Business Musings: Expletives Deleted

From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

In late April, Dean and I started planning for a reopened society. We plotted our lives, the things that needed to be done for our individual businesses, and then for WMG Publishing.

Finally, we got to the workshop planning.

I wanted to start in-person workshops in the fall. I looked at the vaccination rates here in the U.S., and figured we could do some small workshops before building to something bigger in the spring of 2022.

Dean put the brakes on that. He said that the fall was too early. I asked him why he thought so, and for once, he couldn’t give me a definitive logical reason. He just said it was.

Then, a few hours later, he added that many of our students come from overseas. He was watching the vaccination rates in other countries, and noticed that they were slower than the U.S.

People won’t be ready yet, he said.

We talked some more. I wasn’t sure he was right. Things were going swimmingly on the vaccine and virus front. If the pace continued, most of the people in the U.S. who were eligible would be vaccinated by August. A lot of venues here in Las Vegas were already requiring vaccines to attend a concert or a sporting event.

But we couldn’t figure out how to make vaccines mandatory for our people without a lot of rigamarole that a small company is not set up to do.

Ultimately, it was the mandatory vaccine thing and the fact that other countries were behind that convinced me not to have Fall in-person workshops.

. . . .

The impact on our in-person workshops, which I enjoy greatly, isn’t the only thing in our business that the unvaccinated are having an impact on.

In late May, we had the final, final, final half-off sale on our workshops, figuring that yes, indeedy do, no one needed to stay home anymore, at least here in the U.S.

Heh, were we wrong.

We aren’t holding those sales for us. We’re holding them to ensure that people take care of themselves.

We actually discussed having a sale for the vaccinated only because we want to reward people for getting the vaccine.

We can’t figure out a good way to do that.

Link to the rest at Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Here’s a link to Kris Rusch’s books. If you like the thoughts Kris shares, you can show your appreciation by checking out her books.

Much of Kris’s post consists of criticism of those people in the United States who refuse to be vaccinated for Covid.

PG is not certain whether this is an issue elsewhere or not, but it certainly is for an insistent minority in the US.

PG seems to recall that some countries have laws that require that all persons be vaccinated against a variety of preventable illnesses.

PG is not an expert on US vaccination laws, but understands that virtually all (or perhaps just all) vaccination laws in the US are state laws that govern the citizens/residents of those states.

A variety of vaccinations are routinely given to newborns. PG understands that some doctors and some hospitals won’t deliver babies, absent an emergency, unless parents are willing to permit at least some vaccinations. (PG could be wrong on this.)

To the best of PG’s knowledge, home births are not subject to vaccination requirements. As a practical matter, enforcing such mandates could be very difficult.

Many US state vaccination laws are focused on children. The most visible of these are vaccination requirements for children attending school, often both public and private schools. Without required vaccinations, children are not allowed to attend school. To the best of PG’s knowledge, while there are vaccination requirements that are standard for many states, there is not one law/rule that applies to all states.

PG understands that some childcare facilities require vaccinations for any children for whom care is provided.

Religious objections to vaccinations are perhaps the most common historical reasons for legal vaccine disputes. Such objections have been regularly protected by court decisions.

A long time ago, PG was involved in a case in which a family refused to permit a child to be vaccinated. The relevant state child protection agency took custody of the child on the basis of parental neglect, planning to have the child vaccinated. Under the state laws of every state with which PG is familiar, such child protection agencies are authorized to remove children from a home where they are abused or neglected.

In a conference with counsel in chambers, the judge hearing the case in which the parents sued the state agency for wrongfully taking their child into protective custody expressed substantial concerns about ordering injections of the child. He specifically mentioned the actions of Nazis during World War II when they performed grotesque medical experiments on imprisoned individuals, quite often Jews and, sometimes, gypsies being held in concentration camps.

Several years ago, PG heard part of an interesting disagreement between two brothers, one an American physician and the other a Canadian physician.

The general topic was medical care of children. The American was pointing out all the medical and chemical technologies and facilities he had available to treat children. The Canadian replied by saying something to the effect that, in Canada, all children receive proper (and mandatory) vaccinations against childhood illnesses, which had effectively eliminated those illnesses while the US still reported some cases every year due to lax US vaccination practices.

For the record, PG and Mrs. PG got their Covid vaccinations as soon as they were available. Their children, now grown, received all the medically-recommended vaccinations at the time recommended by their doctors.

On the other hand, PG does feel a bit squeamish about government agents forcing individuals to receive injections to which they strenuously object.

Finally, PG is aware of people who have strong feelings on both sides of the vaccination discussion. He requests, as usual, that comments and replies to comments be civil and non-hostile. Even if you have very strong opinions, you don’t absolutely need to reply to a comment of someone who has different opinions in any sort of hostile or offensive manner.

83 thoughts on “Business Musings: Expletives Deleted”

  1. It is not necessary to force anyone to be vaccinated. It is only necessary to require an up-to-date vaccination status on record for allowing these people into the things they like in life: bars, concerts, parties, restaurants, SPORTS EVENTS.

    And the FDA needs to rescind the emergency status so the military – which orders other vaccinations for troops routinely – can order it for their personnel. It is ridiculous to have a standing army that is safe ONLY because of quarantining effectively! Which, apparently, they CAN order. Those troops are not safe being sent anywhere.

    • Alicia…

      #1 – I don’t know of any military personnel – and definitely not any that are in deployable status – that are over 65, or are morbidly obese (except for the fat in the heads of certain general officers), or have seriously compromised immune systems (such as HIV, hepatitis C), or are chronic drug users, or have leukemia or half a dozen other serious metabolic diseases.

      #2 – The “emergency status” is an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). A status given to a medication that has not gone through the entire rigorous approval process to fully assess both short term and long term side effects, but is believed to be less hazardous than the condition that it treats. “Rescinding” that would put the vaccines back into the “cannot use” status. While I don’t always agree with the scope of the FDA approval process, I certainly do not want it thrown out.

      #3 – The military can order vaccinations, even those that have not been FDA approved or given an EUA. Provided that they can make a rational case for them – such as the anthrax vaccination ordered for all ME deployed personnel in Gulf Wars I and II, where there was a reasonable fear that weaponized anthrax would be used by Saddam.

      #4 – I might be able to agree with “up-to-date vaccinations status on record” for allowing people into the things they like in life – if such a policy was also applied to anyone wishing to cross the border into the United States. For many things – measles was once considered eradicated here, now it is not, with outbreaks happening in communities where the “refugees” and “undocumented” have been settled without such an assurance.

