It's still a thing.
Thank you so so much for writing about this, especially now. I tested positive for COVID less than a week ago and while it has not been as bad as when I contracted it once before in 2022, it was still pretty awful. I started to become a lot more lax in the past couple of months just because COVID was being talked about less and less and I started to feel safer, but just because nobody is talking about it doesn't mean it disappeared completely. It always made me feel less alone to hear you guys on the Filmcast talk about continuing to wear masks and take precautions during/after the pandemic because it helped me feel like I wasn't the only one. Continue to do what you're doing because you're keeping you and your wife (and others you may not even know) safe. Love your work.
Thanks for this Dave.
While things in Dublin have pretty much returned to what it was like pre-covid, I still wear a mask while I travel public transport, and if a place I go into has hand sanitisers, I will use it. Thankfully I live just outside Dublin, and work from home, so my contact with people is kept to the bare minimum, unless I have to go into the city.
Love your openness as always, David. Despite not having an immunocompromised person at home, our precautions are fairly similar: I still wear an N95 at any sizable indoor event, I do outdoor dining or take-out 99% of the time (not 100%!), my wife and I test aggressively and have fostered that expectation among friends. A year ago this was all quite a bit more rigid (we didn't even have close friends indoors and unmasked) but, of course, risk calculations change.
One thing that's taken me a while to accept in my own life is that I don't need to be perfectly consistent, perfectly anything, for the attempt to still have merit. Probably informed by my evangelical upbringing, I have this tendency to moralize everything, to make it "all or nothing": I would never go indoors unmasked, I would never indoor dine, etc. Which is great, until the first time you fail at it! In my case, this meant work trips to areas of the country where outdoor dining simply wasn't a possibility, and executive conference meetings where peer pressure essentially demanded I unmask -- where the optics of being the "coastal elite" wore me down. Once I'd "broken the seal" on my perfectly-adhered principles, I had this strong impulse -- and, to be fair, a great deal of peer pressure -- to throw them out altogether. "You went to that crowded restaurant last night, why are you wearing a mask in the office this morning as if you were somehow better than everyone else?" "Your wife attends classes two days a week, she's obviously a bigger vector than you anyway!" etc. As I look at how attitudes towards COVID prevention have changed in my city over the last year, this is essentially the story I hear everywhere: a few cracks in the armor became an argument to stop shielding altogether.
But that's not how statistics works. If 2% of the time I'm in situations where I cannot be safe, but the remaining 98% I still manage it, that's still a ~50x reduction in risk! So I try to tell myself that every day, even as my standards shift and my rules become less logical (ex: I will eat indoors for a fancy tasting menu but not a burger place; I will still use the treadmill in my apartment gym if one person is in there but not if two people are), they're still directionally more likely to protect me.
P.S. I cannot sing the virtues of N95 masks highly enough. It profoundly irritates me when people point to statistics that "masks don't work" by looking at places and situations where it's obvious no one was trying -- surgical masks, chin diapers, etc. I probably travel twice a month for work on average; I've also seen a hell of a lot of movies in crowded theaters (including a full 10 days of Cannes screenings, surrounded by coughing people from across the globe). The only time I contracted COVID, it came from a work event where I abandoned my N95 halfway through (see again: peer pressure). Anecdotes are anecdotes, but I'm firmly convinced that these things help.
Thanks for your openness on the COVID prevention front, David! I've been a bit more out and about in terms of social events (indoor dining included) but still regularly mask and test (but not as frequently) even after having a mild COVID back in February (Paxlovid really helped, along with the bivalent back in September). Your recs on the N95s, air purifiers, and nasal sprays are appreciated. I've seen chatter on Twitter about Enovid but haven't tried it yet; a simple drugstore saline spray has helped. And I've been looking for a small portable air purifier too, so I'll take your rec into consideration!
Thank you for writing this, David! It was heartbreaking to watch the entire world move on and do away with any sense of caution. I mask and test more now because there are no precautions otherwise. I hadn’t heard about the Netty Pot but I’ll give that a try!
