update: office nurse thinks Covid is a hoax, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are four updates from past letter-writers.

1. Our office nurse thinks Covid is a hoax

The food-service manager at our site who was also employed by the state was deeply disturbed by the fact that the nurse wouldn’t wear a mask. She would tape signs to the nurse’s work area saying “Masks required,” which my boss made me remove since they were too passive aggressive. Finally, the food-service manager contacted the nurse’s supervisor and reported her. Nothing really happened at first, but after she called a couple more times, I think the nurse was reprimanded. My boss talked to her after a few months, and the nurse said she would only plan to come when I wasn’t in my office (about an hour). Apparently her supervisor was fine with this. She also started bringing a mask (one of those evil mesh ones that’s covered in rhinestones so you can’t tell it isn’t protecting anyone), but not wearing it. Although I wasn’t the one who reported her, I think she realized that I wasn’t as on the same page as she originally believed I was. The political chatter stopped, and we stuck to pleasantries about weekend plans (…which sometimes involved her plans to protest various places). Once I got vaccinated, I was much less worried about her masklessness in the office, although I still wear a mask of course.

As far as issues raised in the comments our nurse is a stickler for everyone turning in their vaccinations or notarized exemptions (as required/permitted by state law), and she wasn’t giving her opinions about vaccines to anyone but me. She isn’t anti-vaxx for autism reasons; more bizarrely, she believes that vaccines limit true human potential, and we would all be capable of so much more if unvaccinated. (Way more of us would also be dead, but I suppose that fits into the “survival of the fittest” philosophy a lot of COVID deniers spout.) I also wanted to clarify that she only treated staff with the magical magnet wand, and only if they wanted to try it.

Treating staff illness and injury is not a part of her job, so that was all on a voluntary basis. She never has done anything but the right thing medically speaking with students. I think she just let her guard down with me because I signaled in a lot of ways that I was okay with it. Until COVID really hit, I honestly just found her to be friendly, but amusing. Thanks to everyone who shared their feedback!

2. Company is eliminating work email addresses and we have to set up personal email accounts instead (#4 at the link)

I’m the letter writer who was worried about having to make a personal e-mail for work business.

Coincidentally, things moved very fast on the day the letter was posted. Not only did I get to retain my e-mail, but I got to talk to the IT person under Old Ownership, who shed a little more light on the background of the problem.

When New Ownership took over, they let Old Ownership know that they don’t use certain company resources for certain groups of employees (particularly full-time school employees), and if those employees needed certain things (including business e-mail addresses), they needed to get those from the school.

BUT when they asked for the list of employees who needed to keep e-mails, they asked the question in a way that unintentionally excluded people who did need to keep their e-mail addresses (this ended up being about a dozen people who work with one specific contract, including me).

Then, when people pushed back against losing their e-mails, some people had concerns about using personal e-mail for private information-related work purposes like mine, but a different group of people expressed concerns because they were using their *work* e-mails for *personal* reasons (think, “getting the Local Teapot Society Hobby Newsletter”). When this second group pushed back, the answer their local HR got from New Ownership was “Make a personal e-mail address” and HR used this response for *all* e-mail related inquiries.

Additionally, once the complete list of people who needed to keep their e-mail addresses was compiled (by Old Ownership’s wonderful IT and office manager, who took one look at the list of people who’d be losing their e-mails and said “oh no this isn’t okay”), that list had to be approved *with explanation* by a variety of people at the corporate and legal level of New Ownership, while the server migration that would turn everyone’s e-mail address off couldn’t be delayed for a variety of reasons that I’ve been promised are legitimate by people I trust and are in a position to know (make friends with your office managers and IT, folks).

End result: I lost access to my e-mail and related systems for two days while a new work laptop was set up.

I’m still having some issues with New Ownership that are clear enough I don’t need to Ask A Manager about them (like HR trying to tell my boss I worked in a different state than I do – as though my boss wouldn’t know where I worked?), but thank you and the Commentariat for helping me regulate my reactions where things were uncertain!

3. I’m switching to part-time and my workload is unreasonable (#4 at the link)

I wanted to give an update on how my attempt to renegotiate my part-time workload went. After reading your reply and the comments, I sent my boss a follow-up email giving data on how I currently spend my hours, and what I thought I would be able to get done. As our department remained very understaffed, I did not hear back until the day I went part-time, at which point she let me know that she was able to cut my workload down to around 60% of my previous amount, even though I was at 40% of my previous hours.

It wasn’t ideal, but I decided I would do what I could in my assigned hours and escalate the things I wasn’t able to get it. However, I ended up getting pressure to not only get my new workload done, but take on extra tasks after another coworker left and their position was not backfilled. In the end, my job was part of bigger changes that began after we got a new C-suite executive who was not happy with our previous output. We had a number of managers and supervisors get laid off, some consultants came in to watch us and report to the new executive, and we all got higher targets to achieve. By the time the fall came around, it was obvious to me I’d never be able to make the position work with the added expectations, and ended up finding a new part-time job on campus and leaving that role. While what I’m doing now isn’t exciting, I’m always done on time and can balance it around school so much more easily.

While it was a great first job out of college, I’m happy to get some space away and reflect on how that position warped my normal ideas around professionalism. Enough of my coworkers were laid off or fired suddenly in that job that even pushing back on an impossible schedule seemed overwhelming. Thank you again for your advice, and the commenters as well.

4. Should I hire an ex? (first update here)

After writing my update last year, this year kind of went off a cliff in terms of my plans. After leaving the job as planned, my mental health took a dive. It’s like the expectation to perform at the toxic job was the only thing holding me together and once I was free of that I just fell apart. I was completely burned out and could not motivate myself to do any of the other things I had planned. Luckily, planning to be without income for a year allowed me to just… stop. I didn’t do anything at all for 9 months, and just focused on resting and getting well.

Right as I was starting to surface, a consulting opportunity came up, I applied, and I got it! It’s only a small job, but it’s the first for my business, it pays well enough that I won’t have to worry about paying my bills next year, and the client is a great one for getting my name out there as a consultant. It’s also fully remote, as most of the consulting jobs in my field have now become, and school is also fully remote, which is great because I’m about to become an aunty and being remote means I can spend an extended period of time with my sister when she gives birth. Being able to work less and be with family for the important things were two key reasons for my lifestyle change, so this feels like wins all around!

