I’ve heard it said that it’s mainly evangelical Christians who refuse to get the vaccine

tango

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initially there was limited information. There was some reason to be concerned about surfaces. As it became clear that that was not important the CDC said so. As usual, a bit late. I haven’t seen grocery stores cleaning carts for quite some time.

My local wally world still has people cleaning carts. When the local schools are closed they perform a full deep-clean, and a couple of local restaurants have done similar things.

Some local restaurants still have those ridiculous QR codes so you can scan it on a cellphone and then try to navigate a menu designed to be printed at a decent size, on a tiny screen that wasn't designed to render pink text on a purple background or navigate a document the size of a restaurant menu. I always ask for a paper menu - sometimes it comes out as a sheet of paper and sometimes as a laminated sheet that is sometimes sprayed with disinfectant after I've read it.
 

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There are three reasons for younger people to get vaccinated. First, to prevent it spreading to older people, for whom vaccines are not 100% effective. Second, because hospitalizations in regions that haven't controlled it are starting to include younger people, even if death is less common. Third, to stop mutations. I can see that there might be difficulty persuading non-Christians to care about the effect of their actions on others, but I find it odd to have this argument with Christians. I’m hoping people don’t end up believing that the reason we don’t reach herd immunity is resistance by Christians. Stories about standoffs with churches about Covid precaustions are a powerful force for anti-evangelism, whether the government is being overcautious or not.
 
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Lämmchen

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Sure, although if anything I think the figures are slightly higher than that. But the fact remains that if I've got a 99.98% chance of surviving it without the vaccine the benefit of being vaccinated is minimal. If I'm told I still need a sock on my head after being vaccinated because I might still spread it, it's hard to believe there's much benefit to anyone else.

For the people who have a 5-10% chance of dying it's easy to see why they'd take the vaccine to protect themselves. But people under the age of about 50 without pre-existing conditions aren't in that kind of group. Which goes right back to the idea of focusing resources on those who are vulnerable rather than shutting down everything in sight.

There's also the question of how long natural immunity lasts. I have a friend who had COVID about the same time I believe I had it. They tested positive for antibodies when they gave blood some months later. Now it's more than a year later and they still test positive for COVID antibodies. We don't know how long the immunity from the vaccine lasts but apparently it's important that people with natural immunity get it anyway because.... well.... why exactly?



Lots of stuff is more about theater than anything else these days. In the early days when we didn't know how it was transmitted it made at least some sense but even then much of it was about companies trying to prove how much they were doing when their efforts were still ineffective. Back when they had people on hand to wipe the handles of shopping carts, when the checkout staff wiped the credit card machine between every use, but they didn't wipe everything on the shelves if someone picked up an item, looked at it and then put it back, it was clear even then that it would have made more sense to remind people to wash their hands and wash their produce than go through the theater of acting like every single thing in sight was being regularly cleaned.

You're right about the antibodies lasting at least a year for those who have had the virus but there is no certainty of how long antibodies last when receiving the vaccine. It could be 3-6 months and a booster needed?
 

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I've got the vaccine ( done twice), so whatever it is that's wreaking havoc on my breathing right now, it isn't Covid. Find out what on earth it is when I see the doctor in a few minutes.
 

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I've got the vaccine ( done twice), so whatever it is that's wreaking havoc on my breathing right now, it isn't Covid. Find out what on earth it is when I see the doctor in a few minutes.

Do you have allergies or asthma? I have allergies and my husband has allergies and asthma and right now it's a bad time seasonally for both of us for breathing.
 

tango

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There are three reasons for younger people to get vaccinated. First, to prevent it spreading to older people, for whom vaccines are not 100% effective. Second, because hospitalizations in regions that haven't controlled it are starting to include younger people, even if death is less common. Third, to stop mutations. I can see that there might be difficulty persuading non-Christians to care about the effect of their actions on others, but I find it odd to have this argument with Christians. I’m hoping people don’t end up believing that the reason we don’t reach herd immunity is resistance by Christians. Stories about standoffs with churches about Covid precaustions are a powerful force for anti-evangelism, whether the government is being overcautious or not.

