back to article Microsoft to require proof of vaccination from on-site staff, pushes back full reopening

Not for the first time, Microsoft has followed Apple's lead and will not bring staff back to its offices until October at the earliest. The Windows giant confirmed to The Register it won't fully reopen its campuses in the United States before October 4 or later, citing concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And with …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I assume medical reasons will require a Doctor's certificate. Can we ensure that religious reasons will require a Deity's certificate, not just somebody saying "My imaginary friend says I mustn't get vaccinated."

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Perhaps the official sky fairy apps will get an update with a QR code generator?

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Megaphone

        The Vatican sky fairy is very much in favour of vaccination, and while there are no official figures, as far as I can see, the Vatican has given out more doses of vaccine per head of population than any oher country in the world. Gibraltar leads the official figures with 116% of the population vaccinated. Vatican looks like it is somewhere in the order of 500% to 1000%.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Everyone has been vaccinated 5 to 10 times over?

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            No, they vaccinated all their resident population, all of their non-resident citizens, everyone who travels across the border to work there, and people living in homeless shelters near the border.

            1. Flywheel Silver badge
              FAIL

              people living in homeless shelters near the border

              Yes, it's a pity that an organisation the size of the Vatican with all its wealth should have to do that...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > Yes, it's a pity that an organisation the size of the Vatican with all its wealth should have to do that...

                So how many homeless people do you think your own personal wealth will help? Surely you have enough to help at least one - so why don't you give your money away now?

                What's that, Skippy? He doesn't like being told what to do and would rather set his own agenda and help in the way he best sees fit. Hmm, I wonder if the Vatican feels the same way?

              2. J. Cook Silver badge
                Facepalm

                ...Considering it's sort of in their charter to help the poor and needy?

        2. Woodnag Silver badge

          "accommodation process" and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

          https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/emergency-use-authorization-vaccines-explained

          In USA, can't force an EUA vaccine, but can force the choice of daily testing or vaccination.

          Hence MS being careful on wording...

      2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re :"Perhaps the official sky fairy apps will get an update with a QR code generator?"

        You might want to change the link for the word Fairy. At the time I wrote this, it points to the official Mecca Bingo app, unless people do actually pray to the Bingo gods..

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Doesn't everyone pray to the bingo gods?

          Unfortunately they're not listening to me.

        2. Flywheel Silver badge

          I'm surprised that M*cc* Bingo have got away with using that name for so long.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      All appear to be pro vaccine

      All the main ones appear pro, so can't be any which can't get it then.

    3. teknopaul Silver badge

      hold up

      I am vaccinated and far from anti-vaxxer but ordering people to take a vaccination is a step too far.

      It will not work.

      You cannot force health on people any more than you can force peace on people.

      Where does that end. Consider a (theoretical) treatment that protects 51% and kills 49%.

      You need to be very careful about forcing injections on people. Being suspicious and aware that the long term effects of new treatments is by definition untested is perfectly logical.

      Respect peoples rights and thier fears and be honest.

      Vaccination works, therefore you don't need to force it on people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: hold up

        All very true, but it looks like the government's public messaging has got waaay out of control, and we're heading towards witch-hunt territory.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: hold up

        Vaccination is not just to protect the vaccinated, it is to protect those they come in contact with. If people refuse to be vaccinated that's their choice, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to bar them from places where they could pass on the virus if they are contagious, including a workplace. We do it for smokers, to protect non-smokers from the harm of secondary smoke, the principle is much the same.

      3. Snake Silver badge

        Re: hold up

        I am vaccinated and far from anti-vaxxer but ordering people to take a vaccination is a step too far.

        Based upon historical prescient, no, not at all.

        "It will not work.

        You cannot force health on people any more than you can force peace on people."

        Yes, yes you can. Before this narcissistic generation currently occupied planet Earth, health codes and inoculations were easily enforced by Health officials, and the population was pretty much in-line in agreements with them. From inoculations to cleanliness at commercial establishments.

        Because, until the doted-up emotionally immature "adults" of today, they remembered, or had parents that still remembered, the Goode Olde Bad Times before society took safety of its citizens as a serious social topic. Smallpox. Spanish Flu. Polio - which they grew up fearing up until Salk's vaccine...of **1953**. Even polio, through the March of Dimes campaign instituted by FDR, didn't manage the polio epidemics of summer until well into the "Good Old Days' that Baby Boomers want to dream were Soooooo great.

        The PROBLEM is, as usual, people know what they know but they don't know why they know it. They are "sure" that vaccines should be doubted, but have NO idea of their history nor their effects on human history. The general health we all take for granted today is because of vaccines, and health departments all over the WORLD took note and rolled them out.

        And did you notice how people embraced them? Even beyond the initial fiasco of the polio vaccine rollout which was botched by one laboratory and caused a polio outbreak.

        "You need to be very careful about forcing injections on people. Being suspicious and aware that the long term effects of new treatments is by definition untested is perfectly logical."

        There can be reasonable doubt, yes. But very little of the current doubt is "reasonable" because almost no one has provide *proof*, scientific evidence, of why the doubt should be there.

        It is mostly based on POLITICS.

        And that needs to be CRUSHED. I'm sorry, yes, absolutely crushed. Because fools are now using politics as a cudgel to push their singular agenda on everything, and everyone else. The people against vaccination have no proof but yet expect everyone ELSE to do their "dirty work" - cause the quote "herd immunity", without they themselves lifting a finger in any type of cooperation. They fundamentally expect the virus to be handled because they should be safe, but want no part in helping any of the work or responsibility that comes with making any of that true.

        Like 9-year olds. Gratification, but no responsibilities.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: hold up

          Can you clarify if you think people must be vaccinated for their own good, or that people need to be vaccinated so that they do good for others? Or both?

          All of your discussion of polio, smallpox, etc, falls flat on its face, as they were debilitating diseases with fatality rates in the high 10's of %.

          1. georgezilla

            Re: hold up

            The problem is that you look at numbers that are not relevant, the 10% being an example.

            And ignore the 613,000+ number of dead in just the U.S..

            Try telling the fiends and families of those people that those numbers are aren't relevant.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: hold up

              Tell you what, I'll look at a number that is relevant, and that's the 0.07% infection fatality ratio for Covid for my age.

              It also sounds like you're ignoring the 2.7 million other people who died in the US last year.

              I hope you like the world that lockdowns and restrictions is bringing us, and remain convinced it was all worthwhile.

          2. Snake Silver badge

            Re: clarification

            "Can you clarify if you think people must be vaccinated for their own good, or that people need to be vaccinated so that they do good for others? Or both?

            I'm sorry but yes, I CAN say that people will be vaccinated "for their own good". And here it is, legal proof that, yes, the government can INSIST that you get vaccinated for your, and other's, own good

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobson_v._Massachusetts

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: clarification

              "Jacobson has been invoked in numerous other Supreme Court cases as an example of a baseline exercise of the police power, with cases relying on it including Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) (sterilization of those with intellectual disabilities)"

              Wonderful.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: clarification

                Just for fun, find me a case where despotic over-reach and horrifying outcomes didn't come from an initial act "for the public good", that everyone apparently supported.

                I'm not saying they all go that way, I'm saying we need to be really really careful. I'd rather the NHS crumbles, than have the country descend into mob rule or some totalitarian nightmare state.

                1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

                  Careful what you wish for

                  I'd rather the NHS crumbles, than have the country descend into mob rule or some totalitarian nightmare state

                  If the NHS does crumble the country would likely go that way anyway. Millions of people suddenly unable to attain basic healthcare or treatment for any serious or lifethreatening condition, because they can't afford it, would not be happy. Wouldn't end well.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Careful what you wish for

                    Millions of people suddenly unable to attain basic healthcare

                    Sounds like a pretty accurate description of the current state of the NHS, especially here in Wales.

          3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

            Re: hold up

            You keep pitching this argument.

            Percentage might be small, but absolute numbers are high. Very high. And only not even higher because of things like lockdowns, masks, distancing, hand cleaning.

            And please don't give, for instance, Sweden as an example of why that stuff wasn't necessary. Sure, they didn't lockdown, but the vast majority of their citizens took it on themselves to wear masks, distance and so on. There's no proof that would have happened elsewhere.

            Where do you personally draw the line between a percentage that is worth trying to keep alive, and a percentage that can just go die because it's only a low percentage?

            COVID can be just as debilitating. Long COVID is a thing, it can be disasterous, and many hundreds of thousands of people in the UK along have been suffering its effects for over a year. No one knows how long that will last. Perhaps their entire lives.

