You may have noticed that virtually no coverage of the Pandemic is in the news.  No more daily numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.  No more pleas for vaccinations.  No more debates over mask wearing.  No more Dr. Anthony Fauci.  In fact, all those media medics have vanished from the news panels.

Yes, I know the Russian invasion of Ukraine dominates news reporting, but then news media does report on things other than Putin’s dirty little war – and when it does, it is about inflation, the kangaroo committee supposedly “investigation” of the Capitol Hill riot, major weather events, sports, and New York street crimes – and even those get very limited coverage.

I have declared the Pandemic over because that is what I see when I go out and about.  Virtually every venue is jammed with people returning to their normal activities – stores, bars, restaurants and even the golf courses here in Florida have their tee times filled up.  Mask have all but disappeared.

In a trip to my local Publix grocery store, I saw that all the plexiglass barriers between check-out clerks and shoppers were gone.  The shelf-stocking employees were no longer masked.  All the six-foot floor markers – gone.  

My favorite sports bar was standing room only on a weeknight.  Not a mask in sight – not even on the waiters and bartenders.

While most medical facilities have maintained a masking policy – and may never end it on their facilities – some have ended it.  For the first time, I noticed unmasked people at the blood testing clinic and at two of my doctors’ offices – including the doctors.

My declaration of the end of the Pandemic is not just anecdotal.  I checked the latest statistics.  On January 1st, Florida was running 76,000 new cases per day.  As of March 13, the number had dropped to 1500 – and no deaths on that day.  When there are deaths on a given day, they are in single digits.

For America in general, there were only 17,000 new cases on March 13th.  And the number of daily deaths is running around 300 per day across the country.  This means the statistics on Covid-19 are about the same – or even lower – than what the nation has experienced in the past during the normal flu season.

There seem to be only two categories of folks wearing masks – the leftwing political establishment (and not even all of them) and those with a general heightened level of personal fear and anxiety.  Among the political left are the medical bureaucrats and the medical industry that have a vested interest in keeping Pandemic Panic at a peak.

Hmmmm    Maybe it has something to do with power and money. The CEO of Pfizer is now saying that a fourth shot will be necessary.  As my readers know, I have been a strong advocate of vaccines.  I got mine – and the booster – but that is it.  Not going in for the fourth dose.  I was not even sure I needed the first booster.

I suspect what I am seeing in public is the new norm.  I am not convinced that medical facilities will ever end the masking mandate on those premises – even though there is a growing medical consensus that masks are marginally beneficial in spreading airborne diseases by infected folks – and virtually useless in preventing the contraction of diseases.

It is time for the masks to come off on Capitol Hill, the White House, and throughout the government facilities.  No more masking kids.  If that ever made sense – and I do not think it did – it makes no sense today.  Private and public enterprises – including buses, trains and planes – should end masking.

I also believe those who tend to be hyper-phobic will continue to mask up.  You can see them both indoors and outdoors.  They simply will not believe the science or the statistics.  And that is okay with me – as long as they do not impose mandates on me. If someone wants to wear a raincoat on a sunny day – just in case – that is up to them.  Just do not make me wear one.

Not sure why Biden has not come around to calling for an end of all those mask and vaccine mandates.  Firing police in Chicago for not getting vaccinated is a boneheaded and dangerous policy.

Now that it is essentially over, I cannot help but believe that the shutdown was far too excessive in terms of all the collateral damage it did to the economy – and especially to the kids.  That damage has never been given serious consideration by the crowd that viewed mitigation – even extreme mitigation – as the only thing that counted.  (Suddenly Dr. Fauci’s name came to mind.)  I hope we will not make that mistake again.

My more recent forays in the public commons have been a breath of fresh air.

So, there ‘tis.

By Larry Horist

So, there ‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.