Thank you for this, Dave. I need to avoid Covid for similar reasons, so this was a welcome post. I've felt recently that because nobody is talking about it anymore, maybe everyone (even the super cautious people) has gone back to normal. So i just want to say I appreciate you writing this and confirming that we're not the only ones still taking some precautions, while also living the life we want to live!
I totally get it and I totally support it. And do not understand why anyone would not (barring the usual illogical and presumably hopeless set). And I also appreciate the mask recommendation. Thank you.
Thanks, David, for this. My family is still one of the only ones I know doing all this as well — everything you mention. And while I don’t blame anyone for not taking the same measures, it’s nice to know we’re not alone. (Sidenote: I am dreading school starting, with a daughter starting as a freshman. It will be difficult for her to be the only one in her high school wearing a mask; she did in middle school last year, but I can *feel* her weariness in being alone.). I’ve been eyeing the Far-UVC systems, too. I hope you update us if you take the plunge and have any recommendations.
As always, thank you for sharing :)
Great, informative article. Thanks for writing this - I will investigate the home air filters and nasal spray. It is currently winter here in New Zealand and I am avoiding going on buses or trains. The few times I go into the city I drive. It is at least 2 years since I travelled by bus or train. I have only been on a plane twice for a 1 hour domestic flight in the last 3 years.
Thanks for sharing Dave. I empathize with you completely and think it’s noble to do all you can to protect your family. That said, I do have a couple questions.
1) Do you see a future where all of these precautions become mostly or partly unnecessary? I had to ask myself that last year (after 2 years of being very cautious and getting vaxxed 4x) after a lot of talking things over with the kids. I realize our situation is different, as none of us are immune compromised.
2) Is there anything that can be done for Joy of yourself to make long covid less of a fear or risk? It seems like LC is your number one reason for taking such precautions. Our family does think about it, occasionally, but our anecdotal experience has been that it’s not as prevalent as some studies and articles show. It could just be wishful thinking, but that’s how I roll I suppose.
That said, I’m glad you’re getting to do what matters most - see family, do work you’re proud of, and see awful movies so I know what to skip! Okay and some good ones too :)
Honestly, David, I'm speechless. You are as articulate and as passionate as anyone who has written about this, and the fact that you have a wife you adore you want to protect makes your argument all the more incapable of being attacked. You clearly have exceptionally strong reasons, and it's equally clear absolutely no actual fact to the contrary is capable of giving you even pause. So long as you respect that the majority of the free world disagrees with you, knows damn well there are financial incentives for the industries you support to keep these protocols active, particularly in Seattle where so many of these companies in tech and medicine are housed and where the damn thing STARTED, and can cite chapter and verse that co-morbidities and incentives have inflated and conflated the figures you cite so passionately, all is good. Fact is, David, based on your standards, and the fact that you are in such a minority, it's NEVER not gonna be a thing and even if you live to be 100 (and I truly pray you do), you will covering your handsome face with that precious N95 until your last breath. What a tragedy. But you stay well.
I live in the Midwest and surprisingly still see people wearing masks all the time. Not in large numbers at once but more than I would have expected in this region of the US.
Dave, that's fair as well. As I said, I draw my own conclusions.
Well, now I know why he is so supportive. I do have a GoFundMe account. Perhaps you might find it in your heart to donate or at least amplify?
Much love to you both.
David. Statistics from hospitals are inflated. They make money for treating Covid patients. 3M contributes millions to democratic causes. They supply the majority of the n95 domestic production you covet. Many credible control studies have shown no statistical difference between masking and unmasking as being a legitimate singular reason for infection rates. And no not ones done by nuts that get reported in Epoch Times. Ones done in medical journals that actual doctors have shown me first hand.
Once again…you have the right to live your life as you choose and again, the fact you have someone you love who loves you is a damn good reason for you to choose to believe as you do. I am alone, broke aging and getting be only on go fund me contributions, and my issues have zero to do with long or short Covid. Perhaps if it did I’d have more support. Because that’s what this world believes. Once I reveal my beliefs it’s assumed I was storming the capital and wish death upon election supporters. Not my truth. I suffer in ways you can’t possibly imagine. No mask can hide my tears. It’s a tragedy that simple truth is so hard for anyone of reasonable intelligence to follow