Category Archives: Personal

Corona is part of life now

AND FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE

A new study shows that COVID-19 infections do not give people long-term immunity. Antibodies that the infected developed usually began to decrease within a few weeks after the onset of symptoms.

According to the study, 23 days after the symptoms first appeared, 60 percent of patients experienced a potent antibody response. At 65 days, however, only 16.7 percent still had antibodies.

If a vaccine is developed, it will most likely need to be administered frequently to provide protection. Herd immunity is likely impossible.

Dr. Mala Maini, a virus expert from University College London, told CNN that the study “suggests vaccines will need to be better at inducing high levels of longer-lasting antibodies than the natural infection or that doses may need to be repeated to maintain immunity.”

The researchers noted that the antibody response to COVID-19 was similar to that of other types of human coronaviruses, such as seasonal ones linked to the common cold and SARS. In these viruses, a person’s antibody response tends to fade for a period of time that can be as little as 12 weeks or as long as 34 months.

Antibodies fade fast. We must learn to live with that fact. Society cannot wait for a vaccine. Life must go on. The shutdowns must end.

ajh

My Darth Vader Moment

There was a time in my life when I was so angry that I wanted to destroy the entire world. I wanted to rage. I wanted to rampage. I wanted to set the world ablaze.

I had a choice to make. Did I want to become a bad man? Did I want to choose evil? I don’t know what would have happened. I did not want to be a criminal. I did not want to be Hitler.

I call it my Darth Vader moment. I had been brooding on it for months. Then finally it all came to the moment of decision. I talked to a friend about it. I didn’t know how to explain it well. She just listened. I don’t know if she took it seriously.

This isn’t something I talk about. Because I don’t want to lose my freedom. I don’t want to show weakness. It will disturb people. I don’t know if others think about killing. Do they? Do you? I have thoughts from time to time.

Homicidal ideation. People who have wronged me. People who annoy me. Some people make the list. Most don’t. I have never written it down. It is filed away in my head.

Of course, I never act. Murder is wrong. That strong moral code is, thankfully, embedded in me as well. So I tell myself that I can think it, but I can never act it out. I suffer from suicidal ideation too. And the same applies.

Talking about my problems helps. For years, I have held many secrets. I never talked to anyone about my problems. I never shared what happened to me with anyone. My father hitting me. My brother abusing me sexually. I pretended that my life was fine. Everything was normal.

This is not meant to scare people, but to help others and myself understand. If we know more, we can learn. That includes me. What role does abuse have in this? A lot, I think. I want the world to be a better place. That was the road I decided to take.

I still struggle with it. But I made my choice. Occasionally I have to remind myself of this. That I am to be a force for good. I must not commit evil.

ajh

Cliché? I disagree.

Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Abtei_im_Eichwald_-_Google_Art_Project

“Like a scene from a horror movie, it brings to bear on the subject all the Gothic clichés of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.” Yet so beautiful. It foretells the wars to come. Horror films were a long way off. This was painted in the early 19th century.

The Abbey in the Oakwood, an oil painting by Caspar David Friedrich. The quote is by Albert Boime, a professor of art history at the UCLA for thirty years until his death in 2008.

ajh

What is ancestry?

A scientific paper on this topic, with this precise title, got me to thinking about the word.

Ancestry. Besides being a big corporate conglomerate hoping to suck as much money as possible out of grandmothers everywhere, it is a word created long before predatory capitalism became an idea.

I wonder what the dictionary definition is. It is a three-syllable word, an·​ces·​try. Merriam-Webster has the following:

Definition of ancestry
1: line of descent : LINEAGE
especially : honorable, noble, or aristocratic descent
2: persons initiating or comprising a line of descent : ANCESTORS

I prefer the more straightforward and simplistic:

: a person’s ancestors : the people who were in your family in past times

I am always looking for background, so here is what Douglas Harper says. It comes from French and before that Latin, dating to around the year 1300.

sjh