At what point does the pandemic become endemic

Let's face it. COVID-19 is not going away soon. It seems like we will have to deal with it long term. There is more discussion on the radio about it becoming endemic like influenza or even the common cold--many of which are caused by coronaviruses.

What is your reaction to that thought? What would it look like for you?
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Comments

  • First reaction: violent anger targeted at all the useless fuckers who have prolonged the pandemic and made it worse.

    Second reaction: complete conviction that a similar set of useless fuckers will interpret the kind of statement you just made as meaning that Covid-19 is no worse than the common cold, and we should treat it the same way.

    Make no mistake: these useless fuckers will kill people. Lots of people.

    What it would look like for me is considering what activities present modest risk, that we could turn on without posing significant risk, under the assumption that everyone sensible is having an annual Covid vaccine booster.

    What it will look like for far too many people is "party like it's 1999."
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited October 13
    I’m an ex-nurse who teaches public health and it has been apparent to me since the pandemic began that it will become endemic. That’s why vaccinations are so important; covid-19 will not be going away any time soon. Some of the common colds around were probably once pandemics themselves, the 1889 Russian flu being often cited. But that is not to say that what we are facing now in the pandemic is just like a cold, it clearly isn’t from the death rate, but that may be the future for it as we gain natural immunity over time.
    Despite the UK decision to give vaccine boosters to the more vulnerable, annual covid boosters might not be needed indefinitely. I know the media makes a lot of panic about covid antibodies dropping but these are not the only part of our immune system that fights infection, for instance be-cell memory produces antibodies https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826135/ (I am not an immunologist or even a scientist so my understanding of this is not complicated). Our knowledge for managing the virus will change over time.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    I think it will become like measles and chicken pox, recognised as dangerous to adults and regular vaccination programs.
  • I think it will become like measles and chicken pox, recognised as dangerous to adults and regular vaccination programs.

    The UK doesn't routinely vaccinate for chicken pox, reckoning that catching it in childhood is more effective than vaccination in that instance, and measles is dangerous at any age.

    I suspect covid boosters will simply be folded into the annual 'flu jab for those who are entitled to it, and everyone else will take their chances.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    edited October 13
    I now presume that Covid either is or very soon will be endemic.

    Good luck with attempting to explain the difference between pandemic and endemic to folk who don’t understand / refuse to believe vaccination programs though.


    But I have a bit more understanding now of a certain elderly person of my acquaintance who only attended church (1970s)when the heating was not in use.
    “ at my age I don’t want everybody’s winter germs, your body can fight them, mine can’t !“




    For me though?
    Tbh Covid is a worry. But flu would be as well
  • The virus being endemic is related to learning to live with it.

    Living with this virus can't just be doing what we were doing 2 years ago, but with an additional set of vaccines and lateral flow testing. It means that wearing masks in public enclosed spaces is normal; that many venues will need to re-assess occupancy levels so that physical distancing can be maintained, and that ventilation systems will be needed in most of them; it will mean more people working from home at least part of the time so that occupancy of offices will be lower; it means an end to the culture of going into work when feeling ill because there's work that needs doing, and there will need to be better provision for sick pay to support not being in while ill. And, probably lots of other things as well.

    Living with the virus will basically mean taking respiratory hygiene far more seriously. Which should also help with 'flu and other diseases as well. This might (probably will) increase costs for some things - if supermarkets need wider aisles then that's going to impact how must stock can be on the shelves, if pubs and restaurants need to space out tables a bit more that'll be less customers coming through per day, etc.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    edited October 13
    That culture of “going into work when obviously ill “is something I have never really got.

    In the end the only way was to presume that some of my colleagues were ignorant and either
    Didn’t know the difference between flu and a bad viral infection
    Or
    Didn’t give a peanuts about their colleague’s health and well-being.

    And that is leaving out the patients that we were caring for!


    But for sure the whole thing about sick pay, staffing levels etc will indeed have to be considered.

    Our lives will need to be reconsidered. But for lots of people, that is an ask too far

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Third option - terrified of being fired for having a poor sickness record.
  • @KarlLB totally correct.

    I had worked in the nhs in 1970s and it was quite usual to be turned away from a ward, were one to get ever so silly as to turn up heavily medicated and looking like death.

