Saturday: Hili dialogue

January 7, 2023 • 6:15 am

We’ve finished the first week of the year, for it’s CaturSaturday, January 7, 2023, and National Tempura Day, a day of cultural appropriation.

It’s also, Fruitcake Toss Day, National Pass Gas Day (remember, yesterday was National Bean Day), International Programmers’ Day, National Bobblehead Day, and Christmas for those Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches that use the Julian Calendar (e.g., Christmas in Russia and Ukraine).

Here’s my favorite bobblehead, given to me by a kind reader. There aren’t many of these! (note the ciggie and the amber restorative):

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the January 7 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Late last night, on the 15th vote, Representative Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House. About damn time!

Mr. McCarthy clawed his way to victory by cutting a deal that won over a sizable contingent of ultraconservative lawmakers on the 12th and 13th votes earlier in the day, and then wearing down the remaining holdouts in a tense session that dragged on past midnight, ultimately winning with a bare majority, after a spectacle of arm-twisting and rancor on the House floor.

The protracted fight foreshadowed how difficult it would be for him to govern with an exceedingly narrow majority and an unruly hard-right faction bent on slashing spending and disrupting business in Washington. The speakership struggle that crippled the House before it had even opened its session suggested that basic tasks such as passing government funding bills or financing the federal debt would prompt epic struggles over the next two years.

Yet Mr. McCarthy, who was willing to endure vote after humiliating vote and give in to an escalating list of demands from his opponents to secure the post, denied that the process foretold any dysfunction.

Mr. McCarthy clawed his way to victory by cutting a deal that won over a sizable contingent of ultraconservative lawmakers on the 12th and 13th votes earlier in the day, and then wearing down the remaining holdouts in a tense session that dragged on past midnight, ultimately winning with a bare majority, after a spectacle of arm-twisting and rancor on the House floor.

The protracted fight foreshadowed how difficult it would be for him to govern with an exceedingly narrow majority and an unruly hard-right faction bent on slashing spending and disrupting business in Washington. The speakership struggle that crippled the House before it had even opened its session suggested that basic tasks such as passing government funding bills or financing the federal debt would prompt epic struggles over the next two years.

Yet Mr. McCarthy, who was willing to endure vote after humiliating vote and give in to an escalating list of demands from his opponents to secure the post, denied that the process foretold any dysfunction.

“This is the great part,” he told reporters. “Because it took this long, now we learned how to govern.”

. . . The final tally was 216 for Mr. McCarthy and 212 for Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic leader, with six, all Republicans, voting “present.”

HA!!!  What was learned? In the end Gaetz and Boebert, along with three other holdout Republicans, voted “present”, and the deal was done.  The next two years will be fun. . . so long as you don’t expect any legislation. 

 

A meme:

h/t Stash Krod

And a tweet from a Democrat:

*Over at Bari Weiss’s Substack, now renamed “The Free Press,” Nellie Bowles wrote her patented weekly summary of the news, yesterday called “TGIF: Congress is Back. Let the Insanity Begin.” Three snippets:

→ Wait . . . now Democrats are busing migrants to New York? Gov. Jared Polis, the governor of Colorado, is busing migrants to New York City. And New York mayor Eric Adams is not happy about it, saying: “This is just unfair for local governments to have to take on this national obligation.”

Recall not three months ago, when busing migrants to New York was considered outrageous, potentially human trafficking, worthy of huge splashy headlines and endless features about the suffering these trips were causing. When the buses come from Colorado, surely the response will be the same? Of course not.

I just checked, and there is not a single story on The New York Times homepage right now. Polis describes his busing program to NYC versus the essentially identical Republican busing program to NYC as “night and day.” Because, Polis says: “We are respecting the agency and the desires of migrants who are passing through Colorado. We want to help them reach their final destination, wherever that is.”

→ Latest from the Twitter Files: The Twitter Files—internal documents, emails and chats involving the past Twitter regime—continue to show how the U.S. government sought to silence its critics. The latest, from Matt Taibbi, shows that Adam Schiff, a Democrat and the head of the House Intelligence Committee, specifically asked the social network to ban a journalist, Paul Sperry. Even Twitter employees, usually perfectly happy to censor the politically inconvenient, balked at this.

