log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D and the rising pandemic

Zardnaar

Legend
Done carryout or drive through (things we could reheat at home)... but haven't actually eaten in a restaurant since middle of March. :-(
Covid barely got here last time round.
Wife's family whenever someone has a birthday they pick a restaurant.

Including partners it means we tend to go out every month for an event and we tend to dine out every 2-4 weeks.

Students keep things very cheap. $15-25 gets you something very nice.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Except that IS true. Our average age of covid death is 78. Average life expectancy is 78.5 here. Pretty much everyone who it got was going to die this year anyway and its only costing half a year of life on average.
That is an almost a perfectly incorrect reading of the statistics.

The truth of the matter can be better seen when you look at Excess Deaths - deaths per week above what is expected for the period. Starting in April, the US has had 5% or more deaths per week than is expected - often more like 25% more. The below graph is from the CDC, and shows weekly deaths in the US back to the start of 2017. Anything above the red line is, statistically speaking, clearly in excess. There's a peak back around Jan 2018, with the swine flu that season. And then you see a whole lot starting in April 2020.

So, it is pretty clear that we have a whole bunch of people dying this year that would not otherwise have died. We are currently 200,000+ in excess deaths already, and the year isn't done yet.

1599344600894.png
 

Warpiglet-7

Explorer
It sucks. We have not done any D&D. I played with my kid—-did a few encounters and made his character but that is it.

I won’t get political and don’t care what other people do. I really don’t! Until it effects others.

went to a game store, masked up, socially distanced. Hand sanitizer after I walked out. Take the pain now people. It won’t be forever unless we make it forever.

I’m in the US. Pretty conservative honestly but reality is reality. I work in a healthcare setting and I see the positive results and talk with the doctors myself. Unless my colleagues are all in a secret society I don’t know about this sh*t is real and not good.

we probably should get savvy with the online D&D for a while...
 


Except that IS true. Our average age of covid death is 78. Average life expectancy is 78.5 here. Pretty much everyone who it got was going to die this year anyway and its only costing half a year of life on average.

Nearly everyone who is killed or seriously harmed is in thier 70s or later with 2 or more serious co-morbities.

If not for media hype causing government over reactions nobody would have even noticed there was a new flu virus here. The actual viruses impact on the life of the average person would have been less then that of a normal flu season.
Besides the fact that you're minimizing the 188,000+ American deaths that have happened in 8 months, you're also incorrect about this being overreaction.

This virus can permanently damage your heart, lungs, and brain. This virus is much more fatal than the flu, and the pandemic has caused much, much more damage to the average person than a flu season would.

(Also, the word is comorbidity, and people with other conditions have no less of a right to live. I've had trouble breathing my whole life, and that doesn't make me any less valuable to society.)

Edit: I forgot to point out that the permanent damage to heart, lungs, and brain are in cases where you are asymptomatic. This effects/can effect everyone who is infected.
 
Last edited:


ccs

40th lv DM
Except that IS true. Our average age of covid death is 78. Average life expectancy is 78.5 here. Pretty much everyone who it got was going to die this year anyway and its only costing half a year of life on average.

Nearly everyone who is killed or seriously harmed is in thier 70s or later with 2 or more serious co-morbities.

If not for media hype causing government over reactions nobody would have even noticed there was a new flu virus here. The actual viruses impact on the life of the average person would have been less then that of a normal flu season.
Awful lotta extra dead people outside typical flu seasons all over the world all at once....
Bunches of survivors with all manner of ongoing new problems they didn't have before....

I think it'd get noticed.
 

Hussar

Legend
We had a spike at the beginning of August, no particular reason why, but, things have been trending downwards again on a weekly basis. It's entirely possible due to better testing. No one really seems to know. But, again, our schools have been open this whole time (other than a week or so off in August) and, other than masking, virtually no government lockdown.

