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Scaly Freak searches for any kind of path whatsoever


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“Take the path less traveled?”

 

Scalyfreak peers at the inscription on the item the merchant insisted is a magical compass that will guide her to grand adventures, to make sure she is reading it correctly. “Nope. It clearly says 'take the path less traveled'.” She sighs and looks around at the very open clearing with the very tall grass and the complete lack of visible paths anywhere. “Well. That's not helpful.”

 

Scalyfreak resists the urge to throw the compass as far as she can across the clearing, though it takes effort to stifle the impulse. The thing did cost money though.

 

“Okay. Now what?”

 

The skies and the tall grass are predictably unhelpful. Scalyfreak glares at them, just in case this might change their mind, but that is as predictably ineffective. Still... the supposedly magic thing says there is a path around here. With a sigh and an eye-roll for good measure, Scalyfreak begins searching for the path that is supposed to be around here somewhere.

 

MCguSE0.png

 

 

This was supposed to be the challenge when I got back into the gym. I was all set to get a membership, I had a program picked out and everything... and then I went into the local gym to see what it was like these days and it was packed. Not only that, in that entire large crowd I saw one single mask (aside from my own), and it was being worn in the daring and highly unflattering chin diaper style.

 

I know, in theory, being fully vaccinated means I was probably safe, especially with my mask on, but even if the CDC was not advising against going mask-less in large indoor gathering, being paranoid for over a year comes with side-effects. The Flame went instant wildfire, and I turned and marched straight back out.

 

So a gym membership will have to wait, because having an anxiety attack from going to the gym really defeats the purpose of going in the first place (lifting is my anxiety medication).

 

So now what?

 

Darebee Ironborn lifting, I assume, but it isn't as fun as it used to be because it's not barbells, and I'm sulking about that.

 

Trying to research Covid safety in gyms is an exercise in frustration, because everything I can find talks about the high risks of being in a cardio class without a mask, on the stupid assumption that this is the only thing people do in a gym. Blech.

 

And I don't have any goal ideas at all that don't make me feel tired just thinking of them. So I'm not going to set any. I'm just going to do what I need or want to do at any given day, to keep the Flame low and to replenish the mana bar. And we'll see where this goes.  :)

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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Ugh, gyms. I'll probably start using my building's fitness room when I finish manufacturing antibodies, but I rarely saw anyone in there before the pandemic, maybe one other person. So that should be pretty safe.

 

I dunno, I'm having a strength training lull myself. I really wanna, but none of it feels satisfying. In theory, I love bodyweight training. But in practice right now, meh. Lifting, okay, fun with heavy metal, but I really don't have the brain overhead. Climbing would be awesome, but impractical for home workouts. Honestly, what I want is to learn Stupid Human Tricks, but I'm realistically a ways off that. So I dunno, I guess for now it'll just have to be whatever I pick up via yoga or martial arts conditioning workouts.

 

I wonder when our pool opens, and if I could take my training tether down there. I don't see why not, I guess, though I'd probably get weird looks.

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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Nice, been waiting for this one. 

It sucks that your local crowd is so irresponsible. My city would be the exact same. I would recommend going during off-hours. During lunch, before anyone else, or after anyone else, depending on what time you can take out of your day. 

 

How have you trained throughout the lockdown? Could you switch to a different gym, ideally a 24/7 one that has a lot of less frequented hours. 

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7 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

I'm having a strength training lull myself. I really wanna, but none of it feels satisfying. In theory, I love bodyweight training. But in practice right now, meh. Lifting, okay, fun with heavy metal, but I really don't have the brain overhead.

Yeah, after being conditioned and falling in love with barbells it was impossible for me to downgrade to calisthenics or goofy Youtube classes at home. It's just not enyojable without the immediate tactile feedback of iron weights in your hands. 

Sorry for the double post, too stoopid to edit. 

