Covid: Return to Normal

Covid expert Dr. Anthony Fauci stated on The PBS NewsHour that we are “out of the pandemic phase.“ Emphasize treatment, end overreaction. Covid mutated many times and we cannot live as if it’s the killer it was two years ago. I met people who were afraid to touch a pen. We see troubled students, road rage, a crime wave -  we need to repair psychological damage and, sparing resurgence, return to normal.

Pervasive Fear. It’s time to call cases flu rather than Covid. Covid is a common family of virus species - not a death sentence. We are harmed by obsessive Covid news coverage for over two years, yet 98-99% of people who catch Covid (or a variant) recover. The remaining 1-2% are mostly unvaccinated, old or had underlying health problemsJust what is normal? The CDC estimated there were 52,000 influenza deaths in the 2017-18 flu season. Using that as a reference for “normal”, it averages 142 deaths/day. Even in normal times we witness nearly 150 deaths/day. We have made vast improvement snd leaders should work to ease fear.

Downgrade to EndemicThe 1918 Spanish influenza faded by 1920. We’ll likely see the same. Government should downgrade to “endemic” (less restrictive) and experts should stop fueling fear about new variants. Viruses mutate. Always have. Always will. Medical experts before a microphone must turn down the heat.

2nd Booster  I commend people who got two vaccines and a booster to protect health, but fear overly zealous officials and employers/schools forcing people against their will to get a second booster, threatening careers, education and ability to live normally. As long as deaths among the vaccinated remain low, with no uptick, let people who got vaccines and a booster make their own choices.

Mutations are Normal. Covid mutated many times (as viruses always do), but mutations appear to be mild, like a normal flu or cold. Vaccinated people seem normal. Normal means we will (as since the beginning of time) get the flu or a cold 2-3 times a year. Normal flu. Not deadly flu… Normal… Government officials need to calm the fear.

Mandates. Protecting people is sensible, but ruining careers or income is going too far. Firemen and police being fired won’t take us to a good place. We need balance, not hypochondriac fear; not career-ruining mandates further dividing a traumatized nation.

Virus-Killing Technology. Tourists and residents must believe NY is safe. Ensure safety now and post-Covid. Install virus-killing UVC ventilation in subways, schools, buses, elevators, etc. Gifting UVC technology to businesses is cheaper than lost tax revenue from a failing economy. Let businesses proudly display the sign "UVC Virus-Killing Ventilation” to restore confidence in safety.

Prioritize Treatment. Millions of people got omicron despite being vaccinated. Vaccines help but are not a guarantee. The logical path is to switch priority from vaccination to treatment. We need to weigh stress and psychological damage brought on by endless mandates and 24-7 virus news reporting (especially with children and teens). Endless stress harms us more than getting the flu. 

Antibodies. Millions of people who got covid developed antibodies protecting them from Covid and variants. Antibodies are established science. Antibodies detected in lab tests, even if not from from vaccines, should count as proof on vaccine IDs. Antibodies are part of what is meant by herd immunity. It’s how people survived desease in past. Government arbitrarily decided that those with immunity (without vaccine) should be denied work, entry or a vaccine ID. This goes too far. If we disapprove of those who did not get the vaccine, let them be if they have immunity. Antibodies work whether from nature or vaccines.

TourismTourists in New York City spent nearly $47 billion annually (pre-covid). Tourism collapsed. It brought over a quarter million jobs, from restaurants to hotelsRestore those jobs! A modern-day “I love New York” ad campaign can help return tourists.

Small Businesses. Help small business owners harmed by Covid, ruined by no fault of their own. Rent help and no-interest loans must be offered without time-wasting red tape. Prioritize business owners who live in the city, many unfairly forced into bankruptcy. We need to do everything possible by tax incentives and government help to bring business back to life. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It is common sense. A city only thrives with a strong economy.