As the COVID-19 pandemic and the Western world’s unprecedented approach to it enters a new phase, with the Omicron variant becoming more prevalent, an opportunity presents itself to effect dramatic and much-needed changes to COVID policy.
When the global pandemic was in its early stages in early 2020, very little was known, and our leaders feared the worst. Some understood, knowing the Chinese communist party’s response to SARS1, that the regime would avoid culpability at all costs, indeed at just about ANY cost, with possibly devastating consequences. Others, facing dubious models touting millions of deaths being brandished about by supposedly eminent scientists, and with the “extreme safety” being demanded by some elements of Western societies, were likewise in a panic. Fear gripped Western societies in a way unseen in generations.
And, coupled with the Chinese regime’s extreme censorship of COVID-related data and workers, coupled with apocalyptic COVID propaganda spread by its mouthpieces and sycophants, it can be argued that the West largely threw out the tried-and-tested traditional pandemic playbook in favor of extreme top-down policies eerily similar to those the Chinese regime was celebrating. Most notably, we locked down our societies, in multiple ways, shuttering businesses and schools, with only “essential” work continuing—something we stuck with despite ample evidence pointing at the dubious nature of these policies. Basic principles of public health went out the window. Instead of fostering robust scientific debate, we censored and vilified contrarian scientists advocating for those principles, such as the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD).
In our frantic quest to find solutions, we seemingly miraculously developed vaccines to stop the virus, but enamoured by and in our rush to deploy our new miracles, we neglected key safeguards, such as collecting proper safety data. We vilified early clinicians and the therapeutic treatments they were finding success with, pushed vaccines as a panacea only to find that many didn’t want them. Then, we adopted all sorts of tyrannical policies to “encourage” adoption, even for healthy children who are at miniscule risk from the virus. We spent a year and a half breaking up society, chipping away at our most cherished basic rights, and hunkering down into tribal camps, creating a new “unclean” caste, the unvaccinated.
As early as mid-2020, Stanford public health expert Dr. Scott Atlas unambiguously documented using available data that the human cost (in terms of lives) of the lockdown policies was already greater than the human cost of the virus, and this has not changed. Millions missed critical cancer screenings and suicidal ideation in teens skyrocketed—just a tiny part of the cost. A number of studies are showing that adverse events from the new vaccines, notably myocarditis, are more serious and common than has been generally understood. Corporate media, who have largely been cheerleaders in promoting the various questionable policies, are now asking questions about whether, for example, “too many shots might actually harm the body’s ability to fight the coronavirus.” Trillions have been spent for stimulus, and inflation is spiking—people are starting to feel the pain in their pocketbooks, especially the middle and working classes.
The bottom line is, there will be hell to pay. And I can’t help but remember what Governor Ron DeSantis told me when I met him in Florida, trying to understand why he had adopted the unusual, though effective, policies that he had, which we documented in “Desantis: Florida vs. Lockdowns.” He told me: “They will never admit they were wrong.”
Given the magnitude of our failure as a society in dealing with COVID, and the cardinal rule that human beings (but especially politicians) will go to gargantuan lengths to avoid responsibility, I posit that Omicron provides an off-ramp that doesn’t require admission of guilt. We need to halt the highly objectionable COVID policies being employed today, while giving up, for now, the assigning of blame.
Omicron has changed the game. With the preliminary research in, the data appears to show several things:
Omicron is more contagious than Delta and other variants
COVID vaccines seem to do little to stop Omicron infection
Remarkably, there is some evidence that Omicron is breaking through natural immunity from previous variants
Omicron is much less severe than other variants, with many scientists comparing its symptoms to the common cold
Omicron is unexpected—its high level of mutation leaves scientists asking questions
Whatever the past reality, the difference in risk from COVID infection between the vaccinated and unvaccinated now appears to be lower than it was with previous variants. Whatever the past reality, the unvaccinated are not more a danger to society than the vaccinated. As the infection goes endemic, many people will get the virus, irrespective of vaccination status or past inflection.
The obsession with asymptomatic testing for COVID can be left behind with heads held high, as can masks. Ignorance of the past power of natural immunity vs. the virus becomes a non-issue at present. And, unlike past variants, Omicron is indeed a bit of an enigma in terms of both its genetics and of how it functions.
In other words, a perfect opportunity to effect a dramatic shift in pandemic policy, for example to policies laid out in the Great Barrington Declaration and past pandemic public health standards. Vaccine mandates can be dropped in an instant, policy can indeed be “left to the states” as President Biden has suggested, and state leaders can also follow in kind.
It’s an opportunity for leaders to use the novel Omicron variant to save face, as an “off ramp” off the current authoritarian and unpopular policy track, enacting policies that will have them celebrated and also work well, helping us start to heal our society. The sooner, the better.