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Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf Super Festivals, CC BY 2.0

Meat Loaf

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Dead is dead.

Two days ago, nobody was talking about Meat Loaf. Two days from now they won’t be either, unless it’s to say he was an anti-vaxxer.

“Bat Out of Hell” was successful for one reason and one reason only, Steve Popovich. Pop was a legendary promo man at CBS Records who left to form his own company, Cleveland International, distributed by his alma mater, and signed, released and promoted “Bat Out of Hell.” No one else believed in it.


He’s dead. He had legendary heart problems. But if you knew Steve… He was different from everybody else because he was warm, genuine in a way most promo people never are. Anybody could relate to him, because he held nothing back, he was just himself, and he was a force of nature.

CBS, which was bought by Sony, stopped paying Pop royalties. He had to sue to get them, and he never got a hundred cents on the dollar, the big issue was unaccounted for sales. Millions were off the books.

But after the settlement, Sony continued to leave Cleveland International’s logo off the albums. Imagine if the Gap sold Kanye’s clothing and left his name off, imagine the uproar. Your name is everything, as Pop said, but he died before resolution.

And then there is Todd Rundgren. Would “Bat Out of Hell” have been successful if someone else was in charge? Possible, but doubtful. Especially in the days of yore, when producers were known by all aficionados and were responsible for so many unique sounds and successes. Todd gave up trying to collect royalties from Sony, he let the company buy him out.

And then there’s Jim Steinman, the genius who wrote all the music. Jim was educated and brilliant in a business that is uneducated and stupid. So he had an edgy reputation. Jim had a vision and refused to compromise. Talent is supposed to be a cog in the machine, Jim wasn’t. But now Jim is gone too.

And two days ago, the face of “Bat Out of Hell” passed too, Mr. Loaf, Marvin Lee Aday.

Meat had been kicking around forever, no one knew he was. Sure, he was on stage, but the stage reaches so few people, especially when you’re in a regional production, or revival.

But when “Bat Out of Hell” hit, the music publicity machine revved up, he was always in the news when the music news still meant something, when it was part of artist development, when labels and managers and PR people nurtured someone’s identity and career to keep them in the public eye, so they could continue to generate revenue.

Meat could never follow it up. He lost his voice. He needed Steinman.

All that buzz had faded, of his appearance in “Roadie,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

And then Meat and Jim reunited and released “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”

Released on MCA, even the label didn’t expect it to be a smash. Al Teller had taken over from Irving Azoff and continued to market the previously signed stuff, but hits started to thin out. The Meat Loaf deal was made because Teller was at CBS during “Bat Out of Hell” and had a preexisting relationship, and relationships are everything in this business, never forget it.

But as a result of being bombastic and overblown in an era when it either had to be grunge or hip-hop, MTV exposure made I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” a monster, now literally EVERYBODY knew who Meat Loaf was, that was MTV’s power, a power that doesn’t exist anymore on any platform.

You see Meat had good will. And certain sounds never really die, the hit parade just stops featuring them.

But that was it. The last hurrah. After that Meat Loaf was in the rearview mirror.

As is everybody else in this story other than Todd Rundgren, who was belatedly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Never a kiss-ass, never a game player, Todd didn’t fit the mold so the doors were closed, until the fans gathered online and he was ultimately inducted and refused to show. Because you don’t make peace with the enemy just because they throw you a bone. Legends stick to their guns, they go their own way. And Rundgren is not touchy-feel either.

So now Meat Loaf is gone.

At 74.

Let’s see, Louie Anderson died of cancer at 68. I’ll never forget the first time I saw him on Carson, he talked about being at the beach, the little kids saying they had to roll him back into the water or he would die. You got Louie on the first pass. He was always overweight, made fun of it himself first, all the gym rats, the physically fit police, said his weight would catch up with him, but they were wrong, it was the Big C.

Did obesity contribute to Anderson’s condition? Possibly. There is some research out there, but it’s far from definitive.

Did comorbidities contribute to Meat Loaf’s death? Absolutely!

Louie never stood up for bogus science, if anything he was a healer who brought us all together. He didn’t want to die, but it wasn’t his choice.

