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royable

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Member since: Tue Oct 28, 2008, 06:25 PM
Number of posts: 926

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It's one thing to see the COVID infection rate graph for my county turn into a vertical wall

in the past week, and it's quite another to physically experience just why that is happening.

I wear an N95 mask whenever I'm around anyone outside my little bubble. I don't go to any big events or indoor events. I go to two grocery stores about once a week or a hardware store and a handful of other such places every few weeks. At these stores, the staff is uniformly masked, and most of the shoppers are masked, with an uptick in masking as the local infection rate has risen since August. Customers in those stores keep a respectful distance from me, even the unmasked ones, and I from them. Why, I wondered, is the infection rate in my county more than doubling in the past week? Last night I got a glimpse of why.

On a whim, I decided to do something I very, very rarely do, which is to order take-out meals for us from a very, very popular local chicken fast food restaurant. I ordered online, and was given a time to arrive to pick up my order. I go to the restaurant and the inside is absolutely packed with people of all ages, but mostly younger, college age kids. Almost no one has a mask on, and those few who are wearing a mask have it under their nose, or under their chin, and if under the nose they still pull it down to expose their mouth when they talk to the person next to them. People are milling around waiting to order, jamming up against the cashier's counter, pushing by me ignoring my personal space, crowding together to pick up their orders at the counter, squeezed around the drink dispenser and the condiments and the napkins and the cup lids and straws, talking loudly and yelling and acting silly and behaving as if all our COVID precautionary behaviors of the past two years have not imprinted on them in the slightest. Is this what it will look like in a couple months in Florida spring break bars, I wondered.

The staff behind the counter were acting similarly careless, though I had more pity on them since their work area was so cramped. But still, among them, there were wearing masks inappropriately, under the nose and under the chin, or not at all. They were jammed against each other filling orders and passing orders out the drive-through window (which always has a 30 minute line of waiting cars, which is why I hadn't used it). I squeezed into a corner until I figured out that my pick-up order was waiting for me on a shelf behind me and then I got out of there as fast as I could. From what I could see, not a single other person of the dozens and dozens there were taking any precautions beyond the masks worn apparently for show as if they were a postmodern fashion statement.

I realized after I got home with the food and we ate that I felt very shaken, very disturbed. I felt like I was seeing a crowd playing Russian roulette, not just with themselves but with all of us, and with me. The infection rate in my county has jumped faster than it ever has since the start of the pandemic. On Christmas the rate was 33 per 100K, on Dec 31 it was 47, and on Jan 7 it was 100.

This is why we can't have good things.

Sorry, not _quite_ true.

You said, "Which honestly, is very unlike any other vaccines we've ever had. Polio, smallpox, and the like completely prevented the disease."

Looking up smallpox and polio vaccination prevention percentages at the CDC...

https://www.cdc.gov/smallpox/vaccine-basics/index.html
"Historically, the vaccine has been effective in preventing smallpox infection in 95% of those vaccinated."
Boosters were recommended after five years.

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/polio/hcp/effectiveness-duration-protection.html
"Two doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) are 90% effective or more against polio; three doses are 99% to 100% effective."
And so they recommended FOUR doses.

Perhaps there are vaccines among "the like" that do give 100% immunity with one dose; I don't know about that.

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