On Saturday, July 24, 2021, roughly 3,000 men, women and children marched through my city, demanding ‘freedom’.
Freedom from what? From a lockdown designed to save the mostly unvaccinated population of Melbourne from the Delta variant of Covid19.
Virtually none of those selfish, stupid people were wearing a mask. None of them were ‘socially distancing’. And all of them thought there was ‘no danger’. No danger to them and no danger to the rest of us.
No danger from Delta… -grinds teeth-
I’m not going to rant about those people. Instead, I’m going to address the criminal misinformation they were fed about Covid19:
- The first thing to understand is that the virus infecting NSW, Victoria and South Australia now is not the same as the version we fought during the first wave, back in March 2020. It’s a mutation of the virus called ‘Delta’.
- Delta is miles more infectious than the original version of Covid because it incubates faster and has a hugely greater viral load.
- Delta’s incubation period – i.e. the time it takes for the virus to start infecting others – is roughly half of what happened with the original version. It’s now about 30 hours.
- Delta’s viral load – i.e. how much active virus is being manufactured by the body and shed outside the body – is 1260 times more than the original version. Just think about that number for a moment. 😦
- Delta can also infect via super fine aerosol spray [from just breathing], droplets [heavier drops from say sneezing] and contamination of surfaces [from droplets landing on surfaces and staying active].
Taken all together, this means that many of the things we thought we knew about Covid no longer apply.
We used to think that Covid only spread via droplets and surface contamination. We now know that Delta can and does spread via super fine aerosol spray. That’s how Delta has been escaping from hotel quarantine.
We used to think that children and the ‘young’ were pretty much safe from dying of Covid. Wrong. Recent data from Indonesia shows that children and the young are much more likely to become sick and die if they catch Delta.
We used to think that being outdoors, or in a properly ventilated area would protect us from Covid. We now know that Delta can and does spread outdoors. The spread from the MCG is proof of that. Air circulation does dilute the viral load, but wherever large groups of people come into close contact, spread does occur.
Imagine this, you’re walking along in a crowd of people, completely unaware that the person directly in front of you has Delta. Maybe they don’t know they have it either. As they breathe out and move on, you walk through the air that just came out of their mouths! If you breathe in at that moment, you’re breathing in the Delta virus.
3000 people in Melbourne may have done just that on Saturday, and not just for a few seconds, but for the entire time they marched through our streets. Some of those people are just plain nuts – you would not believe the conspiracy theories being bandied about. Most though, have probably been taken in by the misuse of statistics from overseas.
I saw one tweet on Twitter touting the fact that the percentage of people who died from Covid was tiny, so there was ‘no danger’. Those stats came from the CDC in the US and were totally misleading. The percentage of Covid deaths out of a population of 350,000,000 may be ‘a little number’, but that’s only because there are just 100 numbers in a percentage – from 1 to 100. The number of deaths, however, is huge – over 600,000. That’s over half a million people like you and me.
For those 600,000+ people in the US, the danger was very and very fatal.
The only thing that stops us from facing the same danger is luck. Or lockdowns. I may be a control freak, but know which I prefer.
Getting back to those 3000 people in Melbourne, many were saying they had been fully vaccinated and therefore should not be locked up with the rest of us. I sincerely hope they were vaccinated, because otherwise they could die if they catch Delta. The latest victim was a young woman in her 30s who had no underlying health problems.
But being vaccinated yourself does not mean you can’t be infected by Delta. And it definitely does not mean you can’t pass Delta on to those who are not vaccinated. Recent data coming out of Israel shows that whilst vaccines continue to stop people from becoming sick and needing to be ventilated, their ability to stop transmission of the virus reduces drastically with time.
How drastically? Down to about 39% after 4 months. Four months. That means anyone who is not fully vaccinated will be in danger…from those who are vaccinated…after just four months. And this is data about the Pfizer vaccine! The gold standard for protecting health and reducing transmission.
But the worst news is that Delta may not be the worst variant of Covid we have to face. In Peru, almost all of those with Covid have been infected by a variant called Lambda. And Lambda is spreading out of South America, with cases now found in Texas.
No one knows which variant will prove to be the winner in this war of the viruses, but being vaccinated is no longer the magic bullet we all hoped it would be. In a few years time, Generation XX of the vaccines may stop transmission as well as hospitalisations, but this first generation of vaccines can’t, or at least, it can’t stop transmission permanently.
What does this all mean for us? It means we need virtually 100% vaccination rates – across all age groups, including children. It also means boosters, boosters, and more boosters. And it may mean that wearing masks in certain settings becomes the norm rather than the exception.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out these videos from Dr John Campbell:
And re viral load:
As for the fools marching through our streets on Saturday…I really wish there were a vaccine for stupid. These people actually saw themselves as ‘heroes’ who would be applauded by the rest of us.
Well… 10,000 of the rest of us contacted Crime Stoppers about the protests. Surprise, surprise.