{ 162 comments… read them below }

  1. Stitch*

    “She isn’t anti-vaxx for autism reasons; more bizarrely, she believes that vaccines limit true human potential, and we would all be capable of so much more if unvaccinated. (Way more of us would also be dead, but I suppose that fits into the “survival of the fittest” philosophy a lot of COVID deniers spout.”

    Wow, I just can’t with this and anyone who works in medicine and espouses this view is really quite vile. If you know anything about historical illnesses and who died you’ll also know it wasn’t necessarily “weak” people who died of illnesses we now vaccinate for, it was children. They died because they were young. If you made it to adulthood before modern medicine, you life expectancy wasn’t that bad. Modern advances in sanitation and medicine overwhelmingly prevent infant mortality and the deaths of children.

    1. Susan Ivanova*

      There’s a video going viral on Twitter of someone calling in to “The Thom Hartmann Program” and going on about being healthy and not needing a vax. Thom says basically “ok, you’re so healthy, would you have unprotected sex with someone with an STD?”
      The caller is all “no, of course not, but that’s different”
      Thom: “No it’s not, this is stupid, I’m not having this conversation. *click*”

      1. redflagday701*

        It’s truly beautiful, although this was the rare instance where I wouldn’t have minded hearing the caller try to explain the ins and outs of his terrible, stupid logic.

      2. Sharpieees*

        Also want to ask them if they got bit by a rabid raccoon would they forgo the vaccine/post-bite treatment and just let their superior immune system fight it off?

        1. Fiddle_Faddle*

          Someone did that, although it was a bat, not a raccoon: https://www.newsweek.com/man-wakes-bat-his-neck-later-dies-after-refusing-rabies-vaccine-1633725

          It went about as you’d expect. (Oddly enough the human immune system *can* clear a rabies infection, but it isn’t fast enough. It’s why occasionally in no-hope situations they try putting the patient into a coma in order to slow down the progress of the infection and hope that the immune system can catch up. Very rarely this works.)

          1. UKDancer*

            That is just banana crackers nonsensical to me. Rabies is horrible. I spent my childhood being taught not to approach strange animals abroad (the UK being rabies free). Why anyone who was bitten wouldn’t have the vaccine when the manner of death is so awful makes no sense to me. I mean I hate needles but I also prefer being alive to the alternative.

            1. Burger Bob*

              It’s the curse of vaccines. There are many vaccine-preventable diseases that we haven’t yet driven to eradication (or never will be able to, in the case of something like rabies), but we’ve gotten the prevalence under control just enough that most people have never seen these diseases and have forgotten how truly horrible they are. I mean, I know I’ve never known a human with rabies, and I’ve never even had a personal encounter with a (known) rabid animal since we vaccinate pets. So it’s not necessarily surprising to me that if somebody never saw Old Yeller, they might just brush off a potential rabies exposure as no big deal, not realizing that there is no reliable treatment for rabies and it is almost always fatal, in a bad way.

          2. C Baker*

            By “very rarely” you mean “once”. It worked once, and the girl woke up unable to move. She did mostly recover – apparently she still limps, she’s still a little weak on one side, she still speaks slowly – but it took her a year to even begin to get to that point.

        2. KoiFeeder*

          Having “helped out” (mildly illegally, but no one else wanted to deal with the snakes and I was specifically reptiles ONLY) at a wildlife rescue? A disturbing amount of people will interact or get bitten by rabid animals and just… not consider it a big deal. There’s a story on tumblr about a guy who’s family interacted with and got bitten by a rabid skunk and he lied about his contact information and they had to have the health department step in. And, honestly? That’s about what had to be done in about half of the rabies cases that people tried to bring into the rescue. And that’s not just people who handled wild bats and probably should have gotten vaccinated for due diligence, but people who got actively bitten multiple times by a foaming animal and tried to bring it into the rescue anyways assuming there was some magic rabies wand.

          1. Sabina*

            A man from my small town got bitten by a bat. Bat disappeared so couldn’t be tested for rabies. He was advised to get the shots but was leaving to go on a cruise in a couple of days so didn’t do it. He got sick on the cruise with…wait for it…rabies and ended up dying. People are not bright sometimes.

            1. allathian*

              Yeah, that’s unfortunate. Still, rabies isn’t transmissible between humans, at least not unless the rabid person manages to bite someone else hard enough to draw blood, so at least nobody else was directly affected. It’s a horrible way to die, for sure, but I’m afraid I don’t have the empathy to feel sorry for people who get themselves killed through their own stupidity like that.

          2. JessaB*

            Anyone who deals with rescue animals, should be vaxxed as prophylaxis, it’s just the same as the fact that forever now most people who keep or deal with horses have their tetanus boosters in years ending in 5, ( or some other type of you will get it and get it so that it overlaps,) you don’t want to step on a horseshoe nail or have a horse step on YOU.

            1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

              I get my tetanus booster on schedule because I have a cat and their mouths are host to who,e loads of bacteria. Additionally since the tetanus bacteria is soil dwelling anyone with any contact with the outdoors (gardening, farming, being around animals) should get it.

              It’s a nasty, nasty disease to catch. I saw a video of a patient when I was doing my epidemiology masters and it was horrible.

            2. KoiFeeder*

              Oh, I was and the rest of the folks who worked there were, it was just that the general public is… certainly not my favorite creature to work with. There’s a reason I never went into animal work- I love animals, I do not love people, and people are 90% of most animal-focused jobs.

              Unless I can find someone to pay me to go hang out in the swamp by myself and stare at snakes for months on end..?

        3. Beth*

          A guy in Illinois did exactly that earlier this year (although it was a bat, not a raccoon). And it happens several times every year in Karachi.

    2. quill*

      Yeah there are MILLIONS of wellness grifts / culty thinking / insert unscientific thing here. And you generally don’t know if someone is into them until there’s a dangerous illness coming up in conversation.

      Still, I cannot believe how many people, pre-pandemic, did not think that being antivaxx was a disqualifying opinion for working in healthcare.

    3. Falling Diphthong*

      I am trying to get somewhere with “Being vaccinated against smallpox crushed people’s human potential” and I just can’t.

      The woman who thought she magnetically attracted keys* was a nurse. Being a nurse is not enough to illustrate that someone can’t sign on to wacko conspiracy theories with no basis in reality.

      *Keys are not normally affected by magnets, as Alexandra Petri pointed out in a brilliant piece writing as Magneto.

