Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Covid Is Over

The New York Times is going to be so mad at the New York Times for this!!
The ballooning death toll has defied the hopes of many Americans that the less severe Omicron variant would spare the United States the pain of past waves. Deaths have now surpassed the worst days of the autumn surge of the Delta variant, and are more than two-thirds as high as the record tolls of last winter, when vaccines were largely unavailable.

With American lawmakers desperate to turn the page on the pandemic, as some European leaders have already begun to, the number of dead has clouded a sense of optimism, even as Omicron cases recede. And it has laid bare weaknesses in the country’s response, scientists said.

Leaving aside a bunch of other things that fell short, there really wasn't a serious booster shot effort (yes making vaccines free and fairly easy to get has been great, but the booster campaign was barely more than "y'all get a booster, mmmmkkkayy.") For the JUST GET VACCINATED AND EVERYTHING IS FINE CROWD, this failing should be should be important, as getting that 3rd shot was important for Omicron!

"Fully vaccinated protection" means "with a booster" but someone forget to tell much of the population!

43% of people 65 and over have not received a booster shot. Even among the fully vaccinated, the lack of a booster leaves tens of millions with waning protection, some of them many months past peak levels of immunity afforded by their second shots.
I have my theories about the reasons for the less than stellar booster campaign, none of them good!

This is really dumb though:

More Americans have also come to express distrust — of the government, and of each other — in recent decades, making them less inclined to follow public health precautions like getting vaccinated or reducing their contacts during surges, said Thomas Bollyky, director of the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations.
If trust is the issue it's trusting the wrong people, not a lack of it. And some of the people Americans wrongly trust write for the New York Times! CFR has a stellar record, also, too.

(And the biggest, but not only, issue is the conservative anti-vax movement. Should be specific here!).