      #5 – I won’t argue about the efficacy of any of the vaccines. Reliable hard data is proving to be very difficult to come by, with obfuscation (by both sides) being the rule, rather than the exception. Anecdotally, however, I would note that the cases among a certain group of fully vaccinated refugees from Texas are up to a count of five – and at least some of those were apparently contagious, from the rising number of cases in those with whom they came into contact.

      Additional note – my son is a Sergeant in the Marine Reserves, currently on long-term in-country TDY. Before he left, he had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – mainly so that he would be able to leave the base to see some of the area that he is in. That is what I advised him to have, as the mRNA “vaccines” are unproven technology, with no idea of what (if any) long-term effects can be expected. He hopefully will not need to contend with any of the possible ones (such as various auto-immune disorders) in the long time that he should still have to live. The rest of my family (including myself) has also had the J&J vaccine, except for one who is still stuck on the “Don’t trust the Trump vaccine!” disinformation campaign from last year.

      • Most if not all are strawmen arguments.

        The undeniable fact is that every unvaccinated person out there is a huge potential reservoir of the virus which will continue to mutate. The active duty personnel who are young and healthy will not suffer (much), but the unvaccinated grandparent they take it home to on leave, or the civilian who comes into contact with them – those will bear the burden; many will die. And children too young for the current vaccines. And all those whose immune systems do not allow them to be vaccinated.

        So many doses have been given that all arguments about ‘unproven’ leak like sieves.

        This is public health, not individual liberty.

    • And the FDA needs to rescind the emergency status so the military – which orders other vaccinations for troops routinely – can order it for their personnel.

      Science bows to politics? If there are standards for drug approval, what justifies bending them for politics?

      • As noted/implied above, a vaccine with an emergency-use authorization can be administered by directive to military personnel. The anthrax vaccine in 1990/91 is a good example.

        And the standards for drug approval explicitly include the entire emergency-use-authorization system (aside: it also extends to medical devices, although that’s much rarer). All that an EUA does is streamline the process so that one looks under the rug for a few seconds to see if there are monsters, rather than a year and a half. If there are any signs of monsters, though, the EUA process stops right there. We saw this with the interrupted clinical trials of the J&J vaccine for COVID; there were (if I recall correctly) two similar instances with the anthrax vaccine, at a time I was on active duty and a, umm, “recipient target.”

  2. Thanks to my first career (the one in which I studied foreign languages and cultures; travelled to foreign countries; met interesting people; and then… ok, not so much, we tried to avoid much of That during and just after the Cold War, even in FYRs), I’ve seen diptheria. I’ve seen pertussis (whooping cough). I’ve seen tetanus.

    I do not buy parents imposing their religious beliefs on children to create a public health risk, and thereby placing everyone else‘s children at risk. Or me, by maintaining a pool of unvaccinated laboratories for viral mutation.

  3. Oh, a much shorter comment. I cannot fault either Katherine or Dean for not doing in-person events where they could be exposed to the virus. They are both in the high risk demographic. (I do hope that if they start up again, with a requirement for vaccination, that they also insist on proof of vaccination for influenza – which is just as deadly to their age group. Otherwise, I’m going to wonder about their reasoning ability.)

    • Totally agree.

      So many people are acting like this Coronavirus is the ONLY virus to worry about (I like this phrase: “A disease so deadly you have to be tested to know if you have it”). There all kinds of risk in life, including risks from wearing masks and risks from vaccinations. So it all comes down to making a somewhat rational risk/reward decision.

      If you’re not high risk, then it can be a very rational decision to skip the vaccination, given that these vaccines still have not met the normal safety requirements. The same goes for flu shots – by KKR’s logic, we should require everyone to get flu shots every year.

      Most childhood vaccinations are a bit different – the vaccinations have been thoroughly tested, and the diseases are considerably worse. On the other hand, we now have vaccinations for minor diseases like chicken pox.

      Also, the point that vaccinations are supposed to protect the vaccinated seems to have been forgotten.

      • Well, most childhood diseases are minor – to children. Having contracted chicken pox from my daughter, one year before the vaccine was approve (through the full FDA process) – it is definitely not minor.

  4. Wow, and just think! If everyone was issued a mask at birth and required to wear it 24/7/365 (or 6) nobody would have caught CovId when it was first released. Right? Right? Or the flu. Or tuberculosis. Or or or… Perhaps in a future world, masks will be surgically attached at birth (a matter of public health, not personal liberty) so people finally will be able to live forever! Sigh.

    Even if there was no Constitution and no Bill of Rights to be set aside when the federal government finds doing so convenient, NOBODY has the right to lay hands on (shoot, stab, beat, inject, etc. or to order any of that done) another person for any reason. Sure, often doing so is “legal,” but “legal” is not synonymous with “right.” Some folks tend to forget that their rights stop where the next person’s rights begin.

    It would be a much more peaceful (and quiet) world if everyone would just focus on controlling themselves and leaving everyone else alone. But then, that’s why I write fiction.

      • Felix, as I wrote in my blog this morning,

        I have a copy of the National Geographic “Map of the Known Universe.” On that map, drawn to scale, our nearest celestial neighbor is a scant 1/4″ away. Yet if Earth and her infestation of humans suddenly disappeared, not only would nobody else care, they wouldn’t even notice. I look at that map occasionally to ground myself in precisely how important I am in the overall scheme.

        It’s a small comfort to know all the bluster will never escape Earth.

  5. It is easy to criticize that unvaccinated as clueless–of which there are many–or politically motivated–not as many as the media pretends– but the rest have REASONS. And not always reasons tbat are easily dismissed.

    Starting with pre-existing conditions and not just the obvious ones. There are a lot of people with non-lethal conditions lije allergies who do need to be careful what they put into their bodies. Others may have mental conditions rather than physical ones. Some are just cautious.

    Of the latter, the biggest group of the skeptical have one thing in mind: Tuskeegee. Nit somethibg the feds are going to willingly bring up.

    The fact is some folks won’t ever get vaccinated until the vaccines pass all the standard FDA hurdles and more. Some not even then. No amount if shaming, bribery, or bullying will change that. In great part because the underlying message is the wrong one. All the vaccine promotion messaging is about “herd immunity”, about “social duty”, about protecting others. That only goes so far, even in Europe.

    The proper message all along should have been “protect yourself because nobody else will do it for you”, “vaccinate or YOU will die”. No vaccine is 100% safe. None. Ever. So knowledgeably eople weigh the pros and cons for themselves and, as in so many other areas, are absolutists.

