It’s hard to get tested for Covid. It’s not hard to get vaccinated, though, or to get a booster if you are. So in what follows I’m talking to the vaccinated. Remaining unvaccinated, at least if you’re an American, is now strictly a matter of choice, and I have zero sympathy for you if that’s the choice you’ve made.
Less than a year ago, back in February and March, to be “fully vaccinated” meant you had less than a 5% chance of catching Covid, and were unlikely to get sick even if you did. That’s what they told us. That’s what the data showed. It was known.
Delta came along in June, and in July new data from Israel showed that fully vaccinated people’s chances of catching the virus were more on the order of 35-40%. We started lining up for boosters.
Now Omicron. Has it been even two months since the latest mutation started making the rounds? Numbers, percentages, and probabilities are toast. Today even the fully vaccinated and boosted are throwing their hands up. The new conventional wisdom? Just get the damn virus and get it over with.
Along with that, as always, the blame game:
“Biden was elected president, in large part, based on a message of ‘I’m competent, I’m capable, I will tell you the truth and I will get a handle on Covid in a way my predecessor could not and refused to do,’ and that continues to be the number-one issue for most people,” said Kathleen Sebelius, who served as Health and Human Services secretary in the Obama administration.
I’m not sure any government anywhere has a handle on Covid. Maybe New Zealand? I don’t blame the Biden administration, the FDA, or the CDC for lagging the fight. You can’t get ahead of the curve if the curve keeps changing, and other Covid mutations are on the way.
There are a few things we do know. One, Covid-19 is airborne. Two, it’s highly infectious. Three, it’s far better to be vaccinated and boosted than not. Since we do know these things, it seems to me the Biden administration could take stronger steps. Federal mask mandates. Enforcing already-established vaccination mandates (and saying “You and what army?” to the Supreme Court when it rules against those mandates). Overriding red state governors determined to kill off their own populations. Mandating the same steps already taken and enforced by all branches of the U.S. military … steps that are controlling the spread of Covid in the ranks.
But it doesn’t seem as if Joe Biden wants to push that hard. He’s strong on getting vaccinated and boosted, weak on trying to slow the spread. So it comes down to us to decide what to do. Me and you.
They say Covid doesn’t hit you so hard if you’re vaccinated and boosted. Based on all I hear, plus direct knowledge of how it’s affected vaccinated family members, that does seem to be the case. But what do we know about long-term effects? Very little, because Covid-19’s only been around a couple of years. Long term is ten years from now. What might seem like a mild case of Covid today might be something else tomorrow.
I’m not throwing my hands up. Catch Covid and get it over with? Screw that. I’m going to continue to mask up in public and go out only when I have to. I’m going to avoid crowds, and no way in hell am I getting on an airliner.
Yeah, easy for me to say. Donna and I no longer have children at home and don’t have to decide whether to send them to school or not. We’re retired and don’t have to worry about catching Covid at work. It’s a lot easier for us to stay in hermit mode than it is for most Americans. We have choices others don’t.
But we all have to do what we can, individually, because government is fighting with one hand tied behind its back. Being vaccinated and boosted is a must, and there’s no reason we can’t all be. There’s no reason anyone can’t mask up in public and avoid crowds. There’s no reason to give up.
© 2022, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.