      1. quill*

        I’ve been acquainted with a few nurses who just don’t appear to have ever learned anything about science or critical thinking. I mean, possibly the fact that the job is always in demand has something to do with the hiring and training standards, but I also think there’s a specific Dunning Kreuger effect for people in positions that are heavily trained while also being relatively low paid and having a lot of authority over the people they are serving. If something makes sense to them and is even mildly tangential to their field, they think they automatically know everything about it!

        (See: K-12 teachers with college, part time mechanics with home repairs… Though that last could have just been my granddad.)

        1. NotMy(Fancy)RealName*

          Over 40% of registered nurses have less than a bachelor’s degree. That means there’s just not a lot of room for anything but applied nursing courses in their programs.

          1. pancakes*

            There are people with Ivy League graduate degrees who are happy to pander to this mindset even if they don’t share it themselves or want their own family to remain unvaccinated and unmasked, so a lack of education doesn’t in itself account for this mindset.

          2. quill*

            It’s not always a lack of education: People like Dr. Oz are highly educated and still desperately wrong about everything outside of their narrow field of study.

        2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          It’s also worth noting that being a nurse does not require a BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing). You can become an RN with an ADN (Associates Degree in Nursing). While most BSN programs are fairly science heavy, ADN programs are much more practical and focus only on the stuff you need to know as a nurse. Most hospital jobs these days require a BSN, so many many ADN nurses wind up in the “lower tier” nursing jobs like doctor’s offices, hospice care, home health care… and state agencies.

          It’s entirely possible/likely that this person has had little real science education. I’m not trying to bash ADNs, plenty of smart, capable people choose to stop at an ADN for plenty of good reasons, but at the end of the day something has to be sacrificed in a program that’s half the length. ADN programs by necessity focus on the how, without the same regard for the why that you see in BSN programs.

          (My knowledge of this is based on the research my mother did when she wanted to go from a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) to an RN 10-15 years ago, but I’m pretty sure it’s still accurate)

          1. Not playing your game anymore*

            Yep. My mom has in-home caregivers. CNAs, LPNs, and the occasional RN, To a woman, they are kind caring people who give her wonderful hands-on care. Some of them are really knowledgeable and seem in full agreement with people I trust. Others doG love them are really skilled technicians. And anything they say about science-y stuff needs to be double and triple checked.

          2. Sara without an H*

            Just retired from a women’s college with programs in nursing and other health professions, and I can confirm this. We decided to sunset our associates degree in nursing a few years ago because so many hospitals were requiring the BSN, and we wanted our students to qualify for those jobs. (We kept the LPN program.) The BSN program is much more science-intensive.

          3. Mimi*

            A friend of mine who is a nurse pointed out that most hands-on care comes from nurses, and that nurse training tends to involve a more holistic care methodology than, say, surgeons. That’s not a bad thing, because humans aren’t robots and also respond to touch and attention and etc, but my friend thinks that it’s a shorter jump from that mindset to crystal healing or whatever, so nurses may be more inclined to get into slightly (or a lot) woo medicine than other medical professionals.

          4. ArtK*

            Not completely accurate. Most places will not accept an ADN but require at *least* a BSN if not a master’s degree. My wife, with 17 years of clinical experience, couldn’t find a job because she didn’t have the BSN. Her son had to travel half way across the US to find a hospital that would accept him with an ADN, with the proviso that he get is BSN quickly.

        3. RebelwithMouseyHair*

          Yes. Advice on breastfeeding springs to mind: they’ll actually tell you what to do based on what their sister or friend had to do, rather than based on anything they learned in school (in France, that’s because they learn nothing in school about breastfeeding).

      2. pancakes*

        Why try to get somewhere with it? The simple fact that someone said it and/or earnestly believes it doesn’t transform it into anything beyond simple-minded barbarism.

      3. Your Local Password Resetter*

        And vaccines of all things!
        Vaccines strengthen your immune system! That’s their whole point!

      4. Dust Bunny*

        I know a lot of nurses who are highly intelligent, well-educated people.

        I also know a lot of nurses who are well-trained in the rote duties of their profession but whom I would not describe as well-educated in the wider sense. (I also know Ph.D.s who believe all sorts of absurd things.) Being educated or trained in one thing/a few things doesn’t always mean you’re beyond believing stupid stuff about others.

      5. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        Remembered back to my virology BSc course and there was one fellow who stated in a lecture that we should halt all treatments and vaccines for viruses and bacteria because then ‘humans would evolve to live with them peacefully and beneficially’.

        The viral genetics professor if I recall tore into this guy with how there are NO beneficial viruses (unlike bacteria), they evolve a hell of a lot quicker than humans and this student’s ideas were “the worst kind of claptrap”

        (Add more swearing though. I remember that professor as being a really foul mouthed guy but god could he teach)

        1. Don P.*

          People talk about “humans evolving to live with the virus” but don’t understand what that means; what it means is that everyone who doesn’t accidentally have the mutation that protects you against the virus, dies. The ones who are left are the ones who already have the immunity. They’re picturing some magic force of evolution that gives us all magic healing powers, but, no, it’s just “everyone else is dead”.

          1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            “have the mutation”? Do we mutate to fight viruses?
            Surely you fight viruses with a robust immune system that produces antibodies to kill them off?

          2. Kayla*

            Yep. The people of Europe and Asia and Africa “evolved to live with” smallpox a thousand or more years ago. All that this meant was that it only killed a small percentage of the population each year, which was little comfort if your kid was one of the dead ones. It certainly didn’t make the disease go away.

    4. Llama face!*

      It is basically the same ideology as certain jackboot-wearing nasties and their concept of the “Superman” but dressed up in different terms. The whole ‘creating the ideal human by thinning out the unworthy’ philosophy is scummy no matter how you phrase it. I probably shouldn’t comment too much on this one. I have serious face-side flames already at the fact that this supposed health professional still has a job and I don’t think there should have been any live and let live in this case (or live and let die as the nurse seems to think). I appreciate the OP giving us an update but ooh how frustrating!

        1. Princesss Sparklepony*

          I sort of get why eugenics was popular in the pre 1930’s era. It wasn’t until the mid 30’s that medicine was actually able to treat illnesses somewhat effectively. So if you had kids with disabilities there wasn’t much hope and for some with showy disabilities the best they could do was join a traveling sideshow. (Think Lobster Boy, Bearded women, the guy with the third leg and second set of working (!) sex organs…) Plus, you had kids dying of things that they just couldn’t treat.

          So I get why they wanted to have healthy kids, it got really strange with what they considered desirable and then went to crazy-town which is definitely not something that is good. So while I understand some of the reasoning, it was not a good thing and it’s good that it’s been put in the dustbin. (At least by most people.)

