December 23, 2021

"For two years now, Aline, a 30-something graduate student in Ohio, has diligently — desperately, even — protected herself against the coronavirus."

"Vaccinated and boosted, she took a test last week ahead of holiday travel to Atlanta. She was stunned when it came back positive.... 'I feel very embarrassed and dumb,' she says, and upset that she’s causing her family stress. 'It’s eye-opening that I feel so much shame from it. I’m realizing how much judgment I was secretly harboring against people who got it before.'"

The headline seems to misstate why Aline feels shame! It's not shame over getting the disease despite following the rules. It's shame for having been so judgmental toward other people. 

Here's how I imagine her mindset. I'm not claiming accuracy, just sketching out a possible thought pattern: Because she trusted in the precautions she devotedly took, she developed the idea that those who got the disease must not have done their part to avoid it. They were the disgusting others — the deplorables. Looking down on those people was part of believing in the worth of her efforts and the safety she was acquiring for herself, but now that she's one of the people she used to find disgusting, her options are to find herself disgusting or to realize she was wrong when she thought they were disgusting. 

There's shame involved either way. Shame over being ill or shame over having thought ill of her fellow human beings. 

Like the headline, the article — which begins with the Aline anecdote — assumes the shame is the first kind, shame about being ill. Don't be embarrassed if you catch the disease! Read the article if you want to hear expert advice on dealing with that kind of shame. "Practice self-compassion," etc.

But what about feeling shame for the way you thought about other people who were ill? Maybe you should feel ashamed! There's no advice in the article about that kind of shame, which Aline says she feels. I'll just say: Practice compassion toward others. You can start before you get the disease.


tim in vermont said...

There is no shame in judging deplorables harshly! Get with the program! Do you want to be thought of as a deplorable yourself? Shame on you!

Leland said...

She slut shamed those who got sick, and WaPo says she should be ashamed of it. It could be thinking others are sluts or now being one herself. I'd have to read the article to be sure.

tim in vermont said...

One thing that I have learned in this pandemic is that very few people are able to think in terms of probabilities and outcomes, which, as some great writer, maybe H.G. Wells, said, is the mark of intellectual maturity. I won't even bring up Heinlein's quote about people who can't do math being barely human, because it really angers the people who can't do math, so I won't talk about it, but people seem to cling to their binaries, its black, or it's white.

When a football coach calls a certain play on the one yard line, on fourth down, with three seconds left in the Super Bowl, down by 4 points, where he has done all of the work to know that his probably of it working is, let's say, 64%, he can sleep at night after the game if the play does't work, knowing it was just an outcome, an unlucky break, where the fans will have nightmares for years about it. "Think like the fans, sit with the fans" is an old sports saying.

gilbar said...

She was stunned when it came back positive.... 'I feel very embarrassed and dumb,' she says, and upset that she’s causing her family stress.

She Has Disgraced herself and family and More Importantly; disgraced her society!
She Really NEEDS to consider Ritual Suicide. The Disgrace will still be there; but she won't

Critter said...

I just contracted the Omicrom variant apparently during travel from California to Florida to visit my mother for Christmas. So far my wife has not gotten it. The emotions people feel around the virus starts with self protection. You are reminded to stay away from others like lepers have always been told. Every possible source of infecting others, whether supported by science or not is treated as real by others - surfaces you touched, air you exhaled into yesterday, etc. You can feel like an outcast if you allow yourself to think so. I did nothing to contract the virus that I can remember. I can only ascribe it to the porous defense provided by masks on planes and elsewhere and being around lots of strangers during travel. Normally I control who I am around and choose to be around only others who are also careful that way. It worked through the pandemic but Omicrom is much more virulent than the original COVID-19 and Delta variant. The good news is that it is also not nearly as severe in its effects. So far I have only experienced a low-grade fever (just over 100 F), a strong headache that is greatly mitigated by Tylenol, some gut ache, and some fatigue (I drove on errands to the drug store just fine but was later tired from it). My doctor at the ER room (being out of town it was my best alternative to confirm the home test results with a PCR test and hopefully obtain monoclonal antibody treatment).

The Biden regime has not only failed on getting enough test kids to people (remember how people hammered Trump on this but a year later Biden has not gotten it done - awful performance) but he has failed to ramp up availability of monoclonal antibody treatments which are now severely rationed in Florida. These failures are inexcusable as we knew of the potential need and did little or nothing to meet it. I do not meet the high standard required now to obtain treatment and the publicly available treatments are snapped up immediately when announced. Yesterday the Florida system reported only 3 locations in the state with available treatments. The closest was 2.5 hours away from the Tampa area, and when I clicked to get an appointment all times were already gone.

