The Covid narrative is shifting, perhaps faster than any of us could have imagined:
There were 17,260 active cases in the country, double the figure of a week ago. The R0 figure, representing the average number of people each virus carrier infects, grew further from 1.47 to 1.53, indicating the outbreak is intensifying.
However, the massive rise in infections has yet to translate to a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and serious cases. There were 88 serious patients, a similar number to the past few weeks, including 39 on ventilators and 18 on ECMO machines.
The death toll was at 8,243, with the past eight days seeing three new fatalities.
In light of the lack of immediate rise in serious illness, Channel 12 news reported Tuesday evening that senior officials in the Health Ministry have recently raised the option of switching to a “mass infection model.”
That would mirror Sweden’s policy in the early stage of the pandemic, which saw the country elect not to impose major restrictions on people who aren’t in risk groups, in a bid to continue normal life while eventually reaching herd immunity.
While that was widely seen as a failure, and Sweden then changed course, the increasing prevalence of the Omicron strain — which is more infectious than the Delta variant but causes milder illness — has led Israeli officials to mull such a move, the unsourced report said.
It said the slowed pace of child vaccination and the unwillingness to impose a lockdown or other major restrictions “don’t enable any other model.”
Officials have estimated that within two weeks, 90% of COVID-19 cases in Israel will be Omicron.
Israel is apparently about to just say, “Whatever” in regard to Covid.
The narrative shift continues. Israel has been basically about a month or so ahead of the US in terms of Covid, so it could be that we’re going to be the next country to adopt a “herd immunity” strategy.
It would mark an extraordinary reversal, but we’re at the point with omicron where it’s clear that Covid is nothing more than the cold, and people are growing increasingly intolerant of the restrictions.
It’s all crumbling before our eyes. Governments are beginning to admit that they don’t have the power to “stop” a virus from spreading, and more importantly, that it’s pointless to even try.
If only they’d realized this 2 years ago.