NYT: Experts say we won’t achieve herd immunity in US


When the COVID vaccines neared trial completion, we began getting cautionary hopeful projections about what we might possibly expect. One of the projections was that, once a large percentage of the population was vaccinated, we could look forward to herd immunity, which would allow us to resume “life as normal.” Although “normal” wasn’t completely defined, many assumed we would eventually live in a world without COVID. Experts now say that herd immunity is not likely in the US. Instead, they expect COVID will become a manageable virus that will circulate throughout the population for years to come.

Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.

Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.

Continued immunizations, especially for people at highest risk because of age, exposure or health status, will be crucial to limiting the severity of outbreaks, if not their frequency, experts believe.

“The virus is unlikely to go away,” said Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.”

Early on, the target herd immunity threshold was estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent of the population. Most experts, including Dr. Fauci, expected that the United States would be able to reach it once vaccines were available.

But as vaccines were developed and distribution ramped up through the winter and into the spring, estimates of the threshold began to rise. That is because the initial calculations were based on the contagiousness of the original version of the virus. The predominant variant now circulating in the United States, called B.1.1.7 and first identified in Britain, is about 60 percent more transmissible.

As a result, experts now calculate the herd immunity threshold to be at least 80 percent. If even more contagious variants develop, or if scientists find that immunized people can still transmit the virus, the calculation will have to be revised upward again.

Polls show that about 30 percent of the U.S. population is still reluctant to be vaccinated. That number is expected to improve but probably not enough. “It is theoretically possible that we could get to about 90 percent vaccination coverage, but not super likely, I would say,” said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Though resistance to the vaccines is a main reason the United States is unlikely to reach herd immunity, it is not the only one.

Over the long term — a generation or two — the goal is to transition the new coronavirus to become more like its cousins that cause common colds. That would mean the first infection is early in childhood, and subsequent infections are mild because of partial protection, even if immunity wanes.

[From The New York Times]

I don’t know if this will make sense, but this article made me feel better. Obviously, I am not thrilled that we won’t eradicate COVID, but I always had trouble figuring out how that was going to happen. I couldn’t understand how one day we’d walk outside and everything would be back to “normal.” But the way this article breaks it down is something I recognize. COVID will join the ranks of influenza and pneumonia. I still get nervous when I hear someone has pneumonia, but it’s no longer an automatic death sentence. As I mentioned once, I had influenza and whereas I didn’t actually think I would die, I saw how people could. It’s the sickest I’ve ever been. Apparently the flu we fight today is a variant of the H1N1 from the 1918 outbreak. So 100 years from now, our great great grandkids will miss their math test because they caught COVID from Stanley’s birthday party. It’s best we start to understand this now. With the variants and the horrible situations in places like India and the possible surge in South Africa, COVID will continue to mutate and repopulate, and we have to continue to view it as a global crisis. So we can manage it here in the US, but we must still view it as a world issue.

To end on some positive news, in the US, at least, things are looking up. Deaths due to COVID continue to decrease. As of Wednesday of last week, there was an 80% drop since January in deaths reported. Over the weekend, LA county, which was surging just three months ago, reported no new deaths on Sunday and almost half the county has received their first dose of the vaccine. Also, I don’t know who saw this news, but in light of the discussion about Canada’s vaccination issues, last week, the Blackfeet Nation donated their surplus vaccines to their Canadian neighbors.



Photo credit: Martin Lopez and Wendy Wei from Pexels and Filip Andrejevic from Unsplash

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61 Responses to “NYT: Experts say we won’t achieve herd immunity in US”

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  1. Mrs. Peel says:

    As a Canadian who has to wait 4 months to get a 2nd vaccine, I’m perplexed as to why people would just simply blow off their appointment to get theirs. Please explain!

    • Betsy says:

      I have to imagine that the horror stories about the reactions to the second shot had something to do with it. There’s a point to which we need to be aware of probable issues and there’s a point at which people are flogging a dead horse/creating vaccine torture pron for a lot of people who already don’t love shots.

      • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

        Thing is, people are not realizing these *extreme* side effects are affecting less than 1% of people getting the vaccine, and *some * have had an undetected pre-existing propensity for it.

        What they are also not realizing is that the science BEHIND these vaccines isn’t new. It has been being worked on for the last 10 yrs. or more. What has been done is built ON that research.