→ Vaccine-skeptical, sit this one out: When Damar Hamlin, a football safety for the Buffalo Bills, got hit in the chest and collapsed on the field, who was ready to jump in and opine but the vax skeptics. On Tucker Carlson, there was speculation that Hamlin was suffering vaccine-induced myocarditis.

Obviously there are vaccine side effects that were under-reported and lied about, but that does not mean anyone with an injury or anyone who dies young was killed by Pfizer. Just like progressives see a twinge in their ankles as #longcovid, the conservative vax skeptic movement is a hammer looking for nails.

In very good news, Damar Hamlin is stable and seems to be making a recovery.

*The Washington Times reports that a federal judge, appointed by Bill Clinton, has upheld the state law forbidding transgender women from competing in sports against biological women. For the time being, I think that’s a good decision:   (h/t Wayne)

A federal judge upheld Thursday a 2021 West Virginia law barring biological males from girls’ and women’s sports, ruling that the state legislature has the authority to issue definitions of sex, in a victory for advocates of female sports.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled in favor of the state in its defense of House Bill 2393, called the Save Women’s Sports Bill, which was challenged by an 11-year-old male-born student called B.P.J. who sought to play on the girls’ track team based on gender identity.

Judge Goodwin, an appointee of former President Clinton, said that “a transgender girl is biologically male and, barring medical intervention, would undergo male puberty like other biological males. And biological males generally outperform females athletically.”

“The state is permitted to legislate sports rules on this basis because sex, and the physical characteristics that flow from it, are substantially related to athletic performance and fairness in sports,” said Judge Goodwin in the 23-page opinion.

He’s right about what he says in the penultimate paragraph.  Ten to one the ACLU submitted a brief for the losing side, and this decision will no doubt be called “transphobic”. It isn’t: it’s pro-women’s sports. A bit more:

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey cheered the court’s ruling, the first federal decision in the litigation against state laws preventing male-born athletes from competing against females in scholastic sports.

Eighteen states have passed such bills in the last few years.

“This is not only about simple biology, but fairness for women’s sports, plain and simple,” Mr. Morrisey said. “Opportunities for girls and women on the field are precious and we must safeguard that future. Protecting these opportunities is important, because when biological males compete in a women’s event women and girls lose their opportunity to shine.”

*In case you wondered why a healthy football player, safety Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills, could have a heart attack after being hit in the chest, it’s a rare occurrence that requires precise timing to produce injury. The Wall Street Journal explains:

Medical experts were quick to recognize signs on Monday night of commotio cordis—Latin for “agitation of the heart”—and NFL Players Association officials said on Thursday it was “the presumptive working diagnosis.” In the intervening days, a previously obscure condition became a widely discussed topic: how prevalent it is, and whether it can be prevented.

Commotio cordis is caused by “blunt force trauma to the chest wall that affects the electrical system of the heart,” causing an arrhythmia and cardiac arrest, said Dr. James Borchers, an Ohio State professor of sports medicine who is also chief medical officer for the Big Ten Conference.

Then there’s an animation, from which I’ve taken these captions. The blow has to come between beats, after blood returns to the heart’s left ventricle from the body:

In commotio cordis, however, a blow to the heart area of the chest during a short window — as short as 30 milliseconds — as the heart begins to relax throws the cycle into chaos.

The blow causes the ventricles to start beating in a rapid and uncoordinated way, overwhelming the electrical system of the heart. The sinus node is no longer able to send a signal triggering another heartbeat, which stops the heart from effectively sending blood out to the body, including critical organs such as the brain.

. . . It’s essentially a confluence of really unfortunate events, said Dr. Christopher Madias, director of the New England Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Tufts Medical Center: “just the right amount of force, within the right location overlaying the heart, in this critical period of vulnerability within the cardiac cycle, or within the heartbeat.”

That worst possible moment in the heart’s electrical cycle is also exceptionally narrow, lasting approximately 30 milliseconds, said Dr. Barry Maron, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center who has researched sudden death in athletes.

“These are rare events,” Maron said. “I never thought I’d ever see one on TV.”

. . .“This video is really typical of commotio: someone gets struck, they have about five seconds of lucidity, and then they collapse,” said Dr. Mark Link, a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a member of its division of cardiology who has investigated commotio, including with Maron, since the mid-1990s.