Meat Loaf was a noted anti-masker/vaxxer and I’m sure he didn’t want to die either, but he’s gone too. But he didn’t have to.

Oh, they haven’t definitively come out and said he didn’t get vaccinated. But the odds of dying if you’re triple-vaxxed today, what did they just say, 90% of these people never hit the hospital? And why wasn’t Meat Loaf in the hospital anyway?

Meat never impressed me as dumb. But if anything, he was street smart. He dropped out of college, he lived on the edge, he was susceptible to misinformation.

He’s not the only legendary aged musician who has gone unvaxxed. But in speaking to this no needle crowd I’ve yet to hear any of them reference science, a noted authority, they just spew talking points and then default to saying they’ve been doing their own research.

Louie cared about other people.

These anti-vaxxers don’t care about anybody but themselves.

Do you know anybody who has died of Covid, personally? I certainly do. And almost all of them died before the vaccine became available. And those thereafter, like Jerry Blair…refused to get the shot.

I don’t care what his reasoning was, Jerry is gone, a hundred percent, his loved ones will never get over it, and most people will just move on, forget about him, if they even knew him at all.

And it’s so bad. The misinformation. But even worse is a lot of the jackasses purveying these inanities are vaxxed themselves. Talk about income inequality… Yes, these people are rich but they’re also educated and smart, THEY don’t want to die, but it’s all right if YOU DO!

Now the truth is “Bat Out of Hell” never made it on the west coast. People out here had no idea who Phil Rizzuto was unless they were transplants. It was an east coast thing, an insider thing. But Steinman’s work, via Meat, resonated with people, proving once again the worst arbiters of talent and connection are the suits. It’s the artists who reach down deep inside and reveal their truth that resonates with others.

But that was a long time ago.

In the sixties and seventies, we looked to musicians for truth. They were our beacons. They could be trusted. Furthermore, their audience was united on the left side of the spectrum, there weren’t young Republicans in numbers until the nineties, at least rock fans, at least those who would admit it.

But those days are gone too.

So much is gone.

But so much has come down the pike. The internet, the smartphone, streaming television. No one wants to die today saying they’ve seen it all, in fact everybody’s eager to hang on to see more!

Turns out Meat Loaf was a bigger deal than we thought he was. The obituaries and tweets are positive and numerous. If only Meat could have been around to see them.

That’s another thing… Live long enough and they give you your victory lap, no matter how much they resented or hated you at the time. Hang on and they’ll have a tribute, give you an award, and you’re top of mind once again, and if you’ve got anything left to say people will hear it.

But this won’t happen for Meat Loaf, and it’s his own damn fault.

And there are those who say not to speak ill of the dead. Fox News has a headline about those making jokes about Meat’s anti-vax statements and death. But the truth is, Fox and the right makes fun of those on the left all day long. And if Mitch McConnell needs to, if the Republicans take the Senate he’ll get rid of the filibuster. There are two sets of rules.

But there are not two sets of rules in health and science. And science is not about opinion, but fact.

Last night on Tucker Carlson Rand Paul spoke of the negative heart effects of the vaccine, which are de minimis, but he failed to mention the negative heart effects of Covid. You may not die, but you may be hampered forever.

And Fauci is the enemy.

What exactly is the point here? It’s like the NFL, which had to be pushed into concussion protocols. The players in the NFL are fungible, even the stars. Careers are short and there’s an endless supply of players available from the free minor league known as the NCAA. So legends like Jim McMahon have highlight reels but their ECT means they can’t work and they live the life of zombies, if they don’t kill themselves.

We are sending the wrong messages here. One person dies overseas and it’s a tragedy. A person dies from Covid in the U.S. and so many don’t even shrug their shoulder.

It’d be one thing if we had no weapons, no defense, but we do, the vaccines work!

And if they didn’t, if they were that harmful, wouldn’t we be seeing the negative effects all day long, people growing a second head, dropping dead? That’s not happening. As for issues down the line…doesn’t matter if you’re already dead, and who wants to live in a society with so many missing.

