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    Thoughtworthy (History Primary Sources, New Episodes & More!)

    July 10, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    This post contains affiliate links.

    :: 1 ::

    This new Thoughtworthy graphic made me laugh. You may be wondering if there will be unexpectedly deep thoughts this week, but I think it will just be like usual. (Sorry to disappoint.)

    I was on Homeschool Conversations over at Humility and Doxology and and that felt deep, so that’s something. Click here to go listen!

    :: 2 ::

    I ordered a copy of The Patriot’s History Reader this week. I have a similar book but decided to go ahead and splurge because I realized this had all the documents I need (and want!) for high school American history and having them all in one place will be nice, especially once I have more than one high schooler again.

    It has the basics you’d expect, like The Mayflower Compact or The Constitution, and it also has famous speeches and a number of Supreme Court decisions. I was required to read a number of decisions in high school and I consider that a very formative part of my own education. I didn’t really pass that on to my oldest and while I think I gave him something worthwhile, I’m trying to remedy that with the younger set.

    This book is entirely primary sources (well, with brief introductions explaining context). Something I appreciate is that they updated the antiquated spelling in some places. (I have one child who gets hung up about spelling.)

    :: 3 ::

    The first of the two summer Scholé Sisters episodes is out today!

    It’s short but sweet and to the point. (Possibly makes up for the looooonnnng previous episode?)

    :: 4 ::

    This month in 2016:

    This starts off with advice in the first paragraph that I didn’t follow this year and I’m feeling the pain for that already. The part about pre-transcripts, which I forgot I wrote, is right now. It really did work out perfectly doing it that way.

    :: 5 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • US National Debt Clock
      • Not an article, but if you want to freak yourself out for kicks, just watch the national debt going up by thousands in a blink of an eye. It’s frightening.
      • Weird thing: the credit card debt is moving backwards. Huh.
    • The world is finally uniting against China’s bully tactics from New York Post
      • Time will tell us whether this is for real.
      • “The sight of the 7.3 million free people of Hong Kong being crushed under the heel of the Communist boot is one the world will not easily forget.” Have you been seeing this? Our own country is so noisy I fear we are missing important things happening elsewhere.
    • Looking at Deep Red Light for Just Minutes a Day Significantly Improves Declining Eyesight from Sci Tech Daily
      • I don’t talk much about my eyesight, but I’ve been legally blind since I was a teenager. Lately, I realized my night vision is declining. My dad owns an infrared/far red light box and I think I’m going to take it for a test drive.
      • The study said no effects were shown in persons under 40. But I’m over that, so here’s hoping. ♥

    :: 7 ::

    Corona reads:

    • Use of Surgical Face Masks to Reduce the Incidence of the Common Cold Among Health Care Workers in Japan: A Randomized Controlled Trial from American Journal of Infection Control
      • I’ll apologize now that you can’t read the whole study; only the abstract is available without payment or subscription.
      • The biggest weakness in this study was sample size (only 32 participants).
      • The results were predictable: the masks didn’t make a difference. What is interesting about this study is the other observations. Namely, those wearing masks were more likely to get a headache.
      • Also this: “Subjects living with children were more likely to have high cold severity scores over the course of the study.” Hmmm… thoughts on this?
    • Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks against influenza: A systematic review and meta‐analysis from Journal of Evidence Based Medicine
      • This had a wonderful sample size: 9,171. But … this isn’t one single study; it’s a meta-analysis. Always good to keep such things in mind.
      • The results were not, in my opinion, predictable: the N95 respirators didn’t make a difference in influenza transmission when compared to surgical masks. This actually surprised me because N95s are presumed superior.
        • Technically, they are superior in some ways: “Meta‐analysis with fixed‐effects model revealed that compared with surgical masks, N95 respirators significantly reduced bacterial colonization in hospitals.” This might be explained by the difference in size; viruses tend to be much smaller than bacteria.
    • Immunization with SARS Coronavirus Vaccines Leads to Pulmonary Immunopathology on Challenge with the SARS Virus from PLOS One
      • Please remember this is an animal study.
      • So this is a big reason to be concerned about a Covid vaccines. The link above details the results of the vaccine challenge stage for SARS (and obviously Covid is a derivative of SARS). The problem? Well, the results imply, first, that all the exposed animals were infected upon challenge (meaning the vaccine didn’t work) and, second, that they hyper-responded to the infection. The interesting thing is at least some of the vaccines did initiate antibody production (proving, once again, that antibody production does not equal immunity).
      • We already knew that respiratory virus vaccination could cause hyper-sensitivity to those viruses. That’s what happened in the (human) RSV trial, which is referenced in this study. (You can read this, for example, on what is called “vaccine-enhanced disease.”)
      • Which is why the researchers concluded with this concern: “This combined experience provides concern for trials with SARS-CoV vaccines in humans. Clinical trials with SARS coronavirus vaccines have been conducted and reported to induce antibody responses and to be ‘safe’… However, the evidence for safety is for a short period of observation. The concern arising from the present report is for an immunopathologic reaction occurring among vaccinated individuals on exposure to infectious SARS-CoV, the basis for developing a vaccine for SARS. Additional safety concerns relate to effectiveness and safety against antigenic variants of SARS-CoV and for safety of vaccinated persons exposed to other coronaviruses, particularly those of the type 2 group.”
        • So possibly the hyper-senstivity would be induced not just to the virus in the vaccine, but to other viruses with enough cross reactivity to initiate T-cell response.
        • And yet Fauci keeps telling us our one great hope is a vaccine. I’m pretty sure a better scenario is the fact that viruses like this mutate so much and so fast that they tend to play themselves out in about two years’ time.

