If you know me, you know I was on the “take Covid-19 seriously” train from well before the government was. I was on the “Masks work, you should wear them, I’ve spent months reading research papers and researching designs and effectiveness of cloth masks, and we’re producing effective ones with this design you can use yourself” train since well before the government was. Meanwhile, I convinced my wife to organize and run a volunteer effort at our makerspace to produce hundreds upon hundreds of masks for free distribution to at-risk people and medical personnel who could not obtain suddenly scarce industrially produced protective gear. I even convinced my employer to continue paying me while I took six weeks off to experiment with low-cost ways to build positive air pressure respirators (PAPRs) using commonly available materials, in an attempt to provide superior protection to a larger part of our population. I tell you all this as background, to help you understand that when I say I took Covid seriously, I mean that, in short, I took this shit SERIOUSLY. Unlike most internet commenters, I did my actual research…
While I cannot, of course, claim to be a medical expert, I have become somewhat adept at understanding what’s going on and where we stand as regards the Covid crisis, and where we stand is a hell of a lot better than where we were 18 months ago. I’d go so far as to say that things are looking downright favorable. If we’re not out of the woods yet, we are certainly standing just inside the treeline. Which is why I’m starting to feel concern over the political left’s nigh-religious devotion to continuing panic-level responses to this crisis.
In New York, the state first and hardest hit by the pandemic, despite a number of government missteps and conflict between state and federal plans, we have well over seventy percent of the adult population now fully vaccinated. New cases of Covid-19 have slowed to a trickle, and deaths from it have become nearly unheard-of, due to newly developed care-giving techniques. Relaxation of Covid restrictions did not produce a significant rise in cases. Elimination of restrictions did not result in a significant rise in cases. Even if the problem isn’t completely gone, it is certainly under control.
And yet, day after day, social media washes up posts by pundit after pundit claiming that things are on the brink of catastrophe, that we need to bring back harsh restrictions, etc. I see posts by progressive-leaning friends on almost a daily basis denigrating those who have begun the process of returning to normal life. They liberally (pun intended) use terms like “selfish”, “foolish”, and “going to get people killed”. As an example, the latest panic-fodder is the ‘delta’ variant. It’s apparently going to bring on the end-times.
Now, it is true that the Delta variant is apparently significantly more transmissible than the older versions, so there is certainly room for concern, but that seems to be where the validity of this response ends. I see claims that it is “even more deadly than the alpha strain”, but yet I can find no evidence from any reputable source that this is true. I see claims that “the vaccines are not effective at controlling it”, but there is clear evidence that in fact, the current vaccines are highly effective at controlling it.
So what the hell is going on? The left have been trumpeting their devotion to “the science” on this topic for nearly two years, but now that things are looking up, why have they abandoned the actual science? It makes me question whether they were actually that devoted in the first place. At the least, it makes me wonder whether what they were devoted to was ever “the science” in the first place, or if instead their devotion was to the position that their side in the culture wars had decreed.
It it time to drop our vigilance? No, of course not. There’s still a highly contagious bug out there that can hurt or kill at-risk members of society, and nearly 50% of the population still is not vaccinated against it. Obviously, we need to keep pushing. That said, we are well into recovery, and people who are vaccinated have an extremely low chance of contracting the disease, and an even lower chance of transmitting it or having serious symptoms. This is no longer a panic situation. The primary thing keeping those who are unvaccinated from getting the vaccine isn’t lack of availability or cost, it’s social resistance caused by the culture wars. PLEASE STOP FIGHTING THEM, SO THIS CAN FINALLY BE OVER!!!