No going back

I’m sorry but there’s no going back. Two-plus years. I’m done.  Covid-19 wreaked enough havoc on my life, and the lives of many other people if public sentiment is accurate. I won’t bore anyone by recapping the horrors of 2020. You were there. You experienced it first hand. Many of us are still affected by the virus and all the lingering baggage that comes with it. I know I don’t feel the same physically as I did before contracting Covid. I’m at that bad age where aches and pains are part of my everyday life. During Covid it was hard to differentiate regular pain from virus side-effects. Now it’s all blended together into one big pain. And I won’t say where.

I was part of the Omicron wave that seemed to hit everyone at once at the end of last year. My 2021 holidays coincided with a week of Covid-19 symptoms postponing any celebrations for the season. At least the holidays were canceled for legitimate reasons. 2020’s holidays were canceled due to virus paranoia. I’m not sure which year was worse.

Even though the number of virus cases dropped off, Covid was never out of the news. Omicron was mutating into something more contagious but less symptomatic. It didn’t matter. People were tuning out the news. Covid fatigue had set in, not symptoms of fatigue from contracting the virus, but fatigue in general from dealing with and living with this illness in every facet of our lives.

Some argued the virus was more like a common cold than the flu. Something we had to live with – or die with as the case may be. No one seemed to care anymore. Two rounds of Covid vaccinations were a lot for people to accept. And not everyone did. Booster shots were even harder for medical professionals to market to the public. People who were double vaxxed and triple boosted were contracting the virus for a second time. It didn’t seem to matter if you were vaccinated or not. Contagion was a game of chance. A chance half the population was willing to take.

When the government ended mask mandates, there was no way people were going to put masks back on. When the virus became politicized by both sides, concerns of the disease slipped further down the list of personal priorities. We’re all dealing with rising food prices, rising fuel prices, inflation and a looming recession. Not to mention the wave of violence sweeping over the country. Catching Covid pales in comparison.

We’re on our third or fourth (fifth?) mutation of the virus. BA.5 has become even more contagious than BA.4 and no one is paying attention. Movie theater attendance is breaking records. Community pools are packed. Events attracting huge crowds are being held all across the country. It seems like America is officially over the pandemic even if the pandemic is not officially over with us.

As Covid numbers uptick incrementally (monitored by water treatment facilities as a precursor for new cases on the horizon) and hospitalizations are on the rise (although with less ICU patients and more general symptom admissions, still not good), I’m burnt out and ready to move on. I personally know people who have died from Covid. I know it’s real. I know it’s serious. I can’t let it consume my every waking thought. It will always be in the back of my mind at every get-together I attend. They all can’t be super-spreader events, can they?

California may be reinstating mask mandates in the near future. I’m a law abiding citizen so I’ll conform to whatever Massachusetts law dictates even if it feels like a giant step backwards. The country is already heading in that direction – backwards to the future.

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