Saturday, December 18, 2021

Cornell, the boy who cried wolf, and the arbitrary and capricious impositions of punishments

While Omicron is clearly the one you want to get, this is the one the authorities don't want you to get.  Yet they are risking a "boy who cried wolf" scenario as well as battle fatigue by pulling out all the stops for this one.

Can Charles Eisenstein have nailed why the authorities continue to impose arbitrary measures that everyone knows do not work?  (See next post.)

"Cornell University is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases and has detected the “highly contagious” omicron variant on campus, particularly in fully vaccinated individuals, according to campus officials. Between Dec. 7 and 13, the Ivy League school in Ithaca, New York, reported 883 students testing positive for COVID-19, its online dashboard shows. 

“Virtually every case of the Omicron variant to date has been found in fully vaccinated students, a portion of whom had also received a booster shot,” Joel M. Malina, the school’s vice president for university relations, said in a statement provided to McClatchy News.

On Dec. 13, Cornell’s COVID-19 testing lab found “evidence of the highly contagious Omicron variant in a significant number of Monday’s positive student samples,” university President Martha E. Pollack said in a letter to the campus community. Out of the students infected with COVID-19, the school has “not seen severe illness” as of Dec. 14, Pollack assured.  [Who issued the order to always be vague about the numbers?--Nass]

The on-campus population of Cornell is 97% fully vaccinated, according to its virus data tracker that has recorded 26,008 students and 13,311 faculty and staff members who are fully vaccinated. Pollack noted that the evidence of omicron, first identified by South African researchers on Nov. 24, is “preliminary.” “PCR testing has identified its hallmark (the so-called S-gene dropout) in a substantial number of virus samples,” Pollack said. “While we must await confirmatory sequencing information to be sure that the source is Omicron, we are proceeding as if it is.” 

She added that the detection of omicron has prompted the university to enact an “Alert Level Red” to “limit further spread” ahead of the end of the fall semester. This means that the school’s final exams are now online as of Dec. 14, the ceremony for December graduates on the 18 is canceled and all undergraduate events are canceled, according to Pollack."

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