When people don’t believe you

If you need to tell people something that will upset their beliefs and convictions, they will likely instantly experience you as threatening.

Ask Oxford neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor. (Yes, I do type that a lot these days, “Oxford neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor”.)

I think that one way around it is to shake them out of their comfort zone, for example by doing something that will make them laugh and, therefore, not feel instantly threatened.

Covid lovers will love this, for sure.

I just went into a shop and another female shopper walked to the till and gave me a very angry look.

It was around 1pm on Friday. What was I supposed to have done this time? People here make up tons of (sometimes pretty vicious) shit about me – aka gossip – but that is usually spread on Friday and Saturday evening, right?

But it was not that, for a change. Hooray! *dances*

(keep reading)

She started talking to the guy at the till, about face masks. He was surely going to take it off on Monday?

She turned around and gave me another angry look.

Holy shit, it was about my face mask! Yippee. It wasn’t personal for a change. Hallelujah!

She said that she knew someone (health-compromised or not?) who got Covid who had been wearing masks (correctly, or on on his chin?) and had gotten his vaccinations.

“Does not stop you from getting it, does it?” she commented.

I had to say something now, normally a big faux pas in England if you haven’t been addressed, but her angry looks had included me in the conversation.

“Yeah, it’s better not to use an umbrella in the rain either”, I said very calmly and in an agreeable matter-of-fact tone.

(This is the part that my friend Julie will likely love.)

Not surprisingly, I had to repeat it. She initially figured she must have misunderstood.

“Nutter” she thought, next.

A moment later, it sank in and a wry smile dropped down her face.

SHE WAS RIGHT, though!

Getting vaccinated does not stop you from getting COVID.

But it does help stop you dying from it.

That took a while for me too, to sink in, when I saw that the vaccines are only – what was it, 60% or whatever – effective in stopping you from getting COVID.

But they are 95 to 100% effective in stopping you from needing to be hospitalised with COVID.

They stop you from dying.

Love COVID that much that you’d love to end up on a ventilator with it? Be my guest. (Well, not literally.)

I do hope that the person she knows who got infected recovers soon and well.

Continue reading

Why some EU migrants in the UK may be toast

We EU migrants get no tangible proof of our status.

If someone challenges our status, we are supposed to get the Home Office to send us a code on the mobile number that we used to apply to stay (which is called Settled Status).

Any hacker – probably even any low-level script kiddie – can interfere with that and stop a legal EU migrant from proving her or his legal status.

In order to apply to stay, I needed a relatively high-end phone that could read the chip in my passport. Had been looking online for a while. One day I found one offered on Amazon, at a good price. (It was supposed to be new. It was a slightly different model with one SIM card slot instead of two slots, and that explained the lower price in my eyes.)

When I got that phone, and wanted to use a brand-new clean SIM card in it that had not yet been hacked, I found that I couldn’t. I ended up being forced to use my regular SIM card, the one on which I already seem to experience a lot of interference at times.

At some later point, a remote access app spontaneously appeared on that phone, too.

So I am pretty sure that whoever is messing with me – also on the phone that contains that SIM card – has the ability to make it impossible for me to prove my legal immigration status. All it takes is to block the Home Office code and/or sending me a fake/altered code.

Like I said, I am pretty sure that all the script kiddies on the block know how to do that.

I am not saying that they will, but that they very probably can.

If you start with a blank, clean phone and SIM card, it’s a different story. If your phone and SIM card already were compromised, you’re probably toast.

The same person who does this kind of stuff to me also knows how to knock out my phone’s access to the nearest cell tower. That is, he was able to do that about five years ago, forcing me to leave my home and walk to the next cell tower every time. I don’t know whether that is still possible. If that is still possible, then that would be another way to block the Home Office’s code of reaching my phone.

Covid pass and the corona check app

Yesterday, I wondered what is happening internationally, whether I for example am allowed to travel internationally now that I am fully vaccinated and with an EMA-approved vaccine.

I found that apparently, I cannot travel to Belgium without quarantining, unless I am only travelling through it.

I found that the Dutch have the official “corona check” app, but that does not work yet with the UK’s vaccination system, as far as I can tell. This Dutch app is also linked to the EU app and/or the apps in other EU countries. There is some kind of thing that applies for all EU countries. A DCC?

The UK’s tangible vaccination proof is useless. Anyone can print these off and complete. There is a discarded vaccination card at my door downstairs, with no name on it and the data for someone’s first jab.

So I was curious as to what was happening digitally… I downloaded and installed the NHS app from which apparently you can get something called a COVID Pass if you’ve been tested, vaccinated or have recovered. Took me a while, but I did eventually manage to get a COVID Pass. It is valid for two days.

It’s supposed to be valid for 30 days, though.

So, yeah, that’s working well, then, lol.

But in practice, these COVID Passes are often used for events, so maybe it makes sense from that point of view. Still, it’s odd. But at least the digital records apparently are holding up well. That’s good.

The EU’s DCC seems to be similar to the UK’s Covid Pass, except that the validity may be different.