Editor’s note: This previously unpublished post is seeing the light of day today, 3 Dec 2021, as the Omicron variant has begun to sicken Americans, sending the covid epidemic into a third distinct phase. The basic distinction made here, in the divergent risks the virus poses to the vaccinated and unvaccinated, remains as salient today as in September, when this piece was composed.
Instead of continuing to wane. the pestilence known as COVID is surging, and a nasty new phase of the pandemic lies ahead. Since the more contagious delta variant arrived from overseas, it has moved into areas previously left untouched. More Americans in out-of-the-way places are getting sick. Delta is spreading over the South and other “red” regions where a fatalistic or defiant attitude toward preventive measures reigns.
At the same time, delta confounds the simple narrative of “victory through vaccination” that federal officials and the scientific community have been telling. Two starkly different fates await the vaccinated and unvaccinated, but, unfortunately, even vaccinated people are still contracting and transmitting the disease. Continue reading