I know this is a terrible time to take on, as I am doing, a project related to happiness. It looks like we might be mired down into another mutation of this stupid COVID virus. When will it end? That is the point of this Pre-Happiness post.
I know it has been less than two years since COVID came upon the scene, but it seems like an eternity to me. People who are children, or even middle-aged will sometime in the not too distant future look back on these years as a previous point in their history, not a forever thing. But, personally, I wonder if I will even be around when COVID is only a historical term. Is this how I will be ending my years on this earth? Let’s look at the reality of COVID.
COVID, like many other viruses we have encountered is unlikely to go away, ever. It will continue to circulate for decades. But, vaccines will turn it into a manageable thing, much like the seasonal flu. Some experts in this field think that now is the time to accept this reality and start thinking about it in the same way we think of auto deaths. We accept the risk of dying in a car and do it anyway, as fixating on the deaths denies us the advantages the freedom of transportation provides.
It’s time to get back to at least a semblance of normalcy in our lives. If we are vaccinated, COVID becomes only a little more concerning than the flu. Yeah, we might get it but after a few days of feeling rotten, things go back to normal. Right now, the typical flu hospitalization rate is only a little lower than COVID. The bottom line is there is not going to be a day when we wake up to headlines proclaiming that Covid is defeated. We need to be able to live with that reality like we do with auto deaths.
Hopefully, COVID will teach us a lesson to be better prepared for future viruses when they inevitably arrive. The U.S. and much of the rest of the world had reduced government funding into virus research. It proved to be an easy way to meet the ever demands of lower taxes. If that research had been up to a higher level, the vaccine would have been available months earlier, thus resulting in significantly lower deaths, and a quicker turn around.
I don’t want to downplay the fact that those who are immunocompromised or have other severe illnesses need to continue to take precautions, but I think it is time for the rest of us to get on with our lives, take off our masks and start socializing once again. I believe that when we look a couple of decades beyond COVID, we will likely discover that our amelioration stance to the virus did us as a society more harm than the virus itself caused.
2 thoughts on “We Gotta Find Something to be Happy About.”
For our extended family, at-home tests for everyone attending, masks, distancing and open windows (we are in Texas, with an expected high today of 75) was our solution for Thanksgiving. We are a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated with two of us immunocompromised by our medications for auto-immune disorders. I’m particularly vulnerable because I am one of the very few who approves highly of vaccines but who legitimately cannot vaccinate, under the advise of both my rheumatologist and an immunologist, and my cardiologist, who concurred. That has nothing to do with my autoimmune status but rather is due to a prior serious reaction to an injected vaccine that ended my active life, beginning when I landed in the ER five days later with serum sickness. My personal solution for Thanksgiving was to eat before everyone arrived, so I could stay masked the entire time. We set up tables both inside and outside, and I chose the outside and sat at least six feet from everyone, for their sake as well as mine. I will not be attending the graduation ceremony for the teen granddaughter who graduates this year, as it will be in a large auditorium in an area where people are vehemently opposed to both vaccines and masks. This way of getting together, then, is not a perfect solution, but on Thanksgiving, it was a happy one for us and for growing older grandchildren who have missed each other.
I so wanted to be at the vanguard of those vaccinating and signed me and my husband up in our county and four or five surrounding counties, in hopes of being among the first in line. It wasn’t to be for me when my rheumy learned of the vaccines’ compositions and the warnings offered about who could or couldn’t, but my husband has had all three. I am happy now, with these compromises. The introvert in me doesn’t need as many person-to-person interactions as many people, but even I need contact with my family. I also need to take walks and wave at neighbors and talk to them while I’m on the street and they’re in their yards.
The only exception to my staying masked on Thanksgiving was occasionally when talking to my deaf granddaughter. While she has cochlear implants, it’s still not equivalent to normal hearing and she needed to see my mouth in order to augment what she was hearing. We stayed at least six feet apart, and I kept my mask down only for an instant. She’s had a harder time with both at-home schooling–closed captioning on her computer that interpreted the teacher as saying things she most certainly did not say!–and then in classes with students and teachers masked. I think it was necessary that we all take these measures, but she was definitely impacted.
I am excited, though, that our family is learning a way to “be.”
Linda, I certainly sympathize with you and all the problems you have in life. I am glad you let us know that it is not only immunocompromised, who can’t be vaccinated. I know all the masking it making my life more difficult because when they are worn it eliminates lipreading. It is good to see that others in your extended family are willing to got out of their way in accommodating you and your granddaughter.