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Given that hundreds of thousands of papers have been published in the scientific literature over the last three years about COVID, I highly recommend you stop and think about why one that you may hear about on the news, or covered in CNN, may have gotten there.

It would be a good idea to actually read the paper, before sharing, if you're willing and able.

I see a lot of probably well meaning sharing of information just because a certain paper may gotten on CNN or NBC and they're not always conveying the best information(some papers are better than others) or sometimes what the paper itself was even trying to say in the first place.

Yes, I'm referring to a certain one that's all over today, but, what I wrote will never be wrong.

I mentioned last week that I went to get tires on my car, for the first time in the pandemic(we barely drive anymore), and there was a line out the door of people hacking up a lung and sneezing, so I bailed. I really didn't want to go sit in or around that place for hours, so in desperation I called around and much to my surprise the local Subaru dealer was willing to come pick up our car from the driveway, leave us a loaner, go change the fluids on the car, put on new tires, and they'll be bringing it back and leaving it in the driveway later today.

Honestly, I thought the chances of anyone doing something like that were slim to none, it's not something they advertise that they'll do, but it doesn't hurt to try. Sometimes it works out better than you expected.

I appreciate you all sending me in that direction with your helpful replies yesterday! By the end of the day I put together some "light" reading for the scientists in the group chat to look through. I recognize that I've been around long enough, and have enough scientific pull, that they're going to be reserved in their criticisms, and sure enough, there were a couple of "Do you really believe that everything is COVID during the cold and flu season?" and that's fine.

There were also a couple "I'm going to ask my doctor" or "my pediatrician" about this, and that's good. Will any of their doctors know anything about it or just tell them it's crazy? Could go either way, but I did what I could.

Stay safe out there COVID cautious folks! Seems like everyone else is sick and has no clue that they've endangered their health or the health of their loved ones.

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Hello COVID cautious and COVID scientific community. I'm often that person who drops scientific papers in threads, but today I can't find what I'm looking for and I'm hoping one of you has it handy.

I lost my mind for a minute and forgot which meeting I was in this morning and in this general Zoom room where a bunch of people were all complaining about how bad their "seasonal allergies" are at the moment, and how all of their spouses are sick and have pneumonia, and their kids all have fevers and "colds and flus" they started talking about adult-onset allergies. I usually tune out all of the complaining about how sick everyone is. It's a weekly thing in this meeting and frankly I just can't deal with it, but when one person mentioned adult-onset allergies, and they *all* started talking about how they're now allergic to this or that and they never have been before, I made the mistake of un-muting and saying the dreaded word....COVID.

After a bunch of "How dare you say COVID. We don't have COVID!" a couple of people were actually interested in whether COVID can cause adult-onset(or even new allergies in person said their kid's eaten eggs for breakfast for years and now is allergic to eggs). I distinctly remember new allergies being a thing that came up often in 2020-ish, and not as much recently. A quick search through the scientific papers I cite often didn't come up with any hits.

This group is mostly scientists, and so a peer-reviewed article would probably go over better. I could guide them through auto-immune disorders and get there, but a paper specifically about new allergies would be best.

Is this paper out there? Or just a bunch of anecdotal evidence?

Turn on Apple Music this morning and it recommends a recording of a concert. Cool. Turn it on. Realize I was *at* this song 2 realize it was ~30 years ago. Holy crap I'm getting old.

I never cease to be amazed at the fact that so few people even seem to realize that long COVID is a thing. I'm even more amazed when doctors don't. Honestly, I'm not sure why this gets to me every time at this point, but it still does.

Some of you may remember me talking about my wife's boss previously. She's had COVID at least 7 times and finally started to think that, just maybe, her "bizarre autoimmune disorder" that her doctors couldn't figure out could be COVID related.

So, today her and my wife are chatting on Zoom about things and my wife mentions that we're growing lion's mane and red reishi mushrooms in the forest. Her boss laughs and asks if she can get some because she's been spending "tons" on reishi and lion's mane supplements to "try to remember things again."

This leads down a discussion where my wife gently asks her if she's talked with her doctors about long COVID. She says "Yes! I remembered you talked about that, and I saw some headline about it, so I asked my GP. He said that's when you have COVID symptoms for more than 12 weeks. Since I'm not coughing(she is....but let's ignore that for a moment) and I can breathe well he said it's not long COVID."

Audible sigh from my wife....and she moved on. She saw me go through this with one of my friends last year when his doctor very literally laughed in his face after I convinced him to ask about whether his sudden onset of debilitating arthritis a couple of months after a COVID infection could be COVID related. It poisoned the water between us, because clearly at that point he believed his doctor and thought I was a conspiracy theorist for talking him into bringing it up.

