COVID has become a media-driven panic disconnected from facts
Psaki confirms international travel bans extended over spread of Delta variant
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Here’s some good news for those who got the Pfizer vaccine
It wasn’t just Canada after all: The White House now says it’ll extend all bans on international travel indefinitely because it’s worried about the Delta variant. This is nuts.
Just for starters: Britain, which Delta hit hard well before the US surge, just saw five straight days of dropping cases — even though the country opened up July 19.
Meanwhile, all signs point to Delta being less deadly than earlier COVID strains: US hospitalizations and deaths haven’t risen remotely as much as cases during this surge. And the threat is infinitely far from any chance of overwhelming hospitals, which was the reason for “15 days to slow the spread” in the first place.
Any rise in fatalities is bad, of course — but a minor one doesn’t justify a panicked return to lockdowns or mask mandates, nor of near-universal travel bans. Because all those measures impose major costs, including some fatalities.
Nor are the non-health costs trivial: New York City desperately needs its global tourists back, or a lot of our fellow citizens won’t be able to put food on the table.
Yes, keep a lid on travel from major hotspots; require travelers to show proof of vaccination if you like. But get as close to normal as possible, as quickly as possible. Lives depend on it.
Again: The vaccines work. Delta seems to yield more “breakthrough” cases — infections of the vaxxed, as with those contagious Texas legislators — but they’re also overwhelmingly minor cases, the kind where you may well not even know you have it unless you get tested. The time for broad bans is over. The urgency now is simply to persuade the holdouts to get jabbed so full normalcy can resume.
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