An opinion from Indiana

So, I moved to West Terre Haute, Indiana from Paducah, KY. It was, in reality, a jump outta the frying pan and into the water. I’ll write about that some other time.

We get a weekly paper in West Terre Haute, West Vigo Times, (Strohm Newspapers) — I assume that makes Gary Stohm an invested paper owner. While I see very little in this paper of use to me (mostly high school sports) — I was surprised to see this editorial printed from Gary Strohm. I was not impressed and I responded. My response will never get published because it’s too long — and more than likely filled with mean. So I’m putting it here.

>>We’ve now been dealing with Covid-19 for almost two years. And with all the lockdowns, shutdowns, social distancing, and mask and vaccine mandates haven’t been able to get rid of the virus and return life to normal.

I think it should say: Refusals to wear masks, take a vaccine, or keep social distancing standards; it’s no surprise we haven’t gotten rid of the virus. But let me address your statistics first.

>>We were told all year that when over 70% of the country was vaccinated that we would attain herd immunity, and life would return to normal. We’re over 70% — even 85% or better for those over 70-year-olds at most risk. But life has not returned to normal.

First, “over 70% of the country was vaccinated” is not true. I have to wonder where you are receiving your information? Is it Fox or CNN News? Why not go to the CDC? There you can find accurate information that has not been “spun up” by the news media. Yes, there were times the government announced information from the CDC prematurely. Only to later walk back the statement — because the CDC had not finished looking at some results released. Remember when the CDC said the masks were not working? Did anyone ever go to the CDC to verify that? If they had, they would discover that statement was the result of:
1. many people wearing masks incorrectly,
2. many people touching their faces while out in public,
3. or just having crappy masks.

In the past, on Facebook — I’d check the CDC — to find “scaremongering memes passed around and Facebook is conspiring against us by deleting these truthful statements” NOT true. Facebook is not rabidly watching our pages for leaks about the “conspiracy going on” — content is deleted because your “friend” reported your content. That’s right — Facebook is not deleting your content conspiratorially — Facebook is responding to the reports made by people (your friends) reading your feed. Many people disagreed with the nonsense but didn’t want to get into the ridiculous name-calling — instead, they just reported the content and moved on. Me, I quit Facebook. I was so tired of reading trash from non-experts. I also know Facebook curates our feeds — ensuring we only see what we want to see. Facebook wants to validate your beliefs — so you will come back. Why? Because Facebook profits “hugely” from targeted advertising to particular audiences.

It surprises me how gullible people are on — the Internet — not just Facebook. We “share” memes exhorting people not to fall for “info” because it says true story! Yet, the ones passing around the warnings to be vigilant for the truth are the same ones sharing the garbage. Gotta love Facebook — they know us so well. Ironically, Facebook starts many of those “share” posts.

These memes and statements on Facebook resulted from the same tactic I see in printed media all the time. A time “honored” tradition of the press — using “If it Bleeds it Leads” tactics. I remember back in the 80’s seeing a magazine — with the shocking headline: “Princess Diana talks about Divorce!” I read the article because Prince Charles and Princess Diana had only just gotten married and had maybe at this time one child. I was really taken by surprise. Oh, yeah, Princess Diana talked about divorce all right. It was a question posed to her — “Do you believe in divorce of any kind”? (in the same manner, we pose the “abortion” question.) Princess Diana stated she was Catholic and did not believe in divorce. Question answered. Nowhere was Prince Charles included in the question or answer. It wasn’t about her marriage — it was simply a question to find out the nature of her character. That was the last time I fell for that kind of headline.

It’s no wonder so many people think there are conspiracies of magnets, microchips, and wrecking women’s fertility with the vaccine. When I checked with the CDC, which was well after you checked (I hope), the vaccination is at 68%. The numbers you are citing only apply to specific demographics — as you mentioned…Old folks, for example. The second thing to consider when we were told “70%” that number should have been qualified by: “in the same time frame.” How long has it taken us to get to 68%?

Meanwhile, those who received the vaccination early on are now getting variants after about six months. Variants that might not have happened — had the 70% gotten vaccinated at the SAME TIME.

All the debating: “The government can’t tell me what to do” — Oh, yes, they can — it’s why we elected them — to manage us — are they not the ones who make laws we agree to abide by? Are laws created to control us? Or do we insist on having them enforce aberrant people to get along in society? The social contract the majority believes in — is not followed by everyone. Do we not demand over and over again for the government to write laws to protect us? To protect us from those who have no common sense? “The CDC keeps changing their tune” or “The vaccines were not studied long enough.” Pah! The study I read written and published in a scientific journal — peer-reviewed by other respected scientists — indicated COVID has been studied since 2006. In 2012 — the study concluded it was safely and thoroughly tested on mice, and now it’s time to check it in human beings. That’s right — cures/vaccines for COVID have been looked at since 2012 for humans, much longer overall. The reason why it’s called COVID-19 is because of the generation of the virus — not the number of days it takes to get over it. The reason why 19 became the pandemic — was because of its virulent nature. And now we have 19D, even more virulent, and a few other variants. The letter D indicates it’s a subset of the original virus — not a brand new one — but different enough to warrant different treatments.

