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How has the Pandemic affected you as a cancer patient/survivor

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  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,048
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    "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its' way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." I. Asimov

    Word! That is one of the truest things I have ever read. I even saw it in elementary school. I always taught my students the proper names for parts of speech. One parent thought that teaching the word adjective was too difficult for them. I asked what word she would use. She replied “describing words". I pointed out that “describing words" is the simple definition of an adjective so it made perfect sense to teach the real word. I was not asking first graders to do anything they weren’t quite capable of doing. Why dumb it down? Overall, I can't fathom that anti-intellectual position, even if a person is not well educated . My parents were high school graduates but made sure we understood the importance of a good education. Not putting down those who are not well educated but we are fooling ourselves as a society if we continue to believe that a lack of learning and intellectual growth is beneficial or desirable to society as a whole. Please no flaming on this. I'm a recently retired teacher, did you expect me to say education and supporting intellectualism were not important. And yes, you can be intellectual without a higher education, but that tends to be the exception so there is no point in pretending that it isn’t.

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Love the cat proof against a flat earth. 👍

    Great Asimov quotes. The anti-science culture makes fighting the pandemic more difficult.

    "Describing words" instead of "adjective"? A little newspeaky. What kind of parent thinks it's a good idea to limit a child's vocabulary? It's in Schoolhouse Rock!



  • trinigirl50
    trinigirl50 Member Posts: 158
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    A bit of good news. Quite a few of my anti-vax work colleagues have decided to get vaccinated for different reasons.

    1. Just wants to be normal (she wants to attend a function at a venue that insists on vaccines)

    2. Terrified that she might get it and die after what happened to our colleague

    3. New mandate, doesn't want to lose job.

    The interesting thing is that none of these seem particularly worried about the vaccine itself, which begs the question what was the problem before?

    Whatever. I am just glad that things are moving in the right direction (painfully and slowly). I am beyond thrilled at President Biden's plan.

    Illimae I am glad you pointed out the carelessness of some of the vaccinated, because it did remind me to check myself.


  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    I'm glad to hear of the change of heart from some of your colleagues, trinigirl. Maybe mandates are the right way to go.

    I'm upset that my daughter, who teaches middle school, had one of her unvaccinated kids come into class sick today. Congested, red eyes, temperature of 101. He said his parents knew he was sick, but sent him to school anyway. Who the hell does that during a Pandemic? Nearly a third of her kids are too young to get vaccinated.

    She's completely vaccinated, but now she has to worry about her kids, and herself, having been closely exposed. Don't know if they'll have to quarantine. At the very least this will kick her health anxiety into high gear.

    Urghhh.

  • chisandy
    chisandy Member Posts: 11,407
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    Education need not always be formal, culminating in the granting of credentials. Two of the most highly educated people I know are autodidacts--one a college dropout (who'd actually turned down Harvard for a small prestigious private hometown college), the other a high school dropout who left home at 16 to become a musician and eventually obtained a GED in his 40s. Both of them are articulate, extremely widely-well-read and critical thinkers.

    Watched Real Time With Bill Maher tonight, and one of his two fellow panelists was George F. Will. Normally, Will is a sane, erudite conservative--I may disagree with him on the nuts & bolts of policy, but he at least can tell a bolt from a nut (and speak out against re-electing a metaphorical one of the latter). But he went ballistic over Biden's vaccine mandate--saying neither the President nor Congress have that power, which he claims belongs to the states. Sigh. Contemporary conservatives love to rail against those who follow the letter of the law but not the spirit, cheer executive orders they like (and the pompous ceremonial signing of them with Sharpies) and romanticize cutting through red tape--until someone on "the other team" actually tries to. The house is burning down while everyone in it argues over who gets to use the fire extinguisher and call the fire department. Is this the hill Will wants us all to die on? Should a national COVID victims' memorial (assuming there will be survivors to build it) bear the inscription "they gave their lives defending the technicalities?" If the Preamble's reference to "promote the General Welfare" is mere puffery, and the Constitution's General Welfare Clause pertains to only the Federal government's defense, foreign policy, interstate commerce, taxing & spending powers, and the 10th Amendment leaves everything else to the states, why do we even have Federal statutes about anything other than those?

