For the first one hundred days of the pandemic it felt long but we had a hope, and the impression that respective governments were working to eradicate the pandemic so that we could resume normal life. Eventually though people against lockdowns, and against other measures began to be heard and so societies around the world reopened, and with the reopening of society so the virus flared up again. In the French part of Switzerland society is opening up despite half of people tested for covid testing positive, and despite knowing that the numbers are climbing by around 30 percent per week.
The number of children falling sick is increasing in Switzerland but some cantons are allowing children to stop wearing masks and it is written about as if it is a liberation. Before this pandemic falling sick, or being exposed to illness was either never, or rarely seen as a right. Health was seen as a right.
Vaud is going to remove the obligation to wear masks in crowds and in towns, meaning that now, if you want to stay safe, you have to stay away from crowds, cities and to some degree even villages.
Today when I wrote that with the new measures I would continue to avoid towns and cities as people are not wearing masks I was told “well it’s your choice to continue, if you wish. Leave the choice to others” to which I responded that self-isolation isn’t our choice because the risk of being infected comes from those who are either not masked, not vaccinated, or not self isolated. I was called a liar so I blocked the troll.
I recognise that logic. It is the logic of alcoholics and drunks. “I can do what I want because it doesn’t harm anyone.” and “Let other people have their freedoms” and other such attitudes. Selfishness. For the entirety of this pandemic the idea of people being selfish has permeated the pandemic conversation.
To get out of this pandemic we need selflessness and empathy. We need people to vaccinate, to wear masks, to aerate, to socially distance and to show empathy for others. At the moment the opposite is happening. Those who think there is nothing to worry about are forcing those who want to remain safe, to withdraw to the countryside and minimise any and all social contact.
Those who don’t want measures, are forcing those who want to minimise risk of catching the virus to live in solitude, ostracised from society for taking a pandemic seriously. This ostracism has lasted for two years and there is no sign of it getting any better for months or even years to come.
The Infection Paradox
The biggest challenge we face as a society is that there is the notion that the current variants are safe. There is the misplaced idea that we can fall sick, but because we’re not ending up in hospital, that it is safe. With the speed at which the virus spreads through society it will take weeks to infect everyone. That’s where the discussion about intentional eugenics comes in.
If we are optimists then we think there is nothing to worry about and in a few weeks the pandemic is over. If we are well-read realists then we have seen that from 10 percent to 60 percent of people develop Long Covid, and that many are being infected two or three times within a month or two.
Europe is falling sick, and we don’t know what the long term effects of Covid-19 are. We will see how history remembers this moment in time. We have to sit and wait for this pandemic to end.
On twitter I have found a bubble of likeminded people who think we should be working towards covid zero, and minimising risk, rather than the opposite.