Commentary: Recalibrate, and live with today’s COVID reality

"Soaring omicron infections make the case for resuming normalcy and eradicating costly edicts, since the variant is effectively unavoidable."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the architect of America's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, speaks at a White House press conference in March 2020. (Trump White House Archived/Flickr)

Two long years into the global pandemic, some questions arise: will lockdowns, masking, vaccine mandates, “remote learning,” and everything in between, remain the perpetual response to any future COVID-19 variant? Or can we accept where we are, evaluate, and live with minimal and decreasing risk?

Gosh, I wrote my first column 20 months ago on essentially the same topic, with similar advice. What’s happened since, as we mark year three?

Schools, which immediately closed 22 months ago, and some didn’t reopen for a year, are so opposed to science and common sense that bipartisan opposition to teachers union malfeasance has transpired.

Consider that left-wing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, embattled CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, liberal governors, some corporate media, and even President Joe Biden acknowledge the harm that students and communities experience from isolation far outweighs the minuscule risk from COVID-19.

Thankfully, the new mayor of America’s largest city won’t close classrooms, but powerful unions are fighting to end in-person learning. Many other large school systems once again locked campus gates, affecting over a half-million students. The rogue Chicago teachers union wouldn’t allow teachers to work, as vulnerable kids and parents suffered.

They purposely ignore statistics showing coronavirus is innocuous to kids. Roughly 700 children have died from coronavirus.

Place that into perspective: almost 1,200 people under 18 died from influenza in 2012–13. COVID-19 is not significantly different from the flu for children, and we now have multiple vaccines and therapeutics to treat it. We don’t close schools for flu, so why close schools for COVID?

This ignominious return to outdated philosophies by teachers unions and many in public health is predictable, but they have no answers. Study after study shows omicron is less deadly, and thrives in cells in the upper respiratory tract, rather than in the lungs.

Really, the current soaring omicron infections make the case for resuming normalcy and eradicating costly edicts, since the variant is effectively unavoidable. We all know dozens of friends and family members who currently have omicron. But if we’re all getting this milder version, why make school kids continue to suffer? Especially when the latest variant could help end the worst of the pandemic by augmenting overall immunity.

Universities, for what it’s worth, are behaving even more illogically than K–12 schools, subjecting fully-vaccinated and boosted students to draconian quarantines, while ignoring the infinitesimal risk.

Vaccines prevent severe illness and death; breakthrough cases are manageable. Analyses show most deaths in the latter half of 2021 would have been prevented with vaccination.

We can also realize a smart move is to stop bullying Americans over vaccines; ignore dangerous lies from unprepared Supreme Court justices; retire the insufferable Dr. Anthony Fauci; and bring out fresh leadership faces, if need be, who’ll tackle what’s ahead of us, not waste time dwelling on the past.

“People don’t trust the CDC any more,” Christine Rosen argued on Monday’s Commentary Magazine podcast. “Everyone looks at the people representing this agency and says ‘I’ll trust my own judgment,’ which many of us said is a wiser course, considering their strange and misleading guidance over the last two years. Now it’s come to a point where even Democrat voters who might otherwise listen … that’s crumbling as well.”