Health

This phase of the Pandemic is when life returns to normal: Essay


OneIn supermarkets, offices, schools, restaurants, sporting events and airports, we are witnessing a dramatic change. Masks are rarely seen. People are hugging, jostling, traveling. Google’s latest COVID community mobility report shows most forms of activity has returned to a near-normal relative to the pre-pandemic baseline. But some people are understandably confused and contradictory. The mainstream media and many “experts” continue advise us to avoid contact. Are we really still in dangerous pandemic period? Are crowds irresponsible? Or are we seeing a re-establishment of rational, crowd-sourced risk taking based on information, better choices, and life experiences?

The current data is undisputed. But what is the interpretation, implication and what to do with it.

What is clear is that the latest sub-variants of Omicron are running rampant across the globe. These are the viruses most likely to be transmitted by humans on the planet. Vaccines are still highly effective in preventing serious illness, but much less effective in preventing infection and transmission. This virus is very good at disrupting immune defenses, even in people who have been previously infected or have been up-to-date on vaccinations, or both. The reality is that infection and reinfection are virtually impossible to avoid or prevent. We all know many public figures, relatives, neighbors and friends, including ourselves, who have recently contracted and recovered from COVID-19. That may still be the case. Given the characteristics of SARS-COV-2, the name of the virus that causes it, it is unlikely that future variants – or newer vaccines – will change the outlook for episodes of infection and reinfection.

And there are many of them. We are currently experiencing more than 100,000 reported infections everyday. But with most home testing going unreported, the US’s actual infection detection rate is estimated to be around 14 percent. This means more than three-quarters of a million Americans are getting new infections every day. That’s 1.5 percent of the entire US population each week.

However, for a slight increase, the rate of death and hospitalization due to infection is almost lowest level of the pandemic, due to the relatively mild nature of the subvariants and the increasing immunity of the population. A UK study has revealed that severe results from Omicron are far less likely compared to the previous Delta strain, whether people were vaccinated or not. Mortality rates by age group still show the markedly increased disparities among older adults and other vulnerable populations that have been seen since the start of the pandemic.

We must face the blunt reality that a significant minority of Americans will choose not to be vaccinated. Although I tried very hard to convince them, about 20 percent American adults currently do not want to be vaccinated, and 5% more are uncertain. 31% of 12-17 year olds and 64% of 5-11 year olds are unvaccinated. However, Antibody analysis revealed that at the beginning of the Omicron surge in February of this year, from 70 to 80% all of Children over one year of age have been infected. With sub-variants that are even contagious now, it is likely that nearly all children have been infected at least once.

The ultimate defense against the serious consequences of any airborne virus is strong population immunity. The degree of population protection at any given time is a function of many variables related to vaccine coverage, efficacy, and durability. The same parameters apply to immunity generated by natural infection. For people who develop symptoms and are at high risk, an oral antiviral such as Paxlovid can improve illness and significantly reduce hospitalization and mortality, whether vaccinated or not?.

This is the landscape that so many of the public are choosing to return to normal, accepting the risk of exposure and infection. Is that good? Or bad?

That’s natural. What we are witnessing is an inevitable phase of psychosocial adaptation to living with the virus – an evolutionary cycle that moves from fear to resignation to denial to normalcy. often. We will not be able to continue our lives without completing this process. This is a natural human and social adaptation, based on increasing knowledge, experience and virus evolution. Because New York City was seeing an increase in cases and hospitalizations at the time, Mayor Eric Adams was criticized this summer for stop continuing color-coded warning system about virus transmission. However, changing the settings on the alarm does not affect the system.

The public has become increasingly “immune” to the daily barrage of uncertainties and warnings from “experts” and the media. This is fundamentally a reflection of the wisdom of the crowd and rational risk-taking rather than a blind disregard for science and evolving truth. It involves a complex revision of our personal risk calculation.

The reality is that the current high level of population immunity will be maintained, and greatly reduce the impact of current and possible variations in the future. This will happen both actively – through continuous vaccinations and boosters – and passively, through endless cycles of most have no symptoms or mild but rarely severe infection.

With access to vaccines and antiviral drugs, most people with COVID-19 now face a relative risk of death. comparable to the flu. This is good news.

That is Not The information applies to the elderly, immunocompromised or those with specific comorbidities. Vulnerable individuals have a much more severe risk profile that necessitates prudent exposure protection strategies. They must be protected.

But current science favors a much more relaxed policy and risk-taking environment, free of most duties and shame. We can expect less and less testing, isolation, and quarantine as people and organizations realize that the disruptive downsides of identifying cases in many cases far outweigh the benefits. preventive measures. This is especially true when significant community transmission is unavoidable and most infections are asymptomatic or mild. This is the rationale for the recent work CDC orders removing screening requirements for international air passengers entering the US We can expect similar restrictions to be relaxed more.

Information, social trends and cultural norms are cutting opinions of experts and media vanguard team. This does not represent pandemic fatigue or deliberate disregard for the truth. It was a messy, natural transition supported by increased knowledge, life experiences, and better tools. We’ve been yearning for the light at the end of the tunnel since early 2020. If we squint hard enough, we can see it.

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