Vaccination does not mean immunity

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alistercat

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#1  Edited By alistercat

I felt the need to make a post about this after hearing Rorie on a video talk about what he's going to do once vaccinated. I'm not sure if he meant this so I could be wrong, but I see a lot of people making the mistake. I am vaccinated, and the documents they provided detail a lot of specifics but there are a few things worth knowing.

No vaccine offers immunity to Covid. You can still get it, and you can still transmit it to other people. The reason to vaccinate the vulnerable is to cut down the chances of us becoming seriously ill with the disease caused by the virus. We can still be infected and unwell, but to a lesser extent than without a vaccination.

Vaccination does not mean it's a good idea to not wear masks, to stop distancing, or to go out in public. It potentially cuts transmission, but not to a negligible factor. It is still a tangible threat. This is why distancing and masks will still be an issue for years to come.

Most importantly, visiting places like restaurants are still bad for people around you. Say you meet up with another vaccinated friend. Great! You're both less likely to transmit to each other. The staff at a restaurant may not be so lucky, you have no way of knowing their overall health or vaccination status.

Ultimately I am worried about people endangering others because they think the vaccine means immunity both for themselves and people around them. It should not cause a sudden change in behaviour where you go back to living as normal.

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imhungry

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Also worth noting that vaccination especially does not mean immunity with the changing state of dominance between Covid variants, against which the Pfizer vaccine has variable effectiveness going by early lab results.

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j_unit2008

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I'm going to jump ahead of wherever this thread is going and just say regardless of what others are saying/planning/doing, refer to your health departments or healthcare providers for guidelines.

And please let's be empathetic and accept that it's natural and understandable to want to daydream about post-pandemic life.

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ghost_cat

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I wonder if this will create a double-ID system at some places where you'll get carded for both your age and your vaccination.

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FinalDasa

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#5 FinalDasa  Moderator  Online

I think the hope is less about individual immunity and more towards herd immunity when we don't have to worry about getting others sick anymore.

Personally, I wonder if we'll ever get to a point where we don't worry about infectious diseases as we did before. At least for awhile, I'm gonna see a crowd of unmasked people as a strange thing.

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NexivSelecaf

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Say it again for those in the back.

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Efesell

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#7 Efesell  Online

@ghost_cat: We can’t get places to actually enforce masks half the time.

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rockhopper78

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OP that’s a good post. I wish vast majority of people would know that. I live in Las Vegas and it’s shocking how many people act like it’s completely safe now to just go out and not social distance at all. A lot of people stopped wearing masks and it’s just herds of them crowding around and hanging out. Opening more capacity for live shows on the strip. Not to mention the recent stuff with Florida and spring breakers there.

I have no choice but to stay indoors since my parents are elderly and my dad has health problems. And now living with my girlfriend that we had to move in to her parents to help her mom who has stage 4 cancer. We can’t take the risk of ever getting covid (which thankfully we have not had it) due to it would kill her mom if we ever got it. Cause she can’t be around any one sick at all due to no immune system. I just read and see more stuff each day where a lot of younger people act like just cause there’s a vaccine they think the world is back to normal.

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eyesandsmiles

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What you say is largely correct, but I had a different outlook on life than you do. I have received my first dose of the vaccine. It has not stopped me from wearing a mask, taking all precautions, etc. That said, you need a positive vision of the future to look forward to. We should encourage people to get vaccines by letting them know they can hug their parents again, maybe catch a baseball game, and possibly enjoy a dinner party at a friend's house (when everyone is vaccinated). The idea of living in a world where we consistently wear masks and live in fear of eating out is dystopian. The threat will always be there, but my desire to live a fulfilling human life will make those risks worth it for me. It's been a tough year on everyone's brains, but we shouldn't get Stockholm syndrome and submit to the idea that we have to live lessened lives for the rest of our existence. Stay positive. <3

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RalphMoustaccio

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#10  Edited By RalphMoustaccio

Is anyone, in good faith, arguing that vaccination is perfect and life will immediately go back to normal? I haven't seen that. I'm fully vaccinated, and many of my friends and family members on on their way to being, so if I have no hope of being able to see them in some meaningful capacity, what's the point? Of course I'm worried about others, but I (and everyone else ) also have selfish motivations for being vaccinated. Of course I will continue to be as safe as possible when dealing with any person who I know is not fully vaccinated, but the risk to me and others is significantly lessened as a result of my vaccination, so I am going to take more calculated risks in general as a result of that.