People just actually doing their due diligence.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
We had a spike at the beginning of August, no particular reason why, but, things have been trending downwards again on a weekly basis. It's entirely possible due to better testing. No one really seems to know. But, again, our schools have been open this whole time (other than a week or so off in August) and, other than masking, virtually no government lockdown.

People just actually doing their due diligence.
Think schools closed about 5 weeks here.

That approach won't work so well elsewhere. Cultural reasons (you can't tell me what to do).

6 months ago found out we make a type of ventilator. Turns out they're the ones that are better to use vs entubing ones.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
This will be interesting:

In order to prevail in a lawsuit against the ferry, they will have to prove that they had some kind of condition that prevents them from wearing masks. Seeing as how they refused to do so when that revelation would have prevented the arrest, I’m not sure this one will see the other side of a dismissal.
 

This will be interesting:

In order to prevail in a lawsuit against the ferry, they will have to prove that they had some kind of condition that prevents them from wearing masks. Seeing as how they refused to do so when that revelation would have prevented the arrest, I’m not sure this one will see the other side of a dismissal.
I am also curious how this will play with HIPAA. The whole "became verbally abusive toward passengers and crew members" may be enough to work around it. But AFAIK, the act of claiming "I have a medical condition" without providing proof of said condition hasn't made it's way through the courts yet.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I am also curious how this will play with HIPAA. The whole "became verbally abusive toward passengers and crew members" may be enough to work around it. But AFAIK, the act of claiming "I have a medical condition" without providing proof of said condition hasn't made it's way through the courts yet.
Because HIPAA doesn’t apply at all. Anyone trying to assert a HIPPA claim in court as a defense against a masking order will quickly hear a gavel come down after the other side asks for a directed verdict, accompanied by the judge’s comment, “It is so ordered.”

HIPAA prevents anyone from disclosing a person’s medical conditions without that person’s permission or knowledge or the permission or consent of their legal guardian or representative. It doesn’t mean the patient can’t be asked to disclose a medical condition.

Furthermore, HIPPA expressly permits the involuntary disclosure of private health information for 12 reasons:
  1. When required by law
  2. Public health activities
  3. Victims of abuse or neglect or domestic violence
  4. Health oversight activities
  5. Judicial and administrative proceedings
  6. Law enforcement
  7. Functions (such as identification) concerning deceased persons
  8. Cadaveric organ, eye, or tissue donation
  9. Research, under certain conditions
  10. To prevent or lessen a serious threat to health or safety
  11. Essential government functions
  12. Workers compensation
1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 10 could all apply in a public health crisis such as the C19 pandemic.

Those who assert otherwise are either confused as to the nature and purpose of the law or are telling big fat ones.
 
Last edited:

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
HIPAA prevents anyone from disclosing a person’s medical conditions without that person’s permission or knowledge or the permission or consent of their legal guardian or representative. It doesn’t mean the patient can’t be asked to disclose a medical condition.
Yes. Misunderstanding HIPPA is right up there with misunderstanding the 1st Amendment.

The idea is that your doctor, or someone else with a legitimate use for your medical data, cannot release that data to a third party without consent. So, for example, the people who make your physicians records-management software can't go selling patient data to Google.

If you are trying to claim special status, you have to disclose what gives you that status.
 

Good stuff
To start with by laying this out on the table, I 100% agree that these people should be locked up, and that law enforcement should be able to enforce mask laws. I also don't believe these people actually had a medical condition that would prevent them from wearing masks, and I personally do not really believe there is any medical condition that prevents someone from wearing a mask. I totally and completely want things to play out exactly as you describe them. That being said, I do not have the faith in the legal system that you do.

The basic problem, IMNHO, is that once someone says "I have a medical condition" I think the law is on their side that they don't have to provide information with what that condition is. Specifically addressing your reasons:

1. I don't know that the laws in question require disclosure. The one in PA (where I live) was a governor's decree, definitely doesn't include provisions for it. People are required to disclose things like abuse and gun shot wounds, but there is no language in the mask mandates about disclosure of conditions. I don't know what laws would apply on a boat in NY.

