Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?


Last week we told you about the Big Quit and the massive quits happening in the United States as workers, empowered by the circumstances of the pandemic, seek better opportunities.

Experts have also predicted another wave of mass resignations this fall, as the vaccine warrants take effect. But so far it has not materialized. Most of the workers put their concerns aside and lined up to get their shots – many by the 11th hour.

Yet a large and steadfast group has resigned or been fired to avoid getting the vaccine. Some have said that vaccines are too new or too risky; others cited their religious faith, or objected to being coerced by the government or their employer. Misinformation, of course, has played a major role.

Our colleague Sarah Maslin Nir recently spoke to New Yorkers who refused to be vaccinated and lost their jobs.

Joséphine Valdez, public school paraprofessional

When Valdez packed his class on the last day, October 1, his students became distressed.

“The kids, they would tell me not to go, just to go get the vaccine,” said Valdez, who came back to live with his parents. “I had to explain to them that the government does not own my body.

Valdez is now tutoring an elementary school student whose parents took their daughter out of public school because they opposed the mask requirement for children.

Ayse Ustares, school social worker

Ustares said she refused to be vaccinated because she had been ill with Covid-19 and believes she now has natural immunity. (Studies have shown that vaccination boosts immunity in those who have previously had an infection.) She is now on unpaid leave from the Department of Education because she did not comply with the mandate of the State.

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“What’s the biggest fear in America? ” she said. “Money. They think, ‘Hit people in the wallet.’ A lot of my friends gave in, they were like me, but now they have to pull back, just so they can make their mortgage payment. I have already given up on fear.

Ustares plans to open a gymnasium that would help children develop motor skills, she said. In his view, compulsory vaccination is a step towards eliminating other choices.

“It’s not going to end there,” she said. “The more we comply, the more they’re going to take. “

Douglas Kariman, nurse

Kariman is a Baptist Christian and cited his opposition to abortion by refusing vaccines, which, like many common over-the-counter drugs, have been tested or developed using research on fetal cells collected some years ago. decades.

Some questioned the high number of religious exemptions in some institutions, such as the Los Angeles Police Department. In an Arkansas healthcare network, so many employees requested religious exemptions that they were asked to sign a form stating that their faith also prevents them from using 30 common medications, including Benadryl and Tums, which were developed from research on fetal cells, according to reports.

Kariman, who remains employed pending a lawsuit against the New York tenure rules, said he knows how dangerous the coronavirus is.

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“I’m not one of those general anti-vaccines that say, ‘That’s wrong. “It’s not wrong,” he said. “I’m convinced that you can get sick and die from it. I’ve taken care of the people who died from it.

According to CDC data, unvaccinated people are 4.5 times more likely to contract the coronavirus and 11 times more likely to die from Covid-19.

Tens of millions of Americans are eligible for booster shots after a series of scientific panels advising federal agencies approved the additional doses.

But the recommendations – even those approved unanimously – mask significant dissent and concern among scientists and other experts, our colleague Apoorva Mandavilli reported.

“Sometimes it feels like they’re all going to vote ‘no’ because that’s the tone of the discussion,” Apoorva told us, describing her hours listening to the discussions at the CDC and the CDC consultative meetings. FDA. “But then the vote comes in, and they all vote ‘yes’.”

Limited data shows that with the exception of adults over 65, the vast majority of Americans vaccinated are already well protected against serious illness and death from Covid.

But as federal agencies lobbied, scientists also had to heed the widespread confusion and concerns about pandemic psychology.

Some said they thought they should vote for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recalls because they had previously recommended Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine boosts.

Others felt compelled to vote for the clichés because of the way federal agencies framed the questions. Some scientists said they were simply rejected.

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And a few worried about confusing the public further by dissenting – while also worried that the decision to approve the boosters would make hesitant Americans less likely to get a first dose.

“These advisers are so worried that by recommending boosters they are really undermining vaccines because they are sending the message that two-dose vaccines do not provide sufficient protection,” Apoorva said. “This is really not the case for the vast majority of people.”

I am a veterinarian and spent all of the Covid working. Once the vaccines were available, I assumed that all staff would be vaccinated, but I was dead wrong. My workplace has chosen to waive any vaccination or testing requirements for staff. Ironically, they were so worried that unvaccinated staff would quit, but the lack of adherence to science and public health turned out to be incompatible with my job. Combine this with my continued exposure to unvaccinated staff and the fact that my older parents provide child care to my young children. I finally decided that I couldn’t continue to work under these conditions and expose the ones I love. So… I quit.

– Karin Connor, Livermore, California.

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