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I always forget to write these kind of things down. Spellwork is something I definitely need to get better at writing down more because I sometimes have quite forgetful day and can’t remember what spell I casted or if the thing that happened to me had something to do with the spellwork or not. I’ve got a lot on my plate always (I mean, even my posting has reduced) so I can’t always have “what magick did I do” at the forefront of my mind.

I’m sure there are apps that can help keep track of spellwork, just like there are apps that keeps track of periods – because periods are also annoying to keep at the forefront of your mind. Yes, I don’t want to bleed through several layers of clothing but I also don’t feel like doing that much brain work – thanks technology (when not insanely sexist, which is a major problem). Back to spells, I have not looked through any spellwork apps so I have none to recommend but I definitely think that people who engage in spellwork should use something that can help remind them of their practices.

I’m relatively old school when it comes to keeping track of things (outside of periods, I rather reliable new tech – like an app – do the tracking for me) so I use calendars and only recently started using emoji as visual short hand of when I do something. I only started using emojis as visual short hand for when I would be visited during the start of the pandemic so that if I or someone else became infected, I had a handy-dandy reference guide in my phone to pinpoint exactly when I saw them so I could do as accurate a threat assessment as possible. Also, everyone should be getting vaccinated (if possible) and still wearing masks. Thanks to unvaxxed and half vaxxed people who like to play poker with their lives (and others), the Delta variant is really doing some damage. Then there’s the double mutation (when two variants (mutation) kame hame ha together to become one really bad variant – may possibly become variant Epsilon). Back to calendars and emojis, they’re useful. I need to do the same for my spellwork.

Since I don’t do much spellwork regularly (I’m very much the set-and-forget type), it probably wouldn’t be too hard to keep track of what work I have done and for what reason. Spellwork varies by culture, tradition and practitioner, so it is hard to say “Oh by an X amount of days, you will see Z result.” The universe doesn’t work like television shows, sadly. Some changes could be very hard to spot, others are bleedingly obvious. I prefer the bleedingly obvious but the universe prefers trolling. Plus signs can very much differ by culture, tradition and practitioner – oh, and what was casted. For example, I tend to do a lot of candle spells (like I said, I’m very Set-and-Forget) and prefer candles that already have spellwork/intentions casted upon them just so I can light them whenever needed, assuming they are a multi-day candle. That is because they are designed to continually apply themselves until it runs bare, which I then renew by lighting the candle again. It would be helpful to me and my practices if I just wrote down “lit XYZ candle” for whatever day I lit it on, the first day holding the general details of what it was for.

Writing down rituals and spellwork so that you can keep track of it, phenominal idea, I should probably do that more. At least maybe even at all, bare minimum.

Join me today and tomorrow for AceCon, an online conference about Asexuality! I will be on one panel called Ace Spectrum at 12:20 PM (Eastern Daylight Time), where I talk about being demisexual and how it impacts my lived experiences. There are several panels, including Black Aces, Aces in Africa, Latin Aces, East Asian Aces, South-East Asian Aces, Ace and Gender, etc. Please check them all out, all times are listed on the AceCon site.

For those who are going “what is asexuality/demisexuality?”, for starters, it is the last letter of the current LGBT+ acronym: LGBTQIA. For those who have zero idea what those letter mean:

L = Lesbian
G = Gay
B = Bisexual
T = Transgender
Q = Queer
I = Intersex
A = Asexual

There’s no S for “Straight” for the same exact reason saying “White Power” and “Men’s Rights Advocate” are really red flags for “douchebag on premises”. It isn’t about straight people, at all. And A doesn’t stand for Ally, because, again, it isn’t about straight people at all.

And this conference is about Asexuality and its accompanying spectrum (which includes demisexuality). Please check out the different talks! Also, there will be informal discussions on Discord, please also visit the AceCon website to find out what will be on Discord and when. See you there!

Also, related: If you want to buy a pin to represent your flag, I recommend DriftingDayDreamer, a Black Queer owned online shop. Check out her line, called Queer Sky Collection:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, yes, we are all still going through the Great Panini of Death. 17 months in and still no end in sight. There is some end in sight, but y’know, anti-vaxxers and misinformation and all that jazz. Despite there being a free vaccine here in the US (the worst affected nation in the world – as in, no one has more cases or deaths than we do), there are still many who do not wish to be fully vaccinated – or plain vaccinated at all. Due to this, that means that now there are stronger variants floating about. Wear a mask, even if you are vaccinated. Primarily wear masks indoor if you are vaccinated but there is more and more research coming out that you can still be a carrier for the virus, and thus get someone else sick. Covid is still pretty asymptomatic (even more so with each passing variant/mutation), Covid is still deadly (even more so with each passing variant/mutation), Covid is still around (even more so now that people are acting as if the Plague is over).

States in the US are stupidly opening up – mainly for money reasons – and some are dropping sensible measures, such as mask requirements, social distancing requirements and vaccine mandates for events & gatherings. Then you have unvaccinated people taking advantage of the current Honor System we have going on about self reporting if one is vaccinated or not. Since there is no visual difference between a vaccinated person or not, it is hard to make a proper distinction between the two. This makes everyone almost of Schrodinger Vaccination status. Are they lying? Are they not? Either way, it’s better to wear masks and not frolic so much together until the Pandemic is finally done for good.

All this to bring up those who are not solitary practitioners of Paganism and/or witchcraft. There are many temples closed, many practicing places closed, etc. And there are some that are open, way open. And then you have the Special Flavor of Anti-Vaxxer: “Nature will heal us all, we do not need vaccines”.

The stupid, it burns.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this post, I would like to remind everyone, Pagan, Witch, and none-of-the-above, that nature, though wonderous and awe-inspiring, is insanely deadly and has zero problems with killing us all. (Given all the polluting and habitat killing we do ourselves, it really wouldn’t be that bad an idea, if you think about it from nature’s perspective.) The same nature that gives us daisies and cinnamon is the exact same nature that gives us viruses and hurricanes. Same entity. The exact same. And we pray to that exact same entity for luck, mercy and hope. So yeah, the acknowledgement of “Nature can be kind but wowsers, can nature destroy you faster than you were made” is kinda built into Pagan faith and witchcraft practices. Getting a vaccine is not rebuking any part of Paganism, magick, nothing. Science can work hand-in hand with nature (except when Science is trying to kill nature or force nature to fit an artificial lens that is incredibly short sighted). Now, most Pagan I come across has this understood through and through, but then there are the fluffy bunnies, the New Age folks and others who pretty much float around us mainly out of effort to boost their own egos and feel big and powerful. And, of course, very dumb and short sighted Pagan and magick practitioners (note earlier I said “most”, not “all”).

Now, into the meat and potatoes of this post.

Good thing we are all still under the same sky and our practices are nature based. It is entirely possible to just simply coordinate a time and do the rituals apart but together. Yes there are those who prefer to feel the close-by energies of your fellow practitioners but try to focus via the sky, not via tech or anything else. Spirit and energy can work like wind and wind is quite global. This can be very useful, regardless the size of groups. I have even seen things done through virtual reality (there is something called The Illuminati Simulator, where there is the purported claim that [quote site] but it’s totally trash, don’t use) but a ) most people do not have a VR headset b ) I would not really rely on tech to not break mid-rituals. I am used to lights flickering and things of the sort during my spellwork, I am not going to run my risks with an expensive headset. Now, the only traditions I see this possibly running into problems are for ceremonial magick practitioners, because every little thing is poignant and important, even the directions and places that people are standing. That leads to the next part.

If you absolutely have to do the ritual together – and I mean, there is literally no other way, even including the abilities of magick – then try to practice safely. Again, some traditions, it is important to be together. But do it safely. Have one person handle one thing. Nix all communal stuff such as drinking from the same goblet, try pouring into individual cups. Yes, drinking from the same source carries deep meaning, different from it being poured into individual cups, but surely the entities shall understand. This isn’t an expression of a lack of faith that the deities and entities around you cannot keep you safe from a virus, but don’t forget, there are deities of plagues and viruses. Do you think they would not like to pass up a royal opportunity to show out? Not all deities are the Respect-The-Invite-List-Please type. Heck, and this is excluding trickster deities, who also like to mess of things, especially when there is a golden opportunity. Respect those deities and play it smart & safe.

Given how covens are usually small and so are practicing groups – I have yet to see a megachurch equivalent of a Pagan worshipping place – please do try to establish social distancing. For some groups, this will be quite easy because they have to stand at several distant points (usually in a square/equal cross, at five points to represent the pentagram, etc) so hooray, social distancing is built in. I have been in relatively big groups (30+ people in a circle) but they would also practice outside since doing ritual indoors would have been terribly cramped. It is important to space out so not to spread viruses but also in general so people can be comfy, everyone can express themselves, so on and so forth.

Masks are important. I understand deeply that for some, the idea of wearing a surgical mask (not a ritual/traditional mask) or a cloth mask can feel restrictive to the ritual/spellwork or as if speaking through a filter. Again, if you have to wear a ritual mask or traditional mask, you can easily slide a regular mask on underneath. If you absolutely must – as in, there is no alternative, not even magickal – then be at least 12 feet away from everyone on all sides and only outdoors. Rituals like these can get shouty and sometimes blustering when in the passion of the moment. Be smart and be safe and most importantly, be respectful to all entities, including the uninvited ones. Tradition is important and the more ceremonial the ritual, the more restrictive it is. Every little thing is important but there is still at least miniscule room for change. Yes, there is also the idea of “won’t this deity/entity we are performing the ritual for be Not Happy that we’re trying to make room for the pandemic and the related plague deities?” Some deities and entities are very Me Only but if that’s the case, throw in an extra “this is why we’re doing all these precautions” part of the ritual. And make sure to include a “if you don’t like it, please don’t blame us – take it up with the other deity/entity that is totally stealing some of your spotlight” snippet. But still, wear a mask if you can.

