Liberation

 

A fortnight had passed since my second vaccination, and you know what that means: all the little nano-gears and tiny sprockets embedded in the vaccine kick in, click together, whirrr up and produce IMMUNITY! Yesterday, vulnerability. Today: Superman ripping open his clark-kent shirt and looking to the horizon while covid cells bounce off his chesty logo. 

Thus infused with newfound invulnerability, I decided to break the law. In Minneapolis you have to wear a mask indoors, lest asymptomatic variants gust from your mouth, and also to set a good example. But I walked inside the office, across the lobby, up the escalator, and into the elevator with a shameless naked face. Come and get me, copper. 

After a few hours in the empty office  I decided to go out for a small cigar, and for the first time in a year did not loop the strings around my ears to prevent infection in the dangerous elevator-lobby space. I walked past the security station. The guard looked up. We nodded to each other. He did not command me to cover my filthy germ-hole.

I took the escalator down to the lobby, and for the first time in my life I was struck by the scent of the air. It’s possible the building has installed scrubbers and purifiers; they’re now CERTIFIED according to the WELL standards. But it seemed bright and fresh in a way I’d never noticed. Had it always been so? Was I j noticing it now because I’d spent the last year breathing my own breath, with its top notes of pastrami and subsequent Altoids? There was a difference in the character of the air in the foyer – crisper, more Alpine – and then the immediate rush of humid city springtime aromas when I stepped outside. I felt like a dog in a moving car with his head out the window.

In the evening I went shopping for groceries. If you stop for food on 54th street, you must wear a mask. If you shop for food on 62nd street, you do not, because one is Minneapolis and the other isn’t. There is SCIENCE on this side of the dotted line, and there is ALSO SCIENCE BECAUSE REASONS on the other.

Trader Joe’s has a sign: masks are only required for the unvaccinated. About 90% of the shoppers had masks.  One dad had his tot wearing a mask. The clerk said the staff might be permitted to ditch them, but didn’t know when; in the meantime, I had to stand six feet away from the checkout and advance only when my items had been bagged. At Target it was more or less the same, although there was one woman who was a dead ringer for Twin Peaks’ Log Lady who stood out, because she just emanated a calm sense of “got the shot, done with it” vibe.

On the way home I hit my favorite part of the highway, which has a 90-degree curve and requires moving over three lanes to get to my exit. I love to pull some Gs on that turn, especially on a summer night with the roof open and the music loud on a car with a low center of gravity. It is a matter of planning and machinery control, knowing the road, judging the flow, checking the merge. Driving.  It’s always fun. It was only when I pulled into the garage that I realized it was the first time in a year there wasn’t a mask hanging off the gear shift.  Usually I transfer it to the gear shift when I get in the car. Rote habit. Ritual. Unthinking, just what you do.

Not any more. Bulletproof, daddy-O. Because science. 

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  1. Steven Galanis Coolidge
    Steven Galanis
    @Steven Galanis

    For sure, a superman who never backed down from pastrami!

    • #1
  2. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Stopped into a favorite restaurant for lunch on Monday. The regular server (waiter?) came to the table unmasked. Said he was fully vaccinated but was leaving it to the customers at each of his tables whether he’d wear his mask or not. Seemed like a pretty good interim policy. It was good seeing his face again after more than a year.

    • #2
  3. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    “I love to pull some Gs on that turn, especially on a summer night with the roof open and the music loud on a car with a low center of gravity. It is a matter of planning and machinery control, knowing the road, judging the flow, checking the merge. Driving.”

    In some small way, refusing to comply with the most devoted safety-ists and paranoid fear-scolds makes this act of relinquishing the masks all the sweeter, and the free air as liberating as the open road. You are again the master of your risk. Acting with abandon and testing the limits of personal responsibility and an individualism not felt for over a year – Who knew ‘normal’ could be so emancipating? Simply a joyous post. Thank you!

    • #3
  4. JayMiller Lincoln
    JayMiller
    @JayMiller

    I went to the Oak Park Farmers Market on Saturday- outdoors- and they had mask police at the entrance. Just past the Democratic party voter registration table. Refreshingly, when I visited one of our local restaurants later in the week, the (Buzz Cafe) sign on the door said vaccinated people did not need to wear masks inside. That was more like it! My town (Oak Park, IL) is having a hard time giving up its mask habit. Which includes the kiddies playing in the front yard with their sibs.

