Monday, July 19, 2021

'Freedom Day' for the Virus or for People?

Here's how COVID looks on England's "Freedom Day." Looks more like freedom for the virus instead of for the people. It's exerting its rights in the US as well, which aren't even spelled out in the Constitution! Who says freedom isn't free?


Balázs said...

I've already been labelled as a "mad fascist" for suggesting compulsory vaccination 'cos you can excercise your freedom freely :) when vaccinated. But as long as people are "hesitant" for some incoherent bs and they still have the power of decision perhaps my leftish soul doesn't get offended for being labelled "fascist" in this particular matter.

Layzej said...

Seems like very few people are getting seriously ill or dying, and those who do are largely unvaccinated. This seems ok to me. Let’s put this behind us.

David Appell said...

But the virus is going to keep mutating and the disease will become endemic and all of us, vaccinated now or not, will risk getting it in the future, just like we risk getting the flu every year, so we'll have to get a COVID vaccine every year too, but it's not 100% effective so maybe we'll get sick but probably not die, unless you're old or out of shape, but that's bad too.

So how do you put this behind us?

PS: I'm in favor of mandatory vaccination too, at least if you want to do pretty much anything, like fly, use public transportation, got to school, businesses, work locations, etc. Why should potentially infectious people be allowed to walk around infecting others? OK, they're free not to get vaccinated. But we're trying to run a society here.

Layzej said...

What is your end game? Total eradication of the virus?

We’d do better focusing on the third world if that is our goal. I don’t think it’s possible.

I think we’re stuck with yearly flu and COVID shots... or we live our lives in a bunker.

Layzej said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Layzej said...

This is what we need to start tracking:

If that remains low, and most of those people are unvaccinated, then we have won.

Entropic man said...

I'm losing track. Is this the third or the fourth time that the UK government have relaxed Covid-19 precautions prematurely?

Balázs said...

@Layzej, this is more like a scientific question (ie. medical science), and doctors say in unison that everyone should be vaccinated as soon as possible, and this is for the common good. As an illustration, check, for example, the Wikipedia page for Polio to see that partial vaccinations can have very bad consequences. Non-vaccinated people are essentially biological reactors for breeding new variants (sometimes from the weakened vaccination strain!). They are danger not just to themselves but to us too. Furthermore, regardless of their own stupidity, I don't want to see them getting sick or dying, they are also part of society. They only happened to misunderstand this question. They are not alone, most people have a very bad understanding of the world. In this particular case stupidity can be "cured" with mandatory vaccination.

Layzej said...

“Non-vaccinated people are essentially biological reactors for breeding new variants”

Then work on getting the vaccine to the third world where the virus is rampant and people are eager for a cure. Draconian measures to reach the last 15% in USA will not prevent variants. We live in a global village.

“ this is more like a scientific question (ie. medical science), and doctors say in unison ...”

Science can only tell us “is”. “Ought” is always more complex.

Balázs said...

"Then work on getting the vaccine to the third world"
I do my best :) Actually it is China (and Russia to a much lesser extent) that's actively working on this.

"We live in a global village."
Yep, and the 15% in the USA is more likely 40% or so. FYI for some diseases (measles is a prime example) even minuscule numbers (of non-vaccinated people) are enough for spreading. So even 15% may be plenty.

"Science can only tell us “is”
This is the "is" category, be assured. It's like when an engineer says we "should" reinforce this and that otherwise the bridge will collapse. That is an "is" said as an "ought". Vaccination is a very well researched field with actual precedents to problems arising from partial vaccinations.

Layzej said...

You are right that iUS vaccination rate is pretty abysmal. But science can’t weigh the value of freedom vs the cost to society of unvaccinated people dying of COVID. We’re not nearly at the point where the state needs to take this decision from its citizenry .

There are billions more people who want the vaccine than there are shots available. If the goal is to vaccinate the entire planet to prevent variants, then there is no need to go “mad fascist” at this point. No need to sacrifice freedom for safety.

If the goal is to stop the spread of the virus in the USA, are you sure 100% vaccination would accomplish this? Vaccinated people are still getting sick. Vaccinated people are able to transmit, if at lower rates.

Balázs said...

"No need to sacrifice freedom for safety."
What freedom in this particular case? Freedom to override established scientific opinion is a completely useless, bullshit freedom.

"We’re not nearly at the point where the state needs to take this decision from its citizenry."
This is a very USAmerican point here :) Most people outside the US tend to think about the state as the supreme representative of the whole body of its citizenry. They think the decision of the state is the definitive decision of the people. Now they are certainly naive but I think you get the point.

"If the goal is to stop the spread of the virus in the USA, are you sure 100% vaccination would accomplish this?"
Yes. This is what an actual medical (epidemiological) expert said about the delta/delta+ variant. 100% should be vaccinated.

Layzej said...

“What freedom in this particular case?”

According to amnesty international: “ Being able to make our own decisions about our health, body and sexual life is a basic human right.”

Layzej “are you sure 100% vaccination would (stop the spread of cOvid in USA )"

“Yes. This is what an actual medical (epidemiological) expert said about the delta/delta variant”

Which expert? Is that the consensus view? Are there studies that support that opinion?

Layzej said...

“Ending transmission of the virus is one way to return to normal. But another could be preventing severe disease and death, says Stefan Flasche, a vaccine epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Given what is known about COVID-19 so far, “reaching herd immunity through vaccines alone is going to be rather unlikely”, he says. It’s time for more realistic expectations. The vaccine is “an absolutely astonishing development”, but it’s unlikely to completely halt the spread, so we need to think of how we can live with the virus, Flasche says. This isn’t as grim as it might sound. Even without herd immunity, the ability to vaccinate vulnerable people seems to be reducing hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. The disease might not disappear any time soon, but its prominence is likely to wane.“ -

Balázs said...

"According to amnesty international"
Exactly. I want to make my own decisions instead of a bunch of vaccine hesitant cretins who breed a new, more contagious and/or lethal variant killing me. That's why I want mandatory vaccinations. See? Put it this way makes it completely different. Furthermore I'm much more justified in my decision than those "hesitants" because they base their decisions on bullshit.

Just as a side note regarding Amnesty. This is a private body that is only interested in the promotion of a certain -narrow- aspect of Human Rights. The US (and more generally the West) has consistently blocked (with deeds and at the UN as well) those aspects of Human Rights that are connected to the actual material well-being of people like shelter, food, health.

"Which expert? Is that the consensus view?"
Yes, it is. And I now understand your point. Okay, "halting spread" is what is achievable with vaccines currently. I know vaccinated people can get infected etc. The medical expert I'd read said the same as the one you cited. She said that we would only have chance against the new variants with a protection rate of around 80%, but considering the usual efficiency (or efficacy, can't remember) of vaccines that would correspond to a 100% vaccination rate. And this is a consensus view among them. And what you cited doesn't contradict this. He doesn't say vaccination can be skipped. Actually, he doesn't say the opposite either but as I read it I think he says this will happen even if 100% is the vaccination rate.

Layzej said...

Daily cases in the UK peaked at just under 50,000 and have been falling for over a week now. Deaths/day have remained low. I think they will peak at < 150/day.

On the average day, ~60 people die from flu in the UK (much more in flu season, and much less otherwise).

At this point, we need to consider whether we should start reacting to COVID like we do to the flu: Take a yearly shot and move on with our lives.

Layzej said...

I may be calling this too early, but it looks like deaths in UK as a result of the latest wave peaked at < 80/day. If true, even at its peak, COVID19 is now about equivalent to an average flu day.