Meat Loaf was ignorant. Look the word up in the dictionary. you’ll see “lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about a particular thing,” in this case Covid, BINGO!

When I break a bone, I don’t go to YouTube, I don’t call my friends, however educated they might be, I GO TO THE HOSPITAL!

And that’s where the unvaccinated Covid cases go too. You can’t pick and choose science, either you believe in it or you don’t.

In an alienated society where we’re all on our own page, where we don’t even get the same Google results, never mind search the same terms, we’re hungry to belong. A common enemy brings us together. Ergo the anti-vaxxers. It takes a whole lot of energy and backbone to go against the troops, to hang it out alone.

And there have been scapegoats throughout history, but their stories are usually only revealed and amplified long past their time.

And now we have autocracies like Russia trying to rewrite history.

And we’ve got schools in America which are told certain books can’t be read and certain theories can’t be taught.

What we want is an educated populace that has the intellectual power to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, that can experience anything and everything. Hell, those on the right discount the “New York Times” even though it sets the agenda for Fox, they quote it more than any other media outlet. Wouldn’t you like to know what the “Times” has to say? I certainly check out Fox.

As for trigger warnings… It’s just a book. What kind of environment did you grow up in where you never heard anything negative? Hell, you should be exposed to these works to learn how to cope, because believe me, you’re gonna come up against triggers in real life.

Not that anybody will publicize it, not that your friends will challenge you, but it’s this echo chamber that gets us into these problems. Everybody I know is triple-vaxxed, does that mean everybody in America is? OF COURSE NOT!

Believe me, if Meat Loaf had hung with Anthony Fauci for a day, he’d have gotten vaxxed. You suppress the truth at your peril. And the cost may be high, you may die.

And I won’t bother to make a pun using one of Meat’s songs. I’ll just say…

What a waste.

Responses from Bob’s readers. Please note: these comments are not edited for grammar or content and do not necessarily reflect the views of CelebrityAccess or its staff.

I opened a few shows for Meat Loaf in 1977 or 78 (wish I had kept better archives) when “Bat Out of Hell” was breaking and most impressive to me was that both Mr. Loaf (as they NY Times called him) and the brilliant Jim Steinman were both warm and welcoming and even seemed to enjoy hanging out in my dressing room with me and my vivacious back-up singer Jennifer Jakobson (check out her portraits by Robert Mapplethorpe) and legendary bassist Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers.) Believe me, it wasn’t always like that when you were the opening act (i.e. electricity mysteriously cut in the middle of my shows and all dressing rooms claimed by the headliner) but I won’t mention any names. I remember Jim telling me he liked the inherent drama of my song “Drive All Night” and we shared a certain camaraderie as we were all part of the CBS Records group – me on Columbia with my just released album “Just A Story From America” and them on Cleveland International. Anyway, at the time theirs was a stripped down show with a super-tight band and no special effects. In fact, the most omnipresent special effect was the white kerchief Meat Loaf used to wipe the sweat off his brow. But what a show! The lovely Ellen Foley had sang magnificently on the album (I got to know her many years later when we were both involved in a song-writing festival in Belgium) but on tour it was raven beauty Karla DeVito who was spectacularly dramatic and the interplay between her and Meat Loaf was like a Marvel Comics version of Romeo and Juliet. The over-the-top quasi-Wagnerian musicality of the Meat Loaf experience was rock opera at its best and like nothing I had ever seen before and in my humble opinion paved the way for Rock meets Broadway which is now an accepted genre on its own. By the way, Joe Stefko (who I already knew from opening shows for Flo & Eddie) was Meat Loaf’s powerful drummer and we’ve remained friends to this day.

I don’t know how long Meat Loaf managed to stay in the celebrity spotlight of the US but he was a rock icon in many countries in Europe where “Bat out of Hell” remained on the UK Album charts for 522 weeks!

From Paris,

Elliott Murphy


Bob: Thanks for highlighting the role of Steve Popovich in your Meat Loaf piece, and doing it right at the start, not buried farther back, because Popovich played such a huge role in Meat’s success. But that wasn’t all. When Steve was at Epic, Popovich also helped promote Michael Jackson, Cheap Trick and Boston (and Ted Nugent, so I guess at this point it could be said he was able to work with right-wing boneheads in that he worked both with Meat and Ted). Pop himself though was full of life, a huge Springsteen fan, and always willing to talk about the music he loved, including polka, and not just what was on the charts.

