The Variants Are Coming! The Variants Are Coming! The Worst One Yet!

by Kerry Dougherty

Looks like it has arrived.

I’m talking about the eagerly anticipated “Mid-Term Variant.” You know, the “worst one yet, the shape-shifting” variety. It’s the terrifying BA.5, which is spreading right now. And if that doesn’t have you trembling and reaching for an N95, the BA2.75 is on its way. From India!

This one is nicknamed “Centaurus” to compound the sense of danger.

Best of all, Centaurus is expected to surge in the fall. Just in time for the mid-term elections. Back under the beds, everyone!

Mail-in ballots are next. You didn’t think the left was just going to lay down and lose, did you?

They’re already busy across the country ginning up the fear and ignoring the fact that although the new versions of COVID are highly contagious they’re also milder than the original.

And medical “experts” continue to scold Americans for not getting boosters. Yet even they admit that the horrible-worst-ever-shape-shifting virus “easily evades” the current vaccines.

The vaxxed, boosted and perpetually masked Dr. Fauci — who went into hiding after he contracted COVID not once but twice in a two-week period — reappeared this week to tell everyone to be sure to get vaxxed, boosted and wear masks again.

Just like he did.

That’s a hard no, Doc. As a matter of fact, you’re the poster boy for the ineffectiveness of masks and boosters.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles County announced yesterday that it’s on the verge of another sweeping mask mandate.

California. Sigh.

Those of us in saner parts of the country realize that surges and lulls in the pandemic come and go regardless of masks or vaccines. As a result, many of us have moved on. Yes, we all know COVID is still out there and spreading. We also know — because we’ve all had it — that this is, for most of us, a mild disease, easily survivable.

But from now until November there will be those who believe that no runny nose should escape a stiff swab up the nostril to see if this might be a dreaded new variant. If it is, the CDC will tell the cold sufferers to take a test, stay home and then wear a mask everywhere they go for another week.

Shoot, in some places, they’re actually testing waste water to see if the virus is present.

News flash: If the only way you can tell if the pandemic is raging is to test the sewage, don’t bother.

Fact is, lots of people are infected. Few are sick enough to be hospitalized.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s yesterday’s map of hospitalizations from The New York Times:

As you can see, large swaths of the country have zero hospitalizations. Here in Tidewater? The largest city, Virginia Beach with a population of 460,000, has exactly 22 patients hospitalized with COVID. That’s 7 out of every 100,000 people in the city. Frankly, I like those odds.

Norfolk has 39 in hospitals. Chesapeake has 16 COVID patients, Portsmouth has 4 and Suffolk has 8.

Doesn’t look like local health care systems are exactly collapsing under the strain.

If you want to wear a mask — or five — please do. Leave the rest of us out of it.

Most Americans are done with the hype. Healthy people no longer want to be told to cover their faces in public and shouldn’t feel guilty about refusing to participate in pandemic theater.

Shoot, even CNN’s medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen, who once said unvaccinated people shouldn’t be allowed to leave their homes, admitted this week that although the newest variant spreads easily, it results in mostly mild illnesses that most people will risk.

“I don’t think that most people should have to change their daily activities,” Wen said this week. “But I do think people need to be aware of their risk of contracting Covid-19 if they don’t take additional precautions.”

As the American fear machine revs up Virginians can be thankful for one thing: We elected Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Unlike New Yorkers and Californians, we don’t have to worry about new lockdowns, forced masking or government vax mandates.

We voted that out when we voted common sense in.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.