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Vaccine Mandates in the Workplace

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It was only a matter of time before vaccine mandates and passports entered the mainstream dialogue. It started with floating out the narrative in gaining public support of the vaccinated and claiming the virus as a pandemic of the unvaccinated. The us and them divide has been created. National levels of government then took the lead in requiring vaccination among federal government employees that in turn spurred places of education and the private sector to follow suit.

This momentum has resulted in large corporations, Big Tech, the travel industry, and universities and colleges leading the way in requiring their employees and students to be vaccinated in order to return to the workplace or school. The extension of the mandate has resulted in pushing for vaccine passports to attend public events, restaurants, take public transportation, and perhaps buy and sell in the marketplace.

We have seen some private sector decisions where employees must be vaccinated to work in the office or continue to work from home. While the vaccination may be voluntary, it will create tremendous pressure on employees to decide on vaccination out of fear of reprisal and potential termination of employment. This measure is a trickle-down effect that accomplishes two things. First, the employer is not necessarily seen as autocratic in their initial demands while employees begin to cave in over the fear of losing their livelihood and secondly, the employer still requires many of the non-vaccinated employees to continue operations and this slow cooker buys some time. Eventually, difficult decisions on vaccination and continuing employment will likely come to a head in some workplaces.

To be clear, I am not against vaccines or an anti-vaxxer by any stretch. What is important here is to ask questions of whether this medicine being administered under emergency authorization is thoroughly vetted.

This doesn’t mean the vaccine is dangerous, but rather unresolved questions and concerns requiring answers. It is not a conspiracy theory; rather honest questions with not so clear answers about a drug yet to be approved by the FDA.

In good conscience, companies should not mandate their employees to inject an experimental vaccine into their bodies as a requirement to come to workplace and remain employed. This is inhumane to do so; and we may regret this action in years to come.

This medicine, we were told, was supposed to be effective and allow us and the world to remove our masks and return to normal. Some proudly claimed to have found freedom after taking the two vaccine dosages. I wondered how some may feel after they injected the failed AstraZeneca vaccine that is not recognized as viable in numerous countries. This is a drug that richer countries are now donating or perhaps a better definition of dumping on poor countries rather than inject the dismal vaccine into the bodies of their own citizens. How valiant and generous.

Fast forward just a couple of months from the declaration of mask independence; and nothing in the vaccines has demonstrated the pandemic is over except for what looks like less severe illness for the vaccinated if they become infected with the virus. We are now being told to mask up following many breakthrough cases where the vaccinated are now coming down with Covid.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to determine what role the vaccinated carriers may have played in Provincetown, Massachusetts where three-quarters of 469 residents infected during a COVID-19 outbreak were fully vaccinated. This alarming story along with other widespread breakthrough cases prompted the CDC to reissue mask mandates.

A recent major study by the Mayo Clinic that reviewed thousands of PCR tests across six states found that the effectiveness of COVID infection dropped in July to 42% for the Pfizer vaccine and 76% for the Moderna vaccine. Immunity is waning following the vaccine shots; and it very surprising that breakthrough cases are rising this quickly. There is now a high likelihood of juicing up additional vaccine injections for third time and perhaps a fourth injection that may result in producing more variants as the virus mutates off numerous vaccines.

Additionally, there is real evidence that people who have previously contracted the coronavirus have antibodies, if not stronger than the vaccines; and they are being told to vaccinate. Should a ten-year-old child, a fifty-year-old marathoner, or an 80-year-old with underlining issues receive the same unapproved vaccine dosage? To be clear, no single medicine is best for everyone, and should be weighed carefully with family and your doctor.

There is real evidence that many people have died after taking the vaccine; whether from the vaccine itself or following a breakthrough case in getting COVID after receiving the vaccine. We only hear of the upside protection by taking the vaccine. Vaccines are not generally overtly dangerous, but they are not without any risk. While about 160 million Americans receiving the annual flu shot every season where up to 200 people die following this shot, it is a far different story with the COVID vaccine.

