Covid: the shape of things to come

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Kippington

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Far out, imagine if driving on one side of the road was not yet a thing in the modern world, and the current government tried to introduce the laws around it to help reduce deaths and increase public safety.

"They threw me in jail for exercising my right to drive on the other side of the highway... The outrage!"



For the record - Yes, I am aware that it's not the best idea to blindly follow orders from the government.

 

Jovidah

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My patience for people's ignorance gets rather limited once it starts getting in the way of other people's health. Personal choice is all fine and dandy, but the problem is that the choice antivaxers make doesn't only impact themselves. It has a strong potential to negatively impact the rest of us, and keep this corona thing going far longer and far stronger than it has to. Ignorance is not a valid excuse.

When it comes to 30-40% of the country being idiots, I think both sides of the political spectrum are in full agreement on this... the only aspect they conflict on is which segment of the population is the idiots. ;)
 

inferno

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yeah well i just don't see why vaxxed people care what non vaxxed do? i mean they're vaxxed right.
doesn't vaxxed people believe their vaxx is working? then why even take it?

as to vaxx or no. i guess its one of those eternal questions. does god exist or not? stainless or carbon? etc etc.
and the non vaxxers will never be convinced of vaxx, and the vaxxed are just the opposite.

and thats why we have the choice. we don't always get to decide what we want regarding other people.
(almost) everyone thats wants to be vaxxed can do so.
 

Jovidah

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It's not that simple... if large amounts of people don't get vaccinated you essentially generate a large human reservoir population where the virus can reproduce and mutate unchecked, and this can result in strains where the vaccines no longer work. This is what's already happening with the delta strain to some extent; several existing vaccines have significantly lower effect, and this is why you see some countries like Israel already moving towards a third shot (and some vaccines will probably fall out of favor). So the big risk is that antivaxxers are gambling our silver bullet away. It's also for this reason that vaccines should be available worldwide, even if your only concerns are selfish ones.

Another problem is that it just needlessly extends this crisis for all of us simply because many unvaccinated people are going to keep getting sick. Now we have a fairly efficient tool that's tested, safe - chances of complications are far smaller than of winning the lottery - and available... yet some people refuse to use it. Do they want to wait until it mutates to Spanish flu levels of lethality before they take it seriously?
By choosing not to get vaccinated, antivaxxers are indirectly choosing for the rest of us... and all we can hope is that their number is small enough to not have an impact.

When it comes to antivax parents for the 'regular' shots it's even more simple IMO... the child didn't get a choice. Parents are making that choice for the child, and this can mean that they are choosing to expose the child unnecessarily to sickness or even death. That to me is child abuse. The sad problem here is that vaccines are largely victim of their own succes; we're not really aware of how useful they are because we don't notice it when nothing goes wrong. Few are old enough to know how different things used to be before vaccines were a thing.

I'm not even sure why we're even having debates about whether to get vaccinated in 2021. As far as I know this was a non-issue a few decades ago? Maybe because you had less foreign governments pumping targeted misinformation through the internet back then...
 

Barmoley

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They are not free. In my case, my insurance plan was charged for mine. Next year, my plan rates will go up. If my insurance hadn't paid, there are federal programs available to pay for the vaccine. Anyone paying federal taxes are funding these programs (more likely, our descendants will be). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not aware of any program where the companies producing the vaccines are providing them to the public at no charge.
They are functionally free, in a sense that anyone can go into one of the places with or without insurance and get a vaccine. Yes, society pays for it, it is not free. It wouldn’t be free even of companies gave it to everyone for free since that would mean that shareholders or employees or government paid for it. You can’t produce anything truly free. What I was saying was that in the US anyone can get a vaccine who wants it without money being a barrier.
 

tostadas

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In general I would not normally care if people decide not to vax. That's their own risk.

But in this case, I have a serious issue with it because my child is currently not eligible to vaccinate due to age. And just because my family is vaccinated, that does not mean that we cannot still get infected and spread to others (specifically talking about young unvaccinated children). So with all these people out there asking me why I care if I am already vaccinated, this is why. I don't want to bring it home to my child who doesn't even have the option yet.

Once he does get vaccinated, I could really care less about whether the 99% or whatever of unvaccinated people making up the population of intensive care units due to the disease live or die. At that point, it will no longer be any of my concern.
 

