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Thoughts on COVID fear, 12/22
Trying to rationalize the irrational?
when it became clear that the public health response to Covid involved denying ourselves things we wanted and enjoyed, including non-negotiably important things like in-person schooling and face-to-face human contact, they (subconsciously) saw an opening: if denial of human pleasures is virtuous, I can be more virtuous than my peers. If caution is noble, overcaution must be even nobler.
. . .For some people, it seems, being more freaked out about Covid is quite like an I Voted sticker or a BlackLivesMatter sign in their window. It’s another way to let everyone know that they have the greatest wealth of all, the wealth of superior character, of greater moral standing.
I would describe myself as COVID-cautious at the moment, but I don’t think of it as competition to show virtue. I just notice that in the worst weeks of the past two years, the number of people that I personally knew with COVID never exceeded more than one per week, and the number was typically zero. Now all of a sudden, I know a dozen. They are not in the hospital, and they probably are not going to die, but they don’t seem particularly happy.
If you are not on the East Coast, you may not know what I’m talking about. Yet. But things are absolutely crazy here.
How should I react? I could take the view that I will inevitably get sick. I have my three shots, and I could just go out and do things until the virus strikes, counting on the vaccine to keep me from having a severe case.
But that does not feel right to me. I think I should keep playing the game of trying to choose carefully where I want to take risks (visiting family) and where I don’t (going to in-person dance sessions).
Even if one is going to get the virus sooner or later, there are advantages to having it be later. The main advantage is that your chances of getting a helpful treatment increase. Although it is fair to be angry with the FDA for not having approved Paxlovid already, it is also true that the drug will be scarce for a while, until production can be ramped up.
Because I am retired, it is not so hard for me to make a choice to hide from strangers as much as possible. I certainly am not going to lord it over people who have less choice or who make their choices based on different considerations.
For an informed analysis, as always, turn to the Zvi. At one point, he reminds us that our friends at the FDA were against getting booster shots.