Sorry to be AWOL all day. I'm cranky and tired from teaching remote this first week back. (However, I do not have children under 5. This slate article is entirely correct that having to quarantine with small children would be a whole 'nother level of tired.)
Pokey's teacher emailed me. I could see the first sentence in a snippet in my inbox, but whenever I opened the email it was blank. I tried on several devices. Can you crack the case of the terribly creative ways that one can bungle technology?
(I adore Pokey's teacher. This has no bearing on her as a teacher or wonderful person.) Jammies figured it out, so I do actually know what her email says.
1. Wordle, while just word-mastermind, is definitely the kind of mostly mindless puzzle that I love. It irritates me to no end that it's dribbled out at one puzzle per day.
2. I kinda love this:
Full Metalachi website, where you can enjoy many other of their songs.
I think Crazy Train is a better song originally and more entertaining as a cover, but the trumpet on Sweet Child o' Mine is genuinely beautiful. I hate to say it, but I think the lead singer is the weak link insofar as he doesn't sound like he's putting much mariachi spin on the singing.
I did use to watch movies on occasion, although it's not something I sought out much. Now I watch almost none. I think the only movie I've watched in the past eight months or so is Encanto! So none of this is based on my experience.
Mostly I just enjoyed the juxtaposition of these two articles. Make your own jokes about sense of smell, touch, proprioception.
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.
Episode Kobe eleven.
It is ridiculous that on a Covid form for a doctor ("Has anyone in your household had a cough in the past 21 days?") they are still asking if anyone has traveled outside the country recently. Anyone been to one of those far off foreign countries where the novel coronavirus is said to be taking hold? (It was specifically a form screening for Covid, not a general intake form.)
Don't treat the unvaccinated for covid. This was my proposed solution to the problem of overwhelmed health systems, but my wife found it too monstrous to even engage. But...why? As best as I can work out, there will be some moral wrong done in either case: 1) to those vaxxed and denied good care under current conditions 2) to the "innocent unvaxxed" (pick a sympathetic cohort here: American blacks who don't trust doctors?) if we provide care only to those vaccinated.
There's something to be said for the state and institutions not being agents of harm, so perhaps that's the nut of the argument against denying care.
An argument I find entirely unconvincing is invoking a dystopia where The Government is Forcing You to Put Something in your Body--because we decide these things case by case as a polity, and when even a case as clear and easy as the covid vaccine comes along, we can't get people to go along, so I hardly think government overreach is a pressing concern here.
One side effect of reading about Purdue Pharma and the opioid crisis is that it's re-casting the celebrity deaths over the past 20 years to me. If David Bowie comes up in conversation, I now wonder if he was a casualty whose story intersects with the web of addiction created by this one terrible family.
It's overly simplistic. The book focused on this one family, the Sacklers, whose enormous avarice and lack of scruples certainly poured an insane amount of fuel on the fire. But that's not to say that it wouldn't have been someone else, if not them. Within a few years, certainly lots of companies were trying their hardest to cash in on some of the riches. Nevertheless, these guys put an enormous amount of effort into changing the medical culture around the stigma of prescribing opioids outside of terminal illnesses, and also bought their FDA approval.
(One detail that stuck with me is that there were five states which were "triplicate states" in 1995, where there was a law on the books that doctors had to fill out more paperwork for opiate rxs than other meds:
According to internal company communications that were revealed in court documents, Purdue Pharma decided against mounting a significant marketing effort in the triplicate states after learning from focus groups that providers would be less willing to prescribe OxyContin in these states...By 2004, all the triplicate states had dropped the triplicate regulations in favor of electronic record-keeping. However, Purdue appears to have continued to concentrate its marketing efforts elsewhere. Internal documents show that the company pushed its sales force to target the top OxyContin prescribers, thus reinforcing prior geographical trends....The researchers conclude that the cross-state disparities in marketing efforts for OxyContin that originated in the era of triplicate prescriptions help to explain why residents of some states were shielded from the worst of the opioid crisis. Over the 1996-2017 period, non-triplicate states would have had an average of 36 percent fewer drug overdose deaths and 44 percent fewer opioid deaths if they had been triplicate states and experienced the concomitant lower level of marketing. This evidence suggests that the introduction and marketing of OxyContin played a significant role in the beginnings of the opioid crisis and continue to affect overdose rates even today.
So Purdue does single-handedly have extra blood on its hands.)
But anyway, I am idly wondering which celebrities deaths began with a legal prescription to Oxycontin. Prince? Tom Petty? (Here's an article on celebrity opioid deaths, but it doesn't name names.) On social media, there's been this myopic notion that each year is a particularly bad stretch of celebrity deaths, but maybe due to coinciding with this opioid/heroin crisis, it's got some valid underpinnings.
One other detail from the book: the uncle (Arthur Sackler) of the main Purdue Pharma villain (Richard Sackler) is the central villain in pushing valium onto housewives, and originally bought the FDA, and was the subject of one of the congressional Kefauver hearings.
One perennial thought listening to this book is that these guys embody every malicious antisemitic trope possible, and just serve as fodder to confirm the worst beliefs of those who are inclined. It made me a little extra mad at them.