Thanks for your post, which raises some interesting questions relating to cognitive dissonance.
I too wondered about the efficacy of having the flu-‘jab’ as we have tended to call it over here. However, without the dubious advantage of a background in viral sciences, I needed to use whatever vestiges of ‘common-sense’ I have within my aging brain. It would be too easy to admit that, part of the reason for having the ‘jab’, was simply habit/routine because I’ve been having it for the past decade or so and have come to no harm by doing so (including no flu). However, this is surely not the whole story. Having decided I would have the ‘jab’ because it seems like a sensible thing to do at my age, I have been eagerly anticipating a brand-new ‘jab’ for this new virus (Covid19).
Because this vaccination has not yet been available, it seems to have made sense to me to take precautions against catching the new virus. (This reasoning is completely separate from that of the flu ‘jab’). These precautions are, of course, all the things like washing hands, wearing a mask and social distancing. Here again, I have to admit that I was already doing these things long before the Covid19 epidemic began so, these routines are also something of a ‘habit’ for me.
Let’s take them one at a time ;
WASHING HANDS: I do a lot of voluntary work in and around the rivers and streams in my local area (including in my own garden) where there is always a ‘healthy’ population of brown rats. I know of several people who have contracted the disease leptospirosis so, It has always made sense for me to wash my hands thoroughly at every opportunity. At present, we have an outbreak of avian flu, so this is an added incentive to keep clean in this way.
WEARING A MASK: I have been wearing masks on a more regular basis since I had a heart attack and triple heart bypass operation. The reason for the mask-wearing was because it was quite obvious that my heart problems were brought on by air pollution. Now for a short while,, the Covid 19 epidemic did us all a favour by keeping people indoors and out of their vehicles. This significantly lowered the air pollution and showed us all that we ‘could’ get by without all this pollution. However, as the restrictions have been lifted, so the air pollution has increased in direct proportion.
I have made my own masks to include clinical-grade, hypoallergenic filters which can filter out the human-pollution filth in the atmosphere as well as filtering the finer particles involved in bacterial and viral infections. However, having already had a close-to-death experience with pollution, it was that aspect which motivated me to make and wear masks.
SAFE DISTANCING: This is also an interesting phenomenon which I have practiced quite effectively for many years, partly out of habit but partly because I find that many human beings are intrinsically and fundamentally ‘toxic’ in so many different ways.
I would probably have to qualify my statement about ‘safe-distancing’, in that my own approach to this is best described as ‘selective-safe-distancing’. I have always felt the urge to befriend/help those in our society who are discarded and marginalised by others and, because there are so many of them, I am not really socially distanced from humans, just from those who are the main ‘polluters’ in terms of social stigmas, physical and mental health issues, and weaponizing anything and everything they can , to try to exploit others for their own advantage (& greed).
On a personal level, having already had the flu ‘jab’ I will be pleased to have the Covid19 vaccine when and if it arrives. Until that time, the protection that is available by way of sensible precautions may not be as effective as a vaccine, but it seems to be the best we have at present.
Incidentally, (given my reasoning above) I will be continuing to wash my hands/ wear a mask and socially distance long after the Covid and flu issues are resolved. I will also try to do my bit to not contribute to global warming/ not to kill or harm other animals/ not to discriminate or marginalise others because of their unfortunate circumstances/ not to do all those other things which I think are morally wrong, simply to gain some kind of personal profit.