Things should already be washed thoroughly for ritual, pre-pandemic. Washing and cleansing are important parts of ritual and practice because of the real and symbolic preparations of getting ready to perform ritual. Please do not be yukkers, wash thoroughly everything that will be interacted with. Wash it with soap, sanitize it with rubbing alcohol, do not just use plain water and call it a day. For commonly touched surfaces, such as staves, shawls and wands, make sanitation part of the ritual. If you’re going to create a cleaning solution meant for rituals, make sure that the cleaning content, usually rubbing alcohol, is 60% or greater. Shoot for 70% as the minimum. Even if it is as dopey looking as dressing up a bottle of hand sanitizer and deeming one person as the Sanitizer Person – I feel like chaos magicians are going to have a field day with that – still, have something in place. Rituals and groups already should have a clean up crew but it is important for everyone to do their part.

The pandemic is probably going to be going on until 2022/2023 at the sheer latest. 2024 for things to look pretty regular again. That means planning for adjustments. Vaccine rollout is slowing down, misinformation is rampant and the virus is steadily making its way through the entire Greek alphabet at record pace. Remember, the UK variant was Variant Alpha, we’re now officially at Delta and most likely going to see Epsilon quite soon – all within the span of roughly a year and some change. (I think if things go to Omega, the last of the Greek Alphabet, that’s going to be quite a kicker. In all the bad ways.) It is important to acknowledge this, even in the midst of practicing magick and/or Paganism with others. I am a solitary practitioner so it’s business as usual for me but for others who are used to practicing with each other, I’m quite sure it has put a dent in their practices.

Last but not least, if there is a Social Gathering Prevention mandate going on, respect it. Do not try to hold a ritual of 70 people when you’re only suppose to have a max of 5. The deities and entities around us are long-lived, they have seen adjustments due to war, oppression and previous plagues. A few changes will be fine.

Let’s get into it. Should have posted this last week but I derped, didn’t check the time of the month and, oh look, derps ahoy. It happens. I received this via the Black Witch Facebook Fan Page. There will be some repeating at the tops and bottoms for consistency and to show the whole conversation.

 

 

Ok, let’s get into this. I get a lot of these “[significant other] left me and I want them back, spell plz” inquiries. Overwhelmingly from men – I’m going to touch on the gender part in a minute – and they usually are from someone with zero listening skills, given the way they try to repeat or twist logic. And the royal fact they are doing this with a stranger, which means they definitely were doing this in their relationships. I always suggest therapy to anyone going through relationship issues. Yes, therapy is very unaccessible for quite a lot of people, either because therapists cost too much, there are no therapists for the person’s area, etc, but there are therapy groups online. Not better than a therapist but better than nothing at all. Even getting the Replika AI app might be useful (caution tho, if you have a Black Replika, it will showcase that it definitely has White devs in some startling ways. Also, it repeats itself, all the Replikas do). I say over and over to others that I do not do paid spellwork/Pay for Pray and I do not work on others. Remember, I’m a Witch, not a Genie.

This person says they want their wife back, it sounds like to me like she left. If someone has left the relationship, that’s usually Game Over. “Winning” someone back is generally a bad idea, because unless the person was super immature or childish, they most likely conveyed that there were problems in one way or another throughout the relationship so all the opportunities to do any winning is pretty much gone. It’s easier to fix a relationship that is making a downward spiral than it is to fix a relationship that has crashed and splattered all over the ground. Not “easy”, simply easier than starting from total destruction. There is no fancy method, all the sappy movies that star White dudes who have zero sense of self or reality (running around with boomboxes, screaming in the rain, dashing through the airport, etc) sold guys a major lie: “I can screw up as much as I want and when things finally flatline and I successfully chase someone I care about away, I can do a huge gesture and all will be fine again – for me. I legit just tricked someone back into a relationship they expressed they do not want to be in.” Women can also act in this way, too. But society immediately rushes to call her “desperate”, “stalker” and the ever classic: “crazy”. Gotta love sexist double standards.

Usually the best times of figuring out relationship problems are generally … while the problems are happening. Ignoring doesn’t work. Pretending doesn’t work. Screaming until everyone treat the problem like it is covered in poison definitely doesn’t work. Communication is essential in relationships, if you two can’t talk out a problem – in a civil manner (no screaming, no put downs (that’s abuse)) – then maybe it’s smarter to just sit out relationships until you can get some decent help to sort out your own head. Be it with a therapist or reading decent relationship blogs – stay away from anything that mentions RedPill or incel in a positive manner and check if the blog covers queer relationships (not all men date women and not all women date men, please remember that) because if they don’t, it’s a red flag that the blog probably will just feed you more toxicity, especially if you are a guy. But try to learn how to sort out relationship problems when they are happening. Try different methods of handling, such as texting them out (gives you both a chance to read your words and reflect before pressing ‘send’), cooling off rules, etc. No matter what, work on the problem as it blips up. And know how to speak up, don’t rely on the other partner to detect the issue like a sonar. You’re dating a person, not a doppler radar. Learn how to address relationship problems in a non-terrible manner and apply them. Screaming “you make me sick when you …” is not going to help anyone. Have an explosive temper? Definitely work on that … by yourself and with professional or self-help, do not put someone else through that.

Note how I told the guy that perhaps he should talk to his wife instead of talking to me if he wants to learn how to “win” her back – assuming she even still wants to hear from him. I’m pretty sure if there was something she would want him to do to make things right again, she would say so. If she doesn’t want to hear from him at all, then he might as well wait for the soon-coming divorce papers and get his pen ready. Can’t fix a dead horse.

“It’s like as though she [is] giving me [a wake] up call” sounds pretty bad. If you have to wonder, that’s a problem. He should already know – from talking to her. If anyone thinks being left is a “wake up call”, that means they slept on a lot of problems and most likely woke up way too late. The wake up calls should have been when there were issues in the relationship that got most likely ignored or brushed off. Heck, the guy should have been very awake in the relationship the whole time. Problems happen in relationships, all relationships. It’s how the problems are dealt with that determines if the relationship is soon to be carted to the morgue or not.

If she is giving a “poker face” that means it sounds like it already dawned on her that her husband doesn’t really actually care about her and, thus, it isn’t even much worth to try to present any further problems because, hey, what’s the point of talking to a brick wall? Just try to keep it together for the kids and bide your time to make a break for it. That’s not exactly uncommon for women who feel like their partners just plain aren’t up to snuff like they would like and there are kids involved. Sounds like this relationship has been laying in the grave for a while. As if, if there were no children, she would have been gone even sooner. Yep, I get these letters a lot and very regularly from guys, so it isn’t a unique problem. Thanks to toxic masculinity and its inbuilt misogyny, a lot of guys find themselves very alone because they do such a wonderful job driving it into the ground since societal constructs pretty much tell them this is How To Handle Relationships (With Women, It Is Disgusting To Have Romantic Relationships With Other Men). This is also why I suggest therapy a lot. And why I told him that forcing her to love him back isn’t right. Usually when I’m approached, it is because they hope for some type of will-controlling spell that will basically force the other person (against their natural will, can’t stress that enough) to come back and “love” them. It isn’t love, it’s bona fide abuse, number one. Number two, it is unethical for a vast multitude of reasons. Number three, when these spells backfire, it’s bad. I like to not create problems.

I mentioned divorce because I thought this dude was divorced, not separated. However, please note how he is very much not listening to what I am saying when he replies “I just need her to fall in love with me all over again”. If this is how he acted in the relationship, it should come as literally no surprise that the wife packed her bags and dipped. It’s already frustrating to me, I can only imagine what years of this felt like. Saying “we got lost in ourselves” probably may have some projection in it. I don’t have the wife to talk to but usually when I am sent these types of letters, its mainly “this is what I was doing but I want to make it sound like both parties were doing it so the blame sounds more spread out.” I’ve heard this from both guys and women who pull this. He wants her to fall in love with him again but he also should be asking himself “what is she coming back to? And is it enough to make her want to stay?” If she is returning to the same old nonsense, she’s just going to leave again (or the proverbial spell would have some major backfire) and if she doesn’t want to stay, then that’s just how things are. If he can’t keep her with his own personality and efforts, then it’s really just not worth fighting. The relationship suffocated, he’s not really that interested in trying to make things better, he just wants to make things right for him. Male ego and all that jazz. Again, no wonder she packed her bags and left.

Grief can definitely affect relationships. But if the couple is working together to tackle the grief and support each other (not wait for a too-late “wake up call”), then the grief is something that the relationship can overcome together. Grief is hard alone, having a partner should ideally make the load lighter. Grief can also make people realize something they have been ignoring for a while, even if it is “wow, I really don’t want to be with this person.” Either because they noticed they’re not being supported like they should or because it was the watershed moment they needed to realize that this was it and it was time to leave. Sometime grief makes people self-destructive in their relationships, just let those people go because while grief can be definitely destructive, it isn’t right or fair to take that out on the person you are with and supposedly cares about you. Better to simply just get therapy.