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Unchallenges are great! And at least you have one, I'm still procrastinating. 😄

 

23 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

Climbing would be awesome,


Honestly, what I want is to learn Stupid Human Tricks

 

I strongly approve of both of these! And both can be trained outside.

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44 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Unchallenges are great! And at least you have one, I'm still procrastinating. 😄

 

 

I strongly approve of both of these! And both can be trained outside.

 

As I recall, you've committed to joining me for a Night Watch challenge this time around. Just to point out the job in front of you. ;)

 

I approve of them, too! But they're not readily available at this time (and in the latter case, the current strength to bodyweight ratio). Once I'm more immune, my options will hopefully open up a little.

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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7 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

 

I know, in theory, being fully vaccinated means I was probably safe, especially with my mask on, but even if the CDC was not advising against going mask-less in large indoor gathering, being paranoid for over a year comes with side-effects. The Flame went instant wildfire, and I turned and marched straight back out.

 

 

Amen sister. 2020 left its damage on a lot of us, myself included. Even more frustrating is the lack of understanding and empathy from all the other people who were not. 

 

Sorry to hear that the gym is not going to work right now. I know that they are not your thing but kettlebells take up very little space and can be taken outside so you can swing them around without fear of breaking anything. I looked around and they are finally back in stock everywhere but dang they are still a lot more expensive than they used to be. 

 

I hope you find a solution that feeds your warrior spirit. 

 

Following, as always... 

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5 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I dunno, I'm having a strength training lull myself. I really wanna, but none of it feels satisfying. In theory, I love bodyweight training. But in practice right now, meh.

 

This is pretty much where I'm at as well. In theory I like working out and want to, but in reality... the mana bar is too low for that particular activity. 

 

5 hours ago, Hangrybear said:

How have you trained throughout the lockdown? Could you switch to a different gym, ideally a 24/7 one that has a lot of less frequented hours. 

 

I have a set of adjustable dumbbells that I've been using, in addition to body weight exercises and yoga.

 

This particular gym is almost 24/7 (shorter hours on weekends), but there are not a lot of gyms set up for power lifting where I live. It's basically this one, or one of the smaller ones that has a lot of dumbbells and kettlebells, and if I'm lucky there is one single squat rack hidden away in a corner. So for barbell-centric lifting my options are this gym, or setting up my own power rack in the garage.  Which I would prefer not to do for may reasons I don't feel like getting into now. :) 

 

Based on what I saw, this gym's peak hours are the same as before the pandemic... early mornings, lunch time, and right after work, are the by far busiest times. I used to go in the evenings, fairly late, so I can probably avoid the crowd if I tried. I just need to deal with the anxiety part first.

 

2 hours ago, h3r0 said:

 

Amen sister. 2020 left its damage on a lot of us, myself included. Even more frustrating is the lack of understanding and empathy from all the other people who were not. 

 

Now that I think about it, based on where I live, the lack of masks in the gym crowd really should not have surprised me. And the reasons it should not have surprised me are also leading me to believe that only about half the individuals in that crowd were vaccinated, and the ones who aren't have no intention of changing that. (Our state has such high anti-vaxx sentiment in the general population that they were able to start offering doses to "all adults who want it" over a month ago.  A person I work with, who knows how science works and should know better, is telling anyone who wants to listen that there could be anything in that shot, and it wouldn't surprise him at all to discover it's giving us cancer. Seriously. I can't even. )

 

3 hours ago, h3r0 said:

Sorry to hear that the gym is not going to work right now. I know that they are not your thing but kettlebells take up very little space and can be taken outside so you can swing them around without fear of breaking anything. I looked around and they are finally back in stock everywhere but dang they are still a lot more expensive than they used to be. 

