I’m curious about what people think about self-isolating if you have been exposed to Covid. I have a friend who is married with two kids. He and his wife are both vaccinated; his kids are too young to be eligible. One of his two kids was exposed to Covid at daycare. Both his kids and his wife ended up testing positive. Neither child had any symptoms whatsoever. His wife had moderate cold symptoms. Because all of the three who tested positive did not do so simultaneously, because it took time for the kids to test negative (despite not showing symptoms), and because it took a while for the wife’s cold to go away, their total “self-isolation” time is a month.
Now, if you’re in the UK, self-isolation means you do not leave your property – at all. Not for any reason. You don’t have anyone over to your house for any reason. You do not answer the door. If you have housemates, you may not be in the same room as them (non-family members – if family, all should isolate), and you must clean the bathroom “thoroughly” after each use before anyone else can use it.
In the US, self-isolation probably has a definition, but I don’t happen to know what it is. My friend has not stayed home. They go out, just not around other people. They might go to a deserted park or whatever. They haven’t gone to work or out to eat or had any visitors. So not as bad as the UK version by a long shot.
Still, for a family of four, having no contact with other humans is a lot. Especially for my fully vaccinated friend who has not even tested positive.
This makes me wonder – is all this really necessary? If there is a vaccine available, why should anyone without symptoms isolate? Vaccination reduces hospitalization 97%. That means the already relatively low percent of Covid patients who require hospitalization is further reduced by 97% (or thereabouts). And if you aren’t vaccinated, and you get sick, tough luck, as far as I’m concerned. Obviously, if you’ve had a Covid exposure, you shouldn’t go visit a nursing home or your friend who has cancer. It probably makes sense to stick to outdoor socializing and wear a mask at work.
What do you think?
I think this is a very pertinent question because Delta is spreading so rapidly, it seems inevitable we’ll be exposed sometimes in the next year or two. Granted, a booster is coming, but by then there will be a new variant.
From the WSJ:
If you haven’t had Covid yet, you will. If you’ve had it once, you’ll have it again. If you’re vaccinated or were infected previously—which will one day be most people except the very young—your symptoms will likely be mild or nonexistent, but it’s not guaranteed. Words the CDC says about the flu it will say about Covid: “Vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at high risk of developing serious complications from flu. Flu vaccines are updated each season as needed to keep up with changing viruses.”