Cleveland International, his label, released great records by Ian Hunter, the Iron City Houserockers, and Ellen Foley. I’m glad you pointed out how much CBS screwed Popovich, and kept doing so, as in my conversations with Steve he never failed to start with that (Steve would never bury a lead). I’m certain it played a role in his death. Of all the “labels fucking over individuals stories,” Steve’s story is one of the most egregious. CBS lost, repeatedly, but still wouldn’t pay Steve until he forced them in court. That story is almost as shameful as Meat’s outspokenness against vaccines (and even masks). I miss Steve; and I hope that Meat Loaf’s story helps change the minds of the morons who we have allowed to ruin our economy, our health care system, and the live concert industry.

— Charles R. Cross


Thanks for giving Steve Popovich some more love. Pop represented all the things good about our business. He was a great cat, warm, funny and passionate about music. Great promotion man, great A&R man. Great pal, pretty good bass player!

I was fortunate to have him be my A&R mentor. After all his contributions to CBS, the way they hosed him was deplorable. Then again so many of us have gotten shortened in accountings. Royalty departments at the majors are all but inaccessible- it can take years of corresponding only to get an old statement- sometimes not updated.for decades.  Many companies use the fact they have been bought and sold to obscure their poor record keeping practices and lack of transparency. Pop’s great success with Cleveland International is a cautionary tale.

That he triumphed yet again at the end of his career elevating his beloved Polka music (winning more Grammys in the process) is a tribute to his indomitable spirit.

Everyone who knew him, still feels his loss.

-Ricky Schultz


Steve Popovich was my mentor. He took me under his wing and brought me from being a good promotion man to becoming a great one. He loved all kinds of music (even Polka) and fought tooth and nail to get it heard, to let the public decide if they liked something or not. The biggest lesson I ever got from him was what to do when a record is just total crap. I would ask, “Pop, our credibility is valued, how can you look someone in the eye and promote something that’s just plain bad?” He enlightened me. “Rap, you can always find one good thing about a record. If it’s not the vocal performance or the musicianship, maybe it’s the song itself, or if not that, maybe the production. But, there will always be at least ONE GOOD THING. Talk about that.”

He came to California and played me “Bat Out Of Hell,” wanted my opinion as I was an early champion for Bruce Springsteen and was heavily into story songs. But I didn’t get it. It was too Broadway for me, too Hollywood. Bob, I think you nailed it about the west coast. I think a lot of us just didn’t have that kind of sensibility. Hell, I even had a devil of a time getting Bruce played on L.A. rock radio for a good while. The program directors would tell me, “He’s an ‘east coast’ artist. He sings about giant Exon signs, we don’t have Exon here.”

Whatever the case, Pops had a sixth sense about music, he had vision, he could see beyond what most of us could. I know this piece is supposed to be about Meat Loaf, and I eventually came to understand his talent and the masterpiece of “Bat Out Of Hell.” But sometimes it takes a village, and in this case I think the synergy between Meat, Steinman, Rundgren, Popovich, and Pops’ partner, Stan Snyder all working together, is what made it happen. And I’m not sure it would have without each one of those all-important ingredients.

Paul Rappaport


But there ain’t no Coup de Ville
Hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box!

I was asked to leave the LA radio station  KMET with other Epic promo people because we wouldn’t stop promoting Meatloaf because it was too east coast!

Harvey Leeds


A note about Steve Popovich, a guy I miss very much. It’s correct to say that Steve was a promo man at what was then CBS Records, but he had moved over to be Vice-President of A&R at Epic Records in 1976. He was instrumental in signing Boston when Paul Ahern and I brought the demo tapes to him at the A&R convention in San Diego. Lennie Petze was the A&R man of record when the deal was made, but Steve was the head of the department. Just before the album was released, Gregg Geller, who was Epic’s A&R Director in LA, offered me a post at Epic, which I was thrilled to accept, and Steve immediately took me under his wing. At the New York office in the famous Black Rock building, he put his arm around my shoulder and said, “You’re coming home with me, new guy!” We took his car and drove to Freehold, NJ where his wife cooked a great dinner, after which we talked music into the night and then he actually drove me back to Manhattan to my hotel.

