The story is on topic because it's significant new information , but we're only going to get an interesting thread if people stick to the guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.
Whereas if you were to load a 747-400 with 450 people and fly it into the side of a mountain in one catastrophic absurd event every day of the week, for months, it would be shocking world stopping news. Why? What changed? It's the same number of dead people, right?
Following this theory to a further extent, I think it helps to explain a lot about the people who believe covid19 is a "hoax" or a "scam". They don't see it, it isn't splashy and shocking, it's diffuse and spread out in such a way that their instinctual response is to go "just get on with your life...".
When an airplane crashes, the reaction is less about loss of 100-300 lives, but the way in which it happens. If a loaded 747 crashed every day, the negative reaction wouldn’t be primarily because people died (that happens en masse daily), but because the safest mode of travel just became unsafe.
Passive smoking is the main cause of harm to _other_ people and is unsurprisingly also the thing that's the most regulated. (Smoking in bars etc.)
USA roads are seriously scary. It's no small wonder that drunk drivers kill so many people.
The only thing that makes sense is if we admit that there is a deliberate attempt to deprogram the masses and politicize science. People are indifferent because they're instructed to be on a daily basis by the talking heads.
Aside from general aviation concerns, that 747-400 will have young families, infants and children on board, whereas exposing everyone on that 747-400 to COVID-19 would mostly result in the deaths of the elderly and the infirm.
If we had an outbreak of Spanish flu with the same overall death rate it would not be as bad. It would be much worse. The deaths of the young who have their whole life ahead of them is a much worse outcome than someone who statistically would be dead anyway from old age or other disease in a few years.
This is intuitively understandable to every human being. If a 95 year old dies in their sleep we mourn them but think "wow, they made it to 95!". If an infant dies in their sleep it's a tragedy.
I genuinely don't understand why everyone has insisted on talking about COVID-19 in terms of absolute deaths. For everything else like heart disease etc. we talk about statistically "losing X years of life".
The median age of death for COVID-19 has been at or above the statistical life expectancy.
In the worst case we could have an outbreak of another strain of Coronavirus next year that'll kill 1/2 as many as COVID-19, but disproportionately target those under 10 years of age. Because of this nonsensical messaging people will think "oh, only half as bad as COVID-19".
We do this because people misunderstand the "losing x years of life" statistics...
> The median age of death for COVID-19 has been at or above the statistical life expectancy.
...just like you've done here.
> Results: Using the standard WHO life tables, YLL per COVID-19 death was 14 for men and 12 for women. After adjustment for number and type of LTCs, the mean YLL was slightly lower, but remained high (11.6 and 9.4 years for men and women, respectively). The number and type of LTCs led to wide variability in the estimated YLL at a given age (e.g. at ≥80 years, YLL was >10 years for people with 0 LTCs, and <3 years for people with ≥6).
> Conclusions: Deaths from COVID-19 represent a substantial burden in terms of per-person YLL, more than a decade, even after adjusting for the typical number and type of LTCs found in people dying of COVID-19. The extent of multimorbidity heavily influences the estimated YLL at a given age. More comprehensive and standardised collection of data (including LTC type, severity, and potential confounders such as socioeconomic-deprivation and care-home status) is needed to optimise YLL estimates for specific populations, and to understand the global burden of COVID-19, and guide policy-making and interventions.
> We do this because people misunderstand the "losing x years of life" statistics...
It makes sense, but this is honestly the first time I've heard anything expressed this way. Perhaps geographical differences.
What I thought you were going to say was what's been annoying the hell out of me all pandemic: no shit [very populous country] has massively higher #new infections and #deaths than [tiny country]..
There's just no value in it beyond internal comparisons over time (which you could do with any externally relevant relative measure too), but that won't stop the press of course! Absolute numbers are bigger!
(Perhaps one day they'll work out they could use it to their advantage - '#UK deaths per billion'...)
For what it's worth I did not mean to imply a relationship between the average median life expectancy for the population as a whole and the life expediency of a person who's reached that age.
As you point out doing so would be a statistical fallacy. E.g. someone who's reached the age of 5 has already made it "past" infant mortality, and therefore has a higher life expectancy than a newborn.
I was using it as a shorthand to reference how lopsided the age distribution of COVID-19 deaths is. We can quibble over whether an 80 year old who's died from it would have lived an extra 0, 1, 5, 10 years.
But even if you were to completely misunderstand how life expectancy works, you'd be a lot more accurate than the GP's reference to a 747 crashing into a mountain, since that example implies deaths from a random sample of the population. Now instead of being off by 5-10 years you're off by many decades.
Edit: interesting note … if you were to take the number of deaths in the Second World War that would amount to 86 fully loaded 747 aircraft flying into the side of a mountain per day for six years.
I just spent about 3 months non-stop hospital visits for the past year and a half for open reduction internal fixation multiple times. The hospital was empty like literally the lights are out in this hallway I have to find the light switch and turn it on so that I can go down to the X-ray room. This is a city of 300,000 with an empty hospital. Yet they claim it's full when all 35 covid beds are taken. I walked all around the hospital hoax fake are the first words that came to my mind.