Fear of COVID is driven not only by the fear porn spewed daily by the Brandon regime and its mouthpiece media, but also by awful public health systems. We’re 2 years into COVID and still have no effective therapeutic approaches that are widely available. You develop fear when you know treatments are available to the well-connected but not to you. Fortunately for me my doctor and I fully expect to get through this infection with nothing more than Tylenol. Apparently that is the best America can get despite the $billions spent on COVID. But if my immune system was not strong, I could be just another victim of a failed vaccine-only policy. Stay alert, but fear not Omicrom if your immune system is not suppressed.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Sit back, relax, it's part of the plan. It is developing nicely. :) Dems are doing it just they did with AIDS. Oh, Wait.

Craig said...

What a beautiful Christmas message from Althouse. Thank you.

BUMBLE BEE said...

And so Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. Lets hope it's a good one, without any fear.
Merry Christmas Everybody!

rehajm said...

Pay no attention to the cognitive dissonance. Ignore the illogical. If you don’t shame others there’s a risk they won’t get vaccinated.

Shame! Shame! Shame! Ding Ding Ding! Shame! Shame! Shame! Ding Ding Ding!

There. Don’t you feel better?

rehajm said...

Miami Dade- yet another point of scandal-

@MiamiDadeCounty pulled down the vaxed/unvaxed Regeneron chart I post from their daily reporting. It happened right after @MayorDaniella falsely stated it was the unvaxed using Regeneron, and was easily proven wrong. This smells very fishy to me.

A legit scandal unfolding in Miami-Dade. COVID info showed that many more vaxxed than unvaxxed are showing up at the antibody sites. Democrat mayor claimed the opposite in public speech. Shortly thereafter, the data was wiped from the internet.

Richard said...

Aline is likely pretty close to a one-off.
Those who are that wired about the lung mung cannot not know that you're going to get it, or not, irrespective of precautions. Said precautions will, in a Fauci world, reduce the chances. But not eliminate them.
That she didn't know this stains the credulity.
That she actually feels shame for sneering at the lower orders makes me wonder if she's fit to be a graduate student in ANYthing.
But she's going to have to figure out some other way to scratch her superiority itch.

tim in vermont said...

Here is an interesting thread about how the delays of the vaccines to prevent a Trump "October Surprise" cost about 100,000K lives. But it was worth it to defeat Trump, just like ignoring the hospital ship that Trump sent to NYC and instead sending COVID patients to nursing homes, and killing thousands of seniors in New York State was worth it, to make Trump look bad.

They paused testing and froze the samples, so that testing was impossible, until the *day* after the election, that very Wednesday, to prevent any possible leak of word that the vaccines were effective prior to Election Day. Anybody with any grounding in statistics knows that the numbers must have been trending heavily in the vaccine's favor up to the politically ordered pause.

But this was critical, another effort to 'fortify' the election. They are counting on there never being an honest historian of this era.

David Begley said...

One of the best books I read in undergrad was Susan Sontag’s “Illness as Metaphor.”

People used to think that you were a sinner or bad person if you got cancer or TB. The disease was your punishment. Still true today amongst the educated elites re covid.

ColoradoDude said...

In this season celebrating the birth of Jesus we all face resurgent illness. So let’s do what Aline admitted she failed to do, namely, follow the urging of Jesus Christ and “love one another.”

DarkHelmet said...

You are correct. The WaPost is run by blinkered lefties so they don't really understand the concept of shame. They don't believe in it, really. A good lefty never feels shame because a good lefty always has GOOD INTENTIONS! Even when they totally screw something up (the black family, the education system, the border, energy policy, etc. etc.) they never feel shame, and they never try to undo what they did wrong. They instead do the obvious thing which banishes even a hint of shame: double down.

Tina Trent said...

Decades ago, I asked my brother, a patient at the Birmingham transplant center, if there was resentment towards people who could be seen as bringing their diseases on themselves: alcoholics, smokers, type II diabetics, as opposed to "innocent" patients with genetic diseases like his.

He said absolutely not. He said that being close to death together only increased their empathy for each other. Everyone has problems, he said. Besides, he added, every time the doctors perform a transplant there's a good chance they'll get better at it and learn something new. That's how medicine works.

Howard said...

It looks like Omicron is nearly unavoidable unless you quarantine. The previous variants we're largely avoidable using masks distancing and vaccination.

Therefore, there is no shame in getting Covid now and no shame in being judgemental for previous variant infections gotten by flaunting the easy, basic and simple measures necessary.

Howard said...

It looks like Omicron is nearly unavoidable unless you quarantine. The previous variants we're largely avoidable using masks distancing and vaccination.

