From the beginning of the current pathogenic crisis, this piece has been missing. Covid has been treated as a pathogen to avoid at all costs – personal and social. No price was too high to pay to purchase avoidance. The worst possible fate would be to confront the virus. We must not live life normally, we were told. We must reorganize everything around slogans: slow the spread, flatten the curve, socially distance, mask up, regard everyone and everything as a carrier.
After two years, this is still the case in many parts of the country. Public health authorities have not recognized, must less explained natural immunity. Instead our source of hope has been the vaccine, which the authorities said would turn you into a dead end for the virus. That seemed like hope for many. Then it turned out not to be true. Hopes have been dashed and we were plunged right back where we were before.
Covid’s coverage of the country is so broad now that everyone knows one or many people who have had it. They share stories. Some are short bouts. Others last a week or longer. Nearly everyone shakes it off. Some people die from it, particularly the elderly and infirm. And this universal tactile experience has also given rise not so much to another round of panic – that is certainly there – but exhaustion and the great question: when will all this end?