            And just what exactly is your problem with doing something because it could help someone else? You seem to have an almost violent aversion to it. Can't require people to take a vaccine because it could help others not get the disease. Weird outlook. No one is forcing you to get the vaccine, but at some point if you want to mingle with the rest of society, it's worth maybe giving a shit about the rest of society.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: hold up

              absolute numbers are high

              Yep, that's how it works when you have tiny percentages and huge numbers of people.

              I have no aversion to helping people. In fact, the core of my point of view is that much greater is being done, right now and in the long run, due to our response to Covid. The nation's social, mental, physical, and emotional health is in ruins, and no-one has even seemed to notice yet, let alone started some way to fix things.

              I have acted the way I have, because as I see it, it is in the best interests of my family and those closest to me.

      4. georgezilla

        Re: hold up

        It's not "forcing" anyone.

        Want to work here, get vaccinated.

        Don't want to get vaccinated, then you can't work here.

        IT'S YOUR CHOICE.

        It's you right.

        And I respect it.

        It's my right to insist that you be vaccinated to work at my company.

        RESPECT MY RIGHTS!

        And then respect the rights of my employees to not be infected by someone that isn't vaccinated.

        That's why the "respect my rights" bullshit is just that ...........

        Bullshit.

        No shoes.

        No shirt.

        No vaccine.

        No service.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: hold up

          Here at Sanctimonius Corp, we protect all of our employees. That's why we listened to our precious employees when they complained about the dangers of AIDS, and now demand everyone gets the new HIV vaccine. After all, we can't have someone walking in our building and giving everyone AIDS! If you don't like it, well then go somewhere else!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: hold up

            A false comparison. You can't get AIDS (HIV) from standing next to them for a few minutes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Health officials in the San Francisco Bay Area...have ordered people to wear masks indoors in public settings even if vaccinated due to a surge in infections."

    Eh, that certainly isn't displaying a great deal of confidence in the vaccines that are supposed to save us (or, at least, save those of us who've been vaxed).

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Two reasons could explain this without having to jump to "the vaccines are not working". One reason is that people could still contract a mild case which won't be severe enough to cause them problems but could spread the virus to those who didn't take the vaccinations for whatever reasons. The second reason is that compulsory masking prevents people who don't like vaccines and also don't like masks from lying about their vaccination status so they don't have to wear the mask; if everyone has to be masked, then the unvaccinated people are enforced more strongly to do so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So when can we stop wearing masks?

        1. cookieMonster
          Unhappy

          By the looks of it, 2025 ish

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "So when can we stop wearing masks?"

          When enough people have developed immunity through being vaccinated or getting the disease and not dying. With the vaccine having become so politicized in the US, it could be while.

          The sad thing is that it is often the people who won't get vaccinated who cry the loudest about masking and other restrictions. The quicker you get vaccinated the quicker the restrictions can be dropped.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Go on then, I'll bite. Why do those at no particular personal risk from Covid, need immunity? If it's for the much-discussed but never-quantified reduction in risk to others, then how will we ever stop wearing masks?

            What will we do when a variant escapes the vaccine (which is inevitable, given the quickly-mutuating nature of coronaviruses)? I'm already hearing noises about the new Lamba variant (which also makes me wonder what happened to the Epsilon, Eta, Zeta, etc, variants).

            Yes, those concerned about the erosion of one personal liberty are concerned about others.

            Statements like "The quicker you get vaccinated the quicker the restrictions can be dropped" are either the result of a benevolent government truly concerned about holdouts to a vaccine that will save their lives, or a gateway to the horrors we studied in history but never learned the lesson.

            1. Snake Silver badge

              Ok, I'll bite

              "Why do those at no particular personal risk from Covid, need immunity?"

              That's it, now I'm pissed. Exactly HOW does a human being in planet Earth become NOT at personal risk from a contagious disease??

              Are you an (illegal) space alien with natural immunity? Or, just an idiot who is too stupid for a virus to bother spreading to??

              Stop with the "my freedoms!!" Your parents' generation absolutely JUMPED at the chance to get the polio vaccine, for one...or, maybe, I've misspoke and in actuality you've HAD polio and are writing this from your iron lung?

              The stupidity I've been witnessing throughout this epidemic is mind blowing. Unless you've have polio, smallpox, tetanus, rubella, typhoid and several other notable diseases, you have NO foot to stand on regarding an anti-vaccine stance because vaccines prevented you from getting all THOSE diseases. So now that vaccines accomplished their role in those historic problems, you want to politicize a bias by claiming that *this* vaccine is bad and against your "freedom".

              Will the g-damn world grow the f*** up???!!!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ok, I'll bite

                Why does everyone conflate being vaccinated to protect yourself, and being vaccinated to try and protect others? Which one are you angry about?

                I am (gratefully) vaccinated against all of those diseases, because they present a serious risk to me. That's almost the entire point of a vaccine.

                The stats on deaths and serious effects, for my demographic, do not cause me any alarm. Not enough to go and take a vaccine, which, for my demograhpic, has about the same risk of death and serious effects.

                1. katrinab Silver badge
                  Flame

                  Re: Ok, I'll bite

                  The percentage of the vaccinated population experiencing "side effects" from the vaccine is lower than the percentage of the unvaccinated population experiencing the same effects.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Ok, I'll bite

                    Overall, yes. By age, absolutely not. (much like Covid itself).

                2. This post has been deleted by its author

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Ok, I'll bite

                  "Why does everyone conflate being vaccinated to protect yourself, and being vaccinated to try and protect others?"

                  It is both.

                  A vaccine prevents you from getting sick from whatever disease you are vaccinated against. It ALSO helps prevent passing the disease to others. What is so hard about this concept that you seem to have trouble understanding? Some people cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons or age reasons in the case of COVID, so high levels of vaccinated people in the community help stop them getting sick. Also, vaccines are not perfect. Some people will get sick even if they are vaccinated. Again, preventing spread by high levels of community immunity helps them.

                  A final reason is that the more a virus can spread, the more mutations you will get and the more chance there is of a more dangerous variant. The nightmare scenario being one that escapes the current vaccine protection and the world goes back to where it was in February 2020.

                  You don't seem to consider this disease dangerous. It has already killed millions around the globe and caused long term health issues for many more. Not just older people, although they were more affected. People of all ages have died. The Delta strain in particular now seems to be hitting younger people harder.

                  My wife and 16 year old daughter are now fully vaccinated. I will get my second shot later this month. As soon as it is available for under 12s my young son will be vaccinated. Do I think we will be seriously affected? Probably not. However I don't want to take the risk and there is no need to when there is a safe alternative. I also would like to travel again at some point and airlines are going to insist on vaccination as will immigration into many countries. I also want to help prevent spread to the unvaccinated. Also, the sooner we can get to high levels of immunity (>80%) the sooner we can stop other restrictions like masking and lockdown.

                  This is the last time I will respond to any of your comments though. You are either a troll or a total moron. Either way, I won't waste any more of my time. I just hope you are correct and the virus doesn't cause you any harm, but neither you or I have any idea if it will or not. I don't wish harm on anyone and I especially don't want a family to be grieving a completely preventable death.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Ok, I'll bite

                    It's not a hard concept to understand. It it just known if it is true for the Covid vaccines (ideally, the vaccine should give "sterilising immunity", but that is currently unknown).

                    Good for you, deciding your own personal level of risk. For me, the balance of risks for my age group, plus the unknown benefits of reducing transmission, mean that I will not be taking it.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Ok, I'll bite

                      correction - *unknown (if it is true)

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Ok, I'll bite

                      Try this study of more than 144,000 healthcare workers in Scotland.

                      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-56373252

                      It shows that people living with a vaccinated health worker were at least 30% less likely to contract the virus than those living with an unvaccinated health worker. Strong evidence to suggest that the vaccine both prevents illness in the vaccinated person and also reduces virus shedding to protect others.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Ok, I'll bite

                    Fellow AC, I wish I could upvote this more than once. Thank you.

              2. ForthIsNotDead

                Re: Ok, I'll bite

                >> "Why do those at no particular personal risk from Covid, need immunity?"

                > That's it, now I'm pissed. Exactly HOW does a human being in planet Earth become NOT at personal risk from a contagious disease??

                It's all relative - depends how dangerous the disease it. C19? Not very dangerous. Ebola? Terrifying.

                > Are you an (illegal) space alien with natural immunity? Or, just an idiot who is too stupid for a virus to bother spreading to??

                Ad-hominem ignored.

                >Stop with the "my freedoms!!" Your parents' generation absolutely JUMPED at the chance to get the polio vaccine, for one...or, maybe, I've misspoke and in actuality you've HAD polio and are writing this from your iron lung?

                Yes but those vaccines went through proper trials, over the course of very many years. They weren't rushed to the market in six months and released onto the public through emergency measures explicitly granted to bypass stage 3 trials. With the C19 vaccines, the entire world population *is* the stage 3 trial.

