Your social comfort level once vaxed

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.

There’s just objectively no way to make that assumption right now. About a month or two ago, it seemed like we had a pre-pandemic situation in many parts of the country, but weeks later we’re now in the midst of a pretty significant surge. This is all attributable to a new variant, which itself could mutate into something even worse than what we’re observing now, and it could all happen in a matter of weeks. We just don’t know when the end will be. We can’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap of making these kinds of assumptions that we’re nearly over or halfway over, or that by the end of summer we should be good. We have to keep our foot on the gas, for as long as it takes.

I don’t want to take a test to get on a plane. I want the plane to be restricted to vaccinated only, with exceptions only for those who cannot be vaccinated due to health or age (too young) issues. And I would prefer the youngsters to stay home, but I know that’s being a bit unreasonable.

We’re going to restaurants - we wear masks to the table, and remove them only when seated. Before getting up, even to go to the toilet, we put on masks.

Public transportation is still with masks, but we’re allowed to wait at the outdoor station or stop without masks, so we do, unless it gets really crowded and it is no longer possible to keep social distancing.

Yesterday I was in my neighbor’s home and neither of us were masked. We are both fully vaccinated.

There have been Asian tourists wearing masks around Luzern for more than 10 years. Even when outside. Before Corona I thought it was too much. Now? I think it’s reasonable for someone who cannot afford to get even a little bit sick. And if I would be in a festival like that, I might also wear a mask, if going was important. I am more willing to wear a mask and not worry about what other people think. I really don’t care. When we first got the chance to wear masks, I took it, even though I got strange looks. There will be many people who will continue wearing masks in crowds for the next years or even decades.

I’m basically completely comfortable.

I feel like at this point, I’ve taken all the reasonable precautions. Everyone in my extended family and I have been vaccinated. My wife and I work from home. We bought a second home out in the country away from New York. And we wear masks when required.

Most stores and restaurants where we are (NJ) no longer require masks so I’m kind of hit or miss in the city (mostly out of habit and not really knowing which ones still require them) and don’t wear them at all in the country.

I’m ok with restaurants and bars, but would generally prefer to be outside if possible.

So all things considered, I feel my chances for contracting COVID AND getting really sick are extremely low. Not to minimize it or anything, but at some point I think you have to just go live your life and accept the risks (after taking appropriate precautions).

I had mostly stopped wearing masks since getting vaccinated; but with the newer reports coming out I may go back to wearing a mask if indoors anywhere that might be crowded.

My county’s reporting no current cases; but I suspect that a lot of people aren’t getting tested even if they have mild symptoms.

Me too. Since getting fully vaccinated I wear a mask where asked to, but that’s basically only the library at this point, and they’re still quarantining books.

There are a total of 17 people statewide who are ill enough with covid to be in the hospital, and the running daily average of cases is in the low to mid-twenties, not per 100,000 people but in actual total out of one point three million people.

For some reason that I have yet to see anyone attempt to explain, the amount of delta variant is very low in the state - while the country is averaging 40% of cases, here the majority of cases are still alpha and delta is in low single digits despite delta being detectable in New Hampshire for at least two months now.

At this point my risk of getting seriously ill with covid is lower than the risk of getting seriously hurt or killed doing a lot of other activities we do without a second thought, so I’m done letting covid anxiety take center stage.

Thing could get bad again in the future with some new variant, but they’re not now and I’m not interested in obsessing about what ifs.

Oh boy, our local anti-mask (“parental choice”) and anti-vax (“my body, my choice”) leader is an “Intuitive Medium” by profession.

She connects people with the “departed” by “channeling energy”.

Making dead people is good for business I suppose. Your grandma’s death is a business opportunity.

Is it all attributable to the new variant, or is some of it due to the opening up and relaxing of restrictions accelerating the spread particularly among the unvaxed?

To add to that, lack of vaccination. Not a single county in the US is at a level of vaccination needed to stop a surge of the Delta virus. Meanwhile, everything is open and no masks. My hope is that my area in Texas will look more like this past April than last summer.

Ironically, one of the reasons I have this opinion is you. :smiley:

You’re very outspoken and sure of yourself. Yet all I’ve seen you call for is the CDC to recommend people wear masks indoors. You don’t think lockdowns are needed. You haven’t called for widespread business or event closures. I can’t compare that to the situation last year and not see that as significant progress, even if there’s still a long way to go.

Same with sane medical and government responses. It’s all about masks and current vaccines that I’ve seen. I’m not hearing a lot of urgency in the media over a delta-specific booster, even on the parts of the manufacturers.

Maybe it’s because of my standards and definitions or just general ignorance, but that’s the sense I get from direct statements and actions that I’ve seen (as opposed to trying to interpret studies and statistics myself).

Why would I call for business closures and lockdowns now? They’re not needed. I’m not even totally convinced they were needed on a wide scale initially. But they might be if we squander the value of masking and taking precautions, and the messaging from the CDC has been imperfect, to say the least.

People are comfortable because they’re essentially using the pre-delta calculus.

That calculus is out the window now. It no longer applies. We simply don’t know just how effective the vaccines are right now; we have a pretty good idea that they’re advantageous as compared to not having them, but it’s clear they don’t offer the same level of protection.

And many of the other factors we considered such as the efficacy of masking and the risks of being indoors for more than 10 minutes have to be disregarded as well. When you have a virus that has a lot more viral load than the earlier variants, then the calculus changes – like, a lot.

Given that belief, I’m really surprised you aren’t heavily advocating for shutdowns and lockdowns.