Just a few weeks ago, the US surpassed the two-year mark of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, more and more people are resuming normal life: vacationing, gathering at restaurants and bars with friends and family, and even frequenting crowded concerts. However, this return to normalcy has many people wondering: Is COVID-19 as we know it over? In a sense, yes, our nation’s response to COVID-19 – the lockdowns, mandates, and nonsensical “health” practices are over. However, COVID-19 is just like every other virus, and it will continue to mutate and new variants will emerge; that is the trajectory or all viruses.  

If we “follow the science,” as we have been told to do throughout the pandemic, then we know that all viruses follow Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection – an evolutionary force in which only those viruses that contain strategic mutations will replicate and survive. Mutations occur during the replication process when the virus enters the body and its DNA or RNA infiltrates a cell, and creates copies of its genome. Sometimes, minor errors in the translation of the genetic code can occur during the replication process, thus creating new mutations. In turn, the replication process becomes somewhat of a “survival of the fittest” where those viruses with weak mutations will cease, and mutations that give the virus a strategic advantage at survival will thrive. As a result, new variants emerge that specified vaccines are unable to protect the human body from.  

Take for example: influenza. Each year, a vaccine for influenza is created and rolled out to the public. However, hundreds of thousands of people suffer from influenza each year. This is because these individuals have contracted a strain of the flu developed through mutations that the vaccine does not protect against. COVID-19 is no different. Let’s look at Israel as an example. 

Israel is ahead of the entire world in its vaccine roll out and initiated the distribution of a fourth jab in January. Despite this additional inoculation, COVID-19 cases in Israel continue to follow the same trends as before the vaccine; rising after a new variant has emerged, peaking, and ultimately falling. It remains clear that measures such as the vaccine and mandates to prevent COVID-19 do not work effectively. In fact, despite social distancing, travel restrictions, and with 80% of the eligible population vaccinated, COVID-19 cases are on the rise from the Omicron BA.2 variant. 

In essence, both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine follow similar patterns and have similar efficacy rates. One must then ask themselves, if COVID-19 is just like any other virus, and the vaccine is just like any other vaccine, then why does it remain such a prevalent topic in mainstream discourse? It seems as though, unlike viruses like the flu, there are greater forces at work who are invested in the continuation of COVID-19.  

Despite this, people have begun to grow frustrated with the prolonging of the virus and the confusion that surrounds it. Rather than listening to these powers at large who seem to be invested in continuing the virus, people have started to do their own research and look at the COVID-19 data that has been collected over the two years since the pandemic began. For instance, we now know that young and healthy individuals have over a 99.999% survival rate against COVID-19. We know the vaccines do not provide the protection initially advertised as they bypassed a 7+ year creation and clinical trial process, and we know that those who have died from COVID-19 had two or more comorbidities. The way I see it is that the virus will continue to mutate and new variants will emerge, but COVID-19 as we know it and the ineffective measures enforced by the government are over.