Thank you everyone who wrote last month to confirm that only journalists really care what happens to Twitter. As Elon Musk’s weird dance between buying a company and swearing to oblivion continues, it’s a useful reminder for us not to get too hung up – although now that he can access a firehose full of Twitter user data, you power worry about what is he going to do about it. Here is an update.
It’s Pride Month in the USA, and as such, I’m proud to present as WIRED’s first Queer Editor-in-Chief Marin McKenna’s New Story about an event that demonstrated the resilience of the LGBTQ community: the Covid-19 outbreak last July in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
You may remember this (if you remember anything from a year ago during the pandemic) as the moment you learned the phrase “infection breakthrough”. Tens of thousands of mostly gay people took to the streets and filled nightclubs over the weekend of July 4th, and while most were vaccinated, Covid swept through the city, eventually infecting some 1,100 people.
The outbreak seemed like a cautionary tale at the time, and there were subtle echoes of post-HIV/AIDS gay stigmatization. But as Marin’s report shows, it’s now clear that it was, in fact, a success story. A wave in Provincetown could have resulted in hundreds of thousands of additional cases. Instead, he sighed. Although the Delta devastated the US that summer, genetic analysis showed that almost none of the infections originated in Provincetown. Officials were able to track and contain the outbreak thanks to two things: Massachusetts’ unusually good public health and medical research infrastructure, and the gay community’s ingrained habit of being transparent about infectious diseases. As Centers for Disease Control specialist Marin said, “It was amazing. Other CDC staff will tell you this is unlike any other group they’ve dealt with in terms of getting information.”
However, here’s the thing: As hopeful as the Provincetown story is, if anything, it just highlights how difficult it is to control Covid without these unusual circumstances. Indeed, as we have reported, the US ability to track and reflect future waves of the virus is declining, not improving, as funding is shrinking as well as test data becomes inhomogeneous. Currently evolutionary war between humans and SARS-CoV-2, the virus wins, at least in the sense that it started develop much faster than we can keep up. we have quite a few started to live with it and accepted it we will keep catching it. It is true that the disease does not become more deadly with subsequent sub-options of Omicron, but there is still no guarantee that this trend will continue. As our strategies for living with this disease evolve with the virus, what public health measures, if any, do you want to keep? What lessons do you think the United States and the world are not learning? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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