by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director, Franklin●TV & wfpr●fm 11/07/2021
There’s a new word in town. Endemic. What does that mean? The not so great news is that science – and the more astute among us – are coming to grips with the notion that COVID-19 is the guest that just won’t leave. We now know how this ends. Truth? It doesn’t. It lingers. It simmers. We won’t get to achieve (and celebrate) true herd immunity after all. The virus – and its variants yet to be – will be perniciously permanent.
However, with vaccines and follow–up treatments available, not every COVID-19 case is created equal. Breakthrough cases are much milder; 10,000 vaccinated cases cause a tiny fraction of hospitalizations and deaths vs 10,000 unvaccinated cases. With endemicity—when nearly everyone has baseline immunity from either infection or vaccination—the U.S. could still be facing tens of millions of infections from COVID-19 every year, thanks to waning immunity and viral evolution.
For context, the endemic flu sickens 10 to 40 million a year, and through science we mitigate its impact. The 1918 flu killed 800,000 in 2 years among 100 million Americans. COVID-19 will likely claim a similar number among 360 million of us. The 1918 flu was almost 4 times more deadly. The infected turned purple from oxygen starvation; dying within a day. Yet, then as now, masks were an issue of heated debate.
So, what’s the callous money play here? Bet on science. That’s what the stock market is doing. It’s telling us that the virus is here to stay, and mitigation will become a matter of ongoing personal vigilance. Our annual flu shot might include COVID-19. Conversely, COVID-19 treatments in capsule form might also be developed for the flu. The war on vaccines is a false flag. Please vaccinate. It’s science. It’s safe. It’s the smart play.
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