2. 4. 5. and 7. To the best of my knowledge these are exceptions that deal with a health care provider turning over information to law enforcement. In this case, there was no care provider being questioned, so they wouldn't be applicable. Now, if the people had said "I have a condition, I'm being treated at XYZ Doctor's office for it", this would allow the cops to check with the doctor. But there's nothing requiring the people to give this information.

7. and 10. Are the ones that would really apply in this case. The problematic part is that everything I have read about this (IANAL) uses the term "imminent threat". E.g, the medical issue must be imminent threatening others. If the people who refuse to mask are asymptomatic, I don't know if they could legally be considered an imminent threat (again, my personal opinion differing from the law). Also, statements from certain high profile government officials might lend credence to the threat not being so imminent.

Furthermore, in PA there are actually laws that protect you from requiring disclose your medical conditions. The cases that I know of are are probably based on ADA requirements rather than HIPAA, but I know that establishments are specifically not allowed to ask people about medical conditions with regards to service dogs or wheelchairs. Basically, an establishment cannot bar you from using medically required aids and is extremely limited in what questions they can ask about them; they can ask what service or needs you have, but are expressly barred from asking you what the underlying medical condition is. I don't know if the same laws that protect people who are using medical aids could protect people who refuse to use medical aids.

At the end of the day, I'm really curious because I don't know of any case law yet that actually upholds these mask laws. In every case that I've seen locally, the real charge is for trespassing or disturbing the peace, or something similar. I really want to see a case about mask laws make it through the legal system to see how it plays out.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
... I personally do not really believe there is any medical condition that prevents someone from wearing a mask.
There are some. A mask may be contraindicated for someone with emphysema, asthma, or COPD, for example. However, such people are also at significantly higher risk if they happen to get covid-19, and probably should not be out in crowds these days anyway.

And, if they can spare the breath to yell at you about it... they probably don't have such a condition. :/

That being said, I do not have the faith in the legal system that you do.
I think Danny's point was that HIPPA, specifically does not apply as a defense.

The basic problem, IMNHO, is that once someone says "I have a medical condition" I think the law is on their side that they don't have to provide information with what that condition is.
In general, if you want special treatment for a condition, you do need to provide proof you have that condition. Just claiming it is not sufficient.

Furthermore, in PA there are actually laws that protect you from requiring disclose your medical conditions. The cases that I know of are are probably based on ADA requirements rather than HIPAA, but I know that establishments are specifically not allowed to ask people about medical conditions with regards to service dogs or wheelchairs.
That is different, in that 1) neither wheelchairs nor service dogs pose significant health threat to anyone else. And, 2) under the ADA, if you falsely claim to need them, and get special treatment, you are guilty of fraud, and possibly other offenses.

Also, and this is important, the ADA does NOT say you get to do what you want because you have a disability. It states that particular providers of services must make reasonable accommodations for you. So, if you can't ride the bus, we have to get you another ride. If you cannot go into an establishment to shop, they may take a list and do your shopping for you, and so on.

Hint - "reasonable" accommodations do not include raking a risk of death by COVID-19. Direct threat of harm is specifically one of the things the ADA does not require anyone to take to give you service.
 
Last edited:

Zarathon

Villager
Pros and Cons of Virtual Conventions:
Disclaimer, I went virtual, partly just to experience it. I like XP.

Cons:
1. Can't get away fully and I could break up my convention experience with work, lawn mowing, and wife aggro.
2. Dropping into a game isn't always clear how to do at the virtual cons.
3. Missing out on the meat-space camaraderie.

Pros:
1. I don't have to smell anyone.
2. I can go to more cons because it's all in front of my computer.
3. Folks seem to be a little more relaxed and rested. Maybe because they got to sleep in their own bed that night.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Pros and Cons of Virtual Conventions:
Disclaimer, I went virtual, partly just to experience it. I like XP.

