Return of Covid: The Delta Variant

I’m currently having a moral dilemma over how to respond to the recent uptick of Covid variant in NV County. The numbers are on the rise and I have a few shows on the calendar for this month. Should I play these shows? Should I go see show and/or participate in community events? Where does one draw the line? 

The numbers don’t lie, but they don’t tell a clear truth either. The California Dept. of Public Health currently requires masking indoors for non-vaccinated people, but it isn’t being enforced. There is a large enough anti-vax contingent where I live, and we all know they don’t give a shit. Anti-vax people aren’t going to change their minds for anything. 

I’m double vaxxed and more/less healthy. Put another way, I’m not concerned for my health. I am concerned for people who are vulnerable health-wise. But this is also where it gets tricky. My concern for the health of others is meaningless if not broadly shared by the wider community. From my experience with C19 – from knowing many people who contracted it, including my family – the impacts vary. It’s a wildcard, but the elderly and the ill-of-health are the most impacted (from my experience and read of the data) – particularly the unvaccinated. 

By the numbers, Nevada County was NEVER fully onboard with Covid protocols - not even close. Throughout the first year of Covid, less than half the county even got tested and testing numbers were inflated by people like me who got tested multiple times. What does this tell us…? 

Data collection and interpretation/ analysis has been haphazard since the beginning of Covid. To the degree we have an immunization problem, I think we can pin some blame on poor public leadership, political grandstanding, identity politics, sensationalistic media, selfishness, and ignorance amongst people who really just don’t want to know what’s going on. And despite the prevalence of strong opinions since all this started, in truth, it’s actually a very complicated situation. There are a handful of valid concerns about the vaccination too, though most of the skepticism falls flat. 

We are still learning about C19 and will continue to do so for years to come IMO. It seems clear that getting vaccinated greatly reduces the risk of getting it, although not entirely. And apparently even vaxxed people can still transmit it, which is at heart of my dilemma. We’re not going to be completely rid of Covid no matter what we do. But, getting the vaccination shot(s) seems to be very effective. If people refuse to get vaccinated, what more can be done? 

The venues and orgs that I work with and patronize have all taken serious steps to be a good public citizen. These are hardworking people who have serious skin in the game when it comes to maintaining a business and livelihood. I have much respect for the small businesses trying to do the right thing, but also needing to survive. Small business is not something that I take for granted. 

That said, here I am in a grey area. What to do? It seems like those doing the right thing and making sacrifices are the people who are the most punished (outside of anyone actually getting really sick). Meanwhile, the Covid deniers and conspiracy minded people continue on with their miserable lives. 

What good does trying to outrun or hide from Covid do at this point, especially if the most vulnerable people are adults who have chosen not to get the vaccine? If we're doing our part to be a good public citizen, including getting the vaccine, what further are we trying to accomplish? Nevada County has been basically open since June (and probably several months ahead of that – fully “open”). Yes, there is a spike in the numbers of late, but they are still relatively small numbers. We know what’s driving it – the unvaccinated – and not much can be done about that. There are no indications of medical resources being overwhelmed anywhere that I know of, which is a trend that has improved in 2021 – a trend that has held nationwide as well. 

It’s mortifying to think that playing or going to a show is a net negative to public health... In my case, these aren’t just solo shows in a vacuum either, but commitments to ensembles, rehearsals, venues, etc. It’s easy for a conversation like to this to spin out sideways in many different directions. Where do you draw the line?