Goodbye Covid (part 1)
Barring the unlikely prospect of a dangerous new variant, the coronavirus is over. Vaccine fanatics will try to credit the mRNA shots. Don't let them.
FIRST OF TWO PARTS
Question: Which disease or injury now kills more people than Covid?
A) Stomach cancer.
C) Traffic accidents.
The answer is E) All of the above, according to World Health Organization data on the leading causes of death in 2019.
The coronavirus no longer ranks in the top 20 causes of death worldwide, despite very loose rules for attributing deaths to Covid. In September, Sars-Cov-2 will kill fewer than 50,000 people - which may sound like a lot, except that about 5 million people die every month.
(We’ll be able to fly…)
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So, yes, the pandemic is over, just as Joe Biden said in a rare moment of clarity two weeks ago.
And it is not coming back, barring an unlikely mutation that somehow makes it much more virulent.
Yes, infections may rise again this winter, perhaps sharply.
But in its current state, Omicron is simply not dangerous to the vast majority of people it infects. Even before Omicron, the coronavirus primarily targeted older and unhealthy people. Omicron skews even further that way.
A British study from February showed that Omicron was only one-seventh as likely to kill people under 70 had as Delta. The paper is crucially important because it covers the period in December 2021 and January 2022 when Delta and Omicron overlapped. Thus the difference in risk it found cannot be attributed to the timing of boosters or increased use of Paxlovid.
(Risk of death of Omicron compared to Delta in 1 million British patients with either during the winter 2021-22 Covid wave.)
(Earlier in the year, I was also somewhat worried about the risk of a more virulent variant, but Omicron’s dominance has gone unchallenged. I try to update my views as new facts emerge.)
Yet even as Covid has clearly receded as a threat, reporters and public health bureaucrats have been slow to admit the truth. No doubt they fear doing so would destroy what’s left of their foundering vaccination campaigns and hurt the long Covid gravy train. They even jumped Biden for his comments.
Rest assured, though, that when they do get around to acknowledging the end of Covid, they will try to give the mRNA vaccines credit. Thank Our Lords, Bourla, Duke of Pfizer, and Bancel, Earl of Moderna! For They Hath Brought Us Comirnaty and Spikevax and Saved Us from The Plague of Plagues!
This inversion of reality must not go unchallenged.
In truth, both the experience of countries that did NOT use the mRNAs and those that did suggests that the Pfizer and Moderna shots did nothing to shorten the epidemic. Ironically, only their failure to stop Omicron may have set the stage for Covid’s unwinding.
End Part 1.
Coming soon: Part 2 - The natural experiment.