The Year-Old Pandemic

The Year-Old Pandemic

Thanks to the incompetence of leadership during this pandemic Switzerland went from a low of 21 cases per day in June 2021 to a high of 3600 or more over Christmas. This is really a shame. For a short period up to the 21st of June Switzerland really looked as if it would end the pandemic.

On the 21st of June the government made a mistake. It reopened society. The rational was that the pandemic would soon end and that slowly we could return to life as normal. Within a week or two the number of new cases started to go up again, but rather than go a step back until the number went back down the government went ahead with the next diminishing of sanctions.

Over time, we could see the number of new cases climb and climb and I really expected to see a peak within two weeks from the 1st of August. It came about three to four weeks later and that’s close to when the second wave was declared. Bad decisions continued to be taken until it was decided that people should have their Christmas and new Year. Two weeks after all the Christmas shenanigans were over tightening came back, and instantly the number of new cases went down.

We’re now a year into the pandemic with little chance of the pandemic ending anytime soon.

As I see it the government has two possible avenues. The first is to vaccinate everyone, but the drawback is that you need vaccines to vaccinate people, so for now this idea is on hold. The second idea, and this was definitely possible in June, and is still being proved by New Zealand, is that you can end the pandemic with proper government directives.

Last week Switzerland finally got down to just 1000 cases per day, which is excellent news, and with a little effort it looks as if the pandemic could end sooner, rather than later. Unfortunately the government decided to reopen society yesterday, so we are now condemned to go through another wave of infections and the end has been blown away by bad policy.

One weakness during this pandemic is that lockdowns and restrictions have been pictures as political rather than scientific. As a result of this people are guided by their emotions rather than their rationality. This irrationality means that people fail to see that the sooner the pandemic ends, the sooner normal life returns.

The more often society reopens, the longer the pandemic will last, and the longer the pandemic lasts, the more businesses will go bankrupt. It makes sense to have a lockdown like we had this time last year, for the pandemic to end, so that life can resume.

There is another cost to the pandemic. Teenagers are unable to have a normal university experience. Add to this that around 36 percent of homes in Switzerland are one person and this is a theoretical 36 percent (I don’t know the actual number of people) who might have gone without a hug, a kiss or a handshake for almost a year by now.

In the 21st century plenty of people live alone, and when you live alone during a pandemic it implies that you do not see many people. In fact the only person you see during the day is the cashier, if you buy food.

Switzerland decided to close petrol stations on Sunday, and my habit of seeing one person in the physical world per day was lost. I sometimes go three to four days at a time without speaking to another human being.

This pandemic is teaching us to live in absolute solitude, for days at a time with no contact, and weeks, months or even seasons without even a handshake or hug.

I don’t watch normal television anymore. If a podcast has someone speaking about relationships I pause or stop listening. I avoid films. I avoid certain topics in podcasts. I listen to very little music.

We’re in a pandemic, and we live in solitude. Normal people think “the pandemic will take two years to resolve, and it isn’t that bad”, but to people in solitude it is that bad. Solitude is fine, as long as it is not made to feel like isolation, and that’s why I changed my media consumption habits. I went to be comfortable in solitude, not distressed in solitude.

With how people behave, and how the government behaves, we are in for a few more months at best. Maybe the summer of 2022 will be less lonely.

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