Corporate choices

I’m fascinated by all the concerned “freedom-fighters” who are opposed to companies mandating vaccination, negative COVID tests, and/or masks.

Where have they been when it came to decades of drug testing?

It seems odd to me that many of those who were fine with drug testing (which was never about on-the-job impairment and so didn’t affect other employees) are upset with corporations taking steps to ensure that they have a safer working environment where a lethal contagious disease is less likely to be spread.

I had the privilege of working my entire life without ever having to take a job that required drug testing (I had decided I would never do so). I realize that not everyone had could do that.

I’m retired now, so I don’t need to accept any work, but I would add to it that I wouldn’t accept a job with a company that didn’t take proactive steps to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19.

Now that the Supreme Court has nixed the government mandate for employee vaccinations, it’ll be interesting to see what individual companies decide. Just like some of the more enlightened companies realized that drug testing requirements were driving away talented folks who liked to smoke pot, companies will now have to decide whether to attract those workers who care about their health or anti-vaxxers.

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12 Responses to Corporate choices

  1. Servetus says:

    Fears and attempts to prohibit vaccinations are as old as vaccinations themselves. They’re typically linked to a theology. Just as in the 18th century, today’s anti-vaxxers are undergoing a Darwinian moment where the fittest or the survivors are the ones being selected for because they are guided by science and reason. The history of anti-vaxxers is well documented:

    …Boyer presented inoculation as a preventive of smallpox in France, and thoughtful physicians in England, inspired by Lady Montagu and Maitland, followed his example. Ultra-conservatives in medicine took fright at once on both sides of the Channel, and theology was soon finding profound reasons against the new practice. The French theologians of the Sorbonne solemnly condemned it; the English theologians were most loudly represented by the Rev. Edward Massey, who in 1772 preached and published a sermon entitled The Dangerous and Sinful Practice of Inoculation. In this he declared that Job’s distemper was probably confluent smallpox; that he had been inoculated doubtless by the devil; that diseases are sent by Providence for the punishment of sin; and that the proposed attempt to prevent them is “a diabolical operation.” Not less vigorous was the sermon of the Rev. Mr. Delafaye, entitled Inoculation an Indefensible Practice. This struggle went on for thirty years. It is a pleasure to note some churchmen—and among them Madox, Bishop of Worcester—giving battle on the side of right reason; but as late as 1753 we have a noted rector at Canterbury denouncing inoculation from his pulpit in the primatial city, and many of his brethren following his example.

    The same opposition was vigorous in Protestant Scotland. A large body of ministers joined in denouncing the new practice as “flying in the face of Providence,” and “endeavouring to baffle a Divine judgment.” On our own side of the ocean, also, this question had to be fought out. About the year 1721 Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, a physician in Boston, made an experiment in inoculation, one of his first subjects being his own son. He at once encountered bitter hostility, so that the selectmen of the city forbade him to repeat the experiment. Foremost among his opponents was Dr. Douglas, a Scotch physician, supported by the medical profession and the newspapers. […]

    Here, too, sundry vague survivals of theological ideas caused many of the clergy to side with retrograde physicians. Perhaps the most virulent of Jenner’s enemies was one of his professional brethren, Dr. Moseley, who placed on the title-page of his book, Lues Bovilla, the motto, referring to Jenner and his followers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”: this book of Dr. Moseley was especially indorsed by the Bishop of Dromore. In 1798 an Anti-vaccination Society was formed by physicians and clergymen, who called on the people of Boston to suppress vaccination, as “bidding defiance to Heaven itself, even to the will of God,” and declared that “the law of God prohibits the practice.” […]

    Andrew Dickson White, History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, c. 1896, (p. 173, 175). Kindle Edition.

    Modern anti-vaxxers are calling themselves “Purebloods” and are motivated by a religious perspective on disease and its prevention that can include faith healing. Religious exemptions are often recognized by the Supreme Court, corporate exemptions not so much:

    • Son of Sam Walton says:

      What if you believe in Vaccines, but not masks? (today’s masks at least) Masks have been linked to Cancer in Iraq . . . and we had proof of this back in 2014 and 2018. Unless in a medical facility, I won’t wear one at work or other places and the biggest reason is that the synthetic fibers come from Iraq after China or America etc takes that oil and makes polypropylene, and those little fibers are perfectly sized to get stuck in the little holes of your lungs. And this was after I wore it 5 days a week for 8hrs starting late Feb of 2020 to late August of 2021. Itchy noses, increased consumption of your own Carbon Dioxide, it smells after a bit, it pollutes, it makes your nose bleed from loose fibers or just scratching the nose constantly. Everything we buy now, made from oil, helps Iraq secure its position in the Guinness Book of Records for Cancer.