In 2017 there were no commercial passenger jet deaths - that's how amazingly safe these machines are. Any such crash casts doubt on this idea.
Imagine the difference between "literally perfectly safe" and "can (rarely) cause death".
Same with events like 9/11 - no one going to work that day expected to die like this just hours later.
Pneumonia has a death rate of up to 10% among hospitalized patients(mostly older folks), so people who drop off their parent at the hospital are often already mentally preparing for the worst.
not necessarily because humans don't care, but simply because most humans don't usually reason with numbers that large. I can understand the approximate size and volume of a dozen eggs. I can't for a million unless you show me an acre stacked with them. Death tolls are similar.
The goal was to flatten the curve. Remember that? Flatten. The. Curve.
Is the curve not flat? How much flatter do you want it to be before returning to normal life? Do you want literally 0.000% risk?
I really do believe that a large amount of people do want 0.000% risk, and they'd be happy to wear masks until 2030 to guarantee it.
As for myself, I'm fully vaccinated but will continue to wear masks to make other people feel comfortable. But even before being vaccinated I didn't care too much if people wore masks around me and I certainly won't care now.
I'd argue the opposite that you are. Twitter extremists influence the rest of the nation and it's easy to see how the network effect has some decay on their ideas, but the thorny points remain.
At some point you have to stop treating Twitter and Twitter users like an isolation zone.
IMO their statements are amplified by things like national media because of their extremism; the extremism generates strong feelings (whether positive or negative), and strong feelings leads to more eyes on the media for longer. That doesn't mean the people consuming the media also have those extremist beliefs.
I don't have Twitter.
> Literally none of them ever mention Twitter in daily conversation. (And many of them are software devs.)
Network effects do not cause or force you to acknowledge a source. They merely require you to trust the mental gymnastics of the person who communicated the idea to you.
> That doesn't mean the people consuming the media also have those extremist belief
Generally the people adopting will adopt bits an pieces, this is what I described as "decay".
The rest I agree with.
Follow the science and draw your conclusions for your own life and don’t let the mob bully you, they are living in a world where dogma/politics trumps science [full disclosure that is word choice, I’m independent btw & not a Trump supporter].
I double masked up until 2 weeks after the second mRNA shot (early April), at which time COVID was effectively over for me. If others want to wear masks for years of that makes them feel better that’s totally ok, but the reality is that the pandemic is over for the vaccinated, although I’d get a booster if needed.
Also if we do have to wear masks for another pandemic I absolutely will, but not any longer than needed they really mess with my ability to read facial expressions and communicate.
The political landscape has also changed now so that the government is forced to admit that and now the fully vaccinated can go shopping without masks. It is about damn time. This pandemic has damaged the mental health of the nation but finally rolling back restrictions is the best way to give everyone an end to the pandemic that is in sight.
It's not a binary choice. There is a huge amount of room between the two. I believe you know that, so think about whether your comment was made in good faith.
This was published well over a year ago.
people sometimes forget the size of Indian population and just look at nominal numbers instead per capita numbers, considering how poor is India and how bad is Indian healthcare these numbers comparable wiuth Europe are actually pretty low
You’ll eventually get your answer though to the question of “what if we didn’t do lockdowns and just let it run” - I don’t think it will be pretty.
So it was a white lie?
As an aside, I'll just say I my opinion that it worked. With a few limited exceptions we didn't experience what India is doing through right now. I credit lockdowns and mask wearing for much of that.
Started as just a few weeks and became over a year and who know if next year will be back to normal...
As an aside, my fat granny is watching my kids right now so she's not totally useless.
Yes, thanks to all the regulations.
> How much flatter do you want it to be before returning to normal life?
When returning to normal life, you want to curve to stay flat. So when a majority of people are vaccinated.
No. That was months ago. What about those with vaccination or reconvalescence immunity? Those don't affect the curve?
With exponential growth, numbers either trend to 0 or to infinity, and they do so very quickly. There's only 2 endgames possible in a pandemic:
(1) The numbers trend to 0 and the risk is 0.00% (see: polio)
(2) The numbers trend to infinity (i.e. the disease goes endemic) and risk is equal to whatever risk the disease carries on infection/reinfection over your lifetime (see: the spanish flu)
Pre-vaccine, "flatten the curve" and other marketing-speak meant "stall on option 2 because we can't handle that level of risk in our society right now" - hospitals overflowing, etc. The death rate would have been out of control if we went straight to infinity at the infection rates we were seeing.
With the vaccine rollout, and with medical advances in treating severe covid, we've dramatically lowered the risk of option 2, and additionally we've opened the door to potentially taking option 1.
The CDC is probably gunning for option 1 here (and based on data in Israel it seems like it's possible with a high enough vaccination rate, although I think globally it will be a challenge).
If you keep this framework in mind, the goalposts haven't really moved at all- just the marketing used (hence: "flatten the curve" became "new normal" which then became "get vaccinated")
Edit: Evidently discussion about this sort of thing is quite polarizing. Just to be clear, this is a personal analysis of decision makers' true "goalposts", as the parent post seemed distressed by the moving of goalposts
I'm not advocating for or defending any particular policy, so please don't interpret my post as such. Thank you.
