Living with Coronavirus
Sunday May 2, 2021
As of 9 AM this morning I will be fully vaccinated. That is; I had both the first jab, the booster, and the two weeks of immunity build up since the second jab. This should make me 95% resistant to the wild, original flavor C-19. It ought to make me 50-75%, or better, resistant to the variants. Testing on the variants is only in the petri dish however. There has been no time to test and record efficacy vs the variants. Such tests are underway in real time with inoculants as guinea pigs. Humanity will discover how well the vaccines work against the variants as time passes and the vaccinated encounter said variants.
We also have no good data on how long the vaccine’s protection lasts, we are hoping it will be like the flu vaccine, you get one every year.
The vaccines are very effective, and it seems also effective at reducing the spread vectors. It should be noted that a reduced risk, even a greatly reduced risk, is not no risk. Viral protocols for the vaccinated are relaxed because of how effective they are. As it stands over 200 million Americans have been fully or partially vaccinated. Many others survived the virus and between the two some measure of so-called herd immunity is in effect, reducing our numbers of new infections.
India is another story. With a massive population and much of that population being very poor, the bloom there is horrid. Mass cremation sites are being used around the clock. Despite their horrid, near exponential growth of both infections and deaths, it is also a guaranteed undercount of the virus death toll. The deaths attributed to C-19 in India are hospital deaths, but the majority of the poor cannot get to a hospital and even when they can the hospitals are full and lack Oxygen to help the patients. Experts think the numbers we are getting there are only the tip of the iceberg, with ½ to 2/3 of cases taking place outside of hospitals and the majority of deaths are at home and uncounted as Covid deaths.
We will only know the truth of the numbers in hindsight as India has billions of citizens rather than our 300 million. All these infections give ample room for the virus to spread, reproduce and evolve through random mutation. This means that as I write this, multiple new variants have been and are being found in India. This is why we suspended travel to and from India. It is inevitable that some variant will be so changed that the vaccines won’t be effective, and we want to discover that ‘over there’ and not in America. America will strive to keep new variants out, but I do not see how that is possible without closed borders.
I mean fully closed borders. No shipping, no business, no vacationers coming or going. I do not see that happening, or likely to happen. Rather America is going to return to the way we used to live. Some Americans will return to such modes of living faster than others, but the unvaccinated here and abroad will give the virus room to spread, breed and evolve.
A pandemic is a global event against a global enemy, Covid 19. The world is not treating the virus as such, but instead as a local threat here and there. We have nowhere near the needed vaccines for the globe. Americans are donating millions of vaccines to India, but that is a finger in the dyke. As C-19 blooms in densely populated and impoverished areas of India, many more will die due to lack of response from the Indian government as the hospitals are overwhelmed.
I expect that to be our future for a long while, years or even decades. I mean we still have the HIV virus don’t we, and it is not an airborne virus. Covid will be around for the foreseeable future, and it makes sense in dense populations, to mask and distance, even after full vaccination. It makes sense because we have no idea where or when the next new variant will emerge, and if our viral posture is too soft, we will suffer for that.
As a bug on the windshield of covid I have been given a shield and armor, but such armor may not provide protection against new strains of Covid 19. So, it makes sense to stay off the front lines as much as possible and to hold to a strong viral posture to protect oneself and one’s loved ones from new variants.
In India the virus makes no distinction between young and old. It is affecting entire families, from children through parents and grandparents. Already multiple new variants are being found there. How long until a strongly resistant strain emerges? We cannot know, and since we cannot know it makes sense to use caution.
In America our infections and deaths are way down, less than half a Titanic a day when we were at a 9-11 per day. This is the result of viral postures and vaccines. As we move forward into a ‘new normal’, we must remain vigilant for new variants and swings in the risk factors in order to adjust our personal viral posture accordingly.
Global Infected 146,560,631 152,271,623
7-day average 815,856 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Global Dead 3,101,512 3,194,190
7-day average 13,239 deaths daily –UP
USA Infected 32,045,473 32,393,310
7-day average 49,691 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
USA C-19 deaths 571,922 576,724
7-day average 686 deaths daily –DOWN
Maine Infected 59,612 61,616
7-day average 286 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Maine deaths 772 789
7-day average 2.4285 deaths daily –UP
While I hid out in my hilltop retreat 92,678 of my fellow humans died of C-19, of those 4,802 were my fellow Americans and 17 my fellow Mainers.