Sensemaking Covid-19 Has Become Impossible
I'm right there with you, BJ. I will get something other than the Pfizer as a booster because it appears to have created menstrual complications in many women, including myself. Nothing serious so far but enough for me to give it a pass.
You were going just great until “targeted temporary immune booster.”
Are annual flu vaccines not vaccines just because one dose doesn’t last a lifetime? How about tetanus, which requires boosters every ten years, and also after any potentially infecting wound? Or all of the other routine adult vaccines which require more than a single dose, such as varicella, zoster, varieties of hepatitis, pneumococcal vaccines, and, of course, HPV?
Very few diseases can and have been eliminated by a single vaccination. The near eradication of polio and smallpox are triumphs of modern medicine, but they are very much the exception. See the American Academy of Family Physicians Immunization Schedules here https://www.aafp.org/family-physician/patient-care/prevention-wellness/immunizations-vaccines/immunization-schedules.html
Also, our current portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines don’t become worthless after six months. Your linked graph suggests exponential decay when something like a sigmoidal function almost surely better represents reality.
Unsurprisingly, the media, public health officials, physicians and scientists—each with a little too much braggadocio—have misled the public into believing that all real vaccines are “perfect.” Which brings us to the “imperfect vaccine hypothesis,” which is just that: a hypothesis. And it’s been pursued pretty much by one researcher, Andrew Read. In the chicken disease he’s studied (Marek’s disease), it’s a real thing. But most human vaccines aren’t “leaky.” And there is no current evidence for a risk of vaccine-driven virulence evolution in COVID-19 (see https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.01.20241836).
You’ve previously written that COVID-19 will almost assuredly become endemic. This is correct. Adults can avoid almost all symptomatic disease with vaccinations, and children will develop natural immunity from asymptomatic illness. COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, maybe forever. But in a generation or two, it will become invisible.
You’re also absolutely right that “everyone is wrong about COVID-19 for a reason.” COVID-19 has become another classic political wedge issue. One tribe, the vaccinated communitarians, have an irrational fear of the unvaccinated, and are delighted to have found a sectarian opponent they can openly condemn with virtue. The other tribe, the individualist anti-vaxxers, have an irrational fear of modern medicine, and their resistance to innocuous self-protection only hardens as the vaccinated communitarians ridicule them. Above all, extraordinary strong rational incentives operate on politicians, bureaucrats and the media—especially including social media—to exploit and calcify the divisions between these two tribes.
There is a strong overlap between both tribes and that portion of the public which is susceptible to conspiracy theories (see https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12084). This proclivity means that even if all COVID-19 disease were eliminated tomorrow, we’d still be embroiled in a vaccination and masking culture war.
Which leaves the rest of us hopelessly annoyed.
Some helpful links for those who want to dig deeper:
* Ivermectin - https://covid19criticalcare.com/
* Vaccine misinformation - https://drrollergator.substack.com/p/damned-lies-and-vaccine-statistics - https://drrollergator.substack.com/p/damned-lies-and-eric-topol
* Tess Lawrie's meta-analysis of ivermectin - https://odysee.com/@BretWeinstein:f/TessLawrie:0
Fantastic analysis, BJ. Bookmarking the hell out of this one.
Love this, but wish it didn't confuse "virality" with "virility." Is something Freudian going on here?
The big "wrong" here is the mandate for vaccines. Funny how pro-choice only applies to abortion. Well, that makes sense as Planned Parenthood gets to make money. Just like the mandates mean J & J, Pfizer, etc. get to make money. What ever happened to due process? Did our Congress discuss this and vote on this? Does this mean that I will become a 2nd class citizen as I do not want the vaccine? I am not anti-vax as I have had all my 'shots' but this stuff is not a true vaccine...not in any sense of the word. But I have no say in this matter?
I'm on the fence about the booster, but leaning against. I felt mildly bleh for part of the day after the second dose of Pfizer but am fine now. For the booster, though: "It couldn't hurt" is okay for chicken soup, because I get several other benefits from chicken soup. If I'm getting another jab, I want to see that there's something in it for me other than a "maaaaaybe...", and the whole blanket liability immunity thing doesn't make for a confidence-booster either.
Free editing tip: please change "proscribed" to "prescribed" in this otherwise superb piece.