
    Honestly everyday is a good day when when I can collectively overcome all the deceit, lies and stick to medical sovereignty. My family has been great and there is no sheep in my circle.

    1. “Still haven’t caught on that Covid is being weaponized far worse than it actually is through our evil politics and media corporations in order to coerce, bully and bribe people into taking more vaccine shots”

      Given the vaccines clearly work, for which the unvaccinated are living (and sometimes dying) proof, what’s the problem? In the UK vaccine development and manufacture was done at cost – there was no profit motive – and are provided free of charge. You just get a text, turn up and it’s done in 15 minutes. Like most countries, in the UK it’s not been a political issue at all, thanks to a national health system and non-political bureaucracy.

      My father was apparently the first person in the UK to have a 4th shot. He’s on some experimental cancer treatment. It has allowed him to travel to California, which he’s delighted about because his treatment makes him feel the cold more intensely and he can now get some winter sun and warmth.

  4. Nephilim 81 – totally agree with you. This whole thing is about power but luckily I live in a red state that has common sense. Some blue states want you masked up in your home or in small gatherings. In my state, I go to nightly concerts with hundreds to 15,000 people attending with no mask mandates or vax mandates and we don’t have the worries about people dying afterwards.
    If vaccines work, why do people vaccinated still get it or why do they have to mask up at airports and on airplanes?

      1. I remember someone telling me that every year 9 people die every year blowing up balloons. Apparently the most common way is to swallow one and asphyxiate. That’s good enough reason to ban birthdays. Republicans and Conservatives should be free to swallow as many balloons as they like.

        1. Backing up a few Paul’s Posts ago.
          I remember the first time that I saw a pair of DeVore Fidelity – O/93’s, I thought that they were a pair of AudioNote – AN-E’s…American knock-offs 😉

          1. If they sound as good …

            Audio Note are a bit weird, no price list, but the best high gloss wood finish you’ll ever see on a pair of speakers.

    1. It builds up immunity, much like a flu shot, preventing in many cases but lessening symptoms if you do get it.

      My daughter is a CVICU nurse at a major local hospital. For months, their near capacity COVID ICU was void of any vaccinated people, despite rising cases. In my case, I prefer making decisions on something tangible like that vs. sifting through the complex world of fact/non-fact based information available these days.

      1. Reed, I’ve been going over the comments this morning and so far you are the only person who understands what’s really going on with Covid instead of partying on.

        Not pne comment about our first responders and the living hell that they go through every day. So far all I’m reading are “Numb Nuts”comments as we have become numb to the entire Covid situation and that leads us to forget about people who are risking their lives every day trying to help the patients (many of them by their own doing) suffering and dying from this horrible diseasee mostly because they’re either stupid or selfish to not want to take a shot (mRNA is not a vaccine by definition) even if it isn’t as effective as our governments would have hoped while other’s are dying from diseases because they can’t get into the hospital for treatment due to overcrowding. No sympathy, no empathy, no compassion for these first responders anymore. And this discussion is only one of the many nightmare scenarios that are happening around the world today and nothing is happening to help rectify any of these catastrophies and get us back on the tracks to saving this planet we call Earth.

        2022….. A Three Ring Horror Crcus

        1. Yet another world issue. I don’t like someone comparing nine people a year die from blowing up balloons.

          There is a difference about being spiritual and being only for yourself. That’s my gripe. Why not talk about the healthcare workers in the hospitals instead of bringing up Russia?

      2. Please send my thanks to your daughter for her heroic service. These are horrible times and for someone to put their life on the line so others may live is remarkable.

        As bad as things are here in the US it is very depressing that there are many places in the world where the situation is even worse. It is also very discouraging to realize how many people do not want to stand up and do what is needed to beat back the pandemic.

        It also amazes and terrifies me that so many people cannot comprehend that the longer the pandemic hangs around the more it mutates and the odds of it producing a variant that we cannot stop and is also very deadly increases.