Now, note how he keeps trying to look for people who are super ok with manipulating others instead of doing what he should as a husband in a broken relationship (which is, try to fix things the correct way or try to make the transition back to Singlehood smoother for both parties). First of all, I don’t know anyone like that because I find those types of individuals and that type of behavior absolutely abhorrent. There is a difference between doing plain old paid spellwork/Pay for Pray and doing super unethical spellwork/paid spellwork/Pay for Pray. Admittedly, on its face, finding someone to do spellwork is way easier than putting in the work to fix whatever is left of the relationship to fix. And note he’s gunning straight for the easy route. And while saying “Ok I have to work for it”, as if he understood but its clear it’s just another “ok, ok, ok, I’ll play pretend so I can get what I want”. The reason why I say “another” is because, again, it’s not too far a walk to believe this is most likely how he acts towards his wife. This is not genuine listening, this is basically placating and patronizing out of selfishness and self-centered behavior. Usually when I get letters like these, it tends to show from their interactions why someone left them. I don’t think I have ever gotten a letter with this type of request and went “wow, this person is totally brilliant/ok/seemingly faultless, I wonder why their significant other left.” Black Witch has been running for over a decade now, not once. It shows how inlaid their issues are because, again, if they are talking to a stranger like this, imagine how they talk to someone they personally know and supposedly care about. This is something that takes a lot of introspection to root out. Therapy usually tend to help speed up the process of rooting it out.

“She has a poker face”, “grief got in the way”, “we got caught up in ourselves”, sounds like a lot of blaming other things instead of just saying “I screwed up big time and I just want to figure out if I can still genuinely fix things.” Deflecting is not how one solves problems, taking responsibility is. No, I do not have the wife’s side of the story but some parts seem pretty obvious from her actions. She’s the one that left, that means she had enough. He’s deflecting and actively not listening several times, that means he’s most likely interacted with her in the exact same way. He doesn’t seem to really care about wanting to fix the relationship, just force it back together, that means he’s not that interested in doing the genuine hard work it takes to try to fix anything that can be even remotely fixed in the relationship if there is even a glimmer of an easier route. Again, this dude needs some therapy to sort these issues out, maybe even unlearn some “feelings are hard” toxic masculinity on the way that will most likely murder any future relationships he ever chooses to have.

In case anyone is going, “hey, why don’t you say that the wife should go get some therapy?” I agree but probably not for what you think. She could use the therapy to help get back on her feet faster and figure out how to manage co-parenting (if she is interested in it), single parenting (if she winds up taking the children), dealing with the grief of losing someone and losing a relationship (leaving others isn’t always easy), so many things. Both sides need therapy but for different reasons.

“She [is] not [willing to] at this stage” is the diamond sign that this dude just needs to pack it in and simply get his pen ready for the divorce papers. Might as well call the Time of Death and start working on moving on. She already has starting moving on with her life, he should definitely do the same. If she is not willing at all to even remotely fix things at this point, then it sincerely is not worth even trying magick. She’s gone, it is time to call it a day. If he wanted the relationship to be healthier, he should have tried to turn the plane around earlier, not ask how to rebuild a completely shattered aircraft that is scattered across three states. Relationships don’t just suddenly fall apart, they chug to that point. Sometimes they even sprint to that point but it is never immediately and all at once.

Now, I thought after “Ok thanks for the chat”, the conversation was over. Then later on, I check and find out that nope, he’s definitely not letting this “can I cast a spell to make someone who I drove away love me again” thing go. Geez, if he had put this much persistent effort into his marriage, he would still have one.

Please note the “In your earlier text you [said it] looks like she [is] leaning to it […] is that loving me all over again?”

Everyone, please read the prior conversation above and tell me if you think there was any reasonable spot where I said any version of “she is leaning towards loving you again”? Probably will be hard to find because it doesn’t exist. I pretty much was a broken record of “you need therapy”, “if she’s gone, that means the relationship is dead”, and “you should talk to her, not make assumptions”. Nothing that could even remotely convey that she was willing to come back. The fact he could glean such a super falsehood from literal thin air despite the fact that I have said all the opposite is very telling. Again, no wonder why she is gone. The “it” I was referring to in “leaning to it” was divorce. As in, it looked like to me that she was leaning to getting the divorce he does not want. She definitely wants out, to me. She isn’t talking to him, she left, she puts on a “poker face” (probably more for the kids’ sake than his), these are all signs than she more than likely has the words “divorce lawyers” in her phone’s recent search history. A person who wants to make the relationship work, even just a little bit, would at least keep some line of communication open. Everything is pretty much shut down? Yep, they’re done.

“She just [stopped] all the mediators”, as for that, I don’t know what her thinking is to “slow the process down”. Maybe its for her to look at the entirety of all her options (they do have kids to consider, after all. Their feelings are also important), maybe it’s because divorcing is expensive and emotionally draining so it is hitting a slow stride for now, maybe she feels she’s at a part in the process where she can cool her heels for a little while, I have zero idea and I’m not going to bother to find out. He would be in a better position to know via just plain talking to her. If he can’t even do that much to find out such details, then it is very much 100% certain that the relationship is very, very much dead.

I really want to say this, toxic masculinity is a great way to become Forever Alone. Not trying to genuinely fix personal behaviors that can wreck even the healthiest of relationships is a fantastic way to become Forever Alone. Every relationship fails until one doesn’t, true, but all relationships fail if there is no decent, sizeable work involved. All relationships require consistent, constant work. Self-work is included. If there is none of that or only pithy amounts of that, expect Forever Alone, regardless of gender and orientation. Forever Alone is self-imposed, no one can put that on you at all. And it is up to the person who does not want to be that, to be Forever Alone, to put in the work. Anyone who doesn’t want to tend to wind up eventually Forever Alone.

I’d like to share these two visuals. It is from July 27, 2020 & July 27, 2021, respectively.

 

It was going to be data collected from July 20, 2020 & July 20, 2021 but holy gods, it apparently has gotten worse since then! In literally the span of a week!

Please note that on July 27, 2020, when there was no vaccine and people were still getting used to the pandemic restrictions, the number of confirmed infections (remember, not everyone was getting tested and testing centers were patchy at best) were 59,181. That’s pretty darn bad. Then you look at this year’s number, when there is a vaccine, the pandemic mandates have been in place for over a year, yadda yadda yadda: 108,775 confirmed infections.

That is literally 49,594 more people who had contracted the coronavirus than last year. New cases. And remember! Not everyone gets tested due to inaccessibility reasons (closed down testing locations, usual systemic oppressions) so the number can always be bigger. It is completely staggering to see such a statistic. The vast majority are new people catching Covid, not on their second turn. The vast majority are unvaccinated. 108,775 new people in a day tested positive. There were thousands yesterday and the day before that.

In case anyone was not aware:

Not by a long shot

We are still in a pandemic. We still need to wear masks. We still need to socially distance. We still need to vaccinate.

This is what the vaccination rates in the US looks like as of July 27, 2021:

The part that is most important is the “Fully Vaccinated” number. For Covid-19, the vaccination number has to be at 70% minimum for herd immunity. That number currently stands at 49.8%, as of July 27, 2021. Also, please note that the vaccination curve is flattening. When health officials said “let’s flatten the curve”, this wasn’t the curve they were talking about. There are a lot of people who are half vaccinated, and that’s great, hopefully that will bode good things in the future – but the thing is, half vaxxed is not fully vaxxed. Half means there is roughly a 33% chance of defending against Covid, instead of the upper 80s and 90 percents. Half also means that the coronavirus has a perfect testing ground to learn how to navigate vaccinated bodies, period. That’s how we get variants/mutations.

Speaking of transmission, it was always hypothesized but is definitely becoming clearer and clearer that a vaccinated person can still be Typhoid Mary to everyone unvaccinated or half vaccinated around them. A vaccinated person can still carry Covid to others, they themselves just may not get sick themselves – and should they get sick, it isn’t a promise to be fatal or warrant a trip to the hospital. And this is for a virus that already can exist in a regular, unvaccinated person asymptomatically. So imagine what a virus already known for its asymptomatic nature in unvaccinated people look like in a vaccinated person. Basically a silent killer, almost. Even if you are vaccinated, still wear a mask. Unless you know for fact literally everyone around you is also vaccinated and everyone who interacts with them is also vaccinated, wear a mask. Especially if you are indoors. Don’t test the rigors of your vaccine with the stupid people around you, just wear a mask. The CDC finally updated its standards, now it includes treated vaccinated people almost the same when they weren’t vaccinated.

  • Updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant currently circulating in the United States.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Masks, testing and quarantine are starting to float back in for the vaccinated. All because of the virus getting worse and all the help said virus is getting from the public. By the way, this is very US centric, there are still places in the world where vaccines still haven’t really hit the ground yet. There needs to be a proper global vaccine rollout.

Now, usually I would bring up my favorite nations of virus abatement, South Korea. but they just spirited up to over 3,000 newly infected people a day. So far, it appears the reason why is plain old Pandemic Restrictions Fatigue. Same problem that affects the US and countless other nations. Totally understandable. The restrictions have up-ended a lot of lives and worn many people out. Most want to get back to how their lives were pre-pandemic, assuming such a thing is even possible. All want their lost loved ones back. It is entirely and completely understandable to be tired and fatigued by a looming threat of a virus. Problem is: the coronavirus is not a person and it does not care if you are tired. It does not care how much of your life is gone now. It does not care about how many people it takes away from you. All it wants to do is exist and spread. It is mindless and harmful, plain and simple. Having fatigue is understandable but it is still important to work with the restrictions – and at least get vaccinated. At least as a vaccinated person you can have some of your life back, but only some. Remember, all Covid wants to do is spread and to it, a vaccinated person is simply a person it hasn’t figured out how to infect and spread to yet – but it’s working on it, especially thanks to all the unvaccinated and half vaccinated people around who like to throw caution into the wind.