In just the first four months of 2021, there have been more deaths after taking the COVID vaccine than all the other vaccine deaths tracked in the 15-year period from 1997 to 2013. It’s stunning. According to the data from Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), they have registered over ten thousand known COVID vaccine related deaths. How many go unreported? VAERS has also reported thousands of heart attacks, chest pain, hospitalizations, tinnitus, and high rates of deep vein thrombosis.

Yes, we should expect side effects but at this rate do we know the long-term impact. In contrast, when the US vaccinated 45 million for the swine flu in 1976, 53 people reportedly died after the shot. The US government immediately halted the vaccination. The Menveo vaccine for preventing meningitis had one known death following the vaccine over a 5-year period from 2010-2015.

For childbearing women, there is evidence that the protein spikes are remaining in the woman’s ovaries and are not being flushed from their bodies. The former VP and chief scientist at Pfizer, Michael Yeadon, has strongly urged childbearing age women not to take the vaccine.

Why raise questions about the safety of the vaccine for childbearing age women and those breastfeeding? Well, there were thousands of birth malformations resulting in women taking thalidomide 60 years ago. Studies did not assess the toxicity for the unborn babies. So here we have an untested medicine in terms of the impact on fertilization where the vaccine concentrates in the ovaries and perhaps in background tissues like muscles at 20-fold. We have not heard any reporting on the impact of male reproduction.

Look, this vaccine has not prevented infection 100% with more and more breakthrough cases. You can still get it, you can still pass it on, and you are told to keep wearing the mask after being vaccinated.

There are more questions than answers; and if anyone can unequivocally state that this vaccine has zero risks, then please go on the record. Again, it is not to say the vaccine is not working for a vast number of people and reducing hospitalization.

Interesting to note that according to Luc Montagnier, a world top virologist and Nobel Prize winner for his work in discovering HIV as the cause of AIDs, he says the world is silent about Antibody-Dependant Enhancement (ADE) where this vaccine is creating the variants by forcing the virus to find a way to stay alive and mutate or die. Perhaps the vaccinated may find themselves much further compromised in years to come. We just don’t know; but we are willing to inject a third shot and more to follow.

Many yet to be vaccinated are not hesitant alone on the unproven medicine. It may be better described that people are hesitant to be coerced, shamed, and pressured into participating in the largest drug trial in history. If people are going to be forced into vaccination by mandates, the public has the absolute right to know the immediate and long-term effects of a drug that is not approved by the FDA and where nearly a third of the employees at the CDC and National Institute of Health have refused to take the vaccine – the very organizations pushing that everyone take the COVID vaccine.

There has to be a better way and an ethical way for the private sector and government to move forward in combatting the virus without creating an us and them divide where the unvaccinated are not mocked as a conspiracist, threatened to lose one’s job and means to survive, or worst labeled a murderer.

Rich Berdan is a freelance writer out of Detroit, Michigan. Rich often provides perspectives that are unique and thought provoking.

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New Social Compact

The Death News of Sidharth Shukla: In the remembrance of Sidnaaz

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For most individuals, the death news of Sidharth Shukla seems implausible. Sidharth Shukla, popular actor, and 13 winner Bigg Boss died on Thursday 2 September suffering a severe cardiac arrest at Cooper Hospital in Mumbai.  Actor Sidharth constantly challenged the odds in his profession. For many in the TV and movie sector, it is a last-ditch and sometimes fruitless effort to stop a slide into irrelevance in the popular reality program Bigg Boss. But Shukla was the household name that became a feather reality TV sensation for himself who won the 13th show edition in 2019. For the first time, Shukla entered the television limelight, working on BalikaVadhu (2012), in which he tried the part of District Collector Shivraj Shekhar. Shukla portrayed the character throughout the space of three years and won several accolades. A few whiles later, in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014), he was reputed to a costar, once again receiving acclaim. Born and reared up in Mumbai, Shukla began as a model by taking a position as a leader in the Manhunt and Mega model Gladrags contests and then starred in Bajaj and ICICI Banking television commercial campaigns. Shortly thereafter, he premiered on Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na, followed by a range of dramatic TV shows such as CID and Aahat, which include criminal dramas. In 2016 Khatron Ke Khiladi won Fear Factor as well. Shukla has also been a popular television host with such series as Savdhaan India and the Got Talent 6 of India. His death caused a shock to the television and film industries.