I'm not sure what Christianity has to do with this argument.

When all the early rhetoric from above indicated that the vaccine did nothing to protect others you can't really use the argument that it's about protecting others. If the vaccine protects others there's no need to put a sock on my head to protect others.
 

tango

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You're right about the antibodies lasting at least a year for those who have had the virus but there is no certainty of how long antibodies last when receiving the vaccine. It could be 3-6 months and a booster needed?

Not to mention that people who have recovered from the virus have encountered the entire virus, rather than an artificially synthesized version of one specific aspect of the virus.
 

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atpollard

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But the fact remains that if I've got a 99.98% chance of surviving it without the vaccine the benefit of being vaccinated is minimal.
The benefit to you is minimal.
The benefit to society is debatable (and being debated).

The bottom line is that as long as the infection rate is high enough to threaten hospital capacity, business will remain on restrictions. The vaccine can accelerate the reduction in new cases and speed the lifting of restrictions.
 

atpollard

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If I'm told I still need a sock on my head after being vaccinated because I might still spread it, it's hard to believe there's much benefit to anyone else.
A quick question, how can one tell if a person without a mask has been vaccinated or not? Do we really assume that nobody ever lies about something like that and they would all wear a mask if they were not vaccinated?

I think that is the driving force behind the slow lifting of mask restrictions. It is not the ineffectiveness of vaccines, but the human propensity to rebellion.
 

tango

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A quick question, how can one tell if a person without a mask has been vaccinated or not? Do we really assume that nobody ever lies about something like that and they would all wear a mask if they were not vaccinated?

Clearly not, but it just creates another reason not to bother getting the vaccine. It says that the benefit to me is minimal and the benefit to society is minimal.

I think that is the driving force behind the slow lifting of mask restrictions. It is not the ineffectiveness of vaccines, but the human propensity to rebellion.

Except the human propensity to do radical things - like thinking for ourselves - is the reason so many people in many areas stopped putting socks on their heads a long time ago. The figures coming out of the most and least restrictive states raise all sorts of questions about whether socks on heads actually make a measurable difference.

The most pro-masking article I read indicated that any form of cloth in front of the mouth (which includes something as simple as a bandana tied around the head, despite what the proponents of ultra-masking would have us believe) resulted in a reduction in droplets reaching the target by 90% or more. But reading the detail of the article that related to a simulated cough from 8 inches away. Eight inches. I'd be annoyed if my wife coughed on me from 8 inches away. There is literally no reason at all for anyone to be within 8 inches of my face without my consent - if I consent to someone being that close to me I'm probably not worried about them breathing on me and if I don't consent the chances are I'll push them away long before they have chance to cough on me. I get that inner city areas are busier - if you're looking at a situation like the London Underground or the New York subway it's far more likely you'll have people in your face. So you can have the radical idea of different rules for different scenarios - maybe face coverings on the subway but not in rural areas.
 

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Clearly not, but it just creates another reason not to bother getting the vaccine. It says that the benefit to me is minimal and the benefit to society is minimal.
Then don’t get vaccinated.
Just don’t claim that the vaccinations do nothing when the data shows that it prevents infection in over 90% of the cases of exposure (70% for the J&J 1 shot) and typically reduces a severe symptom case to a mild symptom case and mild symptom case to no symptoms (asymptomatic) in those that are infected. I think that people NOT DYING from COVID-19 is a good thing, so I got vaccinated, but you are free to follow your conscience wherever it leads.
 

tango

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Then don’t get vaccinated.

I'm not planning to yet.

Just don’t claim that the vaccinations do nothing when the data shows that it prevents infection in over 90% of the cases of exposure (70% for the J&J 1 shot) and typically reduces a severe symptom case to a mild symptom case and mild symptom case to no symptoms (asymptomatic) in those that are infected. I think that people NOT DYING from COVID-19 is a good thing, so I got vaccinated, but you are free to follow your conscience wherever it leads.

I'm not saying the vaccinations do nothing. I'm saying that based on official guidance relating to restrictions applied to vaccinated people it's hard to see a reason to take it, unless you are at higher risk of complications or death if you get it. For people who are older and have a probability of death north of 10% it makes a lot more sense.
 

