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I think you're correct, but one thing that is really missing nowadays, especially with phones and the internet, is active communities that exist in real life outside of work. Stuff like the elks lodge, rotary, bowling leagues, etc are just not as common anymore as I believe they used to be. Certainly there are many things that exist, but in a way societally it seems like they don't have very much cache, even as far as for people to opine "only very lonely people go to those".

I tend to think its a good thing for people to have a bit more distance from work, but if we don't figure out ways to fill in that social need, societally, people will find themselves feeling even more isolated than they have been.




This is the other point I wanted to make (but frankly I was too scared that maybe it’s just because I suck at meeting people now that I haven’t socialized like a normal person in a year). It just seems harder to meet people _in general_ than it did even two years ago. Like where is everybody? Does everyone stay home literally all the time now?


Well, yes. If not "everyone," certainly lots and lots of folks are just staying home whenever possible. Because we are in the middle of a global pandemic.

I think this has much more to do with "we are in a global pandemic" than "you can't meet people doing remote work." Certainly, there were a number of larger groups that I used to hang out with consistently pre-pandemic, but now have totally abandoned. I'm not interested in maintaining an online relationship with those groups; their value to me was in the face-to-face moments.

But that's just not a thing right now.

I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to expose my family to people who may or may not even believe in vaccinating themselves.


I think it is, on average, incorrect to say that people are staying home for fear of the pandemic which is what I think you are suggesting. I think the average hn reader probably skews much more cautious about coronavirus, much better able to remain indoors, and much more, for want of a better phrase, socially responsible than the average person. And even among hn readers plenty will not be staying at home much.

That said, I think there are pandemic-adjacent reasons people might be doing less socialising. Maybe people you might socialise with have moved away and not been replaced in the last two years. Maybe the people who would organise events you would go to skew more towards the cautious end. Maybe people are less interested in social things due to other upheavals in their lives. Maybe people have forgotten how to socialise. Maybe they are focusing on the relationships they had before more than anything new. Maybe we just forget how hard things were before and look at the past with rose-tinted spectacles.


Bars and restaurants being closed or having significant restrictions, recreational sports leagues being cancelled, other (often outdoor) events and meetups being cancelled are reasons why lots of people would do less socializing because [other] people are fearful of the pandemic even if they aren't themselves substantially fearful.


In my case, most of my outside socializing was through gaming meetings, and:

- the local Gaming Society closed for 2 years (meeting for the first time after 2 years in November),

- the local game stores stopped doing in-person events for 2 years (still no news on Magic: the Gathering in-person pre-releases, not authorized for Latin America despite my country being basically covid-free),

- I started playing D&D (with coworkers, so the OP has a point), had one in-person session and then we moved to Roll20 (slowly coming back to in-person).

I do think people were socializing outside more before the pandemic.


I know plenty of people who are staying home not because they're worried about COVID, but more because they've come to enjoy the seclusion and convenience of ordering delivery all the time.


As someone who 'enjoyed the convenience of delivery' long before the coronavirus pandemic, it's quite weird to realise that wasn't as normal (then) as it seemed. City bubble I suppose. Or not-having-a-car (hardly unusual for London) bubble.

(I don't mean takeaway food - though it's certainly 'normal' among certain demographics.. - just groceries, Amazon, etc.)


> Or not-having-a-car (hardly unusual for London) bubble.

In large sections of the US, I am guessing like 90% of the country it is almost impossible to survive without a car, like you literally will end up homeless without an automobile and I am not exaggerating.


Sure, but no section of the US large or otherwise is in London.


I live in Tokyo and prefer to go out and eat, despite delivery being easy. Food tastes better when it’s fresh, not served in a plastic container, in a nice environment, and it’s not even hard to do - hundreds of options within a 10 minute walk of my apartment.


Like I said I'm not talking about takeaway food - which I pretty much never order, agree I'd rather eat in a restaurant. I mean about getting groceries (with which I can prepare the meal) delivered.

But I suppose same would stand to compare picking up a takeaway in person vs. having it delivered. (i.e. if that's what I ate, I would almost certainly have it delivered.)


> Because we are in the middle of a global pandemic.

Really? Maybe I forgot because here in France it feels like we've kinda gone back to business as usual, as long as one can show proof of vaccination (necessary if you want to go to the restaurants, cinemas and museums).


> as long as one can show proof of vaccination (necessary if you want to go to the restaurants, cinemas and museums).

This is the key point. If we had widespread implementation of similar restrictions we'd be around the same. Unfortunately here we have not just a lot of people but a lot of lawmakers, mayors, and governors who think not being able to spread a virus is an attack on their personal freedoms.


Or they recognize that Vaccination means you are protected from getting infected, and if you did get infected as a vaccinated person you have a 1:160,000 chance of hospitalization, and even lower chance of death making having a "vaccine mandate" simply a power grab with no basis in science or public health


France, Germany and Italy have really disappointed with their heavyhanded approach against those that are not vaccinated.

With that said, i think many are still a bit cautious after being bombarded with warnings of the Coronavirus for 12 months straight.

To me though I'm back to normality and slowly but surely everyone else.


If everybody got the damn vaccine the thing would be over much faster. Not getting vaccinated or wearing a mask is an active effort to prolong the existence of a virus that doesn't give a damn about how people rationalize their bad decisions. And I stopped giving a damn about people who defend the metaphorical licking of rats during a plague. I have yet to hear a good rational reason for not getting a vaccine, that isn't vague or hand wavy E.g. quoting some medical reason that turns out to be bullshit when you ask a medical professional. When you point that out to them instead of "great! And I thought I couldn't get the vaccine!" they find the next bullshit reason why they cannot get it, with the final frontier being some defiant stubbornness where "they cannot make me" as if it was the last act of personal freedom they have left to defend: zero practical value, all inside the symbolic domain. Viruses don't care about the symbolic domain.

