Daily Column – 22nd December 2021

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Following in the footsteps of the presidents of other countries who have spoken out against the coronavirus, this time in support of the highly contagious Omicron form, President Barack Obama delivered a speech outlining new efforts the country will take to prevent another wave of the coronavirus.

The distribution of 500 million fast Covid tests will serve as the cornerstone of the strategy. Beginning in January, Americans will be able to go on to a new White House website to place orders for tests that will be delivered to their homes for free.

This type of testing, according to doctors, can be useful before Christmas gatherings or to check on your health after being exposed to someone who has the flu virus.
Covid quick tests are fairly trustworthy; they are believed to have fewer than one false positive for every 1,000 tests conducted in the laboratory setting.
For the first time since the pandemic began, the federal government of the United States will provide free quick tests to citizens of the United States. Many public health officials, who believe that frequent at-home testing is a vital tool in reducing the spread of the virus, were perplexed that it hadn’t done so already. And even 500 million at-home tests are only a fraction of what is required for Americans to test themselves at the twice-weekly rate that is suggested by the CDC.

What else did Vice President Biden have to say?

He has gathered 1,000 military soldiers with medical training who will be deployed to overloaded hospitals that are in desperate need of additional workers.
In addition, the government will establish additional pop-up testing centres throughout the country and dispatch hundreds of people to administer Covid shots to the public.
There was one element that wasn’t included in the speech…

Anything that resembles a “limitation” or a “lockdown” is prohibited, and this demonstrates how the United States’ approach to fighting the pandemic has altered over the past 20 months. Given the increasing frequency of breakthrough cases among vaccine recipients (as I can verify), the government is attempting to use testing and booster doses as a means of protecting individuals from serious sickness rather than shutting down social activities. Similarly, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, stated yesterday that no additional Covid limitations would be published before the holiday season begins.

Finally, as viewed from the White House, Biden’s address is an indication that the period of lockdowns in the United States appears to be finished and that the era of “living with the virus” is about to begin. However, as recent closures of sports venues, restaurants, and theatres demonstrate, Covid continues to cause severe disruptions, whether or not it is imposed by the government.

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