I had a thought at the start of summer 2021 that now seems ridiculous. I thought people would get the free, safe, and effective vaccine and our country would usher in a decade of “roaring twenties.” People who had been isolated away to keep themselves and their loved ones safe… who now have the ways and means to protect themselves… would come out of their caves and embrace life in all its glory.
My naiveté is showing.
I had forgotten the only real truth. “ A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”
The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has changed the game. It only exists because people are too stupid to get a life-saving vaccine. Need more info? The best reporting on the subject is by Ed Young.
But something is different now — the virus. “The models in late spring were pretty consistent that we were going to have a ‘normal’ summer,” Samuel Scarpino of the Rockefeller Foundation, who studies infectious-disease dynamics, told me. “Obviously, that’s not where we are.” In part, he says, people underestimated how transmissible Delta is, or what that would mean. The original SARS-CoV-2 virus had a basic reproduction number, or R0, of 2 to 3, meaning that each infected person spreads it to two or three people. Those are average figures: In practice, the virus spread in uneven bursts, with relatively few people infecting large clusters in super-spreading events. But the CDC estimates that Delta’s R0 lies between 5 and 9, which “is shockingly high,” Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University, told me. At that level, “its reliance on super-spreading events basically goes away,” Scarpino said.
In simple terms, many people who caught the original virus didn’t pass it to anyone, but most people who catch Delta create clusters of infection. That partly explains why cases have risen so explosively. It also means that the virus will almost certainly be a permanent part of our lives, even as vaccines blunt its ability to cause death and severe disease.
This is directly related to Fox News, Facebook, and Republicans who have radicalized large swaths of the willfully ignorant and stupid.
The only way this changes is for life for the unvaccinated to become intolerable.
No flying without proof of vaccination.
No bus travel without proof of vaccination.
No renting of cars without proof of vaccination.
No public transportation without proof of vaccination.
No public performances (concerts, sports, movies, etc.) without proof of vaccination.
And so on.
Enforcement must be arrested and jailed. Caught with a fake vaccination card should be the same as a minor with a fake ID.
I’m also of the opinion that unvaccinated COVID patients be deprioritized in hospitals and possibly turned away like someone without proper health insurance. At the very least, unvaccinated COVID patience must be sequestered from the majority of the hospital staff and patients.
There is a solution to all of this… simply get vaccinated.