Dealing with COVID: Wash Your Hands, Live Your Lives

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

Some people seem to want – even need – to be afraid.

Indeed, certain human fears may simply be antidotes to boredom people use to give otherwise empty lives meaning.

Over time, people have lived in fear of overpopulation, ozone layer depletion, and global warming, among a host of other “apocalyptic,” albeit fruitless media/politically-hyped “crises.”

COVID-19 appears to be another.

COVID-19 is a coronavirus, as is the ubiquitous common cold. In two years, COVID-10 has seriously threatened only a tiny fraction of the population. More than 99.5 percent of Americans, many of whom had to be tested to even know they had it, survived infections.

More than three-fourths of people who tested positive for COVID-19 experienced very mild or no symptoms. Many, perhaps a majority of infections were never diagnosed.

The overwhelming majority of COVID-related deaths were elderly people (average age 78), almost all suffering from one or more serious comorbidities. Nearly every younger victim was in poor health – most commonly with obesity and/or Type-1 diabetes.

In other words, like seasonal flus, contracting COVID-19 can be unpleasant, even fatal, but it’s relatively harmless to healthy people.

Other than personal hygiene and measures to protect at-risk elderly and vulnerable younger people, COVID-19 simply doesn’t merit special restrictions, mandates, lockdowns – or fear.

Like any respiratory illness, COVID-19 is contagious. But, none of the panicky, overbearing, anti-constitutional mandates recommended by federal autocrats and imposed by others in state and local governments did anything to even slow COVID’s spread.

Brutal government overreactions never stood a chance of controlling the virus any more than they could the common cold, but authoritarians did cause tremendous damage to the economy, small businesses, individuals and families, public health, personal freedoms, and, especially, to children.

Almost nothing about government mandates, restrictions and shutdowns involved genuine science. If they had, America’s southern border would have been – and kept – closed. Local businesses were shut down, while corporate superstores remained open. Masking up outdoors never made sense. For that matter, why wear them anywhere when the packages they come in clearly identify the most commonly used masks as non-medical grade, ineffective in controlling viruses?

When restaurants were allowed to reopen, what genius decided that seated, unmasked diners were safely below the contagion-risk zone?

Now we’re facing government-imposed vaccine mandates that force people, including medical staff, first responders and the military, to choose between their livelihoods and accepting an unwanted medical treatment that’s already been proven to be ineffective over time and against mutations.

Ah, yes…mutations… Like other respiratory viruses, COVID-19 mutates, so the world will never be rid of it.

But therein lies the good news.

Viruses mutate into less virulent forms. Evolutionary histories of viruses indicate progressively higher transmissibility but milder symptoms.

Omicron, the latest media-hyped variant, was first diagnosed in South Africa where it has out-competed other, more lethal variants. Omicron appears relatively harmless.

New data suggests that the Omicron corona variant is more contagious, but less pathogenic than the original Chinese virus and earlier variants. Vaccinated people are getting Omicron, too, but temporary fatigue may be the most common symptom.

In fact, the World Health Organization has reported no Omicron-related deaths anywhere. The natural immunity infection provides is better, and almost certainly safer than currently-available vaccines.

Experts have suggested that, because Omicron is more infectious but milder, it could make COVID-19 a seasonal flu.

The COVID epidemic will be history if a highly virulent but mild strain out-competes all other COVID variants – like Omicron did in South Africa – and becomes just another potential seasonal respiratory infection.

During the 2019-2020 flu season, only 51.8 percent of Americans chose to receive seasonal flu vaccines. The other 48.2 percent weren’t threatened, mandated or shamed into getting vaccinated. Similarly, no one should be coerced into taking COVID vaccines.

Writer Roger Kimball called Omicron, “…a godsend for scolds, nags, bureaucrats, and meddlesome so-called public health nannies who are just itching for another excuse to lock down your world, introduce new travel restrictions, and impose new testing protocols.”

But, Colorado’s governor, a Democrat, says, “the [COVID] emergency is over.

So, don’t be afraid. People in high risk groups should take sensible precautions, but healthy people might choose to treat COVID-19 like seasonal flu.

It you’re among the latter, wash your hands, live your lives, enjoy your families, your friends, your freedoms – and your holidays.