Within the last year, Neil Young has withdrawn from Farm Aid and criticized concerts as “super-spreader events,” and as he’s now confirmed, he’s “not going on the road” any time soon. During his latest appearance on The Howard Stern show, he said he wouldn’t be touring until we “beat” COVID-19, though he didn’t define what that might look like.
“This is an amazing moment in human history,” he told Stern. “There’s never been anything quite like this. We ought to be thankful that we have a chance to maybe show how to beat this. We might be able to beat this. We can still beat it. There’s no reason why we can’t. If we came together, we could take care of this. And I have confidence that we can.”
The venerable songwriter also griped that, “People are not being realistic and they’re not being scientific. If we followed the rules of science, and everybody got vaccinated, we’d have a lot better chance.”
According to some estimates, about 47% of the world’s population is fully vaccinated, and about 57% have received at least one dose. Young explained that his interactions with the unvaccinated are short and simple. “I say, ‘Are you vaccinated?’ and if they say, ‘No,’ I say, ‘Well, see ya.'”
COVID-19 is unlikely to disappear from the world entirely. But eventually it will transition from a pandemic to being endemic — that is, consistently present in some areas, but limited by vaccination and natural herd immunity, like a more serious version of the flu and the common cold. But right now, many people in almost every country have no immunity against the virus, and with the Omicron variant exhibiting early evidence of some immune evasion, endemicity is a long ways off.