Before 2019, there were four coronviruses causing “common colds” world wide.  Now we have a fifth one joining the others in making infections of our respiratory systems.  It is important to understand how vaccines protect us, but do not prevent infections.  As explained below, there is a big difference between systemic immunity and mucosal immunity.  The first is the aim and largely successful outcome from the vaccines now available.  But equally important is the ability to stop the virus from multiplying at its entry point in the nose and mouth.

From Snithsonian Magazine:

In a collective display of scientific advancement, the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson seem to be astoundingly effective at preventing severe disease and death from Covid-19. All are intramuscular, meaning they are injected into the muscle tissue. Once the vaccine materials seep into the bloodstream, they induce the creation of antibodies, which then circulate in the blood throughout the body, protecting some of the most vital organs and creating what’s called systemic immunity. This immune response protects the body from serious illness and death, but the response only builds after the virus has fully entered the body.

Their ability to protect the human body from Covid-19 illness is truly incredible, but the SARS-CoV-2 virus still has an entryway into the body left unprotected by the vaccines: the nose and mouth. Those two gateways, and their ability to transmit the virus, are what mask mandates are all about. Face coverings have been shown to impede the spread of the aerosol virus, protecting their wearers and those around them from infecting each other.

I won’t go into the question of mask symbolism vs. medical effectiveness, but readers can delve into this by a previous post Covid Masquerade.  Suffice it to say,  the attempt to prevent infections by masks, social distancing and lockdowns is doomed to fail, and take our society and economy down with it.  The realistic approach is the same as in the past to deter the spread of flu-like illnesses:  Good hygiene certainly, and vitamins needed by our immune systems.  Self-isolation when feverish. And provision of anti-viral medications under supervision of family doctors and clinics.

But the drive to Zero Covid Infections is dangerous and wrong.  And the nanny state dictates are increasingly violating the social contract of every free enterprise democracy.

Tyler C. Chrestman writes at American Thinker  The pandemic is over: Time to return to normal.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The pandemic is over. This statement might seem counter-intuitive, as COVID cases are on the rise and the Delta mutation is sweeping through the state, but it is the truth. The pandemic is over, and it is time for life to return to normal.

At this point, half of the Missouri population is vaccinated, but the number of vaccinations does not accurately represent the risk still facing the general public. The people who are most at risk from the virus, those individuals over the age of 65, are vaccinated at a rate somewhere between 75–85%. According to the CDC, almost 80% of all the deaths from COVID in the country came from people within this demographic. So if our at-risk population is vaccinated at such a high rate, why should everyone else continue to worry?

A lot of the public hand-wringing over COVID comes from a poor grasp of the actual risk factors associated with the virus. Less than 3% of all the deaths from COVID in the U.S. occurred in people under the age of 45. Fifty-seven percent of Missouri’s population falls within this age bracket. Almost all cases of severe illness experienced by people under 45 included numerous comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

In other words, if you are young and healthy, the risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID has always been remote.

Mask mandates, lockdowns, and vaccine passports should be off the table indefinitely. If a person is vaccinated, the virus poses him almost no risk of severe illness or death. If someone has chosen to remain unvaccinated, despite the fact that the vaccine is now widely available, then the rest of society should not be expected to mask for his benefit. The population that makes up the unvaccinated and the people who oppose further government intervention overlap heavily. The government should not attempt to impose its will on people who explicitly do not wish to be protected.

People are capable of assessing their own risk factors and deciding what to do with their health, and governmental paternalism is not needed, nor is it appreciated.

Let us look at the risk the unvaccinated present to those who chose to get the jab. Breakthrough cases of COVID, despite the fact that they are becoming more prevalent, remain rare. Those who do come down with an illness after vaccination tend to experience mild symptoms. Of the 164 million people in the country who have been vaccinated against COVID, there have been only 1,500 deaths. This means that the odds of dying from COVID post-vaccination are less than 0.0001%.

The unvaccinated pose no threat to those who have chosen to get vaccinated.
Segregating our society by vaccine status, via vaccine passports, is both divisive and unnecessary.

The peak week for COVID deaths in the United States came back in January of 2021, when 25 thousand people died in a single week. Last week, that number was down to 1,600. This 15-fold improvement cannot be overstated. In Missouri, 116 people died of COVID last week, which is not nothing but is much less than the height of the pandemic, when that number was 600. This is even less than the numbers from mid-July, which were closer to 150. This drop in deaths mirrors data from other countries, such as the U.K., and suggests that we may already be on the downslope of the delta mutation.

When the inevitable Echo, Foxtrot, and Golf mutations of the virus surface, Missouri will get through those as well.

If the goal of those in power is to see the virus eradicated entirely, it is a goal that is bound to fail. The government cannot mandate its way to zero COVID, and it is misguided to think otherwise. With booster shots for the vaccinated on the horizon, COVID appears poised to remain a daily part of life for the foreseeable future. Mask mandates, lockdowns, and being forced to show your papers in public are not the answer for how to live moving forward.

Learning to assess personal risk factors accurately, trusting in the protection the vaccine provides, and working on improving individual immune systems are the best things we can do to mitigate future risks.

via Science Matters

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August 13, 2021