Deciding to stay in Israel
When the virus started to spread, we were on vacation in Bangkok. We came back to our home in Tel Aviv on Feb. 9th. On Feb 12, the flights from Asia were stopped and those returning had to go into 14 days quarantine. While we were not required to do that, we did so anyway. We also had to make a decision. Should be stay in Israel or go back to our home in California? We decided to stay and we are very happy we made that decision. One of the reasons, for our decision was our belief that the Israeli government and especially the health care organization would respond in a rational way. We were concerned that this would not be the case in the USA especially under the leadership of Donald Trump. While I am not a supporter of Netanyahu, I believe that he is generally competent. The opposite is true of Trump.
We have had our issues in Israel and we are now on our third wave. It is hard to get Israeli’s to take the right actions like wearing a mask and social distancing although it is not a political issue like it has turned into in the USA.
Israel the world leader in vaccinations per capita
Israel is now the leader in vaccinating. We have vaccinate more than 9% of our population already including me. Soon, we should have all those over 60 years vaccinated along with medical workers and other critical workers. We are vaccinating at a rate greater than 150k a day. Israel has a population equal to 3% of the USA. So that is equivalent to 5 million vaccination a day in the USA. We are close to a million as I write this with would be about 33 million in the USA. I so hope that USA can get its act together. We have family and friends living in the USA including LA and we are scared for them.
Vaccination is our only savior
I think that vaccination is the only thing that can save countries. Herd immunity is not going to help. It is actually a really dumb idea given the infectiousness of this disease. I believe that everyone that does not get vaccinated will eventually get COVID-19. Most will not have a bad case as is the current situation but many will get very sick and some will die.
The two drugs that we have approved in Israel are the Pfizer and the Moderna. We have not yet started with the Moderna which is slightly better and certainly easier to administrate but that should happen in a few weeks. We hope to vaccinate everyone in the next 3-4 months.
What does 95% effective really mean?
I have been investigating the trial data. Both the Pfizer and Moderna are around 95% effective. So what is the situation with the other 5%. It appears that some people do not have a long term immune response to the vaccine or to the virus. This are at the same people that could get infected again. It may be that a third injection or using a different vaccine might trigger the long term immune response that that is not known.
Both my wife and I will have anti body tests done three months after our first vaccination. That will tell us if we are immune or not and have a big implication on what we will do going forward. If we have immunity, we can pretty much travel anywhere. If we are not, we will need to stay in Israel and see if we can get additional injections and hope that we can trigger an immune response.
The virus will continue to mutate. Right now it looks like the vaccines will work agains any of the known mutations but that might not always be the case. In additional, our immunity will last one to two years. Se will be have to get early boosters, I think. Here in Israel they want to do that together with a flue shot.
We will have will continue to social distance and wear masks until we know that we are immune. Even after, we will do that out side. The Israel government is going to require mask wearing for at least 3-4 or more months.
If you are immune, can you infect others?
It is unlikely that you can infect someone if you are immune. There is a very slight possibility that you could have the virus in the mucus of your nose and transfer that. More studies need to be made. But at some point the benefits are worth the chances. Different people will have different ideas about this for sure.