America rethinks its endgame for COVID

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Americans’ ideas about life with COVID, and the ultimate goal we are trying to achieve, are evolving rapidly at this point in the pandemic.

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big picture: Initially, the efforts were aimed at reducing the overall spread of COVID. Over time, the focus has shifted to preventing the worst outcomes – hospitalizations and deaths.

Running news: Top Biden officials acknowledged at a Senate hearing this week that most Americans will get O’Micron at some point.

  • “What we need to do is make sure that the hospital can still function, transportation, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said, US news and world report,

state of play: Under Omicron’s threat and reports of overcrowded hospitalizations, many Americans have responded by hunking in recent weeks.

  • But in practice there is a huge divide. Many Americans decided they were done with COVID a long time ago.
  • Megan Rainey, academic dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said preventing serious illness and death has been the most important goal from the beginning, but the early success of vaccines against infections raises expectations.

“We’re starting to see A shift between people who take COVID seriously and I think that’s an uncomfortable change for many people,” she told Nerdshala.

  • A combination of vaccines, testing and high-quality masks is helping at-risk Americans connect safely with the world around them.
  • Parents grappling with the security of daycare or in-person school, which have been weighed against disadvantages of online learning,
  • Approval of antivirals for the treatment of COVID in high-risk individuals is also a factor as individuals consider risk under the latest version.
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“Where I Hope We’re Going There is a belief that this will increase, we are going to do what we can to protect ourselves and our families… with the acknowledgment that in some shape or form, COVID is going to be a part of our lives. And we have to have strategies to deal with it,” Raine said.

yes but: There are still many people who are immunized who haven’t noticed a change in the equation.

  • Experts also warn against the risk of Americans becoming complacent at this point, with so many sick and hospitals filled with patients from Omicron.
  • “There is a lot of complexity in the risk calculations,” said Tara Kirk Sell, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • “But when you’re hospitalized, the social risk is still very high,” she said. “And you think: Maybe I’m safe from COVID, but what if I get into a car accident? Will I still be able to find a place in the hospital?”

Bottom-line: While the risks are still very real, we as a country are also learning how to live with this virus.

  • “We are coming to see ourselves as a country and a world that has no end,” Lena Wayne, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, told Nerdshala.
  • “It wouldn’t be fair to close schools or shut down our economy every few months,” Wayne said.

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