    Returned to nhs in late 90s and goodness What A Change.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The Daily Heil end of the tabloid market has a role in this - they loved to point to public sector sickness records, which are often worse than the private sector's. This was of course because there are loads of NHS workers who worked with vulnerable people and so obviously couldn't go in with a bad cold. Of course, they portrayed it as "lazy public sector workers taking sickies while Real People with Real Jobs* carry on". So there's been pressure to improve staff sickness statistics.

    *This narrative boils my piss. Also comes into play whenever working hours are mentioned and then Real People With Real Jobs become the ones working 90 hour weeks who reckon anyone working a normal working week is a skiving good for nothing whinge-arse if they dare complain about any aspect of their job.
  • In years gone by I've had despairing phone calls from my husband's colleagues begging me to keep him at home when he's running a temperature and his skin has got a greenish cast.

    Covid has completely changed his thinking, so I hope it has changed other people's thinking, too.

    It was part of the culture - when I had our first baby, my husband only got one day off, to be present at the birth, and I had a long labour. When we got home from the hospital with our eight hour old baby my husband went to bed to nap and I brought him a cup of tea in bed, so that he could recover from the birth and get back to work. My mother arrived soon after, so I could take a nap too, but at the time my husband's need to recover was more urgent than mine as he had a time constraint for being back at work.
  • ArethosemyfeetArethosemyfeet Shipmate
    edited October 13
    Ethne Alba wrote: »
    That culture of “going into work when obviously ill “is something I have never really got.

    I get it when it comes to teaching, and I've done it myself in the past. Your work can't just be left, someone has to cover it and that usually means your immediate colleagues. Your classes also then suffer, and you end up working harder and doing catch up classes once you're back. Generally it's easier for everyone if you're slumped at your desk drugged up to the eyeballs. I have on a number of occasions ordered colleagues home when it was clear they should be in bed, to the point of finding the partner of one and strongly encouraging him to take her home (she was my boss).
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited October 13
    Things got to a pretty pass in my NHS ambulance days (some 7 years ago now), when TPTB were coming down very hard on anyone who so much as took a single day off sick.

    Result - people coming in with colds/coughs/general yuckiness, and duly passing it on to crewmate(s) and patients. I dread to think how many patients' lives were actually shortened by contact with those who were afraid of losing their job if they happened to be unlucky enough to catch a second cold in the course of a year.
    Post-Plague, I think the things @Alan Cresswell refers to above will - or should - become The New Normal™.
  • I get it when it comes to teaching, and I've done it myself in the past. Your work can't just be left, someone has to cover it and that usually means your immediate colleagues. Your classes also then suffer, and you end up working harder and doing catch up classes once you're back.

    Yes - often this, and it's by no means unique to teaching. I've showed up to work in the past when I've been feeling pretty rotten, because there was something I needed to do that could only be done that day. Of course, I've also kept out of other people's way to the greatest extent possible whilst doing that, but there are limits to that.

    I'm rather trusting that we've seen the last of the ridiculous "Iron Man" awards that used to get handed out for not taking a day of sick leave in a year.
  • One fears that turning up at the office while ill will be replaced in managerial expectations by working from home while ill, with the unfortunate effect that instances of actually not working when ill will reduce somewhat. After all, you can open up a laptop while lying in bed, can't you?
  • I can, and I do.

    If I'm at home with some sort of respiratory infection that I'm keeping away from my colleagues, then with a reasonable supply of painkillers and decongestants, I'm functioning at about 50-75% of my healthy level.

    Why would I want to stay home and stare at the TV, whilst letting the backlog of work that I'll have to deal with on my return build up higher, when I could be getting on with things usefully?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    A twitter thread about endemic COVID-19.
    In the beginning of any pandemic, we have 4 options for what could happen:
    1. continually occurring disease, with small or large surges
    2. local elimination of disease
    3. global eradication of disease
    4. complete extinction of the pathogen
    Option 4 (extinction) is absolutely the hardest, but long-term would mean we could all completely forget about the disease.

    We have basically never done this in the entire history of humans—but, if we’re being honest, a big reason we haven’t is fear & mistrust of other humans.

    Option 3 (eradication) is also very hard but long-term just about everyone could forget about the disease.