    • #4
  5. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I had COVID back in 1/2020 – least I think I did since it did not have a name then or test then.  But I had all the symptoms.

    I have had both shots over a month ago.

    My state has relaxed all masking rules.

    I was kicked out of a movie theater last Friday from not having a mask.

    Thursday my county is having a meeting about requiring a proof of vaccination ban mounted on our arm so we can not wear a mask in public or something…..

    The battle goes on.

    • #5
  6. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    JayMiller (View Comment):
    My town (Oak Park, IL) is having a hard time giving up its mask habit. Which includes the kiddies playing in the front yard with their sibs.

    It takes a village.

    • #6
  7. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    James Lileks:

    A fortnight had passed since my second vaccination, and you know what that means: all the little nano-gears and tiny sprockets embedded in the vaccine kick in, click together, whirrr up and produce IMMUNITY!

    By far the best scientific explanation of how the vaccines work!

    • #7
  8. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    James, in case you are looking for something new to worry about now that you are fully immune to Covid-19, you may wish to have a look at this from the NIH:

    COVID-19-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome: The early … 

    pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › 32678460

    Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an inflammatory polyradiculoneuropathy associated with numerous viral infections. Recently, there have been many case reports describing the association between coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and GBS, but much remains unknown about the strength of the association and the features of GBS in this setting.

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    In GA, the Masks are falling away with the CDC change. They were already dying and that pushed it over the edge. I have not been stopped any place and asked. 

     

    • #9
  10. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    The dog shelter where I volunteer only requires masks for the unvaccinated, so I don’t wear a mask there. But it’s not a very crowded place either. I still usually wear one in the grocery store, even though I know I shouldn’t. I’m worried that deep inside me lurks a neurotic liberal. 

    • #10
  11. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    I walked around work one morning with no mask. Nobody said a thing, looked at me funny or tackled me and strapped a mask on my face. But the rule is still wear a mask. Sigh.

    • #11
  12. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    James, in case you are looking for something new to worry about now that you are fully immune to Covid-19, you may wish to have a look at this from the NIH:

    COVID-19-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome: The early …

    pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › 32678460

    Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an inflammatory polyradiculoneuropathy associated with numerous viral infections. Recently, there have been many case reports describing the association between coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and GBS, but much remains unknown about the strength of the association and the features of GBS in this setting.

    Nope, not going to worry. 

    • #12
  13. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    A friend of mine walked into a store in Chicago last week and the clerk told her she didnt need a mask.  She cried.

    Meanwhile I am still in Soviet Canuckstan wher our glorious leader Doug Ford runs one of the strictest lockdowns in Canada, while his idiot flunkies come up with new rules to restrict our freedoms.

    I dont know how these idiots think it will go for them at the next Party conference.

    • #13
  14. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    James, in case you are looking for something new to worry about now that you are fully immune to Covid-19, you may wish to have a look at this from the NIH:

    COVID-19-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome: The early …

    pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › 32678460

    Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an inflammatory polyradiculoneuropathy associated with numerous viral infections. Recently, there have been many case reports describing the association between coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and GBS, but much remains unknown about the strength of the association and the features of GBS in this setting.

    Nope, not going to worry.

    Wouldn’t sweat it much-GBS is associated with many viruses & also with bacterial infections & vaccines. If you recall the 1976 swine flu scare and the national vaccine program you will remember well publicized cases of GBS associated with the vaccine. While the anti-vax crowd likes to cite this example it is believed that the typical flu causes more GBS than the flu vax does. Had a colleague develope it a couple of years ago- scary but they fully recovered.

    • #14
  15. Daniel J Member
    Daniel J
    @DanielJ

    Post of the week!  Self nominate and take a bow.  Mic drop or whetever they do now.

    I’m sending this to my 20 something (male) kids who are both vaccinated and still mask up. Because those are the rules!  It’s pathetic.  I feel shame.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    James Lileks:

    A fortnight had passed since my second vaccination, and you know what that means: all the little nano-gears and tiny sprockets embedded in the vaccine kick in, click together, whirrr up and produce IMMUNITY!

