Wednesday, May 17, 2023

"Back to Normal" Ignores the Millions with Long Covid


Balloux is well credentialed, but, as you might imagine, I lean towards the critics of this position:

From The Underground Academic who lives with Long Covid:

"Apart from every other way this is wrong, how do you think the millions of people whose lives are a shadow of what they were due to LC would feel reading this?"

And that thread continues with biologist Arijit Chakravarty's analysis:

He is wrong. A pandemic is not a feeling. If you vaccinate once a year and take no other precautions, you will get covid 1-2x/year. Each infection brings a 10-20% chance of long covid, and massive increases in the risk of other bad outcomes (heart attacks, stroke, embolisms) in the one year following each infection (remember, the average person will get it 1-2x/yr going forward). So yeah, life has not gone back to normal. This was not normal. 
People have just chosen to drop precautions for now. They will figure out soon enough that it’s not a sustainable course of action. Of course, some people will refuse to change their behavior no matter what. That’s to be expected- it’s called Darwinian evolution ;> 
Eradication is a straw man in this whole argument. It’s true of pretty much every single disease known to man that (a) eradication is impossible, and (b) we don’t accept unlimited disease spread. I’ve never heard anyone say - ever - “You can’t eradicate rabies, so we should just let it spread freely,” or “We should learn to live with polio,” or “How much longer can we keep taking precautions against syphilis?”. Have you
The current choice of pushing for rampant covid spread will be economically ruinous for individuals and businesses alike. There are many things that can be done to reduce covid spread - both in the short and medium terms. Governments worldwide have fallen far, far short of a good-faith attempt to bring covid to heel. The U.K. - advised so poorly by the likes of Balloux - was one of the worst. More honest messaging around the risks of covid, greater access to vaccines and other mechanisms of reducing risk of infection (for those who want it) and investing in indoor air quality, antiviral prophylaxis and better vaccine - these are all relatively cheap things that could have been done years ago. We have done none of them. 
“We tried this one stupid thing that you said wouldn’t work, and it didn’t work, so let’s just accept widespread disease”- this is the position of public health worldwide today Lockdowns were always meant to be a stopgap solution until the real strategy for controlling covid was put in place. The strategy that was put in place (vaccine-only) was a pile of steaming dog-sh*t that we and others predicted in writing (as early as fall ‘20) would fail. Doing nothing and simultaneously advocating for acceptance of mass infection is the position of many of these public health “experts” like Balloux today. The world would have been a better place today if they had kept their mouths shut.

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