Looking for an Off Ramp on COVID Policy

Numerous institutions have been scrambling because of the Omicron Wave in COVID. Many are pretending that there has been little progress in the last two years, which is depressing. Even though campus requires everyone to be fully vaccinated including boosters and students, my university still has strict requirements for masking, extensive asymptomatic screening, isolation for individuals with positive results, as well as severe restrictions on activities on campus. Students are forbidden from leaving the county unless they participate in approved university activities. This is to maintain some degree of quarantine. These decisions may be influenced by policies of the government. Princeton doesn’t seem to be the only one who is living like 2020. We’re done.

It was two years ago that I felt libertarians ought to support intrusive policy early on in the pandemic. I was confronted by a contagious, even fatal, airborne infection. There were no vaccines and therapies. The government could play an important part in trying stop its spread. However, I warned.

These periods can see the machinery of government expand and strengthen to the disadvantage of freedom and civil society. Temporary measures should not be used to address the crisis. It will take time to think about long-term solutions that may be needed in the wake of this crisis to ensure we are better prepared for any future outbreaks.


This was almost two years ago. Incredibly, the scientific community responded in extraordinary ways to the pandemic. At a remarkable rate, extraordinary tests, vaccines, and treatments have been discovered. It has been quite shocking to see the government’s response. The government has responded in some very poor ways to public health officials. They need to be controlled and not let their political opinions and fear aversions affect their policy judgement. The pandemic has been facilitated by public health agencies that have done far more to hinder and confuse than they did to help. Both the FDA, and the CDC need to be fundamentally reformed. It has been shown by the executive branch that they will not hesitate to implement arbitrary policies. Political leaders and media contribute to the polarization of issues and to inflaming fear for short-term profit. If there is any doubt, the goalposts keep being moved.

The time has come when institutions and politicians need to discuss the exit strategy. COVID will be around us long into the future. We can also manage the harm with vaccines, therapies, and appropriate accommodations for those most at risk when the infection is growing. You have many options to make the most of the internet economy and support remote workers when necessary. This is not just to minimize the spreads of occupational illnesses. It is time for cost-benefit analyses to be done on marginal policies.

No COVID fanatic, but I have personally experienced the devastating effects of this disease. I found it absurd to suggest that COVID would be like the flu in 2020, when there was no vaccine, no therapy, many unknowns, bodies on the floor, and no treatments. Because it was an obvious way to put the crisis behind me (and reduce the chance of succumbing to death), I made sure that I got a vaccine immediately.

However, it is not logical to continue emergency procedures for situations that are routine. The future is not 2020. We must be able to predict what our normal lives will be. Normal living should not be about minimizing the chances of dying, but rather about reducing the chance of getting positive results.