    By far the best scientific explanation of how the vaccines work!

    The Fauci Vaccine Sprockets building is right next to Spacely Space Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs.

    Hi, James!  Great post as usual, I just fear that a number of Ricochetti who stick to the Member Feed won’t see it, because it was never there.

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The problem with any mass vaccination is that some people will have issues who would have had issues anyway. I know an epidemiologist who did the math. The J&J clotting? Guess what: the expected number of people to get a clot for that population size was exactly the number that got clots. In other words, without the J&J vax, we would have expected the same number to have issues. 

     

    • #17
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I love being liberated from thinking about the virus and the pandemic. As the numbers of new cases have plummeted in Massachusetts and on Cape Cod where I live, it has been really wonderful to have my mind back to its normal state of wandering around the interesting world I live in. :-) 

    • #18
  19. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The problem with any mass vaccination is that some people will have issues who would have had issues anyway. I know an epidemiologist who did the math. The J&J clotting? Guess what: the expected number of people to get a clot for that population size was exactly the number that got clots. In other words, without the J&J vax, we would have expected the same number to have issues.

     

    But not the kind of clots that are happening with the J and J shot. It’s extremely unusual and rare. And most of the people are in a specific age range. And all of these people got the clots roughly during the second week after getting the shot. 

    • #19
  20. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The problem with any mass vaccination is that some people will have issues who would have had issues anyway. I know an epidemiologist who did the math. The J&J clotting? Guess what: the expected number of people to get a clot for that population size was exactly the number that got clots. In other words, without the J&J vax, we would have expected the same number to have issues.

     

    But not the kind of clots that are happening with the J and J shot. It’s extremely unusual and rare. And most of the people are in a specific age range. And all of these people got the clots roughly during the second week after getting the shot.

    No, you are wrong. This Doctor studies these things for a living, He understand what he is talking about. 

    But, I am no more going to change your mind with reason and facts than I will the mind of a flat Earther. I am posting for other people. 

    You are looking hard to find connections to prove your point of view. You will find them. That is how our brains work. That is why a true scientific approach is so hard. 

    • #20
  21. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    I’m not always proud of the mores here in the hell-no-we-ain’t-fergittin’ region, but our attitude toward masks has been so much better than other parts of the continent I read about. We were sensible. We wore masks when we were urged to. We had a statewide mandate for a while. It was canceled when the CDC finally recognized the worth of the vaccines it had been flogging. There are still some stores with “Masks required” signs. We mask up when we enter there, because it’s the polite thing to do. There are still some folks—though fewer and fewer—still wearing masks where they are not required.

    But you know what? Nobody hectors anybody else from either side of the mask divide. In the not-infrequent instances when I shopped maskless (just because I had a tendency to forget to put on the thing), nobody got on my case. Nobody even gave me a dirty look. Now that the all-clear has been blown, I have heard of no instances of the liberated berating the more timid souls still covering their airways. 

    Americans going about their lives without imposing their ways on others. Amazing. Good to know minding your own business is still a thing.

    • #21
  22. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    @jameslileks What kind of car?

    • #22
  23. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The problem with any mass vaccination is that some people will have issues who would have had issues anyway. I know an epidemiologist who did the math. The J&J clotting? Guess what: the expected number of people to get a clot for that population size was exactly the number that got clots. In other words, without the J&J vax, we would have expected the same number to have issues.

     

    But not the kind of clots that are happening with the J and J shot. It’s extremely unusual and rare. And most of the people are in a specific age range. And all of these people got the clots roughly during the second week after getting the shot.

    No, you are wrong. This Doctor studies these things for a living, He understand what he is talking about.

    But, I am no more going to change your mind with reason and facts than I will the mind of a flat Earther. I am posting for other people.

    You are looking hard to find connections to prove your point of view. You will find them. That is how our brains work. That is why a true scientific approach is so hard.

    Well I’m not wrong about when they got the symptoms in relation to the shot and the age range. Plus the government effectively admitted that the shots caused the clots, and they are biased in favor of the vaccines. They wouldn’t have done that unless they had to. (I looked into it myself because it hit the news a few hours after I got the JJ shot.)

