Letter: The pandemic is not over

Published: 6/6/2022 6:02:26 PM
Modified: 6/6/2022 6:00:18 PM

We are in the midst of a silent surge that is not being reported or addressed due to cuts to funding for tests, treatments, research, and surveillance. The U.S. recently reported 219,267 confirmed cases in one day. Conservative estimates of the true number suggest that it was actually over 1,000,000.

The Biden administration has warned that the U.S. could see another 100 million infections by the end of the year. The CDC has also said that 1 in 5 adult COVID survivors have developed Long COVID, a term describing the postviral complications of COVID. It includes conditions such as lymphopenia, dysautonomia, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, and cortical gray matter loss.

This is a mass disabling event and constitutes a serious threat to the long-term health and economic well-being of the country. The unmitigated spread of a biosafety level 3 virus known to cause blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, cognitive impairment, immunodeficiency, and autoimmunity should not be tolerated.

The idea that the virus will become milder over time is a misunderstanding of pathogen evolution and ignores the characteristics of Omicron and its subvariants. Furthermore, vaccination and infection have not produced durable immunity in the population. That is why I am urging Granite Staters to mandate universal masking (N95/equivalent or better), use HEPA filters and Corsi-Rosenthal boxes in shared spaces, and stay home if symptomatic. Until we have sterilizing vaccines, nonpharmaceutical interventions can still reduce transmission.

Creighton Ward



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