It's time to start living again
I would like for you to be right... I am so tired of the pandemic. But I fear it's premature to declare game over, for several reasons. 1. As you say, heath workers are still in a crisis stage of the omicron surge. We need to maintain precautions until hospitalizations come down. The trauma hospital here in Seattle is at 120% bed capacity, with cots in hall ways and the ER. Keep masking for at least another few weeks. Many hospitals are on edge of failing. 2. We may be done with the virus, but it's not done with us. We are lucky that even though antibodies from vaxx or infection are less effective against omicron, this variant doesn't do well in the lungs and so doesn't cause the severe respiratory symptoms that cause most fatalities. There is no guarantee that the next variant won't evade antibodies like omi AND cause severe illness like delta. 3. Speaking of variants, as long as 25% of Americans are unvaxxed, and larger proportions in other countries, the virus will continue to find many hosts to infect and generate new variants in. Some of those variants will share omi's ability to evade antibodies and cause breakthrough infections. Until most of the world is vaxxed and regularly boosted, I fear that we will have periodic outbreaks like the past month, regularly disrupting society. 4. Speaking of the unvaxxed, I wish we could write them off as exercising a choice to suffer the consequences of their bad decision. But omi has showed us that their bad choices impact us too. They make up most of the patients in critical care in hospitals and are pushing hospitals to postpone non-covid procedures like cancer, heart, diabetes and elective surgery. People who need treatment are dying because of the feckless of the unvaxxed. Also, a big pool of unvaxxed hosts allows the virus to transmit throughout the entire population, including kids, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. Like it or not, we're all in it together. So as long as a significant part of the population remains unvaxxed, I think it's too early to declare an end to pandemic life and move to a "covid is just another endemic seasonal bug" way of life. Sorry, I really do want to get this over with.
Few support the resumption of anything like “the hammer”. But I am astounded that you appear to have given up on sensible protections like FFP2/N95 masks, restrictions on mixing in confined venues, and proper precautions in schools. Even if omicron is the last significant variant, these will still save thousands of lives, prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of disability, and protect us against the uncertainty of a blood and brain disease they is not yet well understood.
I think you make a great case for most to return to normal life especially perhaps once this wave subsides, but why little mention/discussion of LongCOVID, which will be a lingering/ongoing cost and perhaps the biggest impact from Omicron? Also, what's your take on emerging research that t-cells (at least in some) are put out of action by COVID-19, especially with multiple exposures/infections (Anthony J Leonardi from Johns Hopkins is someone who makes these points which some label as extreme/off-the-mark while some embrace)? Yet other more mainstream and less strident/controversial researchers (Akiko Iwasaki) are finding COVID is having other nonlung-related effects on the brain and other organs, again showing that perhaps we should be much more worried about long-term effects? ... I raise these questions as someone who continues to experience Long COVID-like symptoms (sporadic lung soreness/chest pressure/heart palpitations) from a March 2020 mild COVID-like illness (tests weren't available). On the good side, I am currently largely functional in my life, but I'm not same (I used to be able to run marathons) and my ability to exercise has been diminished and I worry about my longterm health as well as anyone unlucky enough to be battling long covid now and into the future. In my mind, those worried about the vaccines are ironically missing the perhaps the greatest long-term dangers in addition to the higher mortality rates (even with Omicron). Similarly, as we look at the pandemic as a whole, it's the long tail that we can't ignore and a big reason, I think, that justifies not fully embracing a pre-2020 lifestyle even at this point.
Here in Manitoba, Canada, hospitals are pretty close to being overwhelmed. Granted this is due to successive governments of all stripes under-funding healthcare such that surges are difficult to deal with. I feel very strongly that we all have a duty to our fellow humans to do what we can to avoid worst case scenarios. I think that whole "this is what to expect in a month" should be bolded :). Because people see what they want to see (yay, it's over!!). No...it will be LARGELY over SOON. And we need to keep up our fight for just a bit longer to help our overwhelmed healthcare workers. But, in any case, thank you Tomas for (1) providing such insightful thoughts throughout the pandemic, and (2) providing a respectful forum for discussions.
Tomas. Please don’t let this be the first time since the pandemic you’ve been fundamentally wrong!!!! 🤣🥰👊🏼🙏🏼
Wow. Unsubscribing now. I've followed your writing since before The Hammer and the Dance and you've been awesome. But your total disdain for anyone who doesn't want to get vaccinated is gross. "It’s anti-vaxxers’ prerogative to die from COVID if they want to [Maybe social healthcare systems shouldn’t treat their COVID or their Long COVID though.]" is a disgusting sentiment (maybe we should apply that same logic to smokers, drinkers and the obese? No, we shouldn't. That's not what a civil society does. We should be promoting health and educating people about the impact of their choices.).
What the world needs now is for people to come together and this isn't how you do it. You have an audience and a platform to do that but you're just pushing people further apart if they don't agree with the idea of getting a vaccine, despite (still) no long-term data. I'm not against vaccines (I think they're amazing) but I am FOR choice and FOR freedom and FOR respect. I wish you'd do the same.
I wonder if Tomas has any idea how damaging his early COVID articles were to the world. He thinks he helped, instead he hurt. His 'hammer' cure ended up being far far worse than the disease itself. So Thank You for that Tomas. I'm glad you're saying we can move on now, but your proposed lockdowns caused more havoc and damage than can ever be measured. It might take decades to undo the damage. The hammer was never a good idea, and its too late to backtrack from that. Your ideas caused so much harm, and were never routed in any kind of reality.