MarcelNL

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Don't ask any presiden, who usually do not have any medical training let alone in Virology) to explain things that are captured by numbers that are already explained by Key opinion leaders in the field....those clearly tell the tale, yes you can get Covid but are far less likely to (remember the % for protection for the various vaccines was not 100%, and that this number decreased with the delta variant?), but the big elephant But(t) in the room is that the seriousness of the disease is vastly decreased once you are fully vaccinated.
 

deskjockey

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They are not free. In my case, my insurance plan was charged for mine. Next year, my plan rates will go up. If my insurance hadn't paid, there are federal programs available to pay for the vaccine. Anyone paying federal taxes are funding these programs (more likely, our descendants will be). Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not aware of any program where the companies producing the vaccines are providing them to the public at no charge.
Exactly! There really isn't any free ride IMHO. Whether I pay for my vaccine in future insurance premium increases or higher federal income taxes is an open question but, the cost isn't covered the "tooth fairy" either. As noted, some real has to pay for the vaccines whether it is myself indirectly, or not.

As far as I know the vaccines are free in the US. I’m not aware of anywhere in the US that you have to pay for a shot(s).
Being asked to pay or not pay "a copay" is not equivalent to free! At least free from cost. Someone still pays upfront and you pay indirectly in increased costs somewhere else.
 

ian

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My patience for people's ignorance gets rather limited once it starts getting in the way of other people's health. Personal choice is all fine and dandy, but the problem is that the choice antivaxers make doesn't only impact themselves. It has a strong potential to negatively impact the rest of us, and keep this corona thing going far longer and far stronger than it has to. Ignorance is not a valid excuse.
I'm not debating the importance of getting vaxed. My point is that blaming the individuals for not educating themselves is somewhat similar to other personal responsibility rhetoric like "black people are economically disadvantaged because they're lazy", to cite an extreme example. When .05% of the population decides to go against something, ok, maybe they're just stubborn or whatever, but when a huge percentage does, it's because there's other stuff at work. Some of the media ecosystems that people live in nowadays are so closed off that it's almost like blaming Neo for not knowing about the real world.

When it comes to 30-40% of the country being idiots, I think both sides of the political spectrum are in full agreement on this... the only aspect they conflict on is which segment of the population is the idiots. ;)
That's a large part of the problem, and it just propagates the entrenchment, which is one reason why I don't say this. The other is that it's not true. It's not possible that such a huge percentage of the country is irredeemable.
 

deskjockey

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while you're not technically wrong, Barmoley is more correct here because from a behavioral standpoint the people getting the vaccines are not having to pay anything out of pocket, and as such it's more appropriate to view them as free.

I have to say though it's very disappointing that so many people look at the world on fire and all they want to talk about is money.
With a Wall Street or Welfare State mentality, what do you expect?
 

deskjockey

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At the moment I am more concerned about people who would like to vaccinate but do not have access. If you are too, please consider contributing to covax .
And if you have vaccines that the local population won't take, send to an area with people that want them!
 

deskjockey

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In general I would not normally care if people decide not to vax. That's their own risk.

But in this case, I have a serious issue with it because my child is currently not eligible to vaccinate due to age. And just because my family is vaccinated, that does not mean that we cannot still get infected and spread to others (specifically talking about young unvaccinated children). So with all these people out there asking me why I care if I am already vaccinated, this is why. I don't want to bring it home to my child who doesn't even have the option yet.

Once he does get vaccinated, I could really care less about whether the 99% or whatever of unvaccinated people making up the population of intensive care units due to the disease live or die. At that point, it will no longer be any of my concern.
Darwinism wins! Like you, having a patient in a COVID isolation unit pleading for a vaccination is ironic! Or a mother in a hospital ward saying "I didn't know it would be this bad"!

To certain extent, this will cull the ignorant from society and inflict collateral damage on others.

Except that hospital resources are wasted.
Exactly and it denies other need services from people in need. Having a heart attack? Need cancer treatment? ...
 

CA_cook

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Sadly, natural selection is a very slow process.

