Thoughts on Covid, three years into the pandemic

I find myself thinking a lot about Covid this morning. It started with the news that an insider has come out with a book that states unequivocally that the SARS-CoV-2 release into the world was a lab accident, and that the virus is an engineered product. If that’s true, it’s mind-blowing. We did it to ourselves.

I’ve always thought that was a possibility, even likely. The virus first showed up in a city that hosts one of the world’s few BSL-4 virology labs. That lab is in China, but there are American ties to it too – we fund research there. So don’t bame China, it could have been Atlanta or Ft. Detrick or Boston. Occam’s Razor would point toward that lab as the source – the simplest explanation is almost always true. I tend to believe that the Wuhan BSL-4 lab was the source.

I wonder why the US government and media would push so hard for other explanations of the virus’ origin. Did they fear WW3 if US citizen’s were told that Covid was definitely a Chinese lab product? We’ll probably never know.

Then I think about my Dad, and wonder if he would still be here without Covid as a factor. Covid was the straw that broke the camel’s back in his case. Plus, Covid protocols and complications made the treatment of his base disease, congestive heart failure, problematic and certainly less effective than it would have been pre-Covid. On top of that, Covid made his last 2.5 years in the world much more lonely than they would have been. Fewer family visits, less human contact. Less time with his great grandkids. A real tragedy, one that I could never have imagined.

Then I think about how Covid changed the world, changed history. It broke the US economy. And it enabled a mentally ill, childish, venal US President to confuse the population about treatments and cause the US death rate to be the worst by far among all first-world nations. Yay for us, we’re #1.

Finally, I read today’s Eric Topol essay, The New Covid Wave, and I realize the nightmare isn’t over. Topol is one of the clearest, most informed voices out there on the subject, and he’s a little pessimistic about what’s happening right now. From his essay:

The main point is that we’re not doing what we can do to reduce the toll of the virus. That means for everyone (especially age 50+) getting a booster and using mitigation measures appropriately. It also means we’re poorly equipped to ever keep up with the virus, no less get ahead of it, having lost the power of monoclonal antibodies as a backstop and for the immunocompromised. This represents a do nothing posture and extends to not aggressively going after nasal vaccines and pan-β-coronavirus vaccines. The idea that current boosters could be used and effective on an annual basis is balderdash, given their durability is less than 6 months.

Topol points out, with a lot of supporting data, that the US’s abysmal performance in keeping citizens safe from the disease is continuing. We’re not very smart as a country these days. Perhaps this is just Darwin’s Law writ large – OK, you’re not going to step back from the precipice, so here’s a little push from yet another variant.

Of all the world-changing events that could have happened in my lifetime – first contact with aliens, invention of anti-gravity, colonizing Mars, rapid weight-loss that actually works – we get a pandemic. Go figure.