Life cannot continue like this indefinitely, and discouraging people from having aspirations of what they might be able to safely do after being vaccinated will not help convince people to get vaccinated. It's just going to make it seem worthless and cause people to forego it, when in reality these are some of the most effective vaccinations ever developed and released. We've effectively eradicated diseases before with far less effective vaccines due to high degrees of uptake. Unfortunately, it's 2021, and half the population has seemingly lost it's ability to think rationally, relying on social media to reinforce their wild beliefs. If people were convinced that life could return to something very close to the pre-pandemic days if they would just get vaccinated, then maybe they'd be more likely to get the damn thing when it's their turn.

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eyesandsmiles

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Ry_Ry

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#12  Edited By Ry_Ry

I keep telling people it's like getting a tetanus shot. Getting the shot just means that if you do get it you're less likely to get super sick and die. You might still get it though so wear appropriate PPE.

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Stimpack

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I don't think anyone assumes vaccinations equal immunity. The fact is, though, that you can go ahead and live your life. Also, do you have a link about any updates on whether or not the virus can be transferred if you're asymptomatic and vaccinated? Everything I've seen says there isn't enough data yet to say one way or the other.

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BladeOfCreation

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@finaldasa: I suppose it will be as weird for us to see unmasked crowds as public swimming pools would've seemed weird to our grandparents' (assuming most people on this forum are millennials or gen X) generation which lived through the era of polio scares. I wonder if their grandparents felt weird seeing crowds in the 1920s in the wake of the Spanish flu?

What I mean is...I think we will get to that point where we don't think about it all the time. It will pass from memory into stories our generation tells their children, and then it will pass into history. That sounds kind of dramatic when I type it out like that. I don't mean it that way. We'll just...move on. It's what humans have done for as long as we've recorded history.

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alistercat

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@j_unit2008: I'm not trying to shoot down dreams or hopes for the future, but I am aware that there is a misunderstanding among some people about what the vaccine actually does. It's not an individuals fault.

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alistercat

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@eyesandsmiles: @ralphmoustaccio: Outlining the ideas behind what vaccines can do and what their limits are is important. I don't think informing people and asking them to be adult about it should not discourage vaccination. The message is that vaccination isn't the one and only solution. I made this post to repeat the message so people don't accidentally make irresponsible choices once they are vaccinated. If they already know, then great!

Also, yes, there are people who think they're immune. Impossible to say how widespread it is but scientific literacy isn't as high as we want it to be.

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CurseOfTheWise

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@finaldasa: Considering how behind the 8-ball we are with regards to Climate Change, this shit's going to happen again within our lifetime. For sure. Hopefully we won't have just elected a bunch of populist strongmen science-denying fascist-wannabes to some of the highest positions of global power as soon as it does next time around.

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Efesell

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#18 Efesell  Online

@ralphmoustaccio: Be it from elections or vaccines or whatever people are desperate for things to "go back to normal". I 1000% believe that there's a sizable people getting the vaccine who will walk out dust their hands and say "Alright I'm good".

So yeah I think this is still a pretty important thing to talk about.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@efesell: I'd suggest that those people are probably the ones being the least safe anyway, so there's not a substantial difference. Highlighting all the things one shouldn't do after being vaccinated will not encourage them to get it if they're already being pretty careless.

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Efesell

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#20 Efesell  Online

@ralphmoustaccio: I would maintain that it's important to highlight safety. That includes that one should obviously get the vaccine and understand the reality of what comes afterward.

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RalphMoustaccio

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#21  Edited By RalphMoustaccio

@efesell: Yes, but there's a world of difference between saying that fully vaccinated people have to observe strict social distancing and mask usage "for years to come," as the OP said, and being realistic that it's safe for groups of fully vaccinated people to explicitly not have to do that, per recently released CDC guidance. I think it's reasonable to think I can hug my non-immediate family this year, and have dinners with them indoors instead of waiting for perfect weather so we could hang out comfortably outdoors. I didn't get to last year.

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alistercat

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@ralphmoustaccio: I explicitly said if you want to hang out with vaccinated friends then that is totally fine. I don't think saying mask usage will be a thing for years is contradictory to that.

@efesell said:

@ralphmoustaccio: Be it from elections or vaccines or whatever people are desperate for things to "go back to normal". I 1000% believe that there's a sizable people getting the vaccine who will walk out dust their hands and say "Alright I'm good".

So yeah I think this is still a pretty important thing to talk about.

This is a more elegant way of stating the point I was trying to make.

