memes 8/1/21

So it turns out that when you upload a ton of memes to your website it takes up a bit of space. I’m not pushing at my limit yet, but I’d also like to be sure I won’t be in the future. So, sometime this week I’ll be pulling down most of the 2020 meme posts. Feel free to go back through before I do so and steal whatever memes you want, after all, I stole them in the first place!

For now I’ll leave the 2021 meme posts up, and I’ll be continuing to do weekly posts, my schedule allowing. But I may have to start pulling down some of the early 2021 posts too, depending on how things go. Basically, if you see a meme you like go ahead and steal it!

Read morememes 8/1/21


Bi-PAP, CPAP, mechanical ventilator Machine Recall

If you use a Cpap, Bi-Pap, or mechanical ventilator machine made by Philips Respironics you need to go to THIS page, and on the right hand side bar click the “Begin Registration Process” option and see if your machine is one of the recalled ones.

Dutch medical equipment company Philips has recalled some breathing devices and ventilators because of a foam part that might degrade and become toxic, potentially causing cancer, it said on Monday. Foam used to dampen the machines’ sound can degrade and emit small particles that irritate airways, the group said as it announced the recall. Gases released by the degrading foam may also be toxic or carry cancer risks.

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/philips-recalls-some-3-4-million-cpap-ventilator-machines-due-foam-part-2021-06-14/

Additional link.

This is receiving almost no media attention. Its expected to affect between 3 and 4 MILLION machines, and since most of these are going to be one machine per person that means between 3 and 4 MILLION people are going to be affected by this, 2/3rds or more in the USA. But hey, not Covid, therefor not newsworthy.

According to both my doctors office and my DME they are receiving NO additional information from Philips as to the timeline or expectation of when to expect help. Philips is telling people that if you can stop using your machine to do so. Since most people are not using these machines because they’re fun, infact, most people are using these machines because they are at risk of death or severe health complications without them, stopping using it isn’t really possible.

Philips is stating that they are still waiting on FDA approval for how to handle the repair/foam removal. Then of course they have to work their way through the LONG list of machines being recalled. Needless to say, even if they COULD start today it’s going to take them a long time to actually fix all the machines involved.

If you have had your Cpap machine for at least 5 years now is the time to contact your DME (or insurance company directly) and arrange a replacement. Unfortunately for those of us who’ve had our machines for less than 5 years we don’t have that option. Some people are reporting success in getting their insurance company to cover an early replacement, but many aren’t.

There is an inline hose bacterial filter that MAY stop bits of the degraded foam (but likely not the gasses) that can be added to some machines. My DME informed me that they are A: out of stock, and B: when they are getting them in they are reserving them for the ventilator patients first. I was able to find them at the above link. If you decide to order elsewhere make sure you check around, a basic google search showed me that some places are already jacking up the prices. Also, be aware that adding one to your machine may mean that your air pressure may have to be increased, I haven’t tried it yet, but that’s what I’m being told.

Resmed is the other major CPAP brand, and they are stating that they use a completely different foam and it is not subject to the same problems.


A perfect example of the fucked supply chain

Fillmore Container is significant retail and bulk supplier of supplies for canning, candle making, and other such supplies for crafters. They specialise in glass jars of all kinds and the accessories needed to go with them for the above mentioned crafting and canning. As a canner I have found that there are often cheaper places to buy canning supplies, often locally, but Fillmore normally carries an awesome selection of products that’s worth keeping an eye on.

They just did a blog post on the company blog, detailing some of why they’ve had to keep prices high and why stock is still short.

Its all connected folks. And its not even close to fixed. Infact, it keeps getting worse. I’ll admit to a temptation to sit back and watch it all burn and enjoy my popcorn, but the reality is that I have to live here too. So STOP the fear-mongering over that damned virus, and figure out how to get it all working again. Or we’re ALL going to regret it.


Food

Did I mention the supply chain is broken? Cause the supply chain is very broken. And what does that have to do with food that I’m bringing it up now?

Well, it means that after last year’s, ehem, “issues”, no one anywhere has any backstock of much of anything. Well, the warehouses and the suppliers don’t anyway.

So its not going to take much to throw portions of the food chain into disarray again.

So when I see reports like THIS. Or THIS. Not to mention THIS. And am reminded of THIS. On top of last years, ehem, “issues”, well, it might be time to make sure you’re keeping an extra bag or two of flour in the freezer. And maybe an extra box or two of pasta. Or bottle of oil.


