By BRONWEN SCOTT
MR. (DAVID) JOHNSON’S tedious diatribe unfairly chastises Coun. Walsh for things he hasn’t said, and repetitively argues a pointless position already scientifically proven to be false.
He takes particular issue that Walsh apparently said, “Being vaccinated does not guarantee that you can’t be unknowingly carrying Covid and capable of spreading it to others, so anyone who thinks that is the case is deluding themselves.”
This is true, proven in our own community.
But since Mr. Johnson can’t entirely ignore the recent Blue Grotto cluster (23/50 passport-holding attendees coming down with covid) and ongoing Kamloops care home outbreak, he alleges that even if vaccinated people can pass on the virus, they won’t pass it on as much or for as long.
This is false, proven by science.
An Oct 4/21 UC Davis Genome Center, UC San Francisco and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub report has shown that there is “no significant difference in viral load between vaccinated and unvaccinated people who tested positive for the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. It also found no significant difference between infected people with or without symptoms”www.ucdavis.edu/health/covid-19/news/viral-loads-similar-between-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-people
We thought and hoped the vaccine would be a magic bullet; Dr. Henry went so far as to lift the public mask mandate early; there was great optimism. And the numbers do show far fewer covid hospitalizations among the vaccinated.
But masks had to go back on in short order, and now the grim reality is vaccinations and masking alone aren’t stopping the spread.
A lot of us think that vaccination means immunity, but stats show almost all covid deaths, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are in those over 80. Added to new evidence on infectiousness, this means you shouldn’t take off your mask just because you and Grandma (or anyone else, for that matter) are both vaccinated. Don’t kiss her cheek, or hold her hand, or breathe moistly around her.
We also may need to rethink how we shape public activities. This puts government in a difficult position, since it might involve taking away some of the privileges endowed by vaccine passports. The important thing, though, is ending this world-wide pandemic as soon as possible.
Covid isn’t waiting for us to dither and word-wrestle and point fingers. This evolving virus forces us to be nimble and open-minded.
We need to respect new information as it arises, like a study by the Washington University School of Medicine published in Nature June 28 that shows immune response produced by infection with sars-cov-2 is long lasting, robust and multifaceted, a view now accepted by Ontario’s Chief Medical Health Officer.
As vaccine reactions, especially in the immune-compromised, become more widely publicized, we need to make allowances for pre-existing conditions that may increase vaccine risk www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8346352/.
In short, there needs to be space for respectful and rational discussion. Instead of carping at those who have a different perspective, let’s not divide ourselves. Covid is the enemy and we need to unite to fight it.
Bronwen Scott is a Paul Lake resident.