If there is one thing we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic – besides the effectiveness of a concentrated campaign of fear by public health officials in trying to control a largely uneducated population – it’s that epidemiology is not exactly an exact science. There are a number of reasons for this, starting with the fact that we all have a unique immune system.
It is often said that immune systems are like snowflakes, no two are the same, not even in identical twins. This is why there are no quick and easy answers, or solutions, to how our bodies interact with viruses or vaccines.
Two people could be exposed to the same level of the COVID-19 virus and one of them could show very little or no symptoms at all, while the other person could end up experiencing moderate to severe symptoms.
Perhaps the biggest reason why the science of epidemiology is so inexact is the fact that it is impossible to measure just how strong or weak your immune system is, or how capable or incapable it is in fighting off viruses.
Unfortunately, the only why to combat an epidemic when everyone has a different immune system is to treat everyone the same by introducing blanket restrictions, that at face value, impact everyone equally.
In reality, they do the opposite. People who are fortunate enough to have a job that gives them a guaranteed paycheque every two weeks are not impacted the same way as people who are laid off for months on end because of forced closures – not even close.
But I digress. Fortunately most countries have made the transition from blanket restrictions and closures to people needing to be responsible for their own actions in so much as they relate to possible exposure and potential degree of illness – Canada included.
First and foremost, if you don’t want to risk ending up in the hospital, or having long haul symptoms, get vaccinated. This is especially true for people who have underlying health conditions and/or weak immune systems.
Those same people are also going to have to take their own precautions in limiting their exposure to COVID, even if they are fully vaccinated.
Most of the people who are being treated in hospitals for COVID now have been vaccinated, unfortunately most of those same people have underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems. Ergo the vaccine didn’t prevent them from getting the virus or from having moderate to severe symptoms. It’s one of those knew realities we keep hearing about.
So if you see someone who is still wearing a mask indoors and outdoors and avoids large crowds it’s probably because their health is such that they can’t risk catching COVID even if they are vaccinated. It’s called taking personal responsibility for your health.
It also means they might have to avoid large gatherings like concerts, festivals and sporting events. Better that than the government shutting everything down to protect them.
I remember in the early days telling my neighbour that his health is not my responsibility, it’s his own. He called me selfish. I then asked him what is more selfish my telling him that his health is not my responsibility, or him expecting everyone to put their lives on hold for over a year to protect him from catching the virus?
It was a rhetorical question.
I’ve also been getting emails from people arguing that they should have kept the restrictions in place to prevent people fro getting long haul COVID symptoms, and while I sympathize – I have a friend who has been suffering from COVID symptoms for over a year and a half now – it is a risk that we all have to assume, like the risk of getting cancer from too much sun or being exposed to environmental pollution.
COVID is not going away and everyone is eventually going to get it whether you wear mask or not, or avoid contact with other human beings. You are going to get it from someone at some point, likely from a family member. And once you get it, your immune system will handle it and become stronger for it. Wearing a mask 24/7 and avoiding human contact is only avoiding the inevitable. That’s not science, it’s just reality.
Even people with underlying conditions and weak immune systems are going to catch it, fortunately with vaccines and new treatments the symptoms will be manageable and they will get better. So live with it folks and let’s get on with our lives..
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