Pandemic Update: 2022 Feb, Pending Relaxations of Restrictions

The reduced local CoVid-19 Omicron transmissions here in Ontario and the Western world, has been a welcome sight for everyone. This has coincidentally merged with the frustration the Western world has experienced after living with the virus and pandemic for over two years. We all want to breath a sigh of relief and get back to a pre-pandemic life. We all wish to get back to living more normally. The restrictions must go and not return.

This confluence may actually come to pass, and all will be well. That said, the virus does not care for our wish to get back to living well, and only cares about procreating itself, which means infecting people and animals. Each CoVid-19 infection is another opportunity for the virus to mutate. In the month of 2022 January, with such a huge wave of infections, the Western world gave Omicron ample opportunities to do just that. The rest of the world has not even had a fair chance to immunize itself. Our Western-centric view of the world seems to exclude all other poorer countries and regions. Viruses need no encouragement to mutate.

People are fed up with restrictions, and I do sympathize, and this puts great pressure on politicians to do as the people wish, and relax restrictions. It has been tough for politicians to stand up for the greater good and protect people, even when people really do not appreciate it. There are calls for “freedom” from tyranny, whatever that means. After all, we are battling a virus, not someone else. Politicians are no longer willing to stick their necks out and protect us from ourselves. I do understand this. As restrictions fall, it is not the government and politicians that will feel the damage, but the people. It is time for people to take individual responsibility for their own risky behaviour. Drop the restrictions, social distancing and masking. Drop the vaccine mandates. Let us go back to our pre-pandemic life that we so miss dearly.

It is possible that this “social movement” will greatly benefit the next variant of CoVid-19. More people are socializing, more people are closer to each other. Less people are being vaccinated with boosters. In fact there are still 10% of our population that are unwilling to receive even a single dose of a free vaccine. This provides an excellent opportunity for the next CoVid-19 variant to make an entrance. Again the virus is using our social norms against us, this time with with the addition of time. We have run out of patience. Be damned and good riddance to this virus, as we want to go back to our restaurants and eat.

It was clear from Omicron that our world health early warning system is not sufficiently sensitive to detect variants until it is too late. We should thank South Africa for their science and support. This basic step, after so many variants have come and hurt mankind, should have but has not been learned. We need stricter schooling.

If and when a new CoVid-19 variant arrives, we will not be ready. We are, in fact less ready than we were for Omicron, because of our desire to open up when we lack deep knowledge of this virus. We throw caution to the wind, and the new variant will use this against us. Somewhere in our world, the variant prepares for its entrance.

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