Police authorities in Mumbai claimed that at around 9 a.m. before death, Shukla complained about cardiac pressure in his home in Oshivara, Mumbai.  At that time, his sister, his mother, and brother-in-law were in the house. A physician who came to the house found that he was pulseless. “The family went to Dr. RN Cooper hospital and requested an ambulance. They reached about 9.45 am and before admission he had been proclaimed dead.” The Forensic department leader, Dr. R Sukhdev, verified that on Thursday morning, Shukla was brought dead. The afternoon postmortem exam was performed. No external damage on his body was detected before the autopsy by physicians and police. The Dean of Dr. RN Cooper Hospital, Dr. Sailesh Mohite, refused to comment on the autopsy findings.

Many Celebertities Condolences

“Siddharth, gone too soon. You’ll be missed…” said Actor Salman Khan, who gave him the trophy of Bigg Boss. Kapil Sharma TV comedy host tweeted, “Oh god, it is truly shocking, my condolences to the family, and prayers for the the departed soul” Several TV and film fraternity members, like Rajkummar Rao, came to Mumbai to pay their final honors in Shukla Residence. On Friday his last rites will be conducted.

Shehnaaz Gill on Sidharth Shukla death

Sources close to the actor and individuals who went to his house and told Sidharth Shukla’s family that Shehnaaz is in a condition of shock and cannot cope with his loss today. Source further stated Shehnaaz was deeply impacted by the untimely death of the Balika Vadhu actor. Shehnaaz was very near to Sidharth, and she frequently publicly demonstrated her affection for him. Her compassion and caring for him never shied away. She said she was even in love with him openly. Fans liked their duo much after BB 13, and invented their moniker with affection, Sidnaaz. In two recent programs, Back-to-Back Bigg Boss OTT and Dances Deewane 3, the reported couple had featured.

Sidharth Shukla breathed his last in Shehnaaz Gill’s arms

Sidharth was still complaining of discomfort, and Shehnaaz and his mother begged him to relax. Sidharth was unable to sleep, on the other hand; thus Shehnaaz was requested to remain with him and pat on his back. Sidharth lay on the lap of Shehnhaaz at 1:00 a.m., and the latter walked away gently. She slept, too, and when she woke up at 7am, she found Sidharth sleeping in the same position without moving, and he didn’t stir when she tried to wake him up. From the 12th story to the fifth level, where his family resided, Shehnaaz was terrified and hurried. She notified Sidharth’s sister and phoned their doctor of the family, who told Sidharth that he hadn’t been there anymore.

Ye ‘Dil’ hai Muskil

Why are young people suffering from heart attacks? The death of Siddharth Shukla, 40 years old, has stunned everyone. Initial stories indicating that a heart attack is the reason for Thursday’s death were killed, along with the big boss winner Season-13. In recent times, heart disease has been a worry for health professionals among young Indian people. The question is why in very young age groups in India there has been an increase in cardiac attack.

Concluding Remarks

The greatest way I can escape the trap of thinking that you have anything to lose is to remember that you will die. No excuse to not follow your heart. Nobody wants to die. Nobody wants to die. Such people don’t even want to die to go to paradise to get there. And yet death is our common destination. Nobody has ever avoided it and this is why death is perhaps the finest invention of existence. Life is the agent of transformation. The old one is clearing way for the new one.

Death is, however tragic, probably God’s most beautiful creation. Death is merely another trip; birth and life will never take place without death. It’s unavoidable to lose somebody. Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, illustrates this wonders: Death is transitory and the meaning of life and death. Death is temporary. Death is a normal part of life, we have to realize. Death gives life its full significance. Let life be like summer flowers, let life be lovely and death be like fall leaves. But would it not be much easier to face our own mortality, rather than being unhappy, knowing that our life has been fully and without regret? Even if we don’t want to go to die, it’s just as unavoidable for the sun at night. In conclusion, when your time comes, you don’t have to die happy but you need to die satisfied, since from start to finish you have lived your life.