        We have met the enemy and we are the enemy.

        1. When I go into a shop or sit in a cinema I put on a mask, as we are required to do. I don’t get all hot under the collar that some politician is trying to limit my human rights. I’m just taking a modest precaution that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, on the off chance that I am carrying a virus that is highly contagious and may infect other people.

          People have a right not to get vaccinated, just as people have a right to smoke, or get drunk every night, or consume 10,000 calories per day, which are also burdens on health services. But only vaccination gives you privileges, like being able to enter Australia or watch or play in sports events in France. Well done Macron. Find an exemption around that one, Djokovic.

        2. “Ah, Pogo, the beauty of the Forest Primeval gets me in the heart.”
          “It gets me in the feet, Porkypine.”

          “It is hard walkin’ on this stuff.”
          “Yep, Son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

          — Walt Kelly (Earth Day, 1969)

          Note for younger readers: “this stuff”, as clearly illustrated in the comic strip, is an extensive quantity of trash dumped in an area of the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge within Charlton, Clinch, and Ware Counties, Georgia and Baker County, Florida was established in 1937, so it was an illegal dump site.

        3. FR, You are right, and the CCP should be punished, but that will not put Covid back in the bottle. We have to do that and we are not doing a very good job right now.

  5. “I haven’t yet figured out if 2022 is slowly returning us to some level of sanity or if it’s just me getting used to it.”

    Actually, Paul’s Posts played a small and not insignificant part in our retaining a little sanity these last couple of years. Some idle banter, where you can say cables, measurements etc. don’t matter without risk of having 8,000 internet warriors attack you like you’re some sort of Satanist. And FR brings a smile to my face most mornings.

    The most important element I find is to completely forget what was said the previous day and start afresh. We’ve all seen what bearing grudges does (don’t mention 2020). Without getting too political, the best way to get over it is to have a political system like we have in the UK (called “first past the post”) which is grossly unfair in the first place. Because life isn’t fair. We just have to make most of it whilst we’re here.

    1. Pretty much all politicians and leaders are power pigs, to a greater or lesser extent. It seems to be a basic part of the human psyche. The greater ones are called tyrants. The lesser ones are called statesmen/women. And nobody is perfect (except maybe Krishna, Gautama Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus of Nazareth, none of the above; pick your religion of choice or lack there of).

  6. Back to normal….

    The vaccines are the answer – eradicated virus – all we have to do is all be vaccinated.

    Oops…
    Vaccines help save lives… but haven’t stopped any spread. Boosters for the foreseeable future,
    The new normal. There will be a reinfection rate and there will also be rate of fully vaccinated catching the CoVID scourge, the new normal. N95 masks are the latest panacea … The old cloth ones are no good now. Everyone ready for the next variant?

    I’ve a got a completely different take on FR’s & Steven’s views. But that’s not for here.

    Dag-nabbit all to even have this discussion.

    The only sanity in all this I can find is solo audio.

    In the meantime I get on plane – live in a hotel – eat out – most days of the year. All behind some sort of mask.

  7. Looking from the glass half full view, there is a lot of good that has come from the last couple years.

    Families have been forced to spend quality time together, made home improvements they were putting off, learning the seemingly “ancient art” called cooking, finding time to exercise, etc. On a personal note, I have learned how enjoyably simple life can be, which makes retirement a far less stressful concern.

  8. The word on the streets now is that there is another whole new virus out in China that causes bleeding from eyes and ears, etc. Good thing we have stellar leadership in America looking out for us here, lol. I would imagine they can start anything awful they want now without question. I’m thinkiing what we have witnessed the past 2 years and the vax were not good enough if this hemorrhagic fever is real. All we can do is the best we can and enjoy our families, our music and our other hobbies and interests until we hopefully rectify what’s being done.
    It’s time to open eyes if they are not.

    Signed,

    Conservative “Conspiracy Theorist”

  9. 2022 is the year we will start to learn to live with Covid after receiving our shots and yearly boosters. The unvaccinated?

