The Corona Diaries – Day 351

Stayed in this morning in order to get some writing done! I wrote a few thousand words of my Sci-Fi novel – The Pornography Wars.

In the afternoon I’ve been playing some Pogues and editing the Harper book.

I went for my daily two hour walk and gave my adopted horse another carrot. I also released a second unwanted guest of a field mouse who took a liking to the peanut butter in my trap. We’ll see if the two of them had a bigger family in the days to come!

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland it’s on the the UK. Vaccination is proving incredibly effective at getting both hospital cases and deaths down. 22 million people have now been vaccinated – and they are in the most vulnerable group. The effect is marked, There were only 4,712 new cases with just 65 new deaths. We’ll soon be at a level where even Dido Harding’s inept 37 billion Track and Trace system might work!! I hope so. 37 billion is the most expensive scheme ever carried out. They put the entire road system in the United States for that! Shame that it’s been so pathetic. Hopefully, with small numbers they will be able to track and isolate all the variants and stop them spreading. That is crucial!! We’ll see.

The other big talking point is that of the vaccination passport. It’s going to be there in one guise or another. They’ll give it a different name. Already countries such as Greece are only taking the vaccinated! That’ll spread. I think we’ll see it in cinemas, clubs, sports stadia and elsewhere – and rightly so.

There will be two parts to the population – the vaccinated, who will be safe and able to meet up and do things, and the unvaccinated, who will be unsafe, will continue to spread the disease, and will not be able to mingle and do things.

The scientists are talking about a summer surge. As schools, colleges and life goes back to normal the virus will spread among the antivaxxers, the unvaccinated and the small number of people for whom the vaccine does not work.

This is worrying because if there is a lot of virus out there it will throw up more variants – and that could be serious for all of us. The antivaxxers will make life unsafe for all of us. I think it is very irresponsible and selfish.

The sad thing is that the highest level of vaccine refusers are in the most affected areas – the poor and BAME – the very ones who are dying at a higher rate.

I fear the antivaccine conspiracy theories are going to be responsible for many thousands of deaths.

The question is that should these people stop the rest of us from having our freedom back? I think not.

12 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 351

  1. Well Opher, there’s a lot to talk about here, isn’t there?

    How on earth do you write a “few thousand words” in a morning? In my serious writing, I can usually progress at about 160 words an hour – twice that when I’m really on song. 2,000 words in a day is a monster effort. Fiction is maybe a little quicker to write, but then the idea production in the first place is slower.

    What is bringing both COVID cases and deaths down (I hate to have to say this) is not the vaccine, but the lockdown. There is no hard evidence yet that the vaccine(s) have achieved anything, anywhere. There is a country, Israel, which has fully vaccinated more than 40% of its population! So it should be only a matter of time before the evidence appears there. But they have done a major unlock since they started the vaccination program, so the change may be hard to see. The closest behind them is the UAE, with just over 20%. That, too, shows no clear signs of immunization yet; but most of their vaccinations took place (or, at least, were reported) inside the last two weeks.

    I’ve published a COVID rant on North and South America (here: I haven’t put that one on the Mises website, because I got flak for using up too much of their precious graphics space with the previous one. I have one on the Muslim world – the Middle East and North Africa – in preparation. It will be interesting.

    As to the “vaccination passport,” all I know is that the petition against it reached 276,000 signatures, and the parliamentary debate is scheduled for next Monday. This is a major issue, Opher, and you and I are on opposite sides of the divide. Just as with Brexit.

    But you have to realize that this virus will always be out there from now on. Even when Europe and the Americas recover, it will still be there in other places. We human beings have to learn to live with it. In time, it will become another ‘flu; dangerous occasionally, but a minor annoyance most of the time.

    And Opher, it isn’t irresponsible to refuse the vaccine if, as I have, you have already had the disease! I’ve heard stories of people getting it twice; but as far as I know, none have been substantiated. And if it mutates far enough to fool my immune system, then it will also fool the vaccine.

    True, I have some problems proving that I had it; because I got it so early that it wasn’t yet officially in the country. At the time, I had no idea what it was, and even if I had, there were no tests available. It was only a month after I recovered that I found out that some of the earliest confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission in the UK might well have come through me, at three or four steps removed.

    But when you ask, “should these people stop the rest of us from having our freedom back?”, I gag. It should have been the other way around, no? Shouldn’t those of us, who had already had the disease, have been exempted from all lockdown regulations? (Even Boris Johnson).