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New Social Compact

4.1 billion lack social safety net

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More than four billion people live without any welfare protection today to cushion them from crisis, the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday, while highlighting how the COVID-19 crisis has pushed up government spending by some 30 per cent.

Leading the call for countries to extend social safety nets far more widely than they do now, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder insisted that such a move would help future-proof workers and businesses in the face of new challenges.

“This is a pivotal moment to harness the pandemic response to build a new generation of rights-based social protection systems,” said Mr. Ryder.

“These can cushion people from future crises and give workers and businesses the security to tackle the multiple transitions ahead with confidence and with hope. We must recognize that effective and comprehensive social protection is not just essential for social justice and decent work but for creating a sustainable and resilient future too.”

In a new report the UN body acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis had led to greater social protections worldwide, albeit mainly in wealthy countries.

It noted that only 47 per cent of the global population are covered by at least one social protection benefit, while only one in four children has access to national welfare safety nets.

Newborns’ needs unmet

Further research indicated that only 45 per cent of women with newborns worldwide receive a cash benefit, while only one in three people with severe disabilities receive a disability benefit.

Coverage of unemployment benefits is even lower, ILO said, with only 18.6 per cent of jobless workers effectively covered globally.

On retirement welfare, the UN body found that although nearly eight in 10 people receive some form of pension, major disparities remain across regions, between rural and urban areas and women and men.

Regional imbalances

The ILO report underscores the significant regional inequalities in social protection.

Europe and Central Asia have the highest rates of coverage, with 84 per cent of people having access to at least one benefit.

Countries in the Americas are also above the global average (64.3 per cent), in stark contrast to welfare roll-out in Asia and the Pacific (44 per cent), the Arab States (40 per cent) and Africa (17.4 per cent).

Highlighting differences in government spending on social protection, ILO said that high-income countries spend 16.4 per cent of national turnover (above the 13 per cent global average, excluding health), while low-income countries budget just 1.1 per cent.

Billions more needed

The UN body noted that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have had to increase spending massively to ensure minimum social protection for all, by around 30 per cent.

And it maintained that to guarantee basic social protection coverage, low-income countries would need to invest an additional $77.9 billion per year, lower-middle-income countries an additional $362.9 billion and upper-middle-income countries a further $750.8 billion annually. That’s equivalent to 15.9 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent of their GDP, respectively.

“There is an enormous push for countries to move to fiscal consolidation, after the massive public expenditure of their crisis response measures, but it would be seriously damaging to cut back on social protection; investment is required here and now,” said Shahra Razavi, Director, ILO Social Protection Department.

Underscoring the multiple benefits of social welfare protection, Ms. Razavi insisted that it could promoted “better health and education, greater equality, more sustainable economic systems, better managed migration and the observance of core rights…The benefits of success will reach beyond national borders to benefit us all”.

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New Social Compact

Hell for Women?

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35-years-old woman and her daughter were raped by rickshaw driver and his accomplice in Lahore; On independence day of Pakistan, a TikToker was sexually harassed in Lahore; woman on rickshaw was harassed publically in Lahore and people were cheering; Noor Mukadam, daughter of a Diplomat, was brutally bumped off in Islamabad; a female school teacher was raped by owner of the school; a minor girl was raped by principal of seminary; a woman was gang raped by robbers in front of her family in Sheikhupura; a man with his three friends gang raped his fiancée and snatched jewelry; 16-years-old girl was raped by her stepfather in Lahore; mother of four children was raped in Bhagatpura; a 10-years-old was raped in Manwan; 17-years-old girl was raped after being promised a job; a minor girl was raped and sent to cemetery in Korangi; a woman was abducted and gang raped; an elderly woman was tortured, dragged and attempted to rape. Few cases have been quoted here. Sorrowfully, numerous other cases are remaining to be mentioned here. Unfortunately, a tiny figure of cases have been reported, still beaucoup cases are unreported.

