Who are these people?

More than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2020. “We are in an enduring crisis that is still going on. We are still right in the middle of it…”

The 29.4% increase is an alarming jump from 2019, which also set a record after 71,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics…

The spike in deaths was driven by the increased presence of the dangerous opioid fentanyl into the illicit drug market in the US, along with increased isolation among people who use drugs and overwhelmed public health agencies during the pandemic. The increase is only the latest in a long-running epidemic of overdose deaths steadily rising over the last half-century, with more than half a million people dying as a result of drug overdoses in the last decade alone…

While fentanyl is now linked to 3 out of 5 overdose deaths nationwide, the preliminary statistics suggest deaths from methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription pain pills also increased in the last year. That likely reflects their contamination with fentanyl, and increasing use of multiple drugs together, said Volkow. As little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose; one survey conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration reported that 26% of counterfeit pain pills contained that dosage or higher.

We know all the usual steps needed to fightback…including policing producers of ingredients used by the makers of counterfeit drugs. One constant remains. A junkie is a junkie is a junkie. Straightening out that personality disorder still seems to be beyond modern American medicine.

22% of Americans likely believe being anti-vax is way cool…

The study involved surveying more than 1,000 demographically representative participants and revealed that 22 percent of Americans always (8 percent) or sometimes (14 percent) self-identify as anti-vaxxers, and that those who do tend to embrace the label as a form of social identity. Timothy Callaghan, PhD, also found that participants who scored highly on the anti-vaccine identity measure were less trusting of scientific experts and more individualistic. Additionally, study results show that there is increased opposition to childhood vaccine requirements among those who self-identify as anti-vaxxers.

“We found these results both surprising and concerning,” Callaghan said. “The fact that 22 percent of Americans at least sometimes identify as anti-vaxxers was much higher than expected and demonstrates the scope of the challenge in vaccinating the population against COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”…

Of course, not all individuals who are skeptical of vaccine safety embrace the anti-vaccine label as a form of social identity. Nevertheless, Callaghan’s study suggests that a significant portion of the American public associates with the anti-vaxx label at least some of the time, with many viewing that label as an important part of their social identity.

I’d start a comparable investigation by determining how many are ill-educated and ignorant…and how many are just dumb as a hoe handle.

You can be a MANLY MAN and a MANLY REPUBLICAN by keeping people from getting vaccinated

According to the strict rules of masculinity, manly men should not recycle, lean in a certain direction, or wear a face mask. Now, evidently, the latest unnecessarily gendered action is receiving the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine and becoming immune to a contagious illness that has killed nearly 3 million people worldwide…

With each day, more Americans become eligible for vaccination, but certain demographics are more hesitant to take advantage of the shot. According to a new NPR/Marist study, 41% of self-identified Republicans, 34% of Independents, and 11% of Democrats say they do not plan on becoming vaccinated. Americans were also broken down by race, generation, education level, and voting history, and Republican men comprise the most anti-vaccine group. Compared to 34% of Republican women, 14% of Democrat women, and only 6% of Democrat men, 49% of Republican men say they will not get the vaccine…

In other words, toxic masculinity is now a public health crisis. Literally.

Dimwits!

Weed is still illegal in states where sex with farm animals isn’t

In so many ways, laws are what keep society together. The rules that mark order. But they can also be deeply problematic. Consider that in some states bestiality is still legal, but smoking a joint isn’t.

That is the point of a new ad campaign from Jay-Z’s cannabis brand, Monogram. It uses black-and-white imagery and stark white text to point out the hypocrisy (and sometimes plain absurdity) of American drug policies.

The ad campaign is running in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Miami, and Washington, D.C., with plans to roll out in more cities in the next few weeks.

Sometimes, I wonder if a great education would be enough to countervail against the stupidity that keeps archaic laws on the books?

Trump Plague kills 200,000

The US has reached another tragic landmark in deaths from Covid-19, with more than 200,000 people now believed to have died because of the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Deaths have reached at least 200,005, according to the count by the university’s coronavirus resource center…

The US has the most Covid-19 deaths in the world, ahead of other nations with high death tolls including Brazil, India and Mexico…

Departing the White House for an election campaign event in Pittsburgh, Donald Trump said…”blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

Many public health experts believe the toll would be much lower and the virus under control if the Trump administration had taken a firmer grip on containing it fast early in 2020.

Trump isn’t capable of much more than total bullshit lies about his corrupt and incompetent government. He’s counting on “herd immunity” to save the whole nation from his plague. After all, it was a herd that voted like obedient cattle that put him into office.

Texas’ official says grandparents are ready to die for US economy — and they must!

The lieutenant governor of Texas argued in an interview on Fox News Monday night that the United States should go back to work, saying grandparents like him don’t want to sacrifice the country’s economy during the coronavirus crisis.

Patrick claimed after speaking to over a hundred people over the phone that there’s a consensus that they don’t want to “lose our whole country” over the current public health crisis and face an economic collapse

Health experts have made clear the coronavirus poses a particular danger for older patients – 60 years old and older – who face the highest risk of serious illness or death from the rapid spread of COVID-19.

This rightwing asshat calls 100 “experts” who agree that sending folks back to work rather than sheltering in place – halting quarantine from a highly-infectious disease – makes economic sense in his distorted understanding of what the result could be.

Aside from his obvious failing at essential humanity, Patrick’s ignorance of cause-and-effect in the firestorm of a plague is downright criminal. First, he thinks the death of thousands [or millions] is OK if it returns our economy to profitability. Second, the man is a fool if he thinks this coronavirus plague will not infect a critical mass of people of all ages if turning your back on public health standards of conduct and sanity is allowed to prevail. Crushing the US economy.

No doubt his “experts” qualify as such because they donate to political campaigns for cretins – candidate and voters alike.