    SondraF nailed it when she said the biggest change the pandemic wrought was the utter loss of spontaneity in our lives--for so many of us, a spontaneity we sweated and strove to reclaim when cancer first robbed us of it.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
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    It is so very hard to unpack the thought processes of people who are choosing to remain unvaccinated. Choosing means just that, not because of valid restrictions. The very nice woman who helps me with some housework is such an individual. She is kind, generous, and intelligent. She wears a mask without complaint. If she were knowingly exposed she would isolate. She asked me to pray for a dear friend who was in her wedding party 25 years ago who was hospitalized with covid and not doing well at all. I asked her if she had been vaccinated. "no". Then for the first time in a while I asked her how she was feeling about getting vaccinated. She indicated she still wasn't sure. I told her if her hesitancy was about the safety profile of a new vaccine I could support that and reminded her that Pfizer was now fully approved as well as the fact that millions of people have now been vaccinated with little to no side effects. Then the disinformation began. The wild legends of population control. I was flabbergasted. A reference to the holocaust was even mentioned. I was simply stunned and questioned where did she get all her information? She also referenced a friend's son who was an EMT who was telling all not to be vaccinated. I responded with what do your doctors say whom have all had significant training compared to an EMT??? She indicated that every single physician was encouraging her to get vaccinated. I also asked her if she decided to get vaccinated did she feel like she would have to do it on the sly so that her extended family and community of friends wouldn't know. She answered in the affirmative. That made me pause.

    Her friend has since passed and I don't know if she will escape the peer pressure and get vaccinated. I truly hope so. Her elderly parents are both vaccinated. There is such mistrust in the establishment and such misplaced trust in social platforms and people who spout conspiracy theories. Truly truly bizarre to me. I am sharing this not because I am angry at her, I am trying to understand the impediment to vaccination and to find a way to overcome it.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,650
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    Trishyla, those parents should have been made to come pick the kid up. And any adults coming into work sick should be sent home. This has been a huge pet peeve of mine well before covid.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,204
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    Despite our best efforts to follow pandemic guidelines for many months, dh and I got Covid in January. We don't know how we contracted it. I had a fever for 14 days, nausea, non-stop cough, in bed the whole time, sickest I've ever been. Dh had different symptoms, still sick but less severe. He got us thru two rough weeks.

    The frustration is that we played by the rules, drastically curtailing our regular lifestyle and still got sick while others broke all the rules and didn't get Covid. They went to church, sporting events, shopped, traveled, vacationed, had big holiday gatherings and didn't seem to miss a beat.

    Lately, numerous people have shrugged their shoulders and said to me, "oh, covid is like the flu, it will always be around." This rationalizing a deadly virus is exceedingly frustrating to me.

    A man who took early retirement same time as dh two years ago had everything going for him: terrific pension, good health, great wife, kids, grandkids, nice home, cars, motorcycle, loved traveling with the Mrs. He died a couple days ago of Covid. Chose not to get vaccinated. Why.

    I'll never forget the electric bolt of sheer terror that shot through my body the morning I felt the lump in my breast 10 years ago. Within weeks I would get a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. It's not like I needed mbc as some kind of wake-up call. I'd practiced gratitude for years. With mbc, life's fragility was in full focus making me treasure my time on Earth even more.

    I got the the Moderna vaccine asap plus the booster. Not sure why others jeopardize their lives and those around them. It feels like they're playing Russian roulette. Do they think this is a game? Or do they think they're invincible? Where is their belief in the sanctity of life?

