It seems like we’re beginning to detect a pattern here. Joe Biden recently announced that he would be requesting funding for yet another vaccine intended to combat the latest strains of COVID making the rounds. But public interest in the experimental vaccines has declined sharply this year, to put it charitably. So the legacy media seems to be gearing up to see if they can get everyone into a panic over some sort of resurgence of the pandemic. One example of that trend showed up at CNN yesterday, with an unsubtle title reading, “It seems like everyone has COVID-19. Here’s why this wave is probably worse than official data suggests.” That came as a surprise to me, since I hadn’t been hearing much of anything locally suggesting that there were more COVID patients than usual, though there clearly have been cases showing up around the country and possibly even a couple of new variants.
Covid-19 certainly didn’t take a vacation this summer. Virus levels in the US have been on the rise for weeks, but it’s hard to know exactly how widely it’s spreading.
Federal data suggests that the current increases have stayed far below earlier peaks and notable surges. But judging by word of mouth among family, friends and coworkers, it can seem like everyone knows someone who’s sick with Covid-19 right now.
“We have several folks down with Covid, unfortunately,” one health-focused nonprofit told CNN when seeking comment for this story.
You’ll notice right off the bat that the title of the CNN article carefully uses words and phrases including “seems like” and “probably.” That’s because we really don’t know how many cases of COVID there are at the moment, so they’re basing this analysis mostly (though not entirely) on anecdotal evidence. People are no longer snapping up test kits like they did when the government was distributing them freely. Doctor’s offices in most places are no longer automatically testing for COVID unless the patient appears to be symptomatic. The CDC’s latest numbers are formulated based largely on estimates.
They’re trying to shift to reports of hospitalizations to get a handle on the size of the current COVID “wave,” but even that plan doesn’t inspire much confidence. Hospitals still report all of the cases they discover, but their procedures have also changed. During the height of the pandemic, hospitals were testing everyone who came through the door. We now know that such procedures badly distorted the numbers. If you were brought to the hospital because you crashed your motorcycle and you tested positive, you were listed as a “COVID hospitalization” even if you were completely asymptomatic. Now they are testing fewer people, specifically the ones who seem to be showing symptoms.
It seems pretty obvious that the White House would like to get everyone back into a heightened state of fear over whatever the latest COVID variant happens to be and CNN is playing along. Before you know it, they’ll be pushing the next booster vaccine heavily and trying to get everyone to mask up again, despite masks having been shown to be almost entirely useless. If they think they can get away with closing the schools again, they’ll probably try. And the teachers’ unions will happily go along with them.
But if I’m reading the room correctly, I have some bad news for the White House and all of the Anthony Faucis of the world. It really does feel like people are over this and there is a lot of lingering resentment over the original handling of the pandemic response. Even under the most charitable view that assumes the government didn’t do anything bad intentionally, they certainly got a lot of important things wrong. We supposedly should have learned from that entire debacle so we don’t repeat those mistakes when the next pandemic arrives.
But I’m definitely starting to get the impression that the Biden administration doesn’t want to wait for the next pandemic. They want to revive the last one and send us all scrambling for the lifeboats. Whether they learned anything or not will be revealed based on how many new executive orders are pouring out of the White House. Yet if they do try it, I get the sense that they’ll be seeing a lot more resistance and noncompliance than they’re anticipating.