In a fire be the person who gets a bucket of water not the person who keeps explaining why they cannot (or worse: the person who tries to convince others they cannot). Don't be the person who has to be forced by the rest of the village to help putting out the fire (or help preventing it's spread). If you have a valid reason (e.g. no hands to carry buckets) everybody will understand, but "I can't be bothered to do something for the collective, because I am a free individual" is not a valid reason IMO. Not during an emergency. "Oh but it is my gasoline tank on my property so I got to decide what happens with it" — not during a fire. A fire doesn't care about property.


well, considering how the pandemic went, a fire in a village is way more likely to directly impact you, compared to the covid directly impacting you. And it's not as if getting vaccinated prevented you from catching and transmitting the virus


At the height of it I could not kick a rock without hitting someone that had a family member die of COVID. I live in a country with reasonably good healthcare and I would say perfectly acceptable capacity (and I don't interact with a lot of pray-the-sick-away types), so I'm quite curious where you are located that you make such claims.


In France. I can count on one hand the people I know who caught covid and none of them had any serious after effects.


I know several people, in France, who died or nearly died from it. The numbers speak for themselves any way (more than a 100k).


> If everybody got the damn vaccine

There are many people like me who have high level of antibodies, don't really need a vaccine this way (AFAIK there already is enough evidence supporting this) and don't want to get vaccinated with the fastest-baked (least tested) vaccine in history despite being passionately pro-vac when it's about other diseases and better-tested vaccines.

I don't want the damn vaccine. I want the damn immunity which I have (and test for every ~3 months) and the damn government to recognize it.

I also doubt there are many unvaccinated people who still have no antibodies. How could they possibly be so successful in avoiding the virus for so long?


>>and don't want to get vaccinated with the fastest-baked (least tested) vaccine

But....why. Every single study shows that it's safe. Hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated so far without issues. And reading up on the method of delivery makes me very confident in having it.

Just because it's the fastest developed vaccine in history(which is not true btw, but whatever, let's roll with that argument if you wish)? Why would that be an argument against it rather than the actual data that shows whether its safe or not?


Because why should I inject something I don't really need (because I'm immune already)? Everybody around pushing me to makes me feel exactly like I shouldn't.


But that's two different arguments. Either you are arguing that you don't want to get vaccinated because the vaccine has been developed quickly(in which case I'm going back to my original question - why?), or you just don't think you need it. For the latter - indeed there are countries where proof of having been through Covid recently( <6 months) is just as good as having been vaccinated, you can participate in all activities.


> But that's two different arguments.

Sure, there is a number of arguments.

> indeed there are countries where proof of having been through Covid recently( <6 months) is just as good as having been vaccinated, you can participate in all activities.

And this is what makes me angry as I can see even less logic in this. Why should I prove I had covid, let alone in any specific moment of time? I obviously had it because I have the antibodies. I test for the antibodies every some months and they don't decrease (for a year already). Of course I have no other proof - I just had some slightly running nose (which was even supposed to be an anti-symptom) a day a year ago, tested for antibodies about 2 month after and found out I have them. And I still have them and have been feeling great all the time except one day in spring when I had high temperature but tested negative a number of times that days and next days.

E.g. Austria doesn't require you to prove you have been sick - they just look at the actual antibodies and this seems the only logical objective measure to me.


>>And this is what makes me angry. Why should I prove I had covid, let alone in any specific moment of time?

Well, or a vaccine. As to why a specific moment in time - because the immunity wanes in time. I fully expect that the vaccine proof won't be accepted any more if it's older than X months either, but we simply haven't reached that step yet.

>>tested for antibodies 2 month after and found out I have them. And I still have them.

Cool, and maybe that should be proof enough that you're safe to be out in a public space or private businesses. It's sad that in some countries that's meaningless, but the vaccine is the next best thing - it's easy enough to prove that you've had it, the systems built around it are straightforward and robust.

>>E.g. Austria doesn't require you to prove you have been sick - they just look at the actual antibodies and this seems the only logical objective measure to me.

Sounds like a great plan, I can support that.

As to why should you.....well, that's a harder one to answer in a simple fashion. I think it's similar to how in order to get a visa to certain places you have to be vaccinated against yellow fever - it's not a matter of personal choice whether you want to or not, it's a hard requirement to keep everyone safe. If we lived in a reasonable society where you could expect everyone to be reasonable and safe things like covid passports wouldn't be necessary, but because we live surrounded by selfish idiots who don't care about anything past their own nose we have to have documents which prove things like vaccination status. Kids don't get admitted to preschool without all their vaccinations for a reason too. Sorry if the comparisons are a little bit on the nose, but I do think that at least right now this is a necessary step. Maybe in a year or two this will change and we'll treat it like the flu vaccine - if you want it then have it.


No, you just don’t want to get vaccinated. Everything else is window dressing around that.

The virus will mutate and continue to do so. Eventually your immunity will weaken - will you get the vaccine then? Doubt it. You’ll make up another excuse then instead.

And let’s not pretend you are any more informed about this vaccine than you are any other “highly tested” one. You have no scientific or educated reasoning here and you’re just letting your ego get in the way of things. It’s ok. I do that too. But the quicker you realize you’re caught up in FUD mostly planted by morons and Russian and Chinese state-sponsored democracy dividers the better your life will be.


> No, you just don’t want to get vaccinated. Everything else is window dressing around that.

And I have no rational reason to, except artificial reasons created by most of governments.

> The virus will mutate and continue to do so. Eventually your immunity will weaken - will you get the vaccine then?

My immune system seems doing great job defending me from all the mutations which already took place. So I don't want to interfere, teaching it how to do the job it seems doing so great and targeting it against specific mutations the vaccine is supposed to help with.

I trust my immune system more than I trust whatever the vaccine does. I'm afraid the latter may actually weaken my immunity against the mutations to come. This, together with being pushed to vaccinate, are why I don't want to.

I never ever resisted any vaccine before and was always willing to get vaccinated against everything.

> You have no scientific or educated reasoning here and you’re just letting your ego get in the way of things. It’s ok. I do that too.