Therefore, there is no shame in getting Covid now and no shame in being judgemental for previous variant infections gotten by flaunting the easy, basic and simple measures necessary.

TRISTRAM said...

She’s like the ancient Christians who blamed epilepsy on sin. That is, getting a disease is a moral failure.

Temujin said...

My God. I feel like I live in two different worlds. One, the world I live in, where people- adults- are allowed to judge the risk they are willing to live with, go about their lives and- if they get Covid- deal with it. We don't feel shame. We don't yell at those wearing or not wearing masks, but if a business requires it, we put one on to take part in their business, knowing full well that we can go to any restaurant without a mask. Or better yet, playing the fabulous game of wearing one while walking in and over to our table, then removing it at the table because, as everyone knows, the virus doesen't like restaurant tables.

Then there is there is the other world, inhabited mainly up in the Northeast and West Coast, where it's an obsession to follow the various waves of declarations from Anthony Fauci. Even though anyone else in any various position who changed up his edicts as often and drastically as Dr. Fauci has would be laughed out of the building. But they follow Fauci's edicts, the White House- famous as a Center of Science- and the New York Times, The Atlantic, and Facebook, because nothing says "Truth" like the full-time censors working for Facebook, The Times, and The Atlantic. In this world, the inhabitants are all supremely neurotic about Covid and many other things. They live to suffer and there is no higher form of suffering than following Fauci's Rules for Survival and still getting the Wuhan Flu. (which he so graciously paid for).

Seems to be the filler of choice for the Times and WaPo these days.

Jokah Macpherson said...

I forgive her.

West TX Intermediate Crude said...

Poor Aline, failing to live up to the aspirations of her current religion. Like all who inevitably fail to comply with every tenet and detail of the catechism, she feels a sense of shame that her heroic efforts to maintain purity were ultimately not successful.
I think she was asking for it.

Menahem Globus said...

I guess Fauci isn't the only one who learned nothing from the AIDS epidemic.

Sebastian said...

"Maybe you should feel ashamed!"

You're so nice. Which I say in the nicest possible way. And Aline's shame actually did display a moment of nice compassion toward others.

"I'll just say: Practice compassion toward others."

Except that the standard prog version of it is forcing people to change their ways the prog way. The others should deother. Prediction: Aline's shame won't last, and at the next opportunity she will judge deplorable others as before.

I admit, even in the Christmas season, even with the Althouse commandment before me, I do not feel much compassion for leftist others. Mea culpa.

Big Mike said...

Aline is “30-something” and still just in graduate school? Is there a point where she’s thinking of becoming a contributing member of society?

Owen said...

Covid is now the basis for the new religion. If you observe the rites perfectly, you will be spared. And some of the rites include shunning and shaming and casting out those who do not conform; who doubt; who therefore fall ill, thus proving their unworthiness.

I think that for perspective we should look back to previous pathological social movements: the Black Death, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Salem witch hunts. And, closer yet, the French Terror, Russia 1917, Germany 1933…

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

The headline seems to misstate why Aline feels shame! It's not shame over getting the disease despite following the rules. It's shame for having been so judgmental toward other people.

Do you really think that the WaPo as an organization can understand how one could feel ashamed by being judgmental against people you know nothing about?

Jersey Fled said...

Aline isn't feeling shame, but betrayal.

First, she is a 30 something graduate student. In all likelihood in a course of study that will result in a good mid-level job at Starbucks, or as full professor at Oberlin.

I'm reminded of what's her name, who gave the speech at the Democrat National Convention a few election cycles ago, who didn't have $10 to go to Target to get birth control pills with her student discount. Hell, I would have given her the $10 just to make sure she didn't procreate.

Anyway, back to betrayal.

All that stuff she did so conscientiously was never about health, it was about demonstrating that she was better than everyone else. She got her shots, wore her mask even when alone in her car, studied online to the extent that she even needed to study in her made up major (something about intersectionality), wore surgical gloves while masturbating, and generally made a pain in the ass of herself when around any who didn't do likewise. She was virtue personified, even to the extent of doing things that were totally useless better than anyone else.

And then it happened. She got the virus. Thus proving that the virus was smarter than herself. And in some existential sense, better.

Betrayed by her own inadequateness.

Anyhow, that's how I see it.

Tommy Duncan said...

I am not aware of anyone in my circle who assigns blame or feels ashamed over contracting COVID. It's difficult for me to fathom the workings of the liberal mind and their obsession with the appearance of being virtuous.

Lurker21 said...

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for being a 30-something graduate student in Ohio. You just have to try to live through it and survive to see better days.

Scotty, beam me up... said...