>>Though earlier in the year, President Biden promised. that he would ‘never mandate vaccines, he has done so repeatedly in recent weeks. First, for health care workers, federal employees, and anyone with federal government contracts. Now, for all of our military personnel. His latest mandate, which he is trying to implement through OSHA and Health Administration, would require employees to get vaccinated. In every case, if an employee fails to get vaccinated, they are to lose their job.

I refer you back to my last paragraph where I discussed that we do this already. We are required by law to get vaccines to travel to certain countries. We are required by law to get tests and vaccines, for example, tuberculosis, to work in a K-12 school district. I know this — I worked in three different K-12 districts in WI. Before starting work, I was required to get tested. If not vaccinated, I would need to get the vaccination, wait a period, and test for negative again. Meanwhile, my job might get filled by someone else more prepared than me.

We are required as military members to receive several vaccines upon entering boot camp. When stationed at specific locations, I was required to receive certain protection shots or keep them handy. Anthrax or Sarin — during Desert Storm while Saddam Hussein was filling the air with his chemical warfare. It didn’t bother you then — as long as you weren’t required, right? Where were all you anti-vaxxers when I went through boot camp? And what about measles and Polio?

Will vaccinating the last one-fourth of the country give us herd immunity? It doesn’t look promising. Well, of course not. More than 25% refuse to cooperate based on “you can’t take away my freedoms.” Frankly, I’ve never looked at vaccines as taking away my freedoms. I look at them as my country doing its best with the current science to keep us healthy and vigorous. So we can continue to prosper both in peacetime and wartime.

>>Vermont is a case in point. That state is about 90% vaccinated, yet they currently have the highest COVID case rate in the country.

Again, sources at the State of Vermont and the CDC do not reflect the values you cite in your commentary. The statistics are 74% of all VT over the age of 5 — have completed the vaccinations. 81% over the age of 5 have received at least one vaccine dose. That means 7% never bothered to get their 2nd dose or had not as of today, 11/20/21.

>>Through all of this, one of the many things that puzzles me is the failure to take into account the natural immunity which comes from having had Covid.

And what percentage is that exactly? And how does that factor into all the new variants that are making the round? And what scientific studies have been completed, and peer-reviewed to show that everyone has natural immunity? I read some of the same things you did — very respectable doctor’s coming out and talking about wasting money and time on vaccines when someone has already had COVID. Here is the problem I have with this — when it comes to healthcare — I don’t want to be “dead” right — I want to be healthy. I don’t want people who are not doctor’s to decide that my parents or my grandkids are now immune — and they “should” be safe from COVID. And I want the doctor who claims we are immune — to be the one to give me a medical note, indicating I will not catch COVID-19. If he doesn’t sign it — then I’ll wait and get a vaccine. Big people talk big. They are significant in the news because they talk big. As long as no one actually dies under their care — their arrogance is never punctured. But do you want to be the one to find out that the doctor was showing off his medical degree and experience and not entirely accurate?

Do you know how the ‘flu vaccine works? Every year, scientist at the CDC study past years, taking into account, location, weather changes, travel patterns, more things that you and I are probably aware of — and they formulate ‘flu vaccines according to their predicted expectations in a certain location. You get the ‘flu shot, and if the scientists are right, and “usually” they are — you don’t get the ‘flu. If you move directly after you get vaccinated or decline a vaccine the following year, you could get that strain of the ‘flu. I took a ‘flu shot every year — from 1979 — to 1992. I was in the military — it was required. I’d only had the ‘flu once as an adult — I was so sick — I had to go to the hospital for 105 temperature. They cooled me down — and I eventually recovered. I lost about five days of work. When I got out — I moved to Wisconsin — and every year — suggestions to get the ‘flu shot was met with my indifference. I don’t know why — call it my being uninformed. After about ten years — it was mentioned to me again to get the ‘flu vaccine — and this time — I took the time to learn how it works. I decided to start retaking the vaccine every year. It’s accessible to me; I’m older now (and more vulnerable). Why not?

>>Officials from Moderna and Pfizer admit that 5% of the people who receive their vaccines do not receive the antibodies that will protect them from the virus. Johnson & Johnson admits that 25% do not receive the antibodies. It could well be that many of those “break-through “cases that we hear about are not break-through at all. The folks never received the antibodies, to begin with.