    My opinion of those who disregard science and embrace conspiracy theories regarding the vaccine: it's like they have impacted bowels of the brain, i.e., shit compacted into the deep recesses of their cerebellum.

    Frustrations I have. However, the selfishness of so many comes as no surprise. I've seen that kind of behavior play out over the years on a smaller scale in the town where I live, always knowing it was a microcosm of what goes on in the larger world.

    One saving grace is that dh, ds and girlfriend, stepson and wife and myself all share similar perspectives on the pandemic and vaccine. It helps.


  • alwaysmec
    alwaysmec Member Posts: 107
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    DivineMrsM, I am glad you are well now.

    My parents just got over a bout of Covid two weeks ago. My step dad got it from a coworker that did not wear a mask when he was in a casual setting; like breaks and lunch. I am thankful my parents were vaccinated. My mom had a headache and cold symptoms. My dad had it a little worse with fever, but both were okay.

    This is a long read, but it's a great take on those people, who Serenity pointed out, can't get past innumeracy.

    https://thelogicofscience.com/2021/07/27/the-99-su...

    Edited by Mods to make link hot.

  • ibis
    ibis Member Posts: 56
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    Rah2464, I would not let the “nice woman who helps with housework” into my house if she has chosen not to be vaccinated, even if she wears a mask. I’m not trying to tell you what to do, just stating my rules. I’ve given up trying to understand the reasoning of the unvaccinated.

  • chisandy
    chisandy Member Posts: 11,407
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    Camille, I'm pretty sure that being immunocompromised was why you got COVID despite taking precautions. But where did it come from (especially since Delat had yet to rear its ugly head)? Did a delivery person or postal carrier (or other patient or worker at one of your medical appointments) get careless and breathe their viral load (maskless or in an ill-fitting mask) on to you or into your foyer at close range? Could very well be that your being on biologics allowed what very few aerosols that got through or around your own masks to overwhelm your immune system. That reason is also why it was imperative for you to get your booster--good on ya for that. In fact, had epidemiologists & oncologists known at the dawn of COVID vaccination what they know now, you might have received not two but three doses four weeks apart--and you might not have needed a late-summer booster.

    I'm also incensed at the WHO and young ethicists who sanctimoniously guilt-trip and condemn Americans, Brits & Israelis for getting boosters (or three-shot protocols) when poor countries have so little access to the vaccines and low vaccination rates. Well, whose fault is that? One would think that our long history of failed attempts st nation-building in the Third World would make us acutely aware that not every country or society wants to be remade in our image--and that we can't and shouldn't be the cops of the world. Progressives, especially, like to (correctly) point out that "American exceptionalism" is a failed, egotistical myth. Yet when it comes to vaccination "equity" they have a huge blind spot that verges on hypocrisy. Somehow, we who can't and shouldn't impose our will on nations about whose customs and attitudes we're clueless, should rush in and be their public health saviors when other First World countries won't.

    The WHO especially, which has neither enforcement authority nor even the mechanisms to practice what it preaches, is particularly infuriating. We've already donated more vaccines to poor countries than the entire EU, UK, China & Russia combined--with half a billion more doses on the way. Sure, there are 7 billion people in the world--but where are the other vaccine-manufacturing countries' efforts (especially India, "pharmacist to the world," which makes AstraZeneca aka Covishield vaccines but has failed to inoculate enough of its population to keep its homegrown Delta at bay, much less exporting the variant worldwide)? Just suppose we did what the WHO demands we do, denying third shots to our most vulnerable and shipping them to the Third World. Does the WHO have the ability to collect and equitably distribute donated doses? Well, does a bear s**t into a bidet-equipped toilet? Does the WHO have the ability and personnel to get those doses into people's arms? Well, is the Pope a Pagan? And how does the WHO propose to bypass tinhorn strongman dictators, corrupt and ignorant leaders (like those who don't believe that HIV causes AIDS and instead insist that raping a virgin immunizes a man against AIDS) and loose unaffiliated non-networks of regional and tribal warlords?

