The Daily Heller: Is COVID Over? Or Just the Lockdown?

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When, as a kid, I was bored and restless from being stuck in bed for a week from a cold, flu or whatever pestilence had rained down upon me for sins known and unknown, my mom used to say: “If you go outside, you’ll get a relapse.” I hated that word: relapse. I still hate that combination of letters and all that it signifies. So, when I read my New York Times email summary, The Morning, early yesterday afternoon (see below), I immediately felt chills, headache, feverish and stomach discomfort. That’s how strong the psychological response and how short the intellectual reaction time is to the idea of lifting many COVID-19 restrictions too early. And in my unscientific opinion, it is still too early!

Vaccinations are not vacations! Jabbed or no, we’re still at war. Even though restrictions have been eased, please stick it out (and stay inside) a little while longer.

Billboard by Maira Kalman, Times Square, March 2020.

If you you’ve forgotten what it was like just a year ago, go here (thanks to Adobe) for a glimpse back at the height of the coronavirus downturn (uplifting, yes, but artists don’t cure—they help to warn and remind). Please, Government, Citizens, People: Heed the warnings.

From the Times:

Better does not mean over

It’s true that the COVID news over the past month has been enormously positive. Regular readers know that I think journalists and scientists have sometimes been too dour—to the point of presenting a misleading picture, especially about the vaccines. Still, there is a big difference between a less severe problem and a solved problem.

The pandemic is a long way from over. The number of confirmed new cases has stopped falling in the past two weeks, both in the U.S. and worldwide, perhaps because of the spread of highly contagious new virus variants. In the U.S., the average daily number of cases is higher than at almost any point last summer. Over the past week, more than 2,000 Americans have died each day on average—worse than any point last summer.