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"I'm Done With Covid"

From Vinay Prasad, MD MPH and Dr. Katie Musgrave

The following statements from a couple of medical professionals and scientists go into detail on potentially how we should be viewing Covid at this stage of the pandemic and the detrimental effects of strict pandemic controls.

Vinay Prasad, MD MPH,

I'm done with COVID" is short for: "Continuing draconian restrictions at this moment is inflicting far more damage on vulnerable populations (especially kids) than benefit, and I will no longer participate in your inability to consider trade-offs. Vaccines have been widely available for anyone five and up. An unvaccinated teenager has risks lower than a vaccinated adult. Across this country, people are opening up and returning to normal life, while some liberal elite zoom-based pockets refuse to. School closures are poison. They were never proportionate to the risks kids faced. They were always in the manifestation of adult anxiety. The same goes for kids masking. Which has zero randomized controlled trials. A stain on science. Moreover, the US went beyond WHO down to 2-year-olds. Asymptomatic testing, prolonged quarantines. These fuel anxiety. And lead to societal disruption with negative externalities. Whether they will do anything to bend the pandemic spread is unproven, And unlikely. The virus is not going away, and we will all eventually be infected multiple times in our lives. Even St. Anthony of Fauci said as much, But a powerful contingent of zero COVID devotees believe that it might. I worry that they are taking up deer hunting. Wearing an n95 to avoid the virus after vaccination is futile. You will eventually stop wearing it. And then you will eventually get hit with a subsequent epidemic wave. Or catch the virus between waves. We can't boost our way out of this with an MRNA construct from a few years ago. Even new constructs will be unlikely to arrest the transmission permanently. Mandates have no justification, and will further disrupt society and lead to schisms. What can we do? We can focus on elderly and vulnerable people. We can administer boosters to them, they're still substantially unboosted The data that these further lower hospitalizations at these ages is good, but not in young men. We can become a fair global partner and launch a global campaign to vaccinate every person who wishes with at least one dose. Will do immeasurable good. But further disrupting normal life will strain the mental health of those who are already at the breaking point, will destroy the lives of marginalized and vulnerable children, and serve no purpose other than smug moralizing. It will also cost elections. So " I'm done with COVID" is the honorable, equitable, altruistic, egalitarian, pro-science message that we need right now to combat the delusional thinking that ignored trade-offs for so long and would have us live in a bunker forever.

Dr Katie Musgrave

Over recent weeks, I have noticed more tweets appealing to medics to acknowledge nuance, grey areas, & uncertainty. Now, while I applaud the need for balanced & respectful debate, the angle always seems to be in favour of asking lockdown skeptics to be ‘less sure’, & I can’t help but wonder if the root cause of these appeals might be that those who accepted & encouraged lockdowns as a tool of pandemic control, now feel some unease at the harms they see, the state of the NHS, and the country’s social & economic ills, coupled with our poor result in terms of Covid mortality anyway. Were the lockdowns effective? Did they do more harm than good? Have they done untold damage to the mental state of a generation? I can’t help but wonder if the tweets calling for more uncertainty actually spring from the desire for those who supported these measures to be able to tell themselves: ‘we didn’t know better and ‘everyone believed lockdowns were necessary’ and ‘we did what we thought we had to’ when actually there were a significant number of conscientious objectors who recognised that locking people in their homes, and closing schools, and creating a climate of enormous fear, with unprecedented controls on almost every aspect of our lives, might be an enormously damaging step to take, which couldn’t be justified by the mortality figures & the risk profile for the vast majority. The thing is, I struggle to stay quiet & ‘acknowledge uncertainty’ when it was always so apparent to me that the steps we took in the pandemic have so frequently been overly heavy-handed, & damaging in their own right. I never agreed with repeated lockdowns or school closures or telling young and healthy people that they should be scared of a virus when they actually had nothing to fear. And I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, but I think it is important that we learn lessons & try to make sure public health policies never again cause harm to whole swathes of our society, who were never at risk from the virus itself. I don’t want to use measures that lock people in their homes, isolate them, inflict fear, & cause mental distress to millions. I think we could have taken a better path, & that we should be actively planning what that path should look like - for all our sakes. I wasn’t alone in questioning this route, and if in your heart of hearts, you think we might have made a mistake, then I would urge you to reflect on that, & question how we can do better next time. How could we cause less harm, while protecting the vulnerable? How can we guard freedoms & childhoods? How can we find a healthy, balanced approach to a health threat like Covid? I don’t think it will be by asking conscientious objectors to stay quiet.

Perhaps it's worth questioning, especially with the new data we have showing you can still contract and spread the virus even if you're fully vaccinated (and boosted) whether those who still ask for strict control, removal of rights, and lockdowns (especially those who ask for the specific targetting of the unvaccinated) are projecting their fears on to others, advocating for their ability to choose what others should do and seeking punishment for those who don't feel as they do?