                > The stupidity I've been witnessing throughout this epidemic is mind blowing. Unless you've have polio, smallpox, tetanus, rubella, typhoid and several other notable diseases, you have NO foot to stand on regarding an anti-vaccine stance because vaccines prevented you from getting all THOSE diseases. So now that vaccines accomplished their role in those historic problems, you want to politicize a bias by claiming that *this* vaccine is bad and against your "freedom".

                Firstly, those diseases will kill you. Secondly, nobody is forcing me to take those vaccines in order to go to a pub or my place of work. Do you see the difference now?

                1. anothercynic Silver badge

                  Re: Ok, I'll bite

                  The COVID vaccines went through "proper trials".

                  And it's thanks to those vaccines (and those before you who took them without this "oh but they weren't tested properly" bull) that you don't *need* to have them to go to the pub or your place of work.

                  Most of those do not spread by aerosol. Most of them spread by bodily fluids. That makes them less likely to spread as quickly as the contagion we're dealing with.

                  Stop being a prat, grow up, take the vaccine, and know you're protected and you can go to the bloody pub. And you're welcome to downvote me or report this all you like.

                  This is the truth, whether you like it or not.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: Ok, I'll bite

                    The COVID vaccines went through "proper trials".

                    So did Thalidomide(ish). But how many mRNA vaccines were there prior to Covid?

                    Stop being a prat, grow up, take the vaccine, and know you're protected and you can go to the bloody pub. And you're welcome to downvote me or report this all you like.

                    If you've taken the vaccine, and know that you're protected.. Why are you worried about people who haven't been vaccinated? Citizen, you are immune. You are protected. You are safe. Your government has protected you.

                    This is the truth, whether you like it or not.

                    The truth just ain't what it used to be. So pre-Covid mRNA vaccines were considered too risky. Then something escaped from a US funded lab, and a couple were rushed into production. The truth regarding Covid's origins is still unknown, despite 'fact checkers' officially denying it was a lab bat.

                    But Pfizer and Moderna thank you for your concern. Their for-profit vaccines have made those companies very healthy. They've also granted full immunity.. From liability at least. Immunity from Covid? Well, that's a lot less certain. But fear not, 16 & 17 year olds can get the jab now, even though they've had a very low risk of developing serious symptoms. The rest of us? Well, we can look forward to 6-monthly booster shots to keep shareholders healthy.

                    But there's been a lot of FUD around Delta. It's more transmissable! Ohnoes! Even people who've been fully vaccinated have caught Delta! It's that bad! So now masks on again, even if you've been fully vaccinated. Of course the vaccines have saved Delta victims. It gives you just a mild version of the 'vid. Except that's not entirely scientific given you'd need to look at populations of vaccinated and unvaccinated and compare hospitalisation rates.. Which have been falling.

                    Which could be due to a couple of reasons. Herd immunity, or the virus doing the usual virus thing and becoming attenuated. After all, a virus that has an IFR of 100% isn't going to spread as much as Covid, with it's 0.25% or lower IFR.

                    But such is politics. It's given people an excuse to discriminate on health grounds. It's given the tolerant an excuse to become intolerant against the unclean. We even have digital bells on mobile phones to let people know there are plague carriers around. And in NY, employers and shop owners can be fined if they let the unclean into their premises.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Ok, I'll bite

                  All the Western COVID vaccines went through stage 3 trials. The only vaccine I am aware of that didn't is the Russian Sputnik one.

                  Some countries released the vaccine with an emergency authorisation after stage 3 trials but before all the usual approval sign offs were complete. This is standard practice for a medicine when the benefits are apparent and the condition they tackle is causing serious harm. Other countries like Australia did not do an EA as there was no rampant spread of the virus. All the vaccines have gone through the full approvals process there.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Ok, I'll bite

                    Don't forget, the Phase II and Phase III trials were also run concurrently, which is unusual.

            2. Xalran

              So far they have only reached H ( no Greek letter for it ) and Lambda ( last Greek letter used )

              Source :

              https://nextstrain.org/ncov/gisaid/global

              When I look at those strain/mutation graphs I think that we will end up having to deal with it the way we deal with the seasonal flu : getting a new shot for the 'Strains combination of the year' every year.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Epsilon AKA B.1.427. Was pushed out by the more transmissible Alpha variant, which in turn was replaced by Delta.

              Variants listed here if you are interested:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2

              Or you could always go to the CDC website if you don't trust Wikipedia:

              https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/variant-info.html

              Or you could continue to live in blissful ignorance.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Ah, you're back.

              You MUST be vaccinated already, otherwise, with your attitude to masks you would have been hooked up to a ventilator by now.

              Why do those at no particular personal risk from Covid, need immunity?

              Explain to me in detail how you would escape being exposed to Covid in the first place, given that the Delta variant transmits better than chickenpox - something you more or less acknowledge in your concern about further variants and which raises questions about the logic you apply in the first place.

              So, let me spell it out for you again. I'll try to use small words, and maybe put a finger on the screen so you can follow the little words one by one.

              1 - vaccination. Vaccination does not magically create a shield around you, what it does is boost your ability to SURVIVE an infection without much trouble and, most importantly, being a royal pain to health workers who have had more than enough having to deal with total idiots already. The term "breakthrough" infection should in my opinion be clarified a bit more like "getting seriously ill despite being vaccinated" because that does happen, but on a statistical basis than chance is so low it doesn't even move the needle.

              2 - masks. Masks insert a barrier in the transmission path. Like vaccination, it's not 100% effective (only dying from Covid is) but it reduced the chances (yes, it's an analog thing, not binary) that you pick up an infection, and, magically, at the same time, that you hand any of yours to someone else. The former is important because that reduces your exposure to new variants (the thing you're so worried about, and if you don't trust KN95/FFP3 then get the FFP3 versions instead), the latter because doing anything else means you combine being an assh*le with deliberately contributing to the hazerds out there. You may have spotted that the flu is down in the statistics as well - nice side effect of the whole mask thing.

              One of the good things about mRNA vaccinations that we now thankfully have available is that they can be altered fairly quickly ("fairly" because the production process alone takes some 60 days), so I expect that DNA sequencing and experiments are already underway. That's also what drives this noise about a third vaccination, it is likely going to be an updated dosis but the question is now which approval process is to be followed.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Surely you meant to say, "with your attitude to masks, everyone else around you must be on a ventilator by now"? Masks protect others, remember?

                I've almost certainly already been exposed to Covid. By my demographic, even if I become infected, I am at very low risk of becoming seriously ill, burdening the NHS (even though that is what it is for!), or dying.

                on a statistical basis than chance is so low it doesn't even move the needle.

                Yes, a good summary, in fact.

                And some mask talk. Masks provide practically no, if any, protection to the wearer. No-one with any sense is claiming that the assortment of masks we all wear provide any benefit when you consider virus-sized particles. I do understand that masks are supposed to protect others. My argument is not "well I don't care, I'm going to spread Covid", it's "masks barely do anything". Yes, maybe they help a tiny bit, but on that analogue scale, they're right down there in the noise.

                You may have spotted that the flu is down in the statistics as well

                I have. I had this very point brought up to me last time this topic came up, and the conversation came to a screeching halt when I suggested that the changes made to the way the NHS reports death from viral-like symptoms (I can provide a link to the guidance, if you like) means it will probably be forever unknowable how many people died last winter of Covid, and how many died of similar viral respiratory infections.

                In summary, the new guidelines brought in in 2020 mean that anything that looks Covid-y can be called a Covid death without a need for a test, and specifically exempted Covid deaths from needing a coroner's attention, despite the status of Covid normally needing such a thing.

                they can be altered fairly quickly

                So our new normal consists of regular jabbings with mRNA vaccines, created at short notice, to protect us from a disease that the overwhelming vast majority of people survive? Are you a conspiracy theorist?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Which part of "the question is now which approval process is to be followed" do you need explained?

                  Does light bend around you?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Maybe next time they'll approve the vaccine during Phase II trials, instead of during Phase III trials.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  > I do understand that masks are supposed to protect others.

                  Masks are very helpful: when I see someone not wearing one in a place where they should be I can tell immediately that they're a fuckwit they engage in risky behaviour and are therefore far more likely to be infected than any other random person, and I keep far more than 2m away until they've gone.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Excellent, then everything is working as it should be.

            5. georgezilla

              " ... those concerned about the erosion of one personal liberty ... "

              Because it's not.

              And IF it is, it erodes MY "personal liberty" to not be infected by them.

              So as an excuse, the "personal liberty" excuse is bullshit.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                You don't have a "personal liberty" to not be infected with disease. Do you berate your colleagues when a cold or sniffle goes around the office?

