Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Is It Time to Declare Covid "Over"?

 For the record, while I spend many of my working hours reading other people's medical records, I have no medical training.  My college science classes many years ago were for non-science majors.  In short, I have no medical training and little expertise.  However, like most people, I have an uneducated opinion about about how we should be dealing with covid in today's world.

At the time I am writing this, the wave caused by Omicron appears to be receding.  I say appears to be because home testing is much more prevalent than it was a few weeks ago, so perhaps the numbers aren't falling as fast as they appear to be, but hospitalizations are headed down too so I have to believe the number of cases is really falling fast. 

I personally think it is time to declare covid "over" and to remove all governmental restrictions involving it.  Why?  What if the next variant is as contagious as Omicron but more deadly?  

Why?  Because today, we should worry about what we know today--which is that for people who are vaccinated, covid as we know it today is not a deadly disease.  Yes, people are dying but overwhelmingly they are people who have chosen not to be vaccinated and/or are the elderly and sick.  Treatments are available for those who become sick, and people who are at high risk for a bad outcome know who they are.  

Also, if not now, then when?  From everything I've read, Covid isn't going anywhere.  While at one time there was some hope that if we could just vaccinate enough people fast enough we could stop this thing and turn it into another measles or polio--diseases for which vaccines gave us herd immunity--, the Omicron variant has shown that's not going to happen as even vaccinated people got sick.  Covid is not going to be another polio, its going to be another flu, and like the flu it appears that one shot or series of shots isn't going to do the trick long term.  It looks like we will be rolling up our sleeves yearly for a Covid booster, which basically means that those who do not see themselves as being in high risk groups just won't get around to it in many years even if the outright refusal isn't an issue anymore.  

I personally think anyone who refuses a Covid vaccine is doing something foolish.  I have no problem with the same institutions that mandate flu vaccines mandating covid vaccines. However, much beyond that, I think the vaccines ought to be freely available, that people should be encouraged to get them and that they be allowed to make up their own minds about it.  

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