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Except the human propensity to do radical things - like thinking for ourselves - is the reason so many people in many areas stopped putting socks on their heads a long time ago. The figures coming out of the most and least restrictive states raise all sorts of questions about whether socks on heads actually make a measurable difference.

The most pro-masking article I read indicated that any form of cloth in front of the mouth (which includes something as simple as a bandana tied around the head, despite what the proponents of ultra-masking would have us believe) resulted in a reduction in droplets reaching the target by 90% or more. But reading the detail of the article that related to a simulated cough from 8 inches away. Eight inches. I'd be annoyed if my wife coughed on me from 8 inches away. There is literally no reason at all for anyone to be within 8 inches of my face without my consent - if I consent to someone being that close to me I'm probably not worried about them breathing on me and if I don't consent the chances are I'll push them away long before they have chance to cough on me. I get that inner city areas are busier - if you're looking at a situation like the London Underground or the New York subway it's far more likely you'll have people in your face. So you can have the radical idea of different rules for different scenarios - maybe face coverings on the subway but not in rural areas.
The issue is not the facts, but the lack of consensus about which facts apply.
1. A mask and cleaning surfaces will stop the spread of droplets. Most germs are spread by droplets that travel a short distance, settle on a surface, and are picked up by someone touching that surface. When COVID first appeared, it was assumed (in the absence of any data to the contrary) that COVID-19 was spread like most germs. Masks and cleaning and 6’ social distancing are all the standard protocol for stopping the spread of droplets. (That is why there were so few “common colds” in 2020).
2. The other method by which virus can spread is an aerosol. Microscopic droplets of water carry the virus and float through the air for long distances and periods of time, remaining suspended in still air and not settling on surfaces. These aerosols are inhaled directly to infect a new host.

The most recent data emerging on COVID-19 suggests that it is spread as an aerosol. So indoors, 6 feet or 60 feet makes no difference since the aerosol will remain suspended in still air and eventually reach every part of the room. What matters is the rate of air movement, the amount of fresh air and the number of people breathing the air. Outdoors, the aerosols dissipate so quickly that unless the person is breathing in your face, the risk is negligible. Masks will filter Droplets, but not aerosols. The problem to this point has been the evidence of how COVID spreads indicates one way, but has not reached a conclusive consensus. It is irresponsible to say that COVID is not spread by droplets until it is proven that COVID is not also spread by droplets.

So those that test masks vs droplets and say masks stop droplets are telling the truth. Those that test masks vs aerosols and say that masks do not protect against aerosols are also telling the truth. Those that say “masks definitely help” or “masks are useless” are stating personal opinions since the final answer has not been proven. However, the data is finally reaching the point where “aerosol” is far more probable than “droplets”. So the CDC is talking about lifting mask restrictions.
 

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The CDC has rendered the mask discussion moot for those who are vaccinated. The vaccinated do not have to wear a mask anywhere unless state, local or businesses have mandates. I am seeing many states dropping the mask mandates because of this, even those with all the draconian measures. Since I live in Texas, we have not had a mask mandate for a couple of months now for anyone unless business require them or you personally feel like you should. But, I am seeing business now recommending instead of requiring masks already and many more will more than likely do the same.
 

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The CDC has rendered the mask discussion moot for those who are vaccinated. The vaccinated do not have to wear a mask anywhere unless state, local or businesses have mandates. I am seeing many states dropping the mask mandates because of this, even those with all the draconian measures. Since I live in Texas, we have not had a mask mandate for a couple of months now for anyone unless business require them or you personally feel like you should. But, I am seeing business now recommending instead of requiring masks already and many more will more than likely do the same.
I suspect that may be part of a “carrot” to entice people to get a vaccine.
I mean, it makes sense that people who are resistant to infection do not need masks, but it is also nice to feel like you can get back to normal with just a simple shot and lifting the mask mandate does that.
 

tango

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The issue is not the facts, but the lack of consensus about which facts apply.
1. A mask and cleaning surfaces will stop the spread of droplets. Most germs are spread by droplets that travel a short distance, settle on a surface, and are picked up by someone touching that surface. When COVID first appeared, it was assumed (in the absence of any data to the contrary) that COVID-19 was spread like most germs. Masks and cleaning and 6’ social distancing are all the standard protocol for stopping the spread of droplets. (That is why there were so few “common colds” in 2020).
2. The other method by which virus can spread is an aerosol. Microscopic droplets of water carry the virus and float through the air for long distances and periods of time, remaining suspended in still air and not settling on surfaces. These aerosols are inhaled directly to infect a new host.

