Waning means Forever

This graph from the CDC recognizes Idaho’s “unexpected deaths”. Those are deaths above the average death rate for the previous three years. Idaho has experienced deaths at a 20% higher rate in the last 9 months. Our current death toll (through September 2021) is above last years total deaths for the 12 months of 2020.

It seems the immunity provided by the Covid immunization diminishes over time. Now we are talking boosters.

So, does this mean the immunization is worthless? No, but that’s beside the point for vaccine deniers. The freedom to choose trumps consideration of risk, for themselves or their neighbors.

The vaccines greatly diminish the risk of hospitalization and death. In Idaho, in the last 6 months approximately 90% of hospitalized patients have been unimmunized. Similarly, the folks dead from this illness are mostly unimmunized. But as we are seeing that protection wanes.

So, the proudly immunized may soon be humbled by this painful biology. The arrogant unimmunized soon may be dead and not around to gloat over their “victory”.  What a silly fight.

This waning immunity makes sense if you’ve ever had a cold. Covid, the disease caused by the Corona SARS 2 virus is not just a cold, but it is from the category of viruses that cause colds, Corona viruses. Colds affect the upper respiratory tract, runny nose, cough, congestion, feel lousy for a few days, then go back to work. Covid can quickly get down into the lower respiratory tract, the lungs, and when they fill with fluid, you won’t be getting the oxygen you need to keep your organs alive. These are very different diseases even though from similar viruses.

Ingenious, huh? Makes you think…

So now that this virus is amongst us, we are trying to figure out how to prompt our immune systems to respond. That’s where immunizations come to play. Oh, and the mask mandates and isolation techniques are a part of figuring this out too.

We are also figuring out how to work these problems through politically and culturally. That might be the true test of our species, not our immune responses.

The fact that this virus usually just makes us mildly sick has trained our immune systems to lose their awareness for it over time. It is a perfect medium for now slowly killing a lot of us. And it is. About one in a thousand who contract the virus die from it.

Idaho, this great, wide, tall oddly shaped state has seen just that in the last year. Idaho deaths are 20% above what would be expected on “normal” years. Our death rate from Covid is a little above the one in a thousand, but not a lot.

None of you would spend much at the casino on 1:1000 odds. Does that mean you should walk around unimmunized? Only if you don’t trust the shot. And many in Idaho don’t.

So, the virus isn’t winning, it’s just making a dent. A twenty percent bump in death rate is acceptable, isn’t it? Since we have seen such a growth in statewide population, this just means there might be a parking space available, right?

Some are happy to gamble their 1:1000 odds and see no need to immunize. They mock the mask wearers and rail against any mandates. Those that have immunized resent the choice of the unimmunized and blame them for the ongoing waves of infection. Is this the way we are going to see our neighbors now?

The winning and losing question will be decided not by the death toll, but in what we as a community learn from this. The virus obviously learned, either in a bat or in a Chinese virology laboratory, how to make us sick and some of us die. And the virus is now learning how to infect faster and spread its genes farther.

If we as a country learn from this to distrust our neighbors and resent the choices they make, we soon won’t need a virus to be killing us.

About ddxdx

A Family physician, former county coroner and former Idaho State Senator
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