Antivaxxers are fundamentally free riders, i.e. they get a free ride on the herd immunity achieved by all the other people who get vaccinated. The problem starts when we have too many of those freeriders. Sadly, this is where we are right now. My whole family is vaccinated, so in theory I don‘t care abut people who refuse the vaccine that has proven very safe and astonishingly effective. In practice, their resistance to the shot brings a bunch of inconveniences even to the daily life in the society. I have to wear a mask when I fly, a lot of businesses are still not up to 100% because of lingering COVID restrictions. To get closer to the topic of this group, restaurant kitchens are hot places, i cannot imagine how stifling it feels to wear a mask there. I am sure the quality of food suffers when a line cook is suffocating. Those are first world problems, but there are much more serious consequences: unless the population is at herd immunity the virus will keep mutating and spreading. That (a) kills some innocent people (i don’t really care that much about anti-vaxxers), and (b) puts needless strain on the hospital system. If I have a heart attack, I would love to be treated right away without waiting for a rapid COVID test, etc. Unless e vaccinate the whole world, the virus will keep mutating, but unless the US is at herd immunity, we will continue to be vulnerable to those mutated strains. This is not a good outlook.
Fundamentally, freeriding is unamerican, so I would like the freeriders to pay their fair share. I’d love to see the employers to issue vaccination mandates for any position that spends significant amount of time inside (with true medical exceptions of cours).
 

gregfisk

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Sadly, natural selection is a very slow process.

Antivaxxers are fundamentally free riders, i.e. they get a free ride on the herd immunity achieved by all the other people who get vaccinated. The problem starts when we have too many of those freeriders. Sadly, this is where we are right now. My whole family is vaccinated, so in theory I don‘t care abut people who refuse the vaccine that has proven very safe and astonishingly effective. In practice, their resistance to the shot brings a bunch of inconveniences even to the daily life in the society. I have to wear a mask when I fly, a lot of businesses are still not up to 100% because of lingering COVID restrictions. To get closer to the topic of this group, restaurant kitchens are hot places, i cannot imagine how stifling it feels to wear a mask there. I am sure the quality of food suffers when a line cook is suffocating. Those are first world problems, but there are much more serious consequences: unless the population is at herd immunity the virus will keep mutating and spreading. That (a) kills some innocent people (i don’t really care that much about anti-vaxxers), and (b) puts needless strain on the hospital system. If I have a heart attack, I would love to be treated right away without waiting for a rapid COVID test, etc. Unless e vaccinate the whole world, the virus will keep mutating, but unless the US is at herd immunity, we will continue to be vulnerable to those mutated strains. This is not a good outlook.
Fundamentally, freeriding is unamerican, so I would like the freeriders to pay their fair share. I’d love to see the employers to issue vaccination mandates for any position that spends significant amount of time inside (with true medical exceptions of cours).
I couldn’t agree more.
 

Nemo

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While Mods have been fairly lenient in the Covid threads, I would caution that some recent posts are getting pretty close to political or ideological commentary, which is not appropriate on KKF and is more suited to a platform such as Twitter.
 

LostHighway

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While Mods have been fairly lenient in the Covid threads, I would caution that some recent posts are getting pretty close to political or ideological commentary, which is not appropriate on KKF and is more suited to a platform such as Twitter.
 

ian

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While Mods have been fairly lenient in the Covid threads, I would caution that some recent posts are getting pretty close to political or ideological commentary, which is not appropriate on KKF and is more suited to a platform such as Twitter.
I appreciate the leniency, personally. It’s nice to have a place where people can discuss their opinions without everything devolving into a flame war. I feel like the common knife connection helps with that. It’s also hard to put any nuance into 140 characters.
 

Luftmensch

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I live in a place that has been held up (together with New Zealand) as the shining light of effective infection control.

About four weeks ago, a driver who ferried three or four air crew from the airport to their quarantine hotel ended up getting infected by one of the air crew. The driver was not vaccinated (yes, really), nor was there any requirement for him to be vaccinated (yes, really, really).

Now, about a month later, about one half of Australia's population is under lock-down because one person was all it took to spread the virus into the community. It does not help that the delta variant is far more infectious than any of the variants that preceded it. People have managed to infect someone else within 36 hours of getting infected themselves. That doesn't leave our contact tracers much of a chance :(

Moreover, as of now, about 13% of the Australian population has had two doses of a vaccine. Yes, you read that right: 13%. And about one third of the population has had one shot. Never mind that that many other first-world countries can boast of vaccination rates of 50% and more.
@Michi, you're not wrong...

One thing that non-Australia readers are almost certainly not aware of is the fact that Australia actually does have a sufficient supply of vaccines. But there is nuance to that....

