The Pandemic Duality

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There are currently two societies. On one side we have those who believe what they are told and take everything at face value. On the other side we have those that look at the bigger picture, that follow international news, and look at the big picture.

The society that believes what they are told without asking questions believes that the pandemic is over and that life is back to normal. They believe that there is no longer a need for masks, and that big events with plenty of people are without danger once again. Paradoxically the behaviour of the virus will give these people their moneys’ worth because it will not make them sick instantly. There is always a nice calm, before a wave of new infections. People will have normal lives of insouciance for a while. Eventually though, by mid September or later a new pandemic wave will hit and those that danced with the sirens will fall victim to their songs.

On the other side you have those that are looking at the big picture, that are seeing in international news that the pandemic doesn’t just end, by some miracle. We see that China and New Zealand make a massive effort to keep the pandemic under control. Shanghai went into full lockdown. Beijing is currently busy testing everyone, to see whether there is a problem, and if there is they are willing to react instantly.

In South Africa we see another wave, similar to the one from last year, but with reports of “The death rates may have been under-reported last year. The aim of this blog post is not to document every article and idea I saw, but rather to give a global view of what I remember to provide people with some context.

Every summer the number of sick drops down, so every summer in Europe would be the ideal time to work towards Covid zero, but people never do. This means that for year after year we live in pandemic insecurity, knowing that spending time indoors, with too big a group, will result in a mass-spreader event.

You may think “But you’re an idiot to worry so much, it’s just a little virus, plenty of people are fine.” and you’d be partially right. The problem is that there is a “what if?” element. When you’re hiking, climbing, diving or doing something dangerous you always ask “what if” and you assess whether the risk is too high to go ahead or not.

I was going to list all the organs that Covid could affect but instead I will simply refer to the tweets we see often that say “I went from training for my 11th marathon to struggling to shower” to “my resting heart rate is 120” to “my spouse died of Covid” to “my child is unable to attend school due to long covid”. The problem is serious enough for people with Long Covid to be dispensed from the GCSE exams. This is not nothing, and self isolation is for a valid reason.

Do I feel good or smart about isolating? Am I overfilled with joy? No, I feel like an idiot in certain circumstances. I feel sad that I don’t socialise at the moment. Is being this cautious worth it in the end? Of course the answer is no, until you fall sick with Long Covid, and you’re one year into your recovery, wishing you could finally be well enough to walk for 10 minutes without getting tired.

The emotional yoyo only goes up when I am reminded of the life I am not living. When I am in solitude I feel fine. When I study I feel fine. When I cycle and when I walk I feel fine, until I cross people not walking in solitude.

How young people felt during this pandemic in Switzerland

The table above shows how people have felt during this pandemic and what you see is that the young people have felt the worst about this pandemic but that for the first wave they were not happy but they seemed okay. I see this data and I believe that it shows that society could have coped with a prolonged soft lockdown to get to Zero Covid. With Zero Covid the second wave and the obligatory certificate would have been unnecessary.

It’s interesting to see how the 30-50 year olds joined together in mysery by December 2021.

Before I conclude this post I think that it’s worth looking at what New Zealand, Italy and Covid Zero countries are doing because they will suffer less from Long Covid, once the pandemic is over, twenty two years from now. I mention Italy because they have decided to keep masks at least until summer, if not longer. I would love for Switzerland and other countries to do the same. We are sleep walking into the next wave, but we are also missing yet another opportunity to get to Covid Zero.

SARS CoV-2 in wastewater

That is it for now.





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