It's taken about 18 months, but as a former Tuberculosis patient, I just reached my absolute limit with Public Health hot takes from poorly informed people. It is driving me up the freaking wall.
I'm not even talking about conservatives, from whom I expect absolute nonsense. I am talking about other pundits, journalists, and analysts who are not doing the *bare minimum* to understand how infectious diseases have been historically suppressed in this country.
For the folks who are like, "public health makes no sense blah blah individual responsibility" I would like to know if they think I should have been legally mandated to take harmful antibiotics for 6 months &, if they think that was right, how the rationale differs for COVID
The diseases are different, as are concerns about spread. Viruses mutate. Bacteria like TB mutate too, into anti-biotic resistant forms. All the differences aside though, there'd be a hell of a lot more TB in this country if it weren't for aggressive public health.
Do you like living in a country that's not riddled w/ TB? Including resistant strains? I think you probably do. Because TB sucks & the meds for the resistant kind are even worse than those for the treatable kind. We're talking liver damage, neurotoxicity, & deafness.
And, if you like living in such a place, do you know why you get to? Because public health takes infectious people like me and threatens them with jail if they are not surveilled for 6+ months, including checking under your tongue for misplaced pills. Every day they do this.
That's why you get to live without TB. That's why you are not in danger.

So stop whining about mask & vaccine mandates. You only care b/c you are now *seeing* public health for the first time.

But public health has been doing this all along. And that's why *you* are safe.
And trust me, I was a *compliant* TB patient. I understood the risk I posed to the community. But even I might have messed up the drug regimen or taken a break after a few months if it were not for public health controlling every aspect of my life.
"Oh sure, I'm gonna keep taking these pills that give me serotonin poisoning and damage my liver and numb my limbs and stain all of my clothes because my sweat is now orange."

Said no one ever.

People do this b/c public health *makes* them do this
And, again, that's why the rest of y'all are safe. That's what infectious disease control looks like. Putting individuals through hell so the community can be safe. It's not new. It's been going on for decades. It's just the first time *you've* noticed it.
This is what multiple drug resistant TB looks like & what the treatment entails. Effects ranging from hearing loss to hepatitis to psychosis. And few people have to ever worry about it in *this country* b/c public health effectively takes over TB patients' lives.

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More from @magi_jay

2 Aug
Request to retire the word "gerontocracy" because it is stupid and also because it doesn't refer to an actual pernicious phenomenon
Like you're complaining about Clyburn and Pelosi and yet, right over there, you have the fascist youth taking over the GOP
And, within the Democratic party, there's not a real correlation between age & ideology. You've got plenty of progressive older people in the House, as well as moderate younger people. Most older Democratic members of the Senate are more progressive than Kyrsten Sinema.
Read 5 tweets
2 Aug
Honest request to liberal & progressive men: please evaluate 1. how much more annoyed you become with female politicians as you experience greater exposure to them & 2. how the level of annoyance negatively correlates w/ how often you agree w/ them & how attracted you are to them
I will admit, to my shame, but for the public good, that *I* have enough internalized misogyny that *I* become more annoyed with female politicians the more they are in the public eye. It's not universal, but it happens. If I experience it, I know you men do too.
Men are allowed to be tough but charming in positions of power. Women are not. We perceive them as "not tough" and so when they act tough, we perceive them as cold. Then when they laugh, we perceive them as frivolous or calculated.
Read 8 tweets
1 Aug
It was multiply determined, but a few things. Polio hurt kids, so that was important. Also, people were used to living generationally w/ infectious disease. People lost siblings, children, friends. After vaccines had been around for a while (smallpox) people wanted more
There was *no* complacency about infectious disease. People saw the devastated limbs of children from polio. Or the quarantines from measles. It wasn't in the distance. When the successful polio vaccine was announced, church bells rang.
There were complications from the polio vaccine that produced hesitancy. That's when Public Health stepped up. They brought in Elvis. And the March of Dimes had *mothers* going door to door. Using mothers was an essential strategy.
Read 6 tweets
1 Aug
This is the CDC study on breakthrough infections + viral load. The study itself is fine. The data are valuable. The framing of the study is poor, as is the media reporting. These data are not generalizable to the general population for various reasons.…
To be clear, any community study will be difficult to generalize to the population. Also: I do not doubt the assertion that viral load in the noses/mouths of vaccinated people may be higher for DELTA than previous variants. I think mask mandates are good.
One specific issue with how this piece was reported is that there was a high % of immunocompromised people in the case sample. The CDC and the media should have been clearer about this for many reasons.
Read 7 tweets
31 Jul
I have no issue with people taking additional precautions against Delta. That said, the media & the CDC are not doing a great job conveying the known risks to vaccinated people. All the available data suggest that the personal health risk to vaccinated people is very low
Having looked at the data, I personally feel very protected. I know I am not 100% protected, but I'm close. The real unknown is how much I could spread Delta if it was hanging out in my nose. The risk is not high on the individual level if vaxxed. It's high on the community level
So, for the community, it's good to do things like masking up, especially if vax rates are low. & it's fine to lower your own very low risk rate even further by masking. But you should also feel confident that the vaccines are very effective in your personal protection
Read 8 tweets
30 Jul
I think it's time for the press to just start saying Trump tried to pull a soft coup.

Factually, that's what he did.

It was a coup attempt.
I respect the press's balancing act when it comes to neutrality. I know it's not easy. However, there comes a time when over-correction in the name of neutrality results in obscuring the truth.

In such cases, the press is not actually giving a neutral, fact-based account.
Trump tried to pull a soft-coup. There are multiple pieces of evidence for this. He worked on the state level. He worked on the federal (DOJ) level. And then he inspired an insurrection, which was a "harder" coup attempt.
Read 5 tweets

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