I know I wishfully say I hope Covid goes away from time to time, but does anyone actually think it’s going to happy?

Newsflash: Covid is not going away.

In my most optimistic scenario, Covid deaths decay at a rate of roughly 50% per year.

  • Year 1: 534K
  • Year 2: 267
  • Year 3: 133
  • Etc.

Except we are a little more than halfway through year 2, and we’ve already had 226K deaths.  I actually predicted that we’d have 267K deaths this year at the end of the first year, but clearly I was wrong.  I think, in fact, that we’re more likely to see a 25% year over year decline:

  • Year 1: 534K
  • Year 2: 400K
  • Year 3: 300K
  • Etc.

At that rate, it’ll take six years to get under 100K – or to the number of deaths for a very bad flu year.  Even that’s looking optimistic at this point.

The article to me is interesting in that it seems to imply most people have not accepted that Covid is not going away.  Are they awake?  I think there’s a good chance each of us will die of Covid.  More likely we’ll die of cancer or heart disease, but I’m guessing some kind of coronavirus along with other respiratory illnesses might take that third spot.  Not soon.  After 70, since everyone who reads this will keep up with their shots.  But sometime, probably in combination with other health problems, if it happens.

The article quotes one of my most hated people on earth, Jeff, the health czar for County:

Instead, the biggest shift in our new normal could be a growing societal embrace of protective measures, rather than a continued war over school mask wearing or workplace vaccine mandates. “People are not stupid,” said Dr. Jeffrey, the chief of the communicable disease, epidemiology and immunization section for public health in Seattle and King County. “They will come around to accept reality.” To him, the clashes over seatbelt wearing, and its ultimate acceptance, offer a useful comparison.

What Duchin is saying: school masking will be permanent and people will embrace it.  AKA, if you don’t want your kids to wear masks all day long for 13 years of school + 4 years of college, leave King County.

Duchin’s latest act in this area is to require proof of vaccination to enter most indoor spaces in the area.  I am all for vaccine mandates, but they have to be for things like jobs or long-term memberships (eg gyms).  The “papers please” situation we have here is not cool.

Here’s what it’s like in Seattle these days.  If you enter any indoor space these days, like the grocery store or the library, expect to hear announcements on loop saying you must wear a mask.  (This probably doesn’t happen in the library, as ours still has massively reduced hours, so it’s unlikely you’ll actually manage to get inside.  Safety first!)  You might hear a security announcement directing the security team to some area of the school where some person dared go with their face uncovered, as I did on my most recent trip.  (We still also have the plexiglass – do they have that everywhere?) If you enter most indoor spaces, you’ll need to show your vaccine card, or a photo of it.  Combined with the signs about plastic bag bans and the like, I honestly sometimes feel like I moved to the USSR without noticing.