From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:
Let’s Be Over and Done in ’21
December 16, 2020
It’s only natural to be frightened of getting a needle stuck in your arm loaded with a novel vaccine developed at such a pace that few besides the optimistic President Trump believed it could be rolled out this year.
Likewise, it’s common to be either hypochondriacal about a new infectious disease or dismissive of its dangers. A huge number of Americans assume COVID poses an apocalyptic menace, while others try to loudly reassure themselves that they must be virtually invulnerable.
My view, though, is that it’s time to get the damn pandemic over and done with.
It’s important to note that COVID is a crisis of moderate magnitude, neither “Just the flu, bro” nor the end of the world (as I will demonstrate below). The problem is that it’s been very hard to come up with a measured, moderate response proportionate to the dangers of an infection that spreads exponentially and thus tends to be either growing or shrinking.
As Tyler Cowen has pointed out, it’s very hard to fight coronavirus to a draw. It’s probably beyond our skill set. Instead, at any point in time, the place where you live is either winning over it or losing to it.
Fortunately, with the delivery of the first of several vaccines, we are now finally at the point where victory is in sight, assuming Americans don’t botch the opportunity to put this whole awful experience in our past. But a large enough number of us must choose to win.
The two quite similar vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have proved themselves highly effective. From FDA analyses of their clinical trials:
Moderna vaccine: Only eleven COVID cases were seen in the vaccine group versus 185 in the equal-size placebo group.
Pfizer vaccine: Eight cases in the vaccine group, 162 cases in the placebo group.
Combined: Nineteen cases in the vaccine group, 347 in the placebo group. (That’s not an insignificant sample size.)
Read the whole thing there.