Why I Chose to Get Vaccinated as a Pregnant Lady

 

I’ll preface this post with the following: It wasn’t an easy decision, it wasn’t one I made lightly or without serious internal (and external) debate, and not one-size-fits-all. The choice to take an emergency use vaccine without much in the way of safety data isn’t one any mother-to-be wants to be forced to make, but every pregnant woman in America is right now faced with this decision. I wanted to share my thought process, in case it might help someone else with theirs.

Initially, I had no intention to get the vaccine. I want to see data, I don’t want to be data. That changed when news started emerging about how variants were hitting pregnant women. News sources that I trust, traditional ones, Jewish community sources of news, and individual sources I’ve utilized within healthcare systems, were saying the same thing: Hospital beds were filling up with a lot of pregnant women, and they were in worse condition than they had been at any point in the pandemic. Anecdotally, I was hearing the same (this is a friend’s sister-in-law).

Saving Those Targeted by Outrage Mobs

 

My bar for media malfeasance is pretty low, but this from an ABC affiliate in Utah cleared the bar this week:

COVID Theatre Across the Atlantic

 

The funeral of Prince Phillip, husband of the Queen, was one of the most moving royal events of the last few years. This was perhaps the most iconic shot of the entire event:

Member Post

 

Yesterday the CDC and FDA announced we were putting a “pause” on the distribution of the J&J vaccination due to six “reported” cases of blood clots after 6.8m doses of the vaccine were distributed. Now, the vaccine is lifesaving medicine in the middle of a pandemic so severe we have put our lives on collective […]

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A Lesson for the MLB: Know Your Audience

 

This is a phenomenon that I should probably put a name on (Ricochetti: open to your suggestions in the comments): When companies go against their own self-interest in order to bend to the woke mob. These companies are seemingly unaware, or perhaps indifferent, to the fact that bending to this mob means going against their own customer base, and their own bottom line. I’ve written about it previously as it pertains to the Boy Scouts and the circus, and it’s happened more times than I can count with Dick’s Sporting Goods and more.

The latest victim of their own wokeness was the NBA, with news of plummeting viewership coming this week:

The Conservative Case Against Autism Speaks

 

Few organizations hold the narrative on a topic like Autism Speaks holds it on autism advocacy and awareness. When most parents first hear the diagnosis, they are handed a pamphlet with information compiled by the organization. When fundraisers are held, when bumper stickers and magnets are made, they usually benefit just one organization: Autism Speaks. But the farther one delves into the world of autism awareness, the more that troubling information comes to the surface. This is a pamphlet put together by those opposed to Autism Speaks, with suggested alternatives:

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Normalize Normal on Social Media

 

For a few months, in the late spring of 2020, I was careful about what I was posting on social media. We were having playdates with a friend (mostly outdoors) and I never posted pictures of her with us, for fear of provoking a COVID backlash. That lasted until about May, when I decided that there was no reason to be ashamed of what we were doing, nor should I let other people’s judgment determine what I was posting online.

Over the last months of 2020 and into 2021, I’ve noticed friends similarly self-censoring. They’re going on vacations, having family over for dinners, etc; but they’re posting none of it. If they do post it, they post it to special “lists” of “close friends” only, not widely for public consumption.

Harry Lost His Cred on Mental Health

 

Several weeks ago, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave an interview to Oprah about their exit from the Royal Family. Anyone who dared question their narrative faced a barrage of criticism; from accusations of racism to anger over anyone who dares to question anyone claiming a mental health crisis. Piers Morgan lost his morning hosting gig in Britain for questioning Markle’s claim that she was ever suicidal.

For many years, long before Markle came onto the scene, Prince Harry spoke openly about the importance of addressing mental health concerns and has discussed how he had received therapy to process the emotional toll that his mother’s death took on him. He was the most connected and vocal mental health advocate in the entire Commonwealth, able to obtain mental health assistance with the help of the palace or without it.

Masks on Toddlers: It Ends Now

 

We’re now one year into this pandemic, and we have mountains of evidence on COVID and kids. Two things are clear: children are very unlikely to become infected with, become seriously ill, or suffer death from COVID-19. There is also large amounts of research available showing that young children are not significant drivers of the spread of COVID-19, including at school and at home.

Based on this evidence, it appears that there is no logical reason to subject children to adult-level mitigation and controls, particularly face-covering mandates in daycares, preschools, and schools, retail establishments, airplanes, and especially on public playgrounds.

A Plea From a Desperate Mother in an Overflowing ER

 

Editor’s Note: I’m posting this story anonymously from a mother who reached out to me, desperate for stories like hers to be told. 

You would think a homeschooled kid wouldn’t be as affected by the shutdown. But take away his church,  his youth group, his grandparents, and his soccer season, then make all in-person therapists unavailable.

Where is the Outrage?

