Sunday, December 13, 2020

When vaccines protect more vulnerable folks, can people go back to more normal living due to the natural immunity of less vulnerable people, even before we reach herd immunity? Good questions.

Things are looking pretty bad in Sweden now. Hopefully the vaccines can curb this worldwide pandemic.

Remember, Sweden tried a different strategy allowing businesses to remain more open while trying to protect the most vulnerable. The idea seemed to make some sense, but now it's looking worse.

This is a new disease since late 2019. A lot has been learned, even since last summer.

Of course, now, we seem to have learned how to make vaccines, but it's going to take time rolling the vaccines out to the public. A while ago, I had a thought that when (and if) vaccines succeed in protecting more vulnerable people, other folks (younger and more healthy) might be able to go back to more normal business. Maybe even bars opening again.

Sweden was banking on natural immunity that seems to be stronger in younger people. They thought they could protect the more vulnerable while allowing others to go on about more normal living. That hasn't worked as well as originally thought.

They also thought that exposing people naturally to the virus could bring a form of natural herd immunity. I think that strategy proved to be a lot more deadly than waiting till the vaccine brings immunity.

After vaccines protect more vulnerable folks, it's tempting to think that we can go back (to some extent) to business as usual. I think this may happen to a better outcome than what happened in Sweden and other countries, such as USA that attempted to reopen Last summer when things were looking better. This time, maybe the better numbers can last? I'm no epidemiologist, but we might be able to see vast imporvement, even well before herd immunity is achived. I'm reluctant to advocate this, but it's a thought.

It's going to be quite a few months before enough vaccines roll out for us to achieve "herd immunity." Vaccines are the best way to achieve herd immunity, but, at best, that situation is months down the road.

In the meantime, it is tempting to think that before we reach the panacea of herd immunity, we can also count the natural immunity of younger and healthier people. This, plus the vaccine, even before being fully deployed, could bring us to more normalcy. I am reluctant to advocate it, however. I leave that up to the experts.

There are also quite a few young and healthy people who have had serious outcomes and death from the virus. One has to weigh the risks. I keep saying that it's kind of appalling that people still drive cars knowing that around 35 thousand folks die, each year in USA, due to traffic accidents.

How much death and carnage are we willing to accept in the name of business as usual? I'll admit, I'd like to go back to dancing in the bars and events such as Pride Parades and naked bike rides again. Outdoor things are safer than indoor things. Masks are easy for most people to keep using as a fairly easy remedy, compared to something like a lockdown.

Normal life can wait, however. Just how long is a matter of judgement. There's never going back to an old normal. Climate change is still lurking. Telecomuting is more popular. The future keeps unfolding.

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