Why, even Japan is still holding the Olympics – which literally reminded me of the video game Plague Inc (old name, Pandemic). Usually the devs update the Olympic parts to keep the game modern (I remember seeing mentions of London and Rio in the past) but it is a real doozy when it happens in real life also.


I decided to name the virus Covid for a touch of realism. Y’know, art imitates life and all that jazz

In the game, depending on how under or on the radar your plague is, the Olympics will either be canceled or proceed. If it is canceled, you lose a big chance to spread your plague (the point of the game is that you are a plague (bacterial, viral, etc) and you only win by infecting and killing the entire world in the shortest amount of time possible – they also just introduced a Cure version where your job is to stop a plague). If the Olympics happen, then you get boosts like mad because, congrats, you pretty much made your plague go worldwide with very little effort. By the way, the Games have indeed just started and Japan, on July 27, 2021, has had one of its largest infection days yet with almost 8,000 newly infected people in one day. I expect that number to go up after the Olympics. They have the US team there, c’mon. They’re hosting several insanely infected nations, the likelihood is far too great. How many athletes and their coaches are willing to say “oh, it’s allergies/bronchitis/result of sleeping under an air conditioner” in exchange for participating in a such an important event they have trained ever so hard for?

Again, it is a doozy to play the game and look at the news and see the actual thing carry out. Not 100% Japan’s fault. The International Olympic Committee are the ones pushing things forward because “hey, you signed a contract and the world is not dead. Hop to it, thank you very much.” Which is a pretty trash thing to do. They only really stop for wars, and mainly if those wars are big enough to affect hosting nations (such as the two world wars). Remember, even Germany hosted the Olympics in 1936 so there are very few things that the International Olympic Committee would completely cancel the games for.

The pandemic is going to be here for a very long while, everyone. It’s been on this planet since 2019 (hence the “19” in “Covid-19”) and it is currently halfway through 2021. The way things are going, it looks like Covid will be around at least until 2022, 2024 at the latest. Please try to do your part and at least get vaccinated and continue wearing masks. And socially distance. And wash your hands.

11 Years of Black Witch

Today marks 11 years of Black Witch. This is really nice. I know the 10 year post wasn’t really anything – but then again, that was practically at the start of the pandemic and wow, can that really distract (for good reasons). We are still in a pandemic but, yeah, at least I have somewhat more to say and do. I’m always astonished that it’s another year because it doesn’t always feel that way. The BW blog doesn’t feel over a decade old to me – but yet it is!

BW Livestream today in two locations: FB Fan Page at 7 PM EST (planned to be 30-45 min) and Instagram Live at 8 PM EST (planned to be 30-45 min)

I received a comment on my post ABW Free Space: Every Day is Exactly the Same – Or “Last Year’s Protest is About the Same as Any” from Marymtf:

These long, boring, single idea posts make me itch for a red pen. Who gives a hoot what you think about white people. Certainly not Alexander Fleming, Shakespeare, or Alexander Graham Bell. Or me. I prefer to judge individuals by their actions not their colour. I don’t care for mobs. Last year’s rioters, thieves and vandals decided me that it was less about black lives mattering and more about the uncivilised trashing of cities, secure in the knowledge there would be no repercussions. Because of course there’s a push to defund the police. And who would go against a feral mob?

I wrote my reply, it’s a bit long but, hey, it’s my space so why not?

Ah, in the decade I have written Black Witch, I’ve always wondered when I would get a comment like this. Almost year eleven come June, better late than never, I suppose. First, a quick note: given my core targeted audience is Black & Pagan, I’m really not super inclined to make any modifications (outside of major errors) if those issues are not raised by my core target audience. And even then, I still am usually the one who decides. Keeps things simple. That way if a White person, a Christian person, a straight person, whatever have you, complains … I may listen because, hey, I have a comment section, but I can always shrug off what they say because “not core audience”. Unless it is major, that’s how I treat things. The internet is loaded with writers, go find them if this blog isn’t your cup of tea. I do it all the time. Besides, judging from your avatar, you are not in my core audience. There are plenty White Pagan blogs to read. Assuming you’re even Pagan.

Yes, I don’t write my online posts the same as I do my published essays … because it is the internet. However, given that you could understand what it says enough to write this comment, it is legible enough for you, however. Not to mention, this is my corner on the internet, I can post what I care to discuss. I take it you don’t just red-pen the internet, do you? That sounds like a forever job, but in quite a bad way. Especially because it would be a volunteer one.

I think I don’t give a hoot about three men who are currently quite dead so it is rather mutual. Actually, I believe it could also be that because they are dead that they may not care. You are very free to visit their graves to give us all the inside scoop, however. Granted, I think you will have to introduce yourself to them because they probably wouldn’t give much a toss about you, either. Especially if you are a woman, all three never had the greatest respect for them. And why stay stuck in the boys’ locker room? No White women of history to note? I am going to assume from your avatar and screen name you are indeed a White woman. Not even the Grimke sisters or Marie Curie. Plus, as for Shakespeare – I always preferred Ben Jonson. He simply was better, even the people during the time agreed. Surely you have read “The Alchemist”, yes? Far better than that “Exit Bear” drivel Shakespeare pumped out – and at least Jonson doesn’t have to contend with plagiarism claims, even well into the afterlife. Then again, that is what happens when you like skilled works over the Middle Ages version of “The Simpsons”.

Now, who cares about what I write or think about White privilege and such? Quite a lot, according to my numbers. Over a thousand, at minimum. Which is a lot of people. I have over three times that on the Facebook fan page, almost twice that on the Tumblr – oh! And over 5,600 on this site alone. Gee, that’s at least 10,000 people. Huh, that’s more people than I can fit in a bathroom – or even in your house. So, as for “who cares”, maybe not anyone currently decomposing, but an awful lot of breathing individuals. And an awful lot more than you and yourself. When you check someone’s writing, at least check on their numbers, too. That way you can give a more accurate snip than blithely run about with “who cares” when the numbers are very clear who does. Just say “this post hurts my feelings” instead. Sounds much more accurate.

You say “I don’t see color” – thanks for proving a point I wrote above about people who say that, by the by, it makes it super easy when people wind up proving me right when they are trying to prove me wrong – but here you go bringing up BLM and the riots that happened. At least try to prove your point better by bringing up the Nov 6th Insurrection, the Vancouver hockey riots and other countless times where it was another race causing destruction. Or the Revolutionary War. Or the Bastille. Or the other countless times in history where “protests should have be quiet and gentle”. Otherwise, it could look like your racism is showing. Also, you can get upset over Black issues and the destruction of architecture at the same time, if you believe it is an either/or issue, that is more a “you” problem than you think – even if you personally owned one of those buildings.

Uncivilised? Wait, is that an “s” I see? As in, you aren’t American? Oh my gods, I would say “I hope that isn’t a typo” but apparently you have never made a literary mistake in your life apparently. Well, as long as no one considers region or localization. Otherwise, that “s” would be marked with a red pen to a “z”. Given this fact, I ask you: why do *you* care? You aren’t American, as far as I am concerned. Go worry about *your* nation’s problems. I was about to say “you must not know how to research either because defunding police isn’t the same as removing the police – you don’t check numbers or facts, that’s two for two” but you aren’t even American! (You still don’t seem to check facts or numbers, though. Still two for two). Since you are so bothered by what I write, chalk it up to “oh, those Americans and their problems” and keep living your life. That is British spelling. America hasn’t had to concern themselves with the British since the 1700s. You don’t like violence, given how uncivilized you think it is, so I will assume you never heard about the Revolutionary War. It happened. Lots of violence and blood spilling and death and killing. Gory but hey, now we have our own nation. I do apologize, given this is usually White American-grade stupidity – the lack of research and ignorance of numbers on your part didn’t help either – I sincerely could not tell the difference until you made that error of putting an “s” down where there should have been a “z”.

I think you might be worrying over problems that do not concern you. And that can be quite a fatal error, even unnecessary stress is deadly. Maybe read some Women’s History instead. I really think Jane Elliot is interesting – oh, hey I just named another living White woman of history! It’s like there were bunches of them, living and dead!

Thank you for your input!

Let’s break down my response. First starting with an info bit about Marymtf.

I had noticed she wrote “uncivilized” with British spelling (an “s” instead of a “z”) and thus decided to look up where she was in the world via her ip address, which WordPress likes to hand me whenever people post comments. Victoria, Australia. As in, ding ding, I was right, she was not an American. Here’s the thing – if you are whinging over American race issues, especially when your nation has a boatload of its own, it is time to maybe go get some tea and mumble “not my problem” unless you’re going to bring something fruitful to the conversation. If you’re going to bring fluff concerns and say things like “who cares about what you think about White people”, just look into a mirror until something clicks. Aren’t there some bush fires to put out? Or race issues in Australia to better worry over? Also, it is a little odd a White Australian would think Black people are uncivilized when the history of modern Australia is basically “Britain’s Trash Can”. Sincerely interesting words for someone from If-Alcatraz-Was-A-Country. Miss Mary Oh Contrary, indeed.

