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‘They Have Already Set Up The Internment Camps’

The Washington State Legislature is slated to vote on a measure that will authorize the involuntary detainment of residents as young as 5 years old in “Covid-19 concentration camps, for failing to comply with the state’s experimental vaccine mandate.

If passed, WAC 246-100 will allow local health officers at “his other sole discretion” to “issue an emergency detention order causing a person or group of persons to be immediately detained for purposes of isolation or quarantine.”

Health officers are required to provide documentation proving unvaccinated residents subject to detention have denied “requests for medical examination, testing, treatment, counseling, vaccination, decontamination of persons or animals, isolation, quarantine and inspection and closure of facilities” prior to involuntarily confining unvaccinated residents in quarantine facilities, the proposal states.

The measure also allows health officers to deploy law enforcement officials to assist with the arrest of uncompliant Washington residents.

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Pritzker signs Health Care Right of Conscience change

The bill passed the House Oct. 27 by a vote of 64-52. It passed the Senate the following day, 31-24. Because the votes took place after May 31, and because it did not pass both chambers by at least a three-fifths majority, under the Illinois Constitution the new law cannot take effect until June 1, 2022, unless lawmakers come back and pass an identical bill during the 2022 session, which begins in January.

Critics of the bill argued that it would violate individual religious freedoms by taking away their right to refuse certain medical treatments that they find morally or religiously objectionable while others argued that individual health care decisions should be a matter of personal choice.

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Column: Mocking anti-vaxxers’ COVID deaths is ghoulish, yes — but may be necessary

How should we react to the deaths of the unvaccinated?

On the one hand, a hallmark of civilized thought is the sense that every life is precious.

On the other, those who have deliberately flouted sober medical advice by refusing a vaccine known to reduce the risk of serious disease from the virus, including the risk to others, and end up in the hospital or the grave can be viewed as receiving their just deserts.

The vaccine is not the cure to Covid, and mandates won’t work.

KELLY ERNBY, BEFORE HER UNVACCINATED DEATH FROM COVID

That’s even more true of those who not only refused the vaccine for themselves, but publicly advocated that others do so.

It has become common online and in social media for vaccine refusers and anti-vaccine advocates to become the target of ridicule after they come down with COVID-19 and especially if they die from it.

Witness the subreddit HermanCainAward, which Lili Loofbourow of Slate identified in September as “a site for heartless and unrepentant schadenfreude.”

The site is named for the former Republican candidate for president who became one of the first political notables to succumb to the disease after publicly defying social distancing measures.

Like another site, sorryantivaxxer.com, the subreddit hosts snippets and photographs of anti-vaccine advocates, often taken at their deathbeds.

The issue of how to think about the deaths of unvaccinated has been thrown into high relief locally by the case of Kelly Ernby, a prominent Orange County Republican and deputy district attorney who advocated against vaccine mandates and died of COVID around New Year’s Day, unvaccinated.

Ernby’s death promptly came to symbolize the rift in the social fabric caused by the ravages of COVID.

Some online commenters greeted her demise with glee, provoking her political friends to push back against what Ben Chapman, a Costa Mesa GOP official, called “bigotry and hate” directed against her.

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The Concept of the Crown and Its Potential Role in the Downfall of Coronavirus

Look at this FARCE written in 2020! Preparing for 1st Seal?

Coronavirus virions are spherical or variable in shape and composed of an outer layer of lipid covered with a crown of club-shaped peplomers or spikes. Within each spike is a helical single-stranded RNA-containing structural protein. Although the term corona was first used in English in the 1500s, it was borrowed directly from the Latin word for “crown.” Corona is derived from the Ancient Greek κορώνη (korōnè), meaning “garland” or “wreath,” coming from a proto-Indo-European root, sker- or ker-, meaning “to turn” or “to bend.” 

In the 1967 initial description of an electron microscopic image of a human common cold virus, June Almeida (née Hart) and David Tyrrell described the surface of coronavirus particles as being “covered with a distinct layer of projections roughly 200Ǻ [20 nm] long….[with] a narrow stalk just in the limit of resolution of the microscope and a ‘head’ roughly 100Ǻ across”. In micrographs, the club-shaped spikes that stud the surface of coronaviruses are glycoproteins that give the appearance of a radiate crown.

