This is an excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter dedicated to making sense of this chaotic world we live in. Join the club here.
The pandemic isn’t really over
In a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, President Joe Biden said, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice no one is wearing masks, everybody seems to be in pretty good shape.”
Biden, my guy!
It’s true that the US is in a much better place than it was in 2020, thanks to effective vaccines and lifesaving treatments. But we’re also still experiencing an average of 360 deaths from the disease every day; nearly 1 in 5 adults in the US who have had the virus have debilitating long COVID; and less than 70% of Americans are fully vaccinated, leaving them vulnerable to severe disease if infected. Many public health experts insist that the virus is here to stay, and the US still needs better systems in place to prevent as much sickness and death as possible.
“It’s like a hurricane. When the winds come, you focus on getting through that first, but then after it passes, that’s when we put all of our time and effort into cleaning up and getting communities back to a place where they can function,” Dr. Emily Landon, a University of Chicago infectious disease expert. “I think that’s where we are with COVID; the storm isn’t over.”