    Why should we throw our elders and other immunocompromised people under the bus so that millions more doses sit rotting on docks, in warehouses & hangars--and millions more are sold on the open market, awarded as perks for cronies & supporters and withheld from opponents & dissidents? Due to domestic COVIDiots, this week alone twice as many doses have spoiled and had to be discarded than all doses given as boosters to date. We can't get all our own people to take a first shot. How can we--and why should we--be expected to inoculate the Third World--especially in those countries with anti-vaccine sentiment (internet trollbots have global reach)? The pontificating ethicists analogize our giving third shots to giving people who already have life jackets an extra life jacket when so much of the rest of the world's drowning people have none. No--the proper analogy is that we have found that for an increasing number of Americans, their life jackets have begun to irreversibly deflate or even sprung a leak. Must we let them drown in order to send life jackets to countries whose leaders will never distribute them equitably--if at all?

    In an ideal universe, the fact that an under-vaccinated world can never defeat a pandemic would spur all able countries and international organizations to forcibly inoculate the less fortunate of the globe. But we live in the real world, and there are uncomfortable truths we need to accept--and do what we can to protect ourselves first. Remember what the airplane safety lecture ("Stations of the Crash") says about the oxygen masks that drop down from the ceiling: "Secure your own mask first before putting one on your child." THAT's the analogy that truly applies.

  • chisandy
    chisandy Member Posts: 11,407
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    Ibis, at the start of lockdown and for the next two months I did not let anyone outside my immediate family into my house--not my (extremely careful) housekeeper nor even my own son. Not the exterminator, cable/satellite guy, electrician, or plumber. I did not go to any medical or personal care appointments. I did not let grocery or food delivery persons come into my foyer--even when there was snow on my porch, I waited for them to leave and then I personally retrieved the stuff. Anything for which I had to leave the house--such as drycleaning or restaurants offering takeout but not delivery--I used curbside pickup and dropoff. When I had to take my cats to the vet, I parked outside the clinic door (wearing my mask the whole time) and had the techs pick up and return the cats, and I paid over the phone. (That's been the clinic's routine even during the seemingly blink-of-an-eye when the city had relaxed mitigations). All through spring 2020 I wore my mask on outdoor walks and ducked into gangways when unmasked people refused to socially distance from me on the sidewalk. (Of course, the arrogant millennials & Gen-Zers on my neighborhood blog would reply, "OK Boomer--you stay home and let us enjoy our lives"). Even after becoming fully-vaccinated, even after the CDC prematurely said masks were optional for the fully-vaxed, I wore mine in all stores and at restaurants until the food and drinks arrived. I am furious at the COVIDiots who rendered all our precautions meaningless so they could indulge their "freeDUMB."

    Mind you, once numbers began to drop and especially after being fully-vaccinated, I stopped being a hermit--I simply kept wearing my mask and distancing indoors, and attending only outdoor events that required proof of vaccination and masking everywhere except one's seat. All this of course, pre-Delta. I will no longer walk into establishments that flout the city & county mask mandates. Once again, I try not to go anywhere I can't walk, be driven by vaccinated family or friends, or self-park (and I use valets and take transit only as a last resort). Anyone not within my immediate circle of friends & family who enters my home to render repairs or services must be fully-vaccinated and wear a mask--and I don mine too. Like everyone else, I am tired of this pandemic, but I am not going to let selfish and deluded libertarians rob me of what little remains of spontaneity.

    I am lucky and grateful to live in a city--and especially a neighborhood--where everyone complies with mitigation regulations and (in my ZIP code) almost 80% of adults are fully-vaccinated. I can't imagine living somewhere where life hasn't changed since late March 2020, where you have no choice but to stay home if you don't want to throw yourself to the wolves.

