Is the COVID pandemic over? Too soon to say, experts insist – Los Angeles Times

by | Oct 3, 2022 | COVID-19

“The pandemic is over.”It’s a pronouncement we’ve heard several times in the more than 2½ years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.As California enters fall with the coronavirus very much on the decline, some are once again declaring victory. But health experts say that despite the significant progress, it’s less about turning the page than about understanding that COVID-19 remains quite unpredictable. The heat was recently turned up on the long-simmering question when President Biden declared “the pandemic is over” during an interview with “60 Minutes.” Days later, Biden acknowledged the criticism he received over his statement but added that the pandemic “basically is not where it was.” It wasn’t the first time the president has sought to project the end of the pandemic. On the Fourth of July 2021 — almost seven months into the nation’s vaccine rollout — Biden said, “we’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.”AdvertisementBut that declaration, which came when the U.S. COVID-19 death toll stood at a bit more than 605,000, proved premature. Nearly 450,000 COVID-19 deaths have been reported since, fueled by last summer’s Delta variant and the dual-pronged Omicron waves that first struck after Thanksgiving.Officials across the nation widely acknowledge the substantial gains made in the fight against COVID-19. The U.S. is awash in vaccines and effective therapeutics, and new boosters targeting the dominant circulating coronavirus strain are now available. And even after the arrival of the Omicron variant — which sent cases soaring to unprecedented levels — California came nowhere close to reinstituting the shutdowns or other stringent restrictions that typified earlier phases of the pandemic.Still, public health experts remain concerned at the considerable number of daily deaths. And t …

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