    The only appeal that will work with the recalcitrant is self interest and that ship has sailed. Government credibility has been frittered away through panicked overreaction, muddled messaging, and politician hypocrisy. Too much emphasis or potential worst case scenarions and not enough on measured reaction on a local basis. There will never be 70% vaccination much less 100%. Not now, not absent authoritarian overreach. Hoping for more is howling at the moon, noisy but unproductive. What we have is what we have.

    As to the vaccines themselves, there is no final assessment yet and won’t be for years but a ranking of tbe effectiveness of the underlying technologies is emerging. And what it is saying is that anything *but* the mRNA vaccines is of limited use. The more old-school the approach, the les effective it is.

    The chinese vaccines are proving to be little better than placebos. Entire countries like Chile, the Seychelles, and others that rushed to vaccinate with the chinese vaccines have found them nearly useless against the Delta variant. (In Chile a tbird of the Delta-infected had been vaccinated). The pieces of virus they used to make the vaccines came from the Alpha version, the first to spread, and by now that section has mutated out of recognition.

    The russian version may or not be good but the dirty secret there is they can’t actually produce it in volume. Guatemala ordered and paid for that last year–last week tbey asked for tbeir money back because they still hadn’t gotten any delivered.

    The cubans have three candidates. The “best” requires three shots over months. The chinese are exploring mixing their vaccines to boost effectiveness.

    The french have been working for over a year now and are no closer to a vaccine than before. Even AstraZeneka is looking weak against new variants. Still useful but potentially problematic. Enough so that some countries in Europe have been banning travellers vaccinated with India-made AstraZeneca because of quality control concerns.

    Bottom line: the outside world will not be soon vaccinated. Mutants will continue to emerge–the latest version “of concern” is Lambda, coming out of Peru (60% of infections) and already in the US and all over south america. Eventually a less lethal but superinfective variant will arise and displace all others and become just another part of the human microbiota. But it won’t be soon.

    The good news, such as is, is that the immunity “taught” by the mRNA vaccines shows no sign of wearing off after a year. How long it’ll last is unclear but there are signs it can be enduring and even improving over time. It might be lifelong.

    The matching bad news is that the companies that developed the mRNA tech(s) had been at it for decades and it won’t be easy to replicate even knowing that it works. And available production capacity will take years to cover the world. That we have the capacity we do is because of tbe bets the feds made by prebuying–sight unseen–triple the required amount by betting on three separare vaccines. So we have enough and plenty to share moving forward. Without tapping the (still unapproved) US AstraZeneca production. That much DC got right.

    But there’s still variants emerging. A new one might emerge that will be different enough in the “right” way to bypass the vaccines. The thing may or not be a chinese bioweapon that escaped but it sure acts like one. (A matter for another time.)

    No easy way out of this.
    The only solution is to muddle through and PROTECT YOURSELF. No one else will.

  6. From a strictly writerly perspective, I wonder what KKR wanted to accomplish with that blog post. If her intent is to convince the unvaccinated, she failed pretty hard. There’s lots of contradiction in it, most notably ” Honestly, I have moved past caring if the unvaccinated live or die” near the middle, and then a hard turn at the end with “I even pray that it won’t kill you, as angry as I am at you.”

    I think “I pray that your stupid and selfish behavior won’t kill someone” is perhaps the closest thing to the truth, because I suspect the real motivation is “I am scared I am going to die and that makes me want to be angry at something.”

    Then, after spending most of the blog post yelling at the vaccine-hesitant (slewing from ‘yes some of you might have reasons’ to ‘you are so selfish, get your heads out of your parts’), she ends with ‘I beg you,’ which is a super strange emotional swerve, from attacking people for being horrible, selfish, terrible human beings to appealing to their (until this point) unacknowledged better natures.

    I don’t find this essay persuasive. I think it will do the opposite of what (presumably) she wants, which is help convince the hesitant so that she can stop being afraid. I hope that the brief satisfaction she got out of ranting about it makes up for how many people she probably caused to solidify in their stances.

    I admit, I’m disappointed. This was like watching a temper tantrum in someone I thought had more self-control.

    • I agree, M.

      I regarded KKR’s blog as an intelligent, insightful view into traditional publishing’s history and practices and the indie publishing life that she and Dean started down before Amazon made that path easier.

      This post was different than her prior posts in several ways, which is one reason why I put it up.

      Her post is probably a bit of a cautionary tale for authors (and even lawyers!) who use blogs for promotion purposes to avoid following an impulse in a direction that may not contribute the the underlying purpose of the blog.

      I invite you and other TPV regulars to not hesitate to rein me back in if you think I’ve fallen into the same hole.

      • I don’t know… my own beliefs on that are evolving. I think if you hide your beliefs these days, you are more likely to create problems than you are if you discuss them (preferably without rancor or cruelty). If you succeed in concealing your beliefs, your audience will eventually begin to press you to commit to something, or declare you anathema; if you don’t succeed after having attempted to remain neutral in public, then you will be accused of attempting to deceive people into supporting you.

        And if you do manage, somehow, to hide all evidence of your beliefs, 1. eventually you will start dying inside from the silence, and 2. your art will stop being convincing, because you’ll either use it to go full-blown propaganda in search of the outlet you deny yourself, or you’ll stop putting yourself into it for fear of being found out, and it will cease to have a soul.

        As a society we need to learn to deal with people we disagree with again. There’s no doing that by hiding.

        Whatever the case, I would never suggest that, if you are going to share your beliefs, you do it in a way guaranteed to polarize your audience. KKR’s rant was just that: emotional pollution. She would have been better off saving it for private ears, and then writing something for her blog that represented her views without the unprofessional tirade.

        But hey, maybe it made her feel better and that’s all she wanted. *shrug*

        I don’t always agree with you, PG, but so far you haven’t presented yourself poorly. 🙂

        • Good points as usual, M., but I think I have doubts that being open means that I share everything that shows up in my head.

          I don’t feel stifled if I decide to self-censor in the interest not riling somebody up regarding something I don’t think is that important. I don’t feel any sort of impulse to correct everybody (or even a meaningful subset of everybodies) who writes something wrong on the internet.

          I don’t recall (not exactly the gold standard) anything you have said that I don’t agree with, M., but, regardless you have also presented yourself well.

    • She really didn’t define the problem posed by having the seminars. What exactly is it?

      If someone has chosen to accept the risk of remaining vaccinated, or if they trust in the anti-bodies generated from their past infection with the virus, then that’s how they live their lives. They accept the risk everyday in whatever they do. They are at risk at the grocery store, in elevators, and in KKR’s seminar room.

