The thing that bugs me the most about this is that people think they're saying something really profound about an Orwellian turn in our society when, really, Public Health has been operating in a strict fashion for generations, which could be revealed by a quick google search
Has it occurred to anyone to say, "Huh, I wonder what happens w/ HIV?" If you asked that simple Q, you would find that HIV patients are often subject to legal measures, including contact investigations &, in many states, criminalization of non-disclosure to sexual partners
In my case of TB, the mandated treatment + contact investigation was traumatic. I still feel the ethical balance comes out in favor of the gov't protocol. HIV poses much deeper ethical problems, even in cases of non-criminalization.
My contact investigation was personally horrifying. But, essentially, it was a contact investigation of people I had coughed next to. An HIV investigation requires the disclosure & contact of all sexual partners. If one tests positive, then all their contacts must be tested too.
This is a much greater invasion of privacy than TB contact investigating. It comes with a greater social cost to the patient. This is particularly true given HIV is stigmatized & patients are often blamed for contracting it. They're certainly blamed if they infected someone else
That's just the case of HIV contact tracing. We can have a complicated ethical convo about the costs/benefits of that. A more extreme case includes criminalization. As of 2020, 37 states had laws criminalizing HIV exposure. These are clearly problematic. cdc.gov/hiv/policies/l…

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More from @magi_jay

13 Sep
You guys keep writing these ten tweet threads and I keep telling you to just look up how Tuberculosis has been treated in this country. You can disagree with the practice, but stop pretending it's new. And also stop pretending it hasn't been effective at keeping you safe.
Me: "I was under threat of going to jail if I didn't take toxic meds for 7 months under the constant surveillance of the government. Sometimes they made me go into a chamber & choke until I gave a good bio sample"

You: "A mandate for a vaccine? What does this mean for society?"
And I'm not complaining. I'm glad they made me take meds I hated for 7 months and watched me every day and made me choke into a jar. That's why we don't have to worry about drug-resistant TB. Which is good. I get mad when people act like any of this is new.
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
Anti-Boomer discourse is bad because it is ageist, erases Black, brown, & LGBTQ boomers, & obscures the fact that the real divides are less generational than they are racial & linked to education & region. Young white people also vote for Republicans. Older Black voters vote Dem.
The ageism probably particularly harms older women, who already experience unfairly diminished social value as they age. Also elder depression & suicide is a real thing. It's not progressive to contribute to ageism. And it's bad analysis that obscures systemic racism!!
Also there is immense economic inequality w/in the Boomer generation. Those who have wealth will be passing it on to their GenX/Millennial kids who will eventually have the social & economic power, especially if they're white. So we're obscuring these dynamics too.
Read 4 tweets
12 Sep
This is good. Voters also have a role to play here. You should be calling your Senators & your Representatives. Even if your Senator is not Manchin or Sinema, an influx of support across the board could show that the bill is popular. I really encourage everyone to fight for this.
Please don't be apathetic about the biggest proposed expansion of the safety net since the 1960's. If it passes, we can then move on to do even more progressive things. If it flops, we will not be able to do that & Democrats may be incentivized to propose less, not more.
I have heard for *years* about how we need to transform our society. Some called this "socialism" others called it "more social democracy" but, regardless, it's something many claimed to be passionate about. Now that we are taking a step in that direction, folks are like, "meh"
Read 4 tweets
11 Sep
If you chain smoke on your porch while getting blindingly drunk, it is a case of "my body my choice." If you go to a bar, imbibe an equivalent amount of alcohol, blow cancerous fumes on others, & then drive home, you have made several choices that are not just about your own body
I remember when smoking bans were enacted on trains in France. As a young smoker, I viewed this as tragic. Then I was on a train where people were still lighting up, creating a massive fog, & a woman cried from her seat, "I have asthma!" Anti-vaxxers are the smokers on the train
Public policy was put in place to protect the woman with asthma & many others from the choices of the smokers. Because the choices they were making were not actually just about their own bodies, but also entailed consequences for the bodies of others.
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep
I want reporters to start asking people who are opposed to vaccine mandates about other public health measures. For example, do they believe that medical workers who are MRSA carriers should be isolated & treated before caring for patients or is this an infringement of liberty?
You can carry MRSA & not experience symptoms. However, if you interact with a medically fragile person &/or an open wound, the bacteria can cause sepsis, limb loss, & death in that person. So, again, should medical workers be free to treat patients if they are a known carrier?
Additionally, we know the COVID vaccines are practically riskless, noninvasive, & *at most* cost you a few days of time if you have side effects. Treatment for MRSA is sometimes minimally invasive, but also has a time-cost. At other times, MRSA treatment can be quite invasive.
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
I don't think there's real evidence for this. And there may be indirect reasons to challenge it. The left has not opposed other public health measures (mandates; lockdowns) that came from Republican officials. I don't think their reactions are strongly partisan.
Further--and I think this is important--Democrats do often display reflexive partisanship, but this behavior is not nearly as entrenched as it is on the right. Just look at internal discord on Democratic &/or left-wing twitter compared to the lack of debate on right-wing twitter
Those on the left-of-center spectrum are constantly arguing w/ one another, often w/ acrimony, even in cases where they occupy similar ideological spaces. Another example is how many Democrats were critical of Biden over aspects of the Afghanistan withdrawal.
Read 4 tweets

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