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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

We Can’t Go Back to Normal Yet. The NBA Shows Why.

Individuals can decide for themselves how cautious to be about Covid. But institutions face special pressures to maintain pandemic restrictions.

Institutions like the NBA face special pressure to keep Covid restrictions in place. 

Institutions like the NBA face special pressure to keep Covid restrictions in place. 

Photographer: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images 

As omicron cases rise rapidly, there are urgent questions about how aggressively we should respond. At one extreme are reactions like that of the Netherlands, which has moved into full lockdown mode to blunt the variant’s spread. Another possibility, so far the default in many parts of the U.S., is simply to not do very much, whether out of pandemic fatigue or uncertainty over the best approach.

But the sudden surge in cases has given fresh impetus to those who believe the time has come to normalize Covid, treating it much as we would colds and the flu, and simply proceed with life. Proponents of this approach tend to believe that omicron cases are milder, a possible but not confirmed scenario.