#211: Is the Pandemic Over?

Is the Pandemic Over?
Let’s see.

Is the virus gone? No.

Is its reach no longer global? No, it is still global.

Are case numbers going down? Possibly, but we have stopped testing and measuring. Since Johns Hopkins took their dashboard down, getting good numbers has been difficult.

Are the number of Covid deaths going down? Possibly, but with still approx. 1000 dead per week in the US, this is hardly a success. Also, it seems that some Covid deaths are euphemized as “died with, not from Covid” (a meaningless distinction if Covid was the final blow!), so again, we don’t know enough, but what we know should be making us more careful.

Are mandates not over? Yes. We are all sick and tired of this thing, and the economy must go on. Should you therefore not wear masks anymore?

Don’t we have vaccines? Yes, but they only help against “severe” disease and death, but “severe” only means “not hospitalized”, even though you can get sick as a dog (poor dogs). We simply don’t have a vaccine helping against infection, and most people who have been vaccinated and boosted will now see waning immunity because of the time passed since their last vaccination.

Isn’t natural immunity better? Who knows, some say this, others that. I tend to side with those who disagree on that and recommend vaccination. In any case, do you really want to risk infection? Vaccination is not without risk, but less risky than getting Covid – which leading experts agree on.

But xyz says otherwise! Quoting Dr. Osterholm: Hope is not a strategy. It is easy to find alternative facts nowadays. Sometimes also, the desire to see this as over may override our caution.

Didn’t the Cochrane Review say that masks are useless? No, they clarified that this is not what they meant.

But isn’t this thing more harmless now? Even if the vaccine helps you from getting severely sick or from dying, the risk of long Covid is real, and millions of people around the world suffer from it. Some may be so impaired that they can no longer or only partly work.

But we hear this is an endemic now, not a pandemic. Point is: it is still here, and it is global, and yes, we may not be able to get rid of it that easily. So what does this difference in terminology really mean?

You are overly dramatic, no one takes this seriously any longer. I wish I could as well, and yet, I prefer to live in reality rather than with wish-belief. Maybe our current behavior will bring about the much promised herd immunity, but at what cost?

So, what should we do? You decide. I, personally, wish we would still take care of each other by wearing masks. But what do I know, I am not a medical doctor, I just listen to experts in the field who are still cautioning about it.

Just admit it, you like this. Nope. I used to be an active person, exercising several times a week, doing ballroom dancing, hiking, swimming, traveling, meeting people, teaching in person, going to the movies, opera, visiting friends, cooking for friends, family and colleagues, talking to any random person because this is what America is all about. I H-A-T-E this. But I don’t want to take an avoidable risk, and I need to protect others in my family. I wish this was over, desperately so. We have lost so many people to this plague, and I cannot see anything good about this. Believe me, I do not want to become like Howard Hughes – and if I have to, I would certainly appreciate being rich (which I am not).

Take care, everyone, and please, please, let this be over so for real. In the meantime, do the kind thing, at least wear a functioning mask around other people and stop having to insist that everything should be back to normal, hoping against hope.