        3. Danny 2 Silver badge

          I don't think I will ever lose my masks, and I'm hugely self destructive. I used to assume the Japanese tourists in Edinburgh were wearing them due to traffic pollution, but apparently cooties. I'm buying bigger and better masks and will eventually have the whole Ebola gear. You people are disgusting and dangerous and I do mean all you people. I am never kissing any of you. I'd like a 27m social distance before I enter an office.

          My second jab is on Saturday, I may calm down a tad a few weeks after that.

          Off topic: (way off, like over the meadow and far away)

          A fair few years ago I didn't eat much for three months, (extreme poverty) and since then I can't tell when I am hungry or full. That relay between my brain and my stomach has been blown. Because painful.

          I'm pretty sure I just ate too much, mum's kedgeree. I'm pretty sure the previous day I was starving again because faintness from a week of under eating. Like literally about to faint, not being able to walk straight. Certainly not safe to drive. Fairly clear warning signs if your brain is working right.

          One of the great things about whisky is calories. instant cure. They should give it to anorexics on the NHS. And bananas. But alcohol does not get the credit it deserves.

          I heard a BBC radio 4 programme about a Russian woman in the siege of Stalingrad who stumbled across a ton load of abandoned baby orphans. No food, so she'd go to the front line and beg soldiers for vodka for them. Probably, no definitely, not healthy for them but she kept them alive.

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Meh

            If you need instant calories, a sugary drink is the best option.

            While alcohol has a lot of calories, it is very difficult for the body to make use of them.

        4. georgezilla

          When people stop being stupid, ignorant or both.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The vaccines will very likely stop you from getting seriously ill and dying. They may not prevent you getting infected. If you are infected you can still potentially spread the virus to others. Hence masks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I thought I HAD to get vaccinated, despite my demographic group being at essentially no risk from Covid, because otherwise I present too much of a risk to others?

        1. A K Stiles

          And being vaccinated does appear to reduce (but not eliminate) the potential for you to spread Covid-19. As does you wearing a mask (help protect others from you more than help protect you from others, but a bit of reciprocity makes it better for everyone).

          What demo group is that, if you pardon the personal question, 'cos there still seem to be people dying or suffering with prolonged issues in every age group as far as I can see?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'll have to ask for figures or sources for both of these:

            And being vaccinated does appear to reduce (but not eliminate) the potential for you to spread Covid-19

            there still seem to be people dying or suffering with prolonged issues in every age group

            Once we have some figures to work with, then we can have a sensible conversation. As I see it, I do not support drastic changes to my lifestyle (primarily, the continuing restrictions that affect almost all aspects of life as soon as I walk outside my door), nor un-necessary medical treatment, without some form of evidence for benefit (and that includes benefit for others).

            I'll return to my original point - if I need to be vaccinated, but still present a risk of spreading Covid, then when will we ever stop wearing masks? Obviously it's a moot point in England at the moment.

            1. A K Stiles

              https://www.ft.com/content/d71729a3-72e8-490c-bd7e-757027f9b226

              and in particular, this graphic

              https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/https%3A%2F%2Fd6c748xw2pzm8.cloudfront.net%2Fprod%2Fd296a580-ebdd-11eb-9691-dfb7fe8169ca-fullwidth.png?dpr=1&fit=scale-down&quality=highest&source=next&width=1260

              from this article

              https://www.ft.com/content/0f11b219-0f1b-420e-8188-6651d1e749ff

              Also, look at the official cases vs hospitalisation vs death data e.g. from https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases and overlay that with the vaccination figures from the same source - the correlation between reduced hospitalisation and deaths in relation to increasing vaccination is pretty clear.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                I asked for data or sources to support these statements of yours:

                And being vaccinated does appear to reduce (but not eliminate) the potential for you to spread Covid-19

                there still seem to be people dying or suffering with prolonged issues in every age group

                That FT article is neither (at least, as far as I can see from the headlines and the "infographic", it is addressing the separate topic "why are so many vaccinated in hospital with Covid", which frankly is a question I don't care about). It's also, obviously, 100% not peer-reviewed medical research. Thanks to our response to Covid, I now have very little trust in uncorrelated modelling, especially when that model is put together by a news reporter.

                1. A K Stiles

                  and the gov.uk data...?

                  Maybe, just maybe, take a bit of time and make the effort to do some of your own analysis and investigation rather than just demanding other people put the answer right under your nose.

                  The FT article is clearly demonstrating how the vaccines, at their indicated efficacies, are translating into the related percentages of hospitalisation we are actually seeing in vaccinated vs unvaccinated, as correlated by the data from the government site, which is from the ONS, which is where any data analysis basically starts

                  If you are wilfully ignoring the evidence available then nothing I can give you will convince you of a different viewpoint.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    You haven't presented any evidence, so there is nothing for me to "ignore".

                    and the gov.uk data...?

                    What about it? Which data, and what conclusion are you drawing from it? Surely you are not suggesting that the primary reason for the drop in Covid deaths, is that each person being vaccinated is actually saving everyone else? That would be a ridiculous conclusion to draw, especially as all of the data provided to date on the efficacy of the vaccine is concerned entirely with the protection to the person taking it from Covid symptoms, and thus a reduction in the risk of that person being hospitalised or dying (that is, like every other vaccine).

                    I understand what the FT article is saying. It's just not saying anything about how much me being vaccinated reduces my risk to others, nor is it saying anything about how much risk Covid presents to me (which are two things you have asserted).

                    Normally, when people make statements, the onus is on them to back them up. Making statements and then demanding I do the research is backwards. Otherwise, I could tell you that wearing a top hat reduces the risks of Covid, and it's on you to do so until you can prove otherwise.

                    1. A K Stiles

                      But you're making statements that you see no relationship between you (and most other people) being vaccinated and other people not getting covid, yet if you actually look at the numbers and the dates, it does provide (for me) some confidence that the correlation between the vaccinations and the hospitalisations / deaths and even in connection to transmission if considered alongside the relevant periods of lockdown.

                      You seem to be taking the approach of "I'm not doing anything until it is proven beyond MY doubt that it has a beneficial effect for me / society" but then not accepting that sometimes the correlation does show causation. Otherwise, what is making the difference in hospitalisations / deaths and even the case numbers in the current peak?

                      You reject the hypothesis that vaccination is responsible for the reductions but haven't provided any suggestion of what alternative might be responsible.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Otherwise, what is making the difference in hospitalisations / deaths and even the case numbers in the current peak?

                        The fact that the vaccine protects the person taking it, which is the primary effect, and which I already suggested.

                        You reject the hypothesis that vaccination is responsible for the reductions

                        You should read more carefully. I reject the hypothesis that me being vaccinated causes a significant reduction risk to others (which is the topic of this conversation). It would appear that the vaccine is actually working, in that it is protecting those who take it. "Vaccinate the vulnerable", right?

                        1. A K Stiles

                          How about

                          vaccinated = less likely to catch disease thus less likely to pass it on.

                          vaccinated = reduced symptoms (e.g. coughing & sneezing) = less likely to pass it to other people.

                          mask wearing = fewer (potentially contaminated) droplets and reduced velocity of droplets escaping from you and contaminating other people.

                          based on pretty much every vaccine programme ever.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            That all sounds very reasonable, but not very scientific.

                            Whether or not a vaccine stops you displaying symptoms, or whether it stops you becoming infected, depends on whether it gives you sterilising immunity or not. That is currently unknown for the Covid vaccines, as all testing done on them (at least, by the developers of the vaccines) looked only at symptoms of those being given the vaccine.

                            If I'm currently not coughing and sneezing (aka, "not ill"), does that make me nearly as low a risk to others as a vaccinated person?

                            I get the arguments about mask-wearing, although it has never been proven that reductions in various sized droplets or aerosols actually reduce the risk of others catching Covid. I could make similar, reasonable but unscientific statements about masks like "exhaling through a cotton mask breaks up larger droplets into a finer mist, like squeezing a jelly through a colander".

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              The fact that a vaccine enhances your body's ability to fight the virus also implies it enhances the body's ability to stop it from replicating too far (that's why you have to worry less about getting carted off to hospital - the body can fight it before it ever gets that far).

                              ANY reduction in reproduction logically implies a equivalent reduction in the reproduction error rate which lies at the root of all variations/mutations. In other words, the vaccine directly impairs/reduces the virus' ability to use you as a petri dish to cook up new variants, the one thing that could undo the protection of vaccination.

                              Is that really so hard to grasp?

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                If we're going for "vaccines stop variants" (which, for an airbourne virus that apparently has so many asymptomatic carriers, as well as a less-than-100% effective vaccine, is a fool's errand), I assume you're even more concerned about totally sealing our borders to ALL comers. After all, the global petri dish is a far greater risk than I am, in this scenario.