I always reasoned the naturally acquired immunity is better than that given by the vaccine and AFAIK this has been scientifically proven already.

> But the quicker you realize you’re caught up in FUD mostly planted by morons and Russian and Chinese state-sponsored democracy dividers

But I've never been interested in what do they say. Only in what humble amount of science I know + my own experience + logical reasoning/speculation. Plus the natural instinct to resist whenever pushed.


> Plus the natural instinct to resist whenever pushed.

And there it is..you are still an adolescent who never fully matured emotionally. Glad we could get to the root of it.


This saved me from loosing money and possibly from getting into trouble so many times already.


> I trust my immune system more than I trust whatever the vaccine does

Uhh…this is what a vaccine does. It shows your immune system what a disease looks like, lets it do it’s thing to discover a solution…so that it has a hashmap to a solution ready to go rather than than needing to iterate over the entire database and apply iterative mutations to the best solutions in order to find a successful match.

What in the world do you think a vaccine is? It’s letting your immune system do it’s thing. It’s trusting your immune system to know what to do!

What in the world do you think a vaccine is? Vaccine-based immunity is natural immunity.


> It shows your immune system what a disease looks like

But it knows! Why should I now train it on a picture if there are live viruses of all the mutations all over around which I have already encountered countless times and keep encountering every day?

I would certainly vaccinate if I were going to an infected place from a place where there is no such virus. Or if the disease was widespread somewhere else and coming to my place while there already was a vaccine.

But I have been living emerged deep in the infection intensively for over 2 years already! I have never even decreased (even increased actually, meeting many new people every day, and nobody wears masks in business) my social interactions, just tested regularly and wore a mask in public transport. I even drank from the same cup with an sick and positive girl once, then self-isolated for some days, tested regularly (incl. in-lab PCR) - all negative, no sickness. And even lab tests objectively show I have been maintaining high level of antibodies for already a year (which suggests they are renewing given regular contact). How can we possibly suspect my immune system still has not enough clue and an instruction can be better than what it already knows?

> apply iterative mutations to the best solutions in order to find a successful match.

But I apparently applied very successful matches to every mutation!

> What in the world do you think a vaccine is? Vaccine-based immunity is natural immunity.

To something specific, more precisely - a specific model (not even a real object) isn't it?


> But it knows! Why should I now train it on a picture if there are live viruses of all the mutations all over around which I have already encountered countless times and keep encountering every day?

Ok so when are you going to get a booster shot or your first COVID shot? Or are you planning on getting the disease again and letting it run its course?

Any why would you treat this vaccine any different than the flu vaccine or w/e? It makes absolutely no sense. If you don't understand the science, how are you making informed decisions?

> nobody wears masks in business

False? Who cares? I'm in business and wear a mask all the time when meeting with clients if we even meet on-site.

> which suggests they are renewing given regular contact

Which also suggests you are getting the virus again and giving it to people you interact with who may now be getting COVID-19 for the first time. You're literally perpetuating the disease! But hey screw everybody else right? Those who might not be able to get the vaccine, like, oh idk, my nephew? Or maybe kids who BTW aren't immune from getting sick.

Your mentality around this is selfish and bizarre.

> How can we possibly suspect my immune system still has not enough clue and an instruction can be better than what it already knows?

The person you are replying to was discussing your complete misunderstanding of how vaccines work. Not commenting on naturally acquired immunity, which BTW doesn't mean you're 100% immune because that's now how things work.


> Ok so when are you going to get a booster shot or your first COVID shot?

I consider every interaction with the virus a booster shot. So I guess every day.

> False? Who cares? I'm in business and wear a mask

Perhaps the right question would be where. I personally insist on masks every time I feel even slightly imperfect (which mostly is because I didn't sleep enough) even if the other people feel too confident. In fact I believe masks make the most sense out of all the measures deployed and allowing people use public transport and supermarkets without masks once most of them are vaccinated is going to be a huge mistake.

> Which also suggests you are getting the virus again

How is this getting it with natural immunity proven by a lab antibody test worse than getting it being vaccinated?

> But hey screw everybody else right?

Nobody experienced any symptoms after contacting me. Everybody I talked to still feels fine. I test. I wear FFP2. I use hand sanitizers. I avoid meeting anyone without a necessity (as I always did). And by the way I have also heard a rumor (though I don't rely on it as I never cared to check) getting an infection from a light/asymptomatic-symptomatic person means higher chances to overcome it without light symptoms too.

> Your mentality around this is selfish and bizarre.

No, I just the question above. I do everything I see logical reason in but I don't understand how is a vaccine better than immunity I have already developed naturally. Why is it supposed to protect the people around me better than the antibodies I already have?

> The person you are replying to was discussing your complete misunderstanding of how vaccines work. Not commenting on naturally acquired immunity, which BTW doesn't mean you're 100% immune because that's now how things work.

Ok. Would you be so kind to tell me how is a vaccine supposed to be better than contacting all the mutations of the actual live virus besides the fact the latter gives you less chances to survive unharmed and enjoy the immunity?


Right. Anything to avoid getting a vaccine. Any excuse imaginable. Got it.

> Nobody experienced any symptoms after contacting me.

Sure except you know people can transmit diseases without showing signs of symptoms. It's called being asymptomatic.

> Ok. Would you be so kind to tell me how is a vaccine supposed to be better than contacting all the mutations of the actual live virus besides the fact the latter gives you less chances to survive unharmed and enjoy the immunity?

You're familiar with the concept of a straw man right?

Nobody is arguing this point. What we are arguing is your misunderstanding of "whatever is in a vaccine" from your original post.

Here's what you said:

> I trust my immune system more than I trust whatever the vaccine does

It's clear from the start that you don't even know what a vaccine does. The vaccine does the exact same thing as obtaining the virus "naturally". It's a living virus, put into you, to train your immune system. It's the same thing. Trying to separate that out into a "natural" immunity versus an "artificial" immunity is not only incorrect scientifically but pretty comparable to believing the earth is flat or something.

