The last damn COVID post for 2021

OM-i-cron? OH-mi-cron?

I was compelled to write one last damn COVID post this year. And it’s a function of an error on my part. A good friend of mine asked me an Ask Roger Anything question and I failed to reply.

I have a swollen tonsil, probably allergies, but it’s been hanging on. Contacted my doctor’s office. Nurse called me back and said, “It sounds like Covid. Go get tested ASAP.”

I had gotten a test (negative) two days before bc I had been to visit The [Adult] Child.

I’m thinking the automatic Covid test recommendations are a form of CYA (Cover Your Ass) for doctors’ offices. That would skew the aggregate for reporting positive cases, no? Would love your opinion.

The question might be different now. And the truth is that I’ve been quite unclear what the US policy has been in the past two years about testing. It seems to operate in fits and starts. It is now abundantly clear now that as we focused on the stubbornly unvaxxed, we spent way too little effort on finding out who’s already infected.

The plan, scuttled

Vanity Fair reported that Biden’s White House “rejected an October plan by COVID-19 testing experts to put some 732 million at-home tests in the hands of the public.” I certainly can’t buy one from my local drug store.

“Authored by the COVID Collaborative, a group of several COVID testing expert organizations said the country needed a ‘bold’ plan to send out some 732 million tests per month for the disease before the holiday season to reduce family gathering outbreaks.

The story notes that “The plan, in effect, was a blueprint for how to avoid what is happening at this very moment — endless lines of desperate Americans clamoring for tests in order to safeguard holiday gatherings, just as COVID-19 is exploding again.”

Not that is the reality for some people. The Weekly Sift guy describes The Emotional Roots of Political Polarization. “In South Carolina, we bought the instant Covid tests that no CVS back in Massachusetts could keep in stock. When we asked about a limit on how many we could buy, the clerk looked at us strangely, as if we didn’t understand that the whole point of retail is to sell as much as you can.”

15th letter of the Greek alphabet

Omicron: we can’t even agree on the damn pronunciation. Pretty much the only new people in the US who’ll get the jab – Boris Johnson’s favorite term for the COVID vaccine – will be people getting ill with the disease.

The head of the World Health Organization has again noted that getting a third shot – or a fourth, which Israel has proposed – will only lengthen the pandemic. Certain news media, Newsmax, e.g., have spun that to suggest that getting the shot itself is bad for the recipient. The point is that if an Israeli gets a fourth jab, and someone from, say, Burkina Faso, which has 2.1% of the population with one vax, and only 1.6% with two as of December 15, the disease will continue to spread and almost certainly mutate.

Faux News hosts have compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to someone perpetrating the actual Holocaust and recommended his assassination. Oy. And, oh dear, Trump got HIS third shot. He confounds me; after helping to create the vital vaccines, he seems to lead the opposition to them.

A Los Angeles Times story – COVID stole the heart of my family. It also divided it – is behind a paywall. “The death of [reporter Brittny Mejia’s] grandmother from COVID-19 this month made her reflect on the personal toll the virus has had on her family. ‘My grandma was not vaccinated – not of her own will – and I fear it is a decision that will haunt my family and evoke anger for years.”

I’m REALLY hoping I can stop writing about the topic. It’s boring me with the too same narrative. Some hospitals are at or above capacity. Didn’t we see that movie already? Or does this one finally have a happier ending?

Things I don’t want for Christmas

ARA

I suppose I should not be ungracious. Still, there ARE some things I just don’t want for Christmas:

Arguments that the COVID vaccine is contrary to God’s will because we have “natural immunity.”

That the vaccine has a microchip in it, broadcasting to Bill Gates’ new unlisted phone number.

That the vaccine was designed to fail. Or that the disease is fake, planned by the corporatists.

More things I don’t want for Christmas:

“Proof” that climate change has been engineered by a leftwing globalist cabal designed to take our freedom
“Proof” debunking the Holocaust
And “Proof” of Bigfoot’s existence (I just don’t get the Bigfoot stuff)

I bring this up because, in the past year or two, I have received EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE, unsolicited, to my email or via Instant Messaging on Facebook. And there were many more of like persuasion. You can’t just return them to Amazon.

Illusionary superiority

Here’s an interesting article from Scientific American. People Who Jump to Conclusions Show Other Kinds of Thinking Errors. Moreover, “Belief in conspiracy theories and overconfidence are two tendencies linked to hasty thinking.”

There was a fishing experiment you can read about. “The earlier a person jumped, the more likely they were to endorse conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the Apollo moon landings had been faked. Such individuals were also more likely to believe in paranormal phenomena and medical myths, such as the idea that health officials are actively hiding a link between cell phones and cancer.”

The article was by Carmen Sanchez and David Dunning on October 15, 2021. Dunning? I remember that surname from a blog post about illusionary superiority I wrote in September of 2015. The phenomenon is “a cognitive bias whereby individuals overestimate their own qualities and abilities, relative to others… Other terms include superiority bias, leniency error… and the Lake Wobegon effect.”

Instead

If you’ve been around here long enough, you know what I really, really want. And no, it’s not the Spice Girls’ greatest hits. (Although I don’t have any Spice Girls music. Should I get some?)

I want YOU to Ask Roger Anything. It could be about Bigfoot or the Holocaust, I suppose, and why I don’t believe in the former but do believe in the latter. 

Expect answers to your questions, probably within a month. Please leave your questions, suggestions, and interpolations in the comments section of the blog. OR you can also contact me on Facebook or Twitter. On Twitter, my name is ersie. Why ersie? I’ve probably answered that before, but I could do it again if you ask. Always look for the duck.

You may remain anonymous, or better yet, pseudonymous, but you need to tell me that. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you wish to be unnamed. Otherwise, I’ll attribute the queries to you.