      And I worked at a State VA style nursing home, and we had way more of our guys die in that Covid time than I can remember and I’m talking about Korean and Nam age guys . . . guys that did their 20 from 75′ to 95′. BUT–the constant room and roommate changes (Once a day to 3 times a day/week for over a half year) and keeping loved ones and friends out who used to see them every day or on their birthdays . . . isolation units where many residents lost stuff or stuff was destroyed out of fear for the disease . . . cowboy boots, old family Bibles passed down since the 1920s and taken to the foxholes, old pictures, clothing, rare antiques, letters from mom sent in 1969, medals, awards, coins, the last photo of the wife and you before she passed . . . memories lost, memories misplaced, memories not given back for months on end, but mostly memories simply placed in industrial-sized washers meant to wash large loads of laundry. Your shoes gone and not replaced for many days or weeks. We turned that place upside down Fighting an invisible Enemy while our nation was at War and in the midst of corrupt hypocritical violent chaos dished out by our Law Enforcement . . . sometimes the guys had no TVs for many weeks or months . . . sometimes the TV was the only friend the guy had other than paranoid nurses dressed for Outer Space, for a few weeks or a few months at a time. Maybe we killed some of them before the virus could get to them? PTSD doesn’t retire and watching old men who had THAT room for a decade now moved to numerous rooms become quickly more feeble, helpless, and filled with memory problems. I think we showed Covid that we could be more destructive to the ‘patients’. But that’s from being in a nursing home at that time.

      And those cloth masks? I think the Cancerful Iraqi killing masks actually do the job, not these cloth masks which makes breathing very hard.

      What about Hemp Plastic Masks? Less Arctic Ice will melt to make people feel that masks work.

      • Servetus says:

        If I ever need really heavy duty protection, I keep a couple of Israeli military gas masks in my earthquake kit. New face mask technology is on the horizon that my offer alternatives:

        12-JAN-2022–…Dubbed “FaceBit,” the lightweight, quarter-sized sensor uses a tiny magnet to attach to any N95, cloth or surgical face mask.

        Not only can it sense the user’s real-time respiration rate, heart rate and mask wear time, it also may be able to replace cumbersome tests by measuring mask fit. All this information is then wirelessly transmitted to a smartphone app, which contains a dashboard for real-time health monitoring. The app can immediately alert the user when issues — such as elevated heart rate or a leak in the mask — unexpectedly arise. The physiological data also could be used to predict fatigue, physical health status and emotional state.

        Although a tiny battery powers the device, FaceBit is designed to harvest energy from any variety of ambient sources — including the force of the user’s breathing, motion and heat from a user’s breath as well as from the sun. This extends the sensor’s battery life, lengthening time between charges.

        “We wanted to design an intelligent face mask for health care professionals that does not need to be inconveniently plugged in during the middle of a shift,” said Northwestern’s Josiah Hester, who led the device development. “We augmented the battery’s energy with energy harvesting from various sources, which means that you can wear the mask for a week or two without having to charge or replace the battery.” […]

        AAAS Public Science News Release: ‘Fitbit for the face’ can turn any face mask into smart monitoring device,
        FaceBit can monitor wearer’s health, sense heart beat through the face

        Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies: FaceBit: Smart Face Masks Platform; Alexander Curtiss, Blaine Rothrock, Abu Bakar, Nivedita Arora, Jason Huang, Zachary Englhardt, Aaron-Patrick Empedrado.

        Also See:

        Face mask fit modifications that improve source control performance, Francoise M. Blachere, MSc, Angela R. Lemons, MSc, Jayme P. Coyle, PhD, James R. Harris, PhD, Tim Nurkiewicz, PhD, John D. Noti, PhD

  2. David MacLaren says:

    I think the premises you rely on may be the problem..

    1. drug testing for substance abuse is nothing like being coerced/forced to have a spurious vaccine/chemical injected against your wishes.

    2. “…a lethal contagious disease is less likely to be spread…”

    Two problems here.. first, your exaggeration in the description of covid19 of course makes your comments seem reasonable, but there are published govt figures that describe the actual lethality of this virus and it’s variants, showing that the OVERWHELMING majority of people recover, many within days. There are several other common conditions that are equally or more deadly than covid19 and so the medical reality seems to have been warped for, what can only be assumed, political reasons.

