There’s good news and bad news for people who’ve recovered from COVID-19.
A professor with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has said that there is a general dismissal of the fact that more than half of all Americans have developed natural immunity to the coronavirus and that it constitutes “one of the biggest failures of our current medical leadership.”
Dr. Marty Makary made the comments during a recent interview, noting that “natural immunity works” and it is wrong to vilify those who don’t want the vaccine because they have already recovered from the virus.
Makary criticised “the most slow, reactionary, political CDC in American history” for not clearly communicating the scientific facts about natural immunity compared to the kind of immunity developed through vaccines.
Glenn Reynolds compiled some supporting evidence in a post on Instapundit.
The bad news, as Dr. Makary indicates, is that our public health officials have not incorporated this fact into their policies. The effects of the vaccine on those who’ve had the virus have not been studied; government officials are not treating those who’ve recovered any differently than those who have neither natural nor vaccine-triggered immunity; and there is no mechanism to provide those with natural immunity with the paper immunity to restrictions on their actions that is handed to people as they’re vaccinated.
(Note that the last thing on the list will only be a problem if government and businesses start asking for proof rather than using an honor system. The honor system should be sufficient, although it puts more onus on public officials to include those who’ve recovered with those who’ve been vaccinated.)
The deeper transgression is that we simply aren’t addressing COVID as we should — as mature and free adults. These discussions should exist outside of politics.
As a person who has responsibility not only for myself, but for my family, I feel like I’m having to wade through too much tilt all around to understand the facts. I can be a bit obsessive researching health issues, and I’ve never seen it this bad. When I was in construction, I would often spend hours researching things like asbestos to really figure out risks, and when I’d write about my findings, people who wanted to belittle me mocked them, but that was person-to-person; this is across our whole society.
One thing we need to know more about is the functional difference between natural immunity and vaccination immunity. If the vaccine only targets the spike protein on the virus, for example, I could see it making the vaccine more effective against similar, but not identical viruses, whereas natural immunity may be better able to neutralize one specific variant, which could be a limitation in an evolving world. It’s conceivable that this is why there’s no cure for the common cold, because while we develop immunity to each bug as it comes, that immunity doesn’t do much for others.
Or maybe that’s completely off base. But we’re not even permitted to have these discussions, because to vaccine or not to vaccine has become a marker of your tribe.
Featured image by the CED on Unsplash.