Here's another thing you said:

> I never ever resisted any vaccine before and was always willing to get vaccinated against everything.

So again, why is COVID-19 different? Explain the exact scientific and logical reasoning for resisting this vaccine and not others.

> Why is it supposed to protect the people around me better than the antibodies I already have?

So your plan is to just get COVID-19 + variants every year instead of getting a vaccine? Why? Why get yourself sick when a vaccine will do the exact same job? Doesn't seem very logical to me. Do you not get flu shots either? Do you realize that even if you didn't get extremely sick from your first interaction with COVID that it doesn't mean the next time you get a variant you won't be in a coffin? I don't understand at all the point of taking an unnecessary risk here.


> Right. Anything to avoid getting a vaccine. Any excuse imaginable. Got it.

No. Just only get vaccinated if I understand why I should (I mean why I should, not why everybody should). Avoid everything if I don't understand why it is going to help me or anyone around me in my particular case. "Let's just apply the measure to everyone to get a better total result" approach doesn't convince me, I'm a strong proponent of individual approach in everything.

> The vaccine does the exact same thing as obtaining the virus "naturally". It's a living virus, put into you, to train your immune system. It's the same thing.

It's not THE virus. And not even a virus, it's an mRNA which tells the cells to produce something modeled by something they caught in a lab somewhere far away more than a year ago. I actually prefer the real viruses in the circulation given I've been lucky enough to resist any harm they could do. I know "natural" and "artificial" immunity work the same way, but the former is against the real viruses and the latter is against a model.

>> I never ever resisted any vaccine before and was always willing to get vaccinated against everything.

> So again, why is COVID-19 different? Explain the exact scientific and logical reasoning for resisting this vaccine and not others.

Okay, not everything, only the diseases I'm not already immune to. I have chickenpox antibodies (because I had chickenpox when I was a child) so I don't feel like vaccinating against it. I have covid antibodies (because I had light covid obviously, how else could I get them? but the government doesn't believe I had it despite the antibody test, they only accept positive PCR tests taken during the sickness, to me this seems absurd) so I don't feel like vaccinating against covid. The moment when I probably caught it the vaccines were just invented and not available in my country. But I wouldn't hurry even if they were because not tested enough. I really want a vaccine against Lime's disease but am not going to hurry with it as soon as it gets approved, I'll wait some years anyway. Perhaps my logic is imperfect but can you really see no logic in this?

> So your plan is to just get COVID-19 + variants every year instead of getting a vaccine?

So again you believe a vaccine developed against some of the first variants is better than whatever immunity I already have (after surviving waves of all the known strains and having antibodies on a level higher than people I know got after serious sicknesses and vaccines)? I still don't understand why.

> Why get yourself sick when a vaccine will do the exact same job?

I don't get sick. Just slightly sick once long ago and still reliably high level of the antibodies.

> Do you not get flu shots either?

Flu isn't around me all year round. I never tried but I probably wouldn't find particularly high level of flu antibodies if I tested in summer. I don't think I would get the shot if I actually tested and found a reasonable amount of the antibodies. Or maybe I would because flu is more sophisticated AFAIK - there are more diverse varieties. Covid is always around and I think contacting it regularly works like booster shots.

> it doesn't mean the next time ... you won't be in a coffin

Nothing does.

> I don't understand at all the point of taking an unnecessary risk here.

I agree my understanding of the immune system and the vaccines is futile but again I'm not sure tuning it against an old strain can decrease my risk as compared to leaving it as it is after it has successfully tuned it against all the live strains in circulation.


Omg lol. How do you know you didn’t get the “old strain” of the virus when you contracted COVID?

If you’re worried about mRNA for absolutely no scientific or educated reason whatsoever then why not get JnJ?

Even if you somehow know that you got a “newer” strain eventually there will be even more new strains. Are you just planning on getting yourself sick forever? What about when we are able to predict the strains that will become prevalent and we can just send out boosters shots for those? Are you going to sit it out and try and get sick instead?

By that logic you should go get Lyme Disease and not the vaccine before it. Build up your immunity.

> But I wouldn't hurry even if they were because not tested enough.

Describe exactly the scientific reasoning that explains what is “tested enough” and your educated and scientific basis for this. Every physician and scientist says that if there are troubles with a vaccine they appear shortly after (a month or maybe slightly longer) the vaccine goes into the population. Please explain the exact scientific details explaining why the mRNA vaccines or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would not follow this pattern.


> How do you know you didn’t get the “old strain” of the virus when you contracted COVID?

Because the immunity still works. Both empirically and according to the antibody tests. Despite (or thanks to, if this actually works like booster shots) regular contact with many new people and all strain waves declared. If by some miracle all my immunity comes from the first contact and has nothing to do with anything newer then Ok, cool, but this doesn't mean the vaccine based on the same or older strain is better. Given the antibodies level I don't think need to boost it or have higher chances of infecting anybody than vaccinated people do.

> What about when

Perhaps I will get a shot once an updated vaccine gets released and about a year passes.

> By that logic you should go get Lyme Disease and not the vaccine before it. Build up your immunity.

AFAIK with the Lyme disease the chances it will work out this way - without harm and with reliable immunity as the result are very low if any. With coronaviruses the chance is well above 50% when you are young and fit. Nevertheless I still recommend everyone who doesn't have much antibodies yet go and get the shot already.

> Describe exactly the scientific reasoning that explains what is “tested enough”

Not exactly scientific, just intuitive: it has been deployed to large diverse population in diverse set of places, some reasonable time passed, it helped a lot, no bugs found.

You write a lot (for what I want thank you, and I would feel very grateful if you managed to change my mind, I really value input which can correct or expand my understanding), mostly reasonable, but seemingly ignore (or excuse me if I missed a clear answer) the key question of mine: what's the reason (strictly scientific or speculative, I don't insist) to believe the vaccines will get me better antibodies than those I already have? As for my worry it can actually weaken my immunity I'm perfectly aware it's just a superstition based on nothing else but lack of knowledge + "don't mess with what works" mentality so I don't ask for any counterarguments to this.