    5. willow for now*

      I had never thought about this aspect of anti-vaxxers before, but it makes a lot of sense (in that it aligns with how they view themselves as somehow superior to the rest of us dodoes).

      1. Some dude*

        I think there is often a fear thing too, along with the “I’m better than all you sheeple.” I think (although I am in a super liberal place so not exposed to a lot of conservative anti-covid folks) that people are freaked out by the virus and so have to deny that it is a big deal so they can feel safe. Like, if I don’t take this serious, it isn’t serious, and you taking this serious makes me doubt my position so it is profoundly threatening to me.

        Or maybe they just consume too much conservative media.

        1. AE*

          I read somewhere recently (maybe a commenter here?) that a lot of these people are unable to deal with any kind of uncertainty or ambiguity, and so instead of saying, “Yeah, our environment is precarious right now, we all need to work together and make sacrifices,” they reframe their opposition to vaccines and public health measures as a matter of liberty, individualism, and personal choice. Made a lot of sense to me.

          1. pancakes*

            Many, many people who are of this mindset on vaccines and masking also don’t want to “work together and make sacrifices” with regard to situations that are less frightening and precarious for them, though. It is normalized in the US to not care about the well-being of anyone beyond one’s own immediate family, and has been for decades.

    6. KayDeeAye*

      I recently listened to a very good (but verrrrrrrrrry looooooooong) book on the 1918 influenza pandemic, and that particular virus really went after the young and healthy. I can’t remember the exact figure, but I do remember that nearly half of deaths were in young adults 20 to 40 years old.

      1. AE*

        Yep! One hypothesis for this was because younger adults’ more robust immune systems produced a stronger reaction to the virus than those of children and older people–IIRC, please correct if I’m wrong. (Another hypothesis is that people this age were more likely to be working outside of their homes and moving among large groups of people–either way, gives no credence to the “hEalThY pEOplE doN’T nEed vaCciNE” argument.)

        1. quill*

          I think I’ve read immune cascade as a theory, but the fact that the 20 to 40 age group was more likely to have been involved in WW1 can’t be underestimated. At the beginning of the spread, soldiers were dropping like flies, because a trench is basically a petri dish in a hole, and standing around smoking and getting gangrene are going to make you less hearty overall.

          (And when it came to women – lots of nurses, lots of working in cramped factories, lots of caring for children who are basically little germ caddies. Plenty of opportunity to not actually be “young and healthy.”)

          1. Charlotte Lucas*

            Another theory I’ve heard is that there was a closely related strain in the late 19th century, & older adults were more likely to have been exposed, so their immune systems might have been better able to handle the 1918 strain.

            Either way, people then would have loved access to vaccines.

            1. quill*

              Yep. They were still working / not yet started on all the ones that drove up child mortality that we take for granted until someone decides that their precious children would be just fine, actually, if they got the measles.

      2. Sara without an H*

        This. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend John Barry’s The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. Medicine made enormous strides in the last quarter of the 19th century and suddenly doctors were confronted by a disease that killed the young and active and for which nothing seemed to work.

        1. Fergus the Llama Juggler*

          This is an excellent book! I had read it when it first came out, but dug it out again when COVID hit and was struck by how many parallels there were.

      3. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        There are a lot of viruses where it’s not the actual virus that causes the damage to your body – it’s your immune system reacting to it. A liver infection begins and the immune response starts killing off the liver cells.

        Fevers are caused by the immune system itself – it’s kind of a good way to get rid of bacterial infections (up the temperature and they die) but lousy at viral infections. Problem is the immune system will try anything.

    7. Artemesia*

      A 5 year old son of family friends died of measles in the epidemic where I had it as a kid; my 6th grade teacher’s son died of polio; my uncle died of diptheria as a baby; my grandmother died in the flu of 1919 at age 25; my cousin’s baby after being born a healthy baby contracted meningitis and spend her 45 years of life with the mental level of a 12 mos old baby and deaf as well. All these things are now preventable with vaccines; today’s health and longevity is the primary result of two things: clean water and vaccines. Cannot get my head around any medical professional who opposes vaccination.

      1. Nea*

        Something similar happened to my aunt – she contracted meningitis at the age of 8 and was mentally 8 for the rest of her life.

        It’s a story I tell when people complain of “vaccine injury” because I’ve witnessed lack-of-vaccine injury.

        1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          It’s interesting, because these people seem to think that vaccine injury is a *lot* more common than it actually is. I was eavesdropping on a conversion the other day (not as creepy as it sounds, the guy was practically shouting) where a guy was claiming that he knows, personally, two people who have had *severe* vaccine injury (he claimed that one of them was paralyzed from the chest down), *and* that he himself was made severely ill by a vaccine, taking months to fully recover.

          Based on the statistics, and the fact that I personally know of no severe vaccine injury cases anywhere in my circle or any of their circles, I find this very hard to believe. So is he just lying? (Why?) The most most lucky/unlucky person ever? Wrong about the causes of these injuries?

          I mean these are the people that are some of the biggest problem for vaccination, the people with personal stories about that horrible things vaccines can do. Some of them clearly have ulterior motives and are either lying or deliberately misleading, but this just seemed like a random guy. Yet he’s convinced that vaccines are terrible because, well I mean three people is legitimately a lot in one friend group.

          My guess would be that he’s attributing things to vaccines that have nothing to do with the problems, but unless you’ve seen statistics on the matter, I’m sure he’s quite convincing.

          1. pancakes*

            “Some of them clearly have ulterior motives and are either lying or deliberately misleading, but this just seemed like a random guy.”

            Why the “but”? These aren’t mutually exclusive. And some of them are severely misinformed and/or lacking even a shred of media literacy.

            1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

              I guess my thing is that I can’t see what this random guy’s ulterior motive might be. He didn’t seem to selling anything or trying to convince someone of some alternate therapy. He was just either lying or very wrong about vaccine injury. Or he somehow against all odds really knew two people and himself who had serious vaccine injuries. Which statistically would require him to be friends with several hundred thousand people at least.

              1. Userper Cranberries*

                He wants people to agree with his conspiracy theory – that’s the ulterior motive. Thinking they’re in the know and “educating” those around them makes people feel smart and special. Plus he probably wants to increase pushback against vaccine mandates by roping more people into that particular brand of madness.