  • aram
    aram Member Posts: 320
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    ChiSandy, so you believe having money should mean having better access to health measures? While vaccines are being thrown out in developed countries in the hopes people might use them, Covid is ravaging other countries. And your analogy is false: if others don't get oxygen in a plane, it doesn't affect you (unless for the pilot), but with a virus as long as the virus is out there, it is going to mutate. It doesn't matter if the mutation happen in India or Brazil. When mutation happens our vaccines might not do anything anymore for anyone. So the goal should be to prevent mutation everywhere. As Christina Freeland said "This pandemic is not over until it is over everywhere".

    And about immunocompromised, the third vaccine is not a booster. It is to bring our immune response to the same level as others. I have not seen any objections to the third vaccine for this group of people.

  • chowdog
    chowdog Member Posts: 190
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    ChiSandy,

    Urgg, Bill Maher is part of the disinformation problem. he has repeatedly claimed on his show how if you live a healthy lifestyle, you would be fine with covid. He had andrew sullivan on a few weeks back. AS is one of the "live with the virus" crowd. He even used his own living with HIV as an example. I almost throw a rock at my TV. Hmm..medical advancement has kept HIV in check. however, with Covid, we don't even have standard of care for mild cases. Most of people are being sent home to recover. We don't even oral antivirual on the market. In my view, BM is antivax. he only got the vaccine either coz he had no choice (coz of his show) or he is hypocrite who is really scared of covid and doesn't believe his "lifestyle philosophy".

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    I'm glad I don't know any "arrogant millennials & Gen-Zers"; all the ones I know (and know of) were anxiously waiting to get vaccinated earlier in the year and continue to take precautions after being fully vaccinated.

    Edited to add this infuriating story. I hope heads roll, and I'm not speaking figuratively.

    https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/covid-patients-were-unknowingly-given-ivermectin-arkansas-jail-n1278729

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    ChiSandy - The 2 doses still work extremely well in preventing severe illness and death. The third shot for elderly and immunocompromised makes sense, but not for everyone else when a great percentage of the world doesn't have one dose.

    The virus is more like wildfires in multiple locations during a drought. Can't focus on just a few or else others will get out of control and spread.

    Peter Hotez is a proponent of vaccine diplomacy. He and other vaccine experts predicted people would eventually need a third shot when the first 2 were given within 3-4 weeks. Canada and UK extended the interval between doses to be able to vaccinate more people. This worked well for the Alpha variant. Canada had a late start getting vaccinated because no vaccines are manufactured here and it was difficult to procure.

    It isn't a good look to tell other countries they can't have any vaccines because they don't know how to handle it when your country is letting doses expire.


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
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    SerenitySTAT

    👍❤️

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Alice - Thanks! Thought it might sound disjointed. I wrote while I was making bread.

    Here are some variants that developed in low vax areas. Sharing vaccines is not altruistic and shouldn't be blocked from "unworthy" countries. There are political benefits to vaccine diplomacy. We might go through the Greek alphabet before the world is vaccinated. Last time I did that was in an advanced calculus class.

    image

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    Those who had COVID-19 should get a single vaccine dose. Note no one is suggesting a COVID party!

    https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.abj2258

    image

  • sadiesservant
    sadiesservant Member Posts: 1,875
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    Given the nature of some discussions related to this topic, I thought I would share this.

    Edited to say sorry, not sure why the image doesn’t want to display.

    image

  • nopink2019
    nopink2019 Member Posts: 384
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    Mental affects --I'm more focused on the limited time I have left and things I'd like to do.... but can't. Pandemic has made "bucket list" an impossibility. In fact when vaccines arrived and things looked better in the spring I had some hope, but now I've lost all expectations related to "future". Saw various family & friends over last couple of months and can't help but think it might be last time (scanxiety & prospect of growing pandemic effects) I seem to focus on things I should wrap up for DH while still able, but get stressed at the length of that list and panic into stifling inaction. Because of the pandemic and MBC, I really can't look ahead to even the season changing.