    I cannot comprehend the resistance to the vaccine. I like Paul, was a child in the 1950s and I remember the scary and deadly Polio scourge. Oral vaccine was administered in my school and we all lined up for the little tiny paper cup. You would think people would have learned something by 2022 or are most humans destined to still live in ignorance. I think the CCP government should fess up to how this deadly man made virus escaped from the Wuhan biological warfare lab and take responsibility, but I my guess there would be a backlash around the world for this kind of research in all the so called “developed world” especially in the USA and with Chinese discrimination.

    1. William,

      Different times. I have a parent and a few close relatives that were inflicted by polio. They survived but were disabled in the legs. This CoViD vaccine is not in the same ballpark. Somebody who’s hesitant to put some something in their body is not some leper, much as the news and politicians would have us believe.

      In the 50’s there was still trust in the gov’t and some national pride…. That’s slowly being eroded away.

      As far as the fess up, that’ll never happen… it shows fallibility and weakness

    2. William,
      To answer your question:
      Short-term pain; long-term gain.
      But then it could be argued that there ain’t a lot of long-term left.
      So, yeah, let’s live for the ‘Now’ & let the future be damned.

  10. “There’s NO way they’re forcing me to put some cocktail of unknown chemicals in MY body!! I am not going to be some part of a science experiment!! Do think I am an IDIOT?

    “Um…did you NOT eat a Tide pod just a short while ago?”

    “………….Yes…..”

    1. Just living has its risks. The risk of dying or becoming seriously ill from the Covid vaccine is extremely low, if at all. In the USA before this Covid-19 monster is contained over a million souls will have succumbed to this disease. Already, USA has lost 800,000+. All the unvaccinated probably wish they had listened to Dr. Anthony Fauci. Please give it some more thought. I had all my shots and boosters as my wife is a disabled person and I need to protect her as much as I can. Of course, the choice is yours!

  11. Update:
    – Pipes completely Pex replaced & re-run and routed INSIDE the house. No leaks. On my FIRST attempt! Freeze THAT you cranky moody pre-menopausal Mother Nature. Thank GAWD for the sharkbite connector!
    – Bathroom sink restored to whisker catching duty. No more toothpaste on MY plates.
    – Credit card replaced; $1500 Ikea (2800 km away!) shopping spree and questionable vacation site fees ($2000) reimbursed.
    – Rogue branch dismembered and publicly burned alive. (As a blatant warning to potential future limb attackers.)
    – Roof patched. No leaks. Between the DIY plumbing and oh-so-pretty roof bandaid, I feel I may no longer be eligible for ANY future Better Home & Garden exposes. My abode looks more like a Dr. Seuss house anyway. Not level floor, square corner nor edge within. FYI – a sloped floor makes pan-omelette making a cinch.
    – The obligatory over-night colossal ear hair growth seems to have dulled the E flat major pitch.
    – European wieners are on sale this week – looks like it’s gonna be a gussied up fancy goin’out kinda hair week!
    – I am currently researching top rated reviews of brass and copper spittoons. They are MUCH harder to find that you might think. Must be a supply chain issue.
    All in – everything fixed for about the price of a AudioQuest Carbon 48 4K/8K/10K HDMI Cable!

    I rewarded myself by buying yet ANOTHER headphone amplifier (tube!) and pair of headphones. The first step is admitting you HAVE a problem.
    So…. All good here!

    Ok, there WAS one slight drawback:
    I did make a new year’s resolution to limit myself to ONE alcoholic beverage per day. Between the disaster stress and subsequent self-rewarding for the repair work, I am currently approximately three and a half weeks ahead of schedule.

    In the immortal words of Rush’s Neil Peart:
    My maladies have been equaled
    By hatchet, pex and sol…..(der)

  12. Cheer up guys. The ice shall soon melt. The seas shall rise. The methane will bubble out of the melting permafrost. Mass migrations will meet brutal resistance. Pictures from the James Webb space telescope will show us what a joke planet earth is. And most of us will be in the grave or dust in the wind before Mother Nature is cured of mankind.