    You & I aren’t worried about smallpox, no matter where we travel or what we do — unless you’re a researcher at one of the 2 super high biosecurity labs that have a sample.

    Option 2 (elimination) is still pretty hard, and long-term not everyone can forget about the disease.

    For lots of the world, this is measles is — we’ve got great vaccines & most of us don’t need to worry about measles, but public health officials still monitor for it everywhere.

    Now we get to Option 1 (continually occurring disease). This is easier short-term but it’s the hardest *long-term*.

    It’s also super vague: it could mean anything from hundreds or thousands per day to one or two per year.

    The other name for this is, you guessed it, “endemic”.

    In more technical terms “endemic” means: “Controlled at or below an ‘acceptable’ level”

    What level is “acceptable” differs from place to place, over time & between diseases, and it may not always be explicit, but when a disease is endemic, there is a threshold!

    If a disease is really bad, ‘acceptable’ is very low—potentially even indistinguishable from elimination.

    The plague (yes that one!) is kinda common among rodents in parts of the US, but if even ONE person shows up to a doctor with symptoms, public health jumps into action!

    On the other hand, if a disease is not really that bad at all, the acceptable level can be really very high.

    Up to 80% of US adults are infected by the virus that causes cold sores (aka oral herpes)!

    But public health takes *nearly* no action, except to protect infants.

    <snip>

    So here’s the kicker: “endemic” doesn’t mean “never think about covid again”. It’s exactly the opposite!

    Endemic means someone is ALWAYS thinking about covid.

    Endemic means public health is always monitoring disease & always intervening when cases cross the “acceptable” level.

    Every time I tweet about this I get people in mentions saying “but we don’t take precautions for the flu!”

    Those people are 100% WRONG!

    Thousands of people work daily to monitor, prepare for, & respond to fluctuations in flu number and in the flu virus itself! It’s a HUGE task!

    <snip>

    When flu cases cross the threshold & the public health lever switches from “monitor flu activity” to “take action” YOU don’t notice.

    But not because it isn't happening — because the acceptable level is LOW ENOUGH that those actions happen before it impacts your daily life.

    If you work somewhere like a daycare, or a nursing home, or (like me) a School of Public Health that shares a campus with a hospital, you probably DO sometimes notice.

    Because those are places where flu is most problematic & so they are also where we focus our interventions.

    The whole thing is worth a read, and much better if you read it with the embedded GIFs.

    In my completely amateur estimation, we passed the point where options 3 and 4 were reasonable short-term goals sometime in April 2020. Option 2 seems like a possibility in the mid- to long-term, making COVID something like measles, a highly contagious disease that occasionally has outbreaks and is mostly mitigated through near-universal vaccination in a lot of the world.
  • I got disciplined (illegally) several times for taking sick leave according to proper procedures at a place I used to work. He did other illegal things, too, and eventually got called on the carpet by the corporate lawyer, who knew he was violating OSHA. Then he retaliated (also illegal) and I was fired. Hey ho, the assholes we have always among us.
  • What should we do if we like communal singing? My church wants us to wear a mask even when singing (!!) and I sing in a folk club and Zoom folk sessions are not the real thing.
  • There are singing masks which look ridiculous but get the fabric away from your mouth and nose. Look online maybe. My son has one, for a touring choir.
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    What should we do if we like communal singing? My church wants us to wear a mask even when singing (!!) and I sing in a folk club and Zoom folk sessions are not the real thing.

    Singing with a mask is no biggie, just requires a little additional breath control. We've been doing it at church for about 6 months now I think.
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    What should we do if we like communal singing? My church wants us to wear a mask even when singing (!!) and I sing in a folk club and Zoom folk sessions are not the real thing.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02786826.2020.1812502

    Loud singing produces about five times the amount of airborne particles as normal breathing. So if you're in church for an hour, and you sing for ten minutes, then you produce as many airborne particles during that ten minutes of singing as you do in the 50 minutes you spend sitting in a pew.