              2. pancakes*

                Your judgment is quite off if you think him being very wrong and him speaking the truth are equally plausible. There are many, many thousands of people like the “random guy” you encountered, all over the world, who are spreading disinformation in an effort to discourage vaccination. It is extremely common for them to claim to personally know someone who was injured.

              3. Burger Bob*

                If he actually believed what he was saying, I would lean toward “very wrong” over “against all odds.” I give vaccinations as part of my job and this year I have heard the silliest things attributed to vaccines, all because people have been led to believe that they should be suspicious of this one particular vaccine. I have seen a few genuinely unpleasant vaccine reactions in my time (mostly vasovagal reactions, a couple instances of severe swelling in the shoulder, and one lady who spiked such a high fever after her Moderna booster that she went to the hospital (and she still felt the vaccine was very worth it)), but nothing like some of the things people try to claim.

                1. Princesss Sparklepony*

                  Those vasovagal reactions are nothing to scoff at. I had one from a cervical biopsy and I felt terrible. Never doing one of those again unless they have a pain killer to start with. I had to get a ride home, I couldn’t function well enough. I was fine about six hours later, but yikes that was something.

          1. Burger Bob*

            Mine died at 4 from meningitis. My grandma said every time she saw an ad for the meningitis vaccine, she thought of him.

      2. Sharpieees*

        Honestly they should lose their jobs and their licenses. I’m sorry. I don’t care. Their views are eventually going to bleed over into their work. If they so much as unconsciously hesitate to give a vaccine to a baby whose mother is already confused from all the disinformation out there, that mom can take that hesitation as all the proof she needs to walk out with an unvaccinated baby. I just have no sympathy anymore. Find another line of work.

      3. Aitch Arr*

        My great-grandfather died in the 1918 epidemic. He was in his late 20s and healthy.

        My mom’s cousin contracted polio in elementary school (pre-vaccine) and it’s not an understatement to say that it has had a profound effect on her health and life since.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          One of my long-time neighbors, an older lady, suffered from post-polio syndrome. She could do things but it definitely affected her quality of life.

          1. UKDancer*

            Post polio syndrome is horrible. My mother’s cousin had polio and it materially affected her quality of life as she struggled with walking after that. One of my mother’s colleagues also had post polio syndrome and it gave him agonising muscle pains and difficulty swallowing and shortened his life. Polio is a horrible disease and anyone who doesn’t believe in vaccines should have to spend some time in an iron lung.

            I can’t understand people not seeing the benefits of vaccines. As soon as my age group became eligible for Covid vaccines I was at the front of the queue.

            1. Fact & Fiction*

              My grandmother contracted polio and was paralyzed from the neck down as a result. Definitely debilitating.

            2. Princesss Sparklepony*

              My mom had a mild case of polio. It messed up one of her feet. Could never wear flat shoes, one foot was shorter than the other. But no one in the family would admit it was polio (these are people who would whisper the Big C instead of saying someone had cancer.) She got post polio syndrome and saw a doctor who diagnosed her – he was quite familiar with it. That’s how she found out why one foot was always a little wonky. The post polio caused her foot to shrink up more and clench. So she had to have about 3 operations on it. And she has to buy two pairs of shoes since her feet are two sizes different. Now she lives in her orthopedic sandals (my sister was taking her to the mountains for Christmas and had to dig out some closed toe shoes for her.) That foot looks like an unsuccessful foot binding experiment.

              And she’s one of the lucky polio survivors. People who are anti vax are just idiots. Sorry, I can’t be nice to them.

              As for the guy who supposedly knew 3 people with bad covid vax reactions – I say he’s lying. They all watch and listen to far right media and just drink it all in. Eventually they seem to think anything they heard is something they actually experienced. So he may not think he’s lying but he is. Or it’s his friend’s sister in law’s cousin that had it happen to him (classic urban legend.)

        2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

          Not as severe but mum had whooping cough as a teenager and has had breathing difficulties ever since.

          1. Fact & Fiction*

            Whooping cough is awful. I had that when I was in the third grade, despite being vaccinated, and it was a terrible 5 weeks of my life. I’ve had issues ever since, but it could have been worse.
            Just a general observation after my experience: You know what I don’t go around doing? Telling people that vaccines don’t work just because I had a vaccine and still contracted whooping cough. Because I realize that no vaccine is 100% effective and diseases/germs mutate. I am very much a believer in vaccines.

          2. The Smiling Pug*

            My mom had chicken pox as a teenager, which she got from her older sister. The thing with chicken pox is that it hides at the base of your spine and it becomes shingles when you get older. She doesn’t have shingles yet, but she’s looking into vaccine combinations to fight it when it does arrive.

      4. Sara without an H*

        +1000. Eliminate either clean water or vaccines and most of the great historical pestilences will be back. Most people don’t realize how much of their lives depends on sanitation.

    8. hbc*

      Seriously. Like nothing bad ever happens letting natural selection take care of us. It’s not like cystic fibrosis is so common because a single bad gene protects you against cholera and more of those “weak” people susceptible to cholera died off and left lots more people to have babies with two bad genes that together give a host of nasty biological problems. Ironically including being more likely to die from respiratory infections.

      But go ahead and tell those parents that it’s a good thing that they don’t have to deal with any horrible cholera vaccine while their kids are taking drug cocktails and getting lung transplants.

    9. Free now (and forever)*

      During the 1918 pandemic, it tended to be healthy young people in their teens and twenties.

  2. Dust Bunny*

    she believes that vaccines limit true human potential, and we would all be capable of so much more if unvaccinated.

    Part of me wants an full explanation of the thinking here but most of me definitely does not.

    1. SpicySpice*

      I too wish I was capable of getting smallpox, and feel sad that I will never realize my full potential of becoming blind or sterile from rubella.

        1. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii*

          Tetanus or maybe Rabies?
          Bubonic plague is probably the epitome of diseases.

          In the end its a couple of buzzwords that speak to someone who wants denial and easy answers, it has no actual meaning except as cannon fodder for the faithful.

      1. Nesprin*

        Or getting the opportunity to rebuild my immune system from the ground up after getting measles. What an opportunity for personal growth.

        1. Artemesia*

          I did measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox and was really glad my kids didn’t get this character building experience. Imagine being a working mother if your kids all had to go through this. Measles had us out of school about two weeks.