    Now, let’s go cue up another LP. 😎

      1. Stimpy, I think you said this to me last week. There is really only one of me, but you and me together make two. Keep the faith. There is always the chance that modern humans might evolve (dramatically), just like modern man evolved from early man. Genetic modification might ultimately provide our survival, just like Covid survives by mutating. Of course, those who resist or refuse such change, will end up like the anti-vaxxers–stacked in the freezer trailer just outside the back door of the hospital. The only reason to go back in time is to enjoy the great music we missed. And that’s what vintage LPs and modern re-masters are for. Be well, eat your vegetables. 😎

        1. I agree with the last part of your comment Longplayer.

          I am a pessimist and I see no hope for this world because of the selfishness and greed of so many people. The one thing I learned about being a pessimist is that most of us are realists.

          I try to stay positive through Vedic meditation and mindfulness but it is not easy in times like this.

          1. I’m a pessimist with a ‘can do’ attitude, Stimpy.
            Yes, these are difficult times, but difficult times are when great changes happen.
            Being skilled at meditation and mindfulness gives you a big advantage
            in times when others succumb to trauma.

            1. I’m not that skilled. There were times not like these that I was in Nirvana. It’s easy to get thrown off your game almost every day by what I see, read and hear around me. Thanks for your kind and intelligent response.

              1. I have a friend who is easily overwhelmed by the negative aura of these times. She simply avoids the news outlets altogether and votes for serenity in her own life. She’s a big fan of Eckart Tolle and has found strength in his writing for a couple of decades now. Music, fitness, adult education and creativity keep my wheels lubricated. I’m sure you’ll figure out a better balance; if you’re into high end audio and music it’s pretty much a given that you have a lot of skills and personal strengths. Sometimes we all have to step back a bit for a personal reset before moving on again. Be well,

                1. Ekhart Tolle is someone that I have been following for years but I started my journey when I was 30 years old by taking a course in transcendental meditation. Thanks for the kind words, be well… Neil

                  Stillness Speaks

      1. Not me Martin. I don’t fiddle while Rome burns. In the 22 years I was in the pet supply business, I was responsible for getting over 3200 cat adoptions all successful. Two days after 9/11, I received a call from one of the deputy mayors of New York City asking if I could help get a lot of supplies for the dogs working on the pile. Within 48 hours I had close to a half million dollars of food, boots, crates and so many other necessities for these animals and the manufacturers picked up the tab. I don’t sit on my hands, never did but it’s getting more difficult as I am in an area that is filled with people who are only interested in themselves.

        1. Neil,
          I’m talking about the problems that we face NOW; not years ago, as we sit & listen to our favourite tunes on our home-audio rigs.
          It could be argued that because of our age that it’s no longer our concern…let the younger one’s solve the problems facing the world.

          1. It’s not the way I was meant to be Martin. I will not sit by and watch the world disintegrate. Perhaps that’s why when I was in business in New York City I had so many famous people visiting my store for 22 years. They sensed something in me as did the rest of my clientele. I was born to be a truthteller and helper and not someone who avoids looking at what’s right in front of their eyes. That’s the way I grew up and that’s the way I’ll always be.

            Best,
            Neil

            1. So you’re out on the streets actively campaigning for a better world?
              Because that’s how I meant it.
              Again you talk about 22 years in the past.
              I’m not talking about the past I’m talking about NOW.

          2. It’s not the way I was meant to be Martin. I will not sit by and watch the world disintegrate. Perhaps that’s why when I was in business in New York City I had so many famous people visiting my store for 22 years. They sensed something in me as did the rest of my clientele. I was born to be a truthteller and helper and not someone who avoids looking at what’s right in front of their eyes. That’s the way I grew up and that’s the way I’ll always be.

