Since I suspect I will need a root canal after my dentist appointment this week, I’ve been avoiding people and indoor spaces even more than usual because I don’t want to catch the “highly transmissible” BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants that are currently circulating in my area.
It took 3 weeks to get my dentist appointment and will likely take a few more weeks to get an endodontist appointment, so I’ll be self-isolating for a few more weeks.
I’m not afraid of getting Covid. I just prefer not to get it now and have to reschedule my dental treatment. The longer I wait, the worse it gets.
This, for me, is part of the long shadow of Covid. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had no close friends or family members who had serious complications, needed hospitalization or died from Covid. Many times during the past 3 years, I felt a small surge of gratitude that my wife died in 2018 and did not have to live through the pandemic while stay hidden away from social contact due to her comprised immunity caused by decades of health issues and treatments.
At least it was only me (and you, and the rest of the world) that had to deal with this.
I’ve heard others say that the pandemic is over and they have resumed all normal activities. Judging from my personal observations, I suppose this is true for some people. People are returning to workplaces, restaurants, events, etc.
Life goes on.
When I read about the Black Plague, people began “returning to normal” in a few months. It seems like that was because the Black Plague would sweep into a community, kill many people quickly and then move on. I put “returning to normal” in quote because although people resumed their regular activities, many of their loved ones and neighbors were dead. Life was undoubtedly much different.
In some ways, it feels like the pandemic is over. Mask mandates have been lifted. Social distancing requirements have waned. Kids are in school.
For me, I wonder if life will ever feel normal again.
I’m still quite aware when people near me are yelling a lot. I tend to swim on the far side of the lane away from other swimmers I suspect might be social butterflies who come in contact with lots of people (as if I have any clue who might be carrying Covid asymptomatically).
God forbid someone coughs. If they do, I hold my breath and get as far away from them as possible.
I’m hyper-aware to not touch my face after visiting the drug store, vet and grocery store.
When I was in high school, AIDs hit the US. For a long time, it was a death sentence for anyone who got it.
TV, of course, pumped up the scare factor, as did magazines, newspapers and every other media source that could use it to attract readers.
Many people were terrified of getting it. The images and stories of previously healthy, young people wasting away in hospitals before dying were horrific.
I stopped worrying about AIDs for myself once I was with my wife. Since I wasn’t having sex with random partners and I wasn’t getting blood transfusions, my risk of exposure was minimal.
Now, 30 years later, there are effective treatments for AIDs. We rarely hear about it in the news.
I wonder if that will happen with Covid. I wonder if it will take 30 years.
I wonder if I’ll be alive to see it.