And by the way, vaccines are not just a virus/mRNA, there also are adjuvants (a word even the spell checker doesn't know) which contribute a lot to both the intended effect and adverse reactions AFAIK. AFAIK this is why many people (including many of those I know personally) still feel terribly sick the day after a the shot even if they were already immune.

Fun fact: there are places in Europe where you can get vaccinated (legally, with ab approved vaccine) but won't be given the certificate so all the places requiring vaccination will still demand you to get vaccinated again. No matter the antibodies you've gotten in response to the vaccine.


I have two issues. The first one is the suggestion that there is anything “unnatural” or harmful about the vaccines or that they are “new” and therefore dangerous. There is 0 reason to believe this. None whatsoever.

The second is this:

> … to believe the vaccines will get me better antibodies than those I already have

My point isn’t that you need to rush out and get the vaccine right this second - it’s that your immune response is equivalent to having got the vaccine except that in the future, just like those who received the vaccine you will need some sort of re-exposure via contracting the virus from another person or via a vaccine in order to maintain your immune response.

You’re suggesting you won’t get a vaccine as this occurs - instead of obtaining a booster shot equivalent which would train your immune system without risking severe illness you’d prefer to contract COVID again and roll the dice. No clue when you obtained it, maybe even walking around spreading it asymptotically…

Your strategy works for the short term, but fails in the medium to long term.


I see. No, I don't think anything is "unnatural" in any esoteric sense. I only use the "natural" word to define the case of getting the immunity through contact with the virus in the wild because no better word comes to my mind. I imply no positive/negative meaning.

> in the future, just like those who received the vaccine you will need some sort of re-exposure via contracting the virus from another person or via a vaccine in order to maintain your immune response.

I just believe I contact it every day (or every week - I don't really know what the percent of infected people around is) and maintain my immune response this way. I use crowded public transport several times a day (wearing a mask of course), also meet many people and they mostly don't wear masks outside public transport and groceries (and even there many people leave their noses uncovered).

And I don't even have to speculate about this as long as I watch the level of the antibodies.

I don't say I am going to avoid the vaccine forever and rather go get infected when my immunity wears off. I just believe I only should go and get the shot once I see the level of the antibodies decreased. E.g. the Austrian government thinks the same.

Am I wrong?


> France, Germany and Italy have really disappointed with their heavyhanded approach against those that are not vaccinated.

Disappointed who? The anti-vaxxer community? Good.


Point of clarification, because you're spreading misinformation: being opposed to one specific vaccine type is NOT the same as being an "anti-vaxxer." It will behoove you to be clear on that point.


> misinformation

The overlap between the two groups is so large and the justifications so similar that they may as well be the same. It is not useful for clarity, brevity or comprehension to distinguish the two.


This type of generalization is what allows people to bulldoze details and nuance in favor of bright tribal lines. It’s the same psychological shortcut that folks use when they call any social program ‘socialism’. It’s lazy and destructive.


That is exactly what everyone means by anti-vaxxer right now. If you are opposed to the covid vaccine, you are an anti-vaxxer.


"Everyone is doing it" has always been - and will always be - a terrible reason to do anything.

"anti-vaxxer" is too broad of a term. That's like saying anyone who doesn't want to buy a Ford is "anti-car." They're not anti-car, they just don't want a Ford.

Almost all the people you call "anti-vaxxers", in fact very much believe vaccines are modern miracles that have reduced or eradicated serious illnesses. Many of them get a flu shot every single year. That's not the behavior of an "anti-vaxxer." "anti-vaxxer" is inaccurate at best, and intentionally derogatory at worst.


And if you're blindly supporting what your government muppets are throwing at you in a simulation of competence you are a believer.


Everytime I hear or read what anti-vaxxers have to say, it feels like the person on the other end is a teenager who has watched The Matrix for the first time while having smoked a tad bit too much weed.

"THEY control us and manipulate everything, bruh! You're just a sheeple."


Dude. Chill! I just like to be the black sheep. Besides that I took the red and the blue pill, seeing the one universal truth, which is is Lila spotted with Lalall.

Baa, baa, baa! (Blowing rings of purple haze at you)

edit: btw. (·) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer


> France has really disappointed with their heavyhanded approach against those that are not vaccinated.

well, the only reason I got vaccinated was to be able to go to the restaurant without having to do a covid test beforehand; so maybe the heavyhandeness was warranted?


This basically pushed me into a depressive spiral last year. Spent months wondering if I was just broken or not meant to be social. Even started picking up incredibly unhealthy habits to compensate.

I think my issue isn't WFH, or virtual socialisation (which I was already doing 2-3 times per week to keep in touch with high school friends). The problem is both. 16 hours a day in front of a computer just didn't feel human.

Given the choice, I will never work from home again. Even at work I have a rule of no more than 4-5 hours in front of a screen.


People are definitely staying home more. I live in what was once a bustling night life district. It is far less bustling now.

I also feel people are sticking more to their core friends and family groups, and venturing out to meet new people less. But that’s more of a personal feeling than something I have quantitatively observed.


Are there still restrictions where you live?

I didn't go anywhere while masks were still required. It's annoying and, sure, I'm sorry for your small business (a nearby business wrote a sign "come and eat here or we'll starve") but I won't bother covering my face just to buy something I can order online, helping my friend Jeff Bezos in the process.

Same with holidays, I'm not coming to your country to relax if I have to wear a mask.

Now that masks are not required in my country I go out as much as I did before.


Yeah masks are still technically required, but if they’re anything like indoor dining, people are lax about wearing them once inside (I haven’t been to any since the pandemic, so I could be wrong).


Depends. I live in north Dallas. Masks were always just a guideline here, no matter how many "required" signs there were, anywhere from 25% to 50% of the clientele on any given day would just ignore them.

We now are going the other direction, state buildings are prohibited from requiring masks and private businesses do so at their peril because people are generally against them.