        I do believe that Covid, based on a cold/flu virus will never “go away”, and it will continually mutate; there will always be deaths from it. I also believe that, like getting an annual flu shot (for what is thought to be the best shot (no pun intended) for that year’s variant. I think as humans, we will build up some natural immunity for it, but that won’t happen in this generation, perhaps our kids’ or grandkids’ lives.

        The most WE can hope for in the next 20 yrs or so is to make it LESS DEADLY.

      • The Hench says:

        Yes, I was told that since I only had a mildish reaction to my first shot I would have a really bad one to my second. It was nonsense. I had no reaction at all to the second apart from a bit of tiredness. Spreading these sort of stupid rumours is actively dangerous if it further discourages vaccination.

      • hmmmmpppy says:

        Jan90067 most people I know are getting bad bad side effects from the second shot (more than 50%). I did. They are finding the younger you are, the more likely it is (also more likely in women than men). However, at the end of the day, it lasts a day, or a few days at most, so it’s worth it. I’m very pro vaccine, but I don’t think saying things like 1%, etc, is realistic.

      • Anna says:

        It’s also due to people not taking appropriate measures after getting their second shot. Drink Gatorade, gross as it may be, and lots of water, and get rest. Dehydration and stress contribute a lot to the effects being worse.

      • Bettyrose says:

        My SO is currently in day two post 2nd Moderna. He was miserable yesterday. Sweats and chills, aches, exhaustion. Today it’s just exhaustion. I’m not saying yaaaay it’s awesome but FK one or two days in bed to give society a chance at normalcy? I got ZERO patience for anyone who thinks that’s not worth it.

      • Betsy says:

        @(OG) – let’s not be coy. Way more than 1% of people have been laid flat by the vaccine. I’m not talking about life-threatening complications, I’m just talking about the people who sleep for two days or complain about muscle aches like they’ve never had before. And I’m saying there’s a place to talk about those, but the way that people are holding these stories up is scaring the bejesus out of people.

        Molly Jong Fast tried to combat this on a twitter thread talking about how she had a sore arm for a day and nothing else from her second shot and implicitly inviting people to share similar stories so vaccine-fearing people could see it’s not all unpleasant reactions and people were *still* jumping on with their terrible stories of vaccine woes. There are morons who “don’t trust” the vaccine (but probably burn up scented candles and rub essential oils all over themselves unquestioningly), but there are undoubtedly people scared to pieces to get the shot.

      • 2lazy4username says:

        Just got my second shot today. Would rather 24 hours of muscle aches vs being on a ventilator and possibly dying.

      • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

        hmmmmpppy, don’t know if you’re coming by again so late to read this, but the 1% I was speaking of are the EXTREME reactions (like the 7 women out of 1 MILLION doses that got clots), the ones that had anaphylactic reactions (who were *highly* allergic to begin with), not just all of the rest of us who had expected reactions.

        I had reactions as well (“Moderna Arm” 8-9 days after 1st shot, and a *lot* of fatigue, muscle aches, some brain fog…lasted for 2 1/2 days; I was pretty good by day 3). Even if my reactions were stronger, I’d STILL get the vaccine again. And I WILL get any and all boosters, this year and every year following. I will not let Covid kill me w/out putting up a fight! 😊

      • Betsy says:

        @OG – I know. But that wasn’t what my original comment was about. My point was just about the pedestrian side effects – exhaustion, aches, nausea, vomiting, etc – that people keep discussing ad nauseum. That drives people who are already fearful of vaccines away from it. People should be informed, of course; I’d sure panic if I had some side effect I hadn’t heard anyone else mentioned, but people are really flogging their terrible experiences.

        For the record I got my first shot despite my general fear of needles and will be getting my second in a few days. I’m not a covidiot or anything, I was just responding to the question: why aren’t people getting shots when they’re available. My answer isn’t the whole thing, obviously, but it’s part of it.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      It was the cult of Trump. The racists and bigots worshiped him because he made their bigotry and lack of intelligence the “norm.” They will never admit that they were wrong in believing everything he said (inability to admit being wrong despite overwhelming facts is another trait of Trumpers). So their minds have been tricked to reject the vaccine. Normally I call this type of thing Darwinsim, but when it comes to vaccines, it’s dangerous because it puts innocent people at risk too. Trump is responsible for this, and the damage he did will live on for years.

