Health and Medicine

COVID is another forever war

By Samuel Goldman The Week

There’s no exit strategy when the enemy is already among us.

It’s déjà vu all over again. First, the weeks of official denial. Then bad news becomes impossible to ignore, prompting a shift in policy. The new policy offers an increase in resources to combat the problem while demanding temporary sacrifices in order to reach the goal.

This pattern became familiar during the war in Iraq, when the term “surge” was introduced to the national lexicon. It was repeated in Afghanistan, where successive waves of reinforcement failed to prevent Taliban encroachment. And this week, the Biden administration is reenacting the cycle in its response to the Omicron variant of COVID.

It’s a different enemy, but almost the same script.

Like previous surges, though, the battle of Omicron is likely to fail. That’s not because the measures the administration announced are necessarily bad. To the contrary, new initiatives such as the provision of free tests are good and long overdue (if possibly too late to do much good at this point). But the president and his advisors are still unwilling to tell the truth: that COVID is with us for the foreseeable future — and possibly forever.


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