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Make Those Who Don’t Get Vaccinated Pay $500

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MASSACHUSETTS IS AGAIN experiencing a COVID-19 surge and our hospitals are overwhelmed, mostly with unvaccinated patients.

As a practicing physician who takes care of many high-risk diabetic patients, I ask all my patients about their COVID-19 vaccination status. I explain to my unvaccinated patients that the benefits of vaccination far exceed the risk, both at the individual and societal level.

Unfortunately, this conversation only convinces a minority of the unvaccinated to get vaccinated and I have found that their decision is usually a political or tribal decision, not a scientific decision. My experience is concordant with survey data which has found that the best predictor of vaccination status is political affiliation.

Recent social experiments have found that “incentives” have failed to convince most unvaccinated people to become vaccinated. However, “disincentives,” such as employment mandates, are an effective means of convincing a majority of unvaccinated patients to become vaccinated.

The Commonwealth’s politicians need to better protect the health of our residents and minimize the expenditures of avoidable healthcare dollars. This can be accomplished by employing targeted disincentives.

First, Massachusetts should immediately implement a time-limited, COVID-19 emergency “fair-share” healthcare surcharge of $500 for every Massachusetts resident which would be payable on one’s state taxes. The funds from this surcharge would be used to reimburse healthcare institutions that are struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Concurrently, people who are fully vaccinated and boosted would be granted a $500 credit on their taxes, as their anticipated use of healthcare resources will be less than our unvaccinated residents.

The Commonwealth should also mandate that all medium and large employers vaccinate a very high percentage of their employees or the business would be financially liable to the Commonwealth for a “fair-share” healthcare surcharge, the amount would be proportional to their total number of employees.

The decision to remain unvaccinated inflicts avoidable healthcare problems and economic costs on Massachusetts’ vaccinated residents and our economy. It is time to make the unvaccinated pay their fair share.

Hayward Zwerling is a doctor who lives in Somerville.

The post Make those who don’t get vaccinated pay $500 appeared first on CommonWealth Magazine.

Original Post: commonwealthmagazine.org

Arts

SpaceWalk: a Spectacular Rollercoaster-Esque Staircase Loops Through a South Korean Park

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Art
Design

#public art
#sculpture
#stairs
#steel

SpaceWalk: A Spectacular Rollercoaster-Esque Staircase Loops Through a South Korean Park

January 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images (C) Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth

Towering 70-meters above ground at its highest point, “SpaceWalk” is the latest undulating sculpture by Hamburg-based artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth. The monumental staircase winds in loops and elevations similar to that of a rollercoaster throughout Hwanho Park in Pohang, South Korea, and is almost entirely accessible for pedestrians except for the innermost circuit. It’s the largest contemporary public sculpture ever installed in the country.

A follow-up to the pair’s 2011 project “Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain” in Duisburg, Germany, “SpaceWalk” is built of galvanized and stainless steels atop a cement foundation and embedded rows of LED lights. “At night in particular, the brightly-illuminated walkway appears like a sigil drawn in the sky, appearing to represent different things depending on where one is standing,” Mutter and Genth say. “Thus, the sculpture also references local mythology and a tradition of sky-gazing and also makes playful use of relativity.”

Pedestrians enter the work at a central staircase, which breaks into two paths: one gently sloped walkway leads to a view of Yeongil Bay and the surrounding city, while the other is a steeper climb through a helix. Both are designed to mimic an otherworldly experience. “The title ‘SpaceWalk’ is taken from the terminology of outer space missions. It describes the act of exiting the space vehicle in the weightlessness of outer space. More literally, ‘SpaceWalk’ can be understood to mean ‘a walk through space,'” they say.

For more of the duo’s architectural projects, head to their site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

#public art
#sculpture
#stairs
#steel

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Archeologists Unearth a Roman Glass Bowl Dating Back 2,000 Years in Pristine Condition

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History

#archaeology
#bowls
#glass

Archeologists Unearth a Roman Glass Bowl Dating Back 2,000 Years in Pristine Condition

January 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy Marieke Mom, shared with permission

Sitting a few miles from the German border, Nijmegen is the oldest city in The Netherlands, and after a recent archeological dig, it’s also the site that unearthed a stunningly preserved bowl made of blue glass. The pristine finding, which is estimated to be about 2,000 years old, is from the agricultural Bataven settlement that once populated the region. Featuring diagonal ridges, the translucent vessel was made by pouring molten glass into a mold, sculpting the stripes while the material was liquid, and using metal oxide to produce the vibrant blue. Archeologists uncovered it without a single chip or crack.

Around the time the bowl was procured, Nijmegen was an early Roman military camp and later, the first to be named a municipium, or Roman city. Archeologist Pepjin van de Geer, who led the excavation, told the De Stentor that while it’s possible the vessel was created in a German glass workshop in cities like Cologne or Xanten, it’s also likely that the Batavians traded cattle hides to procure it. In addition to the piece, van de Geer’s team has also uncovered human bones, pitchers, cups, and other precious goods like jewelry, which indicates the site was once a burial ground. (via Hyperallergic)

The excavation site

#archaeology
#bowls
#glass

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PlayStation Plus Offers Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, UFC 4 in February

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Image: Gearbox Software/2K

Planet Coaster for PS5 rounds out the list

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