Re: The Law, In Its Majesty

1

If you make private urination impossible, you make public urination inevitable.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:37 AM
horizontal rule
2

Some of them are homeless because they're bank robbers???


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:40 AM
horizontal rule
3

Homeless by choice is on par with self-inflicted spinal cord injuries so that you can take advantage of all the swell parking spaces.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
4

I think of homeless-by-choice as either the refusal to go to shelters, or those trying to save money by sleeping on the street. As he uses it, it also seems in his mind to include social pariahs. He thinks they've chosen it if he thinks they deserve it. At least by definition he accepts that then there are homeless people who don't deserve/haven't chosen it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
5

Huh? And again, huh? You can't separate the "they deserve to be on the street" sadism out from that statement - that's all it constitutes. He lumps people with substance use problems together with sex offenders, FFS! In that context it's pretty clear his reference to social services is as the entity best able to choose who should be out in the cold. Maybe stop trying to find common ground with irredeemable "everyone deserves exactly what they get" assholes?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
6

There are examples of homeless by choice, but what's your example of people getting rich off welfare? Excluding identity theft, which is how the originally cited person did it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
7

There's a group of possibly real live homeless-by-choicers in my neighborhood. They're white, young, and in good enough shape that they would be attractive if they weren't so dirty. They beg cheerfully and aren't put out when I don't give them anything, and speak with clear diction and good English. They carry small guitar-like objects everywhere and generally seem both happy with their situation, and entirely employable (unless they're all convicted murderers or something).

But yes, in general, I think "homeless by choice" is a lie right-wingers tell themselves.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
8

Notably unsuccessful bank robbers, I should think.

Once again we encounter the seemingly ubiquitous need to pit the deserving poor against the undeserving. The deserving poor being those who say please and thank you and recognise their place.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
9

6: I don't think the fear is so much about people getting "rich" off welfare, as people being able to live comfortable lives on welfare instead of suffering as anyone non-employed should.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:08 AM
horizontal rule
10

7: You have no idea whether or not they are homeless by choice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
11

9: In many cases, yes, but I think a great many people still envision the black woman with Cadillacs whose specter Reagan and others raised.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
12

Essentially no one is truly homeless by choice. There are lots of people who don't want to be in shelters and follow rules and/or are way to mentally ill or drug addicted to manage the fairly complicated set of rules and earning requirements you need to get a place to live. But even for these guys just giving them a home, hopefully with some additional support, is the key -- that fixes one gigantic problem that makes it so much harder for all the other problems to get better.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
13

I once worked with a bloke who was homeless, admittedly only for a few weeks. But he was dossing in doorways. He shaved in a public toilet, changed into his suit and came in to his reasonably well paid job. He wasn't broke, but he temporarily couldn't find anywhere to live. It happens. He was lucky, after 6 weeks or so he got a room.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
14

I do think that there's a class of young people as described in 7 who are essentially camping -- isn't the word 'oogles'? But not helping people who need it because you're terrified that someone who doesn't really will get something they don't deserve is sadistic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
15

I'm taking the word of ogged's links that there are at least one or two individuals in the world that are homeless by choice - it's a funny world. I don't think that should influence policy on the homeless one iota.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
16

Is it constitutional to pass laws against feeding the homeless in the park? That is, I know you can say no public eating or no serving food without a permit, but to specifically say you can't feed homeless people seems suspect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
17

Yeah, I know those guys. But (a) some of them have homes (b) among those who don't, most would probably happily take a home if offered to them without onerous conditions, and that would improve their lives (c) if after (a) and (b) there really is a remnant that's "homeless by choice" they're pretty soon going to move into the "homeless not by choice" category.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
18

Obligatory mention of the excellent Harper's article about homeless in Sacramento, which touches on these questions (link goes to an unfogged thread which contains a link to a pdf of the article).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
19

17 to 14. Anyway, the people who work on this stuff now all seem to believe that the only real solution is getting people into real housing; feeding and classic rescue mission shelters are way better than having people starve or freeze to death, but they aren't really improving the problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
20

There's an interesting question about what's the minimum for 'real housing' to be a useful solution. Dormitory style shelters, no. SRO's? Is a room that locks with a bathroom down the hall enough for people to manage with?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
21

Depends on what they eat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
22

20: physical security, privacy, cooking facilities including a way to store food so it won't perish or be eaten by vermin and access to sufficient transit to not be isolated from food stores, health care, schools and potential employment.

