Welcome to Saturday's Potluck
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
The right or ability of an individual to obtain or refuse a medical treatment is being severely threatened. For most of my life the arguments have been based around reproduction rights, use of illegal drugs, informed consent of medical experiments, alternative medicine choices, medical privacy and universal availability of quality treatments. The current trend of two tiered system of the COVID vaccinated and vaccinated is formalizing medical discrimination and enforcement by third parties.
It appears business owners and employees in Oregon will once again have the risk of confrontation confirming vaccination status of individuals. As we head into a two tiered system of privileges based on compliance to a medical treatment.
Oregon’s state health officer said Friday businesses will be asked to either enforce mask policies or check whether customers have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The comments by Dr. Dean Sidelinger came as he said the state was still working on releasing more detailed guidance for businesses.
DailyBeast in December was participating in the selling of the discrimination phase of the COVID vaccine rollout. We appear to be on schedule it is almost June.
Let’s imagine a world in June 2021, where everyone who wants a vaccination has gotten one, but where the virus is still spreading because of the large number of vaccine refusers. If I own a business, I may find it in my own interests to exclude those refusers. Maybe I want to protect my workers. Maybe I want to have a store, restaurant, bank, laundromat or school where people don’t have to wear masks, and where they can feel safe. And maybe I think that by doing that, I’ll get more customers.
So, just as today, I might put a “masks required” sign on the door, I might put a “vaccine required” sign on my door next June.
The trouble is that, unlike a mask, a vaccine is invisible. And that is why we must take action now.
We need written proof of vaccination that is as difficult to counterfeit or falsify as a hundred-dollar bill. We need it to be standardized and easy to show to others. And we need to start rolling it out in this phase of the pandemic, not the next one. Call them “vaccine passports”; simple, standardized documents, digital or printed, that enable society and the economy to get back to semi-normal without waiting for every anti-vaxxer to see the light.
Regarding masks. My suggestion for the vaccinated and unvaccinated to carry a N95 mask with you and wear it when in a poorly ventilated space.
This authors analysis is not too different from my thoughts.
As readers know, I have long urged, following the science, that Covid is airborne, and that its main mode of transmission is via aerosols. (I was initially persuaded by an epidemiological study, now consigned to link rot, that showed a seat diagram on a Chinese bus with the index case and how many were infected. It seemed clear that neither fomites nor hacked up droplets could be the cause, since the seats were widely separated. Many more such studies followed. No such studies followed for fomites or droplets.) On April 30 — after enormous efforts from aerosol scientists — WHO changed its guidance to reflect that Covid is airborne. On May 7, CDC followed. So, after more than a year, we have finally agreed Covid’s mode of transmission. It is to be hoped that science-based mitigation measures — especially ventilation — follow.
Madness, because as aerosol theory predicts, and fomite and droplet theories do not, indoors spaces are the most dangerous spaces (see Greenhalgh’s helpful chart above). We don’t know, for any given space, how many people within in will be vaccinated. We also do not know how many have been vaccinated and are still capable of asymptomatic spread — and hence, in a closed space, of becoming superspreaders. Fauci should be focusing on ventilation, which actually makes people safer, instead of playing Philosopher King and using some people’s desire to unmask to manipulate them into getting vaccinated.
Concluding, the intellectual victory needs to be fought out on the ground of mitigation (which, above, both Biden and Fauci butchered). From the Toronto Globe and Mail:
A transition to an airborne approach revolves around a simple and powerful concept: COVID spreads by breathing shared air, and infectious air accumulates indoors. (my bold italics)
Primary mitigation strategies shift from two metres distancing and handwashing to ventilation and high-quality masks. Monitor ventilation using portable carbon dioxide monitors, open windows and emphasize improvements in ventilation or air filtration when ventilation systems are poor. Distancing remains important but high-quality respirators should always be worn while indoors. All breaks and meals where masks will be removed must be moved outdoors or, when outdoors is not possible, in large well-ventilated rooms with maximal distancing and small numbers of people.
While airborne transmission is now acknowledged, changes to infection prevention strategies and efforts to increase public awareness are lacking. These changes will reduce onward transmission in high-risk settings and provide opportunities for a return to normalcy in some spheres: outdoor activities (where aerosols are rapidly dispersed) and even some indoor spaces with guidance on how to eliminate aerosol combined with proper masking.
Shifting to an airborne prevention approach will be life-saving for people working in high-risk essential jobs, and for the families to whom they bring home the infection. It will also impact overall epidemic control and help guide a safer more sustainable economic reopening.
What is on your mind today?