      • Al says:

        FWIW, I know dozens of fully vaccinated people. And less than a handful in that group had anything other than a sore arm: Two people had 24 hrs of flulike systems. One person had 24 hrs of exhaustion. It includes Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J, and they range from teenagers to the elderly. Some have significant health issues, too. (None of those people had any side effects.)

  2. Lia says:

    People in Canada freaking out is so confusing to me, Canada is number 2, just behind the US, in vaccination rate compared to other G7 Nations. 30% of the country has received their first dose and we are on pace to make it to 50% by the end of the month. I think the freak out is mainly that, unlike the US, everyone seems to want to get vaccinated now and people having to wait we’re getting frustrated.

    • Watson says:

      Lia: People were and are freaking out because there isnt a steady supply of vaccine and there is a 4 month wait in-between shots which is NOT an optimal timeline. Pfizer recommends a second dose after 21 days, Moderna 28 days, and Astrazeneca btwn 4-12 weeks after the first. This is a valid concern as companies like Pfizer have not evaluated the safety and efficacy of different dosing schedules. In short, we are making due with what we have but it is not ideal.

      • bobslaw says:

        The way many (most) Canadians view their entitlement to health care is fundamentally different to the way I understand Americans experience health care. And when I say entitlement, I don’t mean that pejoratively. We (I’m Canadian) collectively buy into the belief that our health care system is here for us, we pay into it, and it is there for us no matter our personal circumstances. We don’t go into debt when we seek care because our premature babies are in the NICU, we don’t go into debt when we seek care because we’ve been in a car accident. By and large, our pharma plans are solid. When our health care system fails because of Covid pressures and people are denied access to care, or surgeries are cancelled, it is a monumental, societal shock to us.

    • Tina says:

      What? The UK is far ahead of Canada in terms of vaccination rates. 51.8% of the population has had one dose and 23.2% are fully vaccinated. The UK is ahead in terms of one dose and the US is ahead in terms of fully vaccinated people. Both are considerably ahead of Canada.

  3. Lauren says:

    I find it extremely stupid and irresponsible that people skip their second dose that easily while corona is still killing thousands daily. It sucks that so many don’t recognize their privilege in getting vaccinated against covid while so many people all around the world are still waiting for their chance.

    • Cee says:

      ITA and thank you, Lauren!
      I am about to spend thousands of dollars in getting vaccinated in FL. It’s my ONLY chance. So I’ll take it. I’ve been waiting since January for any vaccine and there’s nothing for me. Young people are saturating hospitals and clinics, and dying from COVID. I’m grateful my mum and sister are fully vaccinated but my dad, who is almost 70 and cardiac is still waiting for his second dose of the Chinese vaccine. He will most likely miss his window and the first dose does jack all.

      People in the US refusing to get the vaccine and/or blowing off their second dose are irresponsible and blind to their privilege.

    • Emm says:

      This is what make me so angry. You look at the people in India and Brazil who are desperate and would do anything to get the vaccine and then you have the suburban mom anti vaxers or my in laws that don’t believe it’s anything more than the flu to this day and have been living their best lives this last year, and they balk at it. Makes me sick.

      • Juniper says:

        My friend’s mom has Covid in India. She was crying telling me how bad it is there. We don’t know the half of it. When I see anti-vax assholes pontificating from their privileged pedestals I want to scream.

    • Gina says:

      So so agree. It makes me nuts.

  4. Oy_Hey says:

    this frustrates me and I just don’t know why we (the responsible folks, scientists, and the government) are just allowing this to happen. Why aren’t we and other countries requiring vaccines for boarding planes – you don’t have to get the shot but you won’t be flying. Why aren’t we requiring a shot passport for K-12 school employees and kids that are age eligible to get the shot – you don’t have to get it but you won’t be working or going to school. It should be the same way for everything – you aren’t required to get it but I’m not required to accommodate your delusions at risk to me and mine. I get there should be leeway for the immuno-compromised but everyone else can get bent.

    • fluffy says:

      My sentiments exactly.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      Thing is, some shots ARE REQUIRED to work in the public sector and the military. You can’t register kids for school w/out some vaccines (and they DID crack down on parents getting phony dr’s excuses during the measles outbreak a couple of yrs ago). These idiots who are NOW anti-vaxxers were FULLY vaccinated by THEIR parents, and don’t seem to understand that a LOT of diseases are eradicated because of that.