        2. Burger Bob*

          This is one that should really be talked about more. Many anti-vaxxers who characterize measles as “just a harmless childhood illness” and like to claim that “natural immunity is better” are conveniently ignorant of the fact that, among other risks, measles can wipe out your immune memory to other illnesses you previously had. So if you’re super into natural immunity, measles should be one of the last things you want to risk getting.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          Agreed – I don’t miss the two weeks of my life that I essentially lost in fourth grade to the chicken pox……

          (I had a very severe case of chicken pox, I’ve been asking annually for a while now if I can get my shingles vaccine early, which so far hasn’t happened.)

          1. quill*

            I had a breakthrough case, but it was over the summer… very mild, fortunately, but I basically lived in the bathtub that week. Couldn’t do anything outside of the house or back yard, and not much in the house because of the whole itchy, contagious mess.

          2. Trixie the Great and Pedantic*

            ugh, I still remember missing Thanksgiving when I was six thanks to a pair of twins inadvertently (or at least I hope it was inadvertently) having a pox party for the entire first grade

      2. KoiFeeder*

        Or a permanent personality change and loss of memory from brain inflammation caused by measles.
        Or chronic pain from shingles-induced nerve damage.
        Or rapid and irreversible loss of muscle condition and control from post-polio syndrome.

        Don’t you feel unlucky to have missed out on all these things?

        1. Sabina*

          I didn’t miss out. Still have scars from chicken pox and I’m convinced that my moderate hearing loss that was diagnosed in my teens is connected to the terrible case of measles I had as a toddler.

      3. Texan In Exile*

        I’d like to live in an iron lung! Imagine how much reading I’d get done, unshackled from the responsibilities that people who can breathe without assistance face.

    2. Nea*

      I’m having an extremely hard time distinguishing between the concepts “I don’t think vaccines give people autism, I just think vaccines limit them intellectually… somehow.”

      1. Dust Bunny*

        Pretty sure this is it: It’s not OK to think they cause autism so she’ll just think that but call it something else.

      2. KoiFeeder*

        I’m not sure this is confined to intellectual limitations. This definitely feels like a “vaccines deny the inherent fortitude of the human soul” sort of deal.

        Though as an autistic person the nurse also definitely sounds like the kind of person who would hear me say I’m autistic and immediately crack a joke about my parents listening to the doctor on vaccine schedules.

    3. Just @ me next time*

      Sounds a bit like eugenics, honestly. I suspect her theory is that if only the people with superhuman immune systems could survive and procreate, we’d end up with people who were superhuman in other ways, too. Pretty sure that’s BS, but you do get people thinking that way.

      1. AE*

        Yes, especially given that human beings lived for thousands and thousands of years without vaccines or inoculations and that…didn’t happen. Even with their all-natural, local organic, preservative-free diets…go figure (no shade on local, organic foods, but I’ve also seen the argument that it’s only our unhealthy processed food that is weakening our immune systems and leaving us susceptible to viruses, and not the fact that they’re…viruses).

    4. Wilbur*

      This nurse should give up her car, it’s really limiting her from achieving the endurance running feats possible before we changed to an agrarian society.

    5. Wintermute*

      I should be very clear I am explaining their worldview, not my own. This post does not reflect the views of management.

      Basically it’s backdoor eugenics. They realized that saying it outright sounds bad, so instead they say things like “letting nature take its course” and “not interfering with nature/god’s plan/etc.” The end result is the same, they think society would be better if more people died.

    6. Christmas Carol*

      I remember my HS English Lit teacher throwing out the theory that when up to 50% of the population of Europe died during the plague, and the remaining survivors inherited the victims’ money and belongings, concentrating tools, land, money and other wealth; the Renaissance may well have been a positive side effect of the Black Death. She the went on to stress that she was not suggesting that mass death events were a good solution to social problems.

      1. Jean*

        I think we can file mass death under the heading of “effective but not desirable” and call it a day.

      2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        I heard that theory in high school as well – but from a history teacher. He also stressed that “this doesn’t mean we should run out and repeat that action today.” Just that this happened, and then shortly later this thing happened.

      3. quill*

        Unfortunately, you can’t loot your feudal overlord’s treasure room if they’re hiding all their money in Panama.

      4. UKDancer*

        I think we studied in history A level the premise that the Black Death led English peasants and artisans to seek higher wages. It makes sense that if there are fewer people to do a job they can charge more. The landlord’s resistance to this was a key cause of the peasants’ revolt. While the revolt failed the eventual societal changes and improved pay and rations did come from this seismic event.

        That doesn’t mean it was a good thing for the people who lived through it and lost their families and friends. I think any of the people who lived through it would have taken any cure they could that would have worked.

      5. linger*

        One other long-term accidental outcome was the emergence of English as a standard written language after centuries of comparative neglect following the Norman Conquest.
        English had been almost entirely displaced in writing by Latin [in religion, education, and parish record-keeping] and French [in law and government]. However, the Black Death killed off the clergy (preferentially exposed to the sick and dead) who were most capable of writing in Latin, which meant that local records then had to be written down in (somewhat variable representations of) English. Coincidentally, England started what became a very long-running war with France around the same time, which cemented the use of English rather than French at court; and once English had taken over all of these official functions, there was no going back.
        So your English Lit teacher owed their job, in part, to the Black Death…

  3. ILGWU forever*

    #3 last year at the height of the first pandemic, we had our pay cut by 10%. We were still required to do the same amount of work. I very carefully cut my output by 10%. If you are working 40% of your prior hours and doing at least 60% of your prior job, you are being taken advantage of.

    1. Artemesia*

      It is very hard to cut back to part time on a salaried job; there is always the expectation you will get it all done. Been there, done that.

      1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        We’re up to ‘there’s microscopic tentacled monsters in the vaccine’ now in my book of “most bizarre stuff I’ve heard’. Sadly, people like her (who I bet has used the term ‘pure blood’ at some point) don’t even make the top 10 of weirdest.

        Still hate them though.

        1. Llama face!*

          I have literally run into someone who used that term (pure bloods) and I was so confused because they didn’t seem to realize they were describing themselves as the wizard world villain’s henchminions.

  4. Critical Roll*

    Really feel like the problems in #1 were wildly underplayed in both the original and the update. Hard to believe someone that far off the deep end — and willing to endanger everyone around her with mask refusal — is really performing well in the nursing field. Also, I kinda wonder what other damaging, problematic stuff the LW was “nodding along to.” The decision not to engage should be fully considered, not chosen as the path of least resistance.

    1. Tali*

      Yeah I am really concerned about a nurse!! who doesn’t believe in vaccines!! and goes around unmasked or essentially unmasked!! because she is a eugenicist!! and LW just nodding along!! This nurse is still actively harming people from her role!