      Is there a reason to alter our lives to accommodate the risk-takers? What is it, and what are the conditions that define it? If those conditions prevail for years, for how long should we submit to them?

      • I gather that she wanted to host the seminars but wanted only vaccinated attendees, and the problem was there was no way to ensure that the people attending weren’t lying about their vaccination status. (Or maybe there’s a legal issue with requiring medical information for registration, but she didn’t say anything to lead me to think so.)

        I feel if there had been more rigorous reporting done about the at-risk populations, a lot more people would be 1. less frightened, and 2. more willing to acquiesce to potential medical… I guess I should say interventions, because no one is talking about finding treatments for COVID. It’s the vaccine or death, and no in-between. (Where are all the scientists racing to discover palliatives for people who already have the virus? Why is that not a thing?)

        Unfortunately, there are no longer any non-partisan-sounding efforts to discuss whether some categories are more at risk from the virus than from the vaccine (say the elderly), some comorbidities are more dangerous (like obesity or diabetes), etc. We can’t even seem to have a rational conversation about the (apparently controversial?) fact (?) that more school-aged children are dying of suicide from the dwindling of their social spheres than are dying from Covid (and that more children die from the flu).

        Given that our society appears to have surrendered all attempts to treat Covid as an actual, scientific issue rather than a political or emotional one, it’s inevitable that we are… here. And here is where we all have to make our peace, because unless something extraordinary changes, no one is going to make a different decision about their choices.

    • Well said, M.C.A. Hogarth.

      Ever since I deleted my social media accounts and started making a conscious effort to avoid clickbait, there are very few things on the internet that truly make me outraged, but this petulant and un-self-aware tirade was one of them. I left a comment on her blog, but I’m sure it will never see the light of day, as she carefully curates her comments to give the illusion that everyone who reads her blog agrees with her. Perhaps that is how her descent into madness began: by turning her own platform into an echo chamber.

      I used to have a lot of respect for Kris. Her business posts were a major influence in helping me get into self-publishing back in 2011. I was working a mindless data entry job at the time, and had her blog open on the side of the screen, reading it like a thirsty man at an oasis in a desert. I also had the privilege of meeting her in person at WorldCon 2011.

      She’s gone completely off the deep-end now. The world went crazy, and she jumped off the cliff with the rest of humanity.

      My wife and I visit the library every week, and occasionally we exchange books with each other that way. Last month, I gave her Kris’s Diving into the Wreck, mostly just to get her opinion on it. Without knowing anything about the author, my wife DNFed it, mostly due to issues with the main character being too unrelenting and humorless. Sounds a bit like KKR today. Needless to say, I won’t be picking up any of her books.

  7. I remember a post from Dean saying he was going to drive from Las Vegas to their former home in Oregon, and heaven help anyone he met who was maskless. And this was before the vaccine came out.

    He had no trouble going out then when it suited him.

    They are not rational people.

    • Exactly. They’re not rational or logical and haven’t been since this thing began. While insisting that people “listen to the science,” neither has had a problem ignoring research contradicting their quasi-religious beliefs.

      The fact is that if the vaccine works the way the CDC insists it does, then the vaccinated are at no risk of catching or transmitting the virus. Period, the end.

      And for those people who haven’t been vaccinated, for whatever reason? They understand the risks they’re taking, and those risks are personal and not anyone else’s business, especially politically regressive authoritarians like Kris and Dean.

      I have a great deal of respect for both as writers and as business people. But on the political front, and especially where this virus is concerned? Not so much. I feel exactly the same way about anyone who tries to force their opinions and beliefs on others. They’ve been vaccinated. Now move on.

      • “The fact is that if the vaccine works the way the CDC insists it does, then the vaccinated are at no risk of catching or transmitting the virus. ”

        That’s not quite how vaccines work. Anybody claiming vaccination is the end-all be-all are misinformed or politicking. The latter is most common.

        Vaccines don’t *stop* a virus from getting in; rather they teach the body defenses to recognize it early and counter it. How good a vaccine is determines how fast and how effectively the body reacts. No vaccine is 100% and few single shot vaccines are much above 50%. Bad ones barely reach 50% after two shots.

        As an example, the Jansen/J&J single shot vaccine doesn’t pretend to prevent infection (neither do the mRNA vaccines) but it prevents *serious* infection requiring hospitalization. And prevents death. In a global pandemic, that is good enough and especially from a single shot. There are many use cases, like mass vaccunations, where that is a preferred feature. If they had enough production capacity, that could be the dominant vaccine on the planet. They’re not there yet.

        The mRNA vaccines are more effective after two shots and as time goes on, the Moderna is proving to be very effective at “training” the body defenses so tbat it holds up well against the newer variants and in some cases it stops the older variants cold. But neither Pfizer nor Moderna prevent infection nor do they prevent passing it on. You can be vaccinated, get infected, be asymptomatic, and transmit the virus.

        Vaccines protect you and only you.
        Best protocol (for now) *if* you care about your own well being, is still to act as if not vaccinated unless with family or close friends you *know* are vaccinated and for all to minimize risk of exposure. Vaccine or no vaccine nothing and nobody is going to protect you if you don’t protect yourself.

        • The quality of the vaccine is only one part of the equation. The other two parts are the quality of the person’s immune system and how lucky their immune system was when it encountered fragments of the virus or mRNA-constructed spike protein. Some people have faulty immune systems and will still remain susceptible no matter what vaccine you give them. Others will against all odds have the dendritic cells of their innate immune system present their T-cells mostly with portions of the virus or spike protein which are likely to change in future generations of the virus.

          Obviously, this is why the mRNA vaccines are so effective, they minimize the risk of this second scenario by focusing on the highly conserved spike protein which is common to all coronaviruses. They still aren’t going to bring the probability of poor training to zero and can’t completely make up for a poorly functioning immune system. This is why we need more than 50-odd percent of the population to get vaccinated. It is also why a booster with mRNA which encodes a later generation spike protein should also be part of our plan.

      • C.D. Watson,

        The profound reduction in sickness and death since widespread vaccination has been available is proof that not only is vaccination effective, but it is far less dangerous than Covid.

        The vaccinated have in fact been protecting the unvaccinated by making it more difficult for it to spread. This is changing now that the delta variant is in the US. The higher transmission capacity makes it easier for this variant to find pockets of unprotected. Some of those people are too young to be vaccinated or are not being protected by their vaccine due to a poor immune system or bad luck during immune system training after vaccination.

