Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Pathway to the moon

After three years, news of the covid-19 pandemic has achieved the status of MEGO -- standing for "my eyes glaze over."  I tend to keep on scrolling past the numbers and the charts unless it's something outrageous.  Like Ron DeSantis, back from his vacation while the numbers peaked, ordering the arrest of people who came to his press conference to ask him questions as if he was some common Democrat.  (If the Independent wants to tell people that Jacksonville is the capital (not "capitol") of Florida, that's their business.)  Like the bonkers lie that Betty White died from a booster shot.  Like the Orange County, California, deputy DA, described as a "rising star" of the Republican cult, who denounced vaccines and died of covid.  (Kelly Ernby is the latest victim of the Turning Point USA viral mixer of December 4, which is how it's supposed to work.)  Like the Five Fox Fools denouncing remote learning while doing their show from five different locations.  You know, remotely.  Like Greg Abbott begging FEMA to open testing sites in the six hardest-hit Texas counties.  Y'all will miss that after secession.

But the view of a growing number of scientists -- as opposed to the mom down the block who "does her own research" on Facebook -- is that covid is here to stay, an endemic like the common cold only with the capability of killing people.  There is no way to know if the next variant will be less fatal/more transmissable like Omicron, or deadly by nightfall like 1918.  Fueled by millions of rich-world idiots who would rather swallow bleach, and billions of poor-world people with no access to vaccines (much less vents, Pfizer Paxlovid or indeed hospitals and doctors), it's like trying to eliminate bedbugs one at a time.  Or as epidemiologist Michael Osterholm poetically put it, "Eradicating this virus right now from the world is like trying to plan the construction of a stepping-stone pathway to the moon." 


 Shut up and take the shot.


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