    I leave you to think about the practicalities of enforcing harsh regulations on one segment of the population, but not on another . The phrase “yellow star” comes to mind.

    1. Hi Neil – when I have ideas bottled up in my head I usually splurge them out so that later I can go back and edit them into a tighter form. Despite being a two-finger typist I write fast and have been known to produce ten thousand words in a single day.
      I was reading a detailed report on how the vaccine is proving extremely effective at both reducing serious illness and hospital admissions (leading to a big drop in deaths) but I cannot seem to find it now. I cannot remember what I put into the search engine.
      As you can see it is inevitable that all manner of countries and institutions are going to require proof of vaccination. It is already the case with many diseases (yellow fever etc) . We had to have numerous jabs for our trips around the world. This will inevitably happen in places with groups of people inside too.
      Having the disease appears not to produce as good an antibody protection as the vaccine. We’ll see more on that in future. My eldest son had the disease and has just had the vaccine in order to boost his defences.
      The major problem is the variants. We have to stop the virus mutating to produce variants by reducing the number of cases and also stop variants coming in from abroad.
      Yes we will need to treat this as a annual problem. There is likely to be a reservoir of virus out there around the world in unvaccinated regions. We can deal with that with an annual booster. No problem.
      The problem for antivaxxers is that as soon as the vulnerable are vaccinated there will be pressure to open up. Vaccinated people will largely be safe. This will make the antivaxxers much more unsafe and result in a big surge of illness and deaths.
      I think that is their choice. Those who have chosen to make themselves safe should not be constrained by those who foolishly have declined.

      1. This is a point I’ve made before, Opher – those who refuse to take the vaccine are harming no-one but themselves. Therefore, they should be freely allowed to do it.

        Vaccinations for international travel are another matter, because it is the receiving country which sets the rules. I remember having to have a yellow fever jab before the first time I ever went abroad (1968). Since then, the only jab I have been required to have was the hepatitis B jab when I went to work in Indonesia (1983). I expect that most countries will require a vaccination certificate, or proof of a recent negative test, for incoming travellers. But as the virus dies down in Europe and the Americas, the sane countries will relax this in I’d guess a year or so. The problem is going to be with people returning from less developed countries, in which the virus hasn’t even reached its peak yet. So, don’t book a holiday in Burkina Faso! (/sarc)

        And I expect that the countries which will need to keep restrictions for longest will be exactly those, like Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, which went out of their way to control the early phases of the epidemic. As the Swedish deputy prime minister said, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

      2. Neil I do not agree with you on this.
        Those unvaccinated are keeping us all locked down longer.
        1. They act as a reservoir of the virus passing it on to others. At present the majority are not vaccinated. The antivaxxers add to this. They pass it on to others. They cause deaths. They keep us locked down.
        2. The more virus, the more mutation, the more chance of a lethal variant. Antivaxxers are a reservoir of virus. They are adding to the risk of us all being killed or endlessly locked down.
        3. There will be a big surge in cases this summer. As we come out of lockdown the virus will pass through the unvaccinated and the small percentage of people for whom the vaccine has not caused immunity.
        4. Many of the antivaxxers will become seriously ill, requiring hospital treatment putting great strain on our services and depriving the vaccinated population of resources they need. People are dying of heart attacks, strokes and cancers because of the strain on the system. Millions are suffering because operations are on hold. Cases are going undetected or treated and becoming worse. Another way antivaxxers are killing us.
        5. Antivaxxers will pass on the disease to responsible vaccinated people. They think the vaccine is around 91-96% effective. That means that 4-9% of responsible vaccinated people are at risk. The antivaxxers are increasing the risk of these responsible people becoming ill and dying.

        All this means that if there are a lot of antivaxxers we will not achieve herd immunity and have to stay locked down longer. Antivaxxers are taking away my freedom.

        That antivaxxers are a threat to the rest of us, as a risk of future variants, by taking up valuable resources and by spreading the disease to other people who have been responsible.

        The sad thing about this is that all the silly conspiracy theories have created a fear of vaccine in the poor and BAME populations who are the ones most at risk. Tens of thousands will die.

  2. The anti vaxxers argue that their freedom of choice should not be limited. Personally, I’d like the freedom to run stop signs and red lights.

      1. I want to take my gun on the plane too. It’s an absurd argument. When you dismiss science you are dismissing common sense.

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