An article in The New York Times, published on May 3, reveals a dramatic shift in the narrative concerning coronavirus and the future.
Gone are the declarations that Covid is a temporary phenomenon, to be defeated by masks, lockdowns and herd immunity. Quoting Rustom Antia, who is a virologist with Emory University, the article promotes the hypothesis that Covid is now forever.
Dr. Antia stated that “The virus is unlikely to go away.”
The article goes on to quote Dr. Anthony Fauci, a previously strong prior promoter of the herd immunity thesis as saying:
“People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is.”
In a paragraph that might send chills down the spine of those yearning to be free from the yoke of virus restrictions, the Times article reports that “Polls show that about 30 percent of the U.S. population is still reluctant to be vaccinated. That number is expected to improve but probably not enough. ‘It is theoretically possible that we could get to about 90 percent vaccination coverage, but not super likely, I would say,’ said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.”
In a dramatic reversal from the promises that we would sooner or later return to normal, the article goes on to explore the apparently novel conclusions that viruses spread persistently, and that a vaccination skeptical populace is aiding and abetting the persistence of this spread. The article states “…experts now calculate the herd immunity threshold to be at least 80 percent. If even more contagious variants develop, or if scientists find that immunized people can still transmit the virus, the calculation will have to be revised upward again.”