 

Perhaps we’re all tired and burned out from the last year, but I have to say, perhaps the most disheartening and confusing things about the last year is the lack of outrage over lockdown rules and regulations that only plebians are expected to adhere to, while our moral betters (just kidding, I’m talking about politicians and celebrities) flout them on the regular. The latest example comes from the Grammys in California:

What Feminists Don’t Understand About Work and Motherhood

 

Last week a feminist writer waded into the mommy wars; well not so much waded in but threw a bomb into them:

A Tale of Incentives: Baltimore vs. DC

 

We live in suburban Maryland, sandwiched between Baltimore and Washington D.C. During pre-COVID, “normal” times, we absolutely love it here, despite everyone’s hate of “The Swamp.” It’s a great place to raise kids, between the outdoors options, the historical offerings from Mt. Vernon to the National Mall, to the museums ranging in focus from natural history to Air & Space to art to African American history and culture. Both Washington and Baltimore have great zoos and cultural offerings and under normal circumstances, we have a wealth of opportunities for midweek and weekend programming and visits.

And yet, during the last months, we’ve only been able to partake in the offerings in one city: Baltimore. The Baltimore zoo, aquarium, children’s museum, and B&O Railroad Museum are all open for business, while all of the offerings in DC, like the National Zoo and all of the Smithsonians, are closed and have been for most of the last twelve months.

A Year Ago We’d Have Been Called it Child Abuse

 

In the last year, we’ve seen a great number of things we’d have once considered child abuse going mainstream.

  • If I had told my pediatrician a year ago that I homeschool, and that that homeschooling consists of putting my kindergarten student in front of a screen for seven hours a day while I do other work, I would have received a CPS visit.
  • If I had told my pediatrician a year ago that I make my children aged two and over wear masks made of cloth because I am afraid of a virus that has killed almost no children in America, I would have received a CPS visit.
  • Locking a child alone for two weeks because of possible exposure to a virus that has killed almost no children or few individuals in their parents’ age range in America, I would have received a CPS visit.

COVID As Religion, Not a Fad

 

With vaccines becoming more widespread, I can understand feeling a sense of optimism about life in lockdown states returning to normal. I am here to burst that bubble.

I live in one of those locked down states, Maryland, in one of its most blue areas, Montgomery County. It’s astounding the degree with which this COVID adherence has fallen along party lines and it’s created an astounding dynamic. Here in Maryland, practically no kids are back in public schools in-person (we’re last in the country for in-person learning) and suddenly teachers are comparing themselves to babysitters and test proctors. Deeming public school teachers useless and non-essential sounds like a conservative talking point, but it’s somehow morphed into a liberal one as well. Women are dropping out of the workforce in the millions and we haven’t heard a peep from feminists about how detrimental school closures are on working women, the pay gap, etc. That pet issue has just become moot because discussing the tradeoffs flies in the face of the new reality they have decided to adopt.

How Much Do We Disassociate Flawed Men From Their Ideas?

 

Several years ago, my rabbi was arrested on charges of voyeurism. He had placed a secret camera in the bathroom of the ritual bath of our synagogue and captured ~150 women on tape (I was one of them). The story became the biggest in the Jewish world that year, and I found myself at the center of it, as the most public of the victims. (You can read the whole story here)

This is how my attention to sexual scandals from those in positions of religious power came to be. And as such, I read this piece from David French in the Dispatch with great interest about a scandal involving another religious leader, the now-deceased Ravi Zacharias. I also have a personal connection to the story, similar to French, in my friendship with his former spokeswoman, Ruth Malhotra. I’m not as close to Ruth as David (I had to ask David for her number to send a text of sympathy when all of this broke), but David does an incredible job deep diving into the scandal and devoted a great deal of space to how Ruth tried in vain to right the ship.

Womanhood and Pregnancy as Cosplay

 

I’ve been wondering if there would come a point where women would stand up and object to the idea that men can just become women simply by virtue of feeling like a woman. And the response to this gives me hope that one day, they just might.

It’s OK For a Child To Get COVID

 

This is one of those things I thought was common sense, but is apparently so scandalous, people have threatened to call Child Protective Services on me (no, really).

Let’s look at the numbers for how kids are impacted by COVID. For children 14 and under over the course of the entire year-long pandemic, 134 American children have died according to the CDC. Of these 134 children, when details are released about their health prior to the COVID diagnosis, tales like this are common,

So About the Zoo, Some Thoughts from Grandma Killer

 

If you recall, I was at the receiving end of a hysterical and overwrought cancellation by the Internet mob back in early May when I cautioned that shutting down our society would have extreme and long-reaching impacts. All you have to do is Google my name and the words “Grandma killer” to catch some of the coverage. One of the many things I mentioned that were at risk were zoos, which I added to my list of at-risk places for a few reasons: 1) We love the zoo and it’s a big part of our normal lives. 2) They have extremely high costs of operation caring for animals, regardless of if the zoo is open or closed.

For some reason, the zoo, which was listed among at least a dozen other places I deemed at-risk, was what my critics latched onto, and one Washington Post humor columnist, Alexandra Petri, even went to the length of writing an entire column in the voice of the zoo animals who didn’t want to be sacrificed for grandma’s sake.