            Just to make a point this is the kind of articles I read every day

            https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/13/opinion/america-falling-apart.html

            Best,
            Neil

  13. Sometimes when asked “How’re you doing?” it’s easier just to reply “Fine, thank you” than to go through the litany of problems that the other person really doesn’t want to hear about. That’s especially true when in the Golden Years medical issues pile up.

    1. When I meet people in the street and they ask how I am, I tell them I’m fine. When I have to listen to all the self-centered comments which I may soon not be involved with, that’s when I’m not so fine. This venue may not be me for for me anymore. I remember when Paul‘s Posts were just about audio topics for the most part. That’s changed an awful lot and I became part of this nonsense until I realized that I was becoming part of this crowd. I have some soul-searching to do. There are so many other audiophile networks that I am enjoying because they are not a free-for-all. I can actually learn and enjoy from them instead of become angry and frustrated by what I’m reading. Paul’s videos are a whole lot easier to swallow because this group is usually not a part of that.

      1. Neil, I know how you feel, I am there myself. Take break and when you return try to take it easy. Just keep saying ” Is this about audio? Do I really want to comment if it isn’t? “

        1. Believe me Tony, I agonized over whether I should make that first comment for half an hour but as that that time went by more and more nonsense was being posted and it just blew my mind. I am going to take a break but I don’t think that this forum is for me anymore. Time will tell.

          Thanks for for your good advice.

      2. Neil,
        Like you I yell at the computer and get frustrated after 5 years or so here.

        Once in a great while I glean some info.

        Mostly what I’ve experience now is that I am in a giant minority when it comes to anything outside audio, and that those thoughts and comments I have are not welcomed by the greater majority.

        Common sense, national pride or any opposite point of view be damned.

        So do what what’s best for you.

        That’s what everyone else is doing…

        1. Mike… You and I seem to always be in tune with each other. Everything you’re saying is correct to me. We are in a minority because other people don’t want to stick their necks out. Like ostriches, they would rather stick their heads in the sand and let the world collapse around them. My whole life has been spent trying to be a decent person and to help others.

          I can tell you one thing for sure. Paul McGowan is a decent person. No matter what the daily topic, no matter what his constant marketing techniques, I know in my heart of hearts that Paul has some understanding about who I am and what I stand for. Whether he agrees with me, I have no idea.

  14. I am responding here to several of the above anti-vaccination comments because to me it is matter of public safety, and my health and freedom (since I have no freedom if I am dead). In the interest of full disclosure, I am a retired physician (not in infectious diseases) and my planned retirement occurred essentially just as the pandemic was beginning, so I have not treated people with this problem. In addition, I have been vaccinated, including a booster shot.

    This is a long note, so I will give the TL;DR summary here:
    -The vaccines work and are safe.
    -You not being vaccinated impinges on MY freedom since it increases the chances of me or others being infected.
    -You not being vaccinated increases the chances that healthcare workers will get sick.
    -You not being vaccinated increases the chances that people will die of other problems because hospitals have no room due to COVID-19. (This has happened).
    -You not being vaccinated INCREASES the likelihood of NEW VARIANTS emerging, threatening us all.

    It is distressing to me the number of people who completely misunderstand the severity of COVID-19 and its impact on people. Many also seem to misunderstand the utility of vaccinations in preventing disease among the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Most people consider vaccination to be the most significant, and lifesaving, advance in medicine so far.
    Someone mentioned the eradication of polio in the United States by vaccines and there are many other examples. Smallpox was eradicated and many childhood diseases have been eradicated by vaccination. When I was a child, a cousin almost died of measles encephalitis, which is an extreme rarity now. During Residency I saw several patients on ventilators due to tetanus, an infectious disease that is almost completely preventable with vaccination.

