Vaccines have been around long enough that now we are getting more and more real-world data. Forget the tiny samples extrapolated to the general population… these aren’t trials of a few select people, or Phase 1 or 2 trials. These aren’t good guesses. One recent study from Israeli data has a sample set of 500,000. I think it’s fair to assume that whatever those numbers imply, they’ll apply to everyone.
In summary, after getting the second dose and waiting two weeks, you have a 96% chance of not getting sick at all. You have a 99% chance of not dying from C19, even if you do get sick… because if you do get sick, it’s exceedingly unlikely to be a serious course of illness.
Those are the numbers people need to hear… and, around here, in B.C… perhaps more-so than other places. We are the number one province for disobeying orders from the PHO, and that’s worrisome, especially with Spring Break coming up. If we were all well on our way to being vaccinated, that’d be a different story. The issue is that significant numbers of people aren’t following the rules, and adding vaccine delays and more contagious variants to that means almost certain exponential growth in daily cases. We might easily be heading into the “Wow, didn’t see that coming” territory… except, now, we do it see it coming. It’s blatantly obvious, and it’d be unfortunate to see it all go to hell one more time.
Almost certainly, it’d be the last time… because by the time the next wave subsides, the science implies the virus would be out of gas… nowhere to hop to in any meaningful way; relegated to the nooks and crannies of rare illness that pops up in a while. But we’re at least a year away from that, and it can be a very bumpy road… a road where even if the numbers don’t blow up, we’ll be hearing a lot of constant whining: “Why can’t we do this, why can’t we do that… while at the same time we’re allowed to do these other things…”
These rhetorical questions are easily answered: Because the majority of infections are happening in completely-avoidable social settings. That’s it. If you could be trusted to visit someone’s house, but be outside and far apart and wear masks… go right ahead. Except, you can’t… because over and over we see examples of people saying to hell with it; my mental health is more important and I’ve had enough. I’m going to visit and I’m going to hang out and there’s nothing anyone can do or say to stop me.
It’s true… around here, there’s no threat of going to jail. There’s no threat of a fine that really hurts; it’s just a slap on the wrist. The consequences just aren’t there to serve as a deterrent, because the deterrent is supposed to be self-evident…. short-term pain for long-term gain. I (and many others) will tell you: “Stick to the program now, and we will all be out of this sooner.” If enough people listen, we’ll be ok… yet, people were disappointed that recently, restrictions weren’t lifted.
We could be back at the “hang out with 6 friends” thing soon. In fact, we could’ve been there right now had people followed the rules a bit better. No Yaletown rooftop parties. No games nights. No karaoke. At least, not yet. We’re still at the point where a few people can ruin it for everyone.
I’m not here to judge or tell you what to do. I am just here to tell you what might happen, and the only evidence I’ll provide is information that’s available everywhere. Look at places that are well-along the path of vaccination. Look at the places where they’ve eradicated the virus, and the militant steps they’re taking to keep it out. For us, presently, neither of those options are relevant… so… here it is again. I’ll repeat what we’ve heard from Dr. Henry a thousand times: It’s up to us.
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