The education on this sucks so much that you can't even help people when you really want to.

I come back to this post from @augieray regularly because, with increasing frequency, I find that people I know in life and on social media are testing positive with less and less time between infections. I've seen multiple co-workers getting sick, and testing positive for COVID, just 2-6 weeks apart now.

I don't know if that's because of immune system damage, a viral soup of variants out there that isn't conferring any protection between them, or a mixture of both, but I can't see how this is sustainable if it continues.

Augie Ray  
I dedicate this post to all the folks who said we needed to rush to “herd immunity” and say “covid is over.” #COVID19 reinfection data based on med...

I don't want to be ghoulish about this, at all, but in reading Politico's statement(not a story just yet) about Diane Feinstein's death it says:

"Her death, confirmed by a person with knowledge of the situation, brings Senate Democrats’ functional majority to 50 votes, with Republicans holding 49 votes. Two other Democratic senators tested positive for Covid this week..."

Whether or not she had COVID, with such a slim majority, and all that's going on in Congress this week, it's still just let it rip time in DC? How is this intelligent? Rather than fighting over a stupid dress code, how about we try and keep a healthy group of Senators to try to get some stuff done(or add masks to the dress code)?

Anyway, carry on with let it rip, I guess. Let's see how that shoots us in the foot next.


Basically everyone in my wife's work group is out sick. She reports that Teams is silent and her boss's boss asked her into a Zoom call first thing this morning where she asked my wife to "hold down the fort." Of course, that was proceeded by "I'm not sick like everyone else. I just have laryngitis and my doctor says I need to stop talking, but that's not going to happen. I'm practically the only one here this week."

Throwing out all regard for employees and their health from the discussion, why do businesses think that getting together for a few days is worth this? There really needs to be a reckoning across the work culture where we all agree to acknowledge it's not a good idea.

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My wife reports this evening that no less than a dozen other people reported into Teams that they feel awful today. Don't worry, though! It's all "not COVID" for sure.

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My wife's company had a mandatory conference for all of their over 2,000 employees last week. She did not attend, thankfully. Even though it was mandatory she rolled the dice on a Telehealth appointment and the doctor she got thought it was wonderful that she hasn't gotten COVID yet, and wrote her a note suggesting that she be exempt from all in-person meetings for the next 365 days. Surprisingly, to us, HR at her company accepted it. We went camping while everyone else went to a packed, zero COVID precautions considered, conference.

No surprise at all, she's covering for many people out sick today, including the person she works most closely with who texted her to say she's "down with the worst bout of COVID yet."

She just got off of a zoom meeting with her boss, who also has COVID today, and is suddenly COVID cautious curious, let's say. She said it's her 7th(yes, seventh) known COVID infection, she has a "bizarre autoimmune disorder" that her doctors have spent a year trying to help her figure out, and she's come to believe that it *might* just be COVID related.

She asked how my wife has managed to stay COVID free, and my wife went ahead and listed out all of our precautions, and here's where watching this secretly from across the room blew my mind....The hangup was restaurants. She kept coming back to "You haven't been inside of a restaurant in 4 years?" Over and over. At least 4 times in the next 20 minutes she repeated that. Like it was some Herculean feat that couldn't be accomplished by the average human being.

I just don't get it...

Anyway, it was a bridge too far, and so she will continue getting COVID.


My son was taking notes for his Civics class today and came upon the requirement that the President must have lived in the US for fourteen years. He asked why, and we discussed the founder's fear of foreign influence, but fourteen is so specific that I feel like there must be a story behind it. For instance, was it meant to exclude someone specifically?

A quick search online didn't come up with any answers, so I thought someone out there might have some knowledge, and that person would probably be on Mastodon if they exist.

This post immediately came to mind this morning when my wife and I looked at each other and said, nearly simultaneously, "You won't believe what I just heard." Both of us had a co-worker mention this morning that they have had COVID 4 times *this year* alone.

Are we beginning to see faster reinfections? Or do each of these people have a longterm infection that's allowing them to test positive multiple times over weeks or months? 4 just seems like too many, at first glance.

Insanity, either way. Stay safe out there people.

Augie Ray  
I dedicate this post to all the folks who said we needed to rush to “herd immunity” and say “covid is over.” #COVID19 reinfection data based on med...

Not everything is COVID related, but I still find it odd that no one seems to ever consider the possibility these days.

"Globally, recent studies have revealed a significant correlation between COVID-19 and peptic ulcer disease."

I've decided I'm going to throw in the towel and stop responding to all of the over sensationalized stories about Florida taking money away from public schools and giving it to private and homeschool students. The story's blowing up, again, today because a journalist whom I previously respected doesn't really write fully factual stuff. I figured this out a couple months ago when he wrote an article that gained a lot of traction about the county school district I live in and know a lot about the inner workings of. When I pointed out that his story wasn't exactly correct, and gave fully sourced information explaining the full and true story I was blocked. This journalist's stories are based in fact, but then go off the rails.