So it turns out

that your immune system is like much else in the human body.

If you don’t use it you lose it.

NZ children and immunity debt

RSV running worse than usual through kids returning to normal

Plus multiple reports across FB and Twitter from people returning to work and promptly getting sick.

This isn’t new. Exposure to a new environment results in exposure to new bugs. This is a good thing that keeps your immune system nimble and working, and mild exposure in the normal course of things is easier for your immune system to cope with than when you suddenly dump everything on it at once. Studies have known for a while that kids who’re allowed to be exposed to a wider variety of bacteria and the like tend to have sturdier immune systems than those who’re kept away from everything.

Except that we, as a country and a world, just spent the last year hiding away from the rest of humanity, dousing ourselves and our worlds with sanitizers and bleach, and generally trying to avoid anything that might make us sniffle.

We did this to our children, are STILL doing this to our children in many states, at a point in their development where they need that exposure the most to help their immune systems develop properly. And at a point in their lives where they need exposure to faces and learning emotions the most, we instead forced them and the adults around them to wear masks. Forced them to avoid many of the adult encounters that normally enrich their lives. Forced them to avoid Grandma, and Auntie, who normally are huge parts of their lives and how they learn to talk and interact. Forced them to avoid their friends. At a time when they most need those interactions to learn how to do and act and emote correctly. Never mind all the special needs kids who lost out on all sorts of assistances and services that they need just to LIVE rather than SURVIVE. Never mind the toll on Grandma, and Auntie, when they lost all in person contact with family, something that no zoom call can make up for.

And on top of that, and on top of the “discovery” that healthy, fit people who exercised regularly were far less likely to suffer from severe covid (at a time when many states and cities were forcing people to avoid going out to parks and beaches and even casual walking). It turns out that previous exposure to similar viruses (like, you know, the common cold), actually made it more likely you’d end up with mild to no covid symptoms. But nope, god forbid you get the sniffles.

Of course, there’s folks who are now so freaked out by the idea of getting sick, with ANYTHING, that they want the world to keep masking and huddling away from the rest of humanity.

Never mind that doing so is almost the ultimate expression of bias against the blue collar middle and lower class workers of all races and backgrounds.

The plain and simple fact is that the economy doesn’t run itself.

You need food to survive. Someone has to run the grocery store. Someone has to drive the trucks to get it to the store. Run the processor to processes the food from raw to ready to buy form. Run the farm to grow the food. None of these people have a choice in going out to work because THEY want to food to survive. And to top it off, if you’re going to huddle at home, terrified to go to the grocery store, an additional someone has to go to the store for you, pick out your groceries and deliver them to you.

Someone has to keep the water plants running. The gas stations. The mail (never mind the mess if the water stopped running, can you picture the uproar if the USPS stopped delivering mail because they were scared of the virus?). The doctors offices need not only doctors, but nurses, janitors, receptionists.

Your fridge stopped working? Guess what, the guy who comes out to repair it is suddenly pretty essential huh? What if he can’t fix it and you have to buy a new one, gosh, all those people involved in the manufacture of new appliances, the delivery of the various parts and of the finished appliance, the guys who bring it into your house and install it for you. All pretty essential after all.

Even if the .GOV could afford to pay everyone to stay home and hibernate away from those evil viruses (which, as I just discussed, turns out to be not actually a good idea), it’s just not actually possible for everyone to do so and keep society running. Infact there’s a fairly large percentage of workers who NEED to go to work if society is going to keep running. Anyone who tells you otherwise does not actually understand how things actually work.

The mental, emotional, and physical health toll from this shut down is going to reverberate in the world for a long time. Possibly for generations, as the kids whose ability to learn how to interact with people was stunted by this then go on to raise equally stunted children of their own.

We screwed over our immune systems at a time when we needed them working at their best.

We just set back all sorts of medical treatments for major things, like oh, tuberculosis (they’re predicting an ADDITIONAL MILLION PLUS cases just because of the 3 month lockdown). Or African Malaria.

We forced people to do without “non-essential” medical tests and treatments without regard to what those treatments were actually for, and terrified many many more people into avoiding doctors offices and hospitals until it was to late for them, and even if they could and did try to see a doctor wait times to see your regular doctor went through the roof thanks to covid.

Think I’m exaggerating based on a few news reports?