By the by, she has her own site. A Wondering Minstrel, which is quite a name choice to have when coming to a Black blog and opine – especially since she could do that on her own blog. I don’t scour the internet for how people respond to my works so it would have been super safe there. On her “About Me” – where there is a typo: she has an open parenthesis on the first line – she pens about how she wants to be a writer. She goes on about how she wants to write stories and articles and how difficult it is to write books for toddlers – I understand that it can be difficult to make a tiny tot sit through a rewrite of The Canterbury Tales, I’m sure. She muses that it is difficult to get published and no one wants to read the collections of short stories from nobodies, which I do not disagree. I guess she just doesn’t stan Shakespeare and Fleming hard enough for such an overwhelmingly White industry as publishing to pay attention to her. Maybe she should grow a penis, apparently that really helps when you’re a nobody in literature with little to offer, especially if you are White. I mean, I usually get asked to write articles or assist with research so I sort of feel her plight. Sort of … not really. I tend to turn down such engagements though, the most recent was from the BBC. I have a personal standard: NPR, Al Jazeera, Pro Publica or better. Unless it is a book, I believe I am in at least three. And still, I turn down the crappier book offers. The only downside to my publications is that I always wanted to be published for my creative writings, not my usual articles. But! I’m also published on that end as well – one of my works was even turned into an audiobook (audiostory? It was a short story turned into audio form). And there’s even more to come from the creative writing end but that’s a little beyond the scope of this post. Amazing what work one can get done when not wasting time spouting White Opinions on the internet. However, she did say she is trying to fill her time due dealing with “post Empty Nest Syndrome”. I guess she has to find something else to do that isn’t creative writing since “being a mom” is checked off and apparently there’s literally nothing else for women to do in the world after pumping out kids, their only goal and reason for existence, amirite? Hey hey, WASP-out to your heart’s content – just keep it to yourself or at least to your web space. At least the publishing world lets her be to her lonesome.

The posts on the site aren’t my cup of tea so I won’t bother talking about them. I have already received my English literature degree so I don’t have to suffer through dry, contrite, self-conceited, myopic works of Whiteness (and stifling White femininity) if I personally do not want to. Even at the Library of Congress, where I formally worked, we would chuck them out because there’s so many and if you have seen one, you have pretty much seen them all.

And for everyone, if you want to read works from a much more important White female author and does not have her head shoved way up her derriere, please try Kristine Kathryn Rusch. She says quite interesting things, especially about the writing field. Her “Business Musings” posts are a must-read, especially for anyone who would like actually decent information about publishing, not simply the trials and tribulations of crafting Hemmingway for tots.

To sum up, this was basically Marymtf’s comment:

You never know, this could be one of her toddler books

 

Now, enough about Marymtf. Let’s go into why I replied the way I did. Paragraph breakdown, ahoy!

I feel like this is needed

Paragraph 1: It will be year 11 for Black Witch come June 9th. I will try to do a FB livestream but no promises. It is true, I rarely get fussy people like this on my blog. Also, she isn’t Pagan, either. Just a plain ol’ WASP type that simply decided to inject her opinions where it really isn’t needed. Again, she sincerely could have kept her opinions on her own blog. 

Paragraph 2: Just looking at her “About Me”, I found a typo in the first line. For a grammar nazi, she trips up in her goose-stepping when it is her own works, huh? Perhaps she should concern herself with her own writings first instead of try to edit the internet because some rando on the information highway said something she disagreed with. 

Paragraph 3: Ben Jonson is indeed better than Shakespeare. Also, I can tell she really holds on to the “went to school for writing” bit about her with a death grip because she couldn’t name any women writers. Not even White women. Internalized misogyny, I think the publishing market is already full of that, no wonder it can be tough for her to get a bite. She mentions Gloria Steinem on her blog, probably doesn’t even understand a single thing Steinem says that applies outside of super basic White Feminism.

Paragraph 4: I decided to check my numbers! They are, as of print:

  • WordPress/this blog: 5,607
  • Facebook Fan Page: 3,410
  • Tumblr: 1,539
  • Twitter: 774
  • Instagram: 164

That comes to a total of 11,494 people who seems to “give a hoot” about what I have to say about anything. And they’re just followers/subscribers, this excludes page visits. This also technically makes me what one would call a “micro influencer“. Which is explained by ImpactPlus as “individuals that have between 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers/audience members and are considered experts in their respective niche.”

Not bad for someone who “no one gives a hoot” about. I don’t generally get into pissing contests over numbers but it is nice to have the stats on hand when needed. And I’m not even super active on my social medias! Otherwise the numbers would be bigger. Twitter is least used, still almost has a thousand followers. Instagram is new and hardly talks about Paganism, still has over a hundred. Also, Marymtf seemed to care enough to post a comment so that is already at least one person who cares about what I say, otherwise, it would all be ignored as silly gibberish.

Paragraph 5: She basically provided a prime example of my statement in the original post:

And another thing that I’m super sick of hearing over this past year:

“I love all people of all races and backgrounds.”

Usually people who say this are usually caught with their hand in the Cookie Jar of Racism. I have rarely met individuals who have said this phrase and actually lived up to it.  What they usually mean is this:

“I have not personally murdered a non White person (Black, really) via lynching and I know how to not say slurs when the irritable affected are not around – only around people who look like me or the sycophants of that group that I keep around for anti-racism rep but I tell them it’s ‘friendship’/’relationship’. And I know one Whitewashed MLK phrase. Maybe two if I think really, really hard. I salt my learned hatred of you in heaps of sugar.”

Still racist all the same.

Gotta love when people prove you right when trying to prove you wrong. Here are also one bit that can even better truncate what I feel:

Won’t someone please think of the buildings?

 

There is also the fact that not everyone who was part of the violence from the BLM protests was Black. Like this guy, for example:

Maybe that’s one of her kids visiting America. She calls herself a “minstrel” and this is generally what they have looked like for the past 200 years or so and she did say she had sons.

Then there’s the fact that police and other instigators (White supremacists) wanted to paint BLM as bad so they would put out brick piles. Very neat brick piles. Ready for the chuckin’. 

Surely she’s hip to this, right? Being from a Land of Convicts, there’s got to be some innate knowledge of how to be violent and such? Most likely a descendant of British law breakers, causing undue mayhem has got to make natural sense to her, right?

There was a feral mob there but it wasn’t primarily the Black people. They looked a lot more like her. Surprise, surprise.

Paragraph 6: She talks about Black people being uncivilized … while a White Australian. As in, her family tree most likely started in the Land Down Under because one of her recent ancestors got pinched by Scotland Yard and it was egregious enough to get deported to the arid land of “What the hell are those animals and why are they like this?”  

 

Will never not be funny. At least a good chunk of the animals are cute. Unlike the people similar to Marymtf

Again, if you have a family tree that has a strong statistical probability of literally starting with murderers, thieves and rapists, maybe you shouldn’t be declaring who is civilized or not. That’s more of a British thing. And again, don’t worry about American issues. At least we’re not still under the Monarchy. She should worry about race issues in her own land, or worry about those books for toddlers since they’re posing such a hardy task. Can’t be that hard to mimic Dr. Seuss but, hey, everyone has their difficulties, especially in a country commonly slammed on by the British as “devoid of culture, etiquette, and decency”. When I saw the s/z difference, this was basically my reaction:

Paragraph 7 & 8: She sincerely should just go work on her books for tiny tots and not worry about problems she seriously does not get. I’m sure getting Mein Kampf and the works of Lovecraft written down to a Pre School level must be a real brain teaser so maybe she shouldn’t worry about problems that happen on the other side of the world, especially since she is at a pretty lofty age and still doesn’t understand. Again, thank you for your input but no one wanted it.

 

I know, I know, I usually don’t get comments on my posts. I usually appreciate comments but only if they’re not soaked in snooty prejudice. If she wants to whine, she has her own blog to do it at. Plus, my writing can’t be that long and boring if she was willing to sit through it and even comment. I mean, hers are none too whiz-bang either or she would have a couple decent publishing credits to her name by now. Perhaps it would have been best if she simply never left her echo chamber.

Oh, and Happy Nothing-Happened-Today Day

Third time on Burn Out Brighter podcast! I was invited back to discuss relationships and gaming. And there is an additional guest, my boyfriend, CTL. He runs a Twitch where he plays violin and DDR at the same time.

My mic wasn’t the bestest – I grabbed a derp one (one day, I shall part with it), so I have minor cut outs but I’m still pretty understandable. Tune in and listen!

I mention my orchid and 3D printed planters on the podcast. Here’s the sharry baby orchid! On my Instagram are pictures of my roses and more of my orchids.

Not Pictured: My cat, who wants to eat the blossoms of this orchid

 

Also, check out my previous visits on Burn Out Brighter! 

 

It’s been roughly a year since there were massive protests supporting Black Lives Matter due to the several hate murders of Black individuals by White people, being from behind a badge or out of simple plain, garden variety homicidal anti-Blackness. It also, unfortunately, was one of the biggest showings of White Guilt and White Fragility and White Saviorism I have seen in a while, mainly to pretend to care while keeping things roughly the same. Or pretend to care, get called out on it and then whine about “Cancel Culture”. (Hot tip: Yes, accountability sucks (which is usually what “Cancel Culture” is, pointing out your prejudiced f*ck-ups.) Get used to it or stop doing it. Can’t get any simpler than that.) These acts pretty much co-opted the struggle for respecting the inherent civil rights of Black people, which is what any thing to do with White Reaction tends to aim for. Maintaining White supremacy is odd like that. Otherwise the Proud Boys, a White supremacist group, wouldn’t be led by a White passing Latin man – who they only martyr the fall of when it is really, really convenient.

