The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #167504   Message #4100833
Posted By: Steve Shaw
05-Apr-21 - 07:39 AM
Thread Name: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
It'll be a while before I venture back into the pub. I'm all for a cautious reopening. I'm also all for everyone starting to take personal responsibility. If numbers can stay low for the next couple of weeks, and if the vaccination programme stays good, I want to see all government restrictions lifted. So I don't agree with you about masks. If shops, buses and trains want to carry on making us wear them, that's fine, but I want to see all government-decreed control measures disappear. This government is enjoying the current controls over us a little too much for my liking, and vaccine passports are another symptom of that. Let's have a closer look at that:

That bloke sitting next to Bonzo at the flicks. He has a vaccine passport. Either he's (a) had the virus and has antibodies, or (b) he's had the vaccine and has antibodies, or (c) he once had a test and tested positive or (d) he's had a negative result very recently. I suppose there could be an (e): he obtained his passport fraudulently. But let's have a bit more faith in human nature...huh?

(a) We don't know whether previously-infected people can get the virus again. We don't know how long antibodies last in the bloodstream. We don't know about how easy it is to catch a different strain of the virus. Etcetera.

(b) No vaccine is 100% effective. We don't know how long vaccines protect us for. Ditto re antibodies from (a).

(c) No test is anything like 100% reliable. The lateral flow test, the one I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) we're all going to get as a freebie, is notoriously unreliable. With both tests, false negatives are entirely possible. A false positive is, arguably, even more dangerous, as it could have you thinking that you've had the virus when you haven't, lulling you into a false sense of safety. And just because you tested negative today doesn't mean you won't get the virus tomorrow.

(d) See above. Even two tests a week, bearing in mind that the test is unreliable and that we'd be relying on competent self-administration (a dubious assumption), wouldn't be enough to ensure safety. And then we will be relying on people who test positive, possibly inaccurately and possibly who feel perfectly well, fessing up and condemning themselves to even more solitary confinement. I'm not even clear if or how the ongoing testing can be incorporated into a certificate. Maybe I've got that bit wrong.

We will be safe when infection numbers are very low. Vaccine certificates, predicated on stacks of information laced with all these doubts, will not make us safer. Then there's the potential for fraudulent practice. My view is that vaccine certificates are less about our safety and more about continuing government control over our lives. A government that has shown serial gross incompetence. Call me Mr Suspicious. I care not a jot.