Saturday, January 01, 2022

Covid--Omicron and some sanity

Nellie Bowles at Common Sense by Bari Weiss (the reporter who very publicly resigned from NY Times because Twitter had become the editor and started her own on-line column so she could tell the truth) writes on December 31, 2021:

"Hello and a very happy New Year! Here in California it’s been pouring rain for more than a week, which undermines all of my justifications for the taxes. It is the slow week between Christmas and New Years, but Omicron has meant a good bit of news.

→ Omicron shuts down the world: Almost everyone I know either has Omicron—or else they are stuck somewhere random because everyone else has Omicron. The numbers bear that out: On Wednesday, according to the CDC, 486,428 positive Covid cases were reported. It’s the highest number of reported cases in the U.S. at any point in this pandemic.

People are waiting in lines for many, many hours for Covid tests. Thousands of flights were cancelled. (Some of the passengers who did make it onto planes didn’t exactly seem grateful for the privilege.)

But amidst all the chaos, a bit of sanity, strangely, is prevailing. The CDC cut the quarantine time in half, from ten days to five, so society can keep functioning.

And mainstream liberal commenters are coming around to a new conclusion: “As we recognize that COVID-19 is not a deadly or even severe disease for the vast majority of responsible Americans, we can stop agonizing over ‘cases’ and focus on those who are hospitalized or at risk of dying,” writes the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin. We’re even getting Good News reports from Twitter-popular doctors. Are they a year late to these realizations? Yes. Do they deserve to be mocked for the delay? Probably. Will I celebrate their seeing the light anyway? Absolutely.

The White House is also pivoting hard on its messaging. “There is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level,” President Biden said on Monday, prior to a gathering of governors. Just a little over a year ago, Biden was telling Trump that the death toll was somehow his fault or related to his coarse rhetoric: “It is what it is because you are who you are,” Biden had said.

→ Great news they won’t tell you on cable: The number of Covid deaths each week is dropping. A lot. On Wednesday, there were some 2,100 deaths reported. Compare that to more than 3,600 on this day in 2020. The point is: everyone is getting Covid, but thanks to the vax it seems markedly less dangerous. Which is perhaps why…

→ Even Covid religious totems are falling: Dr. Leana Wen, one of the regular public health voices on CNN and a former president of Planned Parenthood, went on the nightly news this week and said something entirely true: “Cloth masks are not appropriate for this pandemic. It’s not appropriate for Omicron. It was not appropriate for Delta, Alpha, or any of the previous variants either because we’re dealing with something that’s airborne.”

If you are vaccinated, healthy, and happy, you are probably already living life like someone sitting in a New York City restaurant (i.e., unmasked but vaguely waving one around as you walk).

If you just love the feel of fabric across your cheeks, by all means. If you really care about not getting COVID, wear an N95 for as long as you’d like. But it’s long past time to take life back from the hypochondriacs.

→Die-hards are not going to give up without a fight (masked, six feet away). Take Nicole Wallace, Host of Deadline: White House on MSNBC: “I’m a Fauci groupie. I’m a thrice-vaccinated mask adherent. I buy KN95 masks by the, you know, caseload. They’re in every pocket. I wear them everywhere except when I sit down.”

One area where the excesses are still unchecked is in schools. Colleges around the country are imposing draconian rules (making students truly miserable). And unions around the country are laying groundwork for more remote learning. In Chicago, the union is polling teachers on “a district-wide pause” and going back to remote."

Look for Bari  Weiss columns--I get the free one, but there's more on subscription.

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