Before we begin, let’s review the various forms of White Reaction:

Let’s review the difference between “actual allyship”, which takes work but has positive lasting effects, and “harmful allyship”, which is easy to do – hence why it is an often sought after choice – but does literally nothing positive or genuinely effective. It’s a bunch of pointless kumbayah’ing meant to keep the same system in place. Pathetic lip service, in other words.

Changes did indeed happen, that is fact, but the changes aren’t that staggering and will probably peter out in a few years. I’m from Baltimore, we had the riots back in 2015. Things changed for a little – and then went back to how it was or got worse because of performative allyship. Oh, and then there was the glaring fact that White people tried so endlessly to call it an “uprising” or a “revolution”. It wasn’t. It was a protest that eventually turned into a riot because all transportation was shut down thanks to the Baltimore police not being that great at crowd herding – among a lot of other things. (City Hall is even more corrupt than the police, brief reminder. And City Hall painted themselves as the Defenders of the People during this time. The same City Hall that is so corrupt I don’t even bother learning the Mayor’s name because they get booted out that frequently). Oh, and those same White people also tried to loot a lot during that “uprising/revolution” that it very much wasn’t – because they knew Black Baltimoreans would get doused with the blame. By them, the White people. And those very same ones that wanted to cast the Baltimore riots like there should be a Muse soundtrack playing in the background also wanted to duck any and every claim that, actually, they are part of the problem, not the solution. From trying to provoke police into shooting at the protesting crowd by screaming “gun! Gun! There’s a gun!” when there certainly wasn’t, to trying to rename and sanitize the opinions of the protests to suit a more “We’re not like those White people, we’re saviors! Also, please focus on us!” gaze. And now, some time later, we’re still in a suffering state. Actually, we have gotten worse in some ways.

Or to put it in a favorite image I have seen:

Yep, sums it up

If anything, it just has been a bunch of White Whinging and Concern-Harassment, which is “oh, I want to unlearn prejudice (not really), can we go deep sea diving through your cultural trauma so I can feel better about myself, even when I royally screw up?”  First of all, I’m not a Diversity Consultant. That is a bona fide job and with a very bona fide rate of $500-700 an hour. Want to frolic wistfully in the pains of others? Those are the go-to guys and it is less “let you frolic” and more “give you a paltry talking to in exchange for buckets of money”. Go pay them. Requests like these are usually about 3 to 15 hours worth, roughly. They break the bank with the greatest of ease but hey, people like me get to have a regular, unharassed day so it works. And Concern-Harassment, though similar, isn’t Concern-Trolling because they act like they want to be taught, not that the individual they are targeting should change. 

Two images that come to mind when I think of last summer:

Wow, did this occur a lot. It is wholly why I haven’t slow-walked anyone about unlearning any biases for years. It’s much easier for me to just rip on the person until they learn or leave.
They usually leave.
Another reason why I just rip on the person until they learn or leave – because they’re usually not interested in learning. They just want to cause hassle for personal entertainment or gain.
Moral of the Story: Nice doesn’t Work. Ever. You’re just one bad day (theirs or yours) away from being “just like the rest”. And it doesn’t have to be a bad day, either. Any regular day will do.

If there were any sign of something genuinely fruitful coming out of slow-walking privileged groups through unlearning their biases, I would go through with it. But I don’t do things like that anymore because what I have noticed for myself and others like myself is that it’s just an utter waste of time and simply a very easy way to ruin your day while theirs is very amplified from their “learning experience”. You aren’t a person to them, you’re a walking life lesson. And if you don’t Life Lesson exactly right, expect to deal with a nasty storm you 100% did not ask for. And you don’t get to know what “exactly right” is but you’re definitely sure it sits somewhere in the realm of “coddling and defending bad behavior” so they don’t really have to unlearn a thing, you’ll do all the suffering for them. Yeaaaaaaah, no.

Plus, there are countless resources for a regular person to avail themselves to. Loads and buckets. I’m not perfect by a long shot, I have had (and still have) my own biases to check. But I learned by myself how to do that. I didn’t ask a total stranger of any affected group to personally slow-walk me through my own biases and to basically be my punching bag “for experience” until I learn through and through how to treat them like a human being. I would perhaps follow their blog and watch a bunch of documentaries and read books and follow a few other people as well in the affected group but that’s it. No interacting at all. They get to be themselves and not harassed, I get to learn via not harassing. Besides, some other idiot would usually ask whatever I was thinking and I would learn that way as well. Granted, I’m the type that never wants to bother others in general so that’s probably why the “lurk and learn” method works wonders for me. I may not have had full understanding about the affected group I’m learning about but I know enough as a human being that being annoyed by annoying people is, well, aggravating. “Lurk and Learn” works better than “Harass and pester” when it comes to unlearning biases. Way better.

Not to mention, when bothering affected people to learn about how they are affected by prejudice, they’re not the happiest bunch to grace the planet. Because you are bothering them. It’s remarkably easy to take this agitation of being pestered over something very stressful as confirmation bias. (“See! [Affected group] really is loaded with terrible people. I asked one to personally walk me through my prejudice and they had the nerve to tell me where I could stick my questions. How dare they not be nice and notice I am trying to improve their lives?”) Here is a cute picture to help you remember how not to harangue others:

Very adorbs

 

I also must say, I personally have certainly encountered an unusual additional annoyance: Chinese Nationalists. This is probably borne from the fact that I do indeed know Chinese (as well as at least four other languages – to be honest, I stopped counting at five) and thus interact on an international language exchange app that started in China, Hello Talk. By the way, Hello Talk used to be sort of decent, now, it’s part of standard Chinese government level censorship. This means you can’t really say a whole lot on a language exchange app. And if Chinese is one of your languages, it is even worse since you can hardly post in Chinese – because it will be censored for one reason for another. Never really been much of a fan of non-obscene censorship. Back to the original topic, I have been dealing with an insane slew of Chinese nationalists because apparently Black Lives Matter also was used for propaganda bs there as well.

It’s usually in the tone of garden variety anti-Blackness but whiplashing to playing victim. (“See, this is why Black people get murdered – but Asian people also are treated poorly! Look at how China is treated!”) If I never interacted with White people or White society before, this would sound super brand new to me. It’s a different brand of super stupid, to be honest. For the record, whinging to a Black person about the imperialist acts of America is pretty much preaching to the choir. Also, China recently has been going through a lot of Yikes when it comes to oppressiveness, including but not limited to, anti-Blackness. From state-sponsored plays that feature blackface, to acting exactly like West with the Belt and Road Initiative (which hijacks African nations of their materials & people via economic and/or oppressive force and oppresses Black individuals of their freedoms), to deporting Black immigrants in China as a scapegoat for the coronavirus to duck responsibility, to straight up concentration camps (complete with boxcars!) of the Uyghur people. About that, the Uyghur people are not Black, no, but when the world went “Wow, China, you’re looking very … 1940s Germany but with a side of 1800s America and some Hannibal Lecter thrown in for flavor” because of the Uyghur forced labor, which ranges from building technology to picking cotton, as well as harvesting organs of the Uyghurs – which they, the Chinese government, have also done to other Chinese civilians, such as those in the persecuted religious group, Falun Gong, the Chinese government’s response was to bring up American chattel slavery, basically cherry picking Black history to present themselves as “not the bad guy/not the only bad guy” to justify (or deny) their textbook genocide. Cherry picking the collective lives of Black folks to suit your own biased and prejudiced agendas while refusing to interact with said group in genuine earnest – yep, sounds about White. For a nation really mad at the West, they certainly like to pull countless methods out of the West’s rule book. 

What sucks more is that people in China will repeat this nonsense but the second they are asked remotely in-depth questions, out comes the “I respect all people. The Chinese respects all people. We love Black people and are grateful for them!” If this phony act does not work for White people, it is not going to work for other groups. Especially if they have the same narcissistic hyper defensiveness that I usually find way more common with White people in general or non Black people of color (NBPoC) who are middle class or above. Happens every time. For example, when I talked about how the use of Black history to justify genocide with folks in China who would interact with me – just like with White people, these conversations are never started by me, I’m always approached – it would be met with tone-deafness and many red herring attempts. Such as “Racism is so big and difficult a problem, I’m just one person. [So I don’t have to fix any of my bad behavior!]” Uh, ridding racism can be as easy as telling someone, “Wow, that is a really bad joke. Lol, were you trying to be funny? Please keep your day job, ha!” Simple. Or “Wait, when the Japanese treated us like this, we all thought it was wrong. I don’t know, I don’t think I want to be that kind of monster. Unless you thought all that was okaaaay ….” Throwing the ball back at the prejudiced person by evoking shared historical pain is an oldie but a goodie and very effective. Also simple. No, it won’t get you a Nobel Peace prize like Dr. King but it also won’t get you a bullet to the throat (like Dr. King), either. Very easy peasy. Or just examine your own thoughts and root out your own biases. Here is a handy-dandy wheel to get you started – anyone on the planet can use this easy learning tool! 

Look at all the pretty colors! Easy to use for everyone, anywhere at any time! Live in Boston or in Beijing or in Bristol or in Berlin? Still applies!

For me, it’s just like interacting with White people who would bug me about the same, except in a different language. One thing I can expertly say now for fact is that racist, anti-Black bullsh*t sounds roughly the same in various parts of the world and in various languages. China isn’t the only Asian country to pull this behavior (looking at you, Japan and South Korea (oh boy, all that can be said about K-pop alone is warrant enough for its own discussion)) but I do seem to hear the most from China. Yes, there is the whole geo-political rivalry thing between the US and China but if either nation are going to barrel through Black history and people with indecency, it should be noted and brought up. If China is flipping through The West’s playbook of How To Succeed, they should have just simply bypassed the “Engage in Anti-Blackness, There’s Literally No Way This Can Possibly Go Wrong” chapter and kept it moving. 

