BEWARE DOCTORS BEARING GIFTS
Pfizer Gave Me Duck Lips
First of all, this is not really about vaccine side effects and reactions. It is, but it isn’t. Just like the Trojan War wasn’t really about Helen of Troy.
Her absconding with that prick Paris got the Greeks in a huff, but they seemed they’d been itching for a fight already. Mycenae likely wanted Troy done away with in order to own the Aegean Sea and a slut running off with a cakeboy was a decent enough excuse. If Helen had walked out the front gates in the first year of that decade long struggle it still would have lasted years.
Agamemnon was just a bloodthirsty dick. The dude sacrificed his own daughter to produce the wind needed to sail yonder Aegean and slay some Trojans. He wasn’t going to stop just because the dispute was resolved.
He was more than willing to assert his control over nature in order to mass murder and if the opportunity cost him his daughter’s life that was a risk he was willing to take. More to the point, it was a risk he was willing to make her take. This kind of thing is still really popular.
To continue to savage this metaphor for all it’s worth… my lips are Helen of Troy.
These lips launched a thousand ships. So long as we consider ships to be database queries and other data science related tangents.
One should also resist considering this as medical advice. It isn’t. It is data science advice and on occasion data science is completely useless. I have never and likely will never tell someone to get vaccinated or not. That isn’t my business. My business is dick and fart jokes and software engineering. Your business is your business and I encourage you to treat your business as your business.
Exceptions apply, including for my wife, who I am firmly invested in surviving me by many, many years. All the years, in fact. Our two businesses are deeply intertwined. As often as I can make them if you know what I mean. Yeah, you do.
My Magical Vaccination Journey
I got my first shot of Pfizer under some duress. As a (relatively) young and (sort of) healthy person, the virus of any flavor holds no terror for me. I have some experience with data science so I didn’t have to rely on Anthony Faucists or other catastrophist interpretations of nature. I also apply risk management and mitigation methods to my real work as a Test Engineer, so I had some confidence I knew what I was doing.
No doubt, there are dullards among the population who believe “ignoring experts” is some sort of moral or intellectual failing. Also no doubt, these people are the 70% who sent an electric shock into puppies and people in the Milgram Experiment back in the 60’s simply because they were told to. They obey.
Only in issues without any individual, personal risk at all do they make a case of disobeying anyone.
I always ask them if we’re to simply do what we’re told, why did we bother forcing the government to provide data for us to look at in situations like these? We don’t need that stuff if we’re just going to obey. They then scream and wail and screech incoherently after defecating themselves in indignant rage. It’s a real mess and doesn’t add to the conversation at all, really.
The probability of me dying from the disease are so close to zero based on publicly available data sets that taking a vaccine for it isn’t reasonable. Vaccines have risks of their own and anyone who says otherwise is ignorant, dishonest, or probably both. Taking a vaccine adds additional risk in order to avoid a perfectly acceptable and negligible risk. Particularly since the vaccinated, according to the Faucists, can pass the virus around no problem still.
I wagered I would eventually get sick, weather the storm if it arrived, and emerge as an immune newborn.
Naked, crying, and covered in slime as usual. Nature Boy rises again stronger than before.
But Seattle, with all its liberal ideals and talk of bodily autonomy had different ideas of what was best for me and my body. Apparently, my body my choice is a fair weather philosophy applied only to the destruction of human fetuses. Other than that application, the idea holds zero appeal to my neighbors. Collectivist ideas kick in, furthered along by unwise addictions to fear mongering political pundits.
All of a sudden no one should be allowed the freedom to make their own medical decisions.
They don’t break into your house to inject corporate chemicals into your body, of course. They just ostracize you from all of the things you need to survive; a job, brunch at the Hi-Life in Ballard, and dignity of any sort. To these people, anyone not immediately onboard with a vaccination for a disease they will easily survive is a Nazi.
They’re not real solid on what is and is not national socialism here, by the way. But there’s no shortage of “Science is Real” signs signaling how little the bearer understands science, too.
The irony is pretty thick, if expected.
At the same time, since I had as little chance of dying from a vaccine as I did from the disease it protects against, I relented and decided, “Why not roll the dice twice?” The soft tyranny of culture invaded my house and nagged me to the point I was willing to risk a rash of side effects just to shut it up.