At the beginning of the pandemic our Government didn't diversify their supply chain. They opted for an Australian manufacturing approach. On face value this approach sounds good... it lowers supply risk and develops local expertise and knowledge. Unfortunately the plan fell apart. The Australian UQ-CSL vaccine disappeared into the night as it induced false-positive HIV results. The TGA approved CSL to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine in Melbourne in march. The government filled a 50 million dose order and output was expected to be one million doses per week.

Another blow. In April, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advised the Government that the AstraZeneca vaccine only be used on people over 50. This was due to evidence of a very low-risk of serious complications (clotting) from the vaccine. Later in June, ATAGI revised their advice and recommended AstraZeneca for people over 60. In both cases the Pfizer vaccine was recommended as the preferred option for those under the age threshold. The Government elected to follow ATAGI's advice on both occasions. After betting on other options, Australia was late to place an order for Pfizer - leading to a chronic shortage.

This puts Australia in a strange position where we have a sufficient supply of vaccines (AstraZeneca) - yet a shortage of the preferred vaccine (Pfizer). While much can be said about Australia's vaccine rollout, the situation appeared to 'work' until recently. We could claim that our tough stance on border movements and quarantine kept our population safe. Given these 'safe' conditions, we could reason that the risks of AstraZeneca outweighed the benefits. We would wait our turn for a large shipment of Pfizer. In retrospect we are all brilliant... it turns out the Delta strain provided a good reason to revisit previous assumptions.

The prevailing attitude to AstraZeneca in Australia is regrettable. In reality it is a modern miracle - a wonder. In the absence of any other vaccine options, a significant portion of our population would be vaccinated right now. It is not easy to do the social calculus on benefits or harm of various options - both on health and living standards. I don't envy anyone in that situation. But dare I say it, we were willing to be vaccine snobs before June. The ugly tit-for-tat amongst the Federal Government, State Governments and advisory bodies we are now seeing is perhaps a public renegotiation of that position.


In practice what does this mean? Currently we are in a phase that is vaccinating >=40 year olds (including frontline staff, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and disabled people). This is done through a sparse network of clinics. Again Pfizer is preferred for under 50's. It is practically impossible for people younger than 40 to get a Pfizer dose. If they want a vaccine they will have to speak to their GP and ask for an AstraZeneca dose. But GPs have had unpredictable quantities of the vaccine and may not be willing to practice against the advisory body's advice (ATAGI). The situation is complex and the messaging has been clear as mud. This has not helped doctors or patients...
 

deskjockey

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The United States of America was founded - like most other countries - on the principles of power and profit. It ain't freedom, Jack...
Any facts to back up that claim? Sure, colonial conquest may have started a lot of exploration but, to suggest the masses looking for freedom from persecution were really traveling the Atlantic under sail at great personal peril were really there for "power and profit" has no support in factual history I am aware of other than the slaves sold by their countryman in Africa.
 

chefwp

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Thank you for sharing.

Hmmm… I'm guessing that you do know how to spell "sesquipedalianism"?

PS: If you want your message to be received by people without a tertiary degree, making your sentences shorter would be in your interest.
So would your advice be to eschew obfuscation?
 

inferno

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the way i see it. everybody will get corona sooner or later. vaxxed or not. i said it 2 years ago.
and i'm saying it again.

herd immunity will probably never come.

viruses mutate, thats how they evolve. and a few major mutations down the line the vaccines will not work at all.
we have an 8 billion population. and many live in poor countries. they will never get vaccinated.
so the mutations will go on and on and on.

this is not a normal virus and the chinese knew that goddamn well right from the start.
thats why they welded peoples doors shut and locked them in to either survive or die.
this is obviously a "non normal" virus. feel free to interpret this however you like.
i mean you can be infected and spread it and not even knowing it, and never become sick.
that should tell you something.

and on top of that the vaccines are not 100%, some are even really ****** like 2% effective.

and on top of that since they are not actual real vaccines to even begin with
you can still get infected with the virus, you can still spread it, and it can still mutate in your body.
this is quite dangerous. people "knowing they're safe" spreading it like crazy.

now just because something mutates doesn't need to mean its getting more dangerous.
most mutations never spread at all since its not a favorable mutation for spreading.
the mutations that spread are the ones best adapted to just that, spreading, better than the old version.
could be bad, could be good.

freeriding? in case you guys haven't noticed, this is all we do here in the western world, and have been for a very long time.
you see this is why we are rich and the rest are poor. its a bit late now to say sorry.

and with all this info i say: why the **** even bother with vaccines? in the long run its not gonna do jack ****.

the current vaccines are medical experiments with no long time testing.
and no one is responsible if you get sick or die from them in a few years,
except from yourself of course.

if you think its gonna help, take it. i'm of a different opinion.
 

