Public health chiefs and the media are working overtime to gin up hysteria
In March 2020, a profile of the typical COVID victim emerged from Italy. The average decedent was eighty years old, with approximately three comorbidities such as heart disease, obesity or diabetes. The young had little to worry about; the survival rate for the vast majority of the population was well over 99 percent.
That portrait never significantly changed. The early assessments of Covid out of Italy have remained valid through today. And so it will prove with the Omicron variant.
The data out of South Africa, after five weeks of Omicron spread, suggest that Omicron should be a cause for celebration, not fear. Its symptoms are mild to non-existent in the majority of the infected, especially the vaccinated; hospitalization rates are over nine times lower than for previous Covid strains; deaths are negligible. That assessment will only be confirmed as the US and other western countries gather their own data on Omicron.
Yet the public health establishment and the media are working overtime to gin up Omicron hysteria. The official response to the Omicron variant provides a case study in the deliberate manufacture of fear.
About Heather Mac Donald
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and the author of the bestselling War on Cops and The Diversity Delusion. Follow her on Twitter here.