Thumbnail of Bust of Helios, radiate (seven rays), with long hair, wearing a chlamys, a short cloak worn by men in ancient Greece. 1st century CE. Public domain image by Marie-Lan Nguyen. Holding institution: Louvre Museum, Paris, France. 

Figure 1. Bust of Helios, radiate (seven rays), with long hair, wearing a chlamys, a short cloak worn by men in ancient Greece. 1st century CE. Public domain image by Marie-Lan Nguyen. Holding...

 

Our modern-day corona conceptualization of club-shaped spikes on the coronavirus surface comes from traditional representations of crowns as radiate headbands, worn as symbols of sovereign power, to liken that power to that of the sun. Solar deities have been integral in the development of cultures across the world. In predynastic Egypt, Atum was a solar deity associated with the sun god Ra, and Horus was the god of the sky and sun. In Buddhist cosmology, the bodhisattva (one who is on the path toward Buddhahood) of the sun, SūryaprabhaExternal Link, and the bodhisattva of the moon, Candraprabha, are both classically represented as human figures with a background of radiate halos. In traditional Western art, such a solar crown is often represented as a curved band of points representing rays. Representations with radiate crowns date from the 4th century BCE onward, beginning with their frequent inclusion in representations of Alexander III of Macedon (commonly referred to as Alexander the Great), who was likened to the sun deity, Helios (Figure 1).

Throughout ancient world references, the character of Helios is featured favorably. In the 12th book of the Odyssey, Homer refers to Helios as a god "who gives joy to mortals." This month’s EID cover features a rendition of a sculpted metope, a rectangular carved marble plaque in a Doric frieze that was excavated from the Temple of Athena at Troy/Ilion by Heinrich Schliemann in 1872. This metope, dating from the early 4th century BCE, depicts Helios driving a quadriga which is a chariot drawn by four horses abreast. In a later depiction of Helios seen on this page, the deity is represented in a bronze bust with seven rays radiating from a head of long hair. Found at the beginning of the last century in Tripoli, this bust dates from the 1st century CE and may also have been intended to serve as a portrait of Alexander himself.

Thumbnail of Antoninianus (2 denarii silvered bronze coin) of the Roman emperor Aurelian, 274-275 CE. Obverse:  IMP AVRELIANVS AVG [(Emperor Aurelian Augustus] Crowned and cuirassed bust of Aurelian facing right.  Reverse:  ORIENS AVG [Eastern (rising) sun Augustus]. Crowned figure of Sol Invictus [Unconquered Sun] holding laurel branch and bow, stepping on conquered enemy.  Private collection, Atlanta, Georgia.  Photography by Will Breedlove.

Figure 2. Antoninianus (2 denarii silvered bronze coin) of the Roman emperor Aurelian, 274–275 ce. Obverse: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG [Emperor Aurelian Augustus]. Crowned and cuirassed bust of Aurelian facing right. Reverse: ORIENS AVG [Eastern (rising)...

 

In ancient Rome, the linkage between the power of rulers and the power of the sun was also frequently depicted on coinage. For example, a sovereign wearing a radiate crown on the front (obverse) of the coin and a personification of the sun also wearing a radiate crown and sometimes driving a quadriga on the back (reverse) was common. Figure 2 is an example of such coinage, featuring the emperor Aurelian wearing a radiate crown on the obverse, and, on the reverse, a personification of the official sun god of the later Roman Empire, the Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun), also wearing a radiate crown. In the modern era, positive artistic depictions of liberty and peace have also worn radiate crowns including the Statue of Liberty and the silver US Peace Dollar (1921–1935) that was featured on the March 2018 cover of this journal.

Thumbnail of Image from Public Health Image Library, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Figure 3. Image from Public Health Image Library, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Helios and crowns are associated with power and joy in Western art in ways contradictory to the reality of the tragic pandemic that we are now experiencing with a novel pathogen featuring surface projections that are likened visually to the life-saving rays of the sun. Most recently, 2 illustrators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alissa Eckert and Dan Higgins, have immortalized those surface projections in a creative, colored representation of SARS-CoV-2 that itself has “gone viral” in print and digital media (Figure 3). These same spike glycoproteins undergo cleavage into 2 units: a receptor-binding unit (in the globular head of the spike) and a fusion unit (in the stalk of the spike). The receptor-binding unit is responsible for the initial binding of coronaviruses to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors on the surface of endothelial cells of the human respiratory epithelium and other tissues; the fusion unit mediates the subsequent fusion of the virus with endothelial cell membranes.

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