So It’s About Feelings

A couple of days ago, Atlantic writer Yascha Mounk wrote a piece about how he thinks all COVID restrictions–such as they are (we’ll return to this)–should be lifted (apparently, to ‘both sides’ the excellent coverage by Ed Yong, Katherine Wu, and Susan Zhang, The Atlantic has this asshole writing about COVID). As is the case with most of the Thinky Thought Leaders publicly in this camp, he offers neither a quantitative estimate of what the implications of lifting restrictions will be nor does he mention long COVID*.

But we see, by way of David Waldman, what Mounk’s real concerns are:


In other words, he wants to engage in activities that might slow the decline of new cases or even increase them without feeling guilty about doing so. Instead of keeping his shit together for a few more weeks to lower the prevalence further, he wants to feel good right now. This isn’t failing the marshmallow test, it’s eating the whole fucking bag.

What makes this all the more ridiculous is there is no place in the U.S. that is preventing private gatherings. You could host a kid’s birthday party everyday! (Sounds exhausting though). Some places require intermittent masking (which, to the likes of Mounk, apparently is akin to kidney dialysis). A limited few, though Our Thinky Thought Leaders and Substack Bois disproportionately happen to live in those places, require vaccination for entry.

It’s clear Omicron broke a lot of pundits’ brains. Despite my pessimism about the current moment, things will improve–and if we could keep our shit together, likely in a few weeks. But that won’t happen if we keep loosening up too early–and very few places have low enough transmission anywhere near that. Today. In a few weeks, hopefully not.

Embrace the Fierce Urgency of Not Right Now, Maybe Wait a Few Weeks.

*Leaving aside the absolutely worthwhile concerns of the immunocompromised, it’s completely normal to want to avoid getting a disease in which a small percent of the infected (0.5-2.0% by my estimates based on the available literature), even when vaccinated, wind up with long-term mental or physical disability. No one says polio is just a stomach bug either…

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5 Responses to So It’s About Feelings

  1. Mike Mc says:

    Could we be more doomed? COVID doesn’t even need to throw any new variants… we’re doing ourselves in as is. Sweet Baby Jeebus.

  2. Ten Bears – Oregon High Desert – Logger, Hippie, Biker. VFW. Fourth Generation Oregon. Single Parent, Master of Science, Gnostic.
    Ten Bears says:

    A clear and present danger …

  3. jrs says:

    I suspect it’s a DELIBERATE propaganda technique: they conflate entirely voluntarily choices cautious people make (not having or going to a dinner party out of concern for self or others) with restrictions.

    But if some extremely cautious people find their own choices to make themselves unhappy and the cost/benefit not being worthwhile they can change them anytime. I mean duh. Nothing prevents this with dinner parties or restaurants or socializing or anything.

    But masks aren’t about that, they are about limiting virus spread in the community and making at least some workplaces and public places safer. Our capitalist ruling class hates that there exist rules at workplaces like retail stores and others though, so they use silly examples like dinner parties that are nowhere restricted anyway. As if pandemic protections as policy were about whether one had too cautious a personality or something. They aren’t. One can very well deal with that themselves and should not involve public policy at all. Pandemic protections are about the larger society.

  4. Procopius – Nakhon Sawan, Thailand – Retired from U.S. Army
    ProcopiusProcopius says:

    The UK already has identified a “recombinant” variant called Deltacron, Delta + Omicron. There’s no reason to think there won’t be more, either combinations or new mutations. I see so many people writing as if they are terrified. You might as well just get vaccinated, get your booster, wear good masks, and sometimes just don’t wear a mask and trust that your friends don’t have it.You should know you’re going to die someday anyway.

  5. Pingback: Long COVID and a Massive Failure of Journalism | Mike the Mad Biologist

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