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Newsday newsday.com 13 Jan, 2022 20:15 am

Say goodbye to self-isolating, work-from-home mandates, mass testing

Say goodbye to self-isolating, work-from-home mandates, mass testing
The balance of power between human and virus is shifting. Better armed against a lesser enemy, our species no longer needs to hide in a bunker waiting for a viral wave to pass. That means it’s time fo

made rapid tests widely available at no cost early on — a smart policy that prevented many infections particularly as the omicron wave took off.While President Joe Biden has increased testing availability, rapid tests are still in short supply in many places and the cost discourages their use.Free, ubiquitous rapid tests should be a no-brainer for American states battling low vaccination rates and high levels of infection.And data from South Africa and elsewhere confirm early indications that the latest variant, while far more transmissible, is causing less severe disease — with lower levels of hospitalization, shorter hospital stays and fewer deaths.

Most importantly, though, vaccines (and especially booster shots) have led to dramatically lower levels of hospitalization and death.This helps explain why countries like China, which pursued a zero-COVID policy and used vaccines with lower effectiveness, are now in a worse position with lower levels of immunity.

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