Rethinking COVID

As we prepare to celebrate our second COVID Christmas, maybe it is time to stop kidding ourselves and accept the new reality. This isn’t going away anytime soon. 

Instead of trying to beat COVID-19, perhaps it is time we learned to live with it. There are precedents after all.

In Canada about three thousand people a year die frpm the seasonal flu. That despite an annual shot that initially was available only for seniors but now is there for anyone who wants it. 

If we accept that COVID is like a bad flu, maybe we can begin to forge a new normal. Annual booster shots, masking almost everywhere in public perhaps – but with the economy once again fully open. Yes, such a policy is risky. People may die – but people are dying already despite the best efforts of health officials and politicians.

How many times have we been told “if we just do this, it will be over.” So we do it, and it isn’t over, becasue this bug is tougher than expected. Maybe we just need to learn to live with COVID the same way we do with the flu.

By now you would expect politicians to understand the science, but apparently they don’t. Put simply, by the time a new variant is identified it is too late to shut the door. It will already have traveled from that area to other places in the world. Closing borders, canceling flights, universal quarantine look good, but as we have seen with Omicron, and Delta before it, they don’t work.

I suppose in theory such measures could work – but only if there were no exceptions. Not for food and essential goods. Not on compassionate grounds. No reason would be acceptable. And that still might not be enough. Ask the people of Australia and New Zealand, whose draconian lockdowns keep the virus at bay only as long as everyone is locked down. Is that the way we want to live?

We’ve been in this situation for two years now, more or less. If politicians and health authorities haven;t mange to tame COVID in that time, maybe they should just admit the task is beyond them – or anyone – and it is time to just move along with our lives.

Making such an admission would show both humility and leadership. Do you think it is going to happen? Or do you expect us, with the Omicron variant, to be heading into another winter of lockdowns and restrictions?

Christmas Eve is in ten days. My guess is we can expect harsh measure to take effect about January 2. Are you more optimistic than I am?

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