The Washington Post published a lengthy article on Sunday assessing the COVID pandemic, which opened with this meandering paragraph:
"It’s basically over already. It will end this October. Or maybe it won’t be over till next spring, or late next year, or two or three years down the road."
That beginning is representative of the article's general disorganization and messiness. The piece is also about 80% too long, filled with quotes and analysis so pointless, I wonder if the author is being paid by the word. (Word count is hovering around 2100, if you were curious.)
The author starts off by talking about respected epidemiologists and public health experts, to polemicists and political partisans. There are varying views on when/if COVID will "end" in the same way that polio ended (ie, enough people were vaccinated that the disease just went away.) Due to the staunch anti-vax position of many on the right, however, we will probably never reach the level of vaccination needed to fully eradicate COVID. It is possible that it will drop to levels low enough that it will not be a world-wide pandemic any longer. Maybe once kids get vaccinated, it will really dwindle.
The article starts off optimistic, quoting an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine, who thinks "we are in the endgame,” and that "cases will start plummeting in mid- to late September and by mid-October, we will be in a manageable place, where the virus is a concern for health professionals, but not really for the general public.” This is based on research of previous respiratory viruses. But this does not factor in mutations, vaccinations, or the contagiousness and deadliness of COVID.
A more conservative voice is Ezekiel Emanuel, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. His view is that it may be two or three years until things get back to normal. He predicts "at least spring 2022," and probably longer until things start to look more like pre-pandemic, in terms of activities and restrictions. This is partly due to mutations (delta), vaccine resistance, and children not being eligible for vaccines.
So far, the article is saying this is not over, that it is going to continue to spread, that people will still get COVID, even vaccinated, but that as it mutates, immunity should go up and hopefully it will lose it strength over the months and years to come. It won't happen overnight, so we need to keep getting vaccinated. Logical, science-based conclusions.
Julie Swann, a systems engineer at North Carolina State University who advised the CDC on the H1N1 pandemic, does not agree that the spread of delta variant will lead to rapid immunity. She believes the key is getting children vaccinated, since kids are vectors of germs and illness (any parent who sent their kid to daycare or preschool can attest to this.) Once that happens, we will probably see a decrease in infection.
All of this makes sense. The article is logical, sources are sound, and have credible backgrounds in the field they are being quoted. UNTIL...
THE AUTHOR TALKS TO ALEX BERENSON.
The same Alex Berenson that was kicked off Twitter for spreading COVID vaccine misinformation. The same Alex Berenson that the Atlantic wrote an entire article about, calling him "The Pandemic's Wrongest Man."
THIS VERY ALEX BERENSON is someone the author thought would be good to contact to discuss THE PANDEMIC.
WHAT? WHY? WHY IS THIS MAN'S (NON-EXPERT) OPINION BEING INCLUDED IN THIS ARTICLE?
He starts by saying that "his readers" are "done with COVID." Oh really, ALEX? Is that because you constantly talk about how it isn't a big deal, vaccines don't work, masks don't work, deaths are overestimated? COME ON. Then he starts bragging about how he hasn't worn a mask in months and how he still is unvaccinated (tempting karma, I see.)
He does make one valid point: “Obviously some large number of Americans feel differently...These two populations cannot comfortably exist. This is not a medical problem. . . . This is a political and social problem and it will have to be resolved politically, I suppose.”
It is a medical problem that has become politicized BECAUSE of people like Donald Trump, Alex Jones, Joe Rogan and hacks like Alex Berenson. You started the fire, and now you are complaining about the lack of firefighters to put it out. WHOOPS. Berenson, useless as he always was, and always will be, is pushing for people to return to normal life RIGHT NOW. No masks, contact tracing or vaccines. Thank god this douche-nozzle can't share his thoughts on Twitter anymore.
If the author hadn't wasted time interviewing Berenson, this would have been a decent article about the different viewpoints on the status of the pandemic. The difference between Berenson and the others is that he has no education or training in this field and is merely an anti-vaxxer social media reject, while the rest of those interviewed have credentials, education and a history working in this field.