I almost have trouble comprehending this article - not the interview itself, which was fine, but the reality that a meaningful minority of people are still hiding from life.

This whole idea of demanding to know if people are vaccinated is so weird. Because we are close and chose to talk about it, my parents and in-laws on both sides know we aren’t vaccinated, and they couldn’t care less. We are young, healthy, low risk, and it’s entirely consistent with our approach to healthcare to opt for natural immunity rather than be vaccinated because we face a similar, rare, risk from both the vaccines and Covid. We chose natural immunity. There is nothing unreasonable about that for people in our health.

Now, our vaccinated parents would be irate if we vaccinated our children, their grandchildren. Our kids won’t be getting vaccinated for Covid and we all think it’s cruel to force a new medicine, with unknowable long term consequences, and a terrible known side effect profile in comparison to the disease, on children to “protect” adults. That it there is no evidence vaccinating little kids will protect adults is besides the point - adults are supposed to protect children, not use them as shields for their own personal safety.

Our kids have stayed in school in person full time since August 2020. Since March of 2020 we’ve been to the mountains numerous times as well as trips to Florida, Hilton Head, Figure 8 Island, VA, and several other places that aren’t coming to mind at the moment. We enjoyed the holidays last year with extended family, when there were no vaccines for anyone and monoclonal antibodies weren’t accessible.

We are looking forward to doing the same this year with the added comfort of local antibody clinics and vaccines for the vulnerable. Because we live in reality not media lala land, we know our elderly vaccinated parents are at higher risk of a severe outcome than we are as unvaccinated healthy younger adults. We opt for current data and observed replicated outcomes to guide us, so we found contact information for the closets antibody clinics to our parents so they can get treatment should they be knowingly significantly exposed or develop symptoms.

It’s Thanksgiving this week and I am so thankful I get to enjoy life with an amazing family I love.

We didn’t continue living as normally and mask free as possible because we don’t love our children or our parents - the opposite is true actually. We love our children and our parents so much we refuse to let a phobic fear of a globally endemic respiratory virus ruin this one precious life we get. No one was going to get between either my parents or my husband’s parents and their precious grand-babies. My father has been picking my kids up from school more than me since August 2020.

Rather than cowering inside we seek information on possible therapeutics, keep our distance only when someone was actually ill, and try to ensure our immune systems are as healthy as possible. We would never intentionally expose our parents to a virus they are vulnerable to, but we also won’t pretend like avoiding them when everyone is perfectly healthy even meaningfully reduces their risk of getting Covid. Accepting reality we have plans for treatment if or when any of us get sick.

People who think we are nuts to have continued to live our lives, mostly mask free, respecting both that the virus is real and also largely beyond human control, need to go look in the mirror. I hope those hiding might at least consider that it might be nuts to hide from the very people who make life worth living for over 20 months. Covid won’t magically disappear, the opportunity for that was lost in Wuhan, China in the fall of 2019. None of us are garunteed tomorrow, and grandma and grandpa’s tomorrow’s will eventually run out wether or not they’ve spent some of their precious final years cruelly isolated from the families they made possible in the first place.

At what point do people realize “wear a mask, get 4 jabs, isolate from loved ones, and everybody is still going to get Covid” isn’t a very good way to actually live?

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I love a doctor that truly has common sense. Not even my personal doctor will admit natural immunity is better. I’m so upset and will never forgive the mandates of WA state because it made my daughter want to get vaccinated after she’s already had Covid. I had her tested for T cell immunity which was positive. Some may not agree with his stance on vaccines and that’s okay. He has the common sense that I wish so many others would have. I love that he sees the uselessness of cloth masks on children and knows of the damage it’s causing. The lockdowns, kids being out of school, the masks, the one size fits all mandates…it has caused way too much heartache. My brother thinks I’m an “angry” person. I’m just excruciatingly frustrated for good reason. I wish I could have left WA state but it’s where I’ve grown up and even my parents and my grandparents. Thank you for posting this interview. I love all your stuff.

