The link is to a FactCheck.org article describing the debate. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, though, hit the nail on the head. Once some people have had COVID, they’re thinking that COVID is over for them and everyone.
From WebMD: “Biden’s comment has split experts in medicine and public health. Some adamantly disagree that the pandemic is over, pointing out that COVID-19 remains a public health emergency in the United States, the World Health Organization still considers it a global pandemic, and most significantly, the virus is still killing over 400 people a day in the U.S.
“Others point out that most of the country is protected by vaccination, infection, or a combination, at least for now. They say the time is right to declare the pandemic’s end and recognize what much of society has already decided.” Mass transit has dropped mask mandates in New York State and elsewhere.
Non-medical places that still require mask wearing are making people grumpy, I’ve noticed. Albany County and adjacent Rensselaer County have remained stubbornly in the yellow (medium) zone for the past six months, even as nearby counties fluctuate.
Then this past week, they bumped up to the red zone, even though the hospitalizations have remained steady. A statistician friend of mine wondered if the CDC got the numbers wrong.
Instead, “in recent months, New York health officials and those in other states have started using cases per 100,000 residents, and not the more traditional percentage of positive results of those who have been tested, as a more accurate way of measuring infection rates.”
This may explain how nine of the 55 counties north of New York City are in red, but only 109 of more than 3000 counties in the country.
A fifth shot?
The CDC recommends that “getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you recover from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19.” However, I saw my primary care physician for my annual checkup in late September. They believe that I won’t need an Omicron-specific booster because having had the disease, probably BA.4 or BA.5, has given me sufficient immunity. I’m feeling conflicted, but I’m not even eligible until December, so I’ll ponder it further.
Meanwhile, my baby sister got COVID in the latter part of September, even though she was fully vaxxed and boosted. She’s a thousand miles away, so she didn’t get it from me.
There are people, particularly those with long COVID, for which the disease is clearly NOT over. Some desperate patients are turning to unproven alternative therapies.
The Census Bureau notes that 2.9% of adults ages 55-70 employed in January 2020 said they retired early or planned to retire early due to the pandemic, while 2.3% said they either delayed or planned to delay retirement for the same reason.
Not incidentally, my doctor’s office DID give me a flu shot. All indications from the Southern Hemisphere are that it will be a nasty season. I’ve been getting this shot annually for about a decade and a half after having influenza, which kept me out of work for a week.