An end may be in sight. For the first time since the pandemic began, I listened to a press briefing from medical experts that did not give me nightmares.
It was December 11, 2022, the weekly zoom from the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness (MassCPR). The group of eloquent experts formed at the dawn of the pandemic. They've held sporadic briefings for journalists over these many months, ramping up to weekly as Omicron loomed in early December.
From JAMA to MassCPR
At the beginning, I was a fan of the online Conversations with Howard Bauchner, who was then editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Bauchner's laid-back manner got the superstars of the pandemic – from Anthony Fauci to Rochelle Walensky to Paul Offit – to relax, in an environment far from Clorox-pitching presidents and the like. Those were the days when the experts talked of the goal of herd immunity. I suspect none of them imagined that so many people would shun life-saving vaccines and even make the decision political, endangering us all and providing fertile ground for Omicron and the other variants to evolve, emerge, and threaten us in new ways. I know it blindsided me.
To continue reading, go to my DNA Science blog at Public Library of Science.