      1. SAS*

        Yeah when the letter writer became “less worried” about the (unvaxxed) nurse’s masklessness after their own vaccination I think steam started coming out of my ears. The nurse is continuing to endanger people!!!

        1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

          I really wish I’d stayed a virologist sometimes. Then I could have offered to drop my textbooks on her head.

          Field’s Virology volume one is a great door stopper.

  5. Gary Patterson's Cat*

    “She never has done anything but the right thing medically speaking with students.”
    But she isn’t. She is endangering students who, if under 18, were unable to get the vaccination by being around them unvaccinated and unmasked.

    1. quill*

      Yep. When it comes to whether people working with minors are doing things ethically, it’s as much what they DON’T do as what they do.

      1. KoiFeeder*

        Also, you and Keymaster of Gozer had some great commentary on the original post about how even if she’s crossing her i’s and dotting her t’s with the students she considers acceptable, it’s very likely that anyone who autistic, neuroatypical, disabled, or otherwise “broken” as far as she’s concerned aren’t receiving very good standard of care. I’d say that’s far more likely with this new information, if she really is as much of a eugenicist as she seems to be.

        1. quill*

          Any kid with an IEP or a visible disability is probably getting a worse standard of care than my elementary school’s (which shared a nurse, so she was only there some days) “put a frozen sponge in a baggie on it” solution.

          1. KoiFeeder*

            I agreed with you then and I agree with you now. My hope here is that no one dies because of this nurse- I don’t have the optimism to hope that none of the students have been permanently injured in some way by this point.

            1. quill*

              Yeah, I cannot believe that she hasn’t caused damage, whether physically, emotionally, or to someone’s academic career.

              I also mostly hope she doesn’t kill anyone.

        2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

          Late I know, but I saw this update and I’m frustrated as all heck that this ‘nurse’ hasn’t been drop kicked into the nearest nuclear reactor.

          Actually, no, I’m furious. I don’t CARE how ‘nice’ someone may otherwise be, the instant they start spouting Covid denial, antivaxx or straight up ‘survival of the fittest’ bull they are SCUM.

    2. pancakes*

      Yes, exactly. Between this and the letter writer’s remark that the nurse is “friendly, but amusing,” and the fact that the nurse seems to have thought the letter writer shared her views, I think there’s some clouded judgment here. I can see how it would be amusing for a character like this on TV or in a movie to have wacky beliefs about vaccines, but this is a real person who appears to be in day to day contact with the letter writer and many, many other people. And the fact alone that she’s apparently able to satisfy the mask requirement merely by carrying a useless mesh mask suggests this hasn’t been resolved at all. The letter writer seems to have decided that since they’re vaccinated, all that can be done has been done. How would it feel if another coworker or a student with an immunocompromised loved one experienced the worst outcome as a result of this nurse’s carelessness? The fact that she is friendly and amusing at times isn’t going to be much comfort.

      1. Dramatic Intent to Flounce*

        Especially with Omicron. It’s clearly VERY contagious, even with (non-useless) masks and vaccines. But heck, I was vaccinated and got delta as a breakthrough. Our best guess (and the best guess of the state contact tracer) is that I caught it when I went to the doctor for a sinus infection, since checking necessarily meant looking at my nose and throat. So you know, still a very active risk for people going to the nurse, not to mention every other contact. If I found out after the fact that the doctor who saw me that day was unvaccinated, I would be incensed. And maybe considering legal action, given I’m not quite yet at the long COVID stage but close enough while still having symptoms to be concerned.

        1. pancakes*

          The nurse’s behavior is an ongoing risk to everyone in the community who might need hospital care at some point and may not get the care they need if local hospitals are overwhelmed. I know people don’t like to think about the possibility of health issues, but as someone who was diagnosed with a cancer that doesn’t even run in my family at age 34 I think it’s ignorant to not consider it. Statistically speaking, the good luck some people have enjoyed with their health will run out for a number of them at some point. Statistically speaking, many areas of the US are under-served in terms of hospital beds and other health care resources. This is not something that needs to be tested with needlessly risky behavior like shunning vaccines and masks.

          1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

            It’s a good point about the hospitals being overloaded. I’ve been awaiting a rather urgent (in a LOT of pain and losing a lo of blood) appointment at the gyn clinic to figure out what’s going horribly wrong with me – which has had to be cancelled 3 times because the hospital is loaded with Covid patients.

            I’m trying not to think about what if this is something serious.

            Please people, get vaccinated.

              1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

                Thanks mate :) I’m hoping it’s just fibroids or something that they can just yank the organ out and have me cured of. My GP has tried literally everything!

    3. NerdyLibraryClerk*

      This. Even if she is doing her job otherwise correctly (though I have doubts what with the magic wand and all), she’s putting everyone around her at increased risk. And it sounds like the students are not in a situation where they’d feel safe pushing back or reporting her if she did do or say anything weird.

      I feel bad for the food service manager and even worse for the students.

      1. KoiFeeder*

        Who would the students be able to report her to, anyways? From what I remember of lower-middle school, you had to functionally have an air-tight court case before the school would listen to you and even then nothing usually changed, and if you complained to your parents and they reported the nurse you usually got punished for causing issues for the school. I would’ve kept my mouth shut, let her wave around the magic wand, and proceeded to hide any injuries I received until either she changed schools or I did.

        I’m assuming these aren’t high school students, because unless something is very wrong I’d anticipate high school students to be posting unflattering memes about the nurse and organization and someone would’ve found them by now.

        1. NerdyLibraryClerk*

          That’s my point, really. The kids are stuck. They have no recourse and there’s no way the Letter Writer can really know what Nurse AntiVax is saying to or doing to them.

          If we were talking about college students or some other group of people with recourse, the nurse would be (slightly) less horrifying. But since we’re talking about a group of people with basically no power (and on top of the problems K-12 kids face anyway, I think the original letter suggested these were also underprivileged kids), it’s kind of maximum horrible. Yay.

          1. pancakes*

            How exactly are we “talking about a group of people with basically no power”? The letter writer isn’t a child. Their boss isn’t a child. This isn’t some sort of Lord of the Flies situation.

            1. KoiFeeder*

              This was specifically me discussing the students. The boss and letter writer can and should report this nurse to every regulatory body they can think of.