 

I've thought about a kettlebell, actually. I occasionally used them when I had gym access, and enjoy how versatile they are. But then they went out of stock everywhere, and now I'm not sure it's worth getting one, when it's a matter of time before I can get back into the gym. The number of new cases per day is declining slowly but steadily, and I'm cautiously optimistic the trend will hold.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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7 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I've thought about a kettlebell, actually. I occasionally used them when I had gym access, and enjoy how versatile they are. But then they went out of stock everywhere, and now I'm not sure it's worth getting one, when it's a matter of time before I can get back into the gym.

There are always those days when work gets in the way, or the weather is awful, or you just feel meh but could do five minutes if the thing is Right There... If you have a lot of days like that, a kettlebell might be worth it.

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22 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I saw one single mask (aside from my own), and it was being worn in the daring and highly unflattering chin diaper style.

 

Charming.

 

22 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I know, in theory, being fully vaccinated means I was probably safe, especially with my mask on, but even if the CDC was not advising against going mask-less in large indoor gathering, being paranoid for over a year comes with side-effects. The Flame went instant wildfire, and I turned and marched straight back out.

 

The vaccinations are like 80 or 90% effective, right? That's a pretty good rate I guess... but at the gym where people are heaving great lungfuls of personalised air everywhere? I don't know...  I do know that we're all now hugely sensitised to the idea of infectious disease and covid will probably have disproportionate cognitive availability in our risk assessments for a while to come, even if the risks go down.

 

22 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Darebee Ironborn lifting, I assume, but it isn't as fun as it used to be because it's not barbells, and I'm sulking about that.

 

Understandable.

 

22 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

And I don't have any goal ideas at all that don't make me feel tired just thinking of them. So I'm not going to set any. I'm just going to do what I need or want to do at any given day, to keep the Flame low and to replenish the mana bar. And we'll see where this goes.  :)

 

Much mana to you.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the artist

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Great job getting a challenge up! I'm sorry your local gyms and antivaccers are getting in between you and the barbell, though.

 

9 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

There are always those days when work gets in the way, or the weather is awful, or you just feel meh but could do five minutes if the thing is Right There... If you have a lot of days like that, a kettlebell might be worth it.

 

I agree, and I'd add that (assuming the money isn't an issue) that they'd be worth it for even just several weeks of regular use if it is something that you'd be excited about and helps your mental health. Maybe you'll even discover a new passion to rival your love for the barbell! 

 

200.gif

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On 5/13/2021 at 9:50 PM, Harriet said:

The vaccinations are like 80 or 90% effective, right? That's a pretty good rate I guess... but at the gym where people are heaving great lungfuls of personalised air everywhere? I don't know...  I do know that we're all now hugely sensitised to the idea of infectious disease and covid will probably have disproportionate cognitive availability in our risk assessments for a while to come, even if the risks go down.

 

The combination of the fact that the vaccine is not 100% effective, and the fact that the gym is a perfect environment for a virus to thrive in, is a pretty strong argument against going back, yes. But I am also well aware that being hyper aware that there is a dangerous airborne virus in the world, is doing wonders for helping my anxiety influence my thinking and warping my perspective.

 

On 5/14/2021 at 3:11 AM, Alanna said:

I agree, and I'd add that (assuming the money isn't an issue) that they'd be worth it for even just several weeks of regular use if it is something that you'd be excited about and helps your mental health. Maybe you'll even discover a new passion to rival your love for the barbell! 

 

That wouldn't surprise me, actually. Kettlebells are fun, from what I remember of them. However, if I buy one now, it'll be shiny and new and fun for maybe a week before the blah-ness takes over again. So right now, I don't think it's a good time to buy one. 

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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1 hour ago, Scaly Freak said:

The combination of the fact that the vaccine is not 100% effective, and the fact that the gym is a perfect environment for a virus to thrive in, is a pretty strong argument against going back, yes. But I am also well aware that being hyper aware that there is a dangerous airborne virus in the world, is doing wonders for helping my anxiety influence my thinking and warping my perspective.

