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The "new normal" after COVID-19
We should maintain good habits even while we reject bad and foolish advice. Pandemic mitigation is much bigger than wearing masks.
It seems to some like the COVID-19 pandemic will never end, and it seems to others that restrictions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus will never end. But are there aspects to the COVID-19 pandemic response that should become the new normal? Yes. It would be very easy for conservatives to look at this editorial with snark and sarcasm, but there is something worth considering here.
Where I disagree is the focus on masking. The best way to avoid catching a disease is not to be exposed to it. This means that those who are symptomatic should stay home when sick. Those who must be indoors in public spaces should wear a mask, but quarantine is better. This works not only for COVID-19, but also for influenza and the common cold. Do not expose people to the viruses you are carrying.
This also means that the advice of "health" officials to wear a mask when having one night stands is utterly absurd and anti-science. It also means that it is utterly irresponsible for so-called "experts" to refuse to acknowledge that promiscuity is dangerous and spreads disease when they are making public statements about the spread of Monkeypox. When these so-called "experts" refuse to advocate sexual restraint, we know they either have no interest in actually containing Monkeypox outbreaks or they are putting Political Correctness and sexual licentiousness over public health and human lives.
Yes, many of the COVID-19 restrictions were overbearing, some were ineffective and some were counterproductive. The lockdowns, in addition to not actually preventing deaths from COVID-19 and crashing the global economy, actually caused people to die by increasing "deaths of despair" - suicide, overdoses and alcoholism. There is also the negative effect that depression has on physical health.
But the excesses and errors of the public health establishment during the COVID-19 pandemic (and the silly effort to double down on those errors) should not make us abandon everything that was advised during the pandemic. Some of it is still good and we should hang onto it. So yes, continue to wash your hands, stay home when sick, and cover your mouth when you cough. Wear a mask when you feel it is necessary. Do not reflexively reject good advice because of the foolish advice.
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