                      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        You seem to be taking the approach of "I'm not doing anything until it is proven beyond MY doubt that it has a beneficial effect for me / society" but then not accepting that sometimes the correlation does show causation. Otherwise, what is making the difference in hospitalisations / deaths and even the case numbers in the current peak?

                        Changes in the way 'cases' are recorded and reported? Or more seriously.. You seem to be suggesting it's an either/or thing and there are only 2 sets of populations. Reality is there's at least 3, ie people who may have been infected, not noticed, have thus gone unrecorded.. And would have some acquired immunity.

                        If the only options are vaccinated or unvaccinated, then all the talk about herd immunity has obviously had no scientific basis.. Which isn't the case. But that's also the problem with 'cases', ie if overly sensitive PCR testing is used, people who've developed natural immunity would be recorded as a 'case'. But that's one of the reasons why reporting and testing methodologies have been changed as the outbreak's progressed. Whether that's political, ie to ensure that politicians can point at reductions in 'cases' and claim their policy is working, or based on science, ie very high false positives is anybody's guess.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Maybe, just maybe, take a bit of time and make the effort to do some of your own analysis and investigation rather than just demanding other people put the answer right under your nose.

                    Thank you. I'm going to use that part again.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      You really shouldn't, if you understand the concept of the burden of proof.

                2. Xalran

                  https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

                  click on UK, wait for the graphs to load to see nice UK relevant curves. Explore the whole site, there's quite a lot of SARS-CoV-2 ressource in it.

                  I guess John Hopkins University and Medecine qualifies as being in the medical domain...

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Nice looking website, although it is absurdly resource-intensive.

                    Exactly what about that data says that me getting vaccinated protects other people? And not, for example, people who have been vaccinated are at less risk of getting ill or dying?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      You're deliberately obtuse and wilfully ignoring the evidence in front of you in favour of some weird theory that you have cooked up.

                      This is not a sane debate but an utter waste of time, so congratulations, you're the first ever user I will use the button next to your name for (the one where a mouse over reads "Repeatedly incoherent? Just ignore them!").

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        By "weird theory", do you mean "the vaccine is apparently protecting those who have taken it"?

                        Sounds about par for the course.

                    2. Xalran
                      Devil

                      https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.13.21260417v1

                      That should shut you up.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        That paper confirms exactly what I've been saying - the vaccine protects those who have taken it.

                        1. Xalran

                          which is the whole point of getting a vaccine shots and saving your life ( and others along the way ) and not being a retard trying to dodge having vaccine shots ( and eventually Darwinizing yourself out of the gene pool of Homo Sapiens Sapiens )

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            I'll take the risk, thanks. It's very very small, and about the same as the risks to me of taking the vaccine. (which, if I take it, I will be definitely be taking those risks, whereas it's less than 100% certain I'll catch Covid in the first place).

                            Why do you care? After all, I'm just an antivax Facebook covidiot, right? You're very smart and won't end up "Darwinizing" yourself, unlike me (except I've already got kids, so point is kinda moot).

                            and others along the way

                            You just had to put that in there. How, exactly? And what research supports that idea?

                            1. georgezilla

                              " ... except I've already got kids, so point is kinda moot ... '

                              Except that if you give it to your kids and they die from it.

                              Thus removing your genes from the pool.

                              Making that part of your argument moot.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                They're much more likely to pass it to me and kill ME. Do you know what the IFR rates are, by age, for Covid?

                    3. katrinab Silver badge
                      Paris Hilton

                      Grab the data from their GitHub

                      https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/

                      and do your own analysis on it. That's what I do.

                      If you want to cross-reference it to vaccine numbers, get them from

                      https://github.com/owid/covid-19-data/

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        At risk of sounding like a broken record, the topic at hand is "a vaccinated person also reduces the risk of other people dying from Covid".

                        I've said this many times, in several ways. I am not disagreeing with the fact that the vaccine appears to be working, that is, it is stopping those who have taken it from dying or having severe cases.

                        Does your analysis show something different?

                        1. katrinab Silver badge
                          Paris Hilton

                          No. I was responding to the fact that JHU's website is absurdly resource intensive and it takes ages to look at anything on it.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Right. To the question in hand - did your analysis show any protective effect that one vaccinated person has on those around them?

                            1. katrinab Silver badge

                              I haven’t done that analysis. Oxford University has a dataset with public health measures, eg lockdowns, https://github.com/OxCGRT/covid-policy-tracker

                              you would need to bring that in as well, and find another dataset for travel restrictions.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                I've seen plenty of data and graphs, correlating various government restrictions with the corresponding case/death rates. I don't see how that could at all be used to show that a vaccinated person is able to prevent other people from catching Covid. Just to re-iterate - I am not saying that vaccines don't work. The link between case numbers and deaths has apparently been broken, implying that vaccines are doing their job. What I am contending is the mechanism - it seems that people are jumping to the conclusion that this must mean that transmission has been reduced. The primary effect of this (and any) vaccine is to protect the person who has taken it, and that is by far the most straightforward explanation.

            2. Wempy

              And there's the problem - some things you have to take on faith or at the very least attempt to mitigate against possible outcomes.

              The effects of this virus are quite startling, therefore a sane, sensible person would do everything possible to not contract it.

              Putting your faith in numbers when the situation is fluid and unclear is not sensible - taking reasonable precautions against contracting an air borne virus is sensible, whether the numbers add up or not.

              A toy example would be that a car moving at speed seems to have a lot of kinetic energy, I'd be better off not using my body to dissipate it, just in case. Whether I have the exact numbers or not, I doubt it'll end well for me.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Sounds suspiciously like the Church of Covid to me. In a time of uncertainty and doubt, does an airline pilot put his faith in his feelings, or does he read the numbers his instruments are telling him?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                And if I really were concerned about a novel, airbourne, virus, I would wear a rated respirator. That would be sane and sensible. What you are describing is closer to superstition.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  So what do you think KN95/FFP2/FFP3 stand for? Decoration?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Those mark a respirator that has particular filtration properties, some of which are suitable for filtering out virus-sized particles. As I suggested, wear one if you are concerned about Covid.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              if I need to be vaccinated, but still present a risk of spreading Covid, then when will we ever stop wearing masks?

              When the prevalanceof the virus is circulation is so low that there is minimal chance of anyone catching it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                No-one must catch it? Why? To reduce variants, I suppose. How will that work, unless we absolutely seal the borders (including to those sailing the channel in inflatable dingys)?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "inflatable dingys"

                  Very dark and foreboding balloons?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Everyone is at risk from covid. We just had a guy in his 20s in Sydney die. Kids are dropping like flies in Indonesia. Even Lewis Hamilton has reported long covid symptoms. Why do you think you are immune?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'm at greater risk on my cycle to work. Sure, the death rate does not drop to zero for younger people, but it is pretty darn close. If I have to look to the other side of the world for an example of the risk Covid presents to me, how does that not make my point?

            I'll have to ask for some reliable figures for "kids are dropping like flies in Indonesia". However, taking a look at that country's deaths over time, it is interesting that it was so low for most of this time, yet Covid has still caught up with them. The list of countries for which we can say "if only we had done it like X!" gets shorter and shorter - frankly, it's as if some death from a new respiratory virus is inevitable. Given how much we know about the age and health profile (and have known, since early 2020) of those most affected, and especially now that the vaccine appears to be working, I don't see why such ongoing measures are needed.

            Saying that, by Covid death rate, Indonesia is still 104th in the world.

            Even Lewis Hamilton has reported long covid symptoms.

            I suffer from Long Covid symptoms every day. It's called "having 2 small kids".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              As of 7th July, 1.6 percent of all covid deaths in Indonesia were in children, with many more suffering serious health issues. Deaths in other countries obviously don't bother you. I just hope you don't get infected., pass it onto your kids and one of them dies. Unlike you, I don't think any unnecessary childhood deaths are acceptable. The simple fact is you can protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated. What's up, scared of the needle?

              Indonesia has now overtaken India for cases and deaths. I was thinking that they may possibly catch up to the US at some point, but then I realised there were people like you doing your best to make sure the US stays number 1.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                What's up, scared of the needle?

                You're not showing much consideration for those who are scared of needles. Do you treat all such issues like you are a gung-ho Victorian doctor?

                As of 7th July, 1.6 percent of all covid deaths in Indonesia were in children

                Got a source for that? Best I can find is that 700, or 0.7%, of Indonesia's 100,000 Covid deaths were children. Given that Indonesia is a developing country, I'd also love to see some more info on the methodology, as this is a serious topic, and we should not make serious decisions on questionable data.

                Deaths in other countries obviously don't bother you.