A couple months ago I ended up sitting in the local ER, listening to a guy a few seats over gripe about how his doctor was only doing video appts for 90% of his appts and how this guy has neither computer nor smartphone and therefor hadn’t been able to get in to see his doctor for damn near a year and how now his blood pressure was through the roof. I happened to be sitting in the back waiting on bloodwork when they did his triage, and the nurse came running out of the door to the triage room to get a dose of meds because she had a guy who’s BP was 294/something I forget. Sure I don’t know his situation personally, so maybe he was lying. But from the discussion the nurses and techs had, he wasn’t their first such case of the day.

Oh, and that ER? So backed up that the ambulances bringing in car accident patients were having to drop them in the waiting room unless they were in cardiac arrest right now.

When I called MY doctors office the next morning, to arrange an appt for the ER followup, the next available in person appt was over a month out. (I’m fine, and if they hadn’t closed half the urgent cares in town, cause COVID!!!! I’d have just gone to one of those instead of the ER. Did I mention how covid fucked over everyone’s ability to get health care?)

To top it off we fucked over the supply chain but good. Don’t let those full shelves at the stores deceive you. The stores are all having trouble getting in products. Home Depot has been paying extra to have products air-freighted into the country, and even just contracted their own container ship, in an attempt to get around some of the problems. But that only gets around the final item shipping problems. Just about every manufacturer out there is having problems getting the components and raw materials they need. Shipping, trucking, mining, manufacturing, building, assembly, around the world is fucked. Another lockdown for just about any reason is only going to break things further.

Did you know that the forced remote learning has resulted in many many school systems “losing” 10,000’s of kids? Kids who just aren’t logging into classes, either because they can’t (due to lack of computer, or internet, or the like) or because they just disappeared off the map. Kids who are logging into classes are still falling behind. Multiple states are reporting significant increases in mental health problems in teens and younger. Significant increases in hospitalizations for attempts at self harm, discussions of self harm, and other similar behaviors. (oh, but don’t worry, FB’s fact checkers will point out that the actual suicide rates are down! You know why? They only count successful suicides, and about the only good point of the shut downs is that with people home more suicide attempts were stopped.)

Crushing toll of lockdowns on children

Teen Mental Health Emergency in Colorado

Pandemic’s Cost To Teenagers

Schools that did have in person lessons this past school year frequently reported noticeable lacking and falling behind of children’s social behaviors. Like, potty training, vocabulary, ability to feed themselves.

I’m not saying that some extra cleaning of public places isn’t a good thing, the general public is a dirty nasty mass and some extra cleaning is by far worth it.

I’m not saying that the sudden proliferation of delivery services, and curbside services isn’t a good thing. The way it opens up both additional jobs, AND additional services and options to those who are sick, or frail, or otherwise home-bound is a good thing.

And the widening of work from home options opens up so many doors for so many people. That is also a good thing.

And I’d LOVE if people came out of this with a better recognition that maybe going into work sick (because I’m not THAT sick) isn’t a good thing.

But the insane panic, that I might get SICK!!!!! that has come out of this has got to stop. We have done SO MUCH harm.

Additional links for consideration:

Consequences of the shutdown on the human microbiome

Type 2 Diabetes doubles in children in the last year

Youth Mental Health Crisis from Covid

Household covid risk with in person schooling

Covid Death Toll 25% lower than reported in Alameda

Covid Hospitalizations of Children Over Reported by 40% in some CA hospitals

CO reduced Covid death numbers by 24%

I could go on, and on. But I think this makes my case well enough.

Edited to add one more link, cause I can’t resist.

The kids were safe the whole time.


whats going on in stores by me

This mornings OSB screenshot:

Also, concrete is going to be the next thing to spike in price. We can’t keep it in stock, and we’re not the only ones. Not sure if its a labor problem, a transportation problem, or a materials problem, but good luck getting it if you need it.

Insulation, and roofing, are short.

Hand powered garden tools, well, lets just say that that aisle is damn empty.

Peat Moss is completely unavailable.

For various reasons I ended up at 3 different grocery stores in the last two weeks. Flour is short across the board, they all had some in stock, but only enough to put one or two in each shelf space. Vinegar is short again. The vitamins shelves just keep getting emptier and emptier. Sugar was the emptiest I’ve seen those shelves since the original shut down. Cat food actually looked decently stocked, till you looked at the selection and realized that they’d just rearranged the shelves. Cat litter has NOT recovered yet.

Bird seed is damn near non-existent again, especially if you’re picky about the type of seed you want.