Also, bringing up anti-Asian sentiment does not justify anti-Blackness. Yes, there have been rifts between the Black community and Asian community but they usually only appear when White supremacy has poked about. Otherwise, there tend to be more unions than not. Like I said, maintaining White supremacy is odd like that. Heck, a lot of Asian Americans are figuring that one out now, that “borrowed White privilege” isn’t real privilege at all – because White people will still set your grandparents on fire should the whimsy strike them. And “borrowed White privilege” doesn’t afford any real protections, you’re just a human shield to conduct White supremacist anti-Black behavior behind, not an actual human being to them. That realization came at them super duper fast when the massage parlor mass shooting occurred and the gunman was referred to as “church-going” and “dealing with a sex addiction” by NBC news and “simply had a bad day” by the police. Anglicizing and minimizing the true awfulness of a White gunman’s racist behavior, check and check. Speaking as a Black person who is extremely familiar with history: stock up on your cat videos and gas masks, Asian America, things are going to get pretty bad. At least there might not be any lynchings, White people aren’t that read up on their history. Maybe.

And for Black folks: try not to buy into White supremacist anti-Asian behavior. Here’s a handy reminder image:

 

But definitely, hold them accountable for when they screw up, be it in the name of White Supremacy/”borrowed White privilege”, colorism (which has been in Asia long before White people showed up), or in the form of straight up murder. Always inspect your mind and check your biases but some things are simply as plain as day. They may call it, “Oh noes, Cancel Culture!” (they like to borrow White Whinging, it appears) We call it, “Accountability – so you don’t coddle a culture that convinces someone else to shoot us in the back of the head at point blank over orange juice. Get used to it or stop doing it.” Remember, check your bias but check the anti-Blackness of others.

And if there are any Asian American folks who think they can successfully fight for better respect but still think anti-Blackness (and colorism) is the truth, the light, and the way – you might as well go home and stick your head back in the sand. Can’t dismantle the same White supremacy that thinks turning your elders into bonfires and your sisters into bullet cabinets & walking fleshlights is “self-expression of frustration” if you plan on still holding on to it with a death grip. Historically, it really does not work out well. Well, not for you. White folks will be fine, if not somehow benefited – which the main point of White supremacy, by the way. Angry Asian Man explains this far better than I do, hence why his blog has lived in the Links of Interest at the top of this blog since the literal creation of this very blog. He even added a podcast.

Dealing with Chinese nationalists is certainly annoying and a brand new annoyance for me. Also note I say “Chinese nationalists” not “Chinese people”. Not all of them spit nonsense, but the nationalists? Oh, they certainly do for sure. And I am aware sometimes it is probably people of the “50 Cent Army”, paid pro-nationalists trolls, but still these folks need to be reined in and they tend to burst into fireworks when you simply bring up general, accurate Chinese history. So much is censored over there that it takes very little to find something that will easily flip the tables and upset them. Heck, just bring up the concentration camps that are happening now or the Tiananmen Square massacre and eventually they’ll be the super angry one. Oh, and bring up the BBC. Apparently the channel that pumps out nothing but Dr. Who and dry television really gets them going. I’m not a fan of the BBC myself (though, I do love Red Dwarf and Chef!), it’s not enough to practically bust a vein over. Except when the BBC is being racist, which is practically all the time. Over-censorship makes for easy counter trolling, thankfully. Troll or not, they usually block me because I get them angry enough. Huh, just like White folks who also pester me for racist reasons.

Oh! And another thing that I’m super sick of hearing over this past year:

“I love all people of all races and backgrounds.”

Usually people who say this are usually caught with their hand in the Cookie Jar of Racism. I have rarely met individuals who have said this phrase and actually lived up to it.  What they usually mean is this:

“I have not personally murdered a non White person (Black, really) via lynching and I know how to not say slurs when the irritable affected are not around – only around people who look like me or the sycophants of that group that I keep around for anti-racism rep but I tell them it’s ‘friendship’/’relationship’. And I know one Whitewashed MLK phrase. Maybe two if I think really, really hard. I salt my learned hatred of you in heaps of sugar.”

Still racist all the same. Even without a personal body count, even without a pointed hood, even without a membership card to a known hate group. I posted this in the last post but it bears saying twice:

There is no “racist boogyman”, I have met a lot of super nice racist people. They’re still racist and I would steer clear of them whenever possible. Nice or not nice, you don’t want to find out which side of the coin you’re on because it flips in the blink of an eye. The people who have attended lynchings would all be considered “nice people”, not monsters. The people who have expressed hateful statements or very problematic statements would usually also be considered “nice”, with “well-meaning” tacked on. They are all very nice – up until they are not. Some are good at using this like a weapon (White Feminism is a diamond example). Some just like to act baffled but still lovable – it’s that pesky, unhappy darkie that just wants to make a mountain out of a mole hill, ugh, always want to find the problem in everything. Can’t they just cheer up

Do people who are all accepting exist? Totally! They’re just a very small minority. And it usually shows up in their actions, they don’t need to boast over and over how awesome a person they are to people who don’t look like them and how caring they are and that they don’t see race or anything. They don’t have to because it’s not even a focus to begin with. Remember, they are all-accepting. And one thing I have learned about all-accepting people: they are certainly not accepted by all, and especially not the majority. Because they genuinely disrupt the status quo, and that is seen as a very big problem. They basically get the “if you like them so much, we’ll treat you like one of them” treatment, which can get pretty fatal at times. (Fun fact: White abolitionists and Civil Rights supporters were commonly lynched because of that sentiment. The good ol’ “if you love them so much, you can die like them”. Remember, White supremacy is about maintaining itself, even if it means killing White people who “don’t get with the program”. White supremacy is odd like that.) I have seen White friends get booted from jobs, advancement and other life joys because of this exact sentiment – and always from “I accept all people of all races” types. I’ve seen Asian friends pretty much get ostracized because they wanted to be anti-Black and learned that their communities are not as collective as they thought. Those are just two broad examples of plenty others. Basically, as long as you don’t disturb the status quo, you’re accepted. So much as poke at it and you’re officially a problem. Remember, authentic allyship is quite hard. 

To be honest, I didn’t expect much to happen in a year, because it usually never does. Or in two, or in ten. There are some glacial changes but usually the status quo resets itself and goes back to being what it was. There’s a reason why a lot of the same sentiments from the 1860s and the 1960s are still around today. Almost right down to the words and tone of irritation. And so are all the pandering answers and the lip service that are more self-serving than anything. Not much has changed, only the technology has gotten better. Without severe disruptions, that’s pretty much the pattern of how things are going to be. And that, everyone, is a problem. 

Accidental vacation, huzzah. The second one in so few months.

I simply had a lot to do. But now, I’m back (I think).

At least I was half active on my Instagram, where I mainly showed my cat, my 3d printed masks, and my orchids recently. Oh, and my roses. I like scented flowers, what can I say? Especially flowers that smell like candy and/or chocolate – though I don’t really like eating candy and chocolate. I’m complex, it is what it is. I’ll eventually post them to my Tumblr.

I think taking breaks are not that bad, especially when juggling a bunch of things. In the past, I would try to schedule posts so breaks weren’t that obvious but then there are times where you simply just go “Nope” and that’s it.

As of two weeks ago, I’ve gotten both vaccine shots against Covid-19. I am now considered “fully vaccinated”. Still wearing masks. Still socially distancing. Still cleaning things. Now, I have experienced (and seen, and heard from others) that getting the Coronavirus vaccine is immensely difficult – oh, and before we touch on that, let’s touch on bunk for a second.

I’ve also heard from others that people will sometimes go out and about and try to sell to people, usually in poorer neighborhoods that have obscene lack of access to vaccinations – due to terrible hospitals, deeply prejudiced/rude healthcare workers, simply no properly enforced vaccination system, and a long, horrific Western medical history of White medical practitioners using Black and Brown (well, anyone that wasn’t White, really) people as lab rats over and over again – these people will try to hock oils that will “get rid of the coronavirus”. I have zero idea what the oils are made of but I can tell you, it’s a load of bullsh*t. These folks tend to target those standing at bus stops and hock their wares. It has also floated to me that this is also a thing on the internet, including fluffy bunnies and dabblers, who are folks who basically like to play pretend when it comes to magick and occultism. (Having a Killstar bag or a cottage dress doesn’t make someone a witch. Hopefully fashionable but not a witch). This is remarkably dangerous for so, so many reasons.

Here’s the thing: while quite a few forms of science has witchcraft DNA (from potions to modern medicine, from alchemy to chemistry, for example), there is absolutely nothing, and I mean not a single thing that can be purchased from Instagram or Facebook that can vaccinate against Covid-19 or remove it from your body. No phony online witch doctor can cure you via DMs. Even in cultures that do have genuine witch doctors and shamans, they will say just about the same thing a person in a lab coat will (in certain places & cultures, they’re also the same people. And they’re still legit). Which is, “It’s the coronavirus. You need to get medicine and/or treatment for Covid. Or best, vaccinated.” If it is being sold (emphasis on the sold part), it is most likely dubious. If it is being sold on the internet, it is definitely dubious. If it is being sold on the internet via social media, it is a 100%, solid gold scam. Social media can provide a lot of things, dependable medicine is not one of them. Especially not ones gears towards a pandemic. If it is being sold on the internet via social media through an influencer – it is not only a super scam but, congrats, you officially seen someone who is willing to kill you for a couple bucks and with a super edited, but glitzy, smile. They should be behind bars and deplatformed quickly.

