Different Takes: Future With Long Covid Isn’t Promising; Should Americans Start Masking Again?
Opinion writers examine these covid issues.
The Washington Post:
‘Long Covid’ Is Going To Be A Long Haul
Covid-19 has killed more than 6 million people worldwide but will also leave a lasting scar on hundreds of millions who have survived. The disease can trigger cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms; it can affect the skin, kidneys, liver, the endocrine organs and the eyes. Moreover, the damage to the body may linger long after the initial sickness. Much about this phenomenon of “long covid” is still unclear, but evidence is accumulating that populations will be struggling for years to come. (5/22)
COVID Masks - Should We Still Be Covering Our Faces As Cases Spike?
The United States has passed 1 million COVID-19 deaths, more than any other nation, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. As we headed toward this tragic milestone (and the uptick in cases that has accompanied it), state mask mandates across the nation have dropped. (5/22)
The Baltimore Sun:
One Million American Lives: The Toll From COVID Is So Much Greater Than It Had To Be
A million Americans have been lost to the pandemic, according to the federal government’s official count, making this a disaster that defies most comparisons. And yet it’s so much worse. By the time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the nation had reached the bleak crossroads the month, it was in all likelihood old news and a gross underestimate. (Josh Gohlke, 5/20)
I Feel Safest In My Hospital
"No thanks,” my patient said to me. “Two is enough.” I was caught off guard the first time I recommended a COVID booster shot and heard that response. “What do you mean, it’s enough? Do you toss out half of your cardiac meds? Do you say, ‘Eh, that seems like enough’ partway through your hernia operation?” I’ve been receiving that response more and more these days. “Two is about right.” “I’ll stick with two.” These folks are not vaccine skeptics. I work at a public hospital in New York City and my patients come from communities that were pummeled by the coronavirus; most lined up for the shots as soon as they became available in early 2021, undeterred by logistical barriers or social-media rumors. A year later, despite cases rising sharply due to the BA.2 variant, they—like most Americans—seem to have moved on. (Danielle Ofri, 5/22)
The New York Times:
How To Control Covid When Everyone Moves On
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s been a refrain among infectious disease experts: you may be done with the virus, but the virus is not done with you. Like everyone else, health officials and providers wish the epidemic would end. At the same time, we must live in a parallel universe in which preventing and managing Covid-19 remains a daily focus when everyone else seems to have moved on. This is fundamentally what it means for a disease to becomes endemic: People with power, privilege and resources no longer view themselves at risk and consider it a problem primarily of “vulnerable populations.” (Jay K. Varma, 5/23)
Los Angeles Times:
The Catastrophic Success Of China's Zero-COVID Policy
For two years, it seemed as though China’s ruthless COVID-19 policy had paid off. After stumbling in its initial efforts to stem the pandemic, China’s rulers fixed a simple numeric target — zero COVID cases — and made sure everyone knew they had to reach it. The results looked severe to Western eyes, but they stopped the virus’ spread. They also gave China a propaganda victory, emboldening their claims that authoritarian governments could solve social problems better than liberal democracies, which in worrying too much about people’s civil rights, ended up killing them instead. (Jeremy L. Wallace, 5/21)
We Need A Global Pandemic Treaty -- Before It's Too Late
Whether it was conducting groundbreaking research, completing clinical studies, manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines or distributing and administering billions of doses, scientists, public health officials, doctors and countless others have taken on the Herculean task of protecting people around the world from the novel coronavirus with vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. While we -- the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume -- recognize the innovation and effort the global community undertook in the past two years, we also acknowledge that there is more to do. As world leaders come together at the World Economic Forum this week, I hope that they collectively work toward a healthy and safe future for the generations to come. Developing vaccines or treatments that can actually prevent transmission of disease, not just hospitalizations and deaths, would help control the virus. And there needs to be multilateral cooperation from countries to provide equitable access to vaccines and therapeutics to all. (Adar Poonawalla, 5/23)