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  • Reply Rondalyn Ohrenberg July 1, 2022 at 3:04 am

    Don’t know if you get notifications when new comments show up on old posts, but I wasn’t sure how else to follow-up on this . . . . Vanuatu’s borders are fully open today, July 1, 2022. “Fully open” means no quarantine and no vaccine requirement, though it’s highly recommended by the government. (And was pushed to the point that people thought it was mandatory and nearly 80% were fully vaccinated. When they brought in Moderna and started talking about vaccinating every child between 12-18, parents and teens started pushing back and the government conceded that it is unconstitutional to mandate vaccines.)

    It’s too early to tell about the long term effects and “re-engagement.” BUT by keeping the borders closed for two years, we truncated a lot of the hassles others were dealing with around the world. Most importantly, only 14 people died (all of whom had pre-existing conditions). My husband crunched the numbers, and that is roughly the same population percentage as deaths from flu. By closing the borders, we avoided the stronger variants – when there was a quarantine breach and the virus was transmitted to the community, it was the omicron variant. Once covid was introduced into the country, things moved quickly. In March 2022, there was community transmission and strict lockdowns, for two months: 6pm to 6am curfews, road blocks to restrict travel, ships and planes were limited to cargo and emergency passengers only (which is very significant in a nation made up of over 80 islands), no public gatherings (i.e. church and school), mask mandates, mandatory hand washing before entering places of business, limited number of people within buildings, and briefly – until it was declared unconstitutional – not being allowed entry into public buildings w/out proof of vaccination. Restrictions started to let up in May and by late June, the Minister of Health declared that the health emergency was over and he withdrew power from local authorities to enforce protocols and restrictions. Most of the stores have turned off the water to their hand- washing stations, social distancing is a thing of the past, and, except for a few individuals wearing masks, things are pretty much back to the way they were pre-covid. So we experienced in four months what many people dealt with for two years. There was fear and manipulation, lots of misinformation, and shortages. Not being able to leave the country (and people not being able to come in) for two years was not easy. But we give God the glory that this developing nation was spared what many others suffered with overwhelmed health care systems and extensive lockdowns and rampant illness and death. Many people here say that the vaccination program was the reason, but vaccination did not help those who were vaccinated and died. Even more striking is the fact that the last cruise ship from Australia before the borders closed had a tourist who went ashore, then died of covid a few days later once he returned to Australia, but NO ONE in Vanuatu contracted the virus from him! That had nothing to do with vaccines – it was obviously God.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 1, 2022 at 11:02 am

      I love how your comments (here and elsewhere) always give insight into a place I wasn’t even fully aware existed until I “met” you. Welcome back to the rest of the world! I am glad your country lost so few. ♥ Does this mean you can finally come visit the US again? Are you planning a trip?

      • Reply Rondalyn July 1, 2022 at 11:46 pm

        We have commitments through November but are hoping to be back in the US before Christmas. We’ll probably be stateside for 12+ months. I’m planning to “gorge” for a year on CM goodness, like Commonplace Quarterly and a Sophie membership (and t-shirt)😊

  • Reply Larae July 27, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    I was wondering if you are familiar with the other American History books offered by the same authors as the Patriot’s History Reader that you mentioned.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 27, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      I’m not! At least, not yet. I think I own one, but I haven’t read it. Sorry. If I read it, I’ll eventually write a review! ♥

  • Reply Rondalyn Ohrenberg July 18, 2020 at 2:25 am

    Just wondering if you could point me to evidence about the statement “viruses like this mutate so much and so fast that they tend to play themselves out in about two years’ time.” I hadn’t heard that before. We are in a country where there is no COVID-19, and our international borders are closed to keep it that way. The most recent announcement is that this closure is in effect until December 31. I realize that things change rapidly, and only God knows the future. But I am wondering if we need to be getting our heads around the possibility that we may not be able to return to the US for another two whole years. . . .

    • Reply Brandy Vencel July 18, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Well, first, let’s talk about mutations. A great place to follow all the gene sequencing that has been going on is over at NextStrain, which is doing real time tracking of the genetic data. There are *thousands* of mutations already. Of course, not every mutation has major significance in terms of severity or mortality. But often viral mutations over time are overall positive, making them less virulent.

      My reference to two years isn’t something that can be found in a single paper, but something I’ve observed in reading a lot of charts over the years. Of course, the fact that SARS (this virus’ seemingly closest relative) was no longer an issue after about 18 months is helpful to know, I think. It was a sloppy thing to say, though, because this isn’t universally true — viruses like measles did mellow over the first half of the 20th century (the death rates were very low *before* vaccinations were introduced, and some diseases of the time, like scarlet fever, disappeared without a vaccine) but it was nowhere NEAR two years. So really I was thinking about flu and cold cycles and should have been more specific.

      I will tell you that I have wondered quite a bit about what will happen long term to nations that chose the isolation approach. How do you reengage after shutting yourself off, especially if the virus becomes endemic in some areas? I have no clue!

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