Teens Are Getting Sick From Products With High THC Levels – The New York Times

“It didn’t smell, which made it easy to hide from her parents. And it was convenient — just press a button and inhale. After the second or third try, she was hooked.

“It was insane. Insane euphoria,” said Elysse, now 18, whose last name is being withheld to protect her privacy. “Everything was moving slowly. I got super hungry. Everything was hilarious.”

But the euphoria eventually morphed into something more disturbing. Sometimes the marijuana would make Elysse feel more anxious, or sad. Another time she passed out in the shower, only to wake up half an hour later.

This was not your average weed. The oil and waxes she bought from dealers were typically about 90 percent THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. But because these products were derived from cannabis, and nearly everyone she knew was using them, she assumed they were relatively safe. She began vaping multiple times per day. Her parents didn’t find out until about one year later, in 2019.”

Excellent article with good comments, both pro and con THC use and abuse.

Here is a comment that stood out for me.

Alex
Springfield3h ago

It’s the number one cause of reversible erectile dysfunction and male infertility for men under 30 at my urology office. Large increase in patients since state where I practice legalized. Similar to alcohol- a little might promote the mood, a lot – not so much. A generation of guinea pigs having to learn moderation is key to life.

3 Replies110 Recommended

Black Death: A Clue to Where the Plague Originated – The New York Times

“Where and when did the Black Death originate? The question has been asked for centuries and led to heated debate among historians.

Now, a group of researchers reports that it has found the answer in the pulp of teeth from people buried in the 14th century.

Based on their analysis of the preserved genetic material, the researchers report that the Black Death arrived in 1338 or 1339 near Issyk-Kul, a lake in a mountainous area just west of China in what is now Kyrgyzstan. The plague first infected people in a small, nearby settlement of traders eight years before it devastated Eurasia, killing 60 percent of its victims.”

Thomas Friedman | America 2022: Where Everyone Has Rights and No One Has Responsibilities – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/08/opinion/spotify-joe-rogan-covid-free-speech.html

“. . . . When Rogan exercised his right to spread misinformation about vaccines, and when Spotify stood behind its biggest star, they were doing nothing illegal.

They were just doing something shameful.

Because the Rogan podcast episode that set off the controversy, an interview with Dr. Robert Malone, who has gained fame with discredited claims, completely ignored the four most important statistical facts about Covid-19 today that highlight our responsibilities — to our fellow citizens and, even more so, to the nurses and doctors risking their lives to take care of us in a pandemic.

The first three statistics are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest surveys. First, unvaccinated adults 18 years and older are 16 times more likely to be hospitalized for Covid than fully vaccinated adults. Second: Adults 65 and older who are not vaccinated are around 50 times more likely to be hospitalized for Covid than those who have received a full vaccine course and a booster. Third: Unvaccinated people are 20 times more likely to die of Covid than people who are vaccinated and boosted.

The fourth statistic is from a survey from the staffing firm Cross Country Healthcare and Florida Atlantic University’s College of Nursing, released in December. It found that the emotional toll and other work conditions brought on by the pandemic contributed to some two-thirds of nurses giving thought to leaving the profession.

A McKinsey study last month about the stress on nurses quoted Gretchen Berlin, a registered nurse and McKinsey partner, as saying: “Many patients, especially at the start of this, had only the nurses with them for those final moments, and I’m not sure that we’ve provided the decompression space for what that does to an individual who has to see that and support people through that over and over again. … The level of stress that individuals are dealing with is going to have massive implications on everyone’s well-being.” “

Provisional COVID-19 Deaths: Focus on Ages 0-18 Years | Data | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a focus on ages 0-18 years in the United States.’

DL:According to this chart, the deaths of children 0-18 in the US was counted as 883, 864,256 total deaths.

Source: Provisional COVID-19 Deaths: Focus on Ages 0-18 Years | Data | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Paul Krugman | Biden Versus the Friends of Covid – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/20/opinion/coronavirus-biden.html

“President Biden ended his first year in office on a low note, with polls showing public disapproval of his handling of, well, just about everything. We are, of course, hearing endless commentary about his political missteps, along with some acknowledgment that public expectations were too high given the razor-thin Democratic majority in Congress.

One thing I don’t think gets enough emphasis, however, is the extent to which Biden has been hurt by the way the pandemic keeps dragging on — a dismal reality for which he bears little responsibility. Oh, the messaging could have been clearer, testing and masks made more available, and so on. But Biden’s biggest error on Covid-19 was underestimating the ruthlessness of his opponents, who have done all they can to undermine America’s pandemic response.”

Great column. I hope you read it all. If not, it ends like this:

“But why are right-wing elites so hostile to vaccines? Have they carefully considered the evidence? Don’t be silly.

Their real motive is the desire to prevent Democrats from achieving any kind of policy success. And is it really implausible to suggest that some leading figures on the right actively want to make things worse, in the belief that the public will blame Biden?

But while the public does indeed tend to blame presidents for anything bad that happens on their watch, they can fight back. In 1948 Harry Truman successfully campaigned against “do-nothing” Republicans who were blocking his economic and housing agenda. Biden could, with even more justification, campaign against Republicans whose anti-vaccine posturing is putting both the national economy and thousands of American lives at risk.