      It will take THEIR children dying of a preventable disease for them to see the light.

      • Anne Call says:

        Exactly. So many childhood diseases in previous decades have been eradicated through vigorous vaccination programs. Currently, kids have be vaccinated to start kindergarten and many colleges want proof of vaccinations. I really hope that proof of covid vaccination becomes prevalent (like going on cruises and traveling and school attendance) and forces some hold outs to get their damn shot.

    • Ellie says:

      100% for all of this. And if you’re going to use a medical condition as a reason for not getting it but still plan to go all these places, it should be required to have some sort of verification from a doctor that you can’t get the vaccine at least. I know TOO many people who haven’t even asked their doctor and are just walking around saying they can’t get it because of X reason.

    • Christy says:

      Disclaimer: I am not an anti vaxxer and hubs and I have both had our 2 doses. That said, I can completely understand why people would choose not to vaccinate…..you got a brand new vaccine with which long term potential side effects are unknown, it’s unclear how long and against what types of variants it may protect you and it’s unclear if it even prevents you from having & sharing Covid (only prevents severe disease). Depending on your age and risk factor, one might already BE extremely low risk for severe disease. Now add in the adverse vaccine reactions (severe or unpleasant and yes, it’s a sizable percentage of people who are experiencing discomfort and/or flu like symptoms) and the news that vaccines aren’t going to provide her immunity.
      I think it’s entirely reasonable that adults might choose not to vaccinate themselves and especially choose not to vaccinate their children without any long term studies or data. I would definitely be opposed to requiring Covid vaccines for school age kids. For them, it truly is comparable to flu which is an elective vaccine

      • Juniper says:

        But people do other stuff all the time without knowing long-term effects so this is a lame excuse at this point. A day or two of discomfort is not the same as getting covid or passing it on to someone who may die from it.

      • Betsy says:

        I don’t really have sympathy for people and their obsession with “long term side effects.” We know several long term side effects of covid and it’s 100% worse than whatever the shot might cause.

  5. Ann says:

    I don’t picture ever going back to not wearing a mask in public. It is common in Japan to wear a mask. I hope it just becomes an accepted norm. Same with the compulsive hand sanitation. It’s all habit now and I’m not in a hurry to break any of the good ones.

    • Suzanne Booth says:

      I live in Toronto and I feel exactly the same. A lot of my friends are saying that they have not been sick at all with colds or flus. I think I will be wearing my mask for a long time.

    • Lionel says:

      Totally agree. I usually catch every cold around and haven’t had even the tiniest sniffle since February 2020. There are so many benefits to wearing a mask, including but not limited to not worrying about your breath or something stuck in your teeth, wearing less makeup on your face, concealing your rapidly multiplying number of COVID-chins, and being personally inconspicuous when you see someone you don’t want to talk to in the grocery store! Clearly, by “you” I mean “me.” 🤣 Sure it’s a pain at times and I’m grateful I can now take it off in most cases outside and inside with close friends (if they’re also vaccinated.) But out in the world? I’m not rushing to lose it.

  6. Amelie says:

    I mean, I guess this is what we all expected? That COVID would eventually mutate into a more mild respiratory infection? But those days are far off and I’d like to avoid COVID forever quite honestly, though I guess that isn’t feasible really.

    I am vaccinated but still incredibly nervous about seeing people, though I’ve been slowly doing that. Just yesterday I learned my boss’s husband came down with a high fever over the weekend, experiencing nausea and diarrhea and what not. He tested negative for COVID and he was just one week out from his second shot of the vaccine. Last night they went to the ER. I have a feeling he has COVID and he just had a false negative which is pretty common. My boss isn’t experiencing symptoms and she’s been fully vaccinated for a few weeks but clearly stressed out and trying to figure out what is going on. So stories like those make me realize we still need to be careful. I am sick of being careful but I also don’t want to end up in the hospital fighting for my life. *sigh*

  7. Janie says:

    As a healthcare worker who’s had both vaccines I still will wear a mask for a very long time due to the idiots who won’t do either and if it mutates. I’m sure there will be a booster shot in fall or winter and I’ll take that too.

    • Gina says:

      Yes, there most likely will be a booster. I’m in healthcare too (not clinical). I’ve been hearing this from my clinical counterparts for several weeks now.