    Secondly, covid19 ‘may’ be less likely to be spread by vaccinated and constantly ‘boostered’ people (no data yet proving this up), but there is no evidence that un-vaccinated people are a danger to anyone as they are generally more careful how they interact with infected and vaccinated people.

    There is not enough space here to include sufficient detail in my answers, but as a person who has had almost every vaccine available from child to adult, I am not anti-vax in any way and my assessment of the available facts makes me both suspicious and fearful of anyone trying so hard to force people to receive an injection of such flaky provenance!

    3 “…workers who care about their health…”

    To suggest that people who refuse to risk their own health by taking any currently available vaccine, do not care about their or their co-workers health is unfair and borders on preposterous. It may seem like a small % of people die or have horrible side effects to these fake vaccines, but it’s a genuine russian roulette.. no thanks!

    While I have strong views based on my own research and observations, I would prefer to talk calmly about the actual facts available, and I will readily accept a change of mind if data really supports any claim you, and others like you, make.

    I am closely watching Valneva who are developing AND TESTING a whole virus vaccine for covid19 diseases, and upon it’s acceptance and release (unhindered by larger pharma companies), I would most likely accept this and similarly developed vaccines as a safe solution.. and I believe many others who currently object to ‘mandates’ would become vaccinated without any coercion or bullying.

  3. Henry Jiggins says:

    So you’re saying the vaccinated need to be protected from the un-vaccinated, by forcing the un-vaccinated to use the same vaccine that doesn’t appear to protect the vaccinated from transmission in the first place. What am I missing here?

    • Pete says:

      A lot.

      First of all, you’re completely off on your statement that the vaccine doesn’t appear to protect the vaccinated from transmission. The data is very clear that the unvaccinated are far more susceptible to catching the virus. Yes, breakthrough cases occur, but the vaccine makes it far less likely to catch it than if you’re unvaccinated. This means that a workforce with unvaccinated people in the mix increases the odds of the virus circulating, which includes increasing the odds of a vaccinated worker encountering a large enough amount of the virus to experience a breakthrough case. You can never be 100% safe, but why make the odds worse?

      And if that vaccinated worker is also a caregiver for people who are immunity compromised, that becomes an even larger concern. With so many people who have died from COVID, the idea of working with people who are actively resisting common-science scientifically-approved measures to reduce the threat makes for an uncomfortable work environment.

      It’s also extremely clear from the data that the unvaccinated are much more likely to require hospitalization if/when they get COVID, dramatically taxing the local health system. This degrades the quality of life for all residents in the area (thus all workers in the company) as they end up receiving inferior care for other kinds of medical needs and have to defer elective surgeries. Good companies are very mindful of community quality of life concerns for attracting workers.

      It should make sense to companies to require vaccination, not only to protect the health of their vaccinated workers but also for the health of the company. Unvaccinated workers are more likely to miss an extended amount of work if they get the virus (hospitalization, death) and potentially cost the company more in health insurance rates (if they provide health insurance), etc.

      There’s also the thought that requiring vaccination is a bit of an intelligence test. While it’s not 100% correlation, there is a tendency for anti-vaxxers to be anti-science and more susceptible to wild youtube conspiracy theories. For some jobs, that may be fine, but I’m guessing that a lot of companies would prefer to hire smart people.

      • Atrocity says:

        It’s also not just the mechanics of the healthcare system (hospital capacity, etc.) that are being stretched to the breaking point by the science-deniers, it’s the humans doing the actual work. Burnout is extreme, people are quitting jobs they’ve loved for years and some are even committing suicide.

        And where do we even begin with those who dismiss COVID because “the OVERWHELMING majority of people recover, many within days” yet don’t even remotely care about those who won’t recover while simultaneously ignoring the fact that the OVERWHELMING majority of those who are vaccinated are objectively better off themselves while also objectively safer to those around them?

        And “recover” in context is a tricky, tricky word here as well. Plenty of people who don’t die from COVID still wind up with what is so far an open-ended degradation in their quality of life due to “long COVID”.

        It is impossible for me to separate the anti-vaxers from that Texan politician who went on TV and proclaimed that seniors would be happy to die if it saved the economy for their grandchildren. Uh…no. I’m not dying for profit, thanks just the same.

      • I spend the fall and winter in SW Arizona and a LOT of these “snowbirds” are tRumpers and tRumpettes – and anti-vax. A man that is a friend of my sis and bro-in-law fit that description and he was a veteran w/ children (so lots of vaccines over the years). He and his wife insisted that because they were young (early 40s) and healthy they weren’t worried. They did not do social distancing (in fact quite the opposite).

