As the world start to reopen with more and more people getting vaccinated for COVID-19, there actually looms a possibility for one more wave of COVID-19. Worse, this wave might even worse than those seen so far in the western world, at least, where there’s been lots of resources devoted to controlling the pandemic. This is because while the vaccine is highly effective at 95%, for the best case scenario, that still leaves one in twenty people at risk in what might eventually be a bit of a “free for all” scenario for spread with people being a lot closer, without masks, in large group, etc. Five percent of any population is a lot of people! Do the math for your city, state, province, country, whatever.
With vaccination, the idea is that there’d be far fewer bodies in which COVID-19 could infect in a serious way, but one can still get infected and pass it on. The problem is unlike flus and colds, lots of people getting them could face a real risk of death or negative long-term impact rather than just getting over it. With full or almost full opening, you’re trading off smaller odds of passing on COVID in all its variants from vaccinated people, with higher odds of opportunities to pass it on from much closer proximity and group gatherings. 95% of those vaccinated won’t have to worry much if they get it, but those 5%, it might become almost inevitable for most of them. You just hope it won’t happen all at once soon after full reopening because in many places, just 1% of people in a population getting COVID badly overwhelms their hospitals and other resources, never mind 5%. But also keep in mind that you don’t need near 1% of a population catching COVID to make another wave, so there’s lots of “buffer” room among the 5% for whom the vaccine won’t be effective to generate one more wave.
If we have one more wave, though, there probably won’t be all the lockdowns we have seen before. The majority of the population won’t stand for it for the sake of the 5%. We know how that all works with humans. Those 5% for whom the vaccines won’t be effective will just have to be more careful, and probably keep that information to their closest circles because some other people will inevitably shame them for it, treat them badly for it, mock them for it, and all the other nasty things nasty humans do to each other any time they perceive someone to be inferior. At least with COVID, it will target every demographic, so maybe some of those troll type personalities will get a little karma and insight into what it’s like on the other side… although I suspect a lot of them do know and had become trolls as a means to “avenge” the nasty things that’s been done to them, just to feel better about themselves. How sad and tragic.
So we’ll just wait a few months, or wait out summer, to see if any of this will happen. This is one of those things about which I’d be more than glad to be wrong and have to admit later. I’m just not convinced the possibility can be ignored so easily. At least where I live, because we are behind in all the COVID trends, from the virus getting here, high numbers, waves starts, peaks, and ends, reopening, etc. we will get to see a range of other reopening strategies implemented before we do, and learn from other places’ mistakes and success, without paying nearly the equivalent price ourselves.
Let’s see and hope for the best!