Meanwhile, Australia may be rethinking its pursuit of ‘Covid Zero’.
The political manipulation of the COVID-19 response, including the continued irrational reporting on the coronavirus by the nation’s press, has led Americans to make some significant decisions about how to spend their summer vacation.
We are choosing travel and liberty rather than panic over the Delta-variant panic that is the big, scary featured item in recent news on the pandemic. U.S. air travel has exceeded pre-pandemic levels since the “flatten the curve” national closer was instituted, with at least 44 million people expected to hit the roads this July 4th weekend.
Almost 2.15 million people passed through US airport screening checkpoints Thursday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
This dwarfs the 58,330 recorded on the same day in 2019 and marks the second highest figure on record since COVID-19 started ravaging America, after a record 2.17 million flew four days earlier.
While Americans celebrate Independence Day and the nation’s increasing independence from the virus and COVID-19 restrictions with cookouts, fireworks, concerts and beach outings, the US is now witnessing a rise in cases of the Delta variant.
More than 30 percent of adults are still not vaccinated and officials are concerned about large numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans mixing, with Joe Biden warning that ‘lives will be lost’ because of people who didn’t get the shot.
Clearly, the nation is unwilling to continue the liberty-crushing restrictions experienced last summer (except for those engaged in BLM/antifa protests and rioting), no matter what strain of the virus is circulating.
Joel Zinberg, M.D., a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, notes that there are plenty of reasons not to panic about the Delta variant. Chief among the reasons to ignore the current media hysteria is that the vaccines are effective against the variants.
Surprisingly, the most reasonable response to Delta has come from the normally ultra-cautious US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though the Delta variant has become the most common strain circulating in the United States, CDC Director Rochelle Walenksy said that vaccinated people needn’t wear masks, since the vaccines are effective against all the variants, including Delta.
Scientific evidence backs this up: COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in general and against Delta, as well. A just-published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, focusing on a population of health-care and other front-line workers, confirmed earlier reports that two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were 91 percent effective in preventing infection; a single vaccine dose was 81 percent effective.
Additionally, Zinberg notes that in this country the Delta variant will cause localized outbreaks in areas where vaccination rates remain low. Furthermore, these outbreaks will be concentrated among younger people who are far less likely to become severely ill or die.
Meanwhile, countries which have endured continued forced restrictions are beginning to realize that, courtesy of Chinese laboratories, the SARS-Cov-2 virus is here to stay in all its iterations. For example, Australia is beginning to realize that “COVID zero” is not feasible.
Three days after the emergence of a rare Covid-19 case in Sydney, around 40 friends gathered for a birthday party. Along with cake and laughter, there was a hidden threat: One of the guests had unknowingly crossed paths with that single Covid case, an airport driver who had caught the Delta variant from an American aircrew.
Two weeks later, 27 people from the party have tested positive, including a 2-year-old child, along with 14 close contacts. And the seven people at the gathering who were not infected? They were all vaccinated.
…For Australia and every other nation pursuing a so-called “Covid zero” approach, including China and New Zealand, the gathering in western Sydney amounts to a warning: Absent blanket vaccinations, the fortress cannot hold without ever more painful restrictions.
“This is the beginning of the end of Covid zero” said Catherine Bennett, the chair of epidemiology at Deakin University in Melbourne. “We may be able to get it under control this time, but it’s just going to be harder and harder.”
The Delta mutation has already raced from Sydney across Australia, carried on flights and by people visiting schools, hospitals, hair salons and a mass vaccination hub. Half of the country’s 25 million people have been ordered to stay home as the caseload, now at around 200, grows every day. State borders are closed, and exasperation — another lockdown 16 months into the pandemic? — is intensifying.
Truly, countries cannot continue to endure prolonged restrictions without significant consequences on their economies and their peoples. Hopefully, significant lessons have been learned during our response to this virus, inasmuch as the Chinese are planning to build 25 to 30 more high-level biological laboratories similar to the one in Wuhan (the likely epicenter of this pandemic).DONATE
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