                Exactly what can I do about that? Ignoring just how much horror and death happens on a daily basis around the world apart from Covid, we've already had the Delta variant here, and we're doing just fine.

                Indonesia has now overtaken India for cases and deaths.

                In what way? Certainly not in deaths per capita.

              2. georgezilla

                " ... What's up, scared of the needle? ... "

                Why yes actually I am.

                To the point of having an anxiety attack that scares people around me.

                And having to have TWO of them makes it fucking worse.

                But it's not relevant.

                Because becoming infected and possibly DYING frightens me even more.

                Oh and thank you for asking!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "I'm at greater risk on my cycle to work."

              No, you are not. But even if you were, it would be a specious argument. You can't eliminate the risk of riding your bike unless you stop riding. You CAN virtually eliminate the risk of dying or getting seriously ill from COVID19 by getting vaccinated. Plus, you protect the unvaccinated in the community (such as your own kids) and lower the risk of new variants. The more the virus can spread, the higher the chance of a more dangerous mutation.

              As for comparing having children to the long term effects of a serious illness, that takes the prize for the stupidest comment on here by some margin.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                I virtually eliminate the risk of dying or getting seriously ill from Covid, just by being fit, healthy, and under 50ish. Those statements are even more true for my kids.

                From the NHS website, the symptoms of Long Covid include:

                extreme tiredness (fatigue)

                shortness of breath

                problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")

                difficulty sleeping (insomnia)

                joint pain

                depression and anxiety

                feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite

                Yep, that's an average day for me. It's lasted over 2 years so far! I should check in to one of those new Long Covid support centres.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Hmm, with all those symptoms you don't sound that healthy.

                  A lot of young, healthy people have got very sick and some have died. We have no idea what the indicators of outcome are. Could be genetic, could be dumb luck. You may an unknown underlying condition. As I noted in an earlier post, a guy in his 20s died in Sydney today. Apparently healthy with no known health issues. Felt fine with only mild symptoms, so was isolating at home. Within a couple of hours his blood oxygen levels plummeted and he was dead before he could make it to hospital. 10 of the 12 community cases reported in Brisbane yesterday were children.

                  Would you play Russian Roulette? An elderly person has a revolver with 1 round in it. You have a choice of 10 revolvers, one of which has a round in it. Most sane people still wouldn't take the chance despite the much better odds.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    I do my best, but I'm probably not very healthy. Especially when the little snot-rags keep bringing diseases home.

                    A very close relative has had to take 2 months off work (and counting) due to a severe rection to their Covid vaccine. I may have an underlying (probably genetic) condition that makes this much more likely to happen to me.

                    See where this is going?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      > I do my best, but I'm probably not very healthy.

                      Then all the more reason to get vaccinated.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Fit and healthy man, 42, from Southport, who rejected vaccine, dies of Covid

                      John Eyers had been climbing mountains four weeks before his death in intensive care

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        You can pick out individual stories all you like, statistics work in aggregate.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          .. and so do all the stories out there, but you ignore those because they don't suit your narrative.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            "All the stories", in total, is the IFR for my age group. It's about 0.06%.

                            1. georgezilla

                              I'm sure that the families of the dead in your age group will me happy to hear that number.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                I'm sure the famiiles of those who died at my age due to side effects from the vaccine would be delighted if you could explain to them just how it was worth it.

                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  Could we have some actual figures from you about vaccine deaths instead of constant whataboutism? Have more than 150,000 in the UK or 615,000 in the US died from Covid vaccines? How about 100 worldwide? Or even 10?

                                  1. Anonymous Coward
                                    Anonymous Coward

                                    I don't think you understand what "whataboutism" means, as dumb as the usage of that word is in any case. "Whataboutism" is the supposed logical flaw of using another example to illustrate your point.

                                    For example - if you tell me "we need to reduce CO2 NOW", and I say "that's great, but what about China", then that's "whataboutism", and apparently that's bad, and means in this case that we need to ignore the ever-increasing CO2 output of that country.

                                    Anyway. What you really want is some figures, and as I'm not the type to say "well, I'm right and you need to do your research", here is what I know:

                                    The risk profile of Covid itself compared to the vaccine varies tremendously with age (and other factors, but it seems age is by far the biggest one). The IFR of Covid for my age group, which is 0.07%, is tiny enough to start with. The IFR is even less worrying than the published figure, because all of these are for "deaths WITH Covid", which is far from a death OF Covid.

                                    Right off the bat, that in itself does not induce me to get a Covid vaccine. It's un-necessary medical treatment.

                                    Incidences of death or serious side-effects with the vaccine are apparently (and as far as we know) even lower, although some outcomes are worse for younger men.

                                    UK Yellow Card data is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-adverse-reactions/coronavirus-vaccine-summary-of-yellow-card-reporting#analysis-of-data

                                    As I am still not convinced about the long-term effects of the vaccine (and especially as a close relative has had a very bad reaction), I have decided to take my chances with Covid. Maybe I'll take the vaccine in 2 years, when its effects are more understood. Obviously, that won't happen, as we'll be on our 5th booster with a brand-new mix of mRNA vaccines by then, and the cycle will continue for as long as we keep pouring money into Big Pharma.

                                    If, however, you are 75 years old, your approx. 3% IFR with Covid might change your mind.

                                    1. Anonymous Coward
                                      Anonymous Coward

                                      So the answer is no, you have no figures, so instead you resort to spamming the board with whataboutism.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    You also vastly over-state the risks of Covid. The IFR if you are 65-74 is 2.5%. The IFR if you are 35-44 is 0.07%, so I'll need 140 10-chamber revolvers, one chamber containing a bullet.

                    The IFR for under-35s is 0.004%.

                    Would I hold up a gun to my kids head, if it were a 10-chamber revolver drawn from a pool of 2500, one chamber of which contained a bullet, or give them a new vaccine that was untested on their age group? Interesting question, especially as the IFR continues to drop with age and become practically zero for children.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Man, do I feel sorry for those kids.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                My kids are socially, emotionally, and physically fit and well. They are vaccinated against all the recommended diseases. They have not been left in front of a TV or tablet while parents try to work from home, or otherwise hold on to their sanity while locking themselves in their houses. In particular the youngest has had absolutely minimal experience of us wearing masks, as the link between social and emotional development, and being able to see people's faces and expressions, has been very well known and understood for decades. My oldest does not live in terror that his misdeeds might "kill grandma", or maybe even himself or his parents. All of us in our family have maintained social bonds with close friends and relative as best we can, and reaped the rewards of doing so. That is, we share the everyday burdens of life, and grow together as social beings.

                Is that what you feel sorry for? I feel sorry for kids who have had the obverse experience. In fact, I feel terror, for the damage that is being done to a generation.

      2. gryphon

        I'm probably misremembering this or misreporting but I read somewhere that since Covid mainly enters through the nose and develops there then 'moves inside' that the body isn't so good at recognising it and fighting it until that latter stage.

        Therefore the hopefully minor symptoms that a vaccinated person have won't appear until Covid has been cooking for some time and possibly getting passed on to others.

        Ironic in that half the people you see with masks will have it over their mouth but not their nose.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So we need vaccines and masks?

          Saying that,

          I read somewhere

          is a truly terrible way to make decisions.

          I've read resarch (for which I can provide a source) that eyes are a significant entry point for Covid, and wearing goggles will reduce your risk of catching it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Ironic in that half the people you see with masks will have it over their mouth but not their nose.

          Which is it? "Look at all those idiots not wearing their mask properly!", or "we avoided death and destruction because everyone wore a mask".

        3. 2+2=5 Silver badge
          Joke

          > Ironic in that half the people you see with masks will have it over their mouth but not their nose.

          But that's fine: anyone stupid enough to think that it's okay to wear a mask over their mouth but not their nose, is stupid enough to be a mouth-breather anyway.

        4. katrinab Silver badge
          Flame

          Half the people I see have their mask around their chin.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Ah, but that's for in case the contagion spreads via beards. For those that don't have one it's merely pre-emptively located there.

            On a more serious note, as someone who has worked in really fun places I know a bit more about masks, and even with an extra helping of nesting birds there is never going to be a way to get a good seal with a beard - I have not seen one single observation to that effect anywhere in this whole Covid saga despite that being, for instance, a high frequency redneck feature.

            Interesting.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They may not prevent you getting infected. If you are infected you can still potentially spread the virus to others. Hence masks."