    I am mystified by statements that the vaccine is a matter of personal choice or personal freedom. The idea of personal freedom may apply to your own diet, smoking, taking of prescribed medicines, etc., but it is different with vaccinations for highly contagious diseases. The problem with this attitude is that one person’s freedom is another person’s death. People who are unvaccinated are much more likely to spread the disease as well as to die of it themselves. These unvaccinated people provide an easy means to spread the disease. And as noted above in one of the comments, the infections take a severe toll on the health, both physical and mental, of medical personnel treating patients with COVID-19. People with COVID-19 are preventing people with other illnesses from getting treatment because of the hospital facilities required to take care of the COVID-19 patients.

    In addition, new variants occur because the virus reproduces in people who are infected. It does not reproduce on doorknobs, food boxes, fresh food or in the air; it requires the ability to reproduce in an animal to develop variants. So people who refuse to get vaccinated provide a breeding ground for new variants which can and will affect many others. There goes my personal freedom again.

    The vaccines are extraordinarily safe and are highly effective. Of course, no vaccine is 100% effective just as no medical treatment is 100% effective. No vaccine is 100% safe and no treatment is 100% safe, however the vaccine is far safer than becoming sick with COVID-19.

    My advice to people, not as a physician but as someone who wants to see this epidemic end, is to get vaccinated and wear masks when appropriate. If you find this controversial you will need to present real facts to refute them, not simply anecdotes of friends who didn’t get sick when they went to a concert, since there are many documented cases of people getting sick going to concerts or large meetings, including Herman Cain a prominent Republican who died after a political meeting.

    Almost all of the deaths now from COVID-19 in the United States are in the unvaccinated. I keep reading about people who are virulently anti-vaccine dying of COVID-19, often after asking for the vaccine when it is too late. When will people learn.

    Note: These comments are mine and are not to be quoted or used without my permission. Thank you.

    1. Here here! That’s kind of what I was going for with my Tide Pod eaters metaphor, but your way gooder words are dead on. Pun intended. Just booked my 3rd shot appointment today!

    2. That was a great post Andy.

      When will people learn… Usually I see videos on the Internet and they learn when they’re on their deathbed. That’s when they make a public statement that they made a big mistake by not being vaccinated.

    3. Thank you, Andy.
      Very nice post.
      A few (many) years ago I worked on the kinetics of hepatitis C, the mathematics of the virus. It was fascinating. You could “see” in real time the variations in the virus. A good friend of mine from Paris used to call them “quasispecies”. We were (are) fortunate that HCV has a low “kill rate”. Ebola, as a viral disease has a very high infection and “kill rate”. Rabies, once infected and not immediately treated has a 100% “kill rate”.
      We are doubting about COVID because there is little sensitivity to the kill rate. Is it 2% of infected people? Is the rate different by risk factors? Of course! But we don’t know enough about the variance in those risks. They are not absolute.

      It took decades to even identify HCV (it was called non-a-non-B for a while), describe it, understand its behavior and how to treat it. Now we have oral drugs with 99% efficacy for it. And no vaccines!

      Do you think people would be arguing if the virus “kill rate” was 10%? I find it interesting how people trade-off risks that they don’t even understand.

      I am vaxed, boosted, and wear proper masks as much as possible. Good science works, even if it changes over time. We learn. Thank goodness for curiosity.

      1. Sorry if this is a duplicate-I thought I replied but I don’t see it.
        Yes, I’ll be happy for you to send it to your sister and I hope it helps.
        Thank you all for your supportive (so far!) comments.

    4. Andy, You knocked it out of the park man. There was a news report today that a man had his prostate cancer surgery delayed ( I think it was for two weeks, but that is may recollection ) due to a lack of hospital staff because first, there were too many hospital staff out with the omicron variant of covid and second, too much staff was diverted to the ICU due to serious covid cases.

      1. Thank you. There are worse reports from a few months ago. A man in the South died because his heart disease needed treatment, but there no hospitals anywhere nearby (they tried about 40 of them) that could accept him; there are others as well.