        He caught the vid and died w/in a month.

        He was in the hospital for about 3 weeks.

        Another acquaintance here found he had cancer on top of his bronchitis… he died waiting to be treated (no beds in the ICU).

        Rest assured the regulars here on the couch know very well about how the govt lies.

  4. Servetus says:

    Cannabinol (CBN) shows great promise in treating neurogenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s:

    January 25, 2021—Decades of research on medical cannabis has focused on the compounds THC and CBD in clinical applications. But less is known about the therapeutic properties of cannabinol (CBN). Now, a new study by Salk scientists shows how CBN can protect nerve cells from oxidative damage, a major pathway to cell death…CBN has the potential for treating age-related neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s. […]

    Derived from the cannabis plant, CBN is molecularly similar to THC, but is not psychoactive. It’s also less heavily regulated by the FDA. Previous research by Maher’s lab found that CBN had neuroprotective properties, but it wasn’t clear how it worked. Now, this new study explains the mechanism through which CBN protects brain cells from damage and death.

    Maher’s team looked at the process of oxytosis, also called ferroptosis, which is thought to occur in the aging brain. Growing evidence suggests that oxytosis may be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Oxytosis can be triggered by the gradual loss of an antioxidant called glutathione, causing neural cell damage and death via lipid oxidation. In the study, the scientists treated nerve cells with CBN, and then introduced an agent to stimulate oxidative damage.

    They further found that the CBN worked by protecting mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouses, within the neurons. In damaged cells, oxidation caused the mitochondria to curl up like donuts—a change that’s also been seen in aging cells taken from the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Treating cells with CBN prevented the mitochondria from curling up and kept them functioning well.

    To confirm the interaction between CBN and mitochondria, researchers then replicated the experiment in nerve cells that had the mitochondria removed. In these cells, CBN no longer demonstrated its protective effect. […]

    In addition to Alzheimer’s, the findings have implications for other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, which is also linked to glutathione loss. “Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in changes in various tissues, not just in the brain and aging, so the fact that this compound is able to maintain mitochondrial function suggests it could have more benefits beyond the context of Alzheimer’s disease,” Maher said. […]

    Salk Science News Public Release: Active ingredient in cannabis protects aging brain cells; Salk researchers find cannabinol preserves mitochondrial function and prevents oxidative damage to cells

    Free Radical Biology and Medicine: Cannabinol inhibits oxytosis/ferroptosis by directly targeting mitochondria independently of cannabinoid receptors; Zhibin Liangab, David Soriano-Castella, Devin Kepchiaa, Brendan, M. Dugganc, Antonio Curraisa, David Schubertab, Pamela Mahera.

  5. Servetus says:

    The NFL is funding research for the effects of THC and CBD on pain relief using rugby players as test subjects:

    1-FEB-2022–Today, the National Football League announced funding of a novel clinical trial that will assess the therapeutic efficacy (and any possible adverse effects) of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis; cannabidiol (CBD), the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis but not psychoactive; and a combination of the two for treating post-competition pain caused by soft tissue injury, compared to a placebo.

    Co-led by Mark Wallace, MD, a pain management specialist and director of the Center for Pain Medicine at UC San Diego Health, and Thomas Marcotte, PhD, professor of psychiatry at University of California School of Medicine and co-director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) at UC San Diego, the randomized, double-blind trial will involve testing and monitoring of professional rugby players.

    Professional rugby was chosen for the first trial because it approximates the types of injuries also experienced by NFL players, the researchers said, and was logistically more feasible. […]

    The primary goal of the trial will be to evaluate pain relief and recovery. Secondary goals include assessment of any effects on physical function, sleep, cognition and mood.

    Participating athletes who report post-game pain that meets a specific threshold will have a blood sample drawn and be assigned to vaporize either 4 percent THC, 12 percent CBD, a combination of THC and CBD at those percentages or a placebo for up to four times per day over the following 48 hours. They will be asked to self-report pain scores via a cell phone application at regular intervals during those 48 hours. A second blood draw will be taken the day after each game. […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Later hit: Does cannabis ease pain, speed recovery in injured athletes? Novel clinical trial, funded by NFL, will tackle the popular, but mostly anecdotal, idea that cannabis provides post-game therapeutic benefit to elite athletes who are hurting

  6. CBD Oil From Marijuana Linked To Lower Covid Rates

    A new laboratory study reveals CBD oil could help prevent Covid-19 infection or help fight it. The University of Chicago team of researchers did not say it works in patients but say it “made a strong case for a clinical trial.”

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