Mrs. Scott and I contracted Covid in the Autumn 2020 despite taking all precautions recommended by the CDC, Fauci, and the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services . We masked up the very few times we left our house, limited in person meetings with friends and family, washed our hands liberally, and used copious amounts of hand sanitizer when we did go out. After that we contracted this Chinese engineered disease, I figured, SCREW IT! I wanted to go back to a normal life and restrictions be damned. This virus was going to find us no matter what. We went back to more common sense sanitary procedures. We will wear masks in public to put other people at ease as needed or when we go to Dane County / Madison (where it is more important to the powers that be to legally mask up than to enforce other laws). And yes, we are “Deplorables” as designated by the left.

Fernandinande said...

I believe your second use of the word “idea” should do your first use of the word “disease.”

Ideas are like diseases since both can spread through a population and make everybody cranky.

mikee said...

How you must think is not to be decided upon yourself. You must look to the Party for all doubleplus good thoughts, as well as all bad thoughts. Because those might change at any moment, and you need to keep up.

That said, I feel fairly safe in typing: Merry Christmas, and God Bless Us, Every One!

who-knew said...

"Because she trusted in the precautions she devotedly took, she developed the idea that those who got the idea (I think you meant 'got infected') must not doing their part to avoid disease" I think you are dead on about this. At least, it's what I heard from my liberal relatives at Thanksgiving (and I'm sure I will hear it again on Christmas Eve when we get together once more).

Achilles said...

You mean we were right all along and the dumb COVID panic mongers were wrong?

It must be hard to admit those awful deplorables were right and the beautiful people were wrong.

You can thank all those people who didn't panic and allowed you to hide in your house all this time now.

TaeJohnDo said...

I was vaccinated a year ago in an AstraZeneca Clinical trial. (We were unmasked when the other vaxes got approved for emergency use.) I went into the trail to both hopefully get vaxed early, and to try to get this over with - two weeks to flatten the curve and everyone who wants one gets a vax, etc. Alas, as I suspected, the gvt and power mongers lied. I said all along, covid is going to covid - it is a virus and it will do what viruses do. The media and politicians used the vax to increase their power and control, and to further divide the country. They are evil bastards. Hopefully people are starting to see this more and more, and realize what is going on. I'm glad the gal feels bad and is waking up to this - not being judgmental here, but and I told you so. We are all going to get it sooner or later, just like we all got the flu at least once in our life, a cold, etc. Get vaxed if you want, wear a mask if you want (and to look silly more times than not), protect the vulnerable and LIVE.

Gospace said...

Trouble for her is- she followed the official rules promulgated by the all knowing Fauci.

Did she ensure her Vitamin D blood level was up to 50-60 ng/ml? Was she taking quercetin, zinc, and other supplements recommended by everyone except public health authorities daily? Was she using a nasal spray with Xylitol or betadine, or any of the other ingredients that kill the dreaded covid virus? Was she performing nasal irrigation daily with xylitol and/or erythritol ion the mix? (What I do- and when tested again today for a disease I don't have the technician agreed I was killing everything in my nose... Th VA testing program for unvaccinated employee is waste, fraud, and abuse.) Was she gargling and rinsing her mouth once or more daily with xylitol and/or erythritol? (or any of the other things that kill the dreaded covid virus?)

And we already know the answer to this last question is "NO!" Was she living her life normally and without fear, engaging in normal human interactions with friends and family?

JK Brown said...

It's like the racist who demands pure blood getting the ancestry DNA test and finding "those" genetic markers. "One-drop" is poor policy for DNA and for respiratory viruses.

Daniel12 said...

"Practice compassion toward others. You can start before you get the disease."


And one way to practice compassion before you get the disease is to do what you can to prevent yourself from being a conduit for transmission. That doesn't mean you won't get it or transmit it! But at least you gave enough of a shit about the rest of us to try. Many many people, including those who are low risk of getting severe illness or dying, are doing what they can every day, recognizing we are in this together. Others spend their time owning the libs or whatever, and actively denying the scientific advances that have helped us turn this from Armageddon into just a catastrophe. And then they get offended when they are met with less than full compassion.

Act like an asshole, get treated like one. On any side of the political, or covid, spectrum.

LA_Bob said...

Right after that paragraph, there's a link to another WaPo article, at least in the page returned to me. "Tips for starting and getting the most out of therapy".

I'd bet Aline really needs to read that article.

The only symptom she appears to have is cough, which of course could be due to many things. We're also told she's diabetic (doesn't say which flavor), so I understand better why she is so concerned.