Yes. Another reason is, Covid had polarized people. Not only health-wise about “the vax”, but also politically. Spending many more lonely hours during lockdowns, rehearsing thoughts, drip-fed by social media and news outlets, witnessing all the extreme behavior of “the other camp” (whichever camp you are in) did wonders in being disgusted of meddling again. With polarization, it’s difficult to meddle.

There’s a reason why social isolation is used as punishment, even in carceral locations. We’re just getting out of it at a societal level.


People don't want to get covid. Getting close to large groups or new groups feels unsafe. Going out unnecessary feels socially unacceptable.


Personally, I'm vaccinated and I feel pretty safe. I'd like to resume a more normal way of life. It's just that there's nothing happening. There's no office, no happy hour or hanging out after work. Very few dinner or coffee invitations. No meetups. No going out dancing. Just way less events in general.

> Going out unnecessary feels socially unacceptable.

Human beings are social creatures and it's normal that we have a need to see people and connect. The directive to self-isolate has been very detrimental for a lot of people's mental health. I'm privileged enough to have access to a therapist, but I feel like I'm kind of on the edge of depression, very apathetic about life.

I don't want to make this a political discussion, it's hard to balance self-sacrifice vs the greater good, but we've all sacrificed a lot considering this disease has killed about 6.2 people per ten thousand over the last 18 months, whereas about 200 people per ten thousand would have died otherwise. Are we going to keep this up for several more years? What's the impact on our society going to be?


Going out unnecessary feels socially unacceptable.

This is silly if you're vaccinated and not in an unusually high risk group.


I think it’s not a question of what is rational but of how one feels and how one’s social circle feels.


Very true. We're at a bizarre point where for large segments of the population, the actual and self-perceived risks are exactly reversed.


We've been staying home for well over a year now. Virtually all shopping is delivered and have eaten at a restaraunt once I think. Our work as had one outdoor happy hour that I would have gone to, except for non-pandemic issues. I've been blown away at the recent movie box office ticket sales. Maybe the covid blasé people are going out 50% more often than they did pre-pandemic.


If you’re in the US, I think your attitude is basically just extremely unrepresentative of the general population.


Yes, we're vaccinated in a red state. Just three weeks ago the infection and death rate neared the all time high. We don't feel like hypochondriacs. It's just easy to play it safe for the time being without feeling like we've lost anything substantial.


Are you vaccinated? Everyone who I know got vaccinated and basically started living their lives normally again as much as possible, wearing masks indoors in crowds and maskless outdoors. Several have now gone overseas to Europe


You’d be an extreme outlier in almost any city or town in America for this attitude, at this point in the pandemic


Or retreated to already known communities. I’ve spent far more time chatting with acquaintances this year than ever before.


At least where I live you can’t do much without wearing a mask, including being outdoors within 6 feet of people. This likely has A LOT to do with it.


I find the trick was (and is, really) to meet people online and to make appointments to meet them IRL.


> It just seems harder to meet people _in general_ than it did even two years ago. Like where is everybody? Does everyone stay home literally all the time now?

The pandemic is probably a bigger deal to others than it is to you.


From what I'm seeing it's kind of a chicken and egg problem. A lot of people are happy/eager to return to normal, but there aren't a lot of events, there are still restrictions in place, and people are no longer used to seeing people as much. I include myself in that. I'd like to go to events, but I don't really spend much time looking for them, because I assume said events aren't happening.


No. People are more eager than ever to meet. I have made more friends than ever before.

However, I definitely give new people who are übermaskers a bit of a wide berth mostly out of respect for them.


Can I ask which country you live in and what type of place you go to meet people these days?


I live in San Francisco, CA in the USA.

I have expanded through the friends I made at my first job and through my uni friends and I have a few through my hobbies: ceramics, weightlifting, bicycling, soccer.


Relatedly, I think this is part of what fuels more extreme social groups. If you don't have rotary/bowling/church/golf whatever group that you hang out with in real life, and you've got nothing else, then when you finally find a group they will be more likely to be a group that by its very nature has a stronger set of convictions; enough so that it overcomes the social norms and inertia and gathers in-person.


Aren't lodges, churches, and golf clubs kind of the stereotypical examples of race- and class-exclusionary groups?

I suppose it's not exactly a strong set of convictions if you're passively going along with broader social pressures to segregate on race and class, but if we're talking about the health of society (which I think we're implicitly doing), I think segregating on worldview is actually a whole lot healthier.


I see your point, but I think it goes the other way.

Churches et al are microcosms of a geographic community, resulting in greater localized diversity of thought. And these groups can either lead or hold back a community along the lines of race- and class-exclusion. The church I grew up with was the very first institution in my life that had an openly homosexual person in a position of power (the rector, in charge of the local church).

Point being, the exclusionary aspect of these institutions is often a reflection of the communities they exist within. Certainly clubs are self-grouping communities, with their own sets of exclusionary rules...and some clubs were and are quite explicit in their exclusions: anything that is pay-to-play is largely going to have an element of class-exclusion, whether you pay at the door or whether you pay with something you can "show" (eg being able to read Latin, being a great classical musician, etc). Certainly many clubs have been race- exclusionary, at times intentionally ("keep those people out!") and other times unintentionally ("wait you don't know about X??").

But just because these groups exhibited these exclusions, I don't think it necessarily follows that segregating by worldview is healthier than segregating by geographic region.


My childhood Southern Baptist church (irregularly attented, around holidays visiting family) had a female pastor.

Eventually, the Southern Baptist Convention got around to noticing, and told them that wasn't allowed. They could either fire the pastor, or they'd lose SBC funding.

... to which the church replied that they were founded in 1804, liked their pastor just fine, and that the SBC could go have a talk with the devil, and take their money with them.

:) So yes, it depends on the church.


I am not a church goer myself but I love how your church handled it. Kudos!


There are certainly exceptions but the vast majority of the largest churches in the US are very homogeneous, more so than the communities they are a part of. There are some groups, for example the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's witnesses that seem to buck this trend but your average Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Jewish, Mormon, etc congregations tend to be very homogeneous.


