As Covid risk recedes, we will need to unwind built-up fear

The pandemic isn’t over yet, but Ireland’s Omicron wave has hit its peak

The Omicron variant has turned out to be milder than previous variants, and its high transmissibility means millions of infected people are boosting their immunity at little cost to their long-term health. Photograph: Getty ImagesPhotograph; Getty Images

The Omicron variant has turned out to be milder than previous variants, and its high transmissibility means millions of infected people are boosting their immunity at little cost to their long-term health. Photograph: Getty ImagesPhotograph; Getty Images

It’s over. Not Covid-19 or the pandemic, but certainly this phase of it is over. The virus isn’t going anywhere. It might even come back in some more dangerous form and plague us again. People will still fall ill from it and some will die. But on a population level, in its current form, in this country, it has run its race.

The threat is receding. With each passing day there will be less need for the superstructure we have created of surveillance, restrictions and testing.

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