And stopping community spread in a few countries is totally different than global eradication.
As bad as COVID was, we dodged an existential bullet. But why stay in the line of fire? We need to eradicate this disease.
"Most lethal disease ever" is a really strong claim, so I would like to see some of the evidence that leads you to believe that. The r0 of measles, which still infects 20 million people a year, is substantially higher than COVID's, and though its death rate in developed countries is lower, the higher r0 means it is potentially more deadly.
Would you share some of the evidence backing the claim that COVID will not/is unlikely to evolve to become less lethal? If COVID did morph into something more lethal, wouldn't that affect its evolutionary fitness in such a way that the more lethal variant would eventually die out, as both SARS and MERS did?
I understand that you feel COVID is a unique threat and needs a unique response. I'm not convinced COVID is so unique that it escapes the same rules of evolutionary biology that impact other viruses, and even if it did, I am not convinced the necessary response is therefore 100% eradication. (And even if I were, I'd be extremely worried about perfect being the enemy of good.)
> But why stay in the line of fire?
We are still, and always will be, in the line of fire. COVID is not the first coronavirus of its kind to come up this way, and it won't be the last.
That doesn't necessarily mean we should or shouldn't eradicate it, but I think there may be a bias here where we assume that because COVID is the disease we're dealing with now, it is also the worst one.
To be clear, I'm not trying to suggest COVID isn't lethal or isn't unique at all. I am suggesting that the idea it is so unique as to be excluded from selective pressure to become less lethal over time is a claim that requires evidence.
Getting vaccinated seems to me to be the exact opposite of throwing away all caution.
That is true of course: some vaccinated individuals will still spread the infection because efficacy is not 100 %. But the public has, predictably, got this message wrong: I keep getting told that "vaccinated people will get the infection and spread it just the same".
No, not just the same. Vaccinated people are radically less likely to infect others. I do understand that the officials wanted to be careful and not encourage people to move around after being vaccinated, but perhaps they could have again worded their message differently, to be more honest and direct.
In February, the CDC said that those with the vaccine can have asymptomatic infections (https://web.archive.org/web/20210209162120/https://www.cdc.g...). The NY Times used the term "silent spreaders".
Then in March the CDC's guidance was to continue wearing a mask after vaccination, except in situations where transmission risk was minimal (such as when everyone present has been vaccinated). They said we should do this while we're still learning about how vaccines affect the spread of the virus (https://web.archive.org/web/20210308164227/https://www.cdc.g...).
Now the CDC is saying fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vac...), but no reason has been given for the change on that page. Were they wrong on asymptomatic infections in fully vaccinated individuals, or has the risk of spread simply been lowered because of the number of individuals who have received a vaccine?
Without knowing the reason behind the change in guidance (I'm sure there is one), I find it easy to be cynical and distrusting.
* The CDC's default position is caution
* We know more now than we did in the past
In February, we realized vaccinated people could still get asymptomatic infections. Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC recommends vaccinated people keep wearing masks because the vast majority of the population isn't vaccinated.
As evidence accumulates in the intermediate time, we realize that vaccines also lower the percentage of people with asymptomatic Covid-19 
With even more evidence, we realize vaccinated people overwhelmingly avoid hospitalization, which is the real issue we are trying to avoid 
With those two pieces of information, the CDC can now change their recommendation. Nothing nefarious going on, nothing 'unknowable' to anyone paying attention.
The problem is when people who are already predisposed to distrust the CDC - most likely due to their media diet - and put 0 effort in understanding the changing landscape see the CDC change the recommendation and assume it must be 'something political'. Those of us who were paying attention weren't that surprised about the announcement.
But I also have to admit that “Defund the Police”, “Flatten the Curve”, “I have a dream”, “Think Different” are more effective than a precise 2-page memo laying out a concrete plan.
Some people struggle with nuanced, complicated messaging. Others struggle when messages are over-simplified. I posit that the first group is a few orders of magnitude larger, at least in terms of effect of public comms.
Sounds like a super healthy way to approach life.
Wouldn't it be nice to eliminate COVID19?
Look at the heroics for WWI and WWII. And those caused fewer combat deaths.
You can't pretend Americans haven't grown selfish and lazy.
That's the harm to the economy. That's not the cost of masks.
Providing everyone in the US with two high-quality N95-equivalent masks each week for a year would be at most $60 billion. ($2 per mask * 100 masks * 300 million people, at retail prices).
We didn't do that. Our kids have a half-year of learning loss. Small businesses around me closed, and a ton of people fell behind on mortgages. We're looking at pretty high inflation from how we've expended our money supply, eventually. Etc.
Part of the reason these things look like bad use of funds is that people don't do ROI calculations, and confuse millions, billions, and trillions. A trillion is a thousand times more than a billion, and a million times more than a million. But to everyone a MILLION dollars looks like a big number, as does a TRILLION dollars.