    So if you wear a mask to sit in the pew, but take it off to sing, then you need to think again.
  • When leading worship I remove my mask up front so that I can be heard clearly (and seen, as some of our congregation also need to see my lips as I talk to supplement the loop system and their hearing aids). Come the hymns, I sit down and put the mask back on.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    Have you considered a clear visor ?
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Schools start perpetuating this kind of presenteeism early. Many have awards for 100% attendance - wholly unfair towards disabled and chronically ill kids, let alone abled kids who have the odd cold - and expect kids back at school 24hrs after vomiting & diarrhoea when NHS guidance says it should be 48hrs after the last episode.
  • Have you considered a clear visor ?
    Our risk assessment was that the combination of significant distance from the congregation (5m+) and the ventilation in the hall (+everyone vaccinated) was sufficient. A visor makes the microphones largely useless, and hence doesn't help those with poorer hearing.
  • Pomona wrote: »
    Schools start perpetuating this kind of presenteeism early. Many have awards for 100% attendance - wholly unfair towards disabled and chronically ill kids, let alone abled kids who have the odd cold - and expect kids back at school 24hrs after vomiting & diarrhoea when NHS guidance says it should be 48hrs after the last episode.

    That's because the Government, through OFSTED, sets acceptable absenteeism rates for the schools - 95% for all students, 90% attendance is seen as unacceptably low. And the schools are penalised in OFSTED inspection ratings if they do not achieve below those absentee rates. Same for truancy levels.

    Don't blame the schools, blame who sets the guidelines - i.e. the Government through OFSTED.
  • This BBC article discusses both the effectiveness of face shields - which are not as effective as face masks, an additional extra to protect eyes, but not as good on their own, and how far droplets travel when someone sings.
  • thanks everyone for advice re singing. Bit depressing though!
  • Pomona wrote: »
    Schools start perpetuating this kind of presenteeism early. Many have awards for 100% attendance - wholly unfair towards disabled and chronically ill kids, let alone abled kids who have the odd cold - and expect kids back at school 24hrs after vomiting & diarrhoea when NHS guidance says it should be 48hrs after the last episode.

    The whole school setup assumes that classes are present all the time. School really doesn't degrade gracefully when kids start missing days. 90% attendance means that each kid misses a day a fortnight. It means that in a class of 30, you're missing three random kids on any one day. Split in to groups of five for some sort of group project, and on one day in two one of your group won't show up.

  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    Pomona wrote: »
    Schools start perpetuating this kind of presenteeism early. Many have awards for 100% attendance - wholly unfair towards disabled and chronically ill kids, let alone abled kids who have the odd cold - and expect kids back at school 24hrs after vomiting & diarrhoea when NHS guidance says it should be 48hrs after the last episode.

    I remember when I was in elementary school many years ago, there was a girl who had such a severe earache one day that she couldn't stop crying. She didn't want to go home because that would spoil her perfect attendance record

  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Schools start perpetuating this kind of presenteeism early. Many have awards for 100% attendance - wholly unfair towards disabled and chronically ill kids, let alone abled kids who have the odd cold - and expect kids back at school 24hrs after vomiting & diarrhoea when NHS guidance says it should be 48hrs after the last episode.

    That's because the Government, through OFSTED, sets acceptable absenteeism rates for the schools - 95% for all students, 90% attendance is seen as unacceptably low. And the schools are penalised in OFSTED inspection ratings if they do not achieve below those absentee rates. Same for truancy levels.

    Don't blame the schools, blame who sets the guidelines - i.e. the Government through OFSTED.

    Sorry but nothing about that guidance forces school to give out awards for 100% attendance. That's a choice on the school's behalf only, nobody is telling them to do that. I know schools that have chosen not to have such awards because it makes not getting sick into something that merits public reward as if it's due to hard work, when actually it's just good luck.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Schools start perpetuating this kind of presenteeism early. Many have awards for 100% attendance - wholly unfair towards disabled and chronically ill kids, let alone abled kids who have the odd cold - and expect kids back at school 24hrs after vomiting & diarrhoea when NHS guidance says it should be 48hrs after the last episode.

    The whole school setup assumes that classes are present all the time. School really doesn't degrade gracefully when kids start missing days. 90% attendance means that each kid misses a day a fortnight. It means that in a class of 30, you're missing three random kids on any one day. Split in to groups of five for some sort of group project, and on one day in two one of your group won't show up.

