At CNBC, Monica Buchanan Pitrelli reports on a paper by Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Stefanos Kales, suggesting that it’s time to move on from pandemic measures that don’t work and to instead focus on protecting the vulnerable. Buchanan Pitrelli reports:
It’s time to let the young, healthy and “anyone who wants to move on” from the pandemic do so, said Dr. Stefanos Kales, a professor at Harvard Medical School.
In a paper posted on LinkedIn last month, Kales said that for the majority of children and adults, “Covid-19 is not a serious threat, only a nuisance that impedes schooling, work and travel.”
“Once Omicron peaks, subsequent variants are likely to be even more mild,” he said. “We badly need to allow the general public, particularly the young, to get back to normal life.”
He said he favors focusing Covid-19 efforts on “the vulnerable” rather than the population as a whole.
“Many reasoned, outspoken and honest scientists have been making the point that Covid-19 is moving rapidly from a ‘pandemic’ … to an ‘endemic’ respiratory infection comparable to the common cold and flu,” he said.
In light of this, it’s “past due” to rethink some Covid protocols, he said.
Less testing and fewer restrictions
With the exception of older people, those with health problems and the unvaccinated, Kales said, for most people, Covid-19 is “much more of a logistical nightmare than a health threat.”
It’s therefore time to stop — or dramatically reduce — testing healthy people who show no Covid symptoms, he said, calling this strategy “doomed to failure.”
“As expressed by another physician I recently heard on the radio, it is like trying to stop a snowstorm by catching each and every snowflake, rather than keeping the roads open by plowing,” he said.
Widespread testing — for travel and work — makes it harder for sick and vulnerable people to get tested, said Kales.
“We would never screen well people for the cold or flu virus. Let’s stop testing healthy kids in schools and universities,” he said. “At this point, the teachers, faculty and staff have had the opportunity to be vaccinated and thus, their risk is minimal as well.”
Those with Covid-19 symptoms are a different matter, he said. Regardless of vaccination status, they need to be tested, diagnosed and given effective medications, he said, adding that sick people — “whether it’s Covid or a cold” — should stay home for five days.
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