People also confuse the ridiculously high effectiveness of proper masks with the fairly low effectiveness of cloth masks.
Can people not in the US harbor the virus? I assumed you were trying to eradicate it and to do so with your original figure of $2/day/person masks, it’s trillions per year worldwide. You later silently amended (not sure if in error or moving the goalpost) that figure to 2 masks/week in your $60B/yr estimate to cover most, not all, of the people in the US.
$2/day/person * 365 day/year * 7.5 B people/world -> over $5T/year/world
Thanks for the unneeded lesson on powers of 10, though.
* My comment was about the US. See the last line of my comment.
* In the US, the economic gains of having rolled out N95 and equivalent masks when they become widely available would have cost orders-of-magnitude less than the masks. Ending COVID19 sooner would still pay for a program like this today.
* Whether or not the vaccine will stop COVID19 is still TBD. We don't have good numbers on impact on spread, on ultimate vaccination rates, nor on mutations. It seems on-track, but still TBD.
* Yes, similar measures would need to be taken elsewhere to fully eradicate the virus, and that's assuming no animal stores. Doing math there brings up a million apples-to-oranges comparisons.
* Numbers in second post were was based on similar (successful) programs implemented in Taiwan and Korea, which did stop COVID19 (pre-vaccine) and allowed those economies to continue functioning, while ours imploded. Quotas were 2-3 per week, and everyone was required to use (and reuse) them. My second comment was more precise, if anything.
(Experts have been asking for more explicit guidance from the CDC for months now.)
Edit: for reference, up until this point, the CDC has not even been willing to concede the safety of outdoor activities: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/11/briefing/outdoor-covid-tr...
There are a ton of factors worth considering, the jobs report and economic outlook at the top of the list IMO. Next are the set of realities that require confronting... such as the facts that vaccination sites are sitting vacant and doses are going to waste, everyone who got a vaccine has at least one dose and everyone who hasn't got one yet probably never will, states like FL and TX "reopening completely" regardless... and honestly, the people at large are pretty much unfazed, at this point, by hospitalization/death numbers that stay flat or trend somewhat downward. And(!), not to mention, the fact that no politician wants to be caught dead approving another round of stimulus checks and paycheck loans.
I do wonder if they will try and stimulate the retail/hospitality industries though as one more nudge undercover as a COVID measure rather than economic austerity.
(Please don't reply with specific examples where this standard is not upheld. I'm clearly not arguing that this strategy is 100% effective.)
I understand the importance of unified messaging, please don't get me wrong. But the media has acted as the mouthpiece of the state for years, and this is yet another example of that.
Why might this be harmful? Can you conceive of why such marriage between the state and the press may not be in the best interest of the people?
I'm pretty sick of these kind of nation-based generalizations.
They're never as true as the person pretends they are, and they're usually just thinnly-veiled hate speech of various types.
Generalizing other human beings by what country they were given membership to -- usually uncontrolled by birth, by the way -- is about the weakest way to gain an insight into the persona of another person.
Neither the NYT nor ABC stories have links to the actual guidance, and I don't see anything about this on cdc.gov. I guess this was embargoed and the story was released before cdc got around to publishing the guidance.
Update: Guidance is now at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vac...
This is a media blitz, and one may wonder why there are prepared, published stories about CDC guidance that hadn't yet even been published.
I'm sure there are many rational reasons for this. One, indeed, is particularly salient.
Or you issue an embargoed release, allowing responsible 'spreaders' to get their ducks in a row, and then cometh the hour, cometh the copy-edited verbose well referenced pieces.
The latter is far better than the former.
From a practicality perspective it makes sense. From a propaganda perspective it’s chilling.
I think the perhaps the best advice is entirely cliche. We are going to need to respect other people’s choices and try to be as patient and kind as we can.
That's the key observation, I think. It's not about the mask, it's about something else entirely, and I don't know what that is. Where I live (Sweden), there is little of that tension, and so masks weren't needed.
> We are going to need to respect other people’s choices and try to be as patient and kind as we can.
You cannot just stand by what amounts to religious zeal. It will affect you one way or another.
If masks work, and you don’t wear one, you are potentially killing people and worsening the pandemic.
If they aren’t needed, and you do wear one anyways, no harm has been done.
This isn't the evaluation we're having though. If it was purely a personal choice to wear one or not then maybe. As it stands, most people were compelled by law to wear a mask under every circumstance whether it made sense or not. The argument quickly went from "wear a mask to protect yourself" to "everyone MUST wear a mask under every situation". It then split into two silly sides signally to their camps and a horrible political divide got much worse. Yeah, harm has been done.
The CDC's recommendations changed yesterday. It'll take a couple days for states to adjust accordingly.
A debate on mask mandates in general over the last year is probably off topic, but I'm inclined to see them as quite justifiable.
Given current and recent events in the U.S., it's also probably best not to give the police even more reason to be able to stop and question folks for what is a very minor infraction. With something like mask mandates, it's a highly visible signal that must be obeyed by every single person, so it's prone to enforcement abuse. In general, it's just not worth it to get flu numbers down, particularly when we weren't really scared as a society about the flu before now. As always, if you're sick stay home or even wear a mask out. Laws to enforce this? Not so much.
