The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently wrote,
"Dear Brothers and Sisters:
"We find ourselves fighting a war against the ravages of COVID-19 and its variants, an unrelenting pandemic. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses. We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be achieved by immunizing a very high percentage of the population.
"To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.
"We can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders. Please know of our sincere love and great concern for all of God’s children.
"The First Presidency
Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
Henry B. Eyring"
Notably absent this time around is any mention of this being a personal decision. Obviously it still is one, but I'm guessing they got fed up with all the idiots cherry-picking that part of their last statement in a pathetic attempt to pretend they didn't really mean what they unambiguously said. Of course the omission didn't stop those people from twisting themselves into pretzels around this statement too, but now they know that they're lying to themselves even more than they knew they were lying to themselves last time.
I, for one, am exasperated that I need to start wearing a mask again over three months after I got fully vaccinated like a responsible person. I'm exasperated that Utah's intensive care units are now at 102% capacity because over half of my state's population has refused to get vaccinated. I'm exasperated that the virus continues to have opportunities to spread and mutate to the point where my vaccination may become useless because people are pretending not to understand how herd immunity works even though that was their argument for refusing to war masks and letting a bunch of preventable deaths happen in the first place. I'm exasperated that I've tried to do the right thing and follow health guidelines without complaint for so long and it doesn't matter because everyone around me thinks this whole thing is a joke. Meanwhile, as we in this country turn up our noses at the most miraculous vaccine in history being given away for free all over the place, people in less privileged countries are going through hell from this "flu" because they don't yet have access to it. They must be far more exasperated than I am.
Yesterday I went to a book club meeting yesterday for "Live Not By Lies" by Rod Dreher. Unfortunately, the entire discussion proceeded from the assumption that all of us agreed with everything in the book and only needed to figure out how to apply its teachings in our lives. I did agree with its overall message, but had several nitpicks about specifics and no opportunity to mention any of them even if they had been welcome, which they weren't. Dreher based his book on the assumption that Christianity and political conservatism are the same thing, which would make him feel right at home in Utah. Liberals in Utah (with the exception of Salt Lake City nearby areas) face the same stigma and fear of speaking up that conservatives complain about in the book. The guy next to me did raise a couple of nuanced opinions, but the hostess pushed back pretty hard. He's from the younger generation, she said, so he would think that people should face consequences for advocating death to homosexuals, and not understand that the First Amendment was created to protect hate speech. I think when someone recommended that we all listen to Candace Owens was the moment I knew I wouldn't be coming back.
Before the meeting, knowing that I struggle to articulate my thoughts verbally or insert myself into conversations of more than three people, I wrote my review of the book which I share here in case anyone actually does care what I have to say.
Update on my prostate:
My blood test and urine test results came back from the hospital eleven days later. The doctor didn't know why it took so long. I could have told him it's because the staff at Logan Regional Hospital doesn't see me as fully human, but I let it slide. The tests found no cause for concern other than the increased number of antibodies that one would expect in a swollen prostate. I have "lots of really good blood", he said. After using up my antibiotics I had to go in and let him stick his finger in me again to see if they were accomplishing anything. This time was worse. It took longer and I felt like I was about to ---- on the floor and I tried to disassociate myself and sing hymns in my head, but I couldn't because he kept talking to me. No, it doesn't hurt a bit, please stop. One part of my prostate was a little bit less swollen after two weeks, so he renewed the antibiotics. He also prescribed some other pills to make my bladder stronger and make me drowsy 24/7. The health center took another urine sample and he said there was still blood and protein in it. I wasn't aware that the last one had blood and protein in it. He said I may need to see a urologist if it doesn't resolve itself. In summary, I'm still kind of in hell.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.