September 2021 Top Talk -Portland Bicycling Club

September 2021 Top Talk

Covid-19 is once again in the news. How should the latest developments affect your cycling activities?

Corona viruses are known to mutate, and the mutations that favor the virus’s survival and reproduction are usually the ones that persist. This is basic natural selection: the short gestation of rodents is the main reason that we have so many squirrels in our yards! In the case of the Corona virus, the Delta mutation allows the virus to infect people more efficiently, helping it to outcompete the old standard bug.

It’s important to note that this does not mean that the virus is any more resistant to the vaccine that you received, or any more likely to put you in the hospital. It just means that the people who have not been vaccinated are more likely to become infected.

The news of vaccinated people getting infected is really not news at all. No vaccine is 100% protective, and in the case of Covid vaccines, the percentage effectiveness was publicized from the start. If a vaccine is 80% effective against a disease, 20% of the vaccinated population can still be infected. However, we know that an infected person who has been vaccinated has a very remote chance of getting seriously ill.

So, for bicycling, the best protection is still getting vaccinated. Hopefully, everyone in the club has done that. Follow the local rules, such as wearing masks indoors, although those rules primarily benefit those who, for some reason, have not been vaccinated. And keep cycling! Healthy outdoor activity is the best thing that you can do for your body. You’re much more likely to catch Covid from your grandchildren than from your old cycling buddies. (But you must watch out for cars, obey traffic signs, etc.; you’ve a much greater chance of being done in by your bike than by a virus!)

Doug Myers, President