What I'm getting at is if it were just a permanent law like "wear a shirt (if female)" or "wear pants" what's the harm?
Why not a mandate to require wearing a jacket out in the winter? Not only could you injure yourself, but you put others at risk if they have drive through the harsh conditions to save you if frostbite gets you - and most wear their jacket out anyways when it’s so cold, so what’s the harm?
While we’re at it: perhaps we make owning too much alcohol illegal. Getting too drunk is widely considered best to avoid (it sucks to throw up!), so no harm done, and you wouldn’t be able to harm yourself or others with dangerous intoxication levels. No harm done right?
How about we just mandate washing hands after the bathroom - it’s pretty gross and think of all the sickness it causes, and there’s really no inconvenience with the sick right there and all. Where’s the harm?
These all lie on a spectrum. Why not ban cars? Why not require toothbrushing? Why not requiring people to take the vaccine (if it’s safe for their situation)? Why not require saying hello to people you pass on the right side of the sidewalk? Why not mandate snapping your fingers and doing jazz hands to get others attention when someone is about to step in gum? Why not mandate wearing your shirt inside out each Wednesday in order to slightly prolong the life of your clothing and thereby save planetary resources for future generations?
Just because something isn’t that inconvenient (by your standards nonetheless) doesn’t justify the state mandating it and implicitly enforcing it with the threat of imprisonment.
Should you go to jail for not wearing a mask for flu season? That’s why it shouldn’t be a mandate: because the state has not right to coerce people with the threat of violence for innane actions no matter how harmless the act may be.
If you don’t wear a mask for flu season (or any other regular disease we vaccinate against and is part of regular life), does the govt fine you? And if you don’t pay that fine presumably they take you to jail?
Should people go to jail for not wearing a mask for the flu? If not, then there shouldn’t be a mask mandate for it - even if you think there’s no harm.
That was never the argument. Wearing masks isn't about protecting yourself (only properly-fitted high-grade masks do that well, and regular people wearing those would have taken supply away from medical staff). Wearing masks is about protecting other people from you spreading the virus (which they do a decent job of when combined with distancing).
The reason it can't just be a personal choice is because not wearing a mask isn't endangering you, it's endangering other people. It's the same reason we don't let people smoke indoors. And having a blanket rule to always wear a mask in public was mainly about keeping the messaging simple. Constant debating over which situations were safe or not for going maskless would have harmed our overall responnse to the virus. The reason the CDC changed their guidance is that there's now enough evidence to confidently say that vaccinated people can't spread the virus to others, but honestly it may potentially cause those same issues.
Yes it was. It's easy to forget what the actual messaging was in the early days. Originally we were all talking about not using up medical masks or N95 masks, which were meant to "protect the wearer from contact with droplets and sprays that may contain germs." Then we all switched to wearing these homemade masks and the messaging turned to wearing them was important to stop the spread to other people. And it had to be done in every single circumstance.
> Constant debating over which situations were safe or not for going maskless would have harmed our overall responnse to the virus.
That is legitimately up for debate. One could make a good case that a noble lie to the public does more harm because it erodes trust in the institution that fibbed in order to "keep it simple". Part of the reason we were in this mask controversy mess is because the authorities were saying one thing and scientist were saying other things in many cases. Not always, but in some cases.
I’m not proposing keeping the mandate.
There, corrected your typo for you.
No, you absolutely are not killing people. This is absurd alarmist propaganda designed to guilt people into acting a certain way.
> If they aren’t needed, and you do wear one anyways, no harm has been done.
This is a particularly insidious argument. First, you’re required to agree to your first point about killing people. Second, you’re required to agree that compelled mask wearing has no harm.
Neither of these statements are true.
Over here in my parts of Eastern-Europe the government just announced yesterday that starting tomorrow (Saturday) the mask won't be mandatory anymore in almost all outdoor spaces for everyone, a statement which was received with joy and relief by almost everyone, no matter their political orientation.
There is perhaps a correlation between masks and political leaning, but there is also cross correlation between those things and higher education, age, race, urban residence, and other confounding variables.
Moreover, I think it's a greater signal to refuse to wear a mask. At least where I live, pretty much everyone goes along with the mask guidance despite a large Republican presence. So if you're simply wearing a mask, there's not much ground to assume anything about your political affiliations.
This would have been unthinkable yesterday.
This is how critical thinking works. If an organization advises something you think might be risky, you question it, and maybe don't do the potentially-risky thing until you have more information. But if an organization advises you to do something they claim reduces risk, you go ahead and do it. If information later comes out that this risk-reducing thing wasn't useful, then you stop doing it; you haven't lost anything by trying it.
Regardless, we've all seen what happens in places where restrictions were lifted earlier than they should have been. Being cautious is the right move.
As for myself, I'll be fully protected by the vaccine in about two weeks. I'll likely continue wearing a mask in public in order to help others around me feel more comfortable (because they have no idea if I've been vaccinated or not), but among people I know, I'll take the mask off. Once the vaccination rate is high enough around here, I'll leave it off in public, too, assuming state/local mandates allow it.
