The NY Times writes that pandemic fatigue has set in and people want to get on with their lives – and are getting on with their lives.
Back in 2006, a group of epidemiologists wrote a paper explaining why all of these public health mitigation steps do not work in the real world. This cannot go on forever, and what cannot go on forever, will not go on forever.
Empirically, public health measures have generally failed as new “positive test” counts climb rapidly higher. Places with mask mandates starting in April did well for a few months – until cases exploded in late summer and fall.
Most of the public discourse centers on an assumption that these Orders actually work – they often didn’t and most are not sustainable. This was well known from long ago.
As the epidemiologists wrote in 2006, pandemics end when population immunity is reached, a vaccine is available – or people just say to hell with it and get on with their lives. And, yes, that is what they said. And that is what is happening.
A related problem is that a growing number of people no longer trust public health due to long standing inconsistent, contradictory, incoherent and untrue messaging.
In the Czech Republic, a politically divided nation, people met the initial order to shelter at home this spring with an unusual show of unity. They began a national mask sewing campaign, recognized around the world for its ingenuity. Confidence in the government, for its handling of the crisis, reached a record 86 percent.
Since then, support for the government response has plummeted, and the country is now experiencing the fastest increase in virus cases in Europe. Roughly half of the more than 150,000 cases recorded in the Czech Republic have come in the past two weeks, and more than half of the country’s nearly 1,300 deaths have come this month.
The Czech Republic was ground zero for the start of the #MasksForAll campaign. Promoters said that Czechia proved face masks worked. And if only all other countries would make home made cotton face masks, Covid-19 would be eradicated within weeks. Even the CDC Director said that in late summer – yet with 80-90% face mask wearing compliance, cases have exploded. Public health is unable to explain why.
And Czechia is now a total disaster zone. Since everyone loves making correlations, what correlates with this rise?