Viewpoints: Controlling BA.5 Variant Requires Swift Action; BA.5 Is Overwhelming Vaccinated Populations
Editorial writers tackle covid, vaccines, drug overdoses, and mental health.
Los Angeles Times:
New COVID Variants Like BA.5 Are Dominating Us — We Can Do More To Prevent This
It takes a lot for a COVID-19 variant to become dominant throughout most of the world. It has happened only three previous times (Alpha, Delta, Omicron) and now is occurring with the Omicron family subvariant known as BA.5. How did this occur and what are the implications for the pandemic going forward? (Eric J. Topol, 7/12)
The Boston Globe:
Many Countries Have Given Us A Preview Of What’s To Come With COVID Subvariant BA.5. Prepare.
The BA.5 Omicron subvariant is here and is the dominant COVID-19 virus in the United States. Case positivity rates have been higher than they are now only twice since the beginning of the pandemic — during the first weeks of the pandemic, and a few weeks during the January 2022 Omicron spike. (Asher Williams, 7/11)
Monopolies Are Getting In The Way Of MRNA Vaccines
Two and a half years into the COVID pandemic, the numbers are grim. While 80% of people living in the richest countries on earth have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, the corresponding figure for those in the poorest countries is 18%. The loss of life was incalculable, literally: no one is sure how many people have died from COVID. (Achal Prabhala, 7/11)
The Washington Post:
The Biden Administration’s Bold Embrace Of Harm Reduction Will Save Lives
“Harm reduction” is a phrase previous administrations have used sparingly, if at all, when discussing drug policy. But the Biden administration not only uses it often regarding the escalating epidemic of overdose deaths, which claimed more than 100,000 lives last year; it has made it the centerpiece of its national drug control strategy. (Leana S. Wen, 7/12)
The Mercury News:
Police Shooting Shows Need For 988 Mental Health Hotline
In June 2019, Walnut Creek resident Taun Hall made a call to police as she had done several times before, letting them know her son, Miles, was experiencing a mental health crisis and needed help. Recognizing that her son was a young Black man in an affluent White community, Taun feared for his safety and made it a priority to develop relationships with neighbors and local law enforcement so they knew he lived with a serious mental illness and wasn’t a threat. (Jennifer Wang and Tamara Hunter, 7/9)