I feel safer having gotten at least the first half of my vaccination and even better that Garry has gotten both shots. So why — and everyone wants the answer to this — should we still need masks? Double masks at that and meanwhile, at least two states are happily opening up completely without any consideration to the likelihood that a lot of people will get sick and many will die — including people who never chose to remove masks or make themselves vulnerable. But of course, that’s the thing. The disease has no brain. It does its thing. Mindless. Heartless. If you are a body and it can get into you, you will get sick.
These days, there are so many variants of the COVID, it’s impossible to know exactly how much immunity was conveyed by people who caught it and passed it along. W don’t know if the severity of the infection changes the degree of immunity or alters or even eliminates it. We know our vaccines do convey immunity to a substantial degree even to the variants about which we know, but we can’t know how the virus will mutate in the future.
COVID keeps changing, so it’s rather it’s like my pneumonia vaccine. It will protect me for 10 years against the 13 most common strains of pneumonia, but there are many more strains and I have had it again, though just once. I haven’t gotten it every year — like I used to — and I haven’t had the flu since I’ve been getting vaccinated annually. I know it’s possible because no flu vaccine is 100%. They will keep you from getting the worst case of it, but the flu is a COVID-type disease and it mutates every year. When they create the flu vaccine, they take their best guess as to what version of the flu will run amok this year. Sometimes, they are right on target and others years, not so much.
COVID is tricky and treacherous. The states that are fully opening now are likely to have a major resurgence and their resurgence can spread to other states. Fast. It’s possible it will come back everywhere to some degree. That’s what is happening in Europe now. It seemed to be going away so everyone relaxed and now, it’s coming back. You can’t outwit a virus because viruses have no wits.
Too many people apparently don’t care. They don’t think they can get sick or they think the disease isn’t serious. Sometimes it isn’t serious, but sometimes — for no reason at all — it is lethal. Some folks have died while claiming it’s all a hoax — which is too bizarre for me to wrap my head around at all. My best guess — and it really IS a guess — that COVID will become a shot we need annually. I want to be wrong, but it’s mutating quickly, I don’t see how it could be otherwise.
COVID won’t vanish. Aside from it’s ability to keep mutating, we aren’t taking it seriously enough. That alone guarantees its durability. Bubonic Plague has never gone away. It’s not a virus, so there’s no vaccine for it, but it can be killed by big (very big) doses of specific antibiotics — assuming the diagnosing doctor recognizes it is Bubonic plague. Plague’s been around for a few thousand years. Probably longer. Its appearance was the beginning of the end of the Roman empire under Justinian.
Pandemics and plagues change the world. Even when they are contained, they aren’t over except for smallpox which we seem to have eliminated and maybe, eventually, we’ll be done with polio too. Mostly, plagues are contained, but never conquered. Bubonic plague showed up this year in Mongolia. It previously showed up in Texas. It exists and if you catch it, the odds are very high it will kill you before anyone realizes what’s wrong with you.
I feel safer now that we are vaccinated or nearly vaccinated, but I’m not sure I’ll ever feel completely safe. The next pandemic is already lurking. Somewhere. We just don’t know where it lives or what it will do to us, but it’s just waiting. As our climate changes and fire, flood, drought, and storms rage, we will be more vulnerable. If we maintain our current level of ignorance, gullibility, and stupidity, we can be sure we won’t be any better at managing it when it hits.