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"We have such a paternal attitude right now in public health."

"And I don’t think it's fair to hold the entire society hostage because they’ve made a personal choice."

"If you use universal masking as a heavy hand beyond its utility, you alienate the authority of public health and you discredit the ability of those of us in medicine to say, “Hey, we need you to run because there’s a fire” in the future."

All good medical professionals should own the views represented in these comments. Those that would criticize them are not good medical professionals in my opinion.

"Why are we not accepting those circulating antibodies that are effective against Covid? Because they have not been approved by Dr. Fauci?"

THIS, more than just about everything related to COVID justifies the conspiratorial view that the pandemic is more than just a pandemic, but part of some sinister plan to force the population to comply.

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BW: Will natural immunity protect you against Covid?

MM: It protects you better than vaccinated immunity

THIS should have been the first question.

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It is unbelievable to me that a reasonable doctor does not know that therapeutics have been available and used successfully since March of 2020. We do not need a new pill from Merck or Pfizer. I would direct everyone to the work of Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, Dr. Peter McCullough, Drs. Paul Marik and Pierre Kory of the FLCCC Alliance. and the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons. More than 500,000 of our fellow citizens have died needlessly because of the incompetence and malfeasance of the CDC and their ignoring the benefits of early home based treatment. Please also look up the meta analysis of Dr. Tess Lawrie of the UK.

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I guess that's why you called your Substack Common Sense. A healthy dose of it in this interview. The real question is why the left's authoritarian tendencies don't trouble more liberals. Why the need to demonize anybody who resists?

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Wow, a voice of reason and common sense. How is it we have so few of those these days?

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I saw a man walking by himself wearing a mask - I felt so badly for him. Compliant, afraid, anti-science. How is it that I see so many of my Democrat friends pretending we're the party of science? Not for one second has any of the info about the masks been right. Oh maybe in the very beginning when they said they create a false sense of security and could do more harm than good. COVID is microscopic. If you're going to catch it, you're going to catch it whether you are wearing a mask or not. You spread less if you are wearing one. It just drives me insane that we can no longer have sane, rational discussions about this.

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This MD sounds rational and reasonable. He must be destroyed.

My supposition is and has been that when we total up(if we do, and do it honestly) years of life lost by our misguided COVID policies, our policies will have cost more years of life then COVID.

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I have major concerns about the safety of these vaccines and the vaccine mandates. I have had heart arrhythmia and pain that started 3-4 weeks after my second pfizer job. My husband's home country (Austria) is placing SEVERE restrictions on the unvaccinated. As of today, I count as unvaccinated in Austria because i have not had the booster. They will have to tie me up and forcefully inject me before I will submit to the booster.

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You didn't bother asking the doctor why there are more vaccinated than unvaccinated people dying in the UK (which has medical records and data that puts the US to shame). Here in Oregon, buried deep in the Health Authority's web site, one learns that, recently, 27% of people hospitalized with Covid symptoms were fully vaccinated.


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My poor children have to mask at school from 8am- 3 pm….. even outside at recess. We live in Oregon snd our Governor has a heavy hand. I wish we could move- the illogic makes me enraged.

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This is a really great read and I will follow Makary from now on. There have been some other RNA / DNA therapy trials that have been stopped in recent years ,because medium-term, there was a lot of cancer. and I wonder what he thinks of the 5-10 year cancer risk of the vaccine.

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Lose the masks? Not if you live in Santa Cruz county California, which has instituted an indoor mask mandate even in private homes unless you are in that home by yourself or with other people who reside in the home. Violators may be subject to arrest. This means that if you are having family over for Thanksgiving and they don't live in your home, everyone must wear a mask. I don't think the mandate discussed whether you can lift the mask up to take a bite of turkey or a sip of beer.

