All Rational Covid Questions Are Answered With an Ellipsis
For those not familiar with basic English grammar, an ellipsis is “the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete.” For the more visual learners out there, this is an ellipsis “…” Those three little dots can be great, or they can be terrible. Those three little dots can hold secrets. Both good secrets and bad secrets. When it comes to Covid, we are currently living in the time of the ellipsis. That is because all rational covid questions are met with an ellipsis in the answer. Not sure what I mean? Here is the most basic, rational, and important of our current Covid questions, “how effective are the vaccinations?”
At the moment, that is the only question that matters, correct? That is a completely rational question to ask because every single one of our responses hinges on that question. So what is the answer to that question? “The vaccines are extremely effective.” That is the understood answer. But the problem is that answer does not have a period at the end of it… just an ellipsis. “The vaccines are extremely effective… for a time.” We know this. The vaccines are extremely effective… for about six months.
Ok, that is a perfectly acceptable answer. But that is not the answer we are getting or have been given. Although an apparent side-effect of Covid is collective amnesia, try to remember all the way back to February… in February, we were told the vaccines were virtually “100% effective.” Now we know that to not be true. After six months, the vaccine’s effectiveness can drop to as low as 42%. Wait… maybe 39%.
This is just one of the myriad of rational Covid questions we are not allowed to ask, and although this is the most important of the rational Covid questions, we need to ask the others. And since this is a page that–for better or for worse–asks the tough questions, let’s get to some of the other important, but rational Covid questions.
What Are Some of the Other Important, and Rational Covid Questions?
Because running downhill at the end of a run is much better than running uphill at the end of a run, let us start with one of the tougher, but rational Covid questions; what are the long-term side effects of the vaccines? For some reason, this is one of the more taboo rational covid questions. It shouldn’t be. If the vaccines are extremely effective–especially for those who are the most vulnerable–then the side effects are worth it. What is wrong with knowing and discussing the side effects? Watch cable TV and wait for one commercial break and you will see just how accepting we are of medicine with ridiculous side effects.
SNL couldn’t do a better parody than that. But if we ask, “what are the side effects of the Covid vaccinations,” you get looked at like you just asked if it was ok to rape someone’s dog. Of course, there are side effects. All medicines have side effects, so why wouldn’t the Covid vaccines? Now, “how bad are the side effects?” That is a different question, but one we should not be afraid to answer… and a question that should not be suppressed. A follow-up question to those questions, “how reliable is any metric or study that is self-reported?” These all seem like fairly rational Covid questions, no?
If these vaccinations are a modern miracle, but they are entirely experimental–both in terms of their mRNA technology and speed in development–why are we blindly trusting the vaccinations? Or, why are we thrusting the vaccinations on cohorts that we know to have at least a 99% chance of survival? That is before taking into account comorbidities, obesity, and fitness level? Did we jump the gun compelling people 65 and under to take the vaccine?
Because the follow-up question to that is, “in terms of long-term success against Covid, if you are in a healthy cohort, is it better to develop natural immunity from infection, or via vaccinations?” Because before Covid, the answer was, “natural immunity.” Now we know the answer is… probably natural immunity. But not enough people asked this question, or too many people were afraid to ask it. In hindsight, it certainly looks like we threw away substantiated science for experimental science and we are worse off for it… so why did we do that?
Two of the Most Rational Covid Questions We Now Know the Answers to, But Nobody Wants to Accept
At some point, our culture began valuing performative gestures and feelings over data and truth. A certain tri-syllabled congresswoman from New York made this point abundantly clear. Not surprisingly, this issue reared its head during Covid, most notably with masks. Because one of the most frustratingly rational Covid questions is, “are masks effective… against Covid… for the general population?” Many people conflate “are masks effective” with “are masks effective against Covid for the general population?” These are significant differences in the questions. The common retort is usually, “if they weren’t, why would all medical professionals wear them?”
Good question. A very rational question. The problem is mostly three-fold: (1) Normal people don’t wear the correct mask (2) Normal people don’t wear masks correctly and (3) Covid particles are very small (“fine aerosols“) and most masks don’t offer much protection.
For problem No. 1, decrying “wears masks” is not just irrational, but ineffective. People only say it because it makes them feel better, not because they can provide any data to say it will do any better for anybody. For problem No. 2, people are idiots. Before Covid, a frowned-upon slang for idiots was “mouth breather.” Now, we should have a second slang for people that wear masks over their mouths, but not their noses, “nose breathers;” people who wear masks in a completely ineffectual manner. For problem No. 3, we should just look at the data. The data states masks are ineffective against Covid because we are too stupid to wear the proper masks in the proper manner. So, can we accept reality and stop wearing masks?
Rapid Fire Covid Questions
So now the real question becomes, “what do we know about Covid and our Covid response?” Did we wait long enough between the first and second doses when administering the vaccine? (Probably not). Were lockdowns not only draconian but also useless? Maybe even harmful? (Probably yes). Did forbidding children to interact with other children cause rare diseases? (Looks like it). Are we sacrificing the physical and mental health of our children? (Regrettably, certainly yes). Do the vaccines cause mutations? (Yes! Ok… No… But also… Maybe Yes?)
Do we know anything about the long-term effects of booster shots? (Obviously not; here are the initial reports). Did Sweden get it right for long-term planning? (Probably yes). Especially compared to Israel? (Oh yeah). Is Israel treating its citizens like Guinea pigs? (Without a doubt). Are monoclonal remedies effective? Despite the fact that Trump pushed Regeneron? (Turns out, at least 70% effective). What are the long-term issues of contracting Covid? Is “Long Covid” even a thing? So many questions… with so many answers… with so many ellipses.
The worst phrase uttered during Covid has been, “the science is settled.” Science is almost never settled. To question the science is an integral part of the scientific method. This is why when we ask the most basic of the rational Covid questions–what do we know about Covid–the answer is fairly scientific, albeit not too reassuring, “Not much… for certain.” We know some things. But with others, we are just guessing. Maybe educated guesses, but still guesses. And in the age of the ellipsis, that is the best we can hope for… for now… until we update the science… because asking questions is how we improve the science, which should be everyone’s goal. So don’t be afraid to ask the rational Covid question, no matter what.