The good news is that Hamlin is awake, lucid, and is speaking after his breathing tube was removed. Will he ever play again? I’m not a doctor, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

*Prince Harry’s new book, Spare, seems to cast him as a perpetual victim, and from what I’ve read and heard of it he doesn’t seem like a person I’d want to have a beer with. Granted, the Royal Family has its rules, and I don’t like them or the institution, but Harry and Meghan should get on with their lives, quit kvetching, and do something besides making money off their claimed victimization. Read this summary from the AP and see for yourself. One excerpt:

The opening chapter recounts how his father Prince Charles — now King Charles III — broke the news of his mother’s accident, but didn’t give his son a hug.

Harry reveals that years later he asked his driver to take him through the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, site of the fatal crash, hoping in vain that it would help end a “decade of unrelenting pain. He also says he once consulted a woman who claimed to have “powers” and to be able to pass on messages from Diana.

Harry adds that he and William both “begged” their father not to marry his long-term paramour Camilla Parker-Bowles, worried she would become a “wicked stepmother.”

Harry also is tormented by his status as royal “spare” behind William, who is heir to the British throne. Harry recounts a longstanding sibling rivalry that worsened after Harry began a relationship with American actress Meghan Markle, whom he married in 2018.

Tormented as a “spare”? Did he really want to be King? Anyway, I think I’ll give this book a pass

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn,

Hili: I’m waiting for good news from the west.
A: And?
Hili: Just that. Still waiting.
In Polish:
Hili: Oczekuję dobrych wieści z zachodu.
Ja: I co?
Hili: No właśnie nic.

. . . and a photo of Baby Kulka getting fusses:

*********************

A Far Side Cartoon from Gary Larson:

From Brian:

A Mike Baldwin cartoon found on FB:

A tweet from God over at Mastodon:

. . . and Titania is still tweeting:

Iran is going after Masih again, for she’s the most powerful weapon in America against the Iranian regime. Remember–they tried to kidnap her.

From Simon.  All I can say is “Oy!”

From Malcolm: This is an amazing feat, but then they’ll just fly into the bottle and drown:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a five year old French Jewish boy was gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Herr Doktor Professor Cobb. I’ve sent the first one to my friends who work on ants:

Spot ALL THREE deer!  The third one is hard to find:

A lovely SMBC strip that you can also see here:

24 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1610 – Galileo Galilei makes his first observation of the four Galilean moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa, although he is not able to distinguish the last two until the following day.

    1785 – Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in a gas balloon.

    1835 – HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, drops anchor off the Chonos Archipelago.

    1894 – Thomas Edison makes a kinetoscopic film of someone sneezing. On the same day, his employee, William Kennedy Dickson, receives a patent for motion picture film.

    1920 – The New York State Assembly refuses to seat five duly elected Socialist assemblymen.

    1959 – The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.

    1985 – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launches Sakigake, Japan’s first interplanetary spacecraft and the first deep space probe to be launched by any country other than the United States or the Soviet Union.

    1999 – The Senate trial in the impeachment of U.S. President Bill Clinton begins.

    2015 – Two gunmen commit mass murder at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, shooting twelve people execution style, and wounding eleven others.

    Births:
    1834 – Johann Philipp Reis, German physicist and academic, invented the Reis telephone (d. 1874).

    1863 – Anna Murray Vail, American botanist and first librarian of the New York Botanical Garden (d. 1955).

    1895 – Hudson Fysh, Australian pilot and businessman, co-founded Qantas Airways Limited (d. 1974).

    1912 – Charles Addams, American cartoonist, created The Addams Family (d. 1988).

    1925 – Gerald Durrell, Indian-English zookeeper, conservationist and author, founded Durrell Wildlife Park (d. 1995).

    1946 – Jann Wenner, American publisher, co-founded Rolling Stone.

    1964 – Nicolas Cage, American actor.

    1985 – Lewis Hamilton, English racing driver.

    1991 – Eden Hazard, Belgian footballer.

    Joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile:
    1920 – Edmund Barton, Australian judge and politician, 1st Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1849).

    1943 – Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American physicist and engineer (b. 1856).

    1989 – Hirohito, Japanese emperor (b. 1901).

    2007 – Magnus Magnusson, Icelandic journalist, author, and academic (b. 1929).

    2020 – Neil Peart, Canadian drummer, songwriter, and producer (b. 1952).

