Your social comfort level once vaxed

We’ve only eradicated one disease, but we’ve driven a lot of diseases down to irrelevant levels. Measles (despite the recent outbreak), German measles, mumps, tetanus, whooping cough. They all still exist. I even caught whooping cough before they realized adults need boosters. (But it’s a minor disease to have for most adults, including me.) But they are rare. No one worries about them, beyond getting their kids vaccinated on schedule.

I am going to keep sanitizing and hand washing. Also avoiding anyone who looks the slightest bit sick. And telling sick coworkers to go home. Probably fewer sit down restaurants and fewer indoor events full stop. Possibly masking while grocery shopping for a while because of the gross sneezing snotty folks who are typically there.

Basically, I have really enjoyed not having a single cold, flu or any other symptom for the last 18 months. Didn’t even bother getting my usual flu shot because there was no need. It’s been great and I’d like it to continue

Since America is a “Me, me, me, me” society, I feel it pertinent to remind everyone that masking is not about YOU. It’s about reassuring others that you won’t infect them.

The new variants absolutely have the capacity to evade the virus. I don’t care how comfortable you feel; if you come into contact with the delta variant, and because you decided that you didn’t need to exercise caution, you pass it on to several others in your workspace or in your family, you are responsible for killing them or hospitalizing them and leaving them with medical debt. You can deny your culpability all you want, but it’s absolutely on you.

Cite.

Seconded. I personally haven’t read anything that would lead to a conclusion that it can absolutely evade the vaccines.

Here is a thread where this is being discussed.

:+1:

I keep a Google spreadsheet of all my health issues, and found that the last time I had a respiratory ailment was in January 2020, shattering my previous record of ~1 year without getting sick.

So whaddaya know, N95 masks really do work, and I’m gonna stay the course for any indoor place, at least until my local gym opens back up. Yeah, I know, COVID is nasty and all, but I’m spooked by reports of people getting heart failure because they wore a mask while doing intense cardio.

Both of those posts are by the same person.

Sure, but that thread has links, and he was asked for a cite. I guess we could simply relink the same things here and have multiple conversations about it.

It’s about both. There’s a reason people with compromised immune systems were wearing masks even before the pandemic.

Yeah, it’s a decent thread, and already rather long. Join it if you are curious.

Well, that’s true, but so now how should people who want to respond to asahi’s post do that if we need to take all discussion about that post’s core premise there?

Well, I’m not a mod nor mod material, so I don’t really care if people have fifty threads on the same topic. The only responses to his post when I shared the link were asking for cites, so I figured the other thread would work for that.

I am a mod, although not a qz mod. But i think if you want to discuss his premise you can, but it’s silly to demand he cite the same references here, too. This software is very good about cross linking stuff, and you can just link one of his prior posts that contained references here, and respond as you will. Within the bounds of decorum for this forum, of course.

I was fully vaxed/immune by mid-May. In late June I traveled to see my father and siblings. It was my first plane flight since before the pandemic. Masks were required in airports and on planes, and a full reading revealed that although passengers were allowed to eat/drink on the plane, they were required to put their masks back on in between sips/bites. I usually bring a sandwich and some water with me on this flight since it happens over lunchtime, but this time I opted not to; I just kept my mask on from the time I entered one airport until I exited the other. Thinking back, I’m not sure how much of my reluctance to remove my mask was due to COVID concerns, and how much was due to social discomfort, i.e. “everyone here is wearing a mask except me right now.” Maybe less of the latter, since other people accepted snack/beverage service from the cabin crew (which meant they had to remove masks to eat/drink), even while I turned it down.

While visiting, I enjoyed a few restaurant meals and a few visits to a coffee shop, all sans mask. I felt OK about it. I think whatever weirdness I felt was more about this being my first time eating in a restaurant since pre-pandemic, and also suddenly not wearing a mask at all after more than a year of constant “wear your mask” messaging.

At home, we’re still getting our groceries delivered. Wife is still not comfortable visiting retail establishments, but for my part, the grocery delivery has turned out to be very convenient. The commute to/from our preferred grocery store used to eat up 40 minutes round trip, not to mention the actual time spent in the store. Having someone else handle that for us has turned out to be worth the extra expense, even as the fear of contagion subsides.

We never had groceries delivered. The closest I came was shopping during senior hours (6 am to 8 am) early in the pandemic.

Having someone else buy my groceries for me just seems creepy for some irrational reason.

I’ve been occasionally running into shops, making sure that I’m there no longer than 15 minutes. I’ve been fairly confident that this is a ‘safe’ activity on the assumption that the case counts were low and that the vaccines were effective against the earlier variants. Delta is a game-changer for me and will probably start keeping outings to a minimum. I still have to work in an office four days a week though.

So I put this entire question to the test on a personal level. I went into a Baskin-Robbins tonight. I was planning to eat in, so I didn’t bring my mask. I’ve been wearing it indoors in public most other times; this was the first I’d been without entirely since they were first widely required. Other customers, with and without masks, did go in and out in the approximately five minutes I was there.

It did occur to me that the possibility existed that I was taking a major health gamble (mine or someone else’s) by doing so, so I was a bit nervous after I committed. But I was a lot less so than I expected. Whether this means I’m being a selfish fool, I’m not entirely sure, but it does tell me what I truly think about the current situation.

I think a big reason personally is that I don’t see a certain level of official concern yet, which is public statements by health officials that the vaccines are useless (or even weak) against delta or reports of the drug companies desperately testing a specifically anti-delta vaccine. No vaccine is going to be 100% effective, so I’m taking the current situation as the typical rate when dealing with the unvaccinated and those people for whom their immune system just doesn’t cooperate for whatever reason. I think the CDC under Biden is less susceptible to political pressure than under Trump (and can’t think where they’d be getting pressure that mattered to them anyway), so I’m trusting that the science supports what they’re doing. I live alone and in reasonable health.

All this has led me to see no real reason to act as if I were unvaccinated. I seem to think, deep down, that an ending to this does exist, and it is closer to the end than the beginning. I don’t fault anyone for thinking differently due to having different circumstances, or even just being terrified and paranoid; god knows I’d be a hypocrite if I did. I know for a fact that there’s a non-zero number of people out there who would cast negative moral judgment on me, and the odds that they are right are non-zero. But there’s where I am now.

You may want to have a look at the data showing a marked increase in cases in many states, and the dismal vaccination rates in many areas.

This is most decidedly not going away, and it’s going to get worse again before it gets any better. We’re not on track to eliminate Covid soon, or in fact, ever.

I realize all that. I didn’t say we were close to an objective actual ending, just that the vaccines have us over the halfway point now. It could be another year plus before things settle down, I dunno. I also don’t think I’ve been counting “eliminating COVID” as the endgame here, so I’m not holding my breath for that.

What is the endgame I expect, then? I guess a point at which COVID does not objectively bring the world to a halt. Like I said, I think the very existence of vaccines bring us a lot closer to that, deniers or no.

But I’m not a scientist, so don’t listen to me.