I wouldn't be so certain that the insouciant seeming late adolescents sleeping rough are there strictly by choice, the impulse to put a brave face on a bad family situation is very strong. But then providing a minimum standard of living for everyone irrespective of some moralistic standard is my strong preference.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
23

7: Yeah, my views have softened on oogles since I no longer run a venue that they come in and vomit all over. The thing is, some of them are indeed just having an adventure, some of them are convinced eco-anarchists who really want to be as far outside mainstream society as possible, and a lot of them are the younger versions of the older homeless people with substance abuse/cycles of violence/untreated (or self-medicated) mental & emotional health issues. And some are all of those things. There's a video online of the heyday of Hennepin Avenue drunks in Minneapolis in the 1950s. It talks about how a lot of these guys basically grew up in a hellishly abusive situation in some small town, road the rails into Minneapolis, and hung around living in SROs and doing casual labor on the riverfront until they drank themselves to death or got too old to work. Most of these issues aren't really new, we just exchange vocabularies and treatment modalities occasionally.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
24

Is it constitutional to pass laws against feeding the homeless in the park?

But there's one thing that makes Spring complete for me,
And makes every Sunday a treat for me....


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
25

It is kind of a bummer that the minimum necessary for adequate housing is strongly affected by the needs of the particular population -- that is, minimal housing that would probably be adequate for a reasonably functional group of people isn't going to work when the people being housed are disproportionately likely to be mentally ill or alcohol or drug-addicted. Things like shared kitchen/bathroom space and that sort of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
26

I dunno, I'm not sure the shared kitchen/bathroom has to be such a problem. Look at the capsule hotels in Tokyo -- a lot of their clientele are drunk, at least when they arrive, but they seem to manage okay. Alternatively, you could look at some of the other technologies around mass housing in dorms, prisons, ships, submarines, etc. One-piece fiberglass bathrooms, Auto-Mat style cafeteria, heavy-duty stainless steel fixtures. I think one thing that would make a lot of sense, that I haven't really heard about in practice would be to locate housing and casual labor in the same building. E.g. have a movie theater with dorms/apartments for employees above. Or a recycling center. Etc.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
27

26: they're drunk but they're law-abiding - from personal experience providing supported accommodation for homeless people, a lot of them are involuntarily homeless because they are so unpleasant that no one wants them in their home. We'd put them in a flat and they'd, eg, sell the front door to buy drink or something.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
28

7 small guitar-like objects

Ukuleles?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
29

27: And there's a perverse incentive problem. There's probably a large part of the homeless population that could function fine as decent housemates in a shared kitchen/bathroom/common area situation, but you'd need to be able to expel the intolerably badly behaved. If the goal is to provide housing to everyone, though, you'd have to 'expel' the intolerable to more private, separate accommodations, which most people would prefer to an SRO/boardinghouse, creating an incentive to get expelled.

Which probably means that there's no way to make the SRO sort of thing work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
30

Interestingly, both in SF (PDF, page 8) and nationally (PDF, page 6), the number of homeless barely changed through the entire course of the recession, whereas you'd have expected it to have risen significantly, especially given all the foreclosures. It makes me think the trend to permanent supportive housing really is taking a big bite out of the problem, it just didn't show up visibly in the numbers because of the secular jump in those who would have been homeless without it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
31

Also there may be a US vs the civilized world divide going on in this discussion - a significant % of the homeless population in the US are parents with children (more than 1/3 the homeless population were families per HUD in 2013, and more than 50% of those family members were children), elderly or otherwise not the single male demographic I suspect non USians are thinking of. SROs really not ideal for anyone, but super not appropriate for families, can be extremely problematic for those with mobility issues.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
32

Well, except that Sacramento has (and is sadly getting rid of) a bunch of SROs that housed the step-above-homeless well for decades. There is a niche for whom SROs work really well.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:21 AM
horizontal rule
33

Aren't we just waiting for Donald Sterling's Skid Row Palace for the Deserving Homeless?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
34

