Mitch Albom, sports-adjacent ghoul, really wrote this for Sunday’s Detroit Free Press:
The fact is, the chances of dying of COVID-19 were always extremely small for most segments of the population. The chances of dying of COVID-19 now, if fully vaccinated, are extremely small for ALL segments of the population. A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation in July showed that — despite the handwringing over ‘breakthrough cases’ — the mortality rate among fully vaccinated people was ‘effectively zero (0.00%) in all but two reporting states, Arkansas and Michigan where they were 0.01 percent.
This column is titled “The end of COVID will be in our minds, not our headlines,” and it includes the subheads “Comfortable with coronavirus” and “Return to normal? We may already be there.”
While Albom does encourage full vaccination, he’s badly missing the point. For one thing, kids 5-11 just got approval to get their shots. Children 4 and under still cannot be vaccinated. And most importantly, even among those who are vaccinated, it’s still possible to contract the novel coronavirus, long-haul COVID is all too real, and continuing to mask up is the best way to protect yourself and those around you, even after getting the jab.
The way that Albom phrases it — “Most people seem to have made up their minds. Many are no longer hiding.” — is incredibly irresponsible. Just because he went to the Gateway Arch and “saw people posing for photos side by side, no masks anywhere” and attended “an Ohio event [where] every seat was full, side by side, distance not a factor,” it hardly means that those were safe situations and that COVID wasn’t spreading there.
Acting like we can’t be “normal” while wearing a simple piece of cloth over our faces… has Albom ever ventured outside his Michigan home in late fall and winter? It’s scarf season now anyway. Why mess around with this? Why not try to save not only as many lives as possible, including those of the still millions of unvaccinated, including children? Why tempt the emergence of yet another variant? Why encourage recklessness as an acceptable choice?
Albom compares the future of COVID to “the flu, drunken drivers, food poisoning or the risk of robbery.” Was he under a rock last year when COVID was for so long dismissed as “like the flu,” to the point where people disregarded the danger? Is he unaware that even though there are drunk drivers, there are also constant efforts to end the practice, including in the just-passed infrastructure bill, which mandates monitoring systems for all new cars by 2026?
At least Mr. T, who went for his booster shot on Saturday, gets it, as the WWE Hall of Famer tweeted, “Even though I am fully vaccinated, I will still wear my mask and keep my distance, thank you.”
Albom? Pity this fool.