I’m talking about the Pandemic, of course (I think the capital letter is warranted, don’t you?). Yes, the number of infections and the number of deaths has declined, at least here in the United States, and for that I’m grateful. And yes, many people have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, which is also excellent news. But over? Far from it.
Our world has become so interconnected that I think it’s naive to believe that what happens in one part of the globe doesn’t affect other parts. It’s true of climate change, and it’s true of this horrific disease and its myriad mutations. People aren’t static, they move, and they take their viruses with them.
I have to admit, I’m not feeling as stressed out about Covid-19 as I was a year ago. Back then I was terrified. I’m an overweight individual with some underlying health concerns that made me an excellent candidate for the grave, if I were to become positive with the virus. I still have stuff to do in this life, so I didn’t take any chances. I became a virtual shut-in. I worked from home, shopped at home, and communicated with others from my home. I became hyper-vigilant about being outside, always wearing my mask. The only place I didn’t wear it was my own backyard, and even then I had one in my hand, should one of my neighbors pop up on the other side of the wall.
As time went by various groups of people began pushing for a “return to normal.” As if that was even a possibility. But still, their voices were loud, and in some circles their wishes became the next new reality. Things started opening up, and people started abandoning their masks, at least in my area. Just when I was feeling like I might start to venture out, the rules changed, making “out” so much more dangerous. I waited. I’m still waiting.
So here we are, still living with this horrible virus, but pretending like it doesn’t really exist anymore. Unless you have it. Or your loved one has it. Or you work in a hospital with people who have it. When the whole thing first got rolling, I believed that we would all either get it or know someone who did. So far, I’ve been lucky and managed not to contract this virus, but I know several people who were not as lucky. Even the people with”mild” cases don’t wish it on anyone. It’s that awful.
Here’s my suggestion: let’s stop pretending this thing is gone, and start treating each other with respect and decency. Wear your mask, keep your distance, and avoid crowded places. Is going to a baseball game or concert really worth the risk? I don’t think so. Do we really need to celebrate at a crowded restaurant? Maybe not this year. Let’s be cautious, and plan for brighter days, not live like they’re already here, or they may be short lived indeed.