The pandemic is still alive and well and the hope that we might have had that the pandemic would end has been scuppered because governments refuse to work towards COVID-Zero, and they refuse to be cautious. It is disheartening to see with which complacency governments are sleeping back into exactly the same mistake as last summer. Last summer they allowed the numbers to climb, and ignored the risk of another wave, and this summer they are making the same mistake.
I am confused by this, because when there was BSE and Foot And Mouth, and the first SARS crisis, that I remember of, everyone was told to be careful, to avoid spreading the diseases and more. We washed our hands and our feet, and the feet of animals. There was a genuine care for the well being of animals and humans.
This pandemic is different because it seems that all of the norms for keeping a pandemic under control, and mitigating the fallout have been forgotten. Yesterday the Swiss health minister practically said “There is nothing to worry about for vaccinated people.” Of all the people to make such a statement he is the worst, for the simple reason that it puts us all at risk.
Another interesting aspect of this pandemic is that because it is global we can see what is happening in England, in Israel, in New Zealand and other countries. It means that we can follow this pandemic as it happens, day by day, and decision and consequence by decision and consequence.
Both England and Israel vaccinated, and then reopened their societies, and both thought they were safe but eventually saw that they were not. We can see that Switzerland is making that mistake too, but Switzerland just has to spend a few minutes looking at Twitter, and English and Israeli news, to see what to expect next.
During this pandemic poor decisions are being made despite the benefit of hindsight and this is a shame. It’s a shame because if you’re single, and between friend groups it means that you’ve had four hundred and sixty eight days with a hug, without flirting and without a handshake. That’s a long time to go without those things, especially if we’re meant to get eight to twelve hugs a day.
What is terrible about this situation is that there is no hope of it ending for years at the current level of incompetence that governments are showing. How can a pandemic come to an end when leaders are doing nothing to stop the transmission of a virus. Being under quarantine sucks, but at least self-isolation gives us a hope of the pandemic ending. Switzerland was in a straight line down to zero new cases per day and it threw that away as of this week. Now we will have another winter of self-isolation of solitude. Year two of pandemic solitude. I think that after one summer without a car, one summer with a broken arm, and two summers of pandemic solitude I will be changed forever.
I’m happy to socialise on Twitter, but I feel no need or desire to do anything more. It would be agonising if I had a burning desire to socialise, just as the pandemic wave is getting ready to hit. This time Switzerland got down to 140 cases before the wave started to build up again. Now we’re committed to the next pandemic wave. This time young people will suffer, and that is through the mistakes of adults.
Before I end this post, I want to add that I had my first vaccine on the 5th of May and the second on the 9th of June and that I am fully vaccinated as of the writing of this blog post. In theory, I’m perfectly safe and can resume normal life, but according to the news I’m seeing from around the world this “in theory” is not trustworthy. The vaccine was good for the last two variants, but not for the current one.