 

One can be wary about the next few months without it being hypervigilance. We're well below herd immunity rates of vaccination, and the folks crowding the gym right now, especially maskless, are not the ones being super responsible about their health. Even with my vaccinated family members, we're kind of figuring more in person errands now, mid to late autumn for high crowd situations. This is not paranoia, but a cautious reading of an uncertain risk period.

 

This might be a good time to call gyms and let them know you're looking for a gym with a vaccination policy. Private businesses can put one in place, and may be more likely to do so if they hear there's business in it, or liability.

 

On 5/13/2021 at 10:50 PM, Harriet said:

The vaccinations are like 80 or 90% effective, right? That's a pretty good rate I guess...

 

Effectiveness rates are an "it's complicated". They're not the straightforward odds of contracting it if you're  exposed that people think they are. For instance, a lot of experts believe that the 95% effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna are actually very similar to the 66% effectiveness rates of the Johnson and Johnson, because the trials were run at different times; there were much higher rates of new virus cases when the J&J was being tested. So those numbers don't normalise for the number of cases in the general population, they're pure comparison of control to test group. It's unclear how much of that 95% effectiveness was the relative rarity of the virus at the time of testing, when you compare it to the vaccine with 66% effectiveness. 

 

The vaccines do seem to reduce severity of cases if you do contract it, perhaps very significantly - it actually hasn't been ruled out that successfully vaccinated people can't be symptomless vectors, which is why vaccinated people have been asked to continue to mask around the unvaccinated.

 

And 66% is a lot of disease reduction in pandemic terms. The thing is, controlling pandemics is entirely about group statistics, not personal statistics. If you get enough people vaccinated, even with moderate effectiveness, you cut back on transmission routes for the virus, slowing its spread and protecting huge numbers of people that way, until you vaccinate enough that it statistically can't find enough transmission routes to keep going. You're not highly protected by what you do; you're protected mostly by what large numbers of others do for you. No one gets a personal guarantee of safety until everyone pulls their weight. You can shift your odds with vaccines, but individual thinking simply doesn't work on viral disease; it demands a collective solution. And that's where most western countries that are not New Zealand have been failing very badly.

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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55 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

Effectiveness rates are an "it's complicated". They're not the straightforward odds of contracting it if you're  exposed that people think they are. For instance, a lot of experts believe that the 95% effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna are actually very similar to the 66% effectiveness rates of the Johnson and Johnson, because the trials were run at different times; there were much higher rates of new virus cases when the J&J was being tested. So those numbers don't normalise for the number of cases in the general population, they're pure comparison of control to test group. It's unclear how much of that 95% effectiveness was the relative rarity of the virus at the time of testing, when you compare it to the vaccine with 66% effectiveness. 

 

Do you have links to sources showing this? I'd love to read more about this.

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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57 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

And 66% is a lot of disease reduction in pandemic terms. The thing is, controlling pandemics is entirely about group statistics, not personal statistics. If you get enough people vaccinated, even with moderate effectiveness, you cut back on transmission routes for the virus, slowing its spread and protecting huge numbers of people that way, until you vaccinate enough that it statistically can't find enough transmission routes to keep going. You're not highly protected by what you do; you're protected mostly by what large numbers of others do for you. No one gets a personal guarantee of safety until everyone pulls their weight. You can shift your odds with vaccines, but individual thinking simply doesn't work on viral disease; it demands a collective solution. And that's where most western countries that are not New Zealand have been failing very badly.

 

...so Americans in red states are basically screwed. Noted.

 

 

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

 

And __[statistic]__ is a lot of __[outcome]___in societal terms. The thing is, controlling _[societal problem]__ is entirely about group statistics, not personal statistics. If you get enough people to __[policy directive]__, even with moderate effectiveness, you cut back on ___[exacerbating factors]___ for the __[societal problem]___, slowing its spread and protecting huge numbers of people that way, until you __[policy directive]__enough that it statistically can't find enough __[exacerbating factors]__ to keep going. You're not highly protected by what you do; you're protected mostly by what large numbers of others do for you. No one gets a personal guarantee of safety until everyone pulls their weight. You can shift your odds with __[policy directive]__ , but individual thinking simply doesn't work on _[societal problem]__ ; it demands a collective solution. And that's where most western countries that are not __[land of Kiwi birds]__ have been failing very badly.

