Vaccination and House Rules

April 23rd, 2021
covid-19
One of the effects of living with others during a pandemic is that risks you take don't just affect yourself. While this is also true even if you live alone, you can't really negotiate with society at large over acceptable levels of risk. When our house decided to lock down a year ago, open up a bit in summer, and lock down again this winter, each needed quite a bit of discussion.

As of today, all the adults in our house have had at least one shot, so we're starting to think about how this should change how we'll handle risk.

We've already updated our approach a little bit: after discussion in February we decided that each week each of us can choose one fully-vaccinated person and spend unrestricted indoor time with them.

Once all the adults are fully vaccinated, though, what someone does outside of the house likely doesn't have much of an effect on risk to the rest of us. The vaccines are very good, decreasing both your chances of getting coronavirus and passing it on if you get it. The risk isn't zero, but our housemates aren't the kind to go to an anti-vax song convention, so I'm not too worried. At that point, what you do outside of the house can go back to being your own decision.

Shared spaces are a bit different. While we haven't decided for sure yet, I think it's probably going to end up being that you can invite anyone in who is fully vaccinated.

There's also the question of how to handle the intermediate stage, when some of us or our friends have had some time since an initial shot but are not yet fully vaccinated. After a couple weeks this is probably pretty safe, but it is hard to tell how much. Since this is only about a month and we've been isolating for over a year we'll probably just wait with some amount of case-by-case (one housemate is going to see their partner when both are 2wk after their first doses), but I'm open to arguments otherwise.

With the kids, risk is very low overall, to the point where if everyone was affected the way children are we wouldn't have even tried to prevent the spread. The baby will be at elevated risk, and I think their main risk will probably be via the older kids, especially when they're in in-person school? Part of the risk to the baby wouldn't be from covid directly, but instead that infant fevers generally require aggressive treatment and covid makes a fever more likely. Overall, I think this means our family is likely to continue socializing outdoors, at least as long as the weather makes that not much of a tradeoff.

Very curious how others are thinking about this.

(We are also lucky to live in a part of the world where we have vaccines for anyone who wants them. Not as lucky as places like South Korea with really solid government response, but still lucky. Very worried for about India right now.)

Comment via: facebook, lesswrong

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