It's true that 33 was promised to solve all our problems. Ironically its proposed architecture looked remarkably similar to the Derek Zoolander For Kids Who Can't Read Good and Stuff.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
35

Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
36

32: agree eliminating SROs spiteful malicious and shortsighted given dearth of other options, just reminding folks that the picture we gave of "homeless dude" doesn't begin to accurately depict population in US. Also don't agree with "works really well". Better than the street or unstable shelter accommodations is a far cry from "works really well". "Works" maybe for very small subset, sure.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
37

I nominate the police chief for best inadvertently honest quote:

"We as a city have spent millions of dollars to turn that park into a place for families, kids and dog lovers," [Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike] Chitwood said.

We (the not-homeless) spent a lot of money—did we mention we have extra money for things beyond our homes? we do—on a space that entirely separate from the homes we have, and now you want to bring in all these people without any homes whatsoever?!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
38

have not gave


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
39

Can the use of "secular" in 30 be expounded on?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
40

Is it the same "secular" as in "secular stagnation", a phrase I can't begin to decipher.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
41

"For reasons not specific to the homeless situation but about the economy in general." I suppose I'm misusing the term - in economics that's a buzzword meaning factors independent of the business cycle or something, right?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
42

41: Usually, the long term trend would be the thing referred to as secular.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:20 AM
horizontal rule
43

Secular, pertaining to the age generally?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
44

I thought in economics it was more in the sense of "this fallen world," because it's aspects they have more trouble building into models.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
45

Ha.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
46

43: Yes. Not that I knew that before I went to Wikipedia.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
47

Back when I was homeless, you could argue that it was by choice. But it was a choice largely based on having a level of social anxiety which made me utterly inept at finding housing. Ultimately, it was easier to accepting the alternative of sleeping in the back of a truck, showering at the gym, and shitting in those nice bathrooms at the Santa Cruz Public Library.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
48

Basically, I was one of those guys in 7, except I had access to enough money that I didn't need to pan-handle - not to say I wan't terrified at the prospect.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
49

Mmm. God knows how you'd sell it to the voters, but there probably should be (who knows, maybe there is, some places) an aspect of homeless services aimed at the generally-fairly functional who just need an easy on-ramp back to finding a place to live. People like you or the guy Chris Y knew in 13.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
50

Spike, the level of social difficulty you're describing isn't consistent with 7's reported cheerful begging and ukulele strumming. We're allegedly a wealthy society, maddening (literally) we refuse to provide minimal standard of living that includes basic respect for dignity.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
51

Lee had a fair number of students living out of their cars and so forth when she was at the community college. Almost 10% of the kids in our school district are legally homeless, though I've never seen any sleeping on the street. Most of the people I've known who've been homeless have seen it be for lack of better options, basically, kind of what Spike is saying. But in trying to find a shelter slot for an older male teen, I saw just how tough it is to access the resources that are out there now. And again we come back to felonies and drug convictions being a barrier to housing. (Still not bank robbery in any of the cases I know of.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
52

I think things like 47/48/49 are extraordinarily common problems. There's an obvious kind of spiral -- you have anxiety/financial issues/embarrassment, then you get homeless and get more anxious and embarrassed because you don't have a home and now you're worried that everyone knows you're a homeless person, and things just get worse and worse and worse. Honestly it takes a shit-ton of guts to get out of that situation, so Spike is clearly a formerly homeless badass.

The "homeless" population with issues like that is probably at least double the size of the severely addicted/mentally ill homeless population. So, these are issues homeless service organizations largely do address -- and can do so effectively, by helping to find people homes, which help to break the cycle.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
53

homes, which help to break the cycle

I'm doing some work for an organization that acknowledges that homes are necessary but not sufficient, that the symptoms of chronic poverty follow people under a roof. So they pair recently-homeless families with teams of volunteers who help them get their shit together in all sort of ways. Very cool, and very successful with its first couple dozen families.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
54

Right. That's the sort of thing that makes me think clean, safe, well-run SRO -- the sort of person who just needs a room to sleep in while they get themselves organized and deal with whatever went wrong that they ended up homeless in the first place. It's not going to be all of the homeless population, but a part of it.