My point is that last year, the party line was "the CDC is above questioning."
> If information later comes out that this risk-reducing thing wasn't useful, then you stop doing it; you haven't lost anything by trying it.
Pretty much every COVID mitigation has some negative effect, so I don't think "you haven't lost anything" is accurate.
My personal hesitation is that people are just going to ignore the explicit condition of full vaccination. Worst case outcome could result in dragging the pandemic out and providing opportunity for new variants to develop.
A concern closer to home is that this will increase risk for my parents, who have been hesitant about the mRNA vaccines and refuse J&J because is produced using a fetal cell line.
And it’s not just my own parents. Like 30% of the US seems like they are not going to get a vaccine any time soon, and I worry that the guidance critically depends on the assumption that unvaccinated people will still mask up and distance. I don’t think it’s a very good assumption (would love to be proven wrong), and I don’t know what that means for the public health outlook of this new guidance.
The point is, how much does this new public health guidance depend on the assumption that people will accept the responsibility to either mask up or get vaccinated?
Also, for the mRNA vaccine, you may want to emphasize that this is the result of several decades of research, not a one-year crash program in new technology.
The Catholic Church's position is that the J&J vaccine is acceptable if it's the only vaccine you can get, but you should not get it if any of the other vaccines are available to you. Your comment makes it sound like they consider it acceptable unconditionally, which isn't the case.
I have no idea if that helps the poster's parents decide to get vaccinated, but it's very clear that the Pope wants them to take the J&J shot if they don't have an alternative. And they currently don't have one they will accept.
None of the other vaccines are available to the poster's parents (held up mRNA technology fear, even though they are available via distribution), so the Church's logic should still hold
This is a super emotional topic for a lot of people, so it doesn’t really make a difference for them that there are no PERC.C6 cells in the actual vaccine, or that the cell line is from the 80s, or any of that. I can at least understand this hesitancy, unlike the misinformation-fueled notion that the mRNA vaccines will change your DNA or something.
I worry this carrot isn’t tied to an adequate stick - the unvaccinated can simply go without a mask regardless of their status. Will this move actually counter our slowing vaccination rates?
More for my understanding than anything else, and with every guarantee that I won't present any follow-up questions or statements, but why was this the tipping point and not the actual disease risk mitigation resulting from the vaccine?
But for the last 3 months, there was nothing to make the tradeoff worthwhile to him.
It is a low-risk, higher-reward proposition for everyone.
And even if all the virus does is fry your sense of smell you're better off with a few days of influenza-like symptoms from the vaccines.
I'm not sure if your group's experience or mine is more typical. That's why comprehensive data is required to sort things out, and limited-number anecdotes are useless.
The risk of hospitalization among even 18-29 year olds is not negligible. Neither is the risk of permanent side effects like diabetes. Those autoimmune conditions can and do strike even perfectly healthy individuals.
It is weird how the vaccine is probably 1000x safer than getting the virus, but young people in particular are happy with the idea that "that won't happen to me, I'm healthy and young" when it comes to the virus, while they're deeply concerned about vaccine side effects that really aren't concerning at all.
(And BTW "robust immune system" doesn't help you if your own immune system turns on you due to the virus).
>About 8% of all participants said at least one activity of daily living suffered long-term consequences, most commonly household chores.
That puts the net risk for non-vaccinated people at no less than 0.8%.
By contrast, the incidence of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine, which caused its ouster, was about 0.001%. That's a factor of 800 in favor of vaccination with the worst of the vaccines.
Note that reverse transcription of COVID RNA also is a convenient explanation for post symptomatic positive tests as well as long COVID symptoms.
I think it's irresponsible to downplay the risks associated with this novel technology, especially when people still have the option of continuing to socially isolate to some degree.
This doesn't make sense because the mRNA-based spike protein, unlike the natural spike protein, is specifically tuned to annoy the immune system. Any cells incorporating the vaccine mRNA into their DNA will be summarily executed for the very same reason that the vaccine works as a vaccine in the first place: it's an antigen.
>I think it's irresponsible to downplay the risks associated with this novel technology
What's irresponsible is couch-quarterbacking the epidemiological community and the medical authorities of ~every developed country in the world, based on preprints, in the face of a pandemic that has claimed ~10M lives globally.
And we have a long track record of understanding this because viruses and vaccine cause the same kinds of autoimmune conditions. I had viral pericarditis once from a common cold that struck a month or two after I got over it. We've got hundreds of years of experience with it.
The issue with vaccines taking a long time to get approval is development time and efficacy data. Both of those were able to be done quickly due to the massive pandemic and due to the 10 years of preparatory work done on SARS-CoV-1 and mRNA vaccines.
And your interpretation of the reverse transcription article is just bullshit misinformation.
And you're still not escaping from being exposed to SARS-CoV-1 mRNA, it'll become endemic. You're getting it from the virus or the vaccine, there's not really going to be any skipping out.
