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Therese Raphael and Sam Fazeli

Say Goodbye to Self-Isolating, WFH Mandates, Mass Testing

It’s time to rethink our Covid response to account for higher vaccination rates, natural immunity and milder variants like omicron.

Testing, testing.

Testing, testing.

Photographer: Brandon Bell/Getty Images North America

The balance of power between human and virus is shifting. Better armed against a lesser enemy, our species no longer needs to hide in a bunker waiting for a viral wave to pass. That means it’s time for our Covid response to change.

As we enter the “endemic” stage of the virus, however, there is confusion about what an updated approach should look like. On Monday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for a Europe-wide discussion about developing the kind of response that exists for, say, the flu. The U.K. has extended its “Plan B” rules for another three weeks, but has softened its testing and travel policies and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to lift existing restrictions.