 

I just felt like these statements can be applied to a lot of issues. So now we have a form to fill out and mail to our congressional representative.

 

... or just a really nerdy madlib.

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On 5/14/2021 at 11:11 AM, Alanna said:

200.gif

 

Look at those balls

 

1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

Effectiveness rates are an "it's complicated". They're not the straightforward odds of contracting it if you're  exposed that people think they are. For instance, a lot of experts believe that the 95% effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna are actually very similar to the 66% effectiveness rates of the Johnson and Johnson, because the trials were run at different times; there were much higher rates of new virus cases when the J&J was being tested. So those numbers don't normalise for the number of cases in the general population, they're pure comparison of control to test group. It's unclear how much of that 95% effectiveness was the relative rarity of the virus at the time of testing, when you compare it to the vaccine with 66% effectiveness. 

 

Even more complicated! Hmm.

 

1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

You're not highly protected by what you do; you're protected mostly by what large numbers of others do for you. No one gets a personal guarantee of safety until everyone pulls their weight. You can shift your odds with vaccines, but individual thinking simply doesn't work on viral disease; it demands a collective solution. And that's where most western countries that are not New Zealand have been failing very badly.

 

Good points. Though individuals do still have to try to figure out what is reasonable behaviour where the rules don't specify (after vaccine, go to gym, do not go to gym...)

 

12 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

...so Americans in red states are basically screwed. Noted.

 

And I'm sure any new variants that arise will stay politely in those red states and not spread to other states or countries.

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Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the artist

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7 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

That wouldn't surprise me, actually. Kettlebells are fun, from what I remember of them. However, if I buy one now, it'll be shiny and new and fun for maybe a week before the blah-ness takes over again. So right now, I don't think it's a good time to buy one. 

 

So you think that rather than breaking through your workout barrier, your current workout fatigue would taint a possible future love of kettlebells? That is fair. 

 

7 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

The combination of the fact that the vaccine is not 100% effective, and the fact that the gym is a perfect environment for a virus to thrive in, is a pretty strong argument against going back, yes. But I am also well aware that being hyper aware that there is a dangerous airborne virus in the world, is doing wonders for helping my anxiety influence my thinking and warping my perspective.

 

 

I don't think you're being unreasonably cautious - I'm also wary of going anywhere that has large amounts of unvaccinated people (which means I'm still working from home since that is everyone under ~40 in the UK right now, giving universities very low vaccine uptake). I'm less concerned about dying and more worried about the much higher possibility of being left with long recovery or a long-term illness. (Anyone know if there is data on vaccines' effectiveness at preventing long COVID??)

 

6 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

You can shift your odds with vaccines, but individual thinking simply doesn't work on viral disease; it demands a collective solution. And that's where most western countries that are not New Zealand have been failing very badly.

 

I think the UK has had very good uptake of the vaccine so far, no? The potential problem is that we are greatly reducing restrictions while a large portion of the younger (and therefore more out-and-about) population has not been offered a vaccine yet. We'll also have to see if vaccine uptake is as high for younger generations. 

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14 minutes ago, Alanna said:

I think the UK has had very good uptake of the vaccine so far, no? The potential problem is that we are greatly reducing restrictions while a large portion of the younger (and therefore more out-and-about) population has not been offered a vaccine yet. We'll also have to see if vaccine uptake is as high for younger generations. 

 

It's slightly lower than the US uptake at moment, despite the US  nonsense. IIRC, there's one country that's done statistically worse than the US in this pandemic in terms of cases and fatalities, and it's the UK. Also, the news coming out of the latest SAGE meeting is not encouraging; apparently Johnson is prepared for surges equal to or exceeding past surges in order to open up.

