Tuesday, April 06, 2021

A Narrative Of... Magic?

We will have to wear the mask, we are told, even after being vaccinated. Not just for a couple of weeks until the vaccine can establish our own immunity, but for an indefinite length of time “until herd immunity is achieved.” That just makes no sense to me.

How is herd immunity to be achieved? Well, by vaccination, of course. So we have to wear a mask until everybody else is vaccinated. Why? What does someone else’s immunity have to do with my risk of catching the virus, or with the danger of me spreading the virus?

It makes it sound like there is no such thing as individual immunity, There only exists a magical “herd immunity” which suddenly appears when a critical mass of vaccinations have been reached. No one is immune until everyone is immune.

We can take off the mask after being vaccinated, we are told, only if we are in small groups of other people who are all also vaccinated. What?

That kind of sounds like they are saying that the vaccine protects me from the virus only if I am not exposed to the virus, which doesn’t make any sense at all. Making even less sense is the idea that my immunity depends on someone else being vaccinated.

 “Follow the science,” we are told. This narrative doesn’t sound like science to me. It sounds like magic or, perhaps, sorcery. If you follow this, the only place you are going is down a rabbit hole.


jez said...

"That just makes no sense to me."
Maybe not immediately, but sense can be made of it if you try.

Jayhawk said...

Really? Enlighten me please.

jez said...

"What does someone else’s immunity have to do with my risk of catching the virus, or with the danger of me spreading the virus?"

Your neighbours' level of resistance affects the general prevalence of disease in your locality, which affects the frequency with which you are exposed to infection, and hence your likelihood of contracting and/or passing on the infection.

"It makes it sound like there is no such thing as individual immunity"

Try thinking of immunity as a level of resistance which varies by degrees, rather than as a binary property.

The other reality to allow for is that virusses mutate, and the more infections there are, the more opportunity there is for an unfortunate mutation to occur. Especially while the virus still spreads easily, that's why it's valuable to keep the infection numbers down.

I think this might be an example of what CS Lewis called Bulverism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulverism
Strong preconceptions that certain ideas must be wrong & stupid can make it much easier for those ideas to confound us.

Jayhawk said...

What does any of that have to do with ME wearing a mask?

What is the relevance the level of MY NEIGHBOR'S resistance to the disease and ME wearing a mask?

How do I PREVENT MUTATIONS by wearing a mask when I am immune?

Bulverism? I did not suggest that I should not wear a mask prior to vaccination. I asked that, if vaccination provides immunity, as is claimed, why must I wear a mask afterward. No one has provided an answer that is even within hand grenade of logic. Mutations, neighbor's infection, blah, blah...

jez said...

It won't make sense until you question your assumption that a vaccinated person's resistance is absolutely impervious.

Jayhawk said...

If a vaccinated person's resistance is not sufficient to prevent infection and illness with a reasonable degree of certainty, sufficient to base one lifestyle upon, why get the vaccine?

Jayhawk said...

That is to say, why get the vaccine and then act as if you had not? Why get the vaccine and not change anything about the way you live?

Jayhawk said...

Third question: are you "absolutely impervious" to getting hit by a truck?

jez said...

For two reasons: first, partial protection is better than zero protection (like how we understand that seatbelts are highly effective, even though they fall short of making us invulnerable to collision with a truck); second, because reducing case numbers is valuable, the quicker the better, both for reducing our individual threat of picking up the infection (local prevalence is a factor, that's why you take locale-specific jabs when you go travelling); but also because the fewer cases, the fewer infected cells, the fewer mutations are occuring and therefore the likelihood that one/some of them would result in a dangerous (ie more deadly and/or defeats our current vaccines) variant.

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