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Humanity

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Ironically enough I just had a friend contact me today saying their family member who had both Pfizer shots just tested positive for COVID - hopefully with both shots they will not have a rough time getting through it. But yah it's not a guarantee and now they have to isolate for the next two weeks. I'm in the EU and the situation is fucked so the earliest I'm going to possibly get any shot is probably like June and who knows which one. Personally I would prefer to get the mRNA variety instead of the classic vaccine based on a small sampling of the virus itself, but at this point I'll take what I can get for that peace of mind that in case I do get sick I'm unlikely to end up on a respirator or worse.

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AngriGhandi

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I agree with what others are saying here-- vaccinations have to be thought of as part of a positive strategy toward getting back to living full lives. Remembering that goal is important.

A shot won't magically fix the problem as soon as you get one as an individual, of course, but you don't want to get too accustomed to thinking "going outside and being happy = selfish and dangerous" as a permanent reflex. The temptation to do so is real, particularly given the cultural divide around the issue in some countries-- showing you're on the right side and all-- but always remember there's no inherent virtue in self-denial and misery.

We want this to end, and that's a good thing to want. We should all be demanding better. The goal is to overcome the problem, after all.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@alistercat: Not to be too pedantic, but you said that two fully vaccinated people are "less likely to transmit" it to one another. In reality, from what minimal data we have, the risk is closer to zero for those two people. Considering how transmissible Covid is between two non-vaccinated people, "less" doesn't mean "totally fine."

It's fine to tell people to be safe, but bordering on fear-mongering is irresponsible. It's like every one of the articles you see highlighting the fact that a minuscule percentage of vaccinated individuals have tested positive following vaccination, conveniently failing to mention until the end that all of them were at worst mildly symptomatic and none had adverse outcomes. Let's all maybe focus on the reality of the situation, and since I'm guessing that none of us is a virologist or epidemiologist, I'm content to listen to those that are, who are saying that reasonable caution will be safe and more and more stuff can safely be done as the rate of vaccination increases.

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alistercat

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@ralphmoustaccio: I'm definitely not trying to get people to be afraid. I accept it has a negative tone but it's not defeatist. I also don't claim to have any first hand knowledge since I'm not an epidemiologist. I am repeating what several nurses at the vaccination centre told me when I was there about a month ago, and I accept that the advice and guidance is rapidly changing. I seriously doubt your claim that the chance is "closer to zero", though it is very low. Advice and data is different between countries, and I'm in the UK so information from the CDC isn't our central authority for guidance.

I don't appreciate the comparison to conspiracy articles or discouraging people from getting the vaccine.

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Shindig

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I took it to mean that, even with vaccination, you should take the necessary precautions like social distancing and masks to help reduce transmission. It takes 4 weeks for the body to build a response to the jab and you still require a second shot to be at peak efficiency.

So don't jump the gun and think it's over.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@alistercat: I'm not referring to "conspiracy" articles. There are all kinds of articles in publications here in the States about X number of people in state Y that tested positive after being vaccinated. They're real, and broadly factual, but they're designed as clickbait. They don't actually provide any helpful information. Instead of highlighting how rare that is, it just reinforces the idea that the vaccines are somehow less effective than they are, which serves to diminish enthusiasm for getting it.

It's disheartening to see vaccine clinics having to close up because too few people showed up. Granted, a lot of that is due to the overly restrictive distribution tier system in place in most (if not all) states, but the people not showing up when they are eligible is likely due to misinformation and mistrust. Some of that is borne from being too harsh with rhetoric about what is not safe after vaccination. Your intent is not to discourage people, but by focusing on the perception that nothing will ever return to normal can manifest in people deciding it's not worth it. The campaign for vaccine uptake should be focused instead on what can safely be done after being vaccinated. That isn't everything, obviously, but it's a hell of a lot more than it would be without being vaccinated.

If you want to be negative about anything, what should be looked at negatively is states/countries easing generalized safety expectations too early. Just look up what happened in Miami with spring break idiots this week, if you haven't seen it. That's a direct result of the state of Florida saying "eff it, it's a free-for-all now." That is the irresponsible behavior that will continue to drive the pandemic, not dining in a restaurant with a couple of close friends after being vaccinated (even if I'm not ready to do that yet).