When he called to tell me he was relinquishing his gig to go independent, he said it was all about family. He told me that it made him anxious that his parents didn’t get much time with their grandchildren, so he was moving home to Cleveland and starting an Epic-associated label called Cleveland International. When they released “Bat Out of Hell,” Steve ramped up his promotion man chops and used his network of friends throughout the CBS organization to work that record until it was everywhere. He had as much or more to do with its success as anyone involved. He was one of the last of the great seat-of-the-pants record guys, who could still quote you catalog numbers of records he had worked when he started at CBS. I wish there were more like him in the industry today – we’d be better for it.

John Boylan


I wanted to acknowledge your piece on MEAT LOAF.  There is no doubt that Steve Popovich was the one man on the planet who believed in Meat unconditionally.  My relationship with Pop goes back a long way…we were members of friendly “competing” local bands in Cleveland in the mid-1960s, he as the bass player in The Twilighters and me as drummer in The Starfires. The live music scene was tight in Cleveland, with only so many bars that featured live music.  As a result, the bands crossed paths often, and as a result, many of us became “friendly rivals”.  As the years passed, Steve turned his attention from playing music to promoting it, and I continued my playing career with the James Gang.  We remained friends throughout his life, and one of my favorite things to do was to grab a very large bag of WENDY’S, pick up my buddy, Richard, and head over to Pop’s office in his house for an unplanned but always-welcome lunch, where we hung out and listened to music with Steve and Marty Mooney.  One day, Steve put in a cassette, and pushed “play” on the tape recording that became the “BAT OUT OF HELL” album.  He had yet to find a label for it, but his undying belief in that record stays with me to this day.


You proposed several valid reasons that might have contributed to the success of Meat Loaf and that album.  First and foremost, it took a guy like Pop, with his incomparably great ears, to recognize the potential in this music.  It took a guy like Jim Steinman, who wrote the words and music, thus completing not only the songs, but the thread that runs through the record, telling the story without detracting from the individual compositions.  It took Todd Rundgren, who had enough belief in his recording, arranging, and producing abilities to get all this craziness onto recording tape.  And of course, add Meat, with his unabashed belief in his own talent, and his willingness to go balls-out to get it done.  Then, add the convergence of these talents, to create the finished result.


The outcome was and is absolute MAGIC, and I swear Richard and I knew it 30 seconds after Pop began playing that cassette.


So just for today, let’s forget about things like politics, disease, and anything else that can get in the way of the enjoyment of pure, exceptional music. Meat, Pop and “Bat Out of Hell” achieved that.  I miss that feeling.


Jimmy Fox


Steve Popovich would call me every year for many years after an article I wrote for Variety detailed how many hundreds of thousands of Bat Out Of Hell LPs were exported out of Canada and never paid for because the president of CBS at the time was tight with the goniff that ended up stiffing the label.  He was looking for the dough.

Pop always had a sad tone in his voice.

Still, Meatloaf and Steinman were the masters of a uniquely American bombast that will never ever be duplicated. You can’t discount the impact that record had on young America.  They made a Broadway show out of it!

Sad codas all around.


Jonathan Gross


Hi Bob — I have to correct you.  The Meat Loaf album was successful because of Steve and his relentless take-no-prisoners approach to promotion, but also because of the Epic national staff and CBS Records field staff that never gave up until the album was brought home.  Credit also Ron Alexenburg, without whom the album would not have found a home with us.  I was on national staff at Epic from pre day1 with Meat Loaf, saw it all unfold from the start.

No record breaks itself.  Meat Loaf was a particular challenge, a 300 pound guy who performed in a tuxedo shirt, singing those songs trying to break through in an Aerosmith Ted Nugent world.  It was no easy task to get it on the radio and to find bookings.  It took hard work, dedication, and don’t-take-no-for-an-answer from a lot of people.

