A couple of days ago, we reported on Orange County Republican leader Kelly Ernby, a 46 year old anti-vax sociopath, dying, unvaccinated, of COVID. Yesterday, it came out that Republican-QAnon podcaster Doug Kuzma came back from the big crazy GOP ReAwaken America confab in Dallas with COVID. That was the conference where tons of people caught COVID and, for no particular reason, said they were sick from CIA-spread anthrax. Kuzma, unvaccinated, died in the hospital Monday.
Last night my friend David mentioned Kuzma's death to me and asked me if I think deaths like that are the way to end the pandemic's propensity to throw off new variants. It's going to be a very long time if that's the way it has to happen. Long before dawn this morning, the L.A. Times published a piece by Monique El-Faizy and Laura King, about how Europe is tightening the screws on the unvaccinated, something we don't see much of in this country. All over Western Europe anti-social elements who refuse to get vaccinated are "coming under mounting official pressure" to get the jabs-- which, in turn, "is triggering an impassioned backlash."
In one European country after another, public health restrictions are steadily tightening. Italy declared a vaccination mandate for those over age 50. The biggest party in Germany’s governing coalition says it will decide by the end of March whether to try to push through a universal vaccination mandate.
Austria plans to enhance enforcement of existing measures banning the unvaccinated from many public venues. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to keep vaccinations voluntary, but on Thursday blasted what he called “mumbo-jumbo” spread on social media by anti-vaccine campaigners.
As the pandemic drags into a third year, public frustration-- and reluctance to use lockdowns as a tool to stem the virus’ spread-- has brought a hard edge to the debate about how the world’s most advanced economies should conduct the next phase of the long and debilitating battle against a contagion that has killed more than 5.4 million people worldwide.
In France, Omicron is shattering caseload records even though more than 90% of people over age 12 have received at least two doses of the vaccine. That helped galvanize France’s lower house on Thursday to approve stricter requirements for obtaining the pass needed to go to bars, restaurants, cinemas and other indoor public spaces.
If France’s upper house approves the measure, which could happen next week, a negative coronavirus test will no longer be sufficient. To participate in most forms of public life-- going to concerts and sporting events, boarding flights and taking long-distance trains-- people will need to prove, starting Jan. 15, that they have received the full recommended doses of the vaccine.
The French president, who is facing April elections, triggered an outcry Tuesday when, in a forum with readers of the newspaper Le Parisien, he used a crude barnyard-style epithet meant to convey his desire to cause the unvaccinated intense annoyance by further restricting their access to public life.
“When my freedoms threaten those of others, I become someone irresponsible,” Macron said, adding: “Someone irresponsible is not a citizen.”
...Many Germans, mindful of their history under communist and Nazi rule, are also squeamish about a prospective national registry of the vaccinated, saying that runs counter to the country’s cherished data-privacy laws.
And the anti-vaccination movement, while still relatively small, has grown in intensity, with protests sometimes boiling over into violence. On Monday, more than 35,000 people participated in protests that resulted in police being hit by bottles and firebombs.
In a number of countries, as in the United States, the vaccine debate has become increasingly politicized. Macron’s vulgarity was sardonically echoed by extreme-right presidential hopeful Eric Zemmour, who told the radio network RTL on Thursday that better targets would be crime bosses and drug traffickers.
That message fell on the receptive ears of voters such as Jean Galen, a property developer in southwestern France, who said he had received his initial two shots but declined a booster. He was angry and apprehensive about the idea of taking a fourth shot, something that some French officials have alluded to as a possibility.
“Our societal life would be dependent on multiple doses,” he said. “It’s unacceptable.”
Referring to the matrix barcode used in proof-of-vaccination apps, he said, “I don’t want to become a QR code.”
Macron’s allies, however, insist that the president speaks for a fed-up majority. Prime Minister Jean Castex told BFM television on Thursday that Macron could “say out loud what many people think deep down,” describing getting vaccinated, for those who are able, as a “civic-minded” gesture.
Government spokesman Gabriel Attal, addressing reporters Wednesday, took a similar tack.
“Let’s speak frankly: Who is messing up whose life today?” he asked. “It is those who oppose vaccines.”
Lou Reed and Jim Carroll each died long before COVID. The world is poorer from their departures. Not so for people who spread COVID because they buy into politicized conspiracy theories. Those are people who need to die. In 1978 Patti Smith was in San Francisco and she brought a friend of hers over to meet me, Jim. She said he would be staying in San Francisco and asked me to look out for him. We became friends but he wasn't into being looked after. I did get him this show at the Mabuhay Gardens though.
And another one of the dangerous right-wing sociopaths just died of COVID-- Cirsten Weldon, unvaccinated and a big time QAnon lunatic, actually died yesterday. This quote of hers should be on her tombstone: "The vaccines kill, don’t get it! This is how gullible these idiots are. They’re all getting vaccine!"