“John Wheeler to Richard Feynman in 1940: there is only one electron in the universe, manifesting as a single entity moving backwards and forwards in time, giving the illusion that there are more than one of them.”
by Raywat Deonandan, PhD Epidemiologist & Associate Professor University of Ottawa (I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)
A common question I am asked is, “Are COVID-19 vaccine mandates still justified in 2023?”
There is a lot to unpack in that question. First, were COVID vaccine mandates ever justified? That depends on your institution’s values. But strictly from an epidemiological perspective –and not a rights perspective– I believe that workplace mandates were largely justified in the pre-Omicron era, so long as accommodations were made for those unable/unwilling to comply (like mandatory testing).
Second, what would make mandates justified, again strictly from an epidemiological lens? Well, in most cases, the mandates were meant to accomplish two goals and possibly a third: (a) to slow transmission of the disease, (b) to get us closer to herd immunity, and (c) to keep people out of the hospital and morgue. (more…)
Back in 1995, I went digitally “undercover” on behalf of a major newspaper to lurk on the online discussion forums of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The internet was new back then, and not everyone had access yet. But the ‘Net was rapidly proving to be a comfortable gathering space for those with vile antisocial viewpoints, where they could spout and collude in anonymous comfort. (more…)
The world is objectively awful right now. I have waves of competing and disturbing thoughts about this that perhaps I will have to put to paper, just to retain my sanity. But until then, I need a salve for my soul. For me, that usually means dipping into the freshwater well of musical nostalgia. So for a few minutes, let me share with you what I’m currently listening to. Just so we can think about something other than …gestures broadly… all this.