Not to post on more-or-less the same topic twice in a row, but this is pretty great. This hospital in Arkansas gets swamped with requests for vaccine exemptions, due to the use of fetal cell lines in the process of making the vaccines.
"This was significantly disproportionate to what we've seen with the influenza vaccine," Matt Troup, president and CEO of Conway Regional Health System, told Becker's Hospital Review in an interview Wednesday.
"Thus," Troup went on, "we provided a religious attestation form for those individuals requesting a religious exemption," he said. The form includes a list of 30 commonly used medicines that "fall into the same category as the COVID-19 vaccine in their use of fetal cell lines," Conway Regional said.
The list includes Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tums, Lipitor, Senokot, Motrin, ibuprofen, Maalox, Ex-Lax, Benadryl, Sudafed, albuterol, Preparation H, MMR vaccine, Claritin, Zoloft, Prilosec OTC, and azithromycin.
Employees are asked to attest that they "truthfully acknowledge and affirm that my sincerely held religious belief is consistent and true" and that they do not and will not use the medications and any others like them.
The intent of the form is twofold, Troup says. First, the hospital wants to ensure that staff members are sincere in their stated beliefs, he said, and second, it wants to "educate staff who might have requested an exemption without understanding the full scope of how fetal cells are used in testing and development in common medicines."
Two links: 1 in 500 Americans have died of Covid, and it's much higher among vulnerable groups. That's pretty stunning.
But then second, this idiotic op-ed: In my community, Biden's vaccine mandates could put more lives at risk. The reasoning goes that this community is already been devastated by the Delta variant, and the hospitals are currently overwhelmed. Therefore a vaccine mandate - specifically the part about workers at medical facilities - will leave them shortstaffed and unable to care for this surge.
I've heard the same conversation in Heebieville, actually - pre-mandate, the hospital stated that they were not requiring nurses to be vaccinated because they are caught between nursing shortages and the science and feel like they can't lose anyone else to staffing. (But also: I'm not convinced that nurses will quit at the same rates if the mandate comes from Biden as opposed to their local hospital.)
The other variable is that it's still kind of mysterious why Covid waves seem to have this 2-3 month trajectory, so it is true that the author's little town will have some breathing room at some point, even without a mandate. But does he really think that the mandate would go over better if we wait a month? What the hell is the end game if we don't actually get people vaccinated?
I am definitely in the contingent of Americans who has run out of patience and does not feel like humoring anti-vaxxers anymore. There's no coaxing them to play along. You have to just mandate the vaccine, and strategically requiring medical workers to get vaccinated is truly just the least gesture of sanity.
I am sorry that the state of California has had to waste time and energy on this endeavor. (I am assuming that no matter how favored any governor was by the Unfogged crowd, the recall would have been launched, and so the tepid-Newsome sentiment isn't really a cause.)
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Witt writes: I realize I'm grasping at straws here, but is this a tiny ray of hope? The bean-counters at McKinsey are telling Property & Casualty insurers to actually take climate change seriously? The relevant excerpt certainly looks like they are shouting For God's Sake, Pay Attention Man in their own opaque and elliptical way:
As the frequency and severity of tail events--formerly thought to be low probability--increase, so do changes to the balance sheet, including higher capital requirements for reinsurance consumption.
- Financial markets can rapidly reprice assets that are exposed to climate risk, affecting insurers' investment portfolios and their own market valuations negatively.
- Investors, regulators, and society will increase pressure on the industry to respond to climate risk as large portions of the economy and society continue to be affected.
- Some historically stable premium and profit pools will shrink, and possibly disappear, in places and industries that are exposed to climate risk while assets will become harder to insure.
- A lack of responsiveness can damage the industry's reputation and its credibility as a global economic citizen.
Ignoring these considerations will be untenable in the long term.
Heebie's take: I am usually all about the tiny rays of hope, but capitalists are often clear-eyed about things that damage their profit margins. (Although the counter-examples here are striking.) I'm still pessimistic about the gap between protecting one's profits and supporting any action to mitigate or reverse the damage and to protect the vulnerable from severe weather events.
Anecdotally, I'm hearing that the youngs are flocking to careers in the environmental sciences to help save the world. That brings me a touch of comfort, although not all the way to optimistic.