Come to think, is it still possible to live at the YMCA?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
55

Right, necessary but not sufficient is a good way of putting it, with the extra services you need on top of a home varying depending on the person.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
56

Honestly it takes a shit-ton of guts to get out of that situation, so Spike is clearly a formerly homeless badass.

Well, either gusto, or the ability to give in and concede to your parents that you are a fuck up. Which is to say, to have access to a social safety net.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
57

Surely y'all at some point linked John Dolan's thoughts on homelessness?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
58

54 to 52.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
59

felonies and drug convictions being a barrier to housing

Plus the sex offender registry, which aside from being a bizarre public policy ("These people are safe enough not to be in prison anymore, but not that safe. No but seriously go hide your kids right now.") actively creates more homeless people by making it impossible to live anywhere. (An example from Florida.) So it seems extra ingenuous for a cop to call out the homeless as including sex offenders, which the police chief does.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
60

That bothered me too, Stanley. I wasn't sure why they were on the same list as substance abusers. Some sex offenders would competently get themselves out of homelessness, but they aren't allowed to live anywhere.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
61

54: there's one old school Y here where you can, but I don't think newly built Ys have SROs anymore.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:12 PM
horizontal rule
62

I think the point of 'sex offenders' wasn't 'they're homeless by choice', it was 'we really don't want them in our park'. And of course restrictions on where sex offenders can live are nuts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
63

57 - The bit about the car resonated a bit. Sleeping in the back of the truck was reasonably comfortable, but it was a magnet for getting woken up in the middle of the night by cops banging at your window. A tent hidden in the woods was the other alternative, but that got pretty miserable when the rains came. At one point I obtained the key to the dark room at the university, which was golden, but fear of getting busted was always in the back of my mind.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:15 PM
horizontal rule
64

A foster parent friend linked to the Circles anti-poverty initiative today and I'd love to do something like that when I have more free time to commit to a project.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
65

What if you carried undeveloped film?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
66

My office has a surprising number of nails and hooks in the walls from where the guy two occupants before me seemed to have been living in it for a while.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:20 PM
horizontal rule
67

54: I think a Y in NY is a shared SVA/FIT dorm. (Surely it can't still be a Y? But I've had various friends live there.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
68

My office would be big enough to put in a cot, but there's a medical exam table in the next room. I'd probably just use that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
69

Man, I just checked out the sex offender registry for my neighborhood, which is always a huge mistake. There are like 15 guys in a 20 block radius, all with offenses against children under 14.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
70

Yeah, never do that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
71

Huh, we don't have any. Are our children not attractive?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
72

Jack Handy's registered sex offender bit cracks me up.

The most I laughed in our interview was as he explained how he and Frazier once bewildered a fishing guide with an hourlong riff in which they pretended to be registered sex offenders. Handey slipped easily into the riff: "Some of these other so-called sex offenders aren't even registered. They don't even have papers! They don't put the work into it."

Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
73

I think you're misreading the good mayor, some of you. By homeless by choice he means the sex offenders, substance abusers and bank robbers. They're homeless because they chose to break the law. They don't need to be served, because they deserve only suffering.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
74

We (the not-homeless) spent a lot of money--did we mention we have extra money for things beyond our homes? we do--on a space that entirely separate from the homes we have, and now you want to bring in all these people without any homes whatsoever?!

But parks that turn into the transient gathering place don't function as a regular park anymore because shockingly, people don't want to go to the park and worry about stepping on some fucking hep infested uncapped syringe, watch the latest drug deal turn into a stabbing, or watch Aleksander the Russian/troll under the bridge drop his pants and take a record contending shit on the sidewalk (not a made up character). It's a park, not a godamn freelance soup kitchen. And yes, I'm sure I sound bad tempered about this but I've had my fill of dealing with these fucksticks who insist on doing their ad hoc projects literally a block from the largest homeless service organization in the state and absolutely refuse to deal with that org because they're The Man or some other horseshit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-13-14 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
75

people don't want to go to the park and worry about stepping on some fucking hep infested uncapped syringe

This. My ex g/friend taught in a fairly rough part of Glasgow, and at any given time, there was usually one kid on her class waiting for the results of a hepatitis or HIV test because, 'I sat on a junkie's needle in the park, miss.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-14-14 2:07 AM
horizontal rule
76

54: In Boston, you can't live at any of the YMCAs but the YWCA has rooms.