Beyond that, the anti-homeschool hate on this platform is absolutely wild. Let me tell you something else. I once posted Department of Education data showing that religious homeschoolers are making up a smaller and smaller portion of homeschooled students, and non-white student numbers had been going up since pre-pandemic and I got called a "Koch shill" and blocked by over a dozen people. For posting federal government data...

I knew this years ago, long before I decided to homeschool my own kids during the early days of the pandemic. My wife, still a public school teacher, had a side hustle as a tutor outside of school hours. A LOT of those kids were homeschool kids who needed a little more help. Very few of them were conservative at all. In fact, more often than not, they were non-white students from liberal families who felt safer outside of the public school system.

So, onto today's problematic reporting. Homeschoolers buying Disney passes and 55" TV's is bound to cross your timeline today. Outrageous, right?!? How dare they! But, it's not as bad as that, and I'm struggling as to why people need to keep blowing it up into this. The truth is bad enough. This is a money grab for rich private school families from their local public schools. That's literally what it's for.

As a slight aside, I think it's honestly because people feel the need to keep hammering away on Florida right now. To a point I really do get it. I've been telling friends from California and Oregon for a decade about how bad it is. But this has taken a really dark turn. For reasons that are really no one's business, we couldn't evacuate from Idalia recently. It was going to be uncomfortably close, at best, and a disaster at worst. We rode it out and it turned out fine for us, but I sat here, up all night watching the weather ready to grab my kids out of bed if needed, reading the great people of my personalized Mastodon timeline talk about how much Florida "deserved" it. The block button got a lot of use.

Anyway(I know....get to your damn point, no one's reading all this), the story as reported isn't *really* true. The first, and most egregious issue with it is that you literally can not be a homeschool student to participate. The first step is withdrawing from your county's homeschool program and submitting to some random organization's oversight and doing a bunch of things that aren't, actually, homeschool at all.

The second question in the actual program's FAQ states:
"Will my student still be considered a home education student?

No. To be able to apply for the FTC scholarship the parent or guardian of a home education student must first file a Letter of Termination to end the home education program with their school district home education coordinator along with the annual evaluation required within 30 days of termination."

To apply there's, literally, a link( to terminate your home school agreement with your county's school district, below a section titled "Who's Is Eligible?" that explains you must be "enrolled in full-time private or public school."

Under that section, it again states as a requirement:
"Withdraw as a full-time public or private school student or terminate a home education program with their school district and enroll as a PEP student with Step Up For Students."

The law was specifically crafted to *avoid* changing anything with Florida homeschools by creating a "personalized education program" that is *not* homeschool. The idea is that private school students can take *up to* $8000 that otherwise would have gone to their local public school and apply it to tuition or other stuff.

The program is designed to be a drain on the public school system and to give that money to private school families. Period.

But what about all of the 55" TV's, you say? Well, that's borderline see, to get something like that your documentation is regulated by the "Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities" which is a students with disabilities program(The reporting conflates a few different programs and pretends like they're the same thing). Your personalized education plan has to state the reasons why you might need such a thing. The example being for this one that you have a visually disabled student who would benefit from a large screen, and then you have to submit paperwork from a medical professional justifying the purchase.

Trips to Disney? Yes. I know all of you from outside of Florida think about the Magic Kingdom. There's a lot more to Disney and every school from hours around does a field trip there pretty much every year for one reason or another. My kids went to Animal Kingdom a few years back in school, for example.

That journalists story today shows a bunch of quotes from Facebook and whatnot. I'm sure those are legit. Do people abuse every government program across all of history? Yes, in fact they do. Is it illegal to use the funds they way some of those people are trying to? Yes, 100%. The only real question that journalists should be asking is whether the state is going to do something about it, or let them have the money to spend on whatever they want.

One of the first lines of the spending guide is the following for a reason:

As per Florida Statutes ss. 1002.394 & 1002.395 Family Empowerment Scholarship for Educational Options (FES-EO) and Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship (including Personalized Education Program (PEP)) funds must be used to meet the needs of an eligible student. Using a student’s scholarship funds for other purposes is a crime.

I don't allow my kids unlimited time on anything other than books. They're at an age where they spend as much time as I allow on YouTube right now. I'm pretty savvy about it, we talk a lot about what's allowed and what's not and, honestly, they do a good job of sticking to content that we all agree to. They just can't have unlimited time on it.