Given obnoxious incidents give women sense of insecurity and uncertainty. Wretchedly, women in our society are deemed as prey and an open invitation by mad dogs (rapists) which they cannot evade and leave no stone unturned to assault them. The exponential rise in gender-based violence has proselytized our society into a hell for women, where they are considered as inferior segment of the society. This abysmal picture of our society adversely impacts our international image.

 The study conducted by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, despite improving in women’s perception of community safety, still ranks Pakistan fourth among the worst countries for women to live in.

In accordance with the official data- collected from law enforcement agencies and human rights commission of Pakistan- at least 11 rape cases are reported regularly in Pakistan. More, the last six years data unearthed an icky tally of 22,000 cases registered to police in Pakistan. Dolefully, the conviction rate stood at 0.3% of total figure. 

Research conducted by Geo News revealed that only 41 per cent of cases have been reported to the Police. A police official estimated the actual number could be as high as 60,000 in last five years.

Furthermore, the Cyber Wing of the FIA in Lahore told that they have received 6,168 sexual harassment complaints out of total 14,108 in less than eight months. It further explained that mostly the complaints were lodged by University and College students relating to blackmailing by peers through the use of doctored videos and photographs.

Regarding violence against women, Punjab made up to 73 per cent of total cases, Ministry of Human Rights Toll-free helpline data showed. Besides, recent data by Punjab police divulged 1,890 rape cases and 88 gang-rape cases have been registered just in first six months of this year.

The reasons behind alarming rise in rape cases, which are mostly opined and observed personally, are rivalries, perpetrators remain scot-free, and incompetency of police.

In rivalries, various women have been raped because perpetrators think that it is better mean to smirch antagonist and avenge. As of the June of this year, when a boy tied love knot with daughter of an influential person, in avenge his mother 50-years-old was kidnapped, tortured, dragged, burned half-naked body with cigarette butts and attempted to rape by that influential people in Mazaffargarh. Exclusively, in village sides, women are raped in compensation, if victim’s father, brother or guardian has raped any girl.

Besides, since 2015, more than 22,000 cases of harassment have been registered to police, more than 4000 cases are still pending in the courts and only 18 per cent cases have managed to reach prosecution. Backlog of cases, takes too much time to provide justice to women and deter others to execute same. Thereby, executors remain unpunished and rape another woman with impunity. In some cases, rapists are granted pre-arrest bails. Afterwards, they threaten victim and her family to withdraw case; which fingers out the competency and justice of honorable courts and provides free space to those rapists to continue harassing women.

Apart from this, various cases are not reported due to family or social pressure, because they have to undergo another victimization. Karachi-based organization, War Against Rape (WAR), exposed that women who report the crime are coerced to visit male-dominated police stations and asked unnecessary questions that is why people remain silent and do not register complaints to shun answering gratuitous questions, which creates obstacle in the way of justice by sparing space to rapists.

Apart, victim blaming also desists victim to register complaint. Victim’s character is questioned, she is blamed for the rape and some misogynists and advocates of patriarchal society put allegations on victim giving illogical reasons. In consequence, victim find it easy to be silent rather than being pilloried countrywide and does not register her complaint, which indirectly paves the way for rapists to feel free from being brought to book and harass women whenever and wherever they want.

To counter this evil, Punjab Police has launched a safety App that will enable women to contact police through a message and it will enable Police to trace location of complainants through smart phones. Senior Police official assured that App will be launched in all districts of Punjab soon and a special squad will be formed soon in this regard. This initiative is praiseworthy and can be fruitful, if cooperated. All women should download this App so that in any emergency they can contact Police easily.

Additionally, separate courts for rape cases should be operational as soon as possible in order to evade years of pending cases. More medico-legal officers should be appointed to speed up medical process. Police should enforce all anti-harassment, anti-rape and anti-crimes against women laws and all women should be acquainted to these laws so that they can report crimes easily and immediately.

To sum up, society will remain hell for women, until our society is patriarchal and culprits remain scot-free. No society can be stable and prosperous, if women of that society are not secure and honored by every individual. If mentioned laws are implemented effectively, women of our society can live respectfully and society can be a heaven for them.

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