Thoughts & Essays

On Not ‘Quitting Lockdown’

The Atlantic has this dumb fucking article this morning:

🔗 The Atlantic: The Liberals Who Can’t Quit Lockdown

Progressive communities have been home to some of the fiercest battles over COVID-19 policies, and some liberal policy makers have left scientific evidence behind.

And just, jesus, this shit is exhausting. The pandemic is still surging. Variants are rampant. People won’t vaccinate and are still bitching about masks. And here’s these asshole journalists all like “But the liberals are still being cautious, why?”

Part of this article is about liberal communities who aren’t “following the science” and, for example, re-opening schools. It’s safe to reopen schools, this article – and others like it – say. Why isn’t there a plan to end mask mandates, this article – and others like it – ask. These liberals. So anxious. So silly. Wandering about, being all careful.

The. Pandemic. Is. Not. Over.

Across the United States, less than 40% of people who are eligible and able to be vaccinated have been vaccinated. Less than 50% of people who are eligible and able to be vaccinated have had at least one dose of vaccine. (Source.)

How many people need to be vaccinated to create “herd immunity”? Scientists think that number is between 70% and 90% of the population. And that’s assuming herd immunity is even possible, which, it might not be.

And look, given sufficient precautions, it’s probably possible to get many kids back in schools in some fashion or another. The trick there is “sufficient precautions,” which many schools are not, or cannot, undertake.

COVID-19 is an airborne disease. You can bleach as many desks as you want, but if you’re in a school that doesn’t have proper HVAC and/or can’t get the windows open, bleaching desks doesn’t matter.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we sanitized all the surfaces and Lysoled our groceries and all that jazz, but that’s because we didn’t know shit. Now we know shit, and the shit we know says that catching COVID-19 from surfaces practically never happens.

How do you catch COVID-19? By breathing other people’s air. If you don’t fix that, you can’t be inside safely with other people for long periods without masks and vaccinations. And even the masks don’t help that much when you’re talking 8-10 hours a day.

We can’t vaccinate kids yet. Supposedly kids don’t catch and/or spread COVID-19 that well, but there’s some contention about that. And if even a handful of kids in a given classroom are still catching and/or spreading COVID-19 around, that’s a problem. We can’t vaccinate young kids yet, either.

Not to mention that there are new variants emerging all the time, or that even if we vaccinate enough people in the US – which, again, doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen – we’re still in danger because other countries are not sufficiently vaccinated and a lot of countries might not even get access to the vaccines for two or three more years. And in those countries, not only will people still be getting sick and dying in droves, they’ll still be cooking up ever-nastier new versions of the bug, which will eventually threaten us.

The. Pandemic. Is. Not. Over. It will not be over soon. Caution. Is. Warranted.

Look, we all want to get back to something like normal. We’re all fucking exhausted with this shit. There are steps we can take to return to a more normal way of living. We are taking those steps, slowly but surely. But we’re not there yet, and it’s going to be a little while until we are.

In the meantime, being a little careful never hurt anyone. So be careful. Wear masks around other people. Push to make sure proper procedures are followed to get schools open safely. Don’t stand around indoors marinating in other people’s air for any longer than absolutely necessary. Get your goddamn shots.

And for fucksake, please stop writing ignorant-ass articles “dunking” on “vaccinated liberals” because we’re not all out licking doorknobs and dry humping in the streets yet. Jesus.