    • Midge says:

      Booster shot is in the works and states are planning for it, including budgeting and staffing for distribution and administration in the fall. Unfortunately, as stated in the article, the fact remains that because people have held out on getting vaccinated, the virus will continue to mutate and now we will have to live with it, get boosters regularly, and hope that it doesn’t mutate into something worse.

  8. Cee says:

    Unless the majority of people in the world get the vaccine and their doses (in a timely manner), this virus will continue to spread and EVOLVE, and we can all kiss goodbye to herd immunity.

  9. Leslie says:

    Honestly, I’m far too scared to just go back to normal. At least for now. I’ve been fully vaccinated but I still wear a mask everywhere and rarely leave my house. I just can’t imagine life like it was before. Because there are so many a-hole people who just don’t care and haven’t the entire time. I don’t want to be around those people, especially maskless.

  10. Case says:

    I’m trying to slowly do more normal things. Last weekend I went to Barnes & Noble for the first time in over a year and it did wonders for my mental health; before I was vaccinated, I didn’t allow myself any unnecessary outings. I also saw a fellow vaccinated friend this weekend, outside and unmasked in my backyard. Again, it was so good for me mentally, and I’m so grateful the vaccine is allowing me these small victories.

    I’m still very scared though, especially of the variants. I plan to continue keeping my outings and get-togethers to a minimum (but perhaps let myself indulge in a Homegoods run now and then) until cases are significantly lower in my area. And things like travel and attending parties are out of the question this year for me. I know it was never realistic to eradicate COVID, but I can’t justify living “normally” when it’s still in high circulation and I don’t have a vaccine that fully protects against variants.

  11. Betsy says:

    I’ve had my first shot (second one in about ten days!) and I am mad as can be at all the people who won’t do their part.

    • Merricat says:

      I had my second two weeks ago, and I was so happy to get it. I am furious with the assholes who think their decision not to vaccinate affects only themselves.

    • Millenial says:

      I’m mad, too. I would love nothing more than to be able to go to the store without a mask, but I don’t know when that will ever happen.

    • Lady D says:

      I got my first shot yesterday morning. I’m very happy. I’m supposed to get my second in August. My bicep is killing me and it feels like it weighs 60 pounds.

  12. lucy2 says:

    This whole thing has really made me lose a lot of faith in humanity as a whole. I knew there were stupid/selfish people out there, but there’s just SOOO many, who were so unwilling to make the SMALLEST sacrifices to keep others safe. That plus the 2020 election, 1/6, all the racist/sexist/domestic terrorist crap, I’m exhausted. And I’m a privileged cis white lady, so I can’t even imagine how difficult the past few years have been for others

    But I do take comfort in that I am vaccinated, and almost everyone I care about is too (there’s a few stragglers), so we’ll survive this. My state is lifting pretty much all restrictions soon (I’m hoping due to the lower numbers, not political pressure for summer businesses).

  13. olliesmom says:

    They reported on the local news this morning that only 42% of the population in my area are vaccinated. That’s sad and not good enough. Do better or this thing is NEVER going away.

  14. Frida_K says:

    People need to get vaccinated. I had a horrible time with both my shots and will have to figure something out if we need boosters…but I got my vaccinations. I did it. At times, we have to do things we don’t really want to do….going in for my first shot was in this category; going back for round two was even more so a case of committing to doing the right thing even though it caused me hardship.

    Most people have reasonable reactions to the shots. And we owe it to ourselves and to others to AT LEAST commit to becoming fully vaccinated right now. Those who struggle can figure out what to do when we need boosters at a later time. Right now, it’s all hands on deck and no whining about it.

  15. likethedirection says:

    I follow a couple of epidemiologists on Twitter and some of them took issue with the alarmist tone of this article, basically saying that this is what they expected all along, they’re not surprised, and now the work of community outreach and convincing those who are hesitant but can still be reached begins. I found this take comforting, so I wanted to share!

    Now off to once again convince my immunosuppressed anti-vax mother…..

  16. TheOriginalMia says:

    Not surprised at all. There are so many selfish twats out there. Oh, well…that’s why I’m buying new masks. Just the norm to wear them now.

  17. IMARA219 says:

    “So 100 years from now, our great great grandkids will miss their math test because they caught COVID from Stanley’s birthday party. We should start to understand this now. ”

    Honestly, paying attention from the beginning, one could tell that this was always going to happen. More specifically that COVID will never go away; COVID will become a part of our lives similar to the flu, etc. It was also obvious that the scientific community expected this.