        No vaccine is 100%, and the CDC has at no point said it prevents any outcome with 100% confidence, which is an impossibility during a statistical analysis. When they said it prevents death, they were speaking of the scientifically accepted 90% confidence level. Something which anyone who is scientifically literate understands.

        Saying that getting vaccinated is only a personal risk is more irrational than getting pissed off at people for not doing the right thing for their community. Not getting vaccinated is holding back our recovery and it is freeloading, much like evading taxes which pay for laws and infrastructure is freeloading. KKR is feeling moral rage, which is a dangerous thing, many people twist themselves into all kinds of faulty reasoning and feel justified in their rage and consequent actions, but she hasn’t committed or incited violence, either. All she has done is expressed her frustration at people who are holding us back due to their inability to be rational about choosing a vaccine which is less risky than Covid for every population it has been approved for.

        • Seems more likely the unvaccinated are holding back the high risk subset of themselves. I think the Orlando guy killed in a motorcycle crash and listed as a Covid death belonged to that subset. A shocking disregard for public safety.

        • Except there are actually three groups: the vaccinated, the unvaccinated who have never had it, and the unvaccinated who have had it and now have natural immunity.

          The vaccine is highly experimental and has not been rigorously tested. It is a new technology and the long-term effects, including negative long-term effects, are unknown.

          I do not believe that the vaccine is part of a vast conspiracy to depopulate the planet or other such nonsense, but can anyone deny that there is a conspiracy between Big Tech, the mainstream media, and governments to silence anyone who questions the official narrative about the vaccine? If so, you haven’t been paying attention.

          If the vaccine works, why not let that speak for itself and refute the naysayers with facts and data? If the goal is herd immunity, why are they ignoring or outright vilifying those of us who see no need to get the vaccine because we’ve already had it? And if natural immunity isn’t sufficient, why should we believe that the vaccine is?

          • Not necessarilly a conspiracy but the (small) segment of big tech that is involved has a vested interest in helping the current regime and staying on their good side. Lapdogs more than attack dogs. They’ll soon learn how much it won’t help them.

            (Most of the tech sector either opposes their heavy handedness or doesn’t care beans.)

            • Call it collusion, then. Coordination. Narrative control.

              Did you see the Facebook whistleblower who came out through Project Veritas last month, detailing Facebook’s anti- vaccine hesitancy program? This is the kind of stuff I’m talking about. They won’t admit publicly that they’re doing it, which sounds pretty conspiratorial to me.

  8. Her blog post on July 7 included a discussion about a Bloomberg tweet:

    “Humans normally respond to big unforeseen shocks in one of two ways:
    *Recoil from risk-taking like we saw after the Great Depression
    *Accept that risk is part of life and learn to embrace it — like they did in the Roaring Twenties”

    She seemed to endorse the sentiment of the 2nd statement then. I think of that as the “adult” point of view.

    In the current post under discussion, I guess other people living without a vaccination was too uncertain for her.

    I greatly respect the expertise of the two of them on the publishing industry and for the professional courses/workshops they teach. But I’m not in the least sympathetic to her politics, and it’s getting harder and harder to tolerate these rants where she wants to enforce rules on everyone, as if she can somehow create certainty and control that way. At this point, I would never take an in-person workshop with them — I’d have to keep my mouth shut the whole time or be vilified. No live-and-let-live with those two.

    It’s an illusion to think you can control the world — she should know better, even if she thinks the world would be better that way. And there are plenty of us who don’t think the world would be better if it could be perfectly controlled. Risk is part of the universe, and we need to toughen up, not be swaddled like infants.

    More Roaring Twenties out of her and less Great Depression would be a much more seemly and adult attitude, and a lot easier for her increasingly reluctant readers to tolerate.

    • Good points, K.

      As I think I’ve mentioned before, I think there are a lot of harsh judgments of those who don’t agree with one’s personal decisions/beliefs/actions that have appeared in full flower during this whole strange Covid period.

      And catastrophizing about the potential consequences of actions of others who have made different decisions than we have.

  9. A major reason people aren’t in a hurry to get vaccinated is that they have had the disease and like the original SARS that seems to result in immunity from new infections.

  10. Sadly, I had to stop reading her and him because, well to put it simply, they have become very bullying and not just about the vaccines. Like losing a friend, a port in the storm, even if virtual.

    • Sorry to hear that, DW. I’m pretty sure Dean and I are the only two fiction writers today who dare talk about writing into the dark and busting the myths of publishing.

        • Thanks. I still check Dean’s site pretty much every morning, just in case he gets back to writing advice. As you know, when there’s something good I add it to the “Of Interest” section of my Journal.

  11. I believe in personal freedom. If people want to take the ‘vaccine’ then that is their choice. Ditto with those who don’t. And I don’t think much of KKR attempting to coerce others into doing what she thinks they should be doing. It’s none of her business.

  12. I somehow knew this post of PGs would garner a lot of responses. 😉

    I’ll say this, I’m over 50, I’ve gotten “the jab”. I also understand and agree with all his points from the post/email -how vaccines are distributed and handled by school systems and the like. I’ve gotten all my kids vaccinated for school in the past.

    On the other hand, two of them are under the age of 18, have about an .001% chance of contracting the virus, and all but impossible to need a hospitalization, and nearly that small a chance of spreading the virus, if they did somehow contract it.

    So, I have opted not to have them vaccinated for this, until more time has passed and further testing done.

    Oh, and I try (not 100% but try) to ignore people’s politics when it comes to their entertainment value.

    Now, when the politics actually starts entering the fiction itself? (Whether a movie, book, sports event, etc) well then – that’s not what I’m spending money on. I think folks can get all the political discourse they want for free. 😉

    • I definitely agree about not allowing politics to bleed into other areas of my life, Jake.

      I would have missed out on a lot of good books if I eliminated authors with whom I seriously differed on one of a wide variety of topics.

      I would have missed out on a lot of good motion pictures if I selected them on the basis of an actor’s/director’s/producer’s/studio’s values reflecting my own.

      As a general proposition, I think it’s a bad idea not to listen to/read/watch creations of people who are not like ourselves. In some cases, we may be persuaded that our opinion concerning one or more issues was wrong or overly generalized, etc. In other cases, we may realize that our opinion may be correct because listening to disagreements helps us understand a bit more about why opposing opinions are incorrect in some or all respects.

      Plus, speaking personally, life would be really boring if I limited myself to reading/watching/hearing people who are pretty much like me.

      • Woohoo! PG responded to my post! & I got free legal advice! (Just kidding! LOL)

        Sensible as always, PG!