> Taking a few more weeks to vaccinate them will give us time to lower their risks of hospitalization, death, and ME/CFS by 90%.
Might be more than a few weeks for kids under 5, unfortunately.
Thanks. You are right about the PCSD. I feel like I've been living in a grotto for 2 years. :)
Hi Thomas! Thanks for this analysis and also thank you so much for all your work and very useful articles since the begining of the pandemic and your availability for exchanging data and ideas. Talking about people who can not relax : we don't know yet how dangerous Omicron remains for vulnerable people such as those with heart disease or diabet and this is an important part of the western countries population which might be still at very high risk with Omicron as it escapes partly from vaccination and as the immunity vanish after few months. Do we have new data on this? Also you don't mention at all the long Covid wich can follow almost 30% of the contaminations with the previous variants. This is an important issue. Do we know wether Omicron will cause big nomber of long Covid or not? The other point is that I have the impressionn that the gouvernements are not well prepared for the phase when the Virus will get endemic. May be the first thing we should do is to ask our governements to prepare better "the living with the virus", to ask them to recognize officialy that Covid is airbone and to act accordingly, to invest (and communicate) much more on meausres such as indoors ventilation, wearing face mask during winters in public transport or busy shops, to up date the list of vulnerable people with and apply or recommand some specific measures for them. I'm living in Switzerland and unfortunately, I have the impression this is not the direction we are taking. Our gouvernement and media don't talk anymore about long Covid, they do not communicate on public buillding ventilation systems. While hospitals are full and the daily deaths are increasing, all the concernes are about when the virus gets endemic to remouve all the measures to live as before. We hear all the time that Omicron is mild but very little information or discussion about who is still at risk wih Omicron, what proportion of the population they constitute, how they should behave during this huge wave and what we can do as a society to continue to protect them without excluding them from the active life, when Omicron will be endemic. Looking forward to reading you again. Cheers.
Hi Thomas. Thank you for providiing unique analysis to us throughout the pandemic. One small point to think about in terms of those who still need to be extremely careful...If you take the 7 million immune compromised persons in the USA, you must add to them the families that they live with. So the real number may be double or triple that. Likewise, if the very elderly (say above 85), 7 million, must be protected, you need to add their families or caregivers to that number. So, you may be looking at 30+ million Americans who cannot really get on with life. I live in such a household where we have persons from both categories, all vaxed and boosted, but I have to very careful not to bring the virus home. No indoor groups or dining at all, etc., etc.
Requesting that you do a thorough examination of the Long-Haul Covid situation and the potential for massive numbers of citizens who become so disabled that they cannot work. The disability support and health systems will suffer tremendous stress.
I feel that you so far have maintained blinders to this possibility. But I enjoy your analyses, so hope you will respond to the challenge.
Another commenter is correct to describe your article as "total trash". Case in point:
"it’s anti-vaxxers’ prerogative to die from COVID if they want to"
I would remind you now of your own flippant analysis of virulence, esp. in terms of IFR. It's been 1% or less, and everyone understands that the old and the fat are at increased risk. So much for "anti-vaxxers' prerogative". They will need to seek more likely causes of death if they are in a hurry.
You might also do some growing up about what constitutes an antivaxxer. Such a person rejects any and all vaccines, but many people who reject your new sacrament don't qualify. Rather, these people object to
• the cultish climate of hysteria,
• the obvious lying about causes of death (remember the confession of Dr. Ngozi Ezike of lllinois in April 2020),
• rushed development of the potions,
• conflicts of interest in hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry;
• reflexive pandemicist hostily to the mere idea of therapeutic treatment (which is ironic),
• suppressed manufacturer liability,
• no long term testing,
• pandemicist malice and bullying,
• strange and bizarre side effects and injuries,
and other problems. Now that awareness of these problems is growing, many people who took the jabs initially are now rejecting boosters. They, too, aren't [gasp!] anti-vaxxers, yet. Rather, they are awakened to the fact that the Covid-19 affair is a hustle with religious overtones.
Just a quick comment.
You have forgotten to include pregnant women in the group (or families with newborns) in the group of people who cannot relax. We live in the northwest of England; our due date is in just 6 weeks, and we are crossing our fingers to be able to go to the hospital and receive adequate care.
I hope that all you say here becomes true soon.
Thanks as always.
You've previously advocated for flattening the curve, which has happened - vertically. Also your data arguing on virulence is in direct conflation with WHO data, which puts virulence at 25% less than Delta, not 25% less than original.
Hi Tomas, how are you, just 2 or 3 point: here in Chile, people getting into the Hospital are those with 2 dosis of cvac, maybe who are not having covid, unvaccinated people and children. Therefore, at least here is still happening. My opinion is that resources must be oriented to those ones who are not vaccinated, the ones with no third occidental vaccine dosis and take care of children. For sure we will have a 5th wave (maybe Sigma), which will be more contagious and hopefully lest agressive especially with children. Thus, again, the ones who fulling the Hospitals are people that I mentioned before. I am not sure about a 4th dosis, the efforts of the goverments mus be oriented to those antivaccines and childrens (and those only vaccinated with cvac maybe). Lots of regards. Fredy