Newsom’s grabbing for the brass ring before the ride stops.
Today’s infuriating headline is “California to unveil shift to ‘endemic’ approach to coronavirus“.
So, for those of you who haven’t been paying attention, “endemic” means accepting the disease as a part of “normal life”, as something that is just here to stay, and ceasing any significant or widespread attempts to suppress it.
Ya know, like the flu.
Which kills 12,000 – 52,000 people in the United States every year.
Which (I would argue) is actually quite a lot, and we should do more about that but apparently that’s a minority opinion.
So what would “endemic” COVID look like?
Well, COVID is currently killing 2,909 people every day in the United States, so “endemic COVID” at that level means accepting 1,061,785 deaths annually.
That may be a high-ball estimate, since now is still in the initial burst of infections for the omicron variant, but given the limited effectiveness (and rapid drop-off) of both the vaccines and natural immunity, it’s not unreasonable to expect a bad “endemic COVID” year to hit that level.
So what’s the best-case scenario?
Well, the lowest 7-day average in that CDC chart is 116 deaths per day, which comes out to 42,340 deaths per year. That was at the trough just before the delta variant though, and when we still had some measures in place, so it’s a very low-ball estimate.
So that puts the best “endemic COVID” year killing about 4/5 as many people as the worst flu year.
And the worst COVID year killing 20 times as many people as the worst flu year.
Which (I would argue) is not acceptable, but apparently that’s a minority opinion now too.