Making America great again

The covid vaccine way.

The US and a few other wealthy nations have announced intentions to give booster shots to their fully inoculated citizens from September in a bid to improve their immunity. This is at at time when about 5 billion humans are yet to receive the vaccine and there are people who believe this is a moral outrage.

Let’s pretend for a moment you were the policy maker and is intent on vaccine uptake at home and elsewhere, especially faced with a situation where there are vaccine skeptics, would you encourage a booster shot for the fully inoculated or would you persuade the unvaccinated to get their shots thus improving the chances of the community?

In the meantime, keep safe. And if you can, avoid staying in crowded places for long, among many other things you can do to protect yourself.

An example of misinformation

Being perpetrated online on Covid-19 and the responses by many leave me worried for some.

And it seems some section of the population is going berserk. There are at least 10 or so vaccines that are mandatory that I believe, unless you live in a cave, we have all received before age 5 and only few people refuse to get them & usually evidence is required when you start school. Now that several places are asking for evidence for covid vaccination, there are suits in courts about my body my choice freedom which I find interesting.

Anyway, I hope vaccine nationalism will pave way to universal access ๐Ÿ˜€ especially as I have heard prices of the vaccines have gone up by between a quarter and a tenth. I think so far only the J& J or Astra Zeneca shots are available here. I will wait for the more expensive jabs n tell you all how it goes.

Meanwhile keep safe everyone.

On the trans debate

Those of you not living under a rock, like say, Ark, know the 2020 Tokyo Olympics extravaganza ends today and it has had some great performances and tear inducing moments such as the athletes who agreed to share gold among others. But on the sidelines, there are issues of mental health that were also brought to light. But all these are for another time and day.

What interests me is this question about these two women/ girls from Namibia being able to participate in future games because of naturally occurring testosterone. What is the fair thing to do? And this is where the trans matters come in. These males have a history of high testosterone and I guess with hormone inhibitors, their range would still be higher than that of the average woman( I may be wrong). Should they compete with women? Should we not have, as we discussed in the previous post, have their own categories?

What are your thoughts?

You need god for mental health

So says Scientific American especially in these times of covid related depression. I don’t know what you heathens are gonna do.

I am not convinced though. I think for some, their recovery is delayed because they have been convinced by their therapist their situation is complicated by some spirit for which neither the patient nor the therapist have a way of identifying or treating.

What do you guys think?

on covid 19

Maybe Trump was right when he called it Chinese virus. But maybe, he should have called it Wuhan virus. This, my friends, would not have been a racist statement as some of you are won’t to think. It is common practice to name viruses or pandemics according to where they were first discovered. So for example MERS- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which for those unaware had a very high fatality rate the SARS-CoV1.

In this long read, the question of the origin of the virus is looked at. For those who haven’t been following, there are two theories- a natural origin and a lab release (accidental). In the natural origin theory, it is argued that it could have come from one of the bat species to an intermediate host then to humans.

On the lab origin theory it is speculated that the virus might have leaked from one of the virology labs in Wuhan where they study coronaviruses.

And it is here that it gets quite muddy. Fauci, NIH and NIAID all have their hands in this mix. It is possible there is a lot we are still ignorant of but with time and a bit more sleuthing, we may come close to knowing what the source of this virus is.

And while we wait, you can also read this very long post written more than a year ago by Yuri Deigin.

From my reading of the two very long posts, it seems to me, the probability of a natural origin is really small given the specific nature of this virus, failure to find the intermediate host, & many other points raised on those two pieces.

Go read.

Thoughts around Covid-19

You, dear reader, has probably received your covid jab and if you are Ron, let your opportunity pass so others might get it. And if you are in India, yours truly hopes the government is doing all it can to check the deaths and spread of the infection.

I have in the recent past since this pandemic began seen a lot of talk about covid responsive spaces. You meet a client and they are asking if the office space you are proposing meets the covid protocols and I am getting tired. As a space planner, it seems to me this pandemic went with common sense of most people. It is not like this is the first airborne disease we have to deal with. How does one deal with TB?

Proper ventilation. Where AC is used, the need for filters that purify the air and faster air change is all you need. Reduce congestion in office spaces. I don’t see any sense in increasing hand washing points in office buildings besides those provided in wash rooms.

The interesting question is whether health care facilities, apart from doing the above, need to do more for health care staff? Do we need screens around beds so they take vitals remotely? Send a robot to inject the patient, have intubation done remotely and all? Maybe not. I think the common sense solutions above should be sufficient.

Maybe I am missing something and there are special design considerations that are required. Do weigh in below with your thoughts.

how turtles got their shells

long time ago, in the very distant past when birds could talk, snakes walk, asses talk, lions ate grass, and all animals lived together in friendly communes, turtles had a soft smooth shell.

One day news reached the commune of a party that was to be had high up in the sky, near the sun so to speak. Even back then, only birds could fly so when the turtle heard of this plot, he asked his bird friend if he could join the party. A committee of birds was selected to see how to make this possible. Among the options proposed was to have the largest bird haul the turtle to the party and back. The hawk said, hell no. The vulture said not on backyard, the eagle made no comments but there was no doubt the answer was no. A second plot was needed and real fast. It is here that it was decided they would donate feathers to the turtle and do a crash course in flying. This was done in no time and the whole party left for feast.

As was the custom in those days, whenever animals or people went to a feast, they used nicknames. So all the birds had their nicknames some flattering some not so much. The turtle for its nickname said it would be called all of us. And it is here that the rain started beating the turtle.

You see, when they got to the feast, every time food was served, the animals would ask for whom it was meant and the response, you guessed it right, was all of us- the turtle. And so the turtle ate while the rest of the birds watched in dismay. It went on like this till it was time to return and the birds held a quick meeting to exact their revenge. As soon as they left the venue, and had been told their goodbyes, they each and all plucked their feathers from the turtle who without this aid came a tumbling down landing on a rock with it shell cracking it in the process and since then all turtles have had hard shells.

If you have read up to this point, I will tell you the story of bats. where did they come from? When, where, why and how the first bats become airborne is another mystery buried by Deep Time.