    1. The other evening, my wife and I watched “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” starring Nicolas Cage, playing himself as the man with massive talent. It was a fun comedy, I lost my breath laughing a couple times.

      Happy 59th Mr. Cage!

      And I haven’t yet said “Thanks, Jez” for supplying the notables.

  2. Why don’t we hear about transgender men competing in biologically male sporting events and coming in first? Hmmm..

      1. I assume that by “transgender men” JohnH meant women who identify as men. Unlike transwomen (i.e. men who identify as women, such as Lia Thomas), they have no competitive advantage over natal men and if they are taking testosterone usually can’t compete against their own sex class.

  3. Back in the dark ages, we used to start CPR with a chest thump, on the grounds that it might restart a regular rhythm – and rarely, it did work. Because of the almost theoretical risk that we thumped someone who was not already in asystole or VF, and caused commotio cardis, this was removed from standard practice.
    Among the other items lost from CPR I rather miss the finale of resuscitation theatre: the intracardiac injection of adrenaline with a spinal needle. I mean, if something that dramatic didn’t work you were entitled to call a halt, right? That was stopped on the grounds that you might drive the needle through the left anterior descending coronary artery, and if the injection was successful, you would then have restarted a heart with a massive iatrogenic myocardial infarction. It was rather touching that anyone thought it might work, when it was plainly used to bring the curtain down at the end of a long and unsuccessful effort.

    1. This reminds that there are fads in medicine as in any other field of human endeavor. An obvious example is the widespread performance of tonsillectomies in my youth. (I got one.) This practice has all but disappeared. I submit that there are still vestigial superstitions in medicine, though I can’t think of a particular one off the top of my head (Dr. Elessar?). My point is that our descendants will look back on the medical practices of today and identify some of them as ineffective and even counterproductive.

      1. “My point is that our descendants will look back on the medical practices of today and identify some of them as ineffective and even counterproductive.”

        Yes. Due to the internet, people are now exposed to a wide range of so-called medical knowledge with varying degrees of credibility. Sometimes, medical advice as to how to treat an ailment contradicts directly other medical advice. Sometimes, the diagnosis of an ailment differs between practitioners. I have experienced this. Hence, people confront often the necessity of making anxiety producing decisions as to whom to believe. In my youth, long before the dawn of the internet, doctors were viewed as gods and their diagnoses and treatments went unchallenged. They may have been wrong, but at least the patients were mentally at ease to the extent that their trust in doctors was sure. Since doctors are no longer viewed as gods, whatever they diagnose and prescribe always raises the question in the back of one’s mind: can I really accept what the doctor is saying? I’d better check the internet.

      2. An obvious example [of fads in medicine] is the widespread performance of tonsillectomies in my youth. (I got one.)

        Yeah, I got one, too, when I was about six. I was having recurrent sore throats before that, and the doctor said I needed a tonsillectomy. Looking back, weird thing was, the doctor also recommended that, as long as I was having the operation, my parents should bring my kid sister in to have a tonsillectomy, too, to get it out the way, even though she wasn’t having any medical symptoms.

        In my case, the operation didn’t go so great. There was a problem with the way the surgeon stitched me up, and when I came to, the first thing I did was york up a bunch of blood. So it was back to the OR, back under the ether, and another operation.

        I can’t vouch for Hunter Thompson’s claim in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that “[t]here is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge,” but I can say that, coming out of that second dose of ether left me with what I would later come to recognize as a hellacious hangover.

        1. Like your sister, I got my tonsillectomy because my brother “needed” one; I was nine. They said I could have all the ice cream I wanted, so that made up for it. Not! And I used to have a lot of bloody noses so they cauterized my nose while they were at it. I didn’t even know they were going to do that. It was an all-around shitty experience. Though I will say the nosebleeds stopped.

      3. “Our descendants will look back on the medical practices of today and identify some of them as ineffective and even counterproductive.”

        Routine circumcision?

    2. Among the other items lost from CPR I rather miss the finale of resuscitation theatre: the intracardiac injection of adrenaline with a spinal needle.

      You mean like this?

  4. Re busing migrants: a little more information would help. The earlier instances involved migrants who did not want to go where they were bused, did not know where they were when they arrived, were tricked into taking (or lied to). The brief report does not tell us whether similar things were involved in Colorado busing migrants. In fact, the report includes a weak suggestion that the migrants wanted to go to NY.

