A not-endemic diary: Unmasking the facts
February 10, 2022
My neighbors love to walk. From my desk in front of the window, I see a parade of them: solos, couples, pairs of women, and lots of folks with dogs. Yesterday while taking my own stretch break, I spotted four people and their pups out enjoying the sun on a Wednesday afternoon.
Many are probably working from home, this of course being one way we’ve adjusted to Covid. Now we’re told we may soon reach the point where the virus is endemic and we can “live with Covid” instead of stomping it flat. As part of this newest normal, a flock of Democratic governors are lifting indoor mask mandates, since people are “fatigued” and “tired of coping.”
Georgia has no mandate. But being over 65, no matter where I lived, I’d hold fast to my N95 and stay out of indoor public spaces. I don’t care if this is no longer the conventional wisdom. I’m sticking with instinct, common sense, and data, which tell me things aren’t rosy yet.
True: omicron-fueled cases are down almost two-thirds nationwide. That’s still more than 200,000 every day. Also true: the sheer volume has pushed the average daily death toll over 2,500, the highest level in a year. True once again: Seniors, especially those 75 and older, make up the biggest fraction of the dead.
I have no sympathy for members of my generation who refuse a life-saving vaccine because of politics, misinformation, or plain stubborn stupidity. However — and call me a bitter old coot if you will — it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that a lot of younger folks, including politicians, don’t really care how many of us die. They’d rather go out to dinner than keep their communities and their own relatives safe. They’re the ones the governors are pandering to.
At best, throwing out mandates is premature, as the CDC and many epidemiologists have warned. At worst, Democrats are doing the very thing they rightfully blasted Trump for by elevating politics above science and the public good. A lot of vulnerable seniors and their families will remember that come election time. Take care and be safe.