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Eris vaccine marketing hits Germany, complete with panic about a nonexistent August "Covid wave" ripped from British and American headlines

We will not be free of the virus until we are free of the vaccinators.

The leftist taz newspaper on 17 August: New German Wave: The new Covid variant Eris has arrived in Germany. Concerns about a new wave are growing – but the country is not well prepared.

The pandemic is over, but the virus is still dangerous: Reports of the new variant EG.5.1. seem to confirm this analysis. EG.5.1. (Eris) has been considered a “variant of interest” since 9 August. According to the WHO, the phenotype does not differ fundamentally from other Omicron lineages and does not require special public health measures ...

With the announced end of the pandemic, virtually all mandated protective measures have been lifted in Germany. The most important instrument in the fight against Covid-19 is thus the immunisation of the population through infection or vaccination.

Das Erste, state media, on 19 August: Covid Variant “Eris”: How Dangerous is the New Mutation EG.5?

The World Health Organisation WHO has upgraded the new Covid mutationEG.5. This variant, called “Eris,” now belongs to the “variants of interest.” …

As WHO Covid expert Maria Van Kerkhove explained in Geneva on Wednesday, more severe outcomes have not been observed with Eris, but vaccination confers less protection than with other virus variants. ...

Even though the new variant is unlikely to cause severe disease, the [German vaccine regulatory authority] STIKO still recommends getting vaccinated – above all to avoid possible long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection and to protect employees in medical and nursing care.

n-tv, a subsidiary broadcaster of RTL, on 18 August: The Number of Coivd-19-Cases Continues to Rise.

The pharmaceutical company Moderna has announced that its updated Covid  vaccine according to an initial study is effective against the Eris sub-variant. The company now expects to launch the new vaccine in time for the autumn vaccination season. Approval from vaccine regulators however is still pending.

Moderna, like vaccine manufacturers Novavax and Pfizer, has developed versions of its vaccines with Biontech SE that target Eris subvariants. Shortly before, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer had reported that its revised vaccine had been effective against Eris in a study with mice. …

Most recently, it was suspected that the cinema hype surrounding the feel-good film “Barbie” and the gloomy biopic “Oppenheimer” may have caused many infections. At the same time, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recorded an increase in the number of reported Covid infections. Experts, however, see no reason for concern so far.

Frankfurter Rundschau, a regional Frankfurt paper, on 17 August: Covid comeback with “Eris”: First experts demand return to masking.

Is Covid on the attack again? There are indications that the virus is once on the rise once more. …

British doctors are already calling for a return to masking. [Relentless virus charlatan and deranged hypermasker] Trisha Greenhalgh suggests that, “in view of the spread of new variants,” masking in high-risk situations should be considered.

The [virus surveillance] of the Federal Ministry of Health shows that the numbers are also on the rise in Germany. … “Eris” is already responsible for every fourth corona infection, according to new figures from the RKI. “The number of Covid-19 cases reported to the RKI .. seems to be related to the increasing circulation of this ‘variant of interest’,” the Robert Koch Institute says.

The increase in the case numbers – at least in Great Britain – coincides with the opening of the blockbusters “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” in British cinemas, which has given rise to talk of the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon. It is well known that larger crowds in enclosed indoor spaces are associated with an increased risk of corona infection. So is it time for a mask renaissance?

In the USA, more and more voices calling for one. [Relentless virus pest] Eric Feigl-Ding … used the hashtag #MaskUp on Twitter to call once again for protecting oneself from Covid infections with masks. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach shared the post, warning that the latest Covid data from New York is “worrying.” …

“There is still a risk that a more dangerous variant will emerge, which could lead to a sudden increase in cases and deaths,” emphasises WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Not only adapted vaccines that take the new variants into account, but also wearing a mask would then help to protect oneself and others, Frankfurt virologist Martin Stürmer told Spiegel.

tagesschau, state media, on 17 August: Covid Case Numbers are Rising Again.

The number of laboratory-confirmed Corona cases in Germany is rising again - but at a relatively low level. This development has been ongoing for around a month, reports the Influenza Working Group at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) … According to the report, about 2,400 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported nationwide last week. This is more than double the number reported in the week ending 9 July, when there were about 1,000. …

According to the RKI report, the activity of acute respiratory diseases in general in the population was “at a low summer level.” … “Anyone with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection should stay at home for three to five days and until the symptoms have clearly improved,” advises the RKI. …

Despite all of this obnoxious verbiage, absolutely nothing of virological note is happening in Germany. Official Covid testing has been all but abolished here, forcing our journaloids to unearth statistics from RKI influenza surveillance – something they refused to do during the pandemic itself, because the flu people routinely posted data that undermined their panic narrative. Here, I’ve circled in red the scary RiSE iN InFEctiOnS from the latest RKI report that we’re meant to be worried about:

This microscopic uptick is dwarfed by the February/March wave that peaked between weeks 8 and 13. Our media luminaries took next to no notice of this frightening late-winter surge, and as I type this, Covid diagnoses have not even re-achieved their June levels. The difference between the state of things now and the state of things in February is not the unremarkable Eris variant. XBB was also debuting across Europe early this year, driving the post-February case peak, and nobody cared. The only thing that is different now, is the proximity of the autumnal vaccination liturgy and the prospect of new, updated vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax. That is why we are hearing about variants and masks and Long Covid all over again. It is also why many of these articles contain buried within them somewhere the advice to line up for the shiny new anti-Covid juice this Fall. This whole thing is, very plainly, a psy-op, if a very low-effort one.

There are several patterns in the German reporting that are worth noting. First of all, the latest hysteria was unleashed on 17 August, prompted by a report on Eris from the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Particularly in the realm of routine reporting, the news agencies are a powerful coordinating force, and their influence here means that the full media panic machine is not engaged. We’re looking instead at pieces thrown together by low-level staff desperate to fill column inches. Second, all the German stories are firmly downstream from Anglophone sources, going so far as to recycle from British tabloids the improbable theory of a “Barbenheimer” wave (it is painful even to type this stupid word). Third, at least German health authorities – Karl Lauterbach excepted – resolutely refuse to provide virus doom quotes. Thus the Frankfurter Rundschau had to appropriate the tweets of Anglosphere mask hysterics like Greenhalgh and Feigl-Ding to make Eris sound scary.

I know there are rumours that American authorities are planning to bring back mask mandates and other restrictions in the coming months, and I’ll be honest: We should be so lucky. If the pandemicists try to kick up another round of non-pharmaceutical interventions this fall, they’ll be flirting with self destruction. There are important prerequisites for virus panic: You need a plausibly novel pathogen, the risk of which can be exaggerated. You need a prevailing sense of stability, with nothing else much going on, because the public health interventions themselves have to seem new. Risk, excitement and the prospect of a break from routine are important enticements. That’s all gone now. Covid is not a new scary virus anymore; nearly everyone has had personal experience with it. Solid majorities everywhere have learned to hate lockdowns, despise masking and avoid the mRNA vaccines. The pandemicists need a plausibly new virus to reopen the circus, and they need a lot of people to forget about what a misery the last pandemic response was. They’ll have another chance in ten or fifteen years, I’d guess. Then, it’ll be time to worry.