My first shot of Pfizer left me with a piercing headache, not to mention a constant lethargic stupor for three days. I felt like a new man crawling out of it. It wasn’t too bad, though the entire weekend was definitely shot to hell.
Interestingly, some seem to think reactions to the vaccine predict how you would fare against COVID. This is bullocks for several reasons, the least being no one can ever possibly know that. There’s no way to test it. It is pseudo-science at its best. Tea leaves.
My second Pfizer was on a Friday and the same lethargy came right along with it, though no headache. Odd. I’d been told the second shot is much like the first, but worse. No headache was good. I’d got away with the thing without a scratch.
I felt I was now free to lick every exposed surface of each brick in Pioneer Square. I could now eat the bubble gum off of Seattle’s infamously disgusting Gum Wall. I could buy a hot dog from the place down the street. I could re-open my kissing booth under the Denny Bridge. I could work.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, Monday arrived and socked me square in the mouth.
My upper lip swelled to twice its customary size, which with my lips means they now generate a noticeable gravitational field. Space bends around them. Light has difficulty escaping their surface. Fat Studies scholars have begun telling me how healthy and inspiring my swollen lips are. No one even asked them.
It is difficult to drink from a glass while retaining any sort of dignity or class, two character traits I always find difficult to find anyway. Drinking my hot, steamy morning coffee now has new considerations to consider and a bib isn’t out of the question. Straws also carry challenges of their own.
I know the vaccine punched me in the mouth since I don’t eat very often. I don’t eat breakfast or lunch as I’m simply not hungry at those times. This ruled out an allergic reaction to something I negligently stuffed in my mouth. That, and historically, I have never been allergic to anything on this earth. Except maybe cyanide. Haven’t tried it yet but I bet I don’t do well with that one.
I’m a generally optimistic person, so there’s always a positive side to debilitating vaccine side effects for me. Most prominently, this ordeal gave me the opportunity to use data science to see if these lips kill people! Maybe me! Exciting!
The Data Science Along the Way
I have certifications in data science, which is a blowhard credentialist way of saying someone thinks I understand the thing and could be paid to do it. It isn’t terribly complicated so I either do understand it or I absolutely do not. Sometimes I think no one understands it.
I do know most data scientists aren’t worth their salaries, though. About as useful as astrologers with a similar record. For what it’s worth, economists have worse records than astrologers. So at least I’m not consorting with those savages, even accidentally.
However, I usually have to have a reason to use this knowledge. Trudging through spreadsheets of gigantic data sets just because is not appealing to me. I got into statistics, data science, and the philosophy called epistemology so it would be harder for charlatans to make a monkey out of me. Not out of any passion. It’s a mostly soulless endeavor, the kind of thing a robot or autistic fellow would find enjoyable and compelling.
But with these cosmic lips, it got real personal.
I shambled over to my desktop, accounting for the extra weight in my comically oversized lips, and headed to the CDC’s VAERS database. This is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. It is filled with data from doctors and dummies regarding side effects they’ve experienced from a bunch of different vaccines; not all of which are COVID-19 related.
I downloaded their data sets and set to work scrubbing all the unneeded stuff; reactions to Moderna shots, flu shots, etc. I chose Pfizer. Johnson and Johnson’s flavor has addtional, documented risks for women the others do not and I wasn’t going to let my wife take that one. But hey, at least it won’t make your baby tear up if you squirt the vaccine in their eyes.
Once that junk was jettisoned from my still gargantuan sheet, I dove in and started scrubbing out irrelevant symptoms; like rectal swelling, which sounds like a great time but didn’t truly apply to me. Please, resist the urge to make jokes about my mouth being my ass. I know all about it.
Lip swelling in specific and facial swelling in general were all that remained of my set’s symptoms. Now for outcomes and testimonies. The accumulation of which are referred to as data.
People who don’t know anything tend to say anecdotes are useless, data is where it’s at. But they’re too dumb to realize data is fundamentally a bunch of aggregated anecdotes. Can’t get around testimony really. Unless it’s physics. But this ain’t physics.