        The related aspect is that people with serious problems may be delaying visits to emergency rooms because of a fear of catching COVID while in the ER, in addition to not wanting to wait extra time because of the crowding.

    5. [sarcasm font on]
      Oh my duck!
      I have to get three, count them, THREE pokes in the arm!
      I have to wear a mask to cover nose and mouth!
      So much stuff!
      “Poor, poor, pitiful ME!”
      [sarcasm font off]

      Viruses are little biochemical robots. They execute their program to make more viruses. That’s it. If their methodology causes illness and death, that is not part of their programming, and so is irrelevant.

    6. Hello Andy,
      I would like to be able to use your statement with a blood relative who may lose her job because of her selfishness (along with my respect). Your points are spot on and more objective than I could state the case, myself. As some here know my daughter is in her 30s dealing with being born with Cystic Fibrosis and carrying that monkey on her back. And she really doesn’t need others piling on through their obstinacy. She’d rather go back to enjoying another Willie and Family show live and in person. May I?

      1. Certainly you may use it, or part for that purpose. I just didn’t want it taken wholesale and used by someone and I didn’t want pieces taken out of context and used for purposes opposite to my feelings. I hope your daughter does well with her cystic fibrosis and gets to enjoy some of the things she wants to do.

  15. Hearing is not a side effect issue, the hydro is still on, there’s still new music out there being released, I can text friends, they are still making beer, wine & Scotch (AND they deliver), the soundroom is in tip top condition with some new cables… I DO count my blessings during these times. Regularly. And for me, Paul’s Posts & Asks (and the comments too) – no matter the topic – because we are here initially due to a common interest – well, they certainly do help too.
    And it’s cheaper than therapy.
    Think of the odd non-music posts like the rare school days when the teacher would wheel in that TV on that tall wobbly stand… A slight break, but you know we’ll be back to math and measurements tomorrow.

  16. For all of you that have been chomping at the bit, wondering how Mongo stands on all this…. I’m vaccinated and had my booster. Listened to the advice out of Australia ( thanks mates), and did the mix and match thing – Moderna for the first two, Pfizer for the booster.

    For the vaccine deniers/objectors, here’s a little story: A man in the southern US was caught in torrential rains for an extended period, and the water kept rising. He ended up on the roof of his house, as the water rose further. He prayed, “Father God, save me from this flood!” After a while, a man came by in a rowboat, and told him to get in the boat, he’d take him to safety. He replied, no, God would save him. A while later, another boat came by, and told the man to get in his boat, and he’d take him to safety. The man again replied, that no, God would save him. An hour later, a helicopter flew over and yelled down to the man to grab the rope ladder and he’d save him. The man again yelled back that no, God would save him. The water kept rising until it was over the house, and the man drowned. When he got to Heaven, he asked The Lord, why didn’t you save me? I’ve been a good and faithful servant! God replied, “You dumbass! I sent you two rowboats and a helicopter!”

    You have the right to not get vaccinated….you also have the right to step out in front of a semi. I don’t recommend either one. My two cents worth. Worth every cent you aid for it.

    My stereo is dialed in and sounding great, Cyrus, thanks for asking.

    Constipatedly,

    Mongo

  17. I think the last few years have resulted in a huge amount of shrill illiberalism, and people throughout the western world have become very intolerant of those who they perceive as behaving, thinking or voting in the wrong way. I have encountered this in terms of hifi (if you think that transport is ok, you are literally deaf); politics (if you vote for politician X you are too stupid to have a vote); covid (the unvaccinated should be banned; anyone who doesn’t agree with mandatory vaccines is a dirty anti-vaxxer).

    Where has tolerance gone? Where is respect for differing opinions? Where is agreeing to disagree?

    Paul you are the sole exception to this, and I enjoy your daily posts/videos. We may disagree on some things, but I can imagine enjoying the discussion and not falling out about it!

    So I don’t think the madness will be gone until people remember that folk are different, and its ok to be that way.

    Until then I tend to stay off the forums!

    Neil

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