  5. Just to be clear, the young football player suffered cardiac arrest, but he didn’t have a heart attack, which refers to a myocardial infarction, where a clot (or in rare cases something else) blocks blood flow to cardiac muscle, leading to cell damage, often permanent. A heart attack CAN cause arrhythmias and cardiac arrest, but it doesn’t always do so, and many other things cause arrhythmias without having anything to do with myocardial perfusion problems.

    The phenomenon that felled this young man on the field has been in the news before, not too long ago, when it happened to a high school football player (if I remember correctly). It’s the rough equivalent of the often-dramatized fist blow to the chest of someone in cardiac arrest, seen dramatized occasionally in movies and TV shows. In those cases, its hoped that the blow will disrupt the conductive system of the heart and STOP an arrhythmia*, but anything that can stop arrhythmias can generally CAUSE arrhythmias as well. It’s obviously very rare that such things happen, and in young, healthy people with ready CPR and defibrillation available, its pretty “easily” recovered from, though hardly without its costs and damages. It’s certainly not even close to the top of the list of potential health concerns to which football players should be paying attention.

    *Its success rate is very low, and in the modern area, with electric cardioverter/defibrillators, and often with Automatic External Defibrillators available, it’s almost never done.

    1. As a public service about commotio cordis, whether or not that’s what Mr. Hamlin seems to be recovering from:

      Most victims are young (high school or children) amateur athletes. Likely this is just because there are many many more amateur athletes than adult pros, of course. But it also shows that professional levels of violence are clearly not necessary to induce it. The usual cause is being hit in the chest by a missile, not by a hit from a body. Baseballs and ice hockey pucks predominate. American football and soccer account for about 4% each; the reference I had didn’t distinguish between hits from balls vs. hits from collisions with other players.

      Because of the propensity to affect amateur youngsters, parents can play a role here in preventing death. You don’t have to be a professional team doctor.

      The key factor in survival, as for any cardiac arrest, is prompt defibrillation. Nothing else matters. If the casualty is unconscious and there is no pulse, start chest compressions while getting the AED deployed but don’t worry about rescue breathing just yet. You may not know exactly what happened and you have to worry about the cervical spine — that takes priority over the airway in these early seconds. Don’t touch the neck. Just get a shock while someone calls 911. If the heart starts this soon after it stopped, breathing will resume immediately even if the casualty doesn’t wake up right away. (They never depict CPR on TV correctly because a live actor might be injured by the necessary force. If you have a kid in organized sport, be sure you know how to do it.)

      Amateur leagues and the venues they play in are advised to have automatic defibrillators on site — in a decade more spectators will be defibrillated (often futilely) than athletes but the survival rate has been increasing since the awareness of sudden death has diffused into the amateur sporting world. You also have to suspect it. If a pitcher collapses on being hit by a line drive or a defenseman goes down after blocking a shot the possibility that he is stone dead has to be considered, rather than assuming something simple like a concussion. Especially in a well-armoured hockey player, it may be difficult to realize that he has no pulse and isn’t breathing.

      This is rare — I’ll make a wild guess that more amateur athletes die in road crashes than from commotio cordis — but you don’t want a young person to die with an AED only a few seconds away just because no one thought to use it.

      I linked an article evidencing the above a couple of days ago but I can’t find it now.
      This is helpful, too:
      https://ksi.uconn.edu/emergency-conditions/cardiac-conditions/commotio-cordis/

      And this news item highlights the risk in younger children.
      https://news.westernu.ca/2022/01/new-study-aims-to-protect-young-athletes-against-sudden-death/

  6. “This is the great part,” he [Kevin McCarthy] told reporters. “Because it took this long, now we learned how to govern.”

    Yeah, they learned to govern in the same sense that the Hindenburg crew learned not to use hydrogen. Shame they had to blow it up to learn the lesson.

    1. Yes, this was the preseason game in preparation for the real ones, viz., the debt ceiling, the budget as a whole (“They’re coming for your Social Security.”–George Carlin), Ukraine aid, Hunter’s laptop, and Biden’s impeachment, all of which will be clusterf*cks.

    2. Tweet
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      On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House—something that hasn’t been done in years.