As of July 30th — the latest date data on this site was available for — six hundred and twenty-six people had reported swollen lips from the Pfizer vaccine. These reports often came with other symptoms, like chills, fevers, headaches, rashes, hives, etc. But none of them resulted in the death of the patient. When I narrowed it down further to only swollen lips, the number reduced to six. I’m lucky number seven!
Four of these folks took Benadryl and slept it off, although a few of them had to handle it for several days and spent several fitful nights. The other two took a shot of cortisone and a Benadryl, then slept it off. I don’t think my head could handle my lips on steroids, so I stuck with just the one Benny and time. Patience solves most problems.
Now, I am aware six is not a decent enough sample size. For this or anything else statistically based. It could turn out fourteen out of twenty people die from this and our lucky winners just haven’t shown up yet. Unlikely, yet it could be the case.
But it’s good enough for me. It sort of has to be. Whatever happened to the people in a similar condition isn’t guaranteed to happen to me anyway.
For those unwilling to do this small amount of scrubbing and spelunking, there is always Google. I say this with some exasperation. A quick search on “vaccine swollen lips" returns plastic surgeons telling people Botox and vaccines are totally fine. They almost certainly paid to have this result show at the top. I’m not taking health advice from plastic surgeons. Unless they think I could really use a tuck.
Other hits included the Mayo Clinic, who just tell you to burden a stressed hospital with a visit. Because of course they do.
So I stuck with my tragically small data set. This raises another strike against the data scientist. They view a small amount of bad reactions to vaccines as a negative thing. However else are we going to learn about them if people aren’t suffering horrendous symptoms? Mildly inhuman.
All the same, knowing these reactions are few in nature and solved with time and patience, or just time really, I slept a little easier. If I’d listened to those pushing Faucism, I’d be rushing off to the hospital along with everyone else in the state currently.
Were I to listen to interventionistas — that would be people who told me I absolutely had to get the vaccine — they would have me go to a doctor. But they always say this, because they never see a situation they don’t think someone else should handle or a risk someone else should take on. There is a religious, pathological bent to these people which drives them to always need to do something. We can’t just do nothing! Even when that thing could and likely would add to the harm already done.
They create the problem through positive action. That is, going out of their way to add a variable to the situation rather than not, such as medication. When it causes problems, they then attempt to solve the problem they created through further action, such as more medication. This then creates a yet another problem, such as my having to deal with obnoxious ballooning lips on steroids. I don’t know what oral roid rage looks like and I don’t want to.
All along the way these well meaning people create new problems and cause unintended harm. This is called iatrogenics and it has been going on for millennia. Take a look at ancient testimonials from patients and you’ll see it there, too. Even then, doctors couldn’t seem to imagine not putting something inside you. It’s quite odd if you think about it.
But you definitely know you’ve got yourself an odd little problem when the Dead Kennedys of all people accurately portray it.
“Trust your mechanic to plug your holes, trust him to make more somewhere else.”
This isn’t a song about cars. It’s called Trust Your Mechanic, not Yo Dawg We Heard You Like Vaccines. But you get the metaphor I hope. Jello Biafra can be clever, but he has never been accused of being subtle.
Someone plugged my hole and made one somewhere else. This lethally stupid approach to problem solving gave me these gods damned lips in the first place and I’ll be further gods damned if I’ll let them do anything else to them. Side effects of avoiding interventionistas may include inner peace, mental calm, and a rectum that doesn’t bleed. Doctors don’t offer these things. Maybe they can help with the rectum, but you should be prepared for psychotic blindness in exchange.
Sometimes it is best to just wait it out. And I know it is because of data science. Or at least, I can argue what I already thought I knew by using data science. It’s unclear even to me which came first. It’s the chicken and the egg scenario, except it doesn’t have a solution.
Did you know the chicken and egg scenario had a solution? It totally does. We just all pretend it doesn’t for some reason.
But that’s the human condition for you. The big, fat, stupid lipped human condition.
Interested in getting a hold of me? Good luck! I have a real job in addition to writing and I ignore my inbox with the same passion people pretend Anthony Fauci is doing a great job at whatever it is he’s supposed to be doing. Still, if you must, you can find me at some of the phishing holes below and if the gods favor you, I may write back. The best way to get my attention is to buy one of my books or subscribe on SubStack for FREE, though. I recommend the travel journal book, it’s funny and mostly true.
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