        I will add, I do enjoy your comments section as well – you seem to attract people who can manage to express their opinions and not go all crazy about it. 😉

      • Plus, speaking personally, life would be really boring if I limited myself to reading/watching/hearing people who are pretty much like me.

        It would read very much like the comments section on Kris’s blog.

    • “Now, when the politics actually starts entering the fiction itself? ”

      That is becoming annoyingly common and requiring more suspension of disbelief than bad SF&F.
      It is leeching the fun out of a lot of productions.

      Lots of somebodies are in dire need of refreshers on compartmentalization.

      • Orwell’s essay “Why I Write” deserves careful consideration, particularly his remark (paraphrasing) that excluding politics from writing is itself a political decision. Remember, too, that what seems like “politics” to some times and audiences seems uncontroversial to others… and definitely vice versa. I don’t recall the exact title now, but there’s a fascinating article from one of the “intellectual rags” in the 1950s comparing reader reactions, and opinions on political content, to Becky Sharp’s machinations at the time Vanity Fair was first published and in 1950s state schools outside of London, that reinforces this.

        • It’s a good essay – I hadn’t read it before, so thanks for sharing. 🙂 But upon reading it, I think I took something different than you did.

          He was listing the four great motivations for writing, where “politics” was one of them (and every writer had all four of them to a varying degree). His statement that “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude” does not make it gospel. It’s merely one writer’s opinion and from my angle it’s part “too ambiguous” to be relevant, but, also part “too cynical” to be worthwhile.

          Not *everything* is political, despite those who think so (and for whom politics is their life). The love of a parent for their children, or for humans for their dogs – is not political. Walking along the beach is not political, nor is mowing the grass. Or, a romance novel. Or a good heist movie. Or a football game.

          For Orwell, who was most definitely a political writer – of course everything was political.

          But for your average writer – who probably should not be writing off half their audience off the bat – a story does not need to have a political ideology attached.

          • Jake, I’ll warn you in advance: My never-completed-for-Reasons dissertation was on Orwell, Huxley, and British political fiction of the mid-20th-century. Literary neepery ahead.

            I think you missed Orwell’s point. There are political dimensions — often strong ones — behind virtually every significant decision made in the arts. “The love of a parent for their child” has political dimensions when the child was born out of wedlock, or perhaps “worse yet” (so to speak) in an “improper” marriage as defined by local politics (a child of a Jewish and a Muslim — specifically, Sufi — parent in Haifa). Go ahead — just try excluding all politics from that story. Walking along this particular beach is definitely political, in an entirely different way from this one (which, for three years, I drove past several times a week). And so on.

            One need not “attach” a “political ideology” to a story for politics to intrude. Indeed, that’s almost the entire overarching theme of Orwell’s columns in Tribune, distilled in “Why I Write.”

            • True, from a certain perspective, all things are political.

              But if true, then all the trivial things that concern humanity will become political.

              So, sorting the trivial politics from the not-so-trivial politics will become the center of the discussion. Which then leads to, how dare you say that this political thing of mine is trivial and yours is not,or how dare you say X when I believe Y etc. will create the storms we see now.

              Proving of course that all things are political.

              But whether it is worthwhile to make all things political depends on the value that making them political is worth the time and effort to do so.

              And if so, whether or not one has the time, is willing to make the effort, and has the wit and wisdom to do the work.

              I would observe that when one side says that everything is political, and the other says stop making everything political, what is happening here is the divide between those two perspective, which ironically may be political, but is not particularly useful.

        • Oh, politics has a place in fiction…when it is at least a part of the story.
          It can be a reason for the story or a background element.

          The question that needs asking is is *why* must the politics of the moment be part of the story. What value does it add? It is one thing to do a story about politics in general or about a specific position but why insert political posturing everywhere and anywhere?

          Does a Regency romance, for one example, *need* to break immersion and historical accuracy in service of today’s mores? Or an alternate world fantasy?

          It may be a political decision but it is also a world building decision that impacts the viability of the work. Nothing loses currency as fast as a story mired in the views of a moment. Often it is dated before it hits the stands, given the lag in tradpub. Indies don’t have the lag but time flies for them too.

          An extra bit of thought can only help.
          After that you’re on your own.

  13. The status of the vaccines is that they are not “fully” approved as yet by the Federal Government. Last night on Rachel Maddow (I know, knee-jerk anti-Rachel reactions are commonplace) there was an interesting discussion of their experimental nature, with their current approval given only on an EMERGENCY basis. So it would be legally difficult for a President to require their administration until the appropriate Federal health agencies to fully approve them, which will require further studies to assure long-term health consequences, particularly of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna).

    While I THINK the concerns about these vaccines are overblown (your opinion may well vary, and I’m trying not to insult the validity of the opinions of others), I am in no position to say, discuss what they will do to you that won’t show up for 20 years (although people are speculating about exactly what they will do).

    Nevertheless, the vaccine concerns are being heavily spread by Rupert Murdoch’s politically motivated Fox News, while at the organizations themselves, all employees are required by the organization to be vaccinated themselves. So, good luck for anyone trying to hold a rational discussion while outright propaganda with clear political motivation (sew discord, cast aspersions of politicians not approved of by the Murdoch press) is being worked against quiet, calm discussion.

    However, the clear alternative to the vaccines is being sickened and dying in large numbers (already demonstrated by the period before vaccine availability), I believe that vaccines should be required. Had a vaccine, experimental or otherwise, been available during the Influenza pandemic of 1918, I’m certain it would have been required even if it only worked 50% as well as these all do. And, I would probably have had two young children in Glendive, Montana taken by that disease, siblings of my father, one or both might have lived long enough for them to grow up with dad and have been part of my family history. Every time we went to Grandma’s in Glendive, we visited the graves of these two siblings, ages sometime line 2 and 4, taken away by the Flu.

    Consequences beat DEAD. As long as you’re alive, fighting the consequences can be done. Once the disease has killed you because you wouldn’t take the vaccine, you’re gone. This, of course, clearly drives everyone’s feelings way up. If you don’t like the experimental nature of the mRNA vaccines, I hope you take (and appreciate) the Johnson and Johnson one dose also-effective vaccine. It’s wonderful we have a choice of vaccines and technologies, in my not-very-humble opinion which remains strictly my own.

    I took the first available vaccine my doctor could give me, while my wife got the other mRNA vaccine. So we’re a double-mRNA vaccine household. We’re alive, our state is not one of the holdout states with catastrophic spreads (we live in Virginia) and with a little luck and more vaccine is likely not to suffer in vaccinated areas the results in other parts of our own state and in less-vaccinated states.

