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COVID update #56

COVID is likely to become an endemic disease, one that is with us forever. It will morph, adapt, and change over time, evolving constantly as the virus does what all “living” things do – seek to survive and propagate.  Like all pandemics, our fortunes will wax and wane.  At times new variants will be more or less infectious, more or less deadly, more or less controllable.

We humans will develop immunity to a greater or lesser degree depending on multiple factors; what variant we’re exposed to, how old we are, our unique genetic makeup, other co-morbidities, whether or not we have decent, accessible healthcare, where we live and what we do and who we do it with.

credit Down to Earth

Most important will be whether we listen to science, exercise caution, and protect ourselves and others…or cross the stupid line.

The good news. 

The world’s focus on developing vaccines has been hugely successful; a year after the virus emerged about 150 million people have been vaccinated. That is a truly stunning accomplishment, all the more so because the most successful vaccines to date have relied on a never-before used model (mRNA).

Here in the US we just learned that the Biden Administration has secured enough doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to get every resident inoculated by mid-July. If J&J’s vaccine gets approved, the single-dose mechanism will significantly speed up the vaccination process.

The bad news is 100,000 of us died of COVID in January, and some of the new variants appear to be more infectious and others may be more deadly.

So, we are racing to develop herd immunity before the virus’ ability to adapt and change overcomes current vaccines’ ability to control it. 

What’s worse is this did not have to happen. Between eliminating the budget of a key government entity tasked with early identification of infectious diseases, promoting useless and dangerous COVID treatments, refusing to encourage people to wear masks and politicizing public health, we can clearly see what happens when we elect incompetent politicians.

Trump et al failed us miserably, but they aren’t the only ones at fault. The conduct of a Governor whose administration failed to report nursing home deaths and another Governor (of a state with death rates among the highest in the nation) that actively lied about COVID is reprehensible. In Cuomo’s case, blaming the coverup on fears the Trump Administration would use the death count as a political cudgel is no excuse.

What does this mean for you?

We all need to accept that COVID is never going away.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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