Your social comfort level once vaxed

For folk who have been vaxed, how (if at all) have you changed your willingness to engage in various social activities?

My immediate issue concerns the recent death of my wife’s best friend’s mother. Right now, we do not know what their plans are, but my wife and I have been discussing what we would be comfortable with. I suspect there will be a wake in a funeral home, church and graveside services, and some subsequent gathering either in a restaurant or their home.

What I find curious is that my wife’s and my attitudes seems to have flipped somewhat. In prior months, my wife seemed somewhat more “careful” than I was, tho we did have a limited number of couples - including this friend and her husband - we occasionally shared dinner with.

I am OK (tho not entirely comfortable depending on numbers/closeness) with attending a wake and a church service - masked. I’m NOT comfortable with the possibility of a large social gathering in somewhat confined spaces, with unmasked people whose past practices I do not know. My wife pretty much acts as tho it is a given that she would participate.

We’ve also discussed Easter. There are basically 4 couples we have had dinner w/ over the past year. 3 are unavailable. This same couple has invited us to their house for Easter dinner. If it were just the 2 of them, I’d be fine with that. But I don’t know if they will have other folk visiting in their not-large house, and they will have had contact w/ many other people this past week. Heck, their daughter is unvaxed and in town from Cal - and just this month we told our own kid we didn’t want him to visit us from Denver!

Realistically, I’m not sure I feel terribly at risk, but I don’t like engaging in what I consider irresponsible behavior. I imagine I’ll loosen up pretty quickly as time passes. My wife has a trip planned in late June, and we are attending a wedding in August. But I was pretty much just figuring I’d continue to restrict myself until it warms up (Chicago) and more things could be done outside. Honestly, this is the first such situation we’ve encountered since personally vaxed.

How are you guys approaching such things?

We’ve both been vaccinated, but our children haven’t been (too young). So my wife and I aren’t terribly concerned about contracting COVID ourselves at this point.

That doesn’t mean that we’ve screamed “WOOHOO!” and are just going about life as if it was 2019 or something. We’re still doing curbside pickup for stuff as much as we can, we’re still not eating in restaurants, etc… But… we’re starting to do limited store visits when we can’t do curbside visits, instead of just doing without. And we’re considering a few “fun” visits to places like Trader Joe’s for non-essentials. (in fact, we have a ‘date’ planned to go shopping!)

We’re also starting limited socializing only with other vaccinated people- still masked and socially distanced, but being vaccinated has increased our comfort level on that account.

The boys are the joker in the deck. While we realize that as young kids (6 and 9) they are considerably less likely to catch COVID, transmit COVID or get seriously ill, we aren’t quite ready to just throw caution to the wind either.

This is my idea of fun also.

I don’t plan to do much of anything after the CDC warned of a fourth wave. I’m trying to hurry and get my shot, but I would only feel comfortable if everyone I was going to be around was vaxxed until we see what’s going on with this wave.

Of course, part of this is because my stupid governor is rescinding the mask requirent based on Arkansas numbers and ignoring the CDC…

(Not trying to get into the politics of that. Just explaining my reasoning.)

We are getting together for Easter with my parents (both fully vaccinated), my in-laws (both fully vaccinated). I had my second shot yesterday, my husband has had his first. We might get our 22 year old unvaccinated son. I’m not getting too many years yet with my parents and inlaws…

Sometime in April when my husband is two weeks past his second shot, we will fly out to visit the youngest.

And we are planning for in-person D&D in about five weeks. The olds (anyone over 50) have all had one shot now, and we have one unvaccinated young one.

Neither my wife nor I have seen any family members on either side since December 2019. Both of our living parents are getting up there in years, and while we’ve felt it necessary to avoid them because of high-risk health issues on both sides, we are planning to travel (albeit still exercising as much caution as can be managed) once we are fully vaccinated.

We haven’t really discussed what sort of “normal” activities we might resume beyond that, though I imagine our travel experiences mentioned above will dictate our comfort level with other activities going forward.

I do hope to rejoin a bowling league at some point.

I don’t understand. Why the reticence? Is it just the social pressure of people thinking you are unmasked because you’re some iind of rebel? Or are you worried about your own health consequences?

From what I understand, if you are vaccinated you are not only mostly protected from the virus, but people who have been vaccinated and get the virus tend to have mild symptoms. Have their been any deaths or people who contracted Covid after being vaccinated?

I wasn’t all that keen on crowds before COVID, I don’t go to malls in December and have never entered a store on Black Friday.

Now, after more than a year of isolation, the idea of being in a crowd of unmasked people makes me really uncomfortable. I used to enjoy the outdoor farmer’s market, now that’s right on the edge of my comfort level.

From what I’ve been hearing from friends and family members, I am not alone.

My understanding is that there is at least some chance of getting COVID (5-15%?). Tho there is essentially no chance of hospitalization/death, I’d still just as soon not get it. And I don’t know about the possibility of carrying/transmitting it.

