To stop the spread, require tests, not jabs

School children in Austria are tested for Covid

I think most people would benefit from being vaccinated against the coronavirus, because you’ll be much less likely to wind up in the hospital or morgue if you catch it.

But this will do little to stop the spread of the virus because you can catch it from a vaccinated person just as you can from an unvaccinated person.

If I was the parent of a small schoolchild, I wouldn’t care if the school staff was vaccinated.

What I’d want is for everyone who goes through the door of the school to have a temperature check, and for everyone who registered a fever to get a Covid test, and for everyone who tested positive for Covid to stay home for a week.

Ideally, people infected with the coronavirus should go into quarantine, but we in the USA don’t have the capability for that.

I’d apply the same policies to high schools and colleges, and to hospitals (except, of course, I wouldn’t send the patients home).

I think vaccine skeptics underrate the harm done by the coronavirus. It’s true the virus kills a relatively small percentage of those infected, but that small percentage adds up to hundreds of thousands (in the USA) and millions (worldwide).

And this is not something where that which does not kill you does not make you stronger. I had a friend who was vaccinated, but nevertheless suffered what I am convinced was a “breakthrough” infection. She was in such severe pain, along with chills and fever, for a couple of days, that she was not able to function.

I know of a family—husband, wife, three children—who got it. The husband went to the hospital. The wife somehow was able to function at home. They’re all well now, but they don’t know what long-term organ damage the virus may have caused.

But I admit that we also don’t know the long-term effects of the vaccines, especially with pregnant women and small children. If I was the husband of a pregnant woman or the father of small children, I’m not sure what I would advise.

Just as some of us are at greater risk for the virus, so others of us are at greater risk for the vaccines.

I do think that if businesses and other institutions require vaccinations, they should give the employee a day off with pay to get the vaccination, and also days off with pay to recover from side effects.

I think we as a nation need to be working on better indoor ventilation, which is important to protect against the airborne virus.  

We need to be working on an actual cure—that is, a way to kill the virus and not just immunize ourselves against its effects.  

And we need to think about why our medical care and public health systems were unable to cope with the virus.  COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic and it won’t be the worst.

Chart added 10/8/2021. Click to enlarge  


Can Mass Self-Testing for Covid-19 Keep Schools Safe? by Ruth Bender for The Wall Street Journal.

Is America Prepared for the Pandemic After COVID-19? by Ed Yong for The Atlantic.

The NYT’s Partisan Tale About COVID and the Unvaccinated Is Rife With Sloppy Data Analysis by Jeremy Beckham for Outside Voices.  [Added 10/2/2021]

Vaccine-Only Mandates as a Manifestation of the Bizarre Civil War-Stoking Impulses of the Professional Managerial Class by Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism [Added 10/4/2021]

‘The virus has become smarter’: COVID variants causing more severe disease, Canadian study shows by Sharon Kirkey for the National Post [Added 10/7/2021]

Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2,947 counties in the United States by S.V. Subramanian & Akhil Kumar for the European Journal of Epidemiology.  [Added 10/7/2021]

The impact of heating, ventilation and air conditioning design features on the transmission of viruses, including the 2019 novel coronavirus, a systematic review of ventilation and coronavirus, a preprint for medRxiv.  Conclusion: Better ventilation helps.  [Added 10/12/2011]

Tags: , ,

3 Responses to “To stop the spread, require tests, not jabs”

  1. silverapplequeen Says:

    Generally, when you are applying for any job nowadays, you have to submit to a drug test (pissing into a cup), submit to a background test, a credit test (which often you have to pay for yourself) & maybe even some other some kind of tests to see if you are able to work that job. We are all used to this. So having to get a vaccination for a disease which can kill you or anyone you spread it to is not too much to ask.

    Yeah, you might get sick from the vaccine. The first shot made my arm wicked sore & I was tired & out of it for twenty-four hours. The second shot made my arm every bit as sore & I was sick with flu-like symptoms for forty-eight hours. But ya know what? If I happen to get COVID, I won’t be really sick & I won’t die … like a bunch of my friends have … recently a guy a know, only 45 years old, in great health, never smoked, never did drugs, but refused to get vaccinated (because he was in great health, ya know?) …. got COVID & was dead within a month. Only 45 years old.

    I have no problems with the mandates. EVERYONE SHOULD BE GETTING THE VACCINATIONS.


  2. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    There’s one pill that appears safe and effective. Merk’s molnupiravir is being submitted to FDA for approval. They pulled it out of clinical trials because the results were so good.

    Of course, it was tested in 2 groups. One got the pill and one got a placebo. Ironically, those receiving the placebo reported more side effects than those taking the drug.


  3. N-loc Says:

    I appreciate the level-headedness in your approach. All too many folks seem primed to flat out ignore rational concerns through invoking the most vulgar caricature of one with an opposing viewpoint, applying it universally as if there are simply two homogenized groups–each ideological group with distinct dogmatic beliefs. It’s concerning to see so many act in dehumanizing ways. Life is not so simple, there are complexities that are being glazed over and marginalized. We would all be better off to seriously listen to one an other, as fellow humans beings to form actual analysis, as opposed to parroting knee jerk, emotionally charged news tidbits.

    Anyway, refreshing to read something with honest thoughts and concern for other people behind it.

    Your summary of the Ecology of Freedom brought me here–Bookchin’s works are taking off with many young people!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: