The COVID Drawdown
Today we are going to discuss the COVID drawdown. Essentially, this is what must inevitably happen for us to return to lives of normalcy where we have typical interactions with others at family gatherings, sporting events, concerts, and business meetings. Unless we are prepared to radically change the way we live our lives and choose isolation (which probably has far greater physical and mental health detriments) then we have to consider how the drawdown occurs and what conditions ned to be present for it to happen.
What HaS TO HAPPEN FOR THE DRAWDOWN TO OCCUR?
We’ve talked to numerous experts who all have various opinions on how the pandemic will play out and what strategies will be needed to get to the ‘other side’ of the pandemic. You can find the initial conversation with Dr. Graham, immunology with Dr. Gandhi, and science ethics with Dr. Bhattacharya on the episode list at the end of this writeup. The following is a short list of what conditions need to be present to return to normal:
- Broad acceptance of the fact that the virus, SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19, will become endemic.
- Recognition that the endemic virus cannot become eradicated and will absolutely infect everyone – probably multiple times.
- Understand that vaccination including booster shots will not significantly stop transmission of the virus but only provide protection from serious illness.
- Sterilizing immunity (protection from infection) for SARS-CoV-2 will be temporary whether one has had vaccination or prior natural infection.
- Accept that no measures to stop transmission outside of severely draconian restrictions on movement and social interaction have middling effects on the spread of the virus.
- We will have to be comfortable with no longer ‘looking’ for the virus with every respiratory illness and only test those whom we feel are at high risk or can use novel therapeutics.
- Public health officials, politicians, and policy makers have to accept that there is very little that can be done to ‘contain’ the virus.
What the Drawdown Will Look Like
The drawdown will look different depending on what part of life you are looking.
- Schools: Most schools will continue their current policies through the end of this school year. Next year, most school systems will have returned to pre-pandemic policies of no temperature checks, mask wearing, etc. Only the most heavily unionized schools or urban will mandate extreme measures like vaccinations. This will become even harder to enforce as the majority of the country has returned to normal and we see a striking similarity of outcomes between the two ways of schooling.
- Universities: Already there are differing policies in place between schools and the lack of differences with outcomes will move nearly all universities to eliminate all restrictions next school year.
- Mask Mandates: These will disappear completely by next year in almost the entire country. The political cost for maintaining these measures will be increasingly steep and politicians will declare victory over the virus and insist that their earlier measures did their job to save lives but are no longer needed.
- Vaccine Mandates: Despite attempting to impose these mandates through federal fiat on transportation and for air travel – these will disappear as more and more states reject their use.
- Hospitals: Health care facilities will still likely be burdened with extraordinary personal protection measures like masking at all times throughout all of next year. The federal government controls this regulation and unless there is extraordinary political pressure these will continue. Perhaps the loss of workers in health care will encourage the removal of this rule but that will take longer than this year.