 

So I'm afraid I'm just not able to do favorable comparisons between the UK and New Zealand, a country with 26 total deaths and 2200 total confirmed cases (2600 suspected). It's literally comparing the most stunning performance in the Western world to the very worst. I'm pretty comfortable saying NZ is the only western country that was truly successful in carrying off a collective responsibility strategy.

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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50 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

 

It's slightly lower than the US uptake at moment, despite the US  nonsense. IIRC, there's one country that's done statistically worse than the US in this pandemic in terms of cases and fatalities, and it's the UK. Also, the news coming out of the latest SAGE meeting is not encouraging; apparently Johnson is prepared for surges equal to or exceeding past surges in order to open up.

 

So I'm afraid I'm just not able to do favorable comparisons between the UK and New Zealand, a country with 26 total deaths and 2200 total confirmed cases (2600 suspected). It's literally comparing the most stunning performance in the Western world to the very worst. I'm pretty comfortable saying NZ is the only western country that was truly successful in carrying off a collective responsibility strategy.

 

Oh I agree that the UK has managed the pandemic badly overall - although it's difficult to disentangle the lack of collective responsibility versus government mismanagement (with hard and early lockdowns leading to shorter periods of restrictions overall). I was talking about vaccination willingness as a form of collective responsibility, in particular. Are the stats you have for US versus UK vaccinations the overall percentages or by age group, out of curiousity? A lot of people in the UK are still waiting to be offered one, which doesn't seem to be as much the case in the US based on talking to my same age friends there. There also seems to be a much longer wait for the second dose in the UK, so the first versus second dose uptake may differ.

 

That's said, I just saw that the vaccine stats for ethnic minorities and more deprived areas don't look as good in the UK, so there still needs to be a lot more effort as far as messaging and accessibility go. 

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6 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Do you have links to sources showing this? I'd love to read more about this.

 

I'm not finding the exact thing I saw, but it seems to be an issue of lay people using efficacy and effectiveness interchangeably, and not understanding that efficacy is relative to testing conditions.

  • Bloomberg
  • discussion of efficacy (which points out J&J was the only one that tested under conditions of more transmissible variants, in addition to higher numbers of cases)
  • this is not so clear on how to compare efficacy rates, but has reminded me that J&J carried out a larger study in multiple countries, including in South Africa itself while the South Africa variant was active

 

Hrm, I believe this is the explainer I saw, and I think it's actually pretty good:

 

 

Basically, due to timing and scale of trials, J&J tested on hard mode on several fronts, while Pfizer and Moderna tested on easy mode, relatively early in the pandemic. And with the results relative to testing conditions rather than absolute, we don't know how they compare to each other. So we don't actually know if 95% efficacy for Pfizer is better or worse for an individual under current conditions than the 66% J&J efficacy.

 

When you think about testing methodology, it has to be relative to testing conditions, because they weren't deliberately exposing participants, which you'd need to do to get absolute effectiveness - you can't do that when it's potentially fatal. They were giving the trial vaccine and waiting to see what happened naturally to participants in the environment. So the efficacy is the product of two probabilities, the chance of encountering times the chance of contracting when encountered, not just one. To get absolute effectiveness numbers, you'd need to make chance of encountering 100%. Chance of encountering changes over the course of the pandemic, and with the variants, so potentially does chance of contracting when encountered.

 

It's entirely possible that J&J works better than  the Pfizer/Moderna/etc under modern conditions, despite the latter having much higher efficacy rates in testing. We just don't have a good way to compare them. So what the absolute effectiveness of any of them are under current conditions, it's an unknown. Just take any vaccine you can get your hands on, and keep an eye on herd immunity rates of uptake. That's where your partial individual protection magically becomes near total protection for everyone.

 

So far as gym-going, all the vaccines do seem to protect against severity of cases.