Maybe a year ago I set up a little system in which every 2 hours of YouTube time their devices require a passcode to keep streaming. If you fail the passcode a few times, you get locked out. This has been working quite well. They don't get it until they're done with school and it gives me a chance to talk with them about whether or not they've done their chores, or whatnot, whenever they want to watch more.

Today I take a look and my 10yo has somehow logged almost 8 hours without a passcode. I go to ask him, and he tries to put his tablet face down real quick so I can't see that he's on YouTube....and he starts giggling. He tries the old "I don't know what you're talking about" but I threaten to block the internet from him entirely until he tells me how he did it...but it's obvious he kind of wants me to know anyway.

So he relents and, I kid you not, he tells me(gleefully) that he looked up details of my past addresses and phone numbers online and he's been trying them, two at a time so as not to get locked out, for a year. Once he cycled through everything he could find, he decided that I was using a one of them as a template, and adding or subtracting numbers from it, for him and his brother's passcodes. So he kept trying them, just one off of the number he'd found online, until he found one that worked.

I didn't know whether to give him an award or a punishment, so I just laughed and walked out. Kid totally hacked me. Gotta up my game to a random PIN generator or something, like I do for banking, with this kid around.

In case you feel like refuting this article to anyone you know today, or telling USA Today where to shove it( I'll do the leg work for you.

An opinion by "doctor" Pierre Kory. Who is this Pierre Kory? You can start here:

Yes, the president of a COVID misinformation and grifting campaign. So egregious that he has already had his board certification revoked:

I'll solve this great mystery from the article for you all. It's COVID.

I don't talk a lot about local politics, or how crazy things are in rural Florida these days. I want to share a local story, that's been brewing for a long time, today.

I'm pretty sure most of us have at least heard of book bans in Florida schools. What, I think, goes underreported and under discussed is just how terrifying that is for teachers. You'll find some debate about it, DeSantis says it's not true, but, as Florida schools go back into session this week a lot of the teachers my wife and I know are afraid of accidentally committing a 3rd degree felony. How? By having someone find the "wrong" book in their classroom. They've all emptied the shelves of all books, period, but there's still fear.

So, how is this playing out in my local school district? I'm not naming names because I think these poor people need a break.

Ever since a Moms 4 Liberty member got elected to our school board last year, it's been wild. Every school board meeting is jam packed with right wingers cursing and often threatening the other board members. There is one board member, in particular, who is often the focus of their scorn. She also happens to be a former principal and the woman who hired my wife for her first teaching job and a former mentor.

Last year someone was waiting by her car after a meeting with a hatchet and threatened to kill her and her family, if you want to imagine the environment here. For a while she quit going to meetings in person, and was allowed to attend virtually, for her own safety, but because of right wing pressure she's not allowed to do so this year.

This background all brings me to something I learned this morning. Back when my kids were in the local school district(we pulled our kids out and my wife left to teach elsewhere in 2021) there was this super sweet, older lady who was the librarian at their elementary school. She really liked our older boy, in particular, who is a voracious reader, and over the years she would tell his teachers just to send him to the library when he was done with his work. He would read, help shelve books, and even sit at the help desk to help other kids. She went so far above and beyond for the school. She organized plays, she bought books out of her own money...she was the glue that held that school together.

A couple years back she took a well deserved promotion to Head Media Specialist for the entire district. As such, when DeSantis began his book banning crusade she was made the head of a group of 7 people who decide, for the entire district, what books need to be pulled from libraries. Because book banning isn't happening fast enough for the Moms 4 Liberty crowd, she was outed at a school board meeting over the summer as the head of this group. No one else was named.

Since then she's endured non-stop threats. It only took me a few minutes to find her social media this morning and it's disgusting and has been, non-stop, for months.

As I was reading it I couldn't help but think of a very brief interaction I had with @StillIRise1963 yesterday. This is just one example of what's happening with the Dems down here, sadly.

Kids go back to brick and mortar schools, locally, tomorrow morning. My wife and I have already heard from 3 families that they all have "the summer sniffles" or their "allergies are really acting up" after back to school shopping earlier in the week.

Each of these families have previously been warned about SARS-CoV-2 by myself from a scientific standpoint, and my wife from the standpoint of a teacher who now works virtually with kids who need to drop out of brick and mortar schools and make up their high school credits online. Not one has changed anything in their lives to deal with the situation.

I've been told "it's over" and "it's mutated to be non-lethal" and "we got shots a couple of years ago" this past week alone, and all I can do is sit, watch, and hope that all of the kids come out fine in the end.

My wife just told me that one parent of one of her high school kids told her that they went shopping for armored backpacks this week, but not masks. It's pretty dystopian, honestly. Good luck out there kids.

The resulting article:

Long COVID patients in Colorado are still struggling as the world moves on: “We’re fighting for our lives”

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