Quote of the Week: The Pandemic Is not — repeat NOT — over

In the past month, two near family members were sick with COVID,  despite shots, boosters & masks.

Both are recovering, but one — a working single mother ineligible for sick leave — lost two weeks pay as well. Other relatives suffered mild cases and bounced back; yet another relative had it last winter, and is still struggling with debilitating “long COVID” effects.

I seem to have dodged it so far, had the third booster shot this week, and came up negative on two COVID tests. But I am still nervous. So, while I’m overall very grateful that Joe Biden is in the White House, his gaffe about the end of the pandemic was not trivial. Past the peak, it seems, yes; but . . . .

Reporter Ed Yong, whose writing on the pandemic won a Pulitzer prize, memorably summed up my outlook:

Recently, after a week in which 2,789 Americans died of COVID-19, President Joe Biden proclaimed that “the pandemic is over.”

Anthony Fauci described the controversy around the proclamation as a matter of “semantics,” but the facts we are living with can speak for themselves.

COVID still kills roughly as many Americans every week as died on 9/11. It is on track to kill at least 100,000 a year—triple the typical toll of the flu. Despite gross undercounting, more than 50,000 infections are being recorded every day. The CDC estimates that 19 million adults have long COVID.

America’s superlatively poor performance cannot solely be blamed on either the Trump or Biden administrations, although both have made egregious errors. Rather, the new coronavirus exploited the country’s many failing systems: its overstuffed prisons and understaffed nursing homes; its chronically underfunded public-health system;

its reliance on convoluted supply chains and a just-in-time economy; its for-profit health-care system, whose workers were already burned out; its decades-long project of unweaving social safety nets; and its legacy of racism and segregation that had already left Black and Indigenous communities and other communities of color disproportionately burdened with health problems. . . .”

         — The Atlantic, Sept. 30, 2022

One thought on “Quote of the Week: The Pandemic Is not — repeat NOT — over”

  1. Give the guy a break, he’s got a lot on his plate.
    Nobody is perfect, we all need to be forgiven as well as to forgive.

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