Different Takes: Worldwide Vaccination Efforts Need A Boost; Covid Testing Is Hurting Our Kids
Opinion writers examine these covid-related issues.
The Washington Post:
Global Vaccination Is Losing Momentum. Congress Can Help.
As Congress returns this week, it should quickly address the unfinished business of global pandemic vaccination coverage, which is losing momentum. Some $5 billion was omitted from the most recent covid-19 funding bill in a political compromise. But there can be no compromising with this virus. It must be fought in many lower-income countries, where vaccine uptake is low, to reduce the chances of another destructive variant. (4/25)
We Need To Stop Indiscriminately Testing For COVID. It's Harming Our Kids
There is a pervasive notion in the United States that doing more to fight any disease is always better. It's a sentiment that's only grown during the pandemic. In truth, we live in a world of tradeoffs with downsides to most medical interventions—which means that the ability to test is not always a reason to test. We do not, for example, regularly test everyone for HIV; it's clear in that case that the burdens can quickly outweigh the benefits. And yet, while most intuitively understand that we can't regularly test everyone for every disease, acknowledging that there are tradeoffs is something many seem to be struggling with when it comes to COVID-19. (Tracy Beth Hoeg and Ram Duriseti, 4/25)
Los Angeles Times:
California's Schools Don't Need A Vaccine Mandate — At Least, Not Right Now
Though experts’ understanding of COVID-19 has grown tremendously, the virus that causes it is an ever-changing story, challenging our ability to form policy that works from one season to the next. In January, when state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) introduced a bill to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for K-12 students, fears about the easily transmissible Omicron variant were at a high point. But months later, a vaccine mandate for school-age children seems less urgent — at least for the moment. (4/25)
The New York Times:
How Covid Breaks All the Rules of Human Narrative
In popular culture, a successful plot is a recognizable plot — the hero’s epic journey, the marriage’s inevitable consummation, the dashing warrior who slays the monster. Some narratologists argue that there are no more than a handful of basic plots — story lines that are recycled again and again, such as “the quest,” “rebirth” and “rags to riches.” Hollywood producers tend to agree, as illustrated by an old industry joke my father, a screenwriter, once told me about the head of production who demands a movie plot that is exactly the same as the last one — except different. As the coronavirus pandemic appears to be coming to an end — “the end” itself being a literary term of art — we may think we know its complete story. Covid has saturated the news and inundated media streams of all genus and species. But information is not a story. Nor are Facebook posts, TikTok videos, nor death and hospitalization statistics. (Frederick Kaufman, 4/23)