Would this work? Nobody knows. What we do know is that a year of trying to be conciliatory and unifying hasn’t worked. It’s time for Biden to come out swinging.” -30-

Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated | AP News

“Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine.

An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 107,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 1.1%.

And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average.”

Breakthrough infections of fully vaccinated is 1.1%       =  .011

Of those who die to covid, the fully vaccinated  are .8% = .001

.011 * .001 = .00009   which is 9/100,000  which rounds to 1/10,000

If I have done the math right, your chances of dying of covid if fully vaccinated in the US, are 1 in 10,000.

Source: Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated | AP News

12 Signs You Have a Fake N95, KN95, or KF94 Mask | Wirecutter

“The highly contagious Omicron variant has sent us on a mad dash for more-protective masks, such as N95s, KN95s, and KF94s. And along with that comes the nagging concern over being duped by counterfeiters. At best, fake respirator masks are just a waste of money. At worst, they give those who need protection most a potentially dangerous false sense of security.

 

Whether it’s an imposter mask claiming to be from an established brand or a newcomer purporting to be highly protective, the problem is a matter of consistency. In September 2020, ECRI (a nonprofit that advises hospitals and health-care agencies on product safety) reported that 60% to 70% of KN95s it tested did not filter the 95% of particles that they promised to. Federal agencies seized a total of 21.2 million fake N95s that year, and the problem carried over well into 2021. Last May, investigators confiscated 2 million fake masks purchased and used by unsuspecting hospitals in Portland, Maine.”

The Soldiers Came Home Sick. The Government Denied It Was Responsible. – The New York Times

“The soldiers with inexplicable breathing complaints started appearing in Dr. Robert F. Miller’s pulmonology clinic in 2004, the year after Baghdad fell to invading United States forces. These new patients were active-duty troops from nearby Fort Campbell, men and women who came home from war with mysterious respiratory ailments. The base asked Miller, an unassuming and soft-spoken lung specialist at Vanderbilt University, to take a look.

Miller was baffled to see formerly healthy soldiers gasping for air after mild exertion. Some of them had been close to the fire at the Mishraq sulfur mine outside Mosul, thought to be the largest release of sulfur dioxide ever caused by humans. But others had never gone anywhere near the burning mine. Some of them could no longer run or climb stairs, and yet their X-rays and pulmonary-function tests looked normal.

Confounded, Miller decided to try something radical: He began ordering lung biopsies under general anesthesia to look for more subtle damage known as small-airways disease. Sure enough, the tissue revealed toxic lung injury, which Miller diagnosed as constrictive bronchiolitis. To the doctor, this meant two things: First, the soldiers were not exaggerating their symptoms. And more important, noninvasive screenings couldn’t be trusted to detect these new post-deployment ailments.

Eager to share his discovery, Miller contacted doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This led, at first, to what Miller recalls as an enthusiastic collaboration. Army doctors flew to Tennessee to review Miller’s biopsies, and together they went to Fort Campbell to develop a protocol for evaluating patients.”

DL: Excellent article. The end is surprising. Jon Stewart takes up the cause, and the congress and military decide finally to help these people. It took a star with the power of gigantic publicity coverage.

Paul Krugman | The Viral Lies About Covid That Keep Killing Us – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“A year ago it seemed reasonable to hope that by early 2022 we’d mainly be talking about Covid — or at least Covid as a major health and quality-of-life issue — in the past tense. Effective vaccines had been developed with miraculous speed; surely a sophisticated nation like the United States would find a way to get those vaccines quickly and widely distributed.

So why didn’t we get past the pandemic? Part of the problem has been the creativity of viral evolution. The Delta variant shocked us with its lethality; now Omicron is shocking us with its transmissibility. Still, we could and should have done far better. And the main reason we didn’t was the power of politically motivated lies.

Before I get to the specifics of those lies and the damage they’ve done, let’s be clear: Yes, this is about politics.

I know I’m not the only commentator who has faced a lot of pushback against emphasizing the partisan nature of vaccine resistance. We’re constantly reminded that many unvaccinated Americans aren’t Republican loyalists, that there are multiple reasons people won’t get or at least haven’t gotten their shots. All this is true; but politics has nonetheless played a crucial — and growing — role.

Look, for example, at a KFF survey from October, which found that 60 percent of the unvaccinated identified as Republicans, compared with only 17 percent who identified as Democrats. Or look at the invaluable Charles Gaba’s analysis of county-level data, which finds that on average a one percentage point higher Trump share of the 2020 vote corresponds to about a half-point reduction in a county’s current vaccination rate.”

“. . . . .  So none of this makes any sense — not, that is, unless you realize that Republican vaccine obstructionism isn’t about serving a coherent ideology, it was and is about the pursuit of power. A successful vaccination campaign would have been a win for the Biden administration, so it had to be undermined using any and every argument available.

Sure enough, the anti-vaccine strategy has worked politically. The persistence of Covid has helped keep the nation’s mood dark, which inevitably hurts the party that holds the White House — so Republicans who have done all they can to prevent an effective response to Covid have not hesitated, even for a moment, in blaming Biden for failing to end the pandemic.

And the success of destructive vaccine politics is itself deeply horrifying. It seems that utter cynicism, pursued even at the cost of your supporters’ lives, pays.”  -30-