By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

NY Times vs. NY Post: The Pandemic is Returning, vs. the Pandemic is Ending. Who is Right?

The contrast between two Americas is reflected in our media, which is deeply divided over the endpoint of the Covid Pandemic.

 

August 5, 2021

NY Times photo by Isadora Kosofsky

Photo: The New York Times and the New York Post represent two different perspectives on the future of the pandemic. The Times says that St. John's Hospital has an ICU full of unvaccinated Covid patients, while the Post shows people taking their masks off for photos in Times Square.

There are two perspectives on the current state of the pandemic in the U.S. One perspective is that it's time to accept some sickness and return to our lives.

The New York Post recently printed an editorial entitled "Ignore the Hysteria: It's Time to Move Past Covid, America." The Post, a conservative newspaper founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1790, argues that with the vaccines, Covid is now like Influenza. Although the flu kills thousands of people every year, we do not shut down life because of it. We need to accept it, writes the Post Editorial Board. We need to allow people to make their own medical decisions, and get back to the way we were before 2020.

Contrast this with an article published August 1 by the New York Times. It's written by By Isadora Kosofsky and Shawn Hubler.

"They thought the worst of the pandemic was behind them. Then a new wave of cases arrived at the I.C.U. at Providence Saint John's Health Center," it says.

"Around the physician at the hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., a small army in scrubs - doctors, nurses, technicians - bowed their heads, bearing witness to what seemed to be the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Sixty-nine lives on the ward had been claimed by the virus. Pain and grief, life and death, fear and loss - month after grinding month - all of it had unfolded behind that thin divider.


And yet on this day, not a single patient in the Saint John's I.C.U. had tested positive for the coronavirus. Dr. Grabie turned, and the I.C.U.'s medical director, helped by a respiratory therapist, zipped the wall open.

"We were all in awe," recalled the medical director, Dr. Terese Hammond. It was June 1 at 7:56 a.m., a Tuesday.

Now the ward's Covid section is back and sealed off again.

Covid-19 is surging once more, at Saint John's and in the world around it, driven by vaccine resisters and the virus's hyper-contagious Delta variant. In California, new infections are appearing at a rate not seen since February. Governments, schools and businesses are starting to require masks indoors and vaccinations."

The article says that the 266 bed hospital is filled with Covid patients. It implies (though it doesn't say), that the patients are drawn from the 20% of Santa Monica which remains unvaccinated. St. John's takes patients from all over the region, not just from Santa Monica. But you probably already knew that.

I do recommend reading both articles, and making up your own mind. There is no more pressing issue before all of us than the return to work and school post pandemic. At some point, this has to end. Doesn't it?

 

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