December 5, 2021

ROGER KIMBALL: Oh, Oh, Omicron!

So far, I have to say, it’s been pretty much of a dud—unless, that is, you’re the stock market, which has taken a beating this last week or so, in part because of this new kid on the medical block (there is also that much more toxic financial emergency, the Biden Administration, but that’s for another day). The new variant has also been a godsend for scolds, nags, bureaucrats, and meddlesome so-called public health officials nannies who are just itching for another excuse to lock down your world, introduce new travel restrictions, and impose new testing protocols.

How will it all play out? TSTS—Too Soon to Say, but I suspect this sequel is going to be a flop at the box office. For one thing, although only recently named, there is abundant evidence that Omicron has been around for months. If it had been previously unnamed, that is perhaps because it is no big deal. The South African doctor who first identified the strain noted that while the virus was possibly more contagious than versions named for letters earlier in the Greek alphabet, symptoms tended to be mild, indeed “very mild.” A typical news report notes that “patients mostly suffered from mild muscle aches, scratchy throat and dry cough.” (Remember colds? Remember the flu?)

So why the panic? Partly, it is because panic is an antidote to boredom. People are heavily bored. Panic also licenses the people who want to run your life to, well, run your life. “Most Omicron cases so far have been mild,” runs one headline, “but experts say it will take weeks to understand how severe the variant can be.” Ah, “experts”! What would we do without them?

One thing we’d do is ride public transportation without wearing a mask. But apparently there are sufficient numbers of people who are cowed enough, or bored enough, to don the little badge of their submission and pretend that they are not only “staying safe” but keeping you safe, too. Where did your mother tell you that road paved with good intentions led?

Here’s the reality: the COVID “pandemic” is over. I hasten to add: also, it will never end.

Earlier: Panic is a Lifestyle Brand.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.