Opinion: Admit it, NJ — COVID Won
From the beginning, it was said the United States needed a war-like effort to combat the virus that causes COVID-19 that has now killed 841,000 Americans. In New Jersey alone we are just shy of 30,000 dead. If this has been a war, perhaps it’s time to admit we lost.
COVID-19 has won.
Many joined the fight and many hid behind conspiracy theories and did not. We had a chance to arrest this a variant or two ago but vaccination rates never rose to the necessary level. The virus mutated. And mutated some more.
Really though, at this point, it’s all water under the bridge. Look at what the nation’s top epidemiologist is now saying. "Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody,” Dr. Anthony Fauci admits.
Because along came omicron. The variant was a game-changer, but not entirely a bad thing. While some will still die who get COVID-19 from this mutation, for the most part, infections are mild. The bad news is it became so highly contagious that all our containment methods of the past seem useless.
The old rules about sustained 15-minute contact within 6 feet went out the window. That hasn’t been talked about much, but it’s true. Science has now found the slightest interaction, the briefest encounter, will still transmit the virus. It’s been said going into an elevator alone moments after an infected person was on it can be enough to contract the virus.
A slight shifting for a brief moment of a mask can transmit the virus. The common cloth masks don’t help omicron, so all those cute cloth Pikachu masks your 6-year-old is wearing are doing little now, not to mention the fact that taking them off even briefly to eat renders them closer to useless than ever before.
Yet look at Gov. Phil Murphy declaring another public health emergency so that he regains the power to continue the mask mandate in schools.
If this is inevitable, isn’t it time to admit the war has been lost?
For a governor following the science, he needs to consider what Fauci just said. It harkens back to something the New Jersey State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli let slip at a press briefing early in the pandemic when she said of COVID-19 “we’re all going to get it.”
If this is inevitable, isn’t it time to admit the war has been lost? More will die, yes, but I’ve said from the very beginning society had to wrestle with the question of what is an acceptable number of dead. Do we continue to disrupt society in general, offer inferior and failing virtual learning, deal with splintering supply chains, travel shutdowns, etc. over a virus we now admit we cannot stop?
If the continuing mask mandate is in deference to the hospitalization numbers and trying to keep them from being overwhelmed, is that even sincere with what’s now come out about the state’s reporting? If you haven’t heard, Gov. Murphy now admits about half of those 6,000 hospitalized cases are not hospitalized FROM COVID-19, but tested positive for it once admitted for completely unrelated medical issues.
Pressed by reporters Murphy admitted, “I think we have a fair number of what I’ve started to call incidental COVID, meaning you went in because you broke your leg, but everyone is getting tested. It turns out you’ve COVID.”
Persichilli then confirmed, “Today with about 6,000 individuals in our hospitals with confirmed COVID positive tests, about 2,963 of them are in with a principal diagnosis of COVID, which means it’s the reason for the admission, the reason for the hospitalization.”
The point is, it seems there is no point. The masks were never 100% but were at least somewhat effective in slowing down the spread of previous variants. Now? Is it really worth the mask mandates when Fauci basically says what Persichilli once did, that we’re all going to get it?
I’ve always followed the real science on this. Not the fringe. I’m not one of these conspiracy theorist demagogues who just uses a show because they want to be in charge of you next as governor one day. The virus is real. The pandemic was no hoax. The American war dead is 841,000 and rising. The war is over.