Herd Immunity and Me

I have decided to record here some of my experiences and thoughts on the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Grandbabies will remember this time from the perspective of childhood, isolated from their elders. We won’t see them during this time, and it will be along time before we see them again. I hope this will allow them a perspective from a senior family member. The media has lots of stories for posterity, and as interesting as those are, they are chosen for drama value, and highly geared to a profit structure. What is written here has no agenda other than sharing one old woman’s perspective, mine.

As Ontario moves into the first stage of lifting restrictions during this pandemic, I am mindful of my age and Attila’s health.

The experts tell us that the the virus will continue to circulate and affect people until the species reaches “herd immunity”, either by reaching approximately a 70% – 90% infection rate, or by developing a vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus.

IF I were in my thirties or forties, or even younger, with no significant health issues, I might welcome the easing of social restrictions. After all I would not be likely to develop the more serious effects of the virus, and could expect to recover to my normal level of health, if I became ill. I could die, but it would be improbable.

BUT I am old enough to be in a significant-risk age group, to develop serious complications if I were to become ill with the coronavirus. It isn’t a definite death sentence at my age, but it is likely that I would experience serious ongoing health issues, and possibly death, if I were to contract the virus. This means that the easing of the restrictions looks a lot different from where I am sitting, than it does to a person in their 30s or 40s, or younger.

Attila has health issues that put him at particular risk for complications as well.

SO, the virus is still circulating, and we are no where near the 70% infection rates needed for herd immunity, and there is no vaccine. I think that during this first attempt to ease restrictions in Ontario, I need to increase vigilance in protecting myself from the virus, as it will be more freely circulating.

IF I were younger I might not feel this way about the easing of restrictions, I might even say to myself, “what are the chances of this being a serious problem for me?”

Everyone has to make their own decisions on this issue, within the social constraints set by our leaders. I think those decisions will range from behaving as if nothing is amiss, total isolation, and everything in between, depending on who you are, what your circumstances are, and all of those reactions can be totally valid.

My choice is increased diligence, as other people begin to open up retail shops, go shopping, go the park. I say good for them, it had to happen sometime. But not for me. And not for Attila. We will let “herd immunity” develop without us, as we do not want to be among the “inevitable deaths” that will come, as that process continues on its way. The longer we avoid the virus, the more chance medicine has to develop interventions that save lives, improve post-illness health, and eventually even develop a vaccine. My choice is fraught with challenges, but I love my life, and will continue to protect it to the best of my ability.

Note: I read and base my decisions on reliable sources of information, this is one of them from Johns Hopkins University: Covid-19 and the Long Road to Herd Immunity.

Worldly

Weather

13°C
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Saturday 16 May 2020
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 12.6°C
Dew point: 6.4°C
Humidity: 66%
Wind: SSE 4 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“What you risk reveals what you value.”
Jeanette Winterson

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8 Responses to Herd Immunity and Me

  1. Teri says:

    The only problem is there’s no guarantee of herd immunity. We haven’t even got data yet that antibodies give any immunity at all, while there is evidence of people getting COVID more than once. (Although there may be as many as 8 variants of COVID at this point.)

    I have seen articles on likely places to get COVID. Studies are showing the most likely places are small, enclosed areas like cars, restaurants, elevators. Very few have appeared to get it outdoors.

    We’re going to be doing a lot of learning, parsing information, and formulating game plans.

  2. Teri, that is a problem, there are no guarantees of anything in this once in a lifetime world event. Yes, our future holds a lot of decision making, until more is known it is going to be a real challenge to make the right ones!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  3. Sandy says:

    I plan to continue as I have been. Home self-quarrantine, only essential trips out, face mask, gloves in certain situations, hand-washing etc. I think it’s logical to assume that the opening of states and provinces will lead people to a false sense of safety. They’ll get lax and we’ll see a spike in cases. I just hope they can develop a workable vaccine.

    Stay safe my friends.

  4. Diane Dahli says:

    Once a vaccine is developed (and I’m sure it will be), I hope that the powers that be will have the foresight to provide it for vulnerable groups. Let’s hope.

  5. Sandy, such a good plan, to continue as you have been! Our self-isolation around the world was all about “flattening the curve”, it never promised us a solution to the spread, just an opportunity to manage it and minimize the number of fatalities.
    People where I live are already lax unfortunately. I will say though, that we saw 2 older women wearing masks when we picked up our order (delivered to the back of the car, he left, we loaded, no contact) at the local nursery. But most others were paying no attention at all to even keeping their distance, chatting with staff, and each other, closer than 6 feet by far, with not a care in the world. So far our health unit says no active cases in our area, but what do they know, not everything that is for sure, only that there are no cases where people felt ill enough to contact the healthcare system, which is good, but partial.
    Fingers crossed for a workable vaccine!
    Stay safe dear friend!

  6. Diane, I read one news article that thought the roll out of a vaccine would be first to health care workers, then to highest risk for complications individuals, and then more widely. Hard to say though just how it will go. I do hope you are right about the development of a vaccine!! So far the powers that be are doing well by Canadians, except the most vulnerable, the care home situation in Canada is shameful, tragic, and deplorable.
    Stay safe dear friend!

  7. Teri says:

    I’m going to leave this link here because it might fascinate you the way it did me, and since you do canning… Pickled Strawberries

    https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/pickled-strawberries

  8. Teri, those are interesting! I do have canning jars, which the recipe suggests, so I am all set, now to wait for the strawberries to come into season. This isn’t a canning recipe though, processing those strawberries would turn them into mush! Refrigerator pickles!
    Stay safe dear friend!