    • #23
  24. MISTER BITCOIN Inactive
    MISTER BITCOIN
    @MISTERBITCOIN

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/05/i-dont-know-of-a-bigger-story-in-the-world-right-now-than-ivermectin-ny-times-best-selling-author.html

    Ivermectin

     

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    No Caesar (View Comment):

    @ jameslileks What kind of car?

    He’s mentioned it before, seems like it’s a Subaru sport model but that might have been one he test-drove before picking something else.

    • #25
  26. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    W Bob (View Comment):
    Well I’m not wrong about when they got the symptoms in relation to the shot and the age range. Plus the government effectively admitted that the shots caused the clots.

    They really didn’t.

    And as has been pointed out, for the population of people who got the shots, the number of clots observed exactly matched what would be expected for that population in the absence of the vaccine.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):
    Well I’m not wrong about when they got the symptoms in relation to the shot and the age range. Plus the government effectively admitted that the shots caused the clots.

    They really didn’t.

    And as has been pointed out, for the population of people who got the shots, the number of clots observed exactly matched what would be expected for that population in the absence of the vaccine.

    I’m unclear on something.  Do the “normal” figures say that “this number of people will get blood clots over their lifetime” or more like “this number of people will get blood clots THIS WEEK.”

    • #27
  28. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):
    Well I’m not wrong about when they got the symptoms in relation to the shot and the age range. Plus the government effectively admitted that the shots caused the clots.

    They really didn’t.

    And as has been pointed out, for the population of people who got the shots, the number of clots observed exactly matched what would be expected for that population in the absence of the vaccine.

    I’m unclear on something. Do the “normal” figures say that “this number of people will get blood clots over their lifetime” or more like “this number of people will get blood clots THIS WEEK.”

    All of the people got the clots roughly in the second week after getting the shot. What’s the likelihood of that? Plus the kind of clot was so rare that doctors were giving the wrong kind of medicine to treat it, which made it worse. That’s one of the reasons it was temporarily taken off the market, so that doctors would notice and stop giving the wrong medicine.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-the-hunt-for-a-link-between-some-covid-19-vaccines-and-rare-blood-clots-11620898201?st=t1c50q8plk0dh58&reflink=article_copyURL_share

     

     

     

    • #28
  29. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):
    Well I’m not wrong about when they got the symptoms in relation to the shot and the age range. Plus the government effectively admitted that the shots caused the clots.

    They really didn’t.

    And as has been pointed out, for the population of people who got the shots, the number of clots observed exactly matched what would be expected for that population in the absence of the vaccine.

    Can someone please provide the math on this?  The fact that the “the number of clots observed exactly matched what would be expected for that population” is itself suspicious.  Nature rarely provides neat results like that.

    Has anyone else on Ricochet ever even HEARD of cerebral thrombosis with thrombocytopenia?    ITP, cavernous sinus thrombosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, anticardiolipin antibody syndrome, these are things I know and have battled against.  But cerebral thrombosis with thrombocytopenia? Jeez, I’ve practiced medicine for 32 years and it was new to me.

    • #29
  30. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    W Bob (View Comment):
    Well I’m not wrong about when they got the symptoms in relation to the shot and the age range. Plus the government effectively admitted that the shots caused the clots.

    They really didn’t.

    And as has been pointed out, for the population of people who got the shots, the number of clots observed exactly matched what would be expected for that population in the absence of the vaccine.

    Can someone please provide the math on this? The fact that the “the number of clots observed exactly matched what would be expected for that population” is itself suspicious. Nature rarely provides neat results like that.

    Has anyone else on Ricochet ever even HEARD of cerebral thrombosis with thrombocytopenia? ITP, cavernous sinus thrombosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, anticardiolipin antibody syndrome, these are things I know and have battled against. But cerebral thrombosis with thrombocytopenia? Jeez, I’ve practiced medicine for 32 years and it was new to me.

    I received that information from someone who I know and trust who works in research. He knows what he is talking about. 

    The fact that it was exact is funny, but not, in and of itself, suspicious. These things happen. 

    And by the way, when it comes to listening to doctors, the medical doctor (not the man above) who is a immunologist that I know is not raising alarm bells.  I personally am not an expert at any of this, but I have a crazy notion to rely on people are in the field and do understand it. 

    • #30