    Bright Blessings on everyone, and good luck to all of us.

    Please get one of the vaccines, I beg all of you as-yet un-vaccinated. Let’s not die and spread death, or suffer cruelly from the known effects of Covid-19. Let’s stay healthy and alive and arguing. The friends and family members you kill and the spread of further variants of the disease are PREVENTABLE. Let’s prevent them. Together, let’s not kill your relatives, friends, and neighbors, and spread this to my relatives, friends, and neighbors.


    • Nevertheless, the vaccine concerns are being heavily spread by Rupert Murdoch’s politically motivated Fox News,

      There are very reasonable questions about vaccines. Asking indicates neither opposition nor political bias. It doesn’t matter if the question is posed on Fox or MSNBC. For example, what are the reasons for someone who has had the virus to get vaccinated? What is the specific risk posed by unmasked vaccinated people? To whom? Do masks protect the wearer or others? What is the difference in people dying with Covid compared to dying from Covid? How many people under 18 with no underlying conditions have died from Covid? Does a given study of deaths rely on certified cause of death, or is it inferred from total deaths? And what is the basis for the answers?

      There is a notion that asking these questions constitutes opposition to vaccine. I ask how ignorance of those answers fosters support of vaccinations? How does volitional ignorance add anything to the issue?

      Many of the mask recommendations I have heard are heavily influenced by the notion that if some have to wear a mask, then everyone should wear a mask in a show of solidarity. You should wear a mask to make me feel better.

      • Tom didn’t say that asking questions was unreasonable; rather the opposite. He said that an organization that publicly asks questions in a manner calculated to advance a political agenda that’s only indirectly related to those questions, while simultaneously requiring its employees to be vaccinated despite those “questions,” is unreasonable.

        I think it not the questions, but the hypocrisy, that he was objecting to.

      • How many people under 18 with no underlying conditions have died from Covid?

        Irrelevant. Anyone who has had children knows very well just how effective they are at spreading disease.

    • One of the problems where I live is there is no choice among vaccines. Or, rather, *where* you want to get the vaccine (your own doctor’s office, the hospital, a pop-up clinic, the supermarket or Walmar pharmacy department, etc.) doesn’t have the vaccine you prefer to get. So far, I have only seen Moderna and Pfizer versions available; nobody (that I’m aware of) is yet offering the J&J. It could well be that other people among the “hesitant” are in a similar position, wherever they are around the country (or the world).

        • FWIW: My brother got his vaccine appointment from his doctor, who gave him a choice of the three. Different places for each. He chose Jansen because he didn’t want to go out twice.
          (He has WFH, gets everything delivered, and is doing the hermit thing. 😉 )

          So, at least in some places (Jacksonville, to be precise) it is possible to choose which vaccine you get. Checking in with the family doctor seems to be a good first step.

    • The virus has a better than 99.9% survival rate for most people, and natural immunity is still a valid way to reach herd immunity.

      Many of the at-risk people who died of the virus were victims of the governors who deliberately and knowingly put covid patients in nursing homes, even when there were alternatives available.

      The pandemic response is not just about the virus. It’s about how much power our leaders can grab in the name of the virus, and the more frightened we are, the more of our freedoms we are willing to give up (and the more the media profits from you, including MSNBC and Fox).

      If at this point you are still frightened of this virus, you are being manipulated as a useful idiot by someone with an agenda.

  14. When the vaccine(s) came available, I decided I would wait 6-9 months (or more if necessary) before I got it myself, for several reasons. And they are REASONS; meaning, I’m not just knee-jerk emotionally reacting. Nobody’s business what my reasons are. The point is, last I knew I was a free citizen of the United States, I’ve been an adult for many decades, and I can make up my own mind about how I want to handle an emergency-approved (vs. FDA approved after all the scientific studies that normally take years) vaccine. This virus is the first high-contagion, high-death-rate thing that has occured in a generation or more, and it has many unique traits — an important one being its chameleon character. The most important thing, IMO, is that I can’t get reliable enough information to make a rational choice. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn, and the one inarguable fact I can come up with is nobody knows what the heck the truth is. We have a growing body of information, but depending on who you listen to and what you read on a given day, that information is fluid and contradictory. Even the healthcare practice myself and spouse belong to can’t come up with a unified opinion or approach to help us decide. They just leave us flapping in the wind. So we’re falling back on one of the oldest adages: “When in doubt, don’t.” We’re fortunate to live in a region of low population and low transmissibility, and have a low-contact lifestyle, so we feel comfortable waiting things out and acting prudently when in public. But that prudence has already led to social stigmatizing, reflecting the politicization of the entire subject, which itself generates a strong need to resist conformity pressure. And most definitely to resist government pressure, because they haven’t yet convinced us they know what they’re talking about.

    • The inability to get reliable data is a huge problem… and I’m afraid a lot of people lost trust entirely in the institutions they previously used to guide them when certain events last summer were treated as potentially deadly sources of superspread while others were given a pass because the concerns of the people involved were more important than the virus.

      How anyone can be blamed for skepticism at this point baffles me.

      The problem is that no one is thinking anymore; they are reacting based on fear. Some people’s fears involve dying of Covid. Some people’s fears involve dying of the vaccine. Some people’s fears are based on government encroachment. Scared people can’t have reasonable or useful discussions. They can only do what KKR just did: yell incoherently at people who are scaring them in a desperate bid to feel less afraid for a few heartbeats.

      • Agree about the absence of reliable data. I would add that there has been a lot of fog generated by people who peddle unreliable opinions as if they were data.

        Plus, while I’ve used and been a big fan of the internet before the web existed and am a firm believer that people should be able to share opinions/information/etc. with very few exceptions, just as the web is a place where I’ve discovered a lot of smart and insightful people I wouldn’t have otherwise found, the web is also a place where anybody can post anything for any reason including paranoia, mistrust of anyone or anything, leading people down a digital garden path for some undisclosed reason or just because, for some people, it’s fun to get others all stirred up and watch the results.

        In meatspace, most of us subconsciously (or consciously) steer clear of crazy people because we’ve learned to perceive indicators that they are crazy. Online, crazy people have more ways to disguise their underlying condition/intention, etc., than exist in meatspace.

        If I”m walking down an ordinary street and see some guy arguing with a tree while wearing a Satan is My God sweatshirt, I don’t need to conduct any sort of careful analysis to decide whether I’m going to chat with him or not. I don’t necessarily have access to all those clues online.

