Do ‘We’ All Consent to the New Normal?

Because I never received the consent form? Much of our chattering class seems to believe that getting long COVID is just something we’ll have to accept (so lie back and think of England Biden, I guess). There does seem to be good news on the long COVID front, in that Omicron might–note the wiggle word–cause long COVID in a lower percentage of people. But we don’t know if multiple infections increase or decrease the likelihood of long COVID (and Ben Affleck can afford to get infected multiple times. Not to insult my readers, but I’m guessing most of you can’t afford to miss work for several months).

That brings me to the main point. As I’ve been saying over and over again, for most people who get COVID and haven’t been hospitalized, I think the odds of long COVID are roughly one percent, give or take (slightly higher for women, somewhat lower for the under 45 set). The issue is that’s a really bad outcome. Even if in most cases, the symptoms recede after some months–and that’s not entirely clear, Slate articles masquerading as (half-assed, stupid) literature reviews notwithstanding*–unless you’re the aformentioned Ben Affleck (or Colin Farrell. Or Gwyneth Paltrow. Or…), you can’t afford to get sick for months in the U.S. in 2023, Year of Our Gritty. And there is no way that’s good for you.

At an individual level, the odds are low, at a societal level, it’s a massive health burden–in a country that treats the disabled like shit.

That said, I realize I’m yelling at clouds here, since we’re not going to do anything to lessen transmission. We’re not masking. We’re not improving ventilation. We’re not providing sick leave. We’re not providing free testing or masks. It’s not clear if we’re even going to give people the option to get boosted every six months.

Anyway, I didn’t consent to this.

*No, I don’t link to articles that have to issue a correction about a key point of biology that undercuts the theme of the article. Why would such an article be accepted from an investigative journalist specializing in… airplane disasters, anyway?

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2 Responses to Do ‘We’ All Consent to the New Normal?

  1. jetsam359
    Jimmy T says:

    I’ve had Covid twice. The first time I was on a bottling crew at my daughter’s distillery. This was in December, 2019 (before Covid was a thing) we were (my wife and I) working with a guy who had just come back from a job in China. A few days later everyone who was there got really sick. In retrospect it had to be Covid. The second time we (my wife and I) caught it from our granddaughter. I didn’t get that sick, but my wife really did. We both were fully vaccinated by then and I thought maybe we were resistant to the virus. The granddaughter recovered quickly. When the next vaccine becomes available, we will get it…

  2. Pingback: “Project Next Gen” Is Good, but Why Did It Take So Long to Happen? | Mike the Mad Biologist

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