(And if the LINE-1 results are correct this is how we pick up genetic material from all kinds of RNA viruses, our genome is littered with historical pandemics).
Not only that, but Operation Warp Speed (hate the name, but have to give it some credit) removed bureaucratic hurdles that allowed many of the normal steps to be done in parallel rather than serially. That doesn't mean that those steps were rushed or done in an unsafe manner.
Every decision is a risk/reward calculation.
The vaccine does carry the risk of side effects and adverse reactions. That risk, for most, is VERY small.
But if the person in question also has very low risk of contracting or spreading Covid (works from home, rarely goes out, young, healthy) and if being vaccinated doesn’t actually enable you to live any differently than you already are, then there’s no compelling reason to get vaccinated and assume the risk of side effects, no matter how small.
American individualism also tends to downplay a person's responsibility to anyone outside their family, which some even restrict to their immediate nuclear family.
It's a shame, and I think it's one of our biggest failings as a culture. Ironically this is one of the few things where the American left and right are fairly on the same page, even if most won't admit it.
(I'm painting a pretty dire picture here, but it really isn't that bad. Communities exist everywhere, and people who care about others exist everywhere. It just seems like when the chips are down, people tend to turn inward rather than outward.)
Also, if vaccination doesn’t change the risk enough for you to drop some of the other precautions, that also lowers the perceived value of the efficacy of the vaccine as well.
and civic duty is voting, educating yourself on policy issues, obeying reasonable laws, and tolerating and even celebrating differences of perspective and opinion. it's about participating effectively in our democratic republic. it doesn't encompass every possible responsibility to every other human, like the term 'moral duty' might.
Put another way, if going out feels like a big hassle, and getting vaccinated doesn’t remove enough of the rules to make going out NOT feel like a hassle, then there’s no reason to change one’s “going out” habits. And if there’s no incentive to change one’s “going out” habits, then there’s no reason to go through any process or procedure that only perceivably benefits you if you leave home.
I will be getting my vaccine soon myself.
But the world has changed. If I was isolated and nervous to “put myself out there” pre-pandemic, then I’m nearly agoraphobic now.
Nobody I work with wants to return to the office, nobody wants to return to having fun outings (at least not outside their own social circle).
There’s literally nothing for me to return to doing. I’ve built up a relatively solitary life with my dad in the last 12+ months, and everything outside of it is gone.
If you feel that you have so much to return to that the idea of rarely going out, forever, sounds unrealistic, then I would
consider yourself lucky.
I intend to get vaccinated just to be safe to anyone I might come in contact with, but to your point, even once I get vaccinated, I honestly see no trigger to change my behavior. I highly doubt I’m alone in this.
I don't really ever go out willingly, so I didn't really have an incentive to get vaccinated. Now I can get vaccinated and not wear a mask at work when it's 100+F in a few months.
Now that it's socially acceptable to wear a mask when in businesses and isn't a fashion trend, I will continue to do it since it should impede facial recognition. Except if it's a bit hot, I now can choose not to :)
I think this will be a great incentive to drive vaccination rates.
But the thing that really bothers me about your previous rationale is that it doesn't take anyone else into account. What about people who would like to get vaccinated, but can't because they're deathly allergic to components of the vaccine (or some other medical reason)? What about people who would like to get vaccinated but can't afford to take time off work for the shot, or to rest during possible side effects?
You getting vaccinated protects those people too, when you walk past them in that grocery store. They deserve to be out and about without fear of infection just as much as you or I do.
But I'm surprised that the "you can go maskless if you get the vaccine" is a deciding factor for anyone. Wearing a dust mask is so trivial compared to all the other changes and efforts I've made this year.
When this changes or it's been a year I'll consider it.
I’m back in SF now and everybody is wearing the mask. Everybody. The adults, the children, Even the vaccinated people. Yesterday the waiter asked me if we could put back our mask so she could hand us our plate.
Country of extremes. I feel like there’s no going back to normal eventhough I’m fully vaccinated.
> the waiter asked me if we could put back our mask so she could hand us our plate
I get the feeling behind this, but it's also silly. Either you're outdoors and the risk is already pretty low, or you're indoors, and 30s of exposure won't be a big deal, especially when it's not like everyone is wearing N95 respirators and aerosols are a bigger concern than we used to think.
It spreads so poorly outdoors (this has been abundantly documented), especially if your exposure to someone is brief, that the main reason is a combination of virtue signaling, hygiene theater, and because it makes you feel safer.
Or, because you feel it's a conservative decision which is respectful of others. I'm not worried about incidental exposure from passing someone on the sidewalk, but I can only make that decision for myself, so I either mask up or get out of the way.
Etiquette is a rational enough reason.
Personally they lost my trust when they told us to not wear masks for some time early in the pandemic.
The problem is natural human bias to require higher levels of evidence to refute a practice than were required to institute it.
Making masks into that big punishment and unfairness definitely killed my trust into whole lot of people and groups of people.