Was Steve an important part of that?  Undoubtedly.  He was a friend and colleague to all of us.  But singular credit?  No.  Please do not rewrite history.

Jim Charne


Hello Bob,

As I was the Sr. VP and GM of Epic when Meatloaf was signed, I would like to take issue with your statement that the success of “Bat Out Of Hell” was all Steve Popovich Sr.

First of all, Steve was a very close and personal friend to me and my entire family. Yes, he deserves the credit for the signing.

At a CBS Records convention in New Orleans, I introduced Mr. Loaf by the following introduction.

“This next artist was brought to Epic by Steve Popovich who is also the founder of his own label to be funded by Epic, so lets do all we can for one of our own”, please welcome Cleveland International artist “MEATLOAF”. He destroyed the night with one of the best performances he ever made.

Yes it was a slow start, but you don’t become one of the biggest selling albums of all time without the TOTAL support of the CBS/EPIC records team. There were disbelievers due to the length of some of the songs, and some not liking the music, but the promotion women and men of Epic, in majority, took hold. His live performances and sincere efforts to those supporters, help carry him home. The way SONY treated Steve at he end was awful. This was long after I left my position. I went to Cleveland to testify at a trial when he was in a law suit with his partners.

Your right to say that Steve was one of the most dedicated individuals to any of the artists he signed or promoted when he was the head of Columbia records promotion.

There would not have been a MEATLOAF if not for Todd Rundgren and Steve Popovich, but give some well deserved credit to the people of Epic, PLEASE.

I maintained a relationship with Mr. Loaf as we asked him to induct his songwriting friend, Jim Steinman, into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame via video.

My family and I miss our friend. Steve Popovich Sr, as we continue to wish his son Steve Popovich Jr. success as he continues to operate the Cleveland International group.

Ron Alexenburg


I’m hitting you back because I cannot stand that “Pop” stuff. Just say it like it was and is, they fucked him and they knew it all along. And, as per usual the “they” never give a fuck. They do the money grab and who knows, maybe don’t give a fuck or say “oh really” when the old guard like “Pop” pass onward.

Lawsuits, well though needed they’ll kill you in themselves. I once said while in a courtroom with the forces to be, “this bullshit will give you cancer” because it does. They all know when they’ve robbed a guy and they all don’t give a fuck. It’s the money grab they do that matters most. And the settlements, even when you withstand the fuckn stress filled day to day grind of the drill and you’re paid you still say “wtf, is this what it takes to be treated fairly and to be paid?”

What a racket. And now Bob get your head wrapped around it man, the Money is what not only does the talking but the walking as well. And they’ll indemnify these dumb fucks until the wiser sue them and then tell the dumb fucks, “the board won’t approve it.”

Then back to court for more tumors.

Nah, at the end of the day they’re all blowhards. It’s in print then, “hey, look how rich I am”. We’re all rich or gone by now Bob or all the wiser, Both!

See ya on the flip.

frankie sullivan


I interviewed Meat Loaf at the first Rocky Horror Picture Show convention, February 1978.  The album was out but hadn’t exploded yet.  Meat was completely down to earth, warm and humble…he acted as if the other cast members present were the big deal and he was lucky to be there.

(Phil Rizzuto story…how huge was he?   I went to grade school in Queens.  Phil’s niece Melissa was in my class every year (we’re still friends.)  At the beginning of every class year when the teacher would learn our names, they would always bug out on Melissa Rizzuto.  “Related to the Great Rizzuto?”   Substitute teachers did the same.  By sixth grade the entire class would respond “he’s her uncle” in BOREDOM we were so used to the dropped jaws at the mention of Rizzuto. )

Michael Alex


The Steve Miller Band toured with Meat Loaf in Australia in 1993. The stage drama between he, in ruffled sleeves mind you, and the hot brunette female Broadway vocalist was really quite impressive for an outdoor shed show. Very Beauty and the Beast.
The fact the Tooey’s Beer was the tour sponsor made it even more unlikely of a match but I have to say the crowd screamed and the Loaf was loved.
He was very approachable and when he told me he was a shot putter and a lineman in track and football made me like him more. I had done the same and we were both big guys shakin our asses among the skinny and chiseled so we related in our plight. Todd was a wizard with him and Meat Loaf will be remembered believe me. Passion dies slow.