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eyesandsmiles

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mellotronrules

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#30  Edited By mellotronrules  Online

this is mostly directed at my compatriots in the united states-

take a look at miami beach over this past weekend. this is why- even with better vaccination deployment and a population that embraced modern medicine- masks and distancing will remain necessary in the future. there's too much virus circulating in the population- and since it appears to be mutating in conjunction with our tamping down or plateau-ing of the prevalent strains- we're taking 3 steps forward and 2.5 backwards. here's hoping we can stay ahead- but devil-may-care behaviour has the potential to set everyone's progress back.

at the end of the day- life is a series of calculated risks. if people who are vaccinated want to get together- great. but if you're in public, or with people for whom you don't know their vax status- you need to be masking and keeping your distance. it's the decent thing to do. and there's no finer way to broadcast to the world that you actually give a fuck than to wear a mask.

and conversely- it's never been easier to identify parasites amongst us that refuse to take small measures (such as masking and distancing in public) to look out for one another.

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vaiz

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I'm vaccinated, WHO WANTS TO COUGH IN MY MOUTH?

I'm kidding, of course. About the second part. I am vaccinated. I'm gonna keep wearing a mask, though. I haven't had so much as the sniffles in a year, dude. It's amazing.

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imhungry

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This thread really hammers home the role that culture has played in the response to the pandemic. It's quite fascinating to me - coming from a country that has the situation fairly under control with daily life more or less proceeding as before except with the addition of masks, social distancing and contact tracing - to see wearing masks daily described as dystopian. It's just viewed as an inconvenience that is expected to stay for the foreseeable future, even as our vaccination distribution is well underway, because it's part and parcel of how we achieve a life that hews even closer to 'normal'.

Given that most experts agree Covid is unlikely to be quickly eradicated due to its nature, I fail to see why precautions like masks after vaccination should be viewed as a wildly depressing future. But again, I accept that my view is impacted by culture and being in a country with a more cohesive response.

This isn't meant to make some holier-than-thou point; just an observation that struck me reading some of the responses here. I guess I'd like to encourage people that you absolutely can still go outside and lead a fulfilling life enjoying many activities that you did in the 'before times' while wearing a mask and being more aware of your proximity to large crowds.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@imhungry: My issue is with the tone and tenor of the original post. In and of themselves, masking and distancing while around the general public are not problematic even in countries where it is not as common (except in regards to trying to enforce these standards amongst those who refuse to follow them). I do those things out of a sense of responsibility for myself, friends and family, and for people I don't know and will never meet. The post reads in a very hopeless way, however, when it refers to doing these things "for years to come," that eating out is "bad for people around you," and generally downplaying the efficacy of vaccination without any specific evidence cited.

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Efesell

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#34 Efesell  Online

I'll be honest I truly have no idea how you've read such doom and gloom into a very straightforward "Hey you should still be careful" message.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@efesell: I'll be honest, I truly have no idea how you can't.

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Casse1berry

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#36  Edited By Casse1berry

I just hope people are getting out of the house and are doing something with life. I have a job that requires me to drive to 3-4 houses per day and spend 1-3 hours inside each home with the customer. We only shut down one month (April 2020) and were back full time the next month. I end up at the gas station 3 times a week because of all the driving. I do the grocery shopping. Go to the hardware store at least once a week. My kids are in school (elementary) 4 days a week. No one in my family has even had a sniffle since October/Nov 2019. We went bowling last month. They had everybody spaced out 2 lanes apart. I believe the masks really work. Unless someone around you is high risk don't be afraid to leave the house. Wear a mask, be aware of what you are touching, and avoid crowds. I feel like Alex on the podcast is known for making depressing comments like "ugh someday when it's safe to leave the house again...".Take your precautions but get out and get some sunshine.

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Efesell

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#37 Efesell  Online
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RalphMoustaccio

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@efesell: If by that you mean having critical reading skills, then yeah, I guess it is.

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zoofame

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#39  Edited By zoofame
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zoofame

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@casse1berry: It's really turned the Beastcast into the Bummercast. I get that they play it up sometimes as a goof but the relentless depression spiral routine is extremely demoralizing and more harm than good.

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Efesell

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#41  Edited By Efesell  Online

@zoofame: I'm sorry, who is this directed at exactly? Because this article reinforces the OPs point.

Like you are correct to listen to the experts instead of us chuckleheads on a forum but uh... are you?

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rorie

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#42  Edited By rorie

To be clear (not entirely sure what I said on the stream), I'm mostly missing hanging out with friends in their and our houses and the occasional nip in a nice cosy bar. I'll certainly be keeping the mask up when in public though.

The bay area's been pretty good in terms of masks and keeping cases down so I'm not going to rock the boat too much until everyone's vaccinated.

