21 May 2021

Friday selection

We are heading into the long Whit weekend, or Pentecost for some, with Monday a holy holiday. We have many holy days here in agnostic Germany, especially now, in May and June. Just past, there was Ascension Thursday, now Whit Monday coming up and next week Corpus Christi. On these days, everything is shut. If you forgot to buy food, you can try the petrol station and maybe find some old stuff deep down in your freezer. I remember my surprise when I first came to live in catholic Ireland where these days are not observed. Also, the amazed reactions when I explained about holy days in Germany. What, they exclaimed, in a country that has divorce and protestant churches?

Anyway, we have been informed that this year the local Corpus Christy procession will take place, albeit with distancing, which means it will be twice as long, snaking past our house, white and yellow flags and the rosary through a megaphone. One year, a long time ago, we were hosting a small group of African scientists attending an international conference (there is a private network in our city supporting people/countries who cannot afford the hotel fees) and they loved the display of this strange and mysterious local custom.

Anyway, long weekend. Time to recharge.

So for today, a few snippets only:

This excerpt is slightly edited and translated by me from a podcast script by Christian Drosten, virologist who identified the first SARS-associated coronavirus in 2003 and who developed the diagnostic test (PCR) used world wide.

Talking about herd immunity is pretty irrelevant, because everyone will become immune. 100 per cent, not 70 or 80 per cent, but 100 per cent in the population will inevitably become immune in, give or take, a year and a half. Either through vaccination or through natural infection. This virus will become endemic, it will not go away. Anyone who actively decides against getting vaccinated now will inevitably become infected. There is nothing you can do about it. Because, of course, the lockdown and distancing and masking measures will be cut back at some point. Then the virus will circulate in the population. It will circulate in the throats of people who have been vaccinated, who will not even notice that they are carrying the virus. It will circulate, of course, in the throats of children under twelve who cannot be vaccinated at the moment. The virus will spread in an undetected way under a blanket of immune protection. Then it will hit people who are not immunised by vaccination, who are fully susceptible. Those who are then infected, of course, may possibly end up in intensive care and many will die.

After the summer and in the autumn, people will have the opportunity to reconsider and say: Do I want to be vaccinated instead of getting infected naturally? If they don't get vaccinated, then of course they will get infected. This has nothing to do with political debates or compulsory vaccination or any kind of ethical debate. It is a free decision that people ultimately make. But I believe that those who actively decide against vaccination must know that they are also actively deciding in favour of natural infection.

And this music, oh how good is that! I have been listening to it for the last couple of days, the entire album is on youtube. There is a story behind it, click here for more. This is my favourite track.

and this is also my favourite track


Steve Reed said...

It's hard for me to not simply believe that vaccine denial is Darwinism at work -- which is a cold-hearted way to look at it.

It's interesting that there are so many "holy days" there, and that they're observed as holidays with businesses closed. I thought Germany was more secular than that! I guess it's mostly just tradition, though.

am said...

Thank you so much, Sabine, for everything in this post. For some inexplicable reason on last Thursday, Ascension Day came to my attention. And now you have brought Pentecost to mind. All mysterious to me. All part of my upbringing in the Episcopal Church. What to make of these holy days? All religions have them in one form or another. Even Buddhism, not a religion, has the mysterious day that a man saw suffering in a new light and found freedom from suffering. Thich Nhat Hanh has pointed out that he sees the Buddha and Jesus as brothers, that the Buddha would have been crucified for his ideas if had he been born in Bethlehem.

Thank you, too, for the translation of Christian Drosten's podcast of clarity and generous insight.

Listening and following links, I found this in connection with "Yaral Sa Doom."

"Today you must educate children with an instrument and art, when you teach them an instrument you teach them to use their spirit," says Djiby Ly.

It is almost sunrise here and early afternoon for you. Grateful that the internet connects so many of us across time and space.

Barbara Rogers said...

Glad to learn about the holidays in Germany. Interesting music!

Colette said...

It is really interesting that so many holy days are celebrated with business closings in Germany. Regardless of religiosity, what fun it must be to see these ancient rituals and traditions performed.

Ms. Moon said...

That second video held so much that is familiar to me, despite the distance between our lives. But now I think I need some ostriches. Thank you.

My life so far said...

I really enjoyed the music and especially loved seeing Mouhamodou Lo, his children and his farm. I love to see how other people live and how alike we all are. His dog chasing the ostrich and drinking while he watered his plants.

I also like the article you translated. People still don't seem to get it but I guess there will always be people like that, people who believe something despite seeing the truth with their own eyes. I wonder why people are like this.

37paddington said...

Here is the US, they're saying that vaccinated people can't really spread it. Is this really true? Christian Drosten seems to think not, so what have we misunderstood?

Sabine said...

From what I gather there is more and more data to show that the virus is transmitted by vaccinated people but most likely in a weaker version. The key really is to be vaccinated or immune due to a past infection. How long immunity lasts is something we're going to find out in the future.

ellen abbott said...

thanks for this Sabine. I rely heavily on you and your connections to the scientific community and understanding of the science. Do you think they will be conducting antibody tests of people that have been vaccinated say, a year later, to determine how long the immunity lasts and if we need to get yearly boosters?

Sabine said...

Here, antibody tests are done for people who have underlying conditions and/or chronic illnesses. I had mine done ten days after the vaccine to check whether the vaccine worked despite the immune suppression meds I take. I am scheduled for another antibody test three months after the vaccine as there are already cases of immunity decreasing due to these meds.
I am sure there is plenty of research and data collected all over the planet on antibodies and immunity, not just in relation to new virus mutations/variants but also because the vaccine manufacturers certainly need to show how effective their stuff is.

If you want to do an antibody test, go to a reliable laboratory, don't buy a cheap one on the internet. The method to detect antibodies in blood is called ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay).

37paddington said...

I hope we don't find out how long immunity lasts through masses of vaccinated people suddenly starting to get sick. I worry about this.

Joared said...

Thanks for this information. I enjoyed this music and especially your favorite track.