Also leads me to mull over the Great Barrington Declaration concept, which is to protect the vulnerable and let the rest live their lives. As assiduously as Aline took precautions, I wonder if it is even possible to protect anyone long term from a respiratory virus.

Critter said...

Tristram, what is your source for early Christians blaming diseases on the affected? I must have missed that.

Tom Grey said...

Aline should feel shame, and be ashamed of herself for looking down on others, especially those who get sick.

"They really are looked down upon by elements of the left—typically younger, well-educated, and metropolitan—who embrace identity politics and the intersectional approach." from the 5 deadly sins of the left. Which itself should be sins of the Democrats - there are no (Left) folk on the ballots to vote for, it's Dems, or Reps, or any of many "third parties".

She assumes moral superiority for herself, wrongly, AND presumes that her not being sick demonstrates that moral superiority. Instead of this, she should understand that:
1) she was taking reasonable actions to reduce the risk, but
2) even if the risk goes from 20 in 1000 (unvax) down to 2 in 1000 (2% to 0.2% vax), she might be unlucky and get sick. Certainly better than dying in an auto accident.

NOTE: These are sample probabilities, NOT real. Could also use 50 & 5 or 10 & 1, just to get 10x difference, itself a rhetorical choice.

Which reminds me that if we don't have better numbers more readily known - that is itself a huge NYT & media failure. More thoughtful folk should know what the right metrics are to follow, like deaths, or hospitalizations, or cases, and there should be more consistent reports of what the current numbers.

walter said...

See also proponent of military enforced "vax" mandate, rona positive Jim Cramer.
Does Aline have menstrual cycle distortion from the lipid nanoparticles?
I think Jim's cycle has really taken a hit.

walter said...

Considering it's Delta that's killing people, I'm so glad Joementia is amping up the monoclonals distribution. After August expansion to cover the exposed there's even a version authorized for prophylaxis as of 12/8.
Because it's all about saving lives....right Joey?

JK Brown said...

I went away but had to come back because the headline and first paragraph would make a great Hallmark movie. Maybe going to Blue Ridge, GA instead of Atlanta. Meeting up with her unvaccinated high school sweetheart who has spent the last two years keeping people's home ventilation working, improving their air exchanges and filtration. Will the kindness and caring Aline finds from the people in low-vaccination rate Blue Ridge melt Aline's heart and allow the true meaning of Christmas in? Will she find love with a blue collar service business owner, who has no fear of entering the homes of the unvaccinated?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...


Yesterday, in the SF Chronicle, there was an opinion piece by one Roger Rapaport, titled "Omicron is spreading. Biden needs to give airline travelers a vaccine mandate, already." Never mind the bizarre and insulting language: "give" us a "mandate"?? The real kicker is that he spends the entire article bemoaning having to fly next to those verminous lepers, the unvaxxed (and especially their filthy, nasty little autistic children; see here for some details). But he ends the piece with the news that the Southwest CEO, Gary Kelly, was unable to attend a Congressional hearing in person b/c he had COVID. Kelly was double-vaxxed and boostered, and that information was in Rapaport's article! So he could have spent his flight in the presence of a planeful of Gary Kellys and still gotten COVID just the same. He doesn't realize that this vitiates the entire rest of his argument.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Howard said...
It looks like Omicron is nearly unavoidable unless you quarantine. The previous variants we're largely avoidable using masks distancing and vaccination.

Wow, so the Xi/Omicron variant has special "anti-mask lock picks" that enable it to get through your mask and infect you anyway?


So, Howard's once again full of shit

Assistant Village Idiot said...

An excellent distinction, and well-put.

They can't see what they can't understand.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Sad. Woman has done some deep dumpster diving into WuHanFlu porn and propaganda propounded and expostulated by our President and his pack of prevaricators.

Just 1)learn to think for yourself, 2)understand that Government is not your friend, and 3)do not be so judgemental of others.

wsw said...


Zev said...

Totally agree with you, Ann.
She should be ashamed.
Perhaps she'll learn something from the experience, but I'm not hopeful.

n.n said...

This reminds me of the girl who cried "But, I'm progressive".

And, of course, STTNG: Samaritan Snare.

That said, follow the science, not the cargo cult... and viable legal indemnity.

c365 said...

From a 2019, precovid article on research into population wide damages from imperfect vaccines. Welcome to the beginning of the end:

These less-than-perfect vaccines create a “leaky” barrier against the virus. Vaccinated individuals may get sick but have less severe symptoms, but the virus survives long enough to transmit to others, which allows it to survive and spread throughout a population.

“Our research demonstrates that the use of leaky vaccines can promote the evolution of nastier ‘hot’ viral strains that put unvaccinated individuals at greater risk,” Nair said.