 

Information: Ask Roger Anything

Always look for the duck

AskI received a letter from my former employer. It indicated that their information may have been hacked. That is to say, MY name and Social Security number likely had been compromised.

To rectify the situation, I had to sign up for something called Experian ID Works. I’ve lost track; this is the fifth or maybe the seventh time that my data has been breached.

Meanwhile, my wife was Googling for information about our house. She found these mysterious random sites such as Rehold. This has information that indicates the previous owner from 2000 still lives at the property. And Gwen Powell has never lived at this address, though we used to get mail for her. The Ellenbogens, who died in 2005, are listened as our neighbors.

Nuwber wants us to cough up money for more data. But the free stuff indicates an Annette Green as a relative, who doesn’t exist. It says I have lived in Schuylerville, NY; that is incorrect.

Not incidentally, this is why I get grumpy with people who think they can just Google the answer to all of life’s questions. Search for a restaurant and you get the GrubHub page for the said eatery.

You know the drill

I’d suggest if you really want to know more about me, just Ask Roger Anything. Don’t take that second-hand nonsense. And I’ll give it to you for free!

I’ll answer your questions, probably within 30 days. You are requested to leave your questions, suggestions, and interpolations in the comments section of the blog. OR you can also contact me on Facebook or Twitter. On Twitter, my name is ersie. Why ersie? Why not? Always look for the duck.

You may remain anonymous, or preferably pseudonymous, but you need to tell me that. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to be unnamed. Otherwise, I’ll attribute the queries to you.

Comments: Ask Roger Anything

ask away!

commentboxI recently received this comment from a Canadian yahoo calling themselves Mr. Comment; the email came from a yahoo.ca address. They wrote: “Saw you wrote some bs about moderating comments on Levine’s blog today, dude you’ve had like 3 comments in 7 years, LOL.”

What I had written to Ken Levine was “I’ve approved comments on my blog since 2010. Some people tell me I’m violating their First Amendment rights if I don’t approve of their scurrilous ranting. Their understanding of the Constitution is… somewhat lacking.”

I’m fascinated by this person. As far as I know, they are a stranger to me, and yet they would see my comment on another blog and decide to make a snarky comment on mine. So now I have 4 comments in 7 years.

For the record, I replied to yahoo something like, “It depends on the topic. I got a few on my anniversary post and more on the sitcom piece. And I got one from you today, so I can walk under ladders.” That’s a Joan Armatrading reference, BTW.

Now, I do get more comments on my Facebook links to my blog posts than the actual site. And I get fewer comments on the blog than I did a decade ago. Some of those were fascinating when two commenters would argue with each other while I’d sit back.

And I did get a lot more responses when I was participating with ABC Wednesday from 2008 through 2019.

But I suppose that’s not the purpose of the exercise.

That said…

I reckon that I do the Ask Roger Anything regularly so that I might have some dialogue on the blog. Yet I will answer your questions, generally within a month, no matter how you transmit them. You may leave your questions, suggestions, and interpolations in the comments section of the blog, of course, but you can also do so on Facebook or Twitter. On Twitter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck.

Do you prefer to remain anonymous? OK but you’d better tell me that. E-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to be unnamed. Otherwise, I’ll attribute the queries to you.

 

Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church, Binghamton

telethons

cropped-Roger.singing.TrinityAMEZ.BNG_.jpg
O Come, All Ye Faithful. December 1959

For my request to  Ask Roger Anything, Carla, my friend from the high school choir asks:

Write more about your early memories of your church and school and your family!! I love those stories.

My, that’s tough. There are SO many tales. OK. I was baptized at my church, Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church in downtown Binghamton, NY in August 1953. No, I don’t remember this.

But my church moved when I was a kid to the corner of Oak and Lydia Streets. I took a search on Newspapers.com. “Bishop Walls…senior bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will rededicate the former Plymouth Methodist Church as the new church edifice of Trinity.” This was in a story in the 8 June 1957 edition of the Binghamton Press. I vaguely remember him. 

It’s fascinating the detail given not just in this story, but all of the religious goings-on in the area. “The present Trinity Church at 35 Sherman Place recently was purchased by St. Mary’s Assumption Church as part of a site as a planned recreational center.”

Ultimately, Columbus Park was built on that site, right across the street from the Interracial Center at 45 Carroll St, where my father Les would often volunteer. Not incidentally, the park has been informally renamed for Assata Shakur.

One-tenth of a mile

The new church location was two really short blocks from our house at 5 Gaines Street. And we’d cut through the parking lot at Gaines and Oak, making the trip even faster. So we really were at church all of the time. I participated in the children’s choir, directed by Fred Goodall, who seemed to be there forever.

WNBF-TV, Channel 12 (now WBNG) used to have telethons. It was either the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon on Labor Day weekend or the March of Dimes or maybe both. In any case, our choir appeared on the station more than once. In fact, between those appearances and being on the kids’ shows, I was on local TV at least a half dozen times.

My paternal grandmother Agatha – emphasis on the second syllable, not the first – was my Sunday school teacher. She and her husband McKinley also lived upstairs from us at 5 Gaines Street. So I saw her a lot, often playing canasta at her kitchen table, until she died in May 1964. She was the first person I knew and loved who passed away.

My father Les would run off the bulletin on that mimeograph machine. I can still recollect in my mind’s nostrils that specific smell. Besides singing in the senior choir, dad also began directing the youth choir he dubbed the MAZET singers, based on the initials of the church, It included the organist’s younger daughter Lauren, my cousin Debra, my sister Leslie, and me. I recollect that we were pretty good.

OK, Carla, maybe I’ll try this again sometime.