Like, on one end you have states waiting for an impossibly high threshold of vaccination before masks go away or nightclubs open up with dance floors. And now they can say “oh ok that was old guidance, we’re good now”
On the other hand it also caters to the states that ignored old guidance “ah! Sanity has prevailed! Now can these few businesses that demand masks stop fighting us on this?”
I don’t know of many other ways to cheapen the significance of one’s own healthcare or the science that drives it than something like this.
I liked the idea of paying people to get vaccinated , but since that encountered public opposition, this is the next best thing.
A stranger on the sidewalk is giving away free cookies. If in addition they offer $100 to each person who eats one, does that make me more, or less likely to accept a cookie?
I think the point is about how much you trust the person handing out the cookies/vaccine and money. There are plenty of people who trust the government about as much (or less) than a random stranger.
That's a nice feature of the RNA-based vaccines.
Unless the President said that, your message is not going to get across.
848 Americans died today marked as a Covid contributed death. There were lockdowns across 90% of the country a year ago when less people were dying from this. So we’re just past that, sorry. Good luck to them.
The goal was just to keep ICU capacity available for the normal distribution of emergencies in society. We’ve done that.
It means we’ve all been reduced to statistics for 15 months and we have now simply reverted to a mean where the world is not compatible with immunocompromised people and good luck to them, just like before Covid, and just like during and after Covid. They had a 15 month time period where people and the state would help reduce exposure to them, and that was the luckiest time for them to be immunocompromised and thats over now.
Which isn't zero, colds and flu kill a few children a year.
I support you in keeping your children healthy, not trying to second guess you as a parent. But "think of the children" is not a good basis for policy here.
> The risk of complications for healthy children is higher for flu compared to COVID-19.
(what in the world is going on with downvotes in this thread? Are HNers really unable to have difficult conversations?)
New variants are still emerging, and some of them are pretty worrying. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/...
It's not evil, it's common sense. COVID may be the first pandemic you've lived through/remembered, but it's not the first pandemic, and there are far more dangerous diseases out there we don't want coming back.
I was vaccinated as a child of things i am still immune to today.
Yes. So they don't get sick, i.e. it's for their own benefit.
I wish there was data on fully vaccinated people being able to spread infection to others, but that won't be available for a long time.
There is such data. That data is what led the CDC to make this change.
"The effectiveness against any documented infection with the B.1.351 variant was 75.0% (95% CI, 70.5 to 78.9). Vaccine effectiveness against severe, critical, or fatal disease due to infection with any SARS-CoV-2 (with the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants being predominant within Qatar) was very high, at 97.4% (95% CI, 92.2 to 99.5). Sensitivity analyses confirmed these results (Table S3)."
so it's still quite effective at preventing severe illness, which is why I'm not terribly worried, but still spooky that strains are starting to mutate away from our protection.
Edit: Minnesota will be ending their mask mandate tomorrow.
Most brick and mortar was barely viable during the best market in history so all we gotta do is wait! And also not go to them lol have fun with that gofundme
Some businesses give in to security theater and it is immensely frustrating. For example here in Belgium some shops force you to take a trolley even if you just want to buy a single item and have your own bag. They do this "because COVID". So what happens? A pile up of people at the entrance trying to move caddies over, leading to far more risk there than there otherwise would be if you left people to their own device.
Our swimming pools are open, but they closed the showers "because COVID". So what happens? People are gross, get in the water right away, don't soap up or whatever, and it's far less clean/healthy than it would be for no good reason.
Overabundance of caution is not always a good excuse.
“That’s not approved!! Get out of here!”
Different things are happening
I don’t know the circumstances of the situation you mention, but it hardly qualifies as security theatre. Also, I doubt they screamed ‘not approved’ but I guess no anti-mask narrative sounds dire enough without a little exaggeration.
Its 100% Machiavellian.
Many businesses could have made their patrons equity owners but instead went for the gofundme as nondilutive capital. Many bad tastes in my mouth, so long and goodnight. Evictions restarting soon too.
Good lord. It is almost like they want to discourage people to not get vaccinated.
I think people should take care about their own health, if you are in risk group get vaccinated, if you are not in risk group what's the point urging someone to get vaccinated if risk groups are vaccinated or are ready to bear risks?
Low-risk people can still become infected, never show symptoms, and pass the virus to someone else without realizing it. Risking that happening while a vaccine is available is just irresponsible and selfish.
Throughout this pandemic, my biggest fear was not getting COVID myself, but unwittingly giving it to someone vulnerable who then died.
If most of the new cases start to be among the unvaccinated, that could make for a stick.
I really wish that stick worked, but it seems like it won't, at least not universally. But presumably there are some people for whom it will work, if one of their loved ones gets infected and ends up in a bad way.
Oh, the humanity.
> Will this move actually counter our slowing vaccination rates?
Yes, loosening controls does that. It also reduces the harms imposed by the controls. Vaccination and infection affect the cost/benefit analysis between those effects.
Edit: MN mask mandate goes away tomorrow.
If you’re vaccinated along with a decent majority of people, why would you want to wear a mask? The vaccines have been overwhelmingly good so far at preventing hospitalization and death, they’re more effective than influenza vaccines.