On Friday, TIME shared a thread on Twitter to do with "COVID Questions," sparking very little confidence that we can get back to normal when it comes to the Wuhan coronavirus. The person asking has been fully vaccinated, received their booster, and has had the virus.
COVID Questions: I'm vaccinated, boosted and had COVID-19. Can I go back to normal now?— TIME (@TIME) January 28, 2022
Thread ?? https://t.co/X6Ql9lpU6X
The lengthy thread from TIME is full of the most fear-mongering answers, despite how this person has done everything they could have done to protect themselves, from vaccines to natural immunity.
The experts referenced in the piece do not appear to answer the question, based on the points made, such as how "there doesn’t seem to be a point at which the risk of infection completely disappears."
As the piece also mentions:
But you shouldn’t ignore COVID-19 completely. While you may be well protected—at least for a few months—others in your community are more vulnerable, which makes it important to slow COVID-19’s spread as much as possible. It’s always smart to limit your exposure to sick people, stay home if you develop respiratory symptoms and keep an eye on hospitalization trends in your area. If the health system is struggling, authorities might ask everyone to temporarily resume some precautions, like indoor mask wearing, to avoid a collapse.
There’s also no predicting if or when there will be another new variant that challenges your hard-won immunity. And researchers are still learning about long-term complications from the virus that could affect both unvaccinated and vaccinated people, like Long COVID.
If a zero risk is what it takes for us to "go back to normal," which TIME could be suggesting here, then we can never expect to be able to do so. It's also worth pointing out that the person, referred to as A.B., asks whether he or she "can go back to normal," not when COVID will disappear completely.
The piece does advocate for the benefits boosters provide, which includes breakthrough cases being "mild," as well as benefits of natural immunity for those who do get COVID, though one should not purposefully try to become infected with the virus. Another point discussed is a "grace period" of when people are unlikely to get sick again.
The most reassuring advice is not mentioned until the end of the piece, though, and is left out of the Twitter thread completely, a thread that emphasizes fear-mongering.
The body gets better at fighting it after each exposure or vaccine dose, but there doesn’t seem to be a point at which the risk of infection completely disappears ?? pic.twitter.com/OukdEBtAFx— TIME (@TIME) January 28, 2022
That’s especially true if you’re elderly, have underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised— TIME (@TIME) January 28, 2022
Assuming you’re generally healthy, experts say that leaves you with a grace period of at least three to six months during which you’re unlikely to get sick again ??— TIME (@TIME) January 28, 2022
But you shouldn’t ignore COVID-19 completely. While you may be well protected—at least for a few months—others in your community are more vulnerable, which makes it important to slow COVID-19’s spread as much as possible pic.twitter.com/d70EBvRlTp— TIME (@TIME) January 28, 2022
Moreover, there’s no predicting if or when there will be another new variant that challenges your hard-won immunity.— TIME (@TIME) January 28, 2022
Read more ?? https://t.co/X6Ql9lpU6X
It's already a long thread. They couldn't make it a little longer?
As the piece closes with:
Still, many Americans are far more protected than they were in 2020 or even last year, thanks to vaccines and prior exposures to the virus. If you’re generally healthy, fully vaccinated and boosted and have recently recovered from a breakthrough infection, you are currently about as safe from COVID-19 as you can be.
“For a lot of people, the risk is kind of the same as the risk of getting a cold or a mild flu,” [Dr. Rachel Presti, an infectious disease researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis] says. “We used to live with that.” And before too long, we will again.
It's worth noting that, as Matt reported earlier this month, the virus could become endemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says that it is “entirely conceivable and likely” that, one day, Americans will live with COVID-19 like they do with the common cold and flu.— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) December 21, 2021
He shares that this won’t be achievable without increased vaccination and boosting among the eligible population. pic.twitter.com/WcACTqg5wW
And, as Dr. Anthony Fauci himself admitted last December on CBS Mornings that it's "entirely conceivable and likely" that Americans will learn to live with the virus, like they do with the flu and cold. Perhaps TIME should lead with that if they want to be honest with people.