If you live in a big city this isn't true for big tent religions. Catholic churches have a variety of different people from South American, East Asian, Italian, French, Irish.


I don’t know much about lodges and golf clubs, but most churches are overwhelmingly of one race or another. Finding a church that reflects the broader community is quite rare, most of the community tends to self-segregate on Sunday mornings.

That said, growing up churches seemed fairly class-integrated (I’m atheist now, maybe this has changed?). But growing up we had everyone from an American Football quarterback on a multi-million dollar contract to working class folks in the same room.


Most of the larger lodges (Loyal Order of Moose, Modern Woodmen of America, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks) were explicitly sexist (male only) and racist (white only). Although some operated female-open auxiliary organizations.

Freemasonry is interesting, in that it actually had a schism in part over exclusionary membership clauses around 1877 (Regular vs Continental). Although apparently, masonry itself forbids discussion of religion or politics during its meetings.

But much of the early lodge structure and exclusion has since been rewritten and broadened, as the majority of them were founded in the 1870s - 1910s, when prevailing social attitudes were themselves much more sexist and racist.

(Interesting, a majority were operated for the purpose of effectively providing their membership a social safety net and insurance, both of which were lacking in government terms at the time!)


There are good reasons for male-only organizations as well, mainly to do with having something private of their own that men can bring back to their marriages and homes. It provides a social support network for men (literal fraternity), and by extension, their families, where men are not left dependent on their wives for managing their social lives, as is common in many marriages. The lodges still provide a fabric for civil society that persists across party lines and through periods of strife. To dismiss the lodges as merely sexist is more trivializing than anything else, as we're equal, not indifferent or interchangeable, etc.

Racism doesn't really figure into regular Freemasonry either, as it was founded as a universalist enlightenment society. When you look at who has historically made a point of suppressing them, it's worth asking who the good guys really were. They're a reliable canary for civil liberty. Prince Hall masonry, founded by and for African American men is still going strong in the US, and it is in concordance with most north american grand lodges. The main thing is you can't be an atheist in regular masonry, which is analogous to having a policy against racism in that atheism is traditionally also viewed as an obtuse and unnecessarily irreconcilable belief that can call someones moral judgment into question. The continental/european stuff is different, and much of it isn't connected to the mainstream anglosphere masonic culture.


> There are good reasons for male-only organizations as well, mainly to do with having something private of their own that men can bring back to their marriages and homes.

Why must this be male only to be private?


That something is single sex makes it private, yet also less directly exclusive or discriminatory. It's not public, it's a fraternity with membership, which makes it a privilege one earns. So there's a bar. Privacy provides some relief from impertinent people. If one is ideologically opposed to such gatherings, there isn't much to persuade them otherwise, but I suspect having somewhere to go that is free of them is its own reward.


Keen golfer here, I don't blame you, your vision of golf is very wide spread and it is a stereotype based on how golf works in some places. Like all stereotypes, it is based on a partial truth, but there is more to golf than that.

There are several countries, (including Scotland where golf was born), where golf clubs are on average very affordable and most golf courses, including some of the best and most famous ones, are public courses (you can go and walk your dog or do whatever, there is no fence)[1] Scotland is not the only country where public courses are popular[2], but it's the most talked about example, due to golf being born there.

Even in countries where golf is usually associated with "social status", like the USA, things are slowly changing, there are golf courses that aim to integrate with the local communities [3][8] and golfers that promote a more inclusive way of practicing the sport[4][5][6].

On a separate note, there are also efforts to make golf courses more environmentally sustainable. Again, Scotland leads the way with their courses that are not irrigated, and intentionally left to brown-out during summer[1][7], but there are also similar efforts in other countries including the USA[9].

[1] Scotland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icSVHHG8vnE&list=PL5vefWGHKL...

[2] In Australia many golf courses have no full time staff, and you pay using the "honesty box", those courses also usually have unlimited public access (non golfers can walk in any time) https://australianseniorgolfer.com.au/26181/honesty-box-golf...

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-JIYgZrnrc

[4] https://randomgolfclub.com/

[5] https://thefriedegg.com/

[6] https://good-good.fireside.fm/

[7] https://sustainable.golf/

[8] https://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/what-the-futu...

[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyMdFbmBbTk


I thought thats what Meetup was about, for both tech and non-tech communities. I haven't been involved for a while due to life changes (kids + relo), so not sure if its as vibrant in some cities as it used to be.


I literally never saw a Meetup group last for more than a year.

The closest thing to an exception was a group that existed a decade then happened to get a Meetup for convenience, and they closed within a year of getting on (for unrelated reasons)


We kept one going for five years in the local region. Had about 50-ish people to certain events at its peak, probably a few hundred active members (including inactive it was over 1300). But paying $180/year didn't feel worth it as soon as the pandemic hit. I was the main one paying it also.

Kind of shitty too because you can't really kill a Meetup group as long as someone is willing to pay for it. I stepped down as admin and some speed dating thing swooped in and started paying for it, so now the page is still up but there's only speed dating events on it now.

I think Meetup has almost doubled in price in the past 5 years, and it's gotten some major competition from Facebook's groups and events, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's on the decline. I don't think I'd bother to create a Meetup group nowadays, just create a Facebook group.

I do still use it to find some online events to attend periodically, though. Still haven't done any events with random people in person yet, just friends I know are vaccinated.


Most of the meetups I'm in have been going on for several years, at least.

My backpacking group is on meetup. I joined in 2016. Not sure when it was started, but it was a few years before that. Admittedly, the group existed in some form before Meetup did, but it has grown to over 2000 members on Meetup. There's a core group of about 50 or so who are very regularly active.

There's also a local hiking group, a python user group, a biking club, and a climbing club. Quite a few of these existed before meetup and will probably exist after meetup.