Luftmensch

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It’s also hard to put any nuance into 140 characters.
So true... I dont use Twitter (or Facebook for that matter)... As I understand it... the character limit is one of the reasons it is a steaming heap.

I actually had a response rattling around my head about your previous post (in relation to social media):

My point is that blaming the individuals for not educating themselves is somewhat similar to other personal responsibility rhetoric like "black people are economically disadvantaged because they're lazy", to cite an extreme example.
I am a bit anxious/concerned about drawing a connection between this modern phenomena of disinformation and people who are indentured to low socioeconomic mobility. There is no question - poor people are disadvantaged because they are victims of structural failure. Escaping that disadvantage is a battle every step of the way.

I feel 'victims' of disinformation are different. I would say that journalism took a nosedive 30... maybe 40 years ago. It became increasingly political and partisan. Part of this is driven by the profit incentive. The effect this had on society was turbo charged in the past 10-15 years by social media. People can now choose their preferred discussion and spheres of influence.

It is looking increasingly like evidence of a fragile state (ok... a bit dramatic). It is true... you will be influenced by your family and friends. It might even be damned hard work to escape those biases. For instance, you can't choose who you are born to... or who you grow up with. It is probably true that poor people have limited autonomy over their peers/friends.

But the problem is people are now disagreeing on fundamental issues. I will unfairly pick on one phrase you used:

blaming the individuals for not educating themselves
I understand the broad sentiment of your post (and perhaps agree)... But the reason why I want to single out this phrase is this: while I don't expect citizens to all become nobel laureates... it doesn't take much 'education' to agree on basic civic principles like "hey, this is the chief medical adviser... maybe I should listen to him instead of old wheezy jim"... or.... "I trust doctors and they say modern vaccines have been effective since the 1950's maybe I should take their advice".

This is why I mention the fragile state... I think current attitudes are more symptomatic of people losing trust in the Government, Institutions and experts. To be fair, in many ways some Governments have not improved the lives of many people. This leaves them feeling ignored, helpless and disaffected. I won't blame them... I blame disadvantage. I blame poor social mobility. I blame partisan ideologies. I blame social media... But unlike poverty, where you have no choice, you can choose to draw lines down (often) partisan lines.

I dunno... I am thinking out loud here. Perhaps I am flying a kite before I make a decision myself - I could be drawn to a more compassionate view....
 

M1k3

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We're not dying or suffocating in the kitchen from masks! Sweating like crazy? Sure. Getting pimples around the mouth? Sometimes.

But not suffocating. Neither are doctors and nurses that wear it just as long, if not longer.
 

ian

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I am a bit anxious/concerned about drawing a connection between this modern phenomena of disinformation and people who are indentured to low socioeconomic mobility.
Yes, I should clarify that I’m not equating the two situations. I was just explaining what I meant by “personal responsibility rhetoric” by citing an extreme example of it that I thought the other poster would agree was bad.


it doesn't take much 'education' to agree on basic civic principles like "hey, this is the chief medical adviser... maybe I should listen to him instead of old wheezy jim"... or.... "I trust doctors and they say modern vaccines have been effective since the 1950's maybe I should take their advice".
Said like this, it seems very simple, but when people are so sorted into camps it’s so easy to dismiss even a chief medical advisor as, say, “Biden’s advisor” or “Trump’s advisor” or whatever. And it’s so easy to start discounting the authorization as “just because it was an emergency, without knowing for sure if it’s safe” if everyone you know is saying that.
 

Nemo

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We're not dying or suffocating in the kitchen from masks! Sweating like crazy? Sure. Getting pimples around the mouth? Sometimes.

But not suffocating. Neither are doctors and nurses that wear it just as long, if not longer.
N95s can be a fair bit more uncomfortable and are a little bit harder to breathe through but even wearing one for 16 hours at a stretch doesn't suffocate you. Sure it puts crease mark on your face, but it doesn't suffocate you.
 
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