Repeat after me: Vaccines will end the pandemic.
This bears repeating, as some elites seem bent on prolonging restrictions for a long time, perhaps indefinitely. If they have their way, we will wear masks for years, continue to socially distance and never get back to our regular lives.
The sane among us need to make sure none of this transpires.
On Thursday, President Biden delivered remarks to the National Institutes of Health while wearing a mask. Standing on a stage, the president said he had consulted with government gurus Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins about removing his mask and noted that despite being 10 feet away from people, “it’s important that I not.”
Why is it important that he not? “You know that wearing this mask through the next year here can save lives, a significant number of lives,” the president said.
Come again? The United States is on track to have about 70 percent of the population vaccinated by September. Why would we mask through next year?
The president received his second vaccination shot on Jan. 11. That means it has been more than a month since his final dose. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are considered fully effective two weeks after the second dose. By insisting on masking through next year, Biden is perversely and paradoxically undermining the public reception of the vaccine.
The mask was never supposed to be a social symbol, a political statement or a virtue signifier. It was supposed to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Once we have mass vaccination, masking becomes an odd personality trait — and it could easily become permanent. Let’s not allow that to happen.
Now is our time for choosing: Do we want to take the “forever pandemic” path? Or do we accept and celebrate the miraculous science behind the vaccines and move on from this painful episode?
Life is all about decisions.
In a piece for the NPR website, editor Jane Greenhalgh tells us she hasn’t seen her 90-year-old mother in more than a year. Her mother has received both vaccine shots. Yet Dr. June McKoy, a physician at Northwestern University, told Greenhalgh that until America reaches herd immunity, “you still pose a clear and present danger to your parents.”
This is nonsense, and the data prove it. Israel has vaccinated 523,000 people. Of those, zero people have died, and only four have had serious coronavirus illnesses. The vaccine is proving to be 95 percent effective, as promised. You aren’t a “clear and present danger” to someone fully vaccinated. It’s just not true.
If we insist on a society of zero risk forever, people will never see their elderly parents again. The forever pandemic and the zero-risk society bear heavy costs.
We are going to have to apply pressure on government officials to make the same recognition. Many leaders have seen their power spike, and they like it. A lot. Scientists have served as their handmaids: Witness Fauci’s bizarre and decidedly unscientific recent claim that schools can’t be reopened without further federal stimulus. Huh?
Teachers unions have held our children hostage for a year, and politicians have looked the other way. Two weeks ago, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boss Rochelle Walensky said schools can safely reopen even before teachers were vaccinated. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki absurdly insisted Walensky was speaking in her “personal capacity.” So much for listening to experts.
Walensky’s CDC then sat down with teachers unions and crafted a road map to open schools that looks more like the map an evil witch would leave misbehaving children so she could eat them behind the gingerbread house. The map would lead to a part-time school model, at best, and is clearly designed by special interests, not scientists or doctors.
If you live in a community where the unions refuse to let kids go to school, or if you see the conversation heading in the direction of “We will go back when the kids are vaccinated,” understand you’re in the grip of forever-pandemic mania; fight it as best you can.
We need people to get vaccinated, and the way to speed up this process is to assure people that their lives — their masked, isolated, miserable lives — will change with the shots. Again: Vaccines will end the pandemic. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.