The most recent data emerging on COVID-19 suggests that it is spread as an aerosol. So indoors, 6 feet or 60 feet makes no difference since the aerosol will remain suspended in still air and eventually reach every part of the room. What matters is the rate of air movement, the amount of fresh air and the number of people breathing the air. Outdoors, the aerosols dissipate so quickly that unless the person is breathing in your face, the risk is negligible. Masks will filter Droplets, but not aerosols. The problem to this point has been the evidence of how COVID spreads indicates one way, but has not reached a conclusive consensus. It is irresponsible to say that COVID is not spread by droplets until it is proven that COVID is not also spread by droplets.

So those that test masks vs droplets and say masks stop droplets are telling the truth. Those that test masks vs aerosols and say that masks do not protect against aerosols are also telling the truth. Those that say “masks definitely help” or “masks are useless” are stating personal opinions since the final answer has not been proven. However, the data is finally reaching the point where “aerosol” is far more probable than “droplets”. So the CDC is talking about lifting mask restrictions.

Yes, except the notion that the virus travels on aerosols has been known for many months now. The issue isn't so much an abundance of caution but an insistence on rules even when the rules are no longer useful. When the powers that be expect people to follow rules that don't serve the purpose they are claimed to serve they can hardly be surprised when they lose credibility and people start to ignore other rules, including rules that may be beneficial.
 

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There is some evidence that masks have an actual effect for Covid. It’s not large, but during much of the period Rt was near 1, so even a small effect was significant.

there was a paper not long ago that looked at the implications of a worst case aerosol model where it was distributed uniformly. They concluded that what mattered was the density of people. I claim that from a practical point of view 6 feet of separation does a reasonable job of limiting density, and may do so better than capacity limits, since it’s unclear how capacity is defined, nor did most places actually put counters at every door.
 

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Yes, except the notion that the virus travels on aerosols has been known for many months now.
Has it been the consensus for months that the virus never spreads by droplets so masks have no effect?
That is what is required to safely say “masks make no difference and are completely unnecessary”.
Everything I read says that is the question that they are trying to answer to determine if it is safe to abandon masks completely, and the results are mixed world wide.
 

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Has it been the consensus for months that the virus never spreads by droplets so masks have no effect?
That is what is required to safely say “masks make no difference and are completely unnecessary”.
Everything I read says that is the question that they are trying to answer to determine if it is safe to abandon masks completely, and the results are mixed world wide.
I've read a lot. The situation is ambiguous. First, some of the doubts come from studies showing that masks are leaky, not that they are useless. Second, there are virtually no controlled experiments. As far as I can tell, some spread is droplet. But I think it's more convincing to look at evidence of whether masks actually work. This is hard, because it's hard to find exactly comparable situations with and wihtout. But there have been several studies that have found reasonable comparisons. Many have found significant effects. Here's a review: Face masks against COVID-19: Standards, efficacy, testing and decontamination methods. That study shows results from a simulated cough. Both droplets and aerosols are reduced. There's significant leakage in real-world mask usage, particularly among people other than medical staff. But significant leakage doesn't make it useless. In dealing with epidemics no one approach will stop it completely. We need a set of precautions that keep Rt less than 1.

One interesting thing is that the article gives lots of details on different masks and how effective they are, but indicates that there is a difference between estimates based on how leaky they are and real-world data on effectiveness. They speculate that even though N95 are dramatically more effective than surgical masks in principle, in practice people don't use them properly, so most of the difference disappears in practice.
 
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