          • Yeah, Carolyn. Meatspace is the opposite of cyberspace, a reaction to getting all our information on big and little screens instead of face-to-face. Meatspace is the place we are when our screens go dark, or something like that. Rises mostly out of science fiction, but nowadays science fiction has a problem of NOT being in the future instead of getting run down by the present’s arrival.

  15. This is an example of the “Imaginary fears” that so many people are dealing with. That’s what I was talking about the other day.

    Waterstones employees not expected to police mask wearing

    Reading Dean and Kris blogs during the Pandemic I was constantly chuckling and shaking my head, saying that if everybody was going out into the world as often as they did that the streets would be full of people, but there was no way to say “relax”, they weren’t listening. No one was.

    I’ve mentioned this before, I was born in 1956. As a kid in small town New Mexico, Silver City, we had the whole town line up to take the Polio vaccine, twice. Shots for the adults, sugar cubes for the kids. Other times I remember getting my shots as a kid, twice in one butt cheek, three times in the other, all in the same visit. That was annoying.

    When neighborhood kids got chicken pox, all the kids were deliberately exposed so that we would get chicken pox at the same time. That happened with the mumps as well. I remember I got it twice, first in one side of my neck, then the other. They made sure we were exposed as kids to avoid future problems as adults.

    My older brother got the measles. Mom gave my sister and I a shot of gamma globulin and had us sleep in the same bedroom so that we would be exposed and pick up an immunity. It was only during middle school that they developed a vaccine and we all got our shot, yet lately unvaccinated kids have been getting measles when we thought it was gone.

    Everybody got the vaccination for small pox, everybody I knew had that dimple on their shoulder.

    Mom was part of the TB association, and my sister was the literal poster child for the TB test. Little smiling blond girl not afraid of the test. TB, “consumption”. was the largest cause of death at the turn of the 20th century, and I thought we beat it, but it is still out there.

    After Easter I signed up for the covid vaccine. They sent me to an “event” in Pecos. I got the J&J shot and a month later had a bad reaction, muscle aches, my back hurt like hell, three degrees of fever. The injection site still aches at times during the day. It turns out that the spike protean they created is cytotoxic, so we will have to see what comes of that over time.

    I am concerned about being around young children these days. I have been exposed to so many infections in my life, that most kids today may be at risk because they are not getting vaccinated because parents fear the vaccines will cause autism. The only reason that there was an apparent increase in autism was because doctors were giving kids the same label for common problems. They all lumped together a bunch of different conditions as “autism”, and the news reported on the scary rise of “autism”. When I was a kid, no one had “autism”, they were labeled “mentally retarded” or “slow”. Parents didn’t want their kids called “retarded” so “autism” became the new term, thus the panic and the demands that their “autistic” child be cherished by everyone.

    These are the same parents having their “autistic” child drink bleach because “autism” has now been “linked” to their gut bugs being out of wack.

    google – gut bugs and autism

    To see the articles that triggered the latest fad:

    google – autism and drinking bleach

    Like I said, nobody is listening when I say “relax” it just upsets them.

    BTW, in the time it took me to write this comment the thread doubled in length. Wow.

    • When I started my nurse training I was given every injection you could imagine. When I started my first job three years later, guess what? Another round of tests and top-up jabs.

      So, I received multiple doses of mandatory medication.

      Okay, that’s anecdote, and one person’s story doesn’t trump another person’s story. But I would observe that the discussion over the ‘facts’ etc is one of those areas where discussing the facts is more complicated than just quoting statistics.

      The problem seems to be the lack of trust in our systems. I don’t have an answer to that.

      All I can say is that the certainty that people crave is largely an illusion, and that ‘science’ isn’t about facts per se, but rather having theories about how things work that are useful tools in understanding how the world works. And by world I mean physics, chemistry, and biology.

      But there again, as a former cognitive behavioural therapist I would say that.

      I tried to reason with KKR over her post, but to no avail and ended up being unfriended by her, which hurt. Not enough that I wouldn’t say exactly the same thing again to her namely, ‘Facetiously, I’m stunned that you’re stunned that people are stunned by the belief that writers shouldn’t be political.’

      I beieve that if you write about something that generates a strong affective responses, then it is inevitable that people will react strongly to it.

      • She’s afraid, and so there will never be any reasoning with her until she admits ‘I am being motivated by fear,’ alas. It’s the same reason she’s unfriended you, almost certainly: the existence of a counter-argument forces you to live in the universe where your fears are validated by the existence of people who will do things you think will endanger you. Easier to look away, pretend it’s not happening.

        (Not saying any of this as someone who isn’t motivated by fear, but I have spent my life confronting how fearful I am, so I am unhappily placed to observe when other people are spinning out of control because of panic.)

        • Different people react differently to fear.
          Some let it rule them, some accept it and move on with their life, accepting that the fearsome thing might come to pass…or might not.
          And some shrug it off. Not necessarily daredevils, either. Life is full of dangers, big and small, personal and global.

          As the prayer goes:

          “God grant me the serenity
          to accept the things I cannot change;
          courage to change the things I can;
          and wisdom to know the difference. ”

          ― Reinhold Niebuhr

          Knowing the difference is hard enough but mustering the courage to carry on in the face of danger is far harder. Yet sooner or later, we all find ourselves there.

          • Truth.

            Further: insisting on a (fantastic and impossible) safe world deprives you of the encounters with fear that teach you to overcome it. You can’t develop courage if you insist that nothing should ever harm you.

            • Truth squared.
              Adult life is all about challenges faced.
              Facing disaster is how we learn our mettle.

          • Also, some people live for the experience of skating along the edge of the abyss. Not necessarily the healthiest approach to life, but still…

        • Different people react differently to fear.
          Some let it rule them, some accept it and move on with their life, accepting that the fearsome thing might come to pass…or might not.
          And some shrug it off. Not necessarily daredevils, either. Life is full of dangers, big and small, personal and global.

          As the prayer goes:

          “God grant me the serenity
          to accept the things I cannot change;
          courage to change the things I can;
          and wisdom to know the difference. ”

          ― Reinhold Niebuhr

          Knowing the difference is hard enough but mustering the courage to carry on in the face of danger is far harder. Yet sooner or later, we all find ourselves there.

  16. As a comment not directed at anyone else’s comment in particular — I’m really appreciating that all commenters are acting like grown-ups in this discussion. This is the first place I’ve been able to voice my opinions/experiences and not be slammed, and have been willing/able to read other people’s comments without being emotionally riled up and want to do some slamming. Thank you to all, and keep it up!

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