Yesterday, Pennsylvania registered 447 new Covid-19 cases, to bring the statewide total to 2,769,588. The commonwealth’s seven-day average is 871, down from 1,006 a week ago and 3,538 a month ago. The statewide average is at its lowest since July 29, 2021. On January 12th, 2022, there were 29,000 new cases in Pennsylvania. Yesterday COVID-19 hospitalizations fell below 800 for the first time since Aug. 9, 2021. According to the hospital preparedness dashboard, 795 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Pennsylvania. On January 17th, 2022, the number of Pennsylvanians in the hospital with Covid peaked at 8,012.
Covid is now less deadly than the flu thanks to Omicron's milder nature and sky-high immunity rates.
CDC figures indicate that the Delta strain of the virus had a mortality rate of around 0.2 per cent before the ultra-transmissible Omicron strain erupted onto the scene. But this has since plunged seven-fold to as little as 0.03 per cent, meaning it kills effectively just one in every 3,300 people who get infected.
For comparison, seasonal influenza's infection-fatality rate sits between 0.01 and 0.05 per cent. The two viruses, the Omicron Covid variant and the seasonal flu now pose the EXACT same mortality threat!
The Covid 19 pandemic is over.
Cases will rise again. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t test any asymptomatic person. Stop testing people who have no symptoms and advise people without symptoms not to be tested. People who feel ill should be tested, if they wish, and people who seek medical care should, of course, be tested, but asymptomatic testing will be massively disruptive. The idea that asymptomatic testing can shield others from infection was never proven. It is biologically implausible. There is no upside to this foolish practice, its downside includes disruption to health systems and other enterprises.
- Do not reinstitute mask mandates when cases climb. Every single US mask mandate by a governmental body was for a cloth or surgical grade mask. They did not work in any randomized trial. People have always been free to wear a high-quality mask if they wish, there is no reason at all to compel 3rd parties to wear a mask. If a policy maker wishes to reimplement mask mandates, we should refuse to comply.
- Do not close schools. Zoom schooling is deeply inferior; it should not be considered. The school age survival rate for Covid is 99.99%, masks made no difference, school closures made no difference, among healthy, normal weight children, vaccination made no difference. Closing schools was a calamitous error.
- Boost the elderly and vulnerable people in advance of future waves. This might actually save lives.
- Do not push vaccine mandates for kids 5-11 out of misplaced anxiety. The cost of this policy will be to deepen distrust, and the gain is going to be very marginal among healthy kids, particularly given that so many have already had Covid-19.
- Do not consider business closures. It was of no medical benefit. Provide businesses with recommendations for increasing ventilation during surges.
- Expand hospital capacity. Be prepared for a possible Covid influx.
- Hire back health care workers who have had and recovered from Covid-19, irrespective of vaccine status.
- Give credit for natural immunity. Looking at rates of repeat hospitalization FROM covid19 proves that natural immunity is superior.
- Clearly delineate and report hospitalizations FROM Covid vs. hospitalizations WITH Covid.
- Publicly and accurately report all outcomes in real time— hospitalizations, deaths from Covid, and excess mortality.
- Fire the leaders of the CDC and the FDA. We must remain skeptical of these agencies; they have rightly lost our trust in their leadership and in their information.
Covid-19 cases will eventually rise. We are extremely vulnerable to ill-informed and schizophrenic official responses. That’s the territory for more bad decision making. Next time, we must do better.