The Omicron variant is ‘burning through’ the global community, leading to the reinstatement of “lockdowns” and the strict enforcement of mask and vaccine mandates. But there are numerous data points that demonstrate that the Covid pandemic as the world has known it is effectively “over.”
Natural immunity from prior infections appears to have surged past 200 million people — a threshold once touted by the Mayo Clinic as constituting “herd immunity.” The latest research on natural immunity shows definitively it is more robust and longer-lasting than ‘vaccinated immunity.’ (That Covid experts are now recommending as many as four shots is a tacit admission that their vaccine regimen has failed to deliver as promised.)
New research also suggests that the fast-spreading but ‘generally mild’ Omicron variant has transferability of natural immunity to other variants. A team of more than thirty academic researchers in Africa shows that Omicron infection led to a “4.4-fold” enhancement of Delta virus neutralization.
No wonder that while “cases” are up — a testing spree continues to fuel the impression that the pandemic is still an imminent threat — deaths and real hospitalizations (meaning ICU and ER visits, not routine testing) are way down.
A state by state analysis based on multiple datasets shows that the “Covid pandemic” continues to hang over several states’ response to the Omicron variant surge.
The Washington Post’s dataset shows a comparison of states’ daily new death rates per 100,000 between the last week and the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. (Open image in new tab for closer look.)
"*" indicates required fields
As can be seen from the blue lines (reflecting the Omicron-surge death rate) and the red lines (the Covid wild variant dominant on January 20), America is not experiencing anything like the death rates at the beginning of the year. The January 20 date is relevant not only in terms of policy changes, but due to the implementation of the vaccine regimen, which appears to correlate with lower mortality in states.
Becker’s Hospital Review also lists the current top states for daily deaths per 100,000 in the United States.
- Alaska: 1.7
- New Mexico: 1.09
- Michigan: 1.06
- Arizona: 0.92
- Ohio: 0.85
- Pennsylvania: 0.73
- Tennessee: 0.72
- Kentucky: 0.71
- New Hampshire: 0.67
- Wisconsin: 0.65
BHR responsibly explains that these numbers reflect those in the U.S.who have “died after contracting COVID-19.” Since the CDC reports that 95% of such deaths are people with severe underlying conditions, these are not ‘undercounts’ as several media outlets erroneously report. They are deaths that show correlation, and not causation: It is “Covid-related mortality.” If anything, it overstates the mortality picture by conflating deaths from multiple causes as if they all point to a single cause: Covid-19.
There are a number of states that are seeing a massive “case” surge (including people who are asymptomatic, but merely test positive), but are nonetheless continuing to see declining death rates since the end of the Delta surge.
Florida is illustrative. It is an outstanding test case because it is a large state that does not have lockdowns, mask mandates, or vaccine mandates (although it has relatively high vaccination rates among the elderly in particular).
The mainstream media continue to exaggerate the “cases” as if they are indicative of a public policy failure. But it is really the outcomes that should preoccupy us: A case surge with declining or flat hospitalization and death rates is a positive thing because it hastens herd immunity.
Let us compare New York. It is also seeing an Omicron case surge, mandates vaccines for state workers, mandates masks even for the vaccinated, and has “vaccine passports” in New York City.
As one can see, there is no policy outcome gain from these strict Covid response measures in New York, at least at this stage of the Omicron variant surge. This has been the case for New York throughout the Covid pandemic: It has consistently been among the worst in deaths per 100,000.
Meanwhile, in nearby New Jersey, another state that has consistently enforced strict Covid response measures, the deaths per 100,000 is slightly increasing. But the seven-day average is still 21 reported deaths in a state of nearly 9 million people.
The shell game of conflating the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant, widely described as being like the Common Cold, will continue on. If anyone in a state dies and tests positive for the variant (or even if public health officials suspect Covid) it will be counted as a “Covid-related” death.
But the experience of tens of millions of people who are getting the Omicron-type version of Covid — despite “vaccines” and boosters — will make it increasingly hard to mask the reality: America is not currently experiencing a Covid “pandemic,” but an endemic virus that is similar in many ways to the Common Cold.
This new Covid reality will make it harder for elected leaders and unelected public health officials to continue to issue authoritarian mandates based on the notion this is an “emergency” that entails suspending democratic norms and constitutional processes.