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alistercat

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#43  Edited By alistercat

@rorie: I didn't mean to direct this towards you, I have no doubt that everyone at GB is responsible and caring about this. I apologise. It reminded me of what I've seen people saying on social media, not directly what you said.

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Onemanarmyy

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#44  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Personally i don't see why this thread would lead to less people to want to vaccinate themselves. The faster we reach a critical point in vaccinations, the faster we return to normal life. (with some more mask-wearing & staying at home when sick than we did before hopefully). You'll be able to have dinner and hug your vaccinated family and friends. If you happen to bring the virus into the family circle that way, the vaccine prevents it from turning into a hospitalization / death situation. Life from here on out is not some sort of dystopian future where you'll have to mask up at all times and no longer get to touch other humans. We just need to mitigate the very risky situations as we roll towards the exit of this current situation.

Just avoid massive groups and social distance / wear masks in public for a few more months so your country can build up that vaccination wall to prevent the virus from spreading like wildfire. Try to avoid public transport during rush hour, don't get in mosh pits for a while and avoid crowded rooms without much ventilation (your cheap mask doesn't keep aerosols out). I bet quicktesting capabilities will be expanded in the next months quite a bit too, so certain events can be done with the assumption that everyone at this event is 'clean'.

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Broshmosh

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I have thoughts on this but they pretty much match Onemanarmyy's and imhungry's.

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eccentrix

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Thanks! I didn't know that, but I guess I've never had a reason to examine the specifics of how vaccines function, or I guess what they do. I know they use a sample of a disease to teach your immune system how to fight it, and that one vaccine can cover multiple diseases, which is how the process was discovered, but not much beyond that. I guess it makes sense that just because your immune system has been trained against something, it doesn't mean it's suddenly perfectly skilled against that thing and can destroy it immediately.

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j_unit2008

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Totally, and I didn't mean to suggest you were. So that's my bad. I just get weary of online discussions because they can move in that direction real quick.

@j_unit2008: I'm not trying to shoot down dreams or hopes for the future, but I am aware that there is a misunderstanding among some people about what the vaccine actually does. It's not an individuals fault.

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peffy

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I've reached the point where wearing a mask feels normal now. And I like hiding my face. After I'm vaccinated, I'm just gonna continue wearing it everywhere. (at least for another year or so)

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Gundato

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Yeah. People do overestimate what being vaccinated means. A good rule of thumb is to assume you can still be a carrier and even still catch it, but it won't be "that bad" (similarly, that is why it is very important to get a flu shot). And, of course, follow all guidelines now that we have a government that you can squint at and call a government.

And yeah, as a glasses wearer: masks suck. Spent most of the winter walking around in a blurry haze because of fog. Found a few masks that seem to work well enough when it isn't too cold but I also kind of just acknowledge that I will need to always decide if glasses on or off are safer when crossing the street. I would like to reach the point where I can more safely take my mask on and off as needed but I definitely plan to keep wearing it for quite some time and have a box of kn95s* for when I need to go to particularly crowded areas and feel the need to double mask.

*: Bought well after the mad rush. Mostly because I probably DID get covid on my last work trip before lockdown. Was in the bay area a few days before shit kicked off at san jose (was waiting for my flight in oakland, wobbling in my seat, watching the news of covid cases detected at that airport). Felt like shit two days after my flight in and missed most of my meeting. Assumed it was just the flu (it was a very wet cold and covid tends to be a "dry" one?) but wanted to buy a mask since I needed to get on a plane to get home. All masks were sold out and ended up buying some duct tape and making one out of paper towels the moment I got through airport security. PROBABLY should not have flown back even if it was a flu but didn't have much of a choice and the outbreaks at the connecting airport and my destination were like two weeks later.

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ALLTheDinos

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For whatever it’s worth, just listening to my coworkers talk about the virus over the last several months has clued me into a lot of people I used to think considerate having absolutely no qualms putting others at risk of infection. One guy went to Vegas immediately after getting COVID, focusing only on his risk when he talked about his plans. Some very smart people I know personally miss going out to restaurants several times a week enough to blithely expose service people without a second thought. I agree it’s nice to fantasize and there are certainly ways to go out safely, but that guard needs to never be let down until the scientific community says it’s ok.

For my part (immunocompromised, getting my vaccine Friday), I plan on doing everything the same as I have been in the after, but with more peace of mind. With both our households vaccinated, my daughter will also be able to spend more time with her grandparents, which she has missed. But I’m still going to wear a mask around them. Hell, I think I’m going to wear a mask in certain spaces every year now that it’s more socially acceptable.