Cons:
1. Can't get away fully and I could break up my convention experience with work, lawn mowing, and wife aggro.
2. Dropping into a game isn't always clear how to do at the virtual cons.
3. Missing out on the meat-space camaraderie.

Pros:
1. I don't have to smell anyone.
2. I can go to more cons because it's all in front of my computer.
3. Folks seem to be a little more relaxed and rested. Maybe because they got to sleep in their own bed that night.
What con was it?
 

Zarathon

Villager
What con was it?
Well, to be totally transparent, it started with GaryCon, where I started helping folks out on the helpdesk to get their audio sorted, finding where they should be, both players and DMs.

Then, at Virtual KoboldCon, I was more involved with helping out, DMed, and played. The highlight was doing a zoom with Luke Gygax, Zach Glazer, Stephan Porkorny, and many others in a VIG event.

And at that point, I was kinda hooked. I ended up working Con of Champions, EQP Con, Founders and Legends 3, and soon a couple others such as Virtual Greyhawk Con and Autumn Revel.

VGHC:

AR:

Autumn Revel is Luke's 3rd con this year (VGC, F&L3, and now AR) and they are looking for GMs. I had a great time at his previous 2 cons, playing and gaming.

One of the most fun games I've played in was with this Canadian fellow I met named Cam Henderson. He was super in-demand at Virtual GenCon (but I had played with him in a special one-off because of scheduling). He's running his intensely-RP game at VGHC next and there's still seats, so if you are free, I highly recommend it:

So, I tried it and loved it. Your mileage may vary. If nothing else, you can always watch the free streams of the cons. VGHC's has some really fun streams planned:

Is there a thread we have here where I could post active/happening virtual cons? I kinda poked around, but didn't see it and I'm aware of 3 or 4 cons that are coming up that have something going on.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The basic problem, IMNHO, is that once someone says "I have a medical condition" I think the law is on their side that they don't have to provide information with what that condition is.
Umbran did a pretty good job of covering your points of inquiry. I may be able to shed a bit more light.

1. I don't know that the laws in question require disclosure. The one in PA (where I live) was a governor's decree, definitely doesn't include provisions for it. People are required to disclose things like abuse and gun shot wounds, but there is no language in the mask mandates about disclosure of conditions. I don't know what laws would apply on a boat in NY.
It’s not going to be in the mask mandate- it’s already in the overarching federal & state statutes and even case law. Public health laws have been interpreted as being pretty firm. Mary Mallon- a.k.a. Typhoid Mary- was institutionalized for the last 30 years of her life in a medical facility on an island off of NYC, essentially because she repeatedly ignored public health orders designed to keep her from spreading her disease. Many of the people she infected didn’t know her background, but SHE did. And kept ignoring the orders anyway.

2. 4. 5. and 7. To the best of my knowledge these are exceptions that deal with a health care provider turning over information to law enforcement. In this case, there was no care provider being questioned, so they wouldn't be applicable. Now, if the people had said "I have a condition, I'm being treated at XYZ Doctor's office for it", this would allow the cops to check with the doctor. But there's nothing requiring the people to give this information.
As Umbran pointed out, if you’re asserting a legal claim, you have to provide proof. That’s basic stuff. For example, if you’re being age carded when purchasing alcohol or requesting admissions to a concert at a bar, you don’t HAVE to provide proof, but if you don’t, you can legally be turned away. They don’t have to take your word for it, and if they do, they face fines and license forfeiture...even if you’re being truthful. (Those penalties are not dependent on your truthfulness, but on their requirements of due diligence.)

And if you bring suit agains the bar or liquor store for denying your service despite your being of legal age, the very first question YOU will be asked is “Did you provide proof of your age. If the answer is “No.”, the gavel will bang and you’ve just lost your case.