    So many procedures and mitigations we have in place because of COVID in to stay to help stave off other illnesses like the flu or cold, and that is one thing I cling to as a positive. This, to me, exposed our government and financial institutions as an empty shell game, and that’s the most troubling and shattering of all issues. Like in my opinion, I don’t think we can and will bounce back.

    I feel we fixated on the vaccine (none of the vaccines are fully FDA approved, just given emergency use authorization by the agency). Still, we really should have been applying pressure to our governmental systems to begin fixing our deep-seated issues.

    • Amanduh says:

      slow clap* YES to all of this. How they sold this any other way than “its never going away” is mind boggling to me. Its a highly contagious virus that can spread like a cold. Why would we think its going to go away? Its not like polio or measels. Its not going back in the box. There will probably be twice yearly vaccines indefinitely to keep it at bay, similar to flu shots.

  18. Monica says:

    Welp, I’m kind of glad to hear this because I think it strengthens my case for working from home for the foreseeable future.

  19. AppleTart says:

    I just went to a new chiropractor that was RAILING against the vax. I was horrified and immediately canceled my next appointment. It’s these kind of nut jobs that will keep us from herd immunity. I was arguing with him for it. And he gave me a terrible adjustment. Jerk.

    I got the Pfizer ZERO side effects both shots. I think the drama over the side effects is equal to the attention people want from family and social media.

    • Willow says:

      Most chiropractors, based on the kind of medicine they practice, are anti-vax. Sounds like this guy wasn’t business savvy enough to keep that to himself. I would have walked out too.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        Not all of us are anti-vax, but yes, a majority are. I’m in the minority that says this is a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that doesn’t care about your anti-vax beliefs. Get the vaccine. I’m a better doctor for my patients by protecting myself and them from this horrible disease. Sorry for your experience, AppleTart.

  20. Willow says:

    It was the idiots who didn’t want lockdowns, social distancing, and masks, who talked about herd immunity as the solution. That was their excuse for choosing money over people. People will get covid? Oh well…something something herds vaccines immunity poof! gone!

  21. Leah says:

    They aren’t wrong. I mean I’ve got neighbors who still think the virus is a hoax and run around in the unventilated hallway outside with no masks on. Note we also have vulnerable seniors and disabled people here but do you think that these unmasked folks care? No. They are young so they think they are untouchable. However I did hear one of them coughing like she had been smoking for 50 of her 19 years a week ago so maybe covid came by for a visit? I dunno. I’m just so tired of these unmasked people whining that the masked are afraid. It’s not fear, it’s common sense. If this virus has taught us anything it is that some people in this country are so selfish. They value the dollar over human life.

    I’m vaccinated. The only time I take it down is when I’m outside and there’s nobody around. Anyone gets within 10 feet the mask goes up. It hangs around my neck so I can do it up in a pinch.

  22. Natasha says:

    I buried my grandpa from covid last May; now my grandmother was hospitalized 15min after getting her vaccine shot and she almost died. All I can think is “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” I’m not getting the vaccine- but I’m also not going in public unless I absolutely have to, I order everything online, and I wear gloves and masks. I work from home. I’d be ok wearing masks and being a hermit the rest of my life if I have to. I’ll never get the vision of my grandparents each dying out of my head and I can’t voluntarily inject the virus into myself, I just can’t. I signed up for the shot and had a panic attack and didn’t go. I’m not doing it.

    I think the unvaccinated people who do flaunt around in public unmasked are disgusting. There’s no excuse for that recklessness.

  23. Robin says:

    Out of pure interest – I’m due to get my second pfizer. First time round I was tired and had lots of aches. Stayed in bed and took care. I thought perhaps it was because I’d possibly had covid during the first lockdown. Does anyone have any thoughts as to the nature of the second round effects. Are they more of the same you had first time, possibly a grade worse, or are they totally different. Essentially, will I get more of the fatigue and aches, or could it be fever and chills this time, which I didn’t have before. I generally don’t get temperatures when I’m ill. Thank you for any insights and experiences.

    • Angela says:

      I had Moderna and the second dose was definitely worse (bad headache and body aches for 24 hours), but I think that was largely my fault because I wasn’t well hydrated. My coworker got Pfizer and had mild reactions after both doses. She was also hydrated. I think your best bet is to drink as much water and electrolytes as possible.