If you see anyone posting, selling or spreading such information (from oils to spells about Covid, they’re all phony), report them to the social media platform and even to local governments if possible because they are just trying to make money off of scared people, even harm or kill a few. Doesn’t matter if they are famous or fairly unknown, these folks do not need to harm people just to collect a few coins. They don’t care about the population and especially not their communities, just themselves. You’ll be pushing daisies and they’ll dump out a phony apology just to hock the next thing offered to them for a couple more bucks.

Back to the difficulties of getting a vaccine in the community. I have tried to get a vaccine in the community and, wow, is it difficult. There is the option of going to a mass vaccination center, like a football stadium. However, according to those I know who have gone, it can be long, lengthy and nerve wracking – and this is assuming they have appointments. One friend tried to show up a few minutes early for their appointment but wound up soaking two hours away because of how long the lines were. There are pharmacies, like Walgreens and CVS, but they are so inundated that calling on the phone is pointless (it will just direct you to their website, and their website will direct you to their phone, it is an ouroboros of bullsh*t) and should you get a human, they will be a very frazzled and snippy one.

There is also the difficulties of even getting an appointment itself. It should not be easier to buy concert tickets than it is to get an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine (by the way, in-person concerts should not be happening, they’re just super spreader events just waiting to happen). Just like concert ticket sites will hold your ticket for five minutes or so, it should be the same for an appointment setting. Granted, there can always be logistical problems with that – everyone chunking up the system because of all the five minutes (or so) timers are active on available appointments, good ol’ scalpers (that should be sort of easy to fix with checking ip addresses, names and such, to prevent one person scooping up a bunch of appointments and trying to sell them off) – but these are problems that can be handled. Hopefully. I mean, we’re almost a year and a half in of handling a virus that can be easily defeated with regular dish soap and a mask and look at how badly that is being handled, from the start to now. Totally predictable but definitely still disappointing.

My vaccination came because I work at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where they are making a mad dash to vaccinate as many employees as possible. Makes sense, given they are the place that has the core of the vaccine research, that they would have better and easier access to vaccines than the average health clinic in America. No greedy and/or incompetent middle men like what regular health clinics have to deal with, no round-arounds or snippy people, either. There was a line but it moved pretty fast. However, NIH is only vaccinating its employees not the entire country, so a way smaller number of people means a smoother run, I would imagine. Either way, if I didn’t get vaccinated at my job that is literally responsible for the creation of information about covid and the vaccines and treatments, I still would most likely be unvaccinated because of how hard it is to be vaccinated in the communities.

And speaking of government organizations interacting with pandemics – what the CDC said is quite sus. For those not in the know, the CDC said: “… [F]ully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance”. This sounds really simple on paper, and I would sort of agree, except for several caveats:

  • A lot of people are unvaccinated and it is quite easy to lie since there is zero obvious difference between a vaccinated and a non-vaccinated person at face value.
  • Related to above, there is even a black market for buying fake vaccination cards (just like there was and is a black market for buying fake negative covid results), which means a lot of people are willing to risk their lives and the lives of others just to not wear a mask. Oh, and help Covid become new, stronger variants
  • There still isn’t full documentation on whether a vaxxed person can catch and spread Covid to others in asymptomatic fashion. That is still being worked on
  • A lot of places did away with their “laws, rules, and regulations”, they’re pretty open now so the unvaccinated and vaccinated don’t really have any pandemic mandates to go by. One place I know of in Virginia is holding a four day rock festival event that is supposed to have 180+ bands and they have indeed claimed to have no restrictions and aim to be filled to full capacity. Please cue Bad Religion’s “Infected”

At NIH, they’re still operating as if the CDC never changed the rules (meaning full masking and social distancing and all the other pandemic protocols are still in effect) because of a lot of the reasons I mentioned above – especially the “can’t tell if you are vaxxed/unvaxxed by looking at you” part. Also, at NIH, they always include the phrase “against current variants”, because it is the truth – the current vaccinations only protect you against the current variants, and to variable degrees per variant. The USA is *miles* from achieving any sort of herd immunity.

The part highlighted is the most important part: the fully vaccinated. There needs to be a population of at least 70% fully vaccinated to count as “herd immunity” against Covid. Herd Immunity is, as explained by Oxford dictionary, “resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population that is based on pre-existing immunity of a high proportion of individuals as a result of previous infection or vaccination.” As you can see on the graph above, we are at 38.6% Fully Vaccinated. And less than half of the nation has at least one shot of vaccinations. Some are indeed refusing their second dose because of how bad the effects the first one was for them, others are very “one and done” and thus do not want their second shot. Being half vaccinated in the nation that has the most Covid cases and deaths in the world and wanting to live, frolic and free, is not a great idea. Partial vaccinations can make it easy for the coronavirus to become vaccine resistant as it interacts more and more with half-vaxxed bodies. Plus the immunity wanes a little bit in the body since it is not at full capacity. This is why people who are considered half vaxxed are still told to wear a mask and adhere to pandemic protocols. Yes, it is not common for viruses to out-pace their vaccines but also Covid has proven to be rather uncommon. Also, there’s the people factor that still gets forgotten in super science pieces: the people who still catch and spread Covid are still real and their lives are still impacted. There still research underway about long haul Covid, which affects a lot of people who have caught Covid. Heck, for example, there is zero clue to as how a child that has caught Covid will do in school or in life due to long haul symptoms such as brain fog, weaker vital organs and upped chances for things like stroke before adulthood because of how Covid affects the brain. In other words, if you brought covid home to your kid, congrats, you may have done a superb neuter to their future and quality of life. At least they might not live long enough to really be that upset, perhaps. Wear a mask, social distance and get fully vaccinated. If you are an essential worker, please be careful for yourself and others. If you are not an essential worker (you don’t work in transport/delivery, food or public healthcare), stop being stupid and stay home. The important part is to try to wipe out Covid, not help it get stronger and mutate better.

Also, here is the graph again, not blocked by the info tidbit:

The US Population is about 330 Million, by the way

There is still the concern of vaccinations in historically marginalized communities. Already racism has shown it’s ugly head time and time again during the pandemic (and before the pandemic, and will again after the pandemic). It is zero surprise that when it comes to scarce supplies and unstable lines like how vaccine rollout has been, prejudice will very obviously show its head. From White people flocking to the historically marginalized communities to suck up available appointments to trying to route vaccines towards richer, historically privileged communities. Then there’s turning hospitals and health centers in the historically marginalized communities with atrocious community histories into vaccination centers. I have already heard of several, such as King hospital up in New York. John Hopkins is in its own class of “holy sh*t, what the f*ck”, stretching from inception to now. This alone can make people turn down the vaccine. If you terrify people from even wanting to walk through your doors or looking in your general direction, you’re probably not going to have a densely vaccinated population. Most people, when it comes to needles and bed-side manners, generally do not want to have Jigsaw from the Saw series come to mind. This is a systemic issue that is heavily danced around by, well, the system that keeps it in place. Even when it was brought up on Global Citizen’s VAX Live online concert event, the distrust, it was never really talked about, just painted as “Oh, those silly Black and Brown people. How dare they not believe in science! They have no reason to fear. Because everything that has ever happened in science was always ethical and above board. Always. What paranoid kooks. Don’tevertalkaboutwhathappened,we’resaviorsandyou’reliars.” People in historically marginalized communities definitely want to be vaccinated, we’re the ones who have been really seeing the decimation, but it is difficult to want a vaccine when there are systemic, physical and psychological barriers put in place. Needles are already scary by themselves, there sincerely is no need to try to make that experience even more terrifying, especially not to the point of driving someone to say, “Ehhhhh, I rather take my chances with Covid. Both these doctors and this virus are trying to kill me but at least the virus is honest about it.” This is something the medical community is extremely aware of and their current methods of handling such issues is, well, things like VAX Live. (I love the Foo Fighters with all my heart but the entire event is still a load of crock when you think about it. The Foo Fighters are amazing though). Yeah, the smart answer would be “to work and diligently root out all systemic issues via hiring better, firing system enablers (as well as the bystanders and inducers, etc), actively listening to the community (which must include ‘hearing the not-fun and the really not-fun parts – and without pulling the classic “speed them up to shut them up” method’), working diligently to improve systems and not in a way that is strictly self serving and out of pandering” but remember, that all requires work and a lot of introspection that will bear very few happy self-realizations. And I mean very few.

Very, very few.

These vaccinations are very important and the mad dash to get them shows the problems that were already here and spoken about at length by the affected. It is very important to get vaccinated, it is very important to get accurate information about the vaccine and the virus, it is extremely important to have trusted individuals in health – especially public health – fields to express this information and not be confusing about it nor allow for wide gaps to be abused out of blatant selfishness. There is still a lot of research and information that needs to be done about how Covid is going to affect all our lives, for the rest of our lives. I lived through a lot of things, such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the HIV/AIDS pandemic (which is still happening, by the way), 9/11 and more – this is definitely not going to be one of those “things we will eventually forget, maybe even the week after its over”. There are a lot of untold issues, sicknesses and definitely fatalities. At least a vaccine is a good first step but not if it is tagged with countless problems. Otherwise, we’re all going to be right back at square one.

At least this still gives me a proper chuckle:

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