Quick, how many coronavirus pandemics have there been?

A. 1
B. 3
C. A lot

The answer is obviously, if you read here, C. We have no way to know how many coronavirus pandemics there have been because we didn't even parse it out from the common cold family until the 1960s. We know there were two coronavirus pandemics, SARS and MERS, in the 16 years prior to COVID-19 but we don't know before then how many had happened and were just called 'flu' or were regular respiratory distress that put people with co-morbidities on ventilators or killed them and were labeled as one of the co-morbidies.

That is why it is proper for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare the emergency over. Coronavirus is still going to kill people, but shutting down the world only works if everyone shuts down. If you do it, and other countries don't, you harm your citizens far more than helping.

We now know what not to do wrong next time also. We have nearly an entire class of graduates this year who spent half their high school years at home. We have no idea what impacts isolation and fear will cause in the future and we don't know if the more Draconian measures saved anyone. Does anyone in the medical community or out still try to argue flipping your mask up and down between bites of food in a restaurant prevented any illness? It was always nonsense.

It isn't like WHO has rushed this. This is the same organization that was way behind in believing it was real. They said the Trump administration was xenophobic and racist for saying we should ban travel from Wuhan. Now, critics can argue that WHO has a weirdly uncomfortable relationship with China; they did repeat the dictatorship's propaganda that the virus could not transmit human to human and turned a blind eye while China took down its extensive coronavirus database and scrubbed the Wuhan market clean and locked down the two coronavirus labs in Wuhan for almost a year before letting a team from WHO chosen by China visit the lab and only ask pre-approved questions.

That doesn't make WHO wrong to say a chronic state-of-emergency is pointless now. The world has already gotten back to normal, and adjusted to the new normal of coronavirus. It may be called some new variant but coronavirus has mutated and changed for millenia, just like the cold virus and flu have. It will continue to do so. 

Instead of hand-wringing about a press conference by the UN, let's continue to push for positive improvements. Prior to COVID-10, the medical community in New York state asked for more ventilators, and were denied. The money they wanted instead went to subsidizing solar panels - in a state where it is cloudy or snowing and raining half of each year. New York is smarter now. 

Preparedness for a real emergency, not bogus claims about how solar power is ready and a free market miracle will happen if we spend another $4 trillion on the same old technology that doesn't work, is key. A whole lot of people now claim to be pro-science. Democrats even flipped from being dominant in anti-vaccine behavior to the science side. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. remains stuck in the party of 2019 and is so enraged by vaccines, GMOs, and cell phones he calls President Biden a "neo-con."

It is a new world in lots of ways.

Yet one thing remains the same: WHO is irrelevant in world preparedness for anything. The CDC's incompetence throughout showed that, just as I had long warned, the CDC was not prepared for anything that didn't involve a pledge drive at Capitol Hill. We have time to fix it - but it needs fixed. In 2017, I was co-author of a book called The Next Plague and we wrote it because we knew a new one was coming, and coronavirus was in the list of potentials. Because coronavirus is always looming. 

We should be taking the time to get ready.