Tuesday, September 5, 2023

We're Mutant Enablers

A friend said, "I watch the numbers. I'll start to mask again when cases get high. People who are sick should wear a mask."

And that, my friends, is why Covid will never go away.

Absolutely people who are sick should wear a mask. But that statement misses the vitally important fact that many if not most people (estimates range from 30-60%) who transmit Covid don't feel sick in the slightest.

Asymptomatic transmission has always been a thing. Haven't people heard of Typhoid Mary? Except now it's not just one or two carriers of Covid infecting all others, it's many people carrying it, unwittingly spreading it, keeping it circulating and mutating. Eventually a mutation could be far more deadly. We've been lucky so far, although it doesn't feel like it if you're one of many with Long Covid. 

Since rapid tests have high false negatives, and we don't have easy access to PCR tests, people continue to walk around infected with no way of knowing it.

They locked Mary Mallon up for decades even though she wasn't the only one spreading typhus. She's just the one they knew about.

We also need to recognize that if we mask when numbers are low, then we all benefit by keeping numbers from getting high. Right now, doing nothing to mitigate spread, some schools that start in August in the US are already cancelling in person classes because of outbreaks.

I get that doing a personal risk assessment means changing behaviours as the threat increases. But that doesn't mean ignoring it until it's bad. It means, when numbers are low, visit friends outdoors but continue to mask inside public buildings. It's not about our own personal risk, but the risk we present to all people we come into contact with. 

The carrier spreading it? It could be you

Covid can affect the brain affecting how we think and how much control we have over our own behaviour. It's not a problem we can ignore, hoping it will go away. 

Here's an old meme, far too wordy, as a reminder:

And, here's a collection of images that further the point:

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