And I’ve been saying for a long time now that we need to get out of this rut. You can shut things down for 15 days to slow the spread. You can even keep things semi-closed for a year until the arrival of vaccines. But you can’t just permanently impair the basic functioning of society due to a new respiratory virus; it doesn’t pass cost-benefit scrutiny. But that doesn’t mean there are no costs. We are living with lots of people dying of a virus that didn’t previously exist. We also have people going to the hospital and suffering long-term damage to their lungs or other organs. What the Covid hawks get right is that this is genuinely a very bad situation, and not just something we can declare ourselves “over.”
But the response we need is a pharmacological one, and that’s where we are failing.
The virus is evolving faster than our vaccines. And while scientists keep diligently plugging away at next-generation vaccination ideas, the idea of a whole-of-America effort to do R&D and production and fast-tracked regulatory approval seems gone and forgotten. That’s a disaster for the country, and we need to change course.
The whole post is very good, and unfortunately accurate in its diagnosis. See also this Eric Topol post. I’m not afraid, but I’m concerned.