Coronavirus: Get ready for The NeverEnding Story, only this time it’s not a fable

We’re finally getting some good news, but for some experts the fight against the virus will never end as future pandemics are already linked to Global Warming, big money is being made, and the Biden Administration appears unwilling to push for normalcy.  Can young people having illicit sex save us all?

The battle against coronavirus continues, but, unlike late last year, we’ve been getting some really good news over the past couple of weeks, one might even call it a light at the end of the tunnel.  Vaccine distribution is up and cases are down, way down in fact.  Anyone hoping for a rapid end to restrictions over the next few months, however, is likely to be sorely disappointed.

First, the good news.  As of Wednesday this week, 44,769,970 doses have been administered to date.  Over 9,000,000 of those doses were over the past week, meaning we’ve been averaging 1.366 million doses per day, significantly higher than the target of 1 million per just a couple of weeks ago.  New vaccine supplies are also expected to keep coming on line, leading even Dr. Anthony Fauci to believe there will be enough shots available for anyone who wants one as soon as April.

“By the time we get to April it will be…open season, namely virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated,” Fauci said in an interview with NBC’s Today show.  He went on to predict herd immunity by late summer.  Of course, the cynical among us, myself included, are likely to believe the vaccine isn’t all it’s made out to be.  What’s the point if you still need to wear a mask and social distance even after you’ve had it?

After all, Biden Administration Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, warned just last week, “What we are also trying to do is make our health and medical experts available to ensure people understand — and I’ll reiterate it here today — it’s not just a vaccine.”  She concluded, “It’s obviously an incredible medical breakthrough and we want every American to have one, but even after you’re vaccinated, social distancing [and] wearing masks is going to be essential.”

Amazingly, she didn’t say “essential” for how long.  Until herd immunity is achieved or longer?  Regardless, achieving herd immunity thanks to Operation Warp Speed’s vaccines by late this summer, barely 18 months after the virus hit our shores, would be a major milestone.

There’s also good news with cases and deaths.  The US coronavirus case positivity rate is down to a 7 day rolling average of 6.4%  This is from a peak of close to 14% just last month, meaning we are picking up less than half as many cases per day.  For the past 4 days, we’ve been under 100,000 cases per day for the first time since November 2.  Consider that between then and now we would often top 200,000 cases per day, peaking at a whopping 295,071 as recently as January 8, over 3 times the number of cases on February 10. The death rate is also starting to flatten and should decline over the next couple of weeks ago as deaths lag cases.

One would think this would be cause for celebration and a plan to return to normal life as soon as possible.  One would be mistaken, however, for here come the epidemiologists warning that coronavirus restrictions could be in place permanently.  I’m not kidding.  According The Wall Street Journal just this past week, “The ease with which the coronavirus spreads, the emergence of new strains and poor access to vaccines in large parts of the world mean Covid-19 could shift from a pandemic disease to an endemic one, implying lasting modifications to personal and societal behavior, epidemiologists say.”

By “endemic” disease, they mean like the traditional cold and flu, meaning this will never end as, unfortunately, disease itself is endemic to humanity.  If you were concerned that 15-days to slow the spread has turned into 11 months and now forever, or at least until humankind is disease-free, the experts don’t have any good news for you.  You should, in fact, be grieving, apparently.  “Going through the five phases of grief, we need to come to the acceptance phase that our lives are not going to be the same,” said Thomas Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I don’t think the world has really absorbed the fact that these are long-term changes.”

The Wall Street Journal goes onto note that “some organizations are planning for a long-term future in which prevention methods such as masking, good ventilation, and testing continue in some form.”  Surprise, surprise, they’re also reporting that “a new and potentially lucrative COVID-19 industry is emerging quickly, as businesses invest in goods and services such as air quality monitoring, filters, diagnostic kits, and new treatments.”

Translation:  There’s too much money to be made and too much power for politicians to give up for you to live a normal life, ever again.  In fact, the United Nations is already claiming that lockdown-style emission cuts must become permanent, meaning it’s only a matter of time before our response to coronavirus is ported over to other “emergencies.”

In December, the United Nations Emissions Gap Report declared that despite “a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century – far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.  However, a low-carbon pandemic recovery could cut 25 per cent off the greenhouse emissions expected in 2030, based on policies in place before COVID-19. Such a recovery would far outstrip savings foreseen with the implementation of unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, and put the world close to the 2°C pathway.”