But I also don’t want to be part of a culture that encourages people who engage in risky behavior BEFORE getting vaxed, or who decline the vax.

As a society, we are approaching a point at which we can get past this thing. I don’t need to rush back into anything that will prolong the process.

My state still has mask mandates, so I’m of course going masked where necessary. I’m now happy to go to other vaccinated people’s houses and hang out unmasked. I’m also willing to eat inside restaurants now, although I’d prefer to eat outside.

I haven’t been invited to any larger social gatherings and don’t go to church.

When movies reopen in my state, I might consider going. I know my wife and daughter are looking forward to that. I would feel pretty comfortable at an outdoor baseball game, masked unless eating or drinking.

@Sam_Stone, I don’t know why I’m still reticent. A year of isolation and, well, danger hasn’t helped. Some of it is wanting to set an example for others, who may or may not be vaccinated, and acting extra responsibly for that purpose. It’s a good question, though – I don’t fear measles or the flu, even though I’m more likely to get more sick from the flu at this point (since COVID vaccination seems to give nearly 100% protection from hospitalization).

I think it will just take some time to readjust to the old way of life. Maybe by this summer, when almost everyone who wants the shot will have it, I’ll feel comfortable in a crowded bar again.

I saw a report by the head of CDC yesterday and she said that vaccinated people do not carry the virus. She was quite clear about it saying that data as well as trials support the idea.
Very good news.

That IS great news. Thanks!

Our state still has mask requirements. I’ll keep wearing mine - at least indoors in stores and such, for the foreseeable future. Just as a courtesy if nothing else.

My state reported 102 breakthrough cases with two deaths (they were over 80 with comorbidities). That represents .01% of those of us who are fully vaccinated and is supposedly expected. However, I still don’t want to be one of them. I’m a little more comfortable grocery shopping, but no one in my home is changing their cautious behavior.

That’s not exactly true, but the news is still good. The study says that fully vaccinated (>= 14 days past second shot of an mRNA) people almost never carry the virus, but occasionally they do. They’re also not particularly confident with how big that “almost” is, as the CI was pretty wide around that group (it was a tiny number of people).

Either way, it definitely does look like being vaccinated brings a huge benefit, just not a guarantee.

I hope most people understand there was never hope of the vaccine being a guarantee against getting COVID-19.

At some point the public health messaging is going to have to pivot from “nothing changes for you after vaccination” to “COVID-19 is such a low risk after vaccination, you don’t really need to think about it anymore.” I understand they’re hesitant to say that now due to current levels of cases in some places and the need for more vaccinations. But that is the eventual end game.

I don’t think that the hesitation to say that is helpful. A couple weeks ago Sen. Paul sparred with Dr. Fauci about the doctors wearing two masks even though fully vaccinated. I thought Fauci came off poorly, obviously trying to toe the authorized line. At least now CDC is suggesting a change to the rigid line is changing.

If the head of the CDC says “vaccinated people do not carry the virus” and then people get the virus, the message in some circles becomes “the CDC lied about this, why should I believe them on anything else.”

When speaking about COVID deaths and comorbidities, the CDC once said:

For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.

That was then turned into this fecal explosion:

This week the CDC quietly updated the COVID number to admit that only 6% of all the 153,504 deaths recorded actually died from COVID.

I say we stick to accuracy as much as possible.

Absolutely, and they should clearly communicate what the risks are using numbers and statistics as much as possible. Saying “a group of vaccinated people could still transmit the virus amongst themselves” is technically true. Without a very clear explanation of what “could” means in this context, it can lead people to believe that the risk of transmission is much worse than it really is. I “could” get struck by lightning tomorrow. Dr. Fauci has stated he’s comfortable with maskless hugging and handshakes if everyone involved is fully vaccinated.

I’m even fine with the less specific “almost no one gets the virus once vaccinated and serious hospitalization and death from the virus post vaccine gets pretty close to zero”. I’m just not okay with “vaccinated people do not carry the virus.” I understand why she said it as I’ve read the transcript. It was a quick talking point about effectiveness, not a press release or official statement, but it’s still being bandied about as a one liner.

When the truth is astoundingly, stupendously, breathtakingly awesome, we don’t need to fudge.

Yes. A hard core scientist will declare they’re uncertain when they’re 99.9% certain. Because of the 0.1%.

A polemicist will declare they’re certain when the evidence shows they’re 10% likely to be right, but that’s the answer they want to be true.

Applying scientific scoring to polemicist’s statements or vice versa is a recipe for disaster. Anyone hoping to be correctly understood over the din needs to address both sides: the conclusion and the certainty. In an easy to grasp way.

They’ll still be misrepresented by the Forces of Evil. But at least they have some hope of reaching their audience of not-captives-of-Evil people.

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