        So, because most of the remaining 30% of the population (in the States) that hasn't been vaxed yet will NEVER get the vaccine, we're going to have to continue wearing masks indefinitely until they all die-off and can no longer be used in the "we have to wear masks to protect the unvaccinated" narrative? Excuse me, but fuck that! If they don't want to get vaxed, fine, that's their choice. But, at this point, if they haven't gotten the shots yet, then they'll get whatever they've got coming and no complaining. We've had 6 months of media-blitz saturation surrounding the vaccinations and spent billions of dollars on mass-immunization drive-through sites and shots. There is no excuse at this point for not being vaxed other than sheer laziness or stubbornness.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          then they'll get whatever they've got coming and no complaining

          We never do learn.

          we have to wear masks to protect the unvaccinated

          Also - you are vaccinated. What do you care? If you are so concerned about the (currently unquantified) extra risk that an un-vaccinated person presents to you, then wear a respirator, or take whatever extra precautions you like. Wear a big sign that says "F*** off unvaccinated", if you like.

          If not, and those people are unvaccinated by choice, I'm sure they won't mind at all if you take your mask off.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Also - you are vaccinated. What do you care?"

            A shot in the dark, but I would hazard a guess that they care because they have some consideration for others in the community. Wearing a mask protects the unvaccinated, the people with compromised immune systems, the unlucky ones who still might get ill as vaccines are not 100% effective. They might also want to prevent unnecessary transmission to reduce the risk of new mutation.

            Basically, because they are not a selfish arsehole.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              So we need to wear masks for the forseeable future, as well as vaccinate everyone that can be persuaded (within the limits of what level of persuation we think is appropriate)?

              I assume that this is because Covid is a horror the like of which we have never seen before, and does not apply to the flu?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Yes. Take sensible precautions to protect the community until there is an acceptable level of immunity, including those who cannot currently be vaccinated such as children.

                What does the flu have to do with the current situation? Current common strains of flu have much lower mortality and don't have the long term effects of COVID 19. The medical profession still don't know all the long term effects, but some known ones are brain injury, blood clots, extreme fatigue and organ damage. Plus, if you are really concerned about flu, you could always get the vaccine.

                Fortunately there hasn't been a pandemic strain of flu for some time, but it is probably coming. Some of the more dangerous variants such as swine flu did not have the same level of infectiousness that COVID does (especially the Delta variant). They were virus' of concern, but didn't reach pandemic levels. One probably will at some point, so we may as well learn as many lessons as we can from how the current pandemic has been handled.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  until there is an acceptable level of immunity

                  And what is that? Where I am, 86% of adults have had at least one dose, and 74% of adults have had two doses.

                  At this rate, we're all going to need several boosters, as well as another lockdown period once a variant escapes the vaccine to allow a new vaccine to be developed, before we can stop "taking sensible precautions". When it comes to airbourne viruses, I also don't believe in "sensible precautions". You understand how small they are, right? And have seen what the "sensible precautions" in a virus lab look like?

                  Plus, if you are really concerned about flu, you could always get the vaccine.

                  But the flu vaccine is not 100% effective! (in fact, it's typically less than 50%). If you're concerned about flu, you need everyone else to be vaccinated too!

                  I bring it up because there were 50,000 excess deaths in the 2017 UK flu season, compared to 80,000 excess deaths in the UK in 2020

                  Those unknown long term effects sound a lot like the unknown long term effects of some of the Covid vaccines (which are a huge consideration in the balance of risks for someone in my demographic).

    3. wolfetone Silver badge

      "Eh, that certainly isn't displaying a great deal of confidence in the vaccines that are supposed to save us (or, at least, save those of us who've been vaxed)."

      That's like saying you're absolutely fine to drink a bottle of vodka and drive your vehicle on public roads, because the seatbelts and airbags in my car should be good enough to save me from your actions.

      Don't be a prick all your life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hardly, It's more like I'm saying "why doesn't the government trust the shots they've given us"?

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Not at all.

          The vaccines are there to stop people going in to hospital and ultimately dying of COVID. The masks too are there to stop you getting it in the first place. Just because you have the vaccine doesn't mean you are 100% protected from it. It's what, between 60-90%.

          For those 10-40% it might not be as effective. Nothing is.

          The drink drive analogy is a good one because there are people who think "well I can handle my drink and my driving is perfect" so will get behind the wheel and drive - especially thinking new cars are safer etc so if there is an accident there won't be a death. But that's bollocks. You can have all the seat belts, air bags, safety in the world, but if a drunk driver is doing 80mph and hits you doing 30mph, you can still end up dead.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            So, by your logic, we're back to the "we're going to have to wear masks forever" argument, because the vaccines are only (in your words) 60-90% effective, and some people might die. Which implies that perhaps the vaccines the government is giving us aren't that great. Which, eh, is my original point. No automobiles involved.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Exactly what I started my discussion with. People seem very cagey about agreeing that "we need masks as well as vaccines", even though that is the logical conclusion of the general reasoning about Covid and public health precautions.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                I don't think most people are cagey. If you have community transmission of the virus in your community and a large number of people are still unvaccinated then precautions like masks and regular hand washing make sense. Once immunity reaches high enough levels, then you can start scaling back precautions and treating the virus more like the flu. There will still be some unfortunate deaths, but the virus won't be raging through the community.

                The big problem with rampant infection is that people die of other things that would normally be preventable as the hospitals are so busy treating COVID patients that other treatments are side-lined. This is why deaths start to ramp up as hospitals get closer to capacity. With enough people immunised you don't get to this level of infections and hospitals are able to treat the much smaller number of breakthrough infections. Until enough people are immunised, then precautions like masking are needed to protect hospitals.

                This isn't something new, this is how all infectious diseases are handled. Mumps, measles, rubella, polio, etc. Vaccinate as much as possible to reach a level of herd immunity. Treat any breakthrough cases.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Sounds great. Where are you, that a large number of people are still unvaccinated? Surely not the UK.

                  the hospitals are so busy treating COVID patients that other treatments are side-lined

                  This is a fascinating can of worms to open. During 2020, the NHS treated fewer patients than in an average year. It was also quickly discovered that the most effective treatment for Covid was low-flow oxygen and bed rest, which is not particularly resource-intensive.

                  Waiting lists continue to balloon, and people currently have very little access to healthcare in the UK, despite hospitals having almost no Covid patients. I hypothesise that this is because our healthcare has tied itself up in un-necessary knots with "Covid safety precautions" (much like all other aspects of life) that don't actually do any good, and only get in the way.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Drunk drivers killing others is an all-too-common headline. An unvaccinated person causing another, vaccinated person to die of Covid is a tenuous, unproven hypothesis.

    4. anothercynic Silver badge

      Oh Lordy, do I have to do an explainer again?

      The vaccine does not make you immune. It gives your body an early leg up to get the infection of SARS-nCoV-2 (if and when it enters the body) under control reasonably quickly. It does *not* stop you from giving it to others. It does *not* stop you from getting infected. It stops you from getting so goddamn ill that you are a burden on the medical services by requiring oxygen, or worse, mechanical ventilation.

      60% of the infections now entering ITUs and ICUs are the unvaccinated, the other 40% are either single-vaccinated (i.e. those who don't have 'full coverage' yet), or twice-vaccinated people where the conditions would have been a magnitude or two worse if they *hadn't* had the shots.

      So... wear your bloody mask to avoid giving it to someone whose vaccination status you have no idea of, and to possibly prevent getting it (if you wear the appropriate mask).

      *ANYONE* who believes that the vaccine now makes them invincible is a) deluded, b) monumentally misinformed, and c) irresponsible.

      Take that from one of the labrats.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The vaccine primarily protects the person taking it, to an imperfect degree, and that is all. Nothing to disagree with here.

        We could disagree on the ongoing restrictions, given that the absolute numbers of people in ICUs is currently so low.

        We could also disagree on the effectiveness of mask-wearing to protect others, and the necessity given that probably near 100% of people who want the vaccine in the UK are now vaccinated, and somewhere near 90% of people at risk of hospitalisation are vaccinated. Why do the masked need to continue protecting the remaining unvaccinated people?

  3. Dwarf Silver badge
    Trollface

    Virus

    So, anti-virus required before you use Microsoft safely.

    Same as its been for years then.

  4. Unicornpiss
    Flame

    At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

    ..I personally believe that anyone that doesn't have a valid reason for not getting vaccinated, or lives in a bubble and never leaves home, is being a complete fool for not getting one of the vaccines. Please note that I'm not saying anyone should be vaccinated against their will. I'm much happier to be in a public space with people I know are vaccinated, just the same as I'm happier when my coworkers don't come to work when they're sick, and when they regularly bathe or shower, for that matter.

