Yes, but not uniformly. For instance the restrictions are much more limited here in New England than where my Mom lives, Nova Scotia, Canada, and more limited still in more conservative states within the U.S. I also have family in Sénégal. My sense is that SARS-CoV-2 isn’t the cause of erosions of civil liberties there at all (however there’s rampant corruption and there was targeting of an opposition candidate not so long ago, unrelated to any viruses).
Fab asked in the episode whether anyone had seen studies suggesting reduced vaccine effectiveness after 6 months. I’d been holding onto a couple links not wanting to bring up the topic again or write too much in these forums, but here goes. First, in case my feedback is misinterpreted as coming from a largely opposing view, no, I generally agree or am undecided about his arguments – e.g. I just had an argument with my Mom saying I dislike our new mayor’s proposal to force restaurants to check vaccination status, och, and along the way making the mistake of playing with the idea, out loud, that since the government is meant to act on behalf of the people that in this case maybe we could let individuals do whatever and how well everyone makes out will be determined by how caring and informed we all are – cut out the middle man so to speak (oy, that didn’t go well).
It’s just the repeated statements that it’s only about personal risk that I take issue with. That strikes me as a possible straw man absent evidence proving the implied null hypothesis re. vaccines and transmission rate. You can cite Portugal or I could cite Vermont to say the same thing, but it’s easy to find a region supporting the opposite argument too (e.g. there was previously happy reporting on the effect of the booster on new case reports in Israel, IIRC). To be clear, I’m not talking about whether the vaccines will eliminate SARS-CoV-2 entirely but about the rate of transmission. Polio virus style eradication (the virus causing Polio is gone or dormant, right? people still suffering the result paralysis may still be around but there are no new cases?) seems to be ruled out by most everyone now. One of these links uses the term Secondary Attack Rate. That’s what I’m pointing at, the suggestion that there is lower SAR to those who are vaccinated meaning less overal spread, and, for a time, lower SAR from the infected vaccinated too.
I’ll share the links and others can tell me why these studies don’t suggest what I think they suggest. This is my interpretation:
the first study observes fewer contacts of infected but vaccinated people getting infected but that effect diminishing quickly (3 months). This is one of the feedback items Fab asked for – a study suggesting reduced effectiveness within six months – but it also has the fact that early on the vaccine does protect others not just you, leaning against the null hypothesis, at least in the short term.
there are two aspects to transmission: i) the one from point 1. – if you’re infected how does being vaccinated change how many of your contacts become infected and ii) secondly, if you avoid infection in the first place by being vaccinated, or are infected for a shorter time, that necessarily avoids or reduces you spreading it to others.
Both these papers still need peer review, so maybe should tune in later to see what happens with that, but this is all I’ve found so far.
Another aspect I’m interested in learning more about is whether immune compromised people (where vaccination doesn’t help much or for very long) or unvaccinated people serve as ecosystems for the evolution of new strains. I heard a radio program interview a doctor discussing an infected immunocompromised patient who had multiple strains within. If I remember rightly, because the guy was isolated fairly early, they supposed that certain strains the discovered in later tests but not the early ones, ones that had been sequenced elsewhere, had independently evolved in him. It was interesting in itself, and that was most of the show, but they concluded (maybe justified maybe not, I don’t know) that where the virus can live unmolested it might more readily evolve new strains, some harmless some not. If that’s the case then that could be another thing to evaluate when asking whether being vaccinated is purely a personal risk decision (again, saying nothing here about whether the policy directions are right – I disagree with those for some of the reasons Fab gives and other reasons or feelings of my own).
Oh, since I’ve gone long anyway, what the hell is the point of curfews supposed to be? Isn’t everyone in agreement that you have minimal risk of being infected walking outside? For anyone who missed the story you’ll like this couple. I sure did: You can walk your dog on a leash after curfew, but not your partner | Montreal Gazette