A Covid Coda

Anthony Fauci testified today before the House Oversight Committee. If any significant news emerged, I haven’t seen it. In the part I watched, the most disgraceful moments were furnished by the ranking Democrat, Jamie Raskin, who said the Republicans were attacking Fauci to distract attention from the failures of Joe Biden’s predecessor, whose mishandling of the virus caused 400,000 needless deaths. Thus redefining chutzpah.

On the Republican side, Marjorie Taylor Greene went on an angry rant, attacking Fauci for, among other things, killing dogs. She purported to speak for the dog lovers of America. Maybe Greene is angling for the VP slot, now that Kristi Noem is out of the picture.

It seems to me that the rest of us have moved on. This is exemplified by a headline in yesterday’s New York Times morning email, with the subject heading “Is it Covid, allergies or a cold?”

Tricky, indeed. Early on, covid was, for some, more serious than a cold or a typical seasonal flu. Now, covid is more or less indistinguishable from a cold, which, like covid, is a cluster of coronaviruses. In the last four years I have had four colds. One of them, no different from the rest, tested positive for covid. Virtually all of us have had covid, and I think that my experience is typical, especially in recent years.

There certainly are lessons to be drawn from the covid epidemic, mostly relating to the folly of the proto-fascist government orders that destroyed tens or hundreds of thousands of small businesses, devastated the lives of young people, and forced many old people to die alone. Those proto-fascist measures were not just repressive but ineffective. We all caught covid anyway, as should have been easily predictable.

But it is far from clear that those obvious lessons have been learned, so that a future epidemic response will be more intelligent.

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