    And if kids stay home for the full recommended period following vomiting and diarrhoea, they can't then pass the illness on as easily. Having kids come back straightaway means it rips through a classroom. Allowing kids to recover fully from illness before going back to school should not be controversial.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited October 14
    I have a new coping strategy for Covid-19: just do what the Govt says and don't second-guess them. This works for me, but not my wife, who's strategy is to vacuum up as much information as possible so as to feel like she is fully informed. Horses for courses.

    Applying the strategy to the question posed in the OP, I am going to do whatever the Govt advises. However judging by my behavior over the last week or so, while we were dealing with the possibility of an outbreak at work (looks like we dodged that bullet) I won't be going to any discotheques. Theatre, yes.
  • Pomona wrote: »
    And if kids stay home for the full recommended period following vomiting and diarrhoea, they can't then pass the illness on as easily. Having kids come back straightaway means it rips through a classroom. Allowing kids to recover fully from illness before going back to school should not be controversial.

    Having kids stay off for 48 hours after a norovirus-type infection is sensible, and as you point out probably increases overall attendance by minimizing the spread.

    I have a kid who vomits at the drop of a hat (travel sickness. Smelled milk that was marginally on the turn. Got too hot. Swallowed phlegmy mucus. Laughed too much. Ate too much. Ate too fast.) so I find myself routinely lying to people: "no, he hasn't been sick", because I usually know what's made him throw up and it's not infectious.

    But in general, sending kids home from school is only useful if they isolate themselves when they're sent home. There's an outfit around here (that seems to be associated with one of the nuttier conservative creationist type churches in the area) that was advertising daycare activities for kids who are excluded from school because of Covid quarantine. The idea being, presumably, that if your kid was told to stay home from school because they might have Covid, you could send them to day camp with a bunch of other kids who might have Covid, and so ensure that all the kids actually do get Covid.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    edited October 15
    I mean the elephant in the room here, is when you are not in a global pandemic with free disease testing at the drop of a hat, neither the school nor your employer trust you to be entirely honest about when your ill as opposed to wanting an extra day off. Therefore both have trigger points for thinking, this person is unusually often reporting sick ?

    With regard to long term conditions, those trigger points could be altered by way of a reasonable adjustment if the organisation has got its shit together to have a system for that.

    You end up with dumb systems like, not paying for the first three days off sick - essentially guaranteeing folk in low pay work will have to struggle in because they can’t afford to lose income.

    The fact that the common cold lasts about two weeks, but you can’t self-certify illness beyond 7 days, while over the counter meds tell you to see a doctor after 7 days - whereas the doctor doesn’t want to see you for a viral infection they can’t treat unless it’s been going on for three weeks and you’ve developed a secondary bacterial infection they can treat - and does not want to provide you a sick note for the intervening week beyond your self-certifying period and the time you can actually get an appointment on the grounds they haven’t seen you and therefore don’t know.
  • The fact that the common cold lasts about two weeks, but you can’t self-certify illness beyond 7 days,

    The traditional expectation has been that you work with a cold - and so, of course, everyone has a cold. In a normal winter, I probably have some sort of mild cold symptoms more often than I don't. I might have taken the occasional odd day off because of one, if I was feeling particularly bad.

    And then there's allergy season - are you coughing and spluttering because the wrong kind of pollen is in the air, or is it a virus?


  • I have all the freaking allergies ever, and so was constantly justifying my cough to various folks during the first half of the pandemic (before the all-wise insurance decided it would be a lovely idea to cut my physical therapy benefits, which kept me at home instead and certainly solved THAT problem).
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    @Leorning Cniht the 48hr rule is only for D&V at the same time (or during the same illness) - doesn't apply to eg vomiting for other reasons, which like you say don't necessarily indicate any kind of infectious illness. I have IBS and wouldn't be able to do much at all if it applied to only one and not both! It applies to things like food poisoning just because norovirus type illnesses can easily be mistaken for food poisoning, but usually that doesn't last as long anyway.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    @Leorning Cniht the 48hr rule is only for D&V at the same time (or during the same illness) - doesn't apply to eg vomiting for other reasons, which like you say don't necessarily indicate any kind of infectious illness. I have IBS and wouldn't be able to do much at all if it applied to only one and not both! It applies to things like food poisoning just because norovirus type illnesses can easily be mistaken for food poisoning, but usually that doesn't last as long anyway.

