“The pandemic’s greatest source of danger has transformed from a pathogen into a behavior. Choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID is, right now, a modifiable health risk on par with smoking, which kills more than 400,000 people each year in the United States. Andrew Noymer, a public-health professor at UC Irvine, told me that if COVID continues to account for a few hundred thousand American deaths every year—’a realistic worst-case scenario,’ he calls it—that would wipe out all of the life-expectancy gains we’ve accrued from the past two decades’ worth of smoking-prevention efforts. The Covid vaccines are, without exaggeration, among the safest and most effective therapies in all of modern medicine.” In The Atlantic, Benjamin Mazer makes the case that COVID Won’t End Up Like the Flu. It Will Be Like Smoking. (Except the secondhand smoke is even more dangerous…)

+ “A new Harvard study estimates that 135,000 Americans unnecessarily died in the second half of 2021 because of lack of vaccination. Political polarization has warped people’s thinking, even when their personal safety is at stake.” A brief history.