We later realized that we had to be more aware of our vulnerability, and that only fools underestimated “Covid” after our prolonged stay in Hell, especially as the threat of variables has turned overconfidence into a disappointing reality. There will never be another season quite as fun as it was in the summer of 2021 when my girlfriend and I shared our days off. However, here at the beginning of September, I feel frustrated naive that those first few months after vaccination turned out not to be the end of the epidemic, but rather a short respite before another deadly wave of the virus. Could a respiratory illness fool you like this? This is a question I didn’t think I’d need to ask.
Oh God, how I miss those days when I was blessed with ignorance. Do you remember the brief period of euphoria when the entire nation thought the epidemic was forever defeated? Remember how we danced on his grave? I saw obsession everywhere when the holidays were a fantasy. The entertainment sector was catching up, we all saw how airlines struggled to find enough pilots to meet the renewed demand, and the rental car companies quickly ran out of cars. There have been reports of a shortage of tuxedos in Boston, causing a drop in groomsmen numbers due to reduced clothing options.
Psychologist Judith Danovich explains why there’s nothing to worry about, and why covering the face offers unexpected benefits: I’ve never felt so tired in my life. Sundays in the early summer of 2021 were meant for recovery and the ominous threat to next week’s busy schedule. Can I have late pandemic surgery on Thursday and go to the Rockies on Saturday? Is it possible to attend three concerts in four hours? These questions were very relevant to the era.
But then the “delta variable” came to warn us, and let us enter into a new spiral. The joy at the end of the virus that characterized those early days saw all my friends celebrate victory, but it quickly turned into a new crisis.
I ignored all the Delta headlines at first, simply because I didn’t want to disturb the euphoria of June and July. When it became clear that the numbers were falling – when questions about vaccine efficacy entered the national debate – a familiar ambiguity prevailed in our home. Mysterious questions about transmission, mutation, and severe infections were raised at every social encounter.
By August, I was trying to indulge in as much materialism as possible before the shutdowns were back in place. I still go out, I still see my friends, and I still agonize over the moral responsibilities of a virus that seems to change in nature with each passing day. Perhaps this is the lasting imprint the epidemic leaves on our brain chemistry: the unshakable feeling that there is so much fun in a bar that it is hard to imagine.
In April 2020, I wrote about watching old sports programs on my laptop, and it was easy to be envious of the fans in the stands who were completely freed from all the terror we had accumulated during the pandemic. I enjoyed the idea of joining them after we thought Covid had slipped into history.
I think we’ve all come to terms with the fact that escaping from the pandemic will never be so simple, and that recovery will happen intermittently, with a constant feeling of uneasiness. When will we feel good? Someday in the far future when our lives will return completely to normal and without us feeling.
The New York Times Service
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