Panic Porn: Most Americans Now Believe the Worst of COVID Is Still Ahead of Us

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Posted: Aug 04, 2021 1:05 PM
Panic Porn: Most Americans Now Believe the Worst of COVID Is Still Ahead of Us

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

It's been a bumpy ride for America and the world ever since the Wuhan Coronavirus first emerged in late 2019, killing millions around the world, and sickening many more.  People can be excused for feeling anxious about what lies around the next corner.  Adding to and amplifying the anxiety, however, are misleading and fear-mongering doomsayers who overstate risks, fail to provide meaningful context, and generally stoke overblown concerns -- distorting how the public feels about the pandemic.  By nearly any reasonable standard, the worst of this nightmare is behind us.  This is certainly true in countries with high vaccination rates.  In the United States, more than 70 percent of adults have received at least one vaccine shot, meaning that at least some robust protection is now widespread -- in addition to the existence of natural immunity.  "Breakthrough" cases among vaccinated people (like mine) are relatively rare, are much less severe, are shorter in duration, and appear to be less transmissible to others:


While the virus is still rampaging through unvaccinated populations (children, thank goodness, remain overwhelmingly low-risk), cases have been decoupled from hospitalizations among the vaccinated -- and from deaths overall because America has done a pretty good job of getting our most vulnerable citizens vaccinated.  The Delta wave, while serious due to the variant's enhanced contagiousness, will not be nearly as deadly as earlier waves.  The exact same wave spiked then plummeted in the UK, a trajectory that we are fairly likely to follow.  Nervous buzzing about a 'Delta-plus' variant seems to be overhyped as a threat, according to this doctor:


We are not collectively out of the woods yet, future variants could imperil the effectiveness of our outstanding vaccines (experts explain that the vaccines can be easily and quickly tweaked to keep up with mutations), and there are still ample causes for concern.  But to state the belief that the worst is yet to come on COVID is wildly unsupported by all available facts and evidence -- and the fact that said belief is now held by a majority of Americans is an infuriating indictment of our national media, as well as public health officials responsible for messaging to the public.  Irrational fear is overrunning reason and evidence:


Massive, humiliating screw-ups like this don't help, and have not exactly been infrequent:

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One can only hope that as the US Delta wave crests, then peters out (hopefully in a matter of a few weeks), the hysteria will recede as well, and people will begin to put things into better perspective.  On that front, I'll leave you with a happier thought -- be grateful that we have superb vaccines that work, unlike this weak sauce from China:

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