I think it depends on the group. I’ve been in several that have lasted multiple years. They tend to be focused on one specific hobby or demographic niche and then offer a wide variety of activities within that niche. Additionally, have multiple organizers and a large enough funnel of new joiners that it always feels big and welcome and established. I have no idea how they got to the stable position they’re in now, but these meetups are more like self-directed communities than they are going-somewhere-for-one-thing interest groups.


I have seen a few new cool club ideas that might help fill this void.

In Kansas City there is a dog club (your dog is the member), but it features a bar, workspace, food, events: barkdogbar.com. You drop off your dog to play with the others and can socialize with others, work, etc.

In Chicago - there is guild row (guild row.co) (disclosure: my cousin is a cofounder). This social club is centered around making things.


There is a book on this topic called "bowling alone" if you are interested. These observations are ones people were making pre-covid.


I was going to recommend that as well. Am in the process of reading it, after a previous recommendation on HN. Or as the previous commenter quipped to a similar question 'Yes, Robert Putnam identified all these trends by the 80s and 90s, but nobody liked how gloomy he was about it.'

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bowling-Alone-Collapse-American-Commu...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_D._Putnam


Does Bowling Alone have any suggestions on how to create a "third space" for ourselves? Or is it more just identifying the phenomena?


i am also very interested to know this as well.

the absence of “irl” community is something i have thought a lot about over the years.

seems nowadays most people hang out with either: 1. existing friends/family 2. coworkers 3. go online

with wfh, you lose #2. if you are a transplant, or never had #1, that doesn’t leave you with any options.

it seems inevitable that the future of socialization will be online and niche. and there will be a small minority that reject that trend and go “off the grid” to connect with nature.

i’m interested to research these topics/themes more thoroughly, if anyone can recommend further reading.


Before the pandemic, I made a conscious effort to meet people by regularly attending a bunch of local meetups, over the course of two years. I made a ton of new acquaintances that way, and about 15 of those people ended up being part of my two main friend circles now.

I always thought of myself as an introvert before, but I just kept attending these things, and being present a bunch, not being too irritating of a person (I don't claim to be full of social graces, but overly irritating people did tend to be filtered out over time), and having activities to focus on instead of just talking at a lot of these (board games, scavenger hunts, movies, etc) helped me make those friendships over time.

Since the pandemic I've regressed quite a bit and haven't maintained a lot of the weaker friendships, but I still do things with those two main friend circles, mostly board game nights at their houses. Helps that everyone that attends is vaccinated, otherwise I'd feel less comfortable about it.

Anyway, it's possible if you make an effort, or at least it was before the pandemic (it probably still is possible, I'm just personally more cautious now).


Can you give me an example of the type of meetup you're attending? Will look for some in my area. Ty!


Sure. I'm only attending things online right now though. Here's a few of my past ones:

- Writing Meetup (talk about what you're writing right now, or share a passage and get feedback)

- Virtual Tour Meetup (a tour guide gives a presentation about a travel destination, past presentations are still up on their website): https://www.girltraveltours.com/

- Improv meetup - practice Improv with others online (now in person so online stopped and I don't live close enough to go to it)

- Game meetups - the local library and another group have regular Jackbox, Among Us, Gartic Phone, and BoardGameArena online game nights

- Book Club meetups - attended one discussing 'How to Avoid a Climate Disaster' by Bill Gates recently, but I've been to others as well

- History meetups - attended a few lectures about past events in history, like Shackleton's disaster of an exploration attempt in Antarctica (pretty crazy story), one on the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior, one on HH Holmes, etc.

- Virtual hack night or coding presentation events - Talking about something related to code, sometimes getting online to talk about and work on our own projects and keep each other accountable, etc.


Thanks! Those sound cool.


Can you demystify what an elks lodge is? I’ve never really understood the concept of these lodges and they seem like some kind of closed off private club or something cult like. I’m guessing I have the wrong perception.


It sort of is/was a private club - they would have a lodge, functionally sometimes like a tavern, they might have a liquor license, and membership was fairly controlled/via word of mouth and voting by the existing members. Often members would do business deals, help each other if someone say lost a job, or helped out with things in the community.

Its not a great example for a model that would work now as a huge part was how exclusionary it was - white/male/believe in god/not a commie etc. - society has moved on somewhat from that era.

Still there’s a sort of sense of place that you get when actually involved in a community that is in a local area - I hope we can start to figure out how to do things more locally again.


They exist. They're just not your almost stereotypical, mostly working class, traditional organizations.

Depending upon age and interests, at least larger cities have options and, as you get involved, more options get opened up.


I have a bunch of friends on IRC, we generally hang out in a single channel (it spun out of a topic specific channel but we sorta moved to been adjacent years ago).

That acts as my digital water cooler since I'm remote forever.


IRC is becoming the HAM radio of our generation. Pretty soon there will just be a bunch of crusty old men who do it as a hobby but insist how vital and relevant it is.


I'm old, my online friends moved from IRC to Discord around 2017.


Also wanted to add in developed countries (and by corollary, big cities) it is very hard to make friends once you are an adult. When I lived in Vietnam it is 10x easier to date/make friends/get involved in the local community (vs NYC,LA or SF)


Did you ever figure out a way to do so as an adult? Maybe meetup.com / local interest groups like cycling, tennis or board games?


It seems that to participate in group activities you have to bring friends you have nowadays instead of going out and making friends. My view might be wrong.


truth. went to a gyms happy hour and me and a girl were there alone otherwise everyone else went off in their groups of 3 or 4 they knew already lol.


Yep. This has been studied in MBA networking events too where the only person who ended up meeting everyone was the bartender.

>The few new meetings that did take place tended to be with others who were like themselves: the consultants talked to consultants, and the bankers talked to bankers. In terms of both new conversations and diverse connections, the most successful networker at the event turned out to be the bartender. https://hbr.org/2018/05/go-ahead-skip-that-networking-event


Could it be that there's a bit of bias in the study?

Similar to the biases related to the fact that the majority of psychological studies were run on predominantly rich, predominantly white students at well-funded universities?


Church, and charities, can help finding social outlets outside of work (or be that themselves).




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