Monthly Archives: January 2022

Latest Dispatch From the “You Can’t Make This S*** Up” Department

Thanks to TheEnlightenedMind622 for bringing this to my attention. My jaw is still on the floor.

Desperate No-Vaxxers Paying COVID-Positive People $150 for Dinner and COVID Infection

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

A new vaccination mandate in Italy requires everyone over 50 to be vaccinated or pay a hefty fine. Some are opting to pay to get infected with COVID instead.

ROME—The messages started popping up on Telegram a few days after Italy announced a new vaccine mandate requiring everyone over age 50 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk hefty fines and even termination from their jobs.

Here in the first epicenter of the pandemic outside of China, Italy has paid a hefty price with lockdowns that have crippled the economy and the deaths of more than 140,000 people. Vaccine mandates have become the primary strategy in moving forward, yet a small number of people continue to resist.

The only alternative to getting vaccinated is having recovered from the infection, which must be registered on a person’s national health card. “I am urgently looking for a positive and I am willing to pay,” one desperate anti-vaxxer wrote, according to Italian police who are cracking down on the clandestine COVID meetups and other scams ahead of the Feb. 1 deadline for the over-50 vaccine mandate.

Soon after the announcement of the new law, enterprising opportunists started offering COVID parties where people who tested positive for the disease mix and mingle with those who want to catch it—one racket in Tuscany even includes a truffle dinner with Barolo wine, along with a positive-testing infection for around $150.

Other scams have also emerged. Two people were arrested in Rome after one man who was COVID positive used the health card of someone who wanted to skirt the vaccines to get tested at a pharmacy. When the COVID-positive man opted to pay with his own credit card—which obviously did not match the health card of the man who wanted a positive COVID diagnosis attached to his—the pharmacy conducting the test reported them both.

Infectious-disease specialist Pier Luigi Lopalco said on Italian television that the COVID parties and other scams are against the law and people involved should be hunted down and arrested. “This uses the same logic as playing Russian roulette. For a person who has never had COVID, who has not been vaccinated, encountering this virus can mean a mild form of the disease, but it can also mean ending up in intensive care,” he said on Italian television. “The discriminating factor between these two occurrences, probably, lies in genetics. And there is nothing that can be done to know in advance.”

He added, “Nobody can know before getting infected if they belong to the lucky group that will not have serious consequences or to that less fortunate group that can end up being intubated.”

The trend is not so terribly different from anti-vax parents who held measles parties for their kids when vaccinations became mandatory in Italy—which led to legislation that made such practices illegal.

After an anti-vax nurse was arrested for hosting a COVID party in Milan last week, virologist Roberto Burioni tweeted his disgust. “I would pay any amount to get me (and my loved ones) the vaccine, instead there are people who pay not to have it,” he wrote. “It’s like paying to have airbags removed from your car.”

The Book Club Virgin

Although I’ve been an avid reader all my life — and exchanged book recommendations with friends for years — I was never in a book club until today.

Of course, “thanks” to Covid, it wasn’t what I’ve always imagined: a cozy gathering in someone’s living room, drinking wine, snacking, and veering off-topic.

Well, that last part kind of happened.

This was a Zoom gathering of a dozen women including many who knew each other and a couple of newbies. What I soon realized is that a book club provides permission to gossip shamelessly and unreservedly about people we’ve never met: “I can’t believe he said that!” “I can’t believe she DID that!” “What on earth were they thinking?” “His parents never really understood him.” “She was just trapped.” “How could he have been so callous?”

And, of course, we all wondered what the future holds and whether there will be a sequel.

This could be my favorite new guilty pleasure.

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

Good News Monday: Return of the Bison

If you live in the UK, you may soon glimpse the first wild bison to roam the country in thousands of years. Although not native to Britain, The Wilder Blean project in Kent plans to reintroduce bison in 2022 to help with woodland recovery and management on a controlled site, as was done successfully in the Netherlands in 2007. The rangers will begin with a young bull from Germany, two young females from Ireland, and an older female from Scotland.

Home on the range, indeed!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Not sure if this is the right type of bison but it’s all I could find 🙂

The Deploring Twenties

Happy New Year, dear readers! As we shake off our hangovers and make resolutions, I suggest we virtually hold hands and pray that 2022 isn’t a repeat of 2020 and 2021.

A century ago, the Roaring Twenties ushered in an era of economic prosperity, cultural milestones including jazz and Art Deco, the end of corsets along with acknowledgment of a woman’s right to vote, innovations such as automobiles, radio and telephones, electrical appliances, and moving pictures.

So far, the 2020s have little to boast about: a deadly pandemic; social isolation; increased pushback against the basic human dignities of controlling our own bodies, loving whom we choose, existing without fear because of the color of our skin; the ever-increasing consequences of climate change, etc.

It’s enough to make any sensate being take to our beds with a bottle of booze and wait until humanity comes to its collective senses.

But hey, it’s a new year, and optimism springs eternal. We’ve still got a chance to turn this century into the Soaring 20s. It’s just gonna take a little effort.

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com