    Health & physical affects of pandemic. --I've seen ads about getting updated on personal healthcare (that may have been put off due to covid). Just realized I'm in that category. While I've not missed any MO appts (and I don't think treatment plans were affected) my eyesight is worsening, teeth need cleaning & now have some movement issues that I'd usually begin by seeing my chiropractor. Since those will be close exams, I don't want any providers who haven't been vaccinated. I always ask and if they refuse to tell me I take it as a NO and tell them I won't book an appt. I realize they aren't MDs but I question their concern for their patients well being and I prefer not to do business with them. So trying to find new dentist/hygienist, optometrist and chiro is time-consuming/annoying and when I find one, appt are months out.

    I'm actually feeling fine on these meds since June and try to show that face to friends & family, but you asked, so I dumped.

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    Dump away, nopink. That's what this thread is for. I'm sorry you're having such a rough go of it right now. I'm in the same boat with needing dental work and an eye exam, but fortunately here in California we have a very high vaccination rate. I'll ask as well, but I would imagine most are vaccinated.

  • nopink2019
    nopink2019 Member Posts: 384
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    Trishyla- 90% of my county has had 1 vaccination, but 3 dental offices (hygienist or dentist), 2 optometrists and 1 chiro that I've called are among the unvaxxed! I was shocked. Seems odd, but you only really know if you ask.

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 956
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    I called to make an appointment with a healthcare provider and asked about her vaccination status. The receptionist declined to answer and I declined to make an appointment.

    You can ask if someone's been vaccinated whose care will include being right in your face, but if they don't want to share that information, they won't. I have to assume a reluctance to disclose their vaccination status means they're not vaccinated.

  • nopink2019
    nopink2019 Member Posts: 384
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    HIPPA means that healthcare info may not be released without the patient's permission (including a provider's information). BUT, they can allow their employees to release that information, if they choose. And if you are told someone's vax status (other than designated "in confidence") you may share that information.

  • ShetlandPony
    ShetlandPony Member Posts: 3,063
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    Thank you for those links. My related story: My online yoga classes were going back to in-studio. There was defensiveness on the part of my yoga teacher when I asked via text if she and the other students would be wearing masks in class (only about half), or if she would be wiling to wear a mask for private lessons (no). I dared not ask if she was vaccinated but I gathered she was not. I did not want to damage a long-term, good relationship, so on a friend's advice I asked to speak with her by phone. I emphasized that I was not going to argue, that I just wanted to make sure we were ok as she had seemed offended by my inquiries. I explained that I was higher risk, and then she spoke of the need to each do what was best for ourselves. (And I do not know why she is not vaccinated.) Then she came up with the brilliant idea of doing private yoga sessions by video, and she has been giving me wonderful personalized lessons with much kindness. I'm so glad we talked and I did not just walk away after those initial texts.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,204
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    Well done, Shetland. It sounds like both you and the yoga teacher benefitted from a more in-depth discussion. You persevered. I think leading off with letting her know you weren’t looking for confrontation helped. Also, by not walking away because of your initial frustration, I think she recognized that you value the relationship you two have.

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    For those who think it's "only old people, with one foot already in the grave" who die of Covid19:

    https://wapo.st/2XeW7yu

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534
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    The Delta variant is killing more children, pregnant women, and fetuses. Pregnant women should get vaccinated.

    https://www.newsweek.com/mississippi-covid-infant-...

    image

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    My son's ex wife is a labor and delivery nurse. She's in charge of the Covid Obstetrics ward at a hospital north of LA. She's a rabid libertarian who has some very right wing views, but she know firsthand just how deadly this Pandemic is. She's held the hand of young, pregnant women as they die. Quite often their baby dies with them.

    She's been on social media since late last year, urging everyone to get the vaccine as soon as it's available.

    Even she's getting frustrated with vaccine deniers and holdouts, including some in her own family.