President Joe Biden seems to be handling COVID pretty well. At 79 he’s in a high-risk age group, but he’s also fully vaxxed and boosted — which drastically reduces the odds for serious illness.
We wish the president a rapid recovery. So far, it looks like his case is high-profile evidence that the pandemic is completely over — that Americans’ anti-coronavirus efforts should focus exclusively on getting jabs to those who need them and treating cases as they pop up.
That means absolutely no mandates — not for mass masking and so on, and not even for vaccination (except perhaps for special cases such as those who care for the elderly).
Yet clickbait-hungry media keep promoting health-care professionals who urge the nation to behave like it’s still early 2020 — ignoring not just the fact that the virus has become a background threat like so many others, but everything we’ve learned about what works and what doesn’t.
Some officials act on this madness: San Diego and Cedar Rapids schools have mask mandates back; Los Angeles is close to ordering public indoor masking. Federal health authorities are recommending under-12s get jabbed even though actual scientists are quitting in droves in protest, because the advice lacks any scientific basis.
Heck, Gov. Kathy Hochul is still ordering mass-transit commuters to mask — but noncompliance looks to be over 50% and rising, judging by our subway rides, so the gov is only breeding public contempt for health mandates.
One more time: Broad COVID mandates and restrictions are worse than useless; areas that went hog-wild with them had health outcomes no better than ones that did next to nothing — and far worse economic and social outcomes.
Most masks do squat. Kids are incredibly low-risk; the elderly (and immune-compromised) are by far the most vulnerable — and staying current on their vaccinations means even their risks are entirely manageable. And we never, ever should’ve made toddlers mask.
Anywhere with good air circulation might as well be outdoors.
Case rates no longer mean a darn thing. Even hospitalization rates mean little if they include people hospitalized with COVID on top of smaller numbers hospitalized because of it. Death rates may be a lagging indicator, but if they never rise than there is no real problem.
(Oh, and why exactly has the city Health Department stopped breaking down results by vaxxed vs. unvaxxed? It says the data’s not clean enough, but you have to suspect our panic-pushing health czar fears people will draw the “wrong” conclusions form the more complete info.)
Look: Time, resources and energy wasted out of foolish panic can’t be spent on issues that are actually far more important.
Evolutionary forces mean new variants tend to be more contagious but also less toxic. In some form the coronavirus will be with us forever, but only as an endemic risk.
This pandemic is done, and it’s not coming back. We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
And anyone still pushing fear (status-seeking “experts,” power-seeking pols, etc.) is almost certainly working an agenda that has nothing to do with your best interests.