Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Why the vaccinated and recovered in Israel still need to wear masks and socially distance

We need to act not based on fears but on being informed and responsible

The most important reason to still act safely is the government telling us to do so. Civil disobedience shouldn’t toy or tinker with safety measures, from safety belts to helmets, from no-smoking areas to no drunk driving.

Having developed immunity for COVID-19 protects us almost 100% from death and greatly from serious COVID-complications. But not totally. And we can’t know if we or the person we talk to will be an exception.

But, much more importantly, when we have become immune, we might still pick up this virus and give it to someone else. (See this outstanding reporting by the JPost health reporter.) And if we do, we could be a link in a deadly chain that would kill an elderly person, someone with a known or previously unknown underlying illness, or a pregnant mother and her fetus. We don’t want to play any part in this.

Also those who may suppose to have COVID-immunity need to pay attention to possible signs of a light corona infection. (Some 94% (!) of cured corona patients after three months still have health complaints! And 50% of light corona patients have long corona: symptoms up to half a year after their infection was over. Is that still ‘corona light’?)

When, despite assumed immunity, we get even a slight suspicion we may be infected, we should play it safe and self-isolate.¬† An unexpected little tiredness, loss of smell, feeling cold/hot? Don’t risk infecting others.

No, anti-bodies don’t prove immunity. They fade quickly after a corona vaccination or infection but the more-potent cellular immunity does not.

Even when there is herd immunity, the virus could still go around from person to person. It’s OK to take off our masks in one-on-one meetings. But not in settings where a super-spreader could infect hundreds. We still don’t know which kind of people are super-spreaders. It could be us. (NB: A herd immunity strategy fails when it kills most of the shepherds.)

So, we can hug our vaccinated grandparents again. (BTW: This is not leprosies. Hugging is not the dangerous thing. Breathing in someone’s face is the problem.) But not all the people in their old-age home.

As long as children are not vaccinated, the virus could start mostly circulating among them and mutate more, endangering them or us all.

We need to continue wearing masks and socially distance, ventilate, and not linger too long at indoor meeting places. NB: When we talk or run, the essence of the mask is covering our mouths. But when we are quiet, the essence is covering our noses. Many people need to be told.

And we should try to talk some sense into the anti-vaxxers we love.

And soon, when all tourists return to the Holy Land, with billions not yet vaccinated for years to come, we have yet another reason not to let down our guard or masks.

One day, this virus will be tamed or perhaps exterminated. But, that day has not yet come. And the next pandemic is in the making. As long as we want to mass travel, mass gather, and city dwell, we’d better continue to protect ourselves and each other. People who endanger the population at large should be fined and repeat offenders should be jailed.

It is not clear why now there is a sharp decline in India, but also in the US, and elsewhere. In Israel too, the downturn seems not just caused by vaccinations. But, as long as corona stays around and doesn’t show seasonality, it will not become like the flu. It will be more like hepatitis.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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