Kenny Lee Lewis


Spot on as always on covid Bob. We are living in a time of mental Darwinism and those that believe in nonsense like the government and bill gates are putting chips in your arm to control you will pay the price. We can blame misinformation on social media but many seek out that misinformation and if you believe all the conspiracy crap you are a mental midget anyway. The thing that gets me the most is the hypocrisy of the anti vaxxers. Idiots like joe rogan and Aaron Rodgers ranting about how awful big pharma is meanwhile when they caught covid they took the monoclonal antibodies. Who do you thinks makes them. Big pharma! The other thing anti vaxxers say is “Well I trust my immune system” how did that work out for almost a million Americans. Or the “survival rate is really high” as if that discounts the millions dead around the globe or all the ppl with long covid. It’s one thing to survive but you need to do so with your quality of life intact . The new dumb messaging is people died “with covid not from covid” well when people randomly have blood clots leading to strokes and heart attacks while infected I think it’s safe to say it was caused by the covid. Anyway thanks for indulging this rant and fuck the anti vaxxers. Stay safe

Jarred Arfa


I can’t say I “enjoyed” reading your note on Meat Loaf and his demise. I enjoyed his music. Thank you for the insight.

But not Covid. Nor what is left of our health system to deal with it.

But every work day (and there’s an unlimited amount of overtime) I get to deal with Covid in the Emergency Department. So many people who lack insight or critical thinking. Patients and their families. Some people on this side of the fence. (And oh yes, there is a definite dividing line. We just choose not to engage).Certainly not all but enough to cause physical and mental exhaustion. Every Damm Shift.

I work with amazing people. From EMT’s, Medics, RN’s, MD’s and countless others in healthcare. The give all they have intellectually and physically. But so many are wearing emotional blinders for self-preservation. Likely in ways I am also.

I’ve stopped interpreting what patients/family members might mean by saying, “I’ve done my own research…”. Or experts (FB, TikTok, You Tube or FOX) say, “insert dumb ass comment here”. Give me an effing break.

Before Covid there was plenty of healthcare, in many large and small ways, that needed improvement. We still fit those injuries/illnesses, and situations in some way as best we can.

But now? Now we have the seemingly endless supply of, “I was around someone who said I should get tested”. Sucking up healthcare bandwidth while sharing “I don’t believe the vaccines”. “I don’t know what’s in the vaccines”. Like you or I have any clue what’s in our cheeseburger, beauty product or if that mold on the cheese in my refrigerator is really Penicillin. Like it really matters.

Um. OK.

Then go to any one of the ever increasing test sites. They are FREE with minimum effort. But no, you insist on going to some place that will levy a $$ charge, and clog up the ER pipeline for health/hospital care because…because you’re too ignorant/uncaring/indifferent/self-inflated.  And the cherry on this pile of pustulant thought is the very people and systems for health they criticize are the ones they rush to for “take me ahead of anybody else first” with their self-centered thought process..

I am no longer surprised to read the, ofttimes daily, missives about one more prominent individual that is oh so wonderful but now dead from the willful anti-vax sentiment spewed and repeated in American society. We won’t fight back or correct the misinformation. We won’t agree that vaccines are bad/not studied enough/some conspiracy. We won’t agree that we should head held high wander backwards to the nightmares of polio, smallpox, tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria. And others.

But like my colleagues, I will go back to work next shift and do what I can. Heck, maybe I’m the ignorant one as I gown up, glove up and move in to the fray again.

We’ve never met and likely never will. I certainly don’t leave my small cocoon willy nilly. I enjoy life, my family and much of my work. Despite not having any personal connection I warmly thank you. Please keep writing and sending the letter. I can’t read it as often or as fresh as I’d like but it does inform me, gives me background perspectives to ponder, and I get enjoyment from it.

I wish you well. Stay safe.


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