    I'm not enthralled with the idea of someone putting something into my bloodstream, but am happy to have had the privilege of being vaccinated, especially with the delta variant around now. The risks of not being vaccinated greatly dwarf the reward. And the unvaccinated, besides putting their own and possibly other lives at risk, are the incubators for the next more deadly strain of this. If we don't reach herd immunity fairly soon, there is the real chance that a variant will arise that is yet more contagious or deadly, and possibly much more vaccine resistant. The excuse that 'it's not fully tested' kind of wore thin after the first millions of doses administered with a literal handful of serious side effects. Really, less side effects than pretty much any drug you can buy over the counter. Statistically, there are much more adverse effects from taking aspirin. But there are still people that won't wear a seat belt because it 'infringes on their freedom' and those too lazy to put batteries in their smoke detectors.

    1. spireite Bronze badge

      Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

      I'm in the same position.

      My other half will avoid the vaccines like the plague. This is in the belief that as we had Covid in December - we don't need it.

      On the other hand, she thinks she'll get it again from me if I have a vaccine. She is a one of those who thinks that it's all a Government control thing as well, btu that probably come from being from a former Communist country

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

        The wife and I had Covid twice - in January 2020 and again in February this year. The first time was icky, like the full-blown flu for a full week, the second time was more like a bad cold for 3 or 4 days. We still got the shots in April. (work was offering $50 to anyone who got the shots - beer money$$$). Oddly enough, none of our 5 kids got sick with it, or at least never had any symptoms, despite being cooped-up in the house with us both times.

        Funny thing is, some articles I read implied we probably didn't need the shots, others said we were more at risk than people who hadn't had Covid. Same with side-effects - the pharmacist who gave us the shots said since we'd had Covid, the second shot would likely make us very sick. But no, it was the first shot that made us sickly for 2 days, the second shot only made us feel a little under the weather for like 12 hours.

        There's a great deal of half-assed information swirling around this debate, so it's hard to know who to believe.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

          You just need to have faith.

          1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

            Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

            LOL. Yeah. Faith in His Noodly Appendages, perhaps.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

          Some people get no symptoms, some get the sniffles, some die. Why take the risk when the solution is there to greatly reduce your chances of serious illness.

          As why you should get vaccinated even if you have already had the virus, you are boosting your immune system. Vaccines generally give a better immune response than natural infection anyway and it is looking like COVID immunity fades with time, so we will probably all need boosters at some point.

          Getting vaccinated after being infected was good enough for the mis-informer in chief, even if he didn't exactly advertise the fact widely. Shame, as it might have helped persuade some of his more moronic followers.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

            "Getting vaccinated after being infected was good enough for the mis-informer in chief, even if he didn't exactly advertise the fact widely. Shame, as it might have helped persuade some of his more moronic followers."

            Too bad there's not a vaccine for Trump Derangement Syndrome. He's been gone from office for 7 months now, but some folks just won't let it go, and continue to beat a horse that's dead and dust. It's like long-covid, except it's entirely a mental condition.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

              Unfortunately he hasn't gone and his actions still influence a large number of people. If he had come out and said "Look, I am getting my vaccine even though I have already had the disease. This is a good thing and you all should also go get vaccinated with the vaccines my government helped create", then maybe the US would be in a better place. He didn't, as he could not see any upside in it for him. One downside he obviously didn't see is that there will be less Republican voters around to vote for him if he decides to stand again.

            2. Unicornpiss
              Meh

              Re: At the risk of attracting many downvotes..

              "Too bad there's not a vaccine for Trump Derangement Syndrome. He's been gone from office for 7 months now, but some folks just won't let it go, and continue to beat a horse that's dead and dust. It's like long-covid, except it's entirely a mental condition."

              --If there was a cure for such muddy thinking, or "Cranial-Rectal Inversion syndrome", don't you think the so afflicted would fight tooth and nail for their right to continued ignorance? They have thus far..

  5. jason_derp Silver badge

    Maybe they're God should have to write a note if their doctors have to. You need an appointment to see a mortal doctor, but this should be trivial for an omnipotent alien.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a busy day you have had !!! :)

    ILikeDrinkingBeer,

    Well done, for stringing along so many people with your resolute, if not absolute, conviction that you are right.

    I am sure you have been very entertained by the frustation you have deliberately engendered !!! :)

    Unfortunately, you have not convinced me of the 'truth' you are selling.

    I would much rather take the risk of having the vaccine than hope my 'intellect' will protect me instead.

    Best of luck and I hope you are not proven wrong by reality.

    (Reality is known for cutting through 'great ideas' and proving them wrong !!!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a busy day you have had !!! :)

      I'd like to add, ILikeDrinkingBeer, that you are a total arsehole for waisting the time of so many people, when it would have been simpler and have taken much less time to bloody get vaccinated.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a busy day you have had !!! :)

        "Just take the vaccine!"

        Sounds like a dang broken record now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a busy day you have had !!! :)

      Good for you. I respect your decision and bodily authority to do so. I would ask you to do the same for me, but you are probably convinced that I am endangering the very lives of those around me with my choice.

      1. georgezilla

        Re: What a busy day you have had !!! :)

        Because you are.

        And it's not that I'm convinced.

        Because reality.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What a busy day you have had !!! :)

          Please, explain how. Ideally with some reference to research that give specific details on exactly how much risk I, as an unvaccinated person, present to everyone else.

          1. Unicornpiss
            Flame

            Re: What a busy day you have had !!! :)

            In the early days of Covid, you probably were a potential menace to others, should you have had asymptomatic Covid, or had some symptoms and decided to venture out anyway. Now, with the more dangerous delta variant, even vaccinated people can have enough of a viral load to still infect others.

            So currently you are probably not more of a danger to others than a vaccinated person (except perhaps with your ideology) But IMO, it's people like you that have refused the vaccine out of fear or a misguided sense that their freedoms are being trampled that have allowed the pandemic to continue for this long, and given rise to more dangerous strains of the disease, just as people living in hovels full of rats with fleas gave rise to the plague centuries ago. The difference is that those poor souls didn't really have much of a choice, while people refusing the vaccine with no good reason are just being willfully ignorant.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What a busy day you have had !!! :)

              So the vaccine doesn't stop you infecting others? What's the point in getting vaccinated, if I'm not that concerned about catching it myself? How will we ever stop that dang airbourne virus from mutating?

              Let me guess. Masks. I need to be vaccinated, even though it provides me very little benefit and also doesn't really stop me transmitting Covid, and I also need to wear a mask, even though I'm vaccinated.

              Given that my age group was only offered the vaccine fairly recently, I'm not sure how me refusing the vaccine has allowed the "pandemic to continue this long". In fact, if you look at the numbers, it's pretty clear that the link between cases and deaths has been broken. You could even say that those that have been vaccinated, are now at significantly less risk of being hospitalised or dying.

  7. Man inna barrel

    Why are religious beliefs treated specially?

    What exactly is the difference between religious bollocks and secular bollocks? There has been plenty of debate in this thread on rational grounds, and someone putting forward views that are factually incorrect and possibly dangerous to others is quite rightly criticised. If I understand the Microsoft position correctly, someone can say any old bollocks they like to justify why they won't get vaccinated, as long as the reason is their religious belief.

    As a non-religious person, I find this treatment of religious belief quite unfair. Why can't I criticise religious beliefs like I criticise any other beliefs? I have quite a few beliefs that are not based on facts in the scientific sense. Beliefs about politics, justice, and the arts generally fall into this category. However, these are matters that can be discussed rationally, rather than just taken as unassailable foundations of faith. But for some reason, we allow religious beliefs to pass without rational scrutiny. I grant that people with strong religious beliefs are unlikely to have their faith shaken by rational argument, but that does not mean they can get away with talking rubbish.

    There is a difficulty with the matter of not discriminating against someone because of their faith. My opinion is that it is wrong to treat someone better or worse, based on what faith they profess. However, if someone is denied access to something because they refuse vaccination on religious grounds, this is not religious discrimination as such. They should not be able to get away with claiming religious belief as an excuse, on the same level as medical exemptions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree, all beliefs should have equal respect in law as religious belief. So if I believe that humans cannot be the property of other humans (we have sovereignty of our body which includes deciding what substances go into it) that should be respected in law. Belief is abstract - it exists beyond the physical world so is not subordinate to Scientific reasoning (which is limited to observation of the physical world).

      If Microsoft's executives believe they should limit access to their offices to vaccinated people only, that decision has consequences. Firstly anyone employed by them who has not agreed to this in their contract should not be legally required to take a vaccine or work in a location where a vaccine is required. Second, this decision is not wholly justified by the motive of stopping the spread of Covid-19, since it discriminates against people with natural immunity who are unvaccinated.

      Natural immunity is how we have recovered from past pandemics (with far higher fatality rates than Covid). By requiring vaccinations Microsoft are mandating dependence on artificially induced immunity. Shunning natural immunity (and the gradual thinning of the population caused by deaths from viral infection) could have long term consequences for the generic viability of the human species.

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