        2. pancakes*

          They could and should complain to any regulatory group involving in licensing her. It’s not as if anyone who wants to call themselves a nurse can work as a nurse without qualifications. They should also complain to the letter writer’s boss about her refusal to wear a mask and snide gesture of carrying a mesh one. The letter writer said their boss “talked to her after a few months,” which is extraordinarily lackadaisical. It is unfortunate that the school you attended was so authoritarian and so unconcerned with students’ well-being. That isn’t the case at every school, and shouldn’t be accepted in places where it is. The first letter explained that the letter writer works at an education-related non-profit, so clearly there are multiple adults who could be taking action here, not a group of somehow-unsupervised grade school kids or high school kids.

          1. KoiFeeder*

            Any and all of the adults can and should report this, yes! I just don’t anticipate that the students will have any power or ability to effect change, and frankly if the students are the only ones willing and able to do so then every adult involved will have failed them on a catastrophic level.

            1. pancakes*

              Got it. I think it’s likely that the adults in their lives are indeed failing them if carrying a mesh mask around is considered a good option! And if this nurse’s mindset is considered more amusing than dangerous.

  6. Sharpieees*

    “…………..she believes that vaccines limit true human potential.”

    I just can’t even anymore. I don’t understand them. I never will. I’m just………….tired of this. The world is burning and they’re off reading fairy tales and playing with imaginary friends. When do WE get to feel safe again? I’m sorry, it’s so demoralizing and frustrating.

    1. Captain Vegetable (Crunch Crunch Crunch)*

      Yup. Internet hug. Wish I could offer you something better than that.

    2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

      I bet anything she’s one of hose with the ‘it’s okay if the people with chronic health issues die of thi because it’ll leave us healthy people behind’ attitude. Which I’ve encountered far, far, far too many times in the last year or so.

      Yeah I’m disabled. Yeah I’m fat. But I am worth just as much as any other person.

      1. KoiFeeder*

        Yeah, this sounds like the nurse is the sort of person who thinks no one below a certain threshold of “health” (besides them, of course!) should receive medical care of any kind. She’s not just going to passively get people killed, she actively wants certain people to die.

  7. ferrina*

    LW4, I have so much sympathy for you! I’m so glad you were able to take a long time off. It’s like our body/mind knows when we’re in a safe place and is able to feel all the exhaustion/stress/awfulness that it wasn’t safe to feel when we were in the toxic situation. I’m going through a version of that now, and it’s awful to just try to function. There’s a horrible irony to being in a better place but feeling worse.

    1. Chris*

      When external pressure has been forcing beyond what’s sustainable long term and that pressure gets removed, it’s pretty common to find yourself unable to muster up the energy to do anything. It’s good that LW4 was in a position to take some time to recover and rebuild reserves.

  8. HelloHello*

    Re: #3 – there’s a part in Michelle Obama’s autobiography that really stuck with me, where she talked about mentors advising her not to go half-time after maternity leave because the only thing that ever gets cut in half is the pay, not the hours. While that’s not going to be true in ever situation, it seems to be an incredibly common thing (especially for women in the workforce.) I’m glad you were able to find a new role and could recognize the unrealistic expectations your old place was putting on you.

    1. LW 2*

      Yeah I have heard through the grapevine that at another company that New Owner acquired some people haven’t been paid in four months due to payroll issues (which I think would have resulted in my not continuing to show up to work and/or contacting a lawyer, but to each their own) so I’m just keeping a close eye on my pay stubs and making sure all my i’s are crossed and t’s are dotted.

    2. Antilles*

      Right? Just the idea that they used the same “just make a personal email address!” for all email-related inquiries shows pretty clearly that they’re incompetent, too lazy to consider each complaint individually, or both.
      If OP reads this, I’d love to know if the company has addressed on how they plan on handling email addresses going forwards. To me, it reads like OP and others kind of got grandfathered into keeping their email addresses – you had the political capital and internal support to hang on. Which, cool for OP, but if they hire a new person (who by definition has none of said political capital) into a role, do they fall right back on their original “this seems unnecessary” opinion?

  9. Candi*

    #2: You know, when company communication is so bad a sitcom wouldn’t touch it, someone really done goofed.

    Also not surprised people were using their work email for personal things. I know humans as a species tend to be bad at long-range forecasting and planning, but ignoring “I could lose this job at any time” in that specific way is another level.

  10. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    OP1: I’m generally noted for having an understanding but firm attitude to issues at work with people. However, in this case I’m absolutely horrified.

    A person who buys mesh masks, refuses to wear proper ones, thinks vaccines are detrimental to society and that Covid is no big deal after this many deaths and lives ruined is a lost cause. They are not a nice person, anymore than you could say ‘oh Jim’s a lovely funny guy, he just has this quirk about hating Jewish people’. The massively bigoted bit cancels out every nice thing in my opinion.

    And it appears she has a ‘survival of the fittest’ attitude which is absolutely incompatible with a medical job in any capacity.

    I still think she needs to be fired.

    Lastly, the attitude of ‘I’m not at risk from her because I’m vaccinated’ is a bit problematic in itself. Firstly – no vaccine has 100% success rate (I’m extremely pro vaccine but also realistic) so others are still in danger from her. Secondly, by not vaccinating herself she’s a lovely growth media for new virus variants (we really don’t need more). Lastly, there are likely people around who can’t get vaccinated and are in danger from her and we really do need to keep the vulnerable in mind even after we’ve had our vaccines.

    So..yeah..not a satisfying update at all.

    1. The Smiling Pug*

      I think this update is even more troubling and disheartening than the original letter. And the original was pretty distressing.

  11. Lori Summers*

    As a science person can I just say that I am ETERNALLY FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE with the rampant misuse of the concept of “survival of the fittest.” It’s a very Inigo Montoya “I do not think it means what you think it means” situation. In an evolutionary sense, “fit” does NOT mean “strongest, fastest, etc.” It means BEST SUITED TO ITS ENVIRONMENT. The organism that succeeds is the one with the best and most beneficial adaptations to its environment. That could mean being faster or stronger but it could also mean being quieter and smaller. Just…argh.

  12. MadLori*

    As a science person can I just say that I am ETERNALLY FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE with the rampant misuse of the concept of “survival of the fittest.” It’s a very Inigo Montoya “I do not think it means what you think it means” situation. In an evolutionary sense, “fit” does NOT mean “strongest, fastest, etc.” It means BEST SUITED TO ITS ENVIRONMENT. The organism that succeeds is the one with the best and most beneficial adaptations to its environment. That could mean being faster or stronger but it could also mean being quieter and smaller. Just…argh.

Comments are closed.