If you have been even slightly exposed to the news recently, you know that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is causing tens of thousands of new infections across the United States and that the media is responding to these new infections as if the world is ending again. But it’s not.
Covid-19 is a serious illness. It has killed untold numbers of people, including over 300 Lakewood residents. It’s not a joke and elderly and immunocompromised people should absolutely take every step they can to avoid becoming infected. And yes, they should get vaccinated as well.
But here is the thing: the vaccines are proving effective, despite the Delta variant. Even as infections rise, the number of people who are dying from the illness is still near pandemic lows. Unlike the early days of Covid-19, when a massive number of new infections inevitably meant we would be hearing of a lot more deaths in the coming days and weeks, new infections now, for the most part, simply mean that the individual needs to rest and take it easy for a few days, similarly to the seasonal flu.
Even Governor Murphy, who has been one of the strictest governors in the nation regarding Covid-19, noted on Monday when he imposed a vaccine mandate on health care workers that hospitalizations among vaccinated individuals is well below 1% and that deaths among the vaccinated are at 0.001%. In other words, extremely rare.
The media and White House’s obsession with the number of infections is counterproductive for two reasons: One, it implies to Americans that the vaccines don’t work. If they’re freaking out over new infections, even among the vaccinated, then what’s the point of getting the vaccine? By treating “breakthrough” cases like regular infections, they are only disincentivizing people from getting a vaccine. And two, the number of infections is pointless now. The numbers that matter are those of hospitalizations and deaths.
If the media and Biden administration wanted to show that they truly care about beating back Covid-19, they would lay off the focus on new infections, which is irrelevant, and focus on what matters. This, and only this, can reignite Americans’ trust in the federal government and science community.