At the agency I used to work for we used to place people in SROs when they got kicked out of a couple of group homes for behavioral issues.

I did meet one guy who really was homeless for a reason despite having a ton of support services. It was very sad, because he had a number of medical issues and a bad fall meant a 3.5 week stay in a hospital. Nobody else I had ever met so thoroughly refused to follow rules.

Only in the coldest weather would this guy sleep in a shelter. He preferred the park. He did want an apartment but he refused to consider a group home or an SRO. The biological aspects of is mental illness were being addressed (he had no addiction issues), and he was visited by a mental health outreach team 3-4 times a week.

I remember going with him on an outing with a number of our clients to an exhibit of furniture. He decided to sit on a chair that was part of the exhibit. When I asked him to get up, he just said he would go wait outside and then took off. I don't think he was exactly typical, but it was a frustrating thing to watch--having a team of people trying to help him and their not being able to.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 3:11 AM
horizontal rule
77

76.1: the Central Square YMCA has a bunch of rooms. Did you mean actually the city of Boston proper?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 4:16 AM
horizontal rule
78

OT: Apparently high schools can have outbreaks of whooping cough. I did not know that and would prefer not to have found out because of the outbreak at the high school down the street.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:01 AM
horizontal rule
79

re: 78

You aren't vaccinated?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:22 AM
horizontal rule
80

Probably? It's in with the tetanus shot and I think I've had one of those recently. Still, all of those kids were probably vaccinated much more recently than me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:31 AM
horizontal rule
81

Maybe they were all kids of vax-deniers, but I sort of doubt it. My neighborhood has lots of granola-woo-woo for Pittsburgh, but not much at all by coastal standards.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:32 AM
horizontal rule
82

I think the whooping cough vaccine needs boosters, which people generally don't get, because having all the little kids vaccinated is generally enough to keep it from spreading. My secretary in my last job had whooping cough, and she'd definitely been vaccinated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:35 AM
horizontal rule
83

That's why they put it in with the tetanus shot, but apparently that's more recent (2005) than I thought.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:40 AM
horizontal rule
84

They changed the vaccine formulation in the 80s from whole cell to acellular for fewer side effects. It turns out that the protection with the acellular vaccine decreases over time. They didn't realize the problem until the eldest recipients of the acellular version didn't show expected immunity. Then, what 83 says, except hardly anyone gets those, although awareness is increasing.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:52 AM
horizontal rule
85

If you don't get a tetanus booster and you step on a nail, it's virtually certain that you'll be unable to move your jaw for the rest of your life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:55 AM
horizontal rule
86

Or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 5:56 AM
horizontal rule
87

Ah, OK. I didn't know that about needing boosters. I've not had a tetanus in 20 years, I don't think. And I would have had the whooping cough one as a child.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:11 AM
horizontal rule
88

You guys have this free health care I keep hearing about. Try it out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:13 AM
horizontal rule
89

Usually what happens is if you get bitten by something, or stand on a nail or whatever, they'll give you a booster. Actually, come to think of it, I had a nasty cat bit about 10 years ago, and had a tetanus then.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
90

That's usually what happens here also.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:19 AM
horizontal rule
91

76.1 -- The Greater Boston YMCA. Cambridge is a different one, so yes.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
92

I got a varicella vaccine about 10 years ago, and I got a titre a few months ago, and no immunity, so I had to get it redone. I'm going to get a titre in a few months just to make sure.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
93

90: Here, there's a regular schedule of every 5 years but they also give you one if you are bitten or whatever.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
94

Yeah, we've had whooping cough at Heebie U. Fwiw, I don't think I had it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
95

Great. There's something more coughier.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
96

Nah, I think mine resolved too quickly. It took about three weeks (of albeit violent coughing), not two months.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
97

Hooray? Still sounded really unpleasant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
98

Interestingly, getting the DTP (DTaP? TDaP? I can't remember which) booster was a recommended course of action for someone about to have a kid; otherwise, I think it would have been twenty years since I last had one.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-15-14 7:23 PM
horizontal rule