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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:The Immunity Canard?

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In the ongoing debate about when and how to end the improper government lockdowns of entire states, I keep hearing the terms testing, long-term immunity, and vaccine being bandied about.

I'm skipping testing for active infection because: (1) It looks to me like the cat of contact tracing as a means of containing the disease left that bag long ago (It is still valuable as a way of warning people about possible exposure.), and (2) Testing for those who need it would appear to be in adequate supply.

It's the question of immunity and the closely-related one of vaccination that I want to consider here, because I think it illustrates how ridiculous statewide, indefinite lockdowns are, setting aside whether they are legal or moral, which they are not.

The following paragraph comes from Allahpundit of Hot Air, one of the better conservative layman commentators I know of, as he discusses Rand Paul's trenchant questions for Anthony Fauci, yesterday:

vax.jpg
Image by CDC, via Unsplash, license.
I'll say this for Paul, though. I think he's pinpointed the two most consequential mysteries about the disease so far, solutions to which would vastly improve our decision-making. One is whether antibodies to the virus produce durable immunity, a question in which Paul has a personal stake given that he contracted COVID-19 awhile ago. He's impatient with scientists' reluctance to say flatly that people who have recovered are now immune and can go back to work. I understand that, but I'm also not sure what the alternative is. Without a study to confirm immunity, how are world governments supposed to potentially tell tens of millions of recovered patients that they're in the clear? Imagine if they gave that assurance without evidence and then some started getting sick again. [bold added]
Either the disease confers long-term immunity or it doesn't. (My best guess is that it confers temporary (months to years) immunity.) And we will eventually develop a vaccine or we won't. (I am optimistic about this, but still.)

As for the question in bold, isn't it funny how governments are basing decisions about such intrusive policies on worst-case scenarios about contagiousness, and rates of hospitalizations and deaths -- and yet isn't doing so for immunity or vaccination? What if there isn't long-term immunity and we never develop a safe or effective vaccine? Does that mean we stay jailed in our homes -- or subject to indefinite detention without warning -- forever? Note further that these "precautions" don't even hold the full medical context, let alone other considerations, like economics or education, both of which are also important to human life, and both of which are taking a beating.

It's time to question both relying on the government for everything, and using out-of-context, worst-case scenarios as guidance.

The question in bold shouldn't be, "How are governments supposed to tell us we're in the clear?" It should be, "Why are we sitting on our hands, waiting for these questions to be answered to the satisfaction of someone else -- rather than learning how to live our lives with this virus lurking around?

These questions may take years to answer fully, if they can be answered at all.

We are not serving ourselves well by hoping for a sort of instant old normal to be delivered by the grace of a shot or a nonfatal infection. We need to each assess risks and rewards for ourselves and act accordingly. Some of us may have to live like hermits for a time, or even permanently. Others have very little to fear, and should choose to carry on, with due caution for the elderly and the less-well. And many lie somewhere in between.

It is unconscionable that government officials are making those choices for us, rather than ensuring that we respect the rights of others as we make and act on difficult decisions during a difficult time. Physical existence in a prison is not a human life, and there are no guarantees in life. We must insist that the government quit pretending otherwise and forcing us to go along.

-- CAV

P.S. Assuming we can acquire permanent immunity, or at least immunity of a predictable-enough duration, it is conceivable that proof of such could legitimately be used in some situations (e.g., as a condition for certain kinds of employment, or in court cases alleging endangerment by the disease). This does not mean we have to wait until this is known to begin to try to function somewhat normally again.

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