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  7. I take issue with Weiss: “Obviously there are vaccine side effects that were under-reported and lied about….” I’d be far more willing to bet that if anything, plenty gets reported to the VAERS site that objectively ought not to be reported there.

    Otherwise, Tucker Carlson et ux would be of far better service to their base by paying attention to this one in Nature involving over 5M people – already nearly a year old and (mirable dictu!) not behind a paywall (because it’s in re. COVID?), that the risk of cardiac issues – including myocarditis and pericarditis and spanning many other cardiovascular disease categories – is substantially increased after having had COVID, regardless of whether hospitalization was required for the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    1. Yes. The exact opposite is true for VAERS. See, just for example:

      https://theconversation.com/unverified-reports-of-vaccine-side-effects-in-vaers-arent-the-smoking-guns-portrayed-by-right-wing-media-outlets-they-can-offer-insight-into-vaccine-hesitancy-166401

      “Unfortunately, the anti-vaccine movement has used this once-obscure database to spread misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

      VAERS is ripe for exploitation because it relies on unverified self-reports of side effects. Anyone who received a vaccine can submit a report. And because this information is publicly available, misinterpretations of its data has been used to amplify COVID-19 misinformation through dubious social media channels and mass media, including one of the most popular shows on cable news.”

      The news “summary” she does are full of shameful snarking like that falsehood, which bolsters the case of the critics that the whole site is based on repackaging right-wing talking-points in a way which makes them more socially acceptable.

    2. @ Hempenstein:

      VAERS. As a self-appointed volunteer trying to weaken what was then still called vaccine hesitancy I spent many hours on-line commenting on the CBC during the worst of the pandemic here. As vaccines worked their way into use beginning in late spring 2021*, I stressed that self-reports of adverse effects should be mostly ignored except for 1 or 2% maybe. The challenge of course was which 1 or 2%. Locally we had one fellow die of blood clots from the A-Z vaccine which we used because we could get it soonest. But it wasn’t VAERS that sounded the alarm on that dangerous adverse effect, kinda jumped out at you. Ditto the myocarditis in boys and young men.

      Your linked article needs context, though.
      It is a study from the U.S. Veterans Administration. Average age was 62. Cases of COVID were more likely than controls to be obese (over half) with diabetes (a third) and high cholesterol, as we know, but prevalence of these conditions was high in the whole cohort. Fewer COVID cases than controls were current or former smokers. The entire cohort was assembled early in the pandemic before the vaccine became available. The researchers followed the cohort for a year.

      It is not surprising that an elderly population with this burden of pre-existing health would suffer substantial cardiovascular disease in the wake of an acute illness with tropism for the ACE receptor. The study looked for several types of minor and serious events. I will call them all “heart attacks” here to save space.

      The claim made by the authors that COVID infection increased the risk of these events regardless of severity is misleading. There was a strong gradient for all events with ICU > hospital > outpatient treatment. Because 82% required only outpatient care, the small increase in relative risk of extra heart attacks in that large group added up to a lot of heart attacks. But the risk of heart attacks still concentrated in the 18% who survived severe disease. If is tempting but unproven to imagine that had this group been vaccinated, the expected reduced risk of hospital and ICU care for the acute illness would have translated into a lower risk of heart attack in the following year. But even if all had been vaccinated, and all infections mild instead of only 82%, the unprevented COVID infections would still have left heart attacks in their wake. The challenge for policy makers is how vigorous to be in trying to prevent COVID infection entirely when mere vaccination won’t do it.

      Now, the myocarditis/pericarditis complication of Covid vaccine is a different story. While rare, it occurs almost entirely in boys and young men, a group at vanishingly low risk of having any serious consequences of Covid infection. So it would be illogical for a young person to base his decision about Covid vaccination on this study. The baseline risks of the two populations are completely different. Almost certainly a young person would be better off avoiding the vaccine if his goal was to avoid any kind of cardiac complication. Even a self-limiting event like vaccine myocarditis will cause a perception of disease and special fragility — “Did the vaccine give me long Covid?” — in a certain number of anxious suggestible individuals, especially if they felt pressured or bullied into being vaccinated.
      ___________
      * We were late getting started. Government deference to China on everything doesn’t always work out so well.

  8. Harry and Meaghan sound like whiners and should, as the kids say, “check their privilege.” My guess is that the Royal Family will ignore the Sussexes and allow them to continue whining until everyone is sick of them.

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