By Iron Tiger
There is no topic in the world that I am sicker of than COVID-19. 2020 was a miserable year, a lot of bad things happened to this country, and I firmly believe that the overwhelming majority of people do not wish to relive or relitigate it. Many people spent that time locked down in their homes, unable to leave while raiders and looters burnt their cities down around them in “fiery but mostly peaceful protests” egged on by the dishonest news media. Few politicians led with a steady hand, while many embraced their inner tyrant, forcing people to wear masks and get a vaccine that was rushed to market by the administration at the time with Project Warp Speed. Jobs were lost, entire industries evaporated, and many people lost loved ones. It was a painful time, so most people just wanted to move on. To hammer home that point, even Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire, and Megyn Kelly have observed that when they discuss Covid, their numbers dip. No one wants to talk about this anymore… and neither do I, but I am hearing rumblings in political circles that the politicians are not ready to let us move on.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been hearing about the return of mask mandates. I don’t think that’s a good idea, considering that the longer those went on, the more people became resistant to the idea, but at the same time, there was a small but vocal faction that was very pro-mandates, willing to whip out their phones and record themselves picking public fights with people who didn’t wear masks and post them to the Internet for the accolades they’d receive from the partisans of their side of the aisle… and it absolutely became partisan. Those same people may yet be invigorated by another round of these mandates, as it gives them a chance to earn a dopamine hit by accosting strangers once more. But if I’m being honest, I don’t think there’s a large appetite for this. Enter Eris.
Eris is the latest strain of Covid-19. And like other strains before it, it has the press spooked, and some partisans giddy for another crisis they won’t let go to waste. But should we be worried about it? Or is it like previous strains, more virulent, but significantly less deadly? For that we look to Yale Medical. While Eris has a scary name, named after the Greek Goddess of chaos and strife, it is indeed more virulent and less deadly. “So far, EG.5 isn’t setting off any alarms as far as disease severity, although early reports show it may be more transmissible—it has surpassed XBB.1.16 (or Arcturus), another highly contagious Omicron subvariant that was in the news just a few months ago.”-1
Eris is a descendent of Omicron, and Omicron was far less deadly than the original strain. Its symptoms are not worse than any prior variants. The Yale report quotes Scott Roberts, MD as saying, “I am not aware of data that suggests EG.5 leads to worse cases of COVID-19 compared to prior variants…”-2. As he is a specialist in infectious diseases, if he is saying this variant is no worse than its predecessors, I can’t justify any panic over it.
The long and short of it is that I don’t think we will see a return of mask mandates. This new strain’s name might be scary, but it simply doesn’t have the degree of lethality that can justify the sort of mandates we saw in 2020. We, as a public, are also much more aware of COVID-19, and it’s much less scary these days since we’ve been living with it for a few years. COVID-19 no longer has the newness that led the public to respond with fear.
What does concern me, however, is that there are people out there who would even entertain such mandates again. It suggests that there is an element out there eager for another crisis that they can take advantage of to justify putting their thumbs down on the heads of the people. And that is a character trait that should never be allowed the levers of power again.
-1 What to Know About EG.5 (Eris)—the Latest Coronavirus Strain, Kathy Katella,
Yale Medicine, www.Yale medicine.com, https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-eg5-eris-latest-coronavirus-strain#:~:text=This%20summer%2C%20that%20strain%20is,than%20any%20other%20single%20strain. Accessed 8/27/28