Joe Biden’s quick recovery from Covid will mark the end of the epidemic for all but the hardest-core hysterics.
If a 79-year-old who can barely finish a sentence can beat the ro in a few days, even Molly Jong-Fast will have a tough time staying scared. Yes, another variant could change the calculus. But right now I am on an Acela from New York to Washington, about the most Covid-fearful environment left anywhere in the United States, and almost no one is masked.
(Poor, poor New York Times. No one listens anymore:)
(SUBSCRIBE NOW OR BE BANISHED FROM SOCIETY! I’m asking nicely. Just like the vaccine fanatics did.)
The end of mandatory masking marked the first stage in Covid’s waning as a cultural force; masks were always about instilling fear. The Supreme Court’s ruling striking down vaccine workplace mandates took Covid off the front burner politically.
Now Joe Biden, merely by surviving, has ended any debate over whether Covid is a medical crisis. Give him credit. It’s probably his biggest accomplishment aside from making inflation great again.
And yet Covid – and the Covid vaccines – are still doing inestimable damage to our society. The failure of the mRNA shots, after the hype that surrounded them when they were introduced in 2020, is deeply disappointing.
The development of new medicines cannot be rushed, as much as we might hope they might. Regulators and ethical scientists must insist on properly designed and run clinical trials before approving any new drug or vaccine.
But the failure of the vaccines is actually less corrosive at this point than the grim refusal by public health authorities, politicians, and the media to admit that failure.