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I'm very disturbed by the Covid-precaution skepticism that I've noticed as an emerging feature of the anti-wokester profile. Most of us here are some flavor of centrist, and while I share the doctor's dismay with left-wing pandemic excesses, this heavy-handed anti-mask rhetoric strikes me as being its own, uncomfortably Republican-leaning propaganda.

I agree with Makary that cloth masks and masking while strolling to the restaurant table are dumb security theater. Many of us roll our eyes at the triple-vaxed San Franciscans who double-mask and stay 10 feet away from each other...outdoors. Clearly, that's overkill.

That doctor tweeting he's afraid his baby will die from a supermarket visit is, yes, irresponsible propaganda.

But so is Makary's concern over the report of a single death, somewhere, of a child from a vaccine. When millions have gotten the shots with zero issues. That's also irresponsible propaganda.

I also felt he crossed the line by dismissing vaccine mandates, not on grounds of personal bodily liberty — an argument I can respect, although I disagree (see also: seatbelts, required school vaccines, etc.) — but due to the clearly false claim that mandates derailed a successful voluntary vaccination effort. Those mandates were (reluctantly) imposed only after many months when the vaccination rate failed to rise meaningfully. I don't believe most people were on the verge of being persuaded; it seems obvious that those adults who wanted vaccines rushed out to get them by June, and to judge from statistics, relatively few have gotten vaxed since.

Even now, at merely 59% vaccinated, we are well behind most developed nations — and far, far below the level needed to move from active pandemic to endemic normalcy.

I'm VERY disturbed by Makary's dismissal of the efficacy of masking. Everyone hates masks. But many, many studies, not to mention entire Asian societies, have proven *medical* masks' effectiveness at limiting contagion in crowded/indoor places. It seems premature to dismiss masks — and downright irresponsible to diss them — with hospitals still overflowing in many places, a winter surge clearly underway, and plenty of older people still dying of COVID every day. (And as the parent of a young child — yes, I'm aware that a few children have had a harder time learning speech because of masks, but the vast majority I have observed are doing just fine. The persistence of concern for those few slow speech learners honestly feels like a convenient excuse for government-hands-off anti-mask propaganda.)

I'm disturbed by Makary's blithe dismissal of COVID risks — that you only have to worry if you're old or fat, assuming nobody reading or listening falls into either group. And by implication, that those groups don't matter enough for the rest of us to take reasonable precautions or vaccinate on their behalf during what is still an active pandemic.

I'm disturbed by his dismissal of the utility of vaccines for children. I vaccinated mine not because of her own risk, but because schoolchildren are silent vectors who can sicken Mom into bed for weeks or infect Grandpa so he ends up in the ICU, or worse. More immunity means less risk for everybody, and less spread, fewer variants, and a faster end to the pandemic.

This chilling disregard for any sense of communal responsibility is, I think, by far the most off-putting aspect of the libertarian anti-mask, kinda anti-vax, let-'em-rip attitude. As classical liberals, we are committed to individualism. But community, and communal responsibility, are important aspects of society and humanity. Nobody likes masks, and nobody really likes getting shots, but the risk-benefit analysis to society at a moment of ongoing pandemic virulence tips decisively in favor of both right now, so we can end this thing for everybody — not just the young and healthy.

Common sense is usually found between the extremes.

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You've got some live wires in the comments section, Bari! Godspeed and happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for the post. I'm interested in this: "But 16 studies show that natural immunity protects you better than vaccinated immunity. The largest study worldwide, the Israeli study, showed that natural immunity was 27 times more effective than vaccinated immunity in preventing recurring Covid illness. The only two studies to the contrary are from the CDC. They were sham, jerry-rigged studies that were so embarrassing they would get disqualified in a seventh grade science fair project. That’s how horrible these studies were."

I'd love a list, as well as a brief explanation of why the 16 studies are good studies, and why the 2 studies from the CDC are bad. Maybe I'll send this to you as a QQ since it's likely to get lost in the fog here!

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