    Someone needs to tell our local primary school that...
  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    This is going to be completely different in the US, where how much sick time you get and whether they believe you when you say you're sick varies widely according to the employer. My employer just believes people, and I've got enough sick time banked to be out for weeks. People with no sick time or not enough will do what they've done since before the pandemic -- come to work sick. The most deadly line of work here due to covid is line cook.

    14 days for a common cold sounds extremely long to me -- the Mayo Clinic's website says most people recover in 7-10 days, and I don't think I've missed more than 3-4 days of work from a cold.
    I think it will become like measles and chicken pox, recognised as dangerous to adults and regular vaccination programs.

    The UK doesn't routinely vaccinate for chicken pox, reckoning that catching it in childhood is more effective than vaccination in that instance, and measles is dangerous at any age.

    I suspect covid boosters will simply be folded into the annual 'flu jab for those who are entitled to it, and everyone else will take their chances.

    The medical folks are already working on putting the flu and covid vaccines together, and my health insurance covers the flu shot for everyone -- no age requirements. The US has vaccinated for chicken pox since 1995, and thank goodness. One of my brothers didn't contract it till he was in college, and it was awful. Plus everyone who's had chicken pox is at risk for getting shingles -- another vaccination I need to line up.

    I think Doublethink is correct, and reaching the endemic stage depends on how long it takes to get people vaccinated.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Apart from 3 or 4 years when I started employment, I was self-employed. Insurance (fortunately never needed) covered loss of income for serious illness but that did not extend to such things as a bad cold. And of course, I was committed to clients. I could not just ring chambers and ask the clerk to tell my solicitor and the client that I'd not be there for day 3 of a hearing because I had a bad cold, not even a bad cold. I did need a couple of operations over the years, but they were planned around court vacations. Fortunately, my health was pretty good otherwise.
  • In the UK parents who can afford it, particularly medical professionals, pay for their children to have the chicken pox vaccine.
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    In the UK parents who can afford it, particularly medical professionals, pay for their children to have the chicken pox vaccine.

    First I've heard of it! :p

    The policy of the NHS is against routine vaccination, on the basis that vaccination (perhaps counterintuitively) may lead to a rise in cases of shingles in adults:
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/chickenpox-vaccine-questions-answers/
  • Well, this UK medical professional didn’t pay for her children to have the vaccine, despite my eldest not getting chicken pox til he was 10 years old.
    As a nurse I was tested by occupational health to see if I should be offered the vaccine but I have a high rate of antibodies so didn’t need it (I already knew this as I was a blood donor).
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    While someone who has had a chickenpox vaccine may get shingles later on in life, there is a vaccine against shingles. People over 50 are encouraged to get it.

    I received the shingles vaccine when I turned 50. My wife chose not to. About a year later she had a small spot on her chest that was burning and itching. She went to the doctor and found out it was shingles. Lasted about two weeks. About a month after it had cleared, she received the shingles vaccine.

    Vaccinations have lowered exposure to many deadly diseases. One characteristic of the Delta variant is it has an uncanny ability to find unvaccinated populations and just ravage them.
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    In the UK parents who can afford it, particularly medical professionals, pay for their children to have the chicken pox vaccine.

    First I've heard of it! :p

    The policy of the NHS is against routine vaccination, on the basis that vaccination (perhaps counterintuitively) may lead to a rise in cases of shingles in adults:
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/chickenpox-vaccine-questions-answers/

    Wow, I read that NHS stuff on why NOT to vaccinate against chickenpox, and just... wow. I mean, you could use the same reasoning for any disease, really. I suppose the cutoff (on which diseases get this treatment) is the overall death-and-disability rate for just letting it rip. And clearly the U.S. and the U.K. have made different choices on this one. I suppose in about 50 years we'll have definite data on which pathway was the better choice, as we'll be able to look at population-wide information.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    I got chickenpox as an adult, I have never felt so ill - the green running sores on my face were particularly fetching. (I had been out of the U.K. for large chunks of my childhood, so missed catching it when I was younger.)
  • I'll tell ya, it was no picnic as an eight-year-old either. Nasty, horrible, itchy. And of course all three of us got it, so the house was interdicted for about a month.
  • I got a grand total of two spots out of my encounter with chicken pox.
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