 

6 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

...so Americans in red states are basically screwed. Noted.

 

Not totally, but a little bit, yeah.

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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13 hours ago, Harriet said:

And I'm sure any new variants that arise will stay politely in those red states and not spread to other states or countries.

 

So far, the vaccines are holding against the variants. Maybe not quite as well, but they're working. So the issue is herd immunity. If an area without herd immunity forms a new variant that gets taken to an area with herd immunity, very little will happen in the second zone; they're all protected by the statistical cut off of disease spread. If the virus doesn't find a new unprotected or unlucky host before it's isolated, it can't spread. You'll get an inevitable unlucky case or two, and it will fizzle against the protective wall. That's not true in the first zone; it'll grow. Not as fast as as if there were no vaccinations, but there's not enough vaccinations to stop the variant from finding a new unprotected or unlucky host in time.

 

So, yes, variants are a bad move for public safety, but until one mutates past the vaccines, they will disproportionately affect regions with lower vaccination rates, and not have a very noticeable impact in regions with enough vaccination, for some quantity of "enough".

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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9 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

So far as gym-going, all the vaccines do seem to protect against severity of cases.

 

This is the part of the video I have chosen to focus on, because my anxiety wants me to focus entirely on the fact that vaccines don't guarantee that I won't get infected, and wants me to forget the rest. I will put a poster that says "all Covid vaccines are 100% effective against death" on a prominent wall in my mind where I can see it every day.

 

I'm also sharing the video with people because it's really good. Thanks for finding it. :) 

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“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I'm also sharing the video with people because it's really good. Thanks for finding it. :) 

 

You're very welcome.  I liked it, because facts are good. This is why we have experts.

 

(Perhaps I will reboot the Monks' medical things thread and post it there for everyone. I think that thread was helpful in the early days of figuring out what the hell this thing was.)

 

2 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

This is the part of the video I have chosen to focus on, because my anxiety wants me to focus entirely on the fact that vaccines don't guarantee that I won't get infected, and wants me to forget the rest. I will put a poster that says "all Covid vaccines are 100% effective against death" on a prominent wall in my mind where I can see it every day.

 

It's a good thing to bear in mind. I'd rather not get covid with the unknowns, but mild covid isn't a bad option, either. They're totally spot on when they say every shot in an arm is progress.

 

And I do think we will eventually reach herd immunity. By hook or by crook. Vaccines are required for all sorts of things; I had to have vaccination records to go to school and summer camp. I see no reason why covid won't become required for certain activities. Once middle schools, high schools, and airports require it, once insurers get tired of bearing the cost of a severe illness there's a vaccine for, and once the artifical political furore dies down under the sheer normalcy of an actual civil servant and some chickens coming home to roost, vaccine resistance will likely go down, IMO. Consider this a wild flail of the mass hysteria system that's been revved up for several years. It'll take 6-12 months to settle down, but facts will take over, even if it's budget facts rather than science facts.

 

(Seriously, health insurers were fine to write off all sorts of treatment and prevention when that was their only option for keeping higher spread, and thus higher costs, down, but they will not be happy to bear that cost when $30 of vaccine could save them weeks of ICU costs. People and businesses will rapidly become more expensive to insure if they don't vaccinate, just like being a smoker.)

 

I'm honestly impressed this administration moved as fast as it did, especially given the total lack of transition cooperation from the previous one. They've been meeting their targets so fast that they've revised them upwards more than once, which is amazing under all these circumstances. These guys know what they're doing and are not sitting around. I think they're proving they are some of the safest hands we could be in right now, and I'm okay letting them sort it out for the next 6-12 months.

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I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

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19 minutes ago, sarakingdom said:

(Perhaps I will reboot the Monks' medical things thread and post it there for everyone. I think that thread was helpful in the early days of figuring out what the hell this thing was.)

 

If you do, I'll be there. Asking border-line relevant questions and posting memes when I feel like it. :) 

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

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