You ever look up Jonas Salk and the Polio vaccine? Salk was the one who came up with the formula for the vaccine. The polio outbreak was well underway — and people were losing their ability to breathe, to walk, their lives. There were some vaccines tried out — but they contained live Polio. Like all vaccine theories — the idea is to treat the body with a small amount — giving the body time to build up the antibodies. But it turns out even the tiniest of a live dose could cause complete polio sickness. Salk figured out — after much testing — that a dead poliovirus — provided the same effect. And now? Do we have Polio in the USA? I read of one batch of polio vaccine that had a live virus in it — a nurse or some medical staff knew it — but it was sent out anyway — guess what? Yep, Polio got really bad in that area that received that particular batch of vaccines. Ironically, no one objected to getting a vaccination for Polio, or measles, or tuberculosis. (This is my version — I may have recalled some details wrong — I have a short memory– but it’s essentially true)

>>Maybe we should take some of the 6 trillion which the government has borrowed to get us through the Covid crisis to provide us all with antibody tests so that we will know if we really are protected or not. It’s no wonder that government officials want us to wear a mask even if we are vaccinated.

Now, C’mon, surely you know, as I know, when money is allocated through a government entity, there is no crossing over in funding and budget. You can’t take the USA procurement of weapons and systems, $139 billion in 2020, and nearly $100 billion spent on research and development of weapons and equipment — and transfer that over to mental health care for the many, many veterans who come home after war — disheartened, depressed, and feeling useless as …well, a slug. We train our military for war — but we re-train them for peacetime (or deprogram them)– there is a reason why suicide rates among veterans — rank at about 20–22 a day. But don’t worry — we got enough weaponry to blow up Earth 7 times over.

Studies from other countries have shown that people with natural immunity are even better protected than those of us who have received the Covid vaccines.

Is this like the country of Brazil that used Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 and later paid a high price to the piper? No one bothered to check back to see if there were any repercussions. And, oh, boy, there was.

Isn’t natural immunity supposed to be about protecting the person from some specific disease or reaction? For example, I’ve never gotten poison ivy. I’ve been exposed over and over. I’d say I have a natural immunity to it. So yeah, I’m better protected than most people from poison ivy. I would not recommend others expose themselves to it — just because I don’t react. And I never go out of my way to touch it.

>>Why give millions of us vaccines when many already have the immunity that the vaccines are supposed to provide.

Could it be that there is not enough data to provide a safe conclusion?

>>Could it be so that Moderna, Pfizer and J &J can sell more of their vaccines and make more money and have their stock prices soar even further?

It could be. I wish everyone showed as much interest in the price of insulin for diabetes, or the price of these overpriced drugs (below) — that no insurance company will ever cover — despite the lifesaving properties:

1 Zokinvy* Eiger BioPharmaceuticals $86,040
2 Myalept Aegerion Pharmaceuticals $74,159
3 Mavenclad* EMD Serono, Inc. $60,371
4 Ravicti* Horizon Therapeutics $57,998
5 Actimmune Horizon Therapeutics $55,310
6 Oxervate Dompé $48,498
7 Takhzyro Takeda $46,828
8 Juxtapid Amryt Pharma $46,502
9 Cinryze Takeda $45,465
10 Chenodal* Travere Therapeutics $42,570

20 Tibsovo Agios Pharmaceuticals $28,380

For that matter — does anyone know this little factoid?

From 1999 to 2018, the pharmaceutical and health product industry recorded $4.7 billion — an average of $233 million per year — in lobbying expenditures at the federal level, more than any other industry.

>>Maybe we should focus on antibody testing to safeguard our people before firing millions of them for failing to receive vaccines on the basis of moral, health, or religious reasons

I think this is a fine idea. You didn’t have to convince me that we are being forced to receive vaccines or that we are all completely vaccinated to prove your point. Your point is a great one.

Why do we politicize everything? That is what is really wrong with the whole pandemic. Republicans and Democrats once again — telling lies about the other party. What happened to “report the good they’ve accomplished” for us as a nation? Instead, we hear about how awful the other party is. Why? Oh, right, if it Bleeds, it Leads.

I don’t expect you to publish this because it’s so long. But I would hope you would respond to let me know that I made sense to you. We (collective) should focus our energies on ignoring all the political rhetoric instead of sensationalizing and making all news about politics. The collective we — go after congress for their lack of representation. One thing is sure — I don’t see us lasting much longer as a nation as we continually divide over these “moral, health, and religious” reasons.

Feeding the cognitive dissonance of the “unwashed masses” is not the way to a future bright with promise.

Wynne Linden
New but current resident of West Terre Haute
A veteran of Foreign Wars
Single (divorced) woman
Seen too much/Know too much
Experienced from 61 years of making mistakes
Wise from learning from 61 years of making mistakes



-- I like to think I’m the sheepdog — even if this article smashes some of the premises of this analogy by LTC D. Grossman.

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Wynne Linden

Wynne Linden I like to think I’m the sheepdog — even if this article smashes some of the premises of this analogy by LTC D. Grossman.

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