An Interminable Pandemic

At the same time as the number of active strains of Covid-19 are increasing governments in England, Switzerland and other countries are pushing the narrative that this summer will be normal, that we may no longer need the Covid passes and other such news. We are at a point where there is discussion about lifting restrictions at the same time as cases are going up. Some officials say “we will know whether this strain is dangerous to children in a month, so that’s when we will respond.

For people who see pandemics as serious this is a despairing time. In some cantons they are saying “we don’t have the capacity to test everyone so we will only test symptomatic people” or “We can’t test everyone so people can leave quarantine without a test.” In these scenarios the attitude should be to go into a soft lock down and to get the number of infections to go down.

One of the biggest issues we are phasing is that governments, because we are vaccinating are thinking of it as a miracle solution rather than being combined with other measures. In some countries they spoke of Covid+ approaches, where vaccination, along with virus spread mitigation measures, were used.

Another issue we are facing is the “this variant is mild and people aren’t being hospitalised so we don’t need to worry” group of people. People are actively ignoring the dangers that this virus may present. They are also glossing over the risks posed by long covid.

I stopped writing about the pandemic after 120 days because I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I thought that governments would try to end this pandemic. Now, two years in it feels as though the opposite is true. Some speak of eugenicist policies. We are now in wave five or six of an unlimited number.

As society opens up, it forces those who want to stay clear of the virus, to stay away from society for an ever-increasing period of time. Two years in self-isolation is a long time. It is impacting the mental health of children and young people, who can no longer see an end to this pandemic. I can’t see an end. I can just see wave after wave, as lessons are not being learned.

What is worth noting, is that New Zealand, South Korea, China, Australia and many Asian countries are working hard to stay at covid zero, or get back down to Covid-Zero. It seems that Europe and the US are giving in to fatalism. The pandemic could have been ended within half a year. Now it feels as though we have to either wait a human generation, for it to end, or wait for better leaders to take power. Either way it is discouraging to see countries open up while a wave of infections grows.

I right this for posterity, not for today’s readers.

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