Note the ominous phrase:  “a low carbon pandemic recovery,” meaning travel restrictions at a minimum will be recommended.  Lest you think connecting lockdowns with Global Warming is far-fetched, they’re already connecting the virus to Global Warming.  The Guardian reported in December, “The interconnectedness of the world’s multiple crises is also increasingly apparent. Epidemiologists and conservationists have warned that outbreaks of coronavirus-like diseases are more likely in the future as a result of deforestation, global heating and humankind’s treatment of nature.”

Yes, you read that right:  The battle against Global Warming is now the battle against potential future pandemics, nature as The Empire Strikes Back.  “The emergence of the pandemic is not an accident, as there have been repeated warnings for years that we were exerting too much pressure on the natural world by our destructive practices. Habitat loss, intensive agriculture and the over-exploitation of wildlife are key drivers of the emergence of novel infectious diseases like Covid,” explains Paul De Ornellas, chief wildlife adviser at WWF-UK.

Of course, no actual evidence is presented for any of these claims.

In his inaugural address, however, President Joe Biden said Climate Change is  “A cry for survival comes from the planet itself.  A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now.”  Is it really that much of a stretch to believe his administration would buy into the future pandemic theory, hook, line, and sinker as they say, and continue restrictions to stop the planet from crying?

It’s not like Biden has been a big proponent of opening back up and getting back to normal.  Despite his protestations on the campaign trail, the opening days of his administration suggest he is clearly in the lockdown camp, from additional mask mandates to potential new travel restrictions with refusing to open schools in between.

According to McClatchy, the White House is looking “at domestic travel restrictions” as a “COVID mutation surges in Florida.”  “There are active conversations about what could help mitigate spread here, but we have to follow the data and what’s going to work. We did this with South Africa, we did this with Brazil, because we got clear guidance,” one White House official said.  The report notes that, “On his first full day in office, President Joe Biden directed the CDC, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security to ‘promptly’ draw up a list of recommendations on ‘how their respective agencies may impose additional public health measures for domestic travel.’”

Apparently, travel bans are no longer a useless, racist, and xenophobic move, they’re rapidly becoming essential to combating the virus, Global Warming, and preventing a future pandemic all at once.  Amazing how quickly things change as it was barely a year ago when bans were bad, very bad.  Now, they’re good, very good.

Travel restrictions aren’t the only thing Biden is pursuing, or in this case, not pursuing.  The administration has been completely derelict on reopening schools, despite his promises on the campaign trail and massive data sets from around the world indicating in person classes are safe.  There is also no contrary evidence indicating that schools are super spreader settings, but Press Secretary Jen Psaki continued to insist there’s still not enough data.  “One of the challenges we have is that the data is not great as it relates to schools that are open or not open, how hybrid learning is impacting kids.  The data and the lack of data or effective data is part of the problem.”

They’re current plan is to reopen some schools by April at least one day a week, surely that will do the trick.  Either way, this is not an administration eager to return to normalcy any time soon.  It almost seems like the movers and shakers of the world expect the common people to do a lot less moving and shaking for all eternity.

Believe it or not, if we have one hope to get out of this mess and cast off these restrictions for good, it might be the desire for young, unmarried people to have more sex.  I’m only partially kidding, but there was an expose in The Guardian recently about how restrictions in Britain have been a cold shower for single’s sex lives.  “For nearly a year, give or take the odd month, the rules introduced to fight the spread of coronavirus mean that, in England, sex between single people, or established couples who don’t cohabit, has in effect been either illegal, or against regulations, or only allowed outdoors.”

The article recounts the story of Anna, 32, an Account Manager in Manchester.  She went into 2020 single, “dating and having lots of fun,” but then the lockdowns hit.  “We were told it might last just three weeks, and it’s fine to not go on a date for three weeks.  This is nearly a year. You can’t go for a year without exploring that side of yourself.”  Apparently, Anna is now in a casual relationship, though“casual” shouldn’t be confused with “carefree”. “You still want to make it as safe as possible,” she says. “So you’re making agreements about how many other people that person is seeing; ideally, you’re only seeing each other. It’s a constant negotiation. It’s exhausting.”

The Guardian concludes, “Faced with such a huge challenge to their sex lives, people tend to defer, not to the letter of the law, but to the most cautious person in the house.”  Is that individual responsibility I detect tingeing the statement?

Admittedly, I never thought I’d be hoping horny young people would save the world as we know it, but as Shakespeare wrote the world must be peopled and married beggars like me certainly can’t be choosers. At this point, I’ll take what I can get if I can get back to concert sometime in the next decade.

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