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Before you demand that I share the source for my title, I suggest instead that my observation is obvious. The highly maligned term “common sense” would tell you that. In fact, if we look at the definition of pandemic, the truth becomes even clearer (unless you have no interest in the truth):
1: an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area (such as multiple countries or continents) and typically affects a significant proportion of the population: a pandemic outbreak of a disease; a global pandemic Influenza pandemics seem to strike every few decades and to kill by the million—at least 1m in 1968; perhaps 100m in the “Spanish” flu of 1918-19.— The Economist
2: an outbreak or product of sudden rapid spread, growth, or development.
Don’t you think it is fair to say that the outbreak has exhausted its “sudden rapid spread, growth or development?”
‘The question is not when do we eliminate the virus in the country,’ said Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center and an expert in virology and immunology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rather, it’s when do we have the virus sufficiently under control? ‘We’ll have a much, much lower case count, hospitalization count, death count,’ Offit said. “What is that number that people are comfortable with?” In his view, ‘the doors will open’ when the country gets to fewer than 5,000 new cases a day, and fewer than 100 deaths.
We can debate how he knows that “people are comfortable with” that number and whether it is a fair assessment.
There are other data that show how far we’ve come in the past year:
The facts are undeniable: The seven-day average of new cases in the United States has fallen by 74 percent since their January peak, hospitalizations have gone down by 58 percent, and deaths have dropped by 42 percent. Meanwhile, more than 60 million doses of vaccine have gone into American arms.
But this post goes beyond the argument about whether the pandemic rages on or not. I’m much more interested in exploring if we should be treating Covid-19 as if it were still terrorizing our country, or if there is a more sensible way to understand and manage it that won’t destroy our children, everyone’s mental health, inflame fear or isolate people.
I’m not saying that we will ever be rid of this nasty virus. It’s become clear to me that it will be with us for the foreseeable future. That’s right: COVID-19 will likely never disappear :
‘It’s pretty unrealistic to think that we can eliminate a virus from both the human population and from its natural reservoirs,’ Dr. Anita McElroy of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine tells CBS News.
She adds that since many people will choose not to get vaccinated — either for medical reasons or out of personal opposition to the vaccine — the world will always have ‘pockets of the population where the virus continues to spread and be susceptible.’
But doctors say that just because COVID is here to stay doesn’t mean it will disrupt our lives as much as it has in the past year. Vaccination and containment measures will eventually get the pandemic under control, potentially turning COVID into another disease we simply learn to live with.
So, in many ways we will treat COVID-19 much like we treat the flu; it can be a serious illness, but we can vaccinate to protect ourselves and try to minimize its effect.
Given that likelihood, here are some ways to move forward:
- Acknowledge that the strategies for dealing with Covid-19 have become so politicized, particularly by government bureaucrats including university researchers, that we simply cannot rely on them to give us sensible, sound advice.
- Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins, emphasized the benefits, especially freedom, that comes with vaccinations:
‘An unpublished study conducted by the Israeli Health Ministry and Pfizer showed that vaccination reduced transmission by 89% to 94% and almost totally prevented hospitalization and death, according to press reports,’ Makary said. ‘Immunity kicks in fully about four weeks after the first vaccine dose, and then you are essentially bulletproof.’
- Makary also believes through his analysis of death rates, that many more people have had the virus than the estimates. He believes that 2/3 of the population has had the infection and that we will have reached herd immunity by the end of March.
- Start reading the work of scientists who are highly esteemed, yet condemned by the mainstream and their peers. Those who are attacking them are telling us unintentionally that they are threatened by these realistic messages. Scientists like Jay Battacharya, Scott Atlas, John Ioannidis, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and Dr. Carl Heneghan have all been attacked, not only by the media but by mainstream scientific publications.
- Over the coming months, there may be occasional blips (what the “experts” like to call surges) that could be used to justify lockdowns. Rather than lockdowns, the proper response would be to study the numbers and track them for an agreed-upon period of time.
- Children rarely contract or transmit the virus. Insisting that they continue remote learning can be devastating to their learning and their mental health.
- The people who have been vaccinated should not be expected to wear masks; those who have not been vaccinated should make the mask decision for themselves.
- Businesses that continue to have mask requirements should be complied with.
This exchange between Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci illustrates the struggle between the theater of masks and reality. In an additional discussion, the Senator points out that there is no data to show that the variants will respond differently to the vaccine.
I think that Dr. Makary has the most reasonable approach to viewing our current situation, as well as the months and years ahead:
The doctor argued that it is time to ‘liberate vaccinated people to restore their relationships and rebuild their lives,’ something he says would ‘encourage vaccination by giving hesitant people a vivid incentive to have the shots.’
‘We cannot exaggerate the public-health threat, as we did with hospital visitation rules, and keep crushing the human spirit with overly restrictive policies for vaccinated Americans.’
We’ve been trapped in this insanity long enough. It’s time to move on.Published in