Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine was bold in his projection that we’ll have herd immunity by April. This has been disputed by those who are nowhere near his level of expertise when it comes to public health, but I get the pushback since it shreds the Democratic Party’s COVID lockdown regime. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Makary says that we’re underestimating natural immunity and with the pace of vaccinations, we’ll reach that critical benchmark towards reclaiming normality by tax season.
“About 1 in 600 Americans has died of Covid-19, which translates to a population fatality rate of about 0.15%. The Covid-19 infection fatality rate is about 0.23%,” Dr. Makary wrote. With those figures, he estimates that two-thirds of the country has already had the infection. We’re rapidly approaching 100 million vaccinations. It’s not an insane projection, but one he says other health experts are afraid to push for fear of impacting the rate of vaccinations. That’s not their job, he argued. Good health news should be disseminated, not buried. There was pushback, and there will be more when he recently wrote about the vaccine protocols.
The good doctor cited an Israeli study that shows those given the Pfizer vaccine are virtually “bulletproof” four weeks after the first dose. That’s the keyword right there. So, we can be returning to normal if the CDC wasn’t so busy peddling exaggerated threats about the virus and being stricken with fear, which Makary noted with their latest guidelines. Is it ‘follow the science’ or ‘be afraid, be very afraid'?
Get the shot, wait a month, and start rebuilding our lives. That’s fair. That seems to be based on the science, which the CDC might be ignoring. You be the judge (via WSJ):
Parts of the new guidelines are absurdly restrictive. For example, the CDC didn’t withdraw its advice to avoid air travel after vaccination. A year of prevaccine experience has demonstrated that airplanes aren’t a source of spread. A study conducted for the defense department found that commercial planes have HEPA filtration and airflow that exceed the standards of a hospital operating room.
An unpublished study conducted by the Israeli Health Ministry and Pfizer showed that vaccination reduced transmission by 89% to 94% and almost totally prevented hospitalization and death, according to press reports. Immunity kicks in fully about four weeks after the first vaccine dose, and then you are essentially bulletproof. With the added safety of wearing a mask indoors for a few more weeks or months—a practical necessity in public places even if not a medical one, since you can’t tell on sight if someone’s immune—there is little a vaccinated person should be discouraged from doing.
On a positive note, the CDC did say that fully vaccinated people who are asymptomatic don’t need to be tested. But that obvious recommendation should have come two months ago, before wasting so many tests on people who have high levels of circulating antibodies from vaccination.
In its guidance the CDC says the risks of infection in vaccinated people “cannot be completely eliminated.” True, we don’t have conclusive data that guarantees vaccination reduces risk to zero. We never will. We are operating in the realm of medical discretion based on the best available data, as practicing physicians have always done. The CDC highlights the vaccines’ stunning success but is ridiculously cautious about its implications. Public-health officials focus myopically on transmission risk while all but ignoring the broader health crisis stemming from isolation. The CDC acknowledges “potential” risks of isolation, but doesn’t go into details.
It’s time to liberate vaccinated people to restore their relationships and rebuild their lives. That would encourage vaccination by giving hesitant people a vivid incentive to have the shots.
Throughout the pandemic, authorities have missed the mark on precautions. Hospitals blocked family members from being with their loved ones as they gasped for air, gagging on a ventilator tube—what some patients describe as the worst feeling in the world. In addition to the power of holding a hand, family members coordinate care and serve as a valuable safety net, a partnership that was badly needed when many hospitals had staffing shortages. Separating family members was excessive and cruel, driven by narrow thinking that focused singularly on reducing viral transmission risk, heedless of the harm to the quality of human life.
He added the mental health issues that have exploded due to the lockdown regime that teachers’ unions, Democrats, and the liberal media ignore. Kids are committing suicide. Anxiety and depression have also spiked among students. Loneliness and isolation are going to be the real ‘long haul’ symptom of this pandemic, which could be alleviated partially if our experts actually gave us advice that wasn’t so covered in crap.