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It is time for a COVID-19 pandemic Plan C

Sensible individuals and liberals have a tough time admitting they’re mistaken, particularly once they aren’t. When pragmatism fails for causes that shouldn’t have occurred, they need the foundations modified or the opposing malice/corruption/incompetence uncovered in order that their unique plan can proceed.

Higher in the event that they admit that their plan ought to have labored however didn’t, after which transfer to a brand new plan which may succeed the place the final one failed. That’s the place we’re proper now with COVID-19.

Plan A was herd immunity. We endured lockdowns, masks and distancing to gradual the unfold and purchase us time till vaccines — Plan B — might be developed to guard us. Scientists don’t know the precise share of an immune or inoculated inhabitants that will trigger the virus to die out, however we clearly gained’t attain that plateau.

Blended messages fostered mistrust as vaccines grew to become accessible. Freeloader selfishness made it worse. Epidemiologists weren’t ready for social media compound impact on skepticism. Compliance or protest has degenerated into tribal signaling. We stand for private freedom or respect of authority. There’s no floor in between.

That’s not the way it needs to be, however that’s how it’s. On to Plan C! Our leaders are reluctantly coming round to it. Their reluctance is comprehensible, however it’s additionally a part of the issue.

Most of us share the identical want for our subsequent virus response: no masks, no distancing, no gathering restrictions. Each ends of the polarized spectrum share the identical hope. It could not work out so nicely for many who have refused the vaccine, however they’ve chosen private autonomy over private well being. So be it.

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For many who are totally vaccinated, they could nonetheless get the virus and so they could unfold it to others, however their private struggling might be lowered 99%. For the totally vaccinated, COVID-19 has moved from hardship to nuisance.

Two smaller teams might be unfairly victimized on this situation, however they’ve been handed the quick finish of the coronavirus stick from the beginning. First, those that have compromised immune techniques might want to proceed taking further precautions. Those that are close to and expensive to them could select to affix them.

Masks will sign a person’s vulnerability or an individual’s connection to the susceptible, however with out an enforceable mandate on those that really feel protected themselves.

The second group that might be gravely inconvenienced by Plan C might be well being care employees, who’ve been overworked for 2 years. Congress ought to authorize doubling the pay of each well being care employee till this pandemic ends. That may entice extra employees the place we want them, even whereas the buildings and beds stay full.

We are going to after all want our well being care system to proceed their vigilance towards variants. We might have a gradual regiment of booster photographs to stay protected. Some should select to keep away from massive gatherings.

Many states are lifting restrictions and rescinding mandates. Oregon’s present mandates a projected to finish in March. Private selections will mark the insurance policies and the results of this subsequent section. That could be as near “regular” as we will get.

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Don Kahle ([email protected]) writes a column every Friday for The Register-Guard and archives previous columns at

This text initially appeared on Register-Guard: It is time for a COVID-19 pandemic Plan C


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