7. and 10. Are the ones that would really apply in this case. The problematic part is that everything I have read about this (IANAL) uses the term "imminent threat". E.g, the medical issue must be imminent threatening others. If the people who refuse to mask are asymptomatic, I don't know if they could legally be considered an imminent threat (again, my personal opinion differing from the law). Also, statements from certain high profile government officials might lend credence to the threat not being so imminent.
In a pandemic where a significant disease vector is asymptomatic transmission- such as it is with C19- asymptomatic transmission will rise to the legal requirement of “immanence” in almost any court of initial jurisdiction. Any court that doesn’t follow the science on that will likely get their findings overruled by a higher court.

Relying on the opinion statements of government officials is of little to no value. If you try that with a tax case, for example, even relying on a written opinion by an IRS agent will be insufficient to protect you in a tax case if the opinion is found to be erroneous as a matter of law.

Furthermore, in PA there are actually laws that protect you from requiring disclose your medical conditions. The cases that I know of are are probably based on ADA requirements rather than HIPAA, but I know that establishments are specifically not allowed to ask people about medical conditions with regards to service dogs or wheelchairs. Basically, an establishment cannot bar you from using medically required aids and is extremely limited in what questions they can ask about them; they can ask what service or needs you have, but are expressly barred from asking you what the underlying medical condition is. I don't know if the same laws that protect people who are using medical aids could protect people who refuse to use medical aids.
Besides the caveat Umbran pointed out, In most cases, federal law trumps state law. Someone relying on a state law to override federal disclosure requirements is playing Russian roulette with only one bullet removed from the revolver.

Not only that, but even the ADA has provisions regarding legal involuntary disclosure of a patient’s conditions (though most of the defining thereof is in case law).
http://www.adagreatlakes.org/Public...entiality_Requirements_Under_the_ADA_2018.pdf

At the end of the day, I'm really curious because I don't know of any case law yet that actually upholds these mask laws. In every case that I've seen locally, the real charge is for trespassing or disturbing the peace, or something similar. I really want to see a case about mask laws make it through the legal system to see how it plays out.
The base charge is almost always going to be trespassing or disturbing the peace because the person making the claim is doing so in a place of business- a.k.a. someone else’s private property- and those are the most common grounds for ejection. They break down like this:

Trespass: refusing to leave the premises after not complying with the property owner’s (or legal representatives) lawful request that you obey the store’s terms of service or leave

DTP: making a big verbal and/or physical ruckus about wearing the mask and/or being asked to leave

Part of the reason you haven’t seen any cases based in a HIPPA assertion or similar defense is that lawyers are burdened with a mandate that their pleadings in a case not be frivolous. If their pleadings don’t pass the court’s sniff test, that could definitely get them rebukes, less leeway on their next appearance before that judge (IOW, the next client’s representation- regardless of identity, may be affected), fines, and, if bad enough, official censure from the bar.

So if a client wants to try a HIPAA defense in one of these cases, and can’t convince their lawyer, that lawyer is not going to plead it. If the client insists, the lawyer will probably not take the case. Or if already engaged, will try to resign.

Because of this, you’re extremely unlikely to EVER see a HIPPA defense in any of these anti-mask cases.

And the case law support? Well, there’s over 115 years of SCOTUS-level precedent on the power of public health orders. Masking laws aren’t even mid-tier problematic- some of those were challenged during the Spanish Flu. They failed.

*****
EDIT: Jacobsen v. Massachusetts in 1905 dealt with the much more physically invasive- and thus, legally, requiring greater justification- matter of mandatory vaccination and revaccination orders. The court ruled that the smallpox epidemic played a huge factor in the decision, saying the widespread smallpox outbreak justified a general rule for vaccination, saying the state was working to protect public health and safety.

If the state can order you to get an injection, forcing you to wear a mask is kid stuff.

And private businesses can likewise insist on masks as a condition of entry. Those “No shirt, no shoes, no service” signs are perfectly legal and enforceable...and originally based in state & federal public health regs, Heck, even non-health related dress codes are enfoceav as long as they’re not discriminatory in nature or enforcement.
 
Last edited:

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top