As readers of my commentaries know, I was never particularly fearful of catching Covid-19, and consequently was not in a desperate rush to get the vaccine — even though I am in the high-risk age group with my share of what they call “underlying conditions.” I knew my chances of contracting the virus was one-in-ten – and my chances of dying from it was one-tenth of one percent. That is what the numbers tell us. Pretty good odds for staying healthy.
So, I waited a few weeks after vaccinations were available here in Florida before I had my name put on the waiting list. I then sat back and waited. I got the call sooner than I expected — and went in for the shot at my local Publix grocery store pharmacy.
To my surprise, there were none of the long lines I saw on television. I was in and out in less than ten minutes – including the post-shot waiting requirement. I guess they wanted to make sure I would not pass out. To be honest, they asked that I wait seated for 10 minutes, but I bolt out after five – confident that I would be one of the 99 percent not having significant side effects.
Based on all that the scientists and medical professionals were telling me, I assumed it was safe to resume some semblance of my past normal life.
After all, my bowling partners have been vaccinated. My son is recovered and has the antibodies. All the older folks I hang with have been vaccinated.
Before the vaccination, I never wore a mask outside – as was the case with most people I encountered. I regularly ate in restaurants where patrons did not wear masks for obvious reasons. I never got into washing my hands more than normal. But I did keep social distance – sort of – more out of fear of being chastised than getting the virus.
If that was my life before the vaccine, what should I do now that I have immunity. Weeeell … every time I cruise the news, I hear that I must continue the most severe protective measures – more severe than I adhered to in the past.
As of this writing, more than 90 million people have received the Covid-19 vaccine – and by the time you read this commentary, another 5 or 6 million will have gotten shots. There are more than 20 million people who have recovered and are now immune. Factor out the 48 million kids under the age of 10 who are not at much risk – and all those between 10 and 65, who will overwhelmingly recover if they get it – and the threat from Covid-19 is diminishing quickly.
Cases are declining. On January 9th, the daily new case number peaked at 308,000. Today it is 68,000. More importantly, hospitalization and deaths are declining, Even the number of those who CURRENTLY have the virus has fallen to approximately 8 million – and continuing to decline – as opposed to the 30 million figure reported every day in the media. That number includes everyone who has HAD the virus in the past. Using that number instead of those currently with active Covid-19 is just more fearmongering, in my judgment.
If I have to maintain the same precautions and protective measures now as I did at the height of the Pandemic – and no vaccine – why did I even bother getting the shot?
The fact is … the chance of my contracting Covid-19 or dying from it has statistically vanished. Oh, for sure, there may be a one in a million chance – or one in a billion. If I must run around in a protective bubble – and tens of millions of my fellow citizens have to suffer the critical and life-threatening consequences of the shutdown – what is the benefit of the Covid-19 vaccine?
Some say that I could still be a carrier. But they are not the top authorities. Just more media fearmongering. According to the best medical authorities, those with immunity are VERY unlikely to carry the virus and spread it to others.
Why are these reporters and some television doctors still peddling the fearmongering? Don’t they care about the kids out of school, the folks who lost jobs and businesses, the seniors who are craving to get out and about. There are two sides to this coin. We cannot deal only with the medical side. We have to consider the impact of the shutdown on the greater society. It is not an easy balancing act, but we cannot just come down on one side.
Kudos to the governors who are opening their states – gradually or totally — for the benefit of ALL the people. If others want to go to the extreme protective measures – and wear a mask all the time – let them. It is a free country. As for me, I am going out and about without fear. I am looking forward to hanging out with more friends – whether they wear masks or not.
We have been told to listen to the scientists and doctors. They told me that the Covid-19 vaccine is 95 percent effective. I am listening and believe them – and therefore ignoring the media fearmongering.
So, there ‘tis.