COVIDead City is now the 18th largest city in the US, larger than Seattle by a good bit and smaller than San Francisco by a good bit, too (there's a 130,000 person population difference between the two cities).
It's remarkable how our perception of the magnitude and severity of this pandemic has changed, even among folks that aren't in the anti-vax/Ivermectin/Pandemic camp. This latest Delta-variant surge has never dipped below the second wave and yet nearly all of us are in a much less fraught state-of-mind than at most points last year. Doctors and nurses have been transformed from heroes to targets of abuse which, in combination with the trauma of dealing with so many deaths with no end is sight, is driving them to leave medicine entirely. A husband in Florida is suing the hospital staff who cared for his wife, who died of COVID, for not administering Ivermectin as he directed. D & I traveled through three states and D.C., and observed vastly different cultures around mask wearing. Hardly a mask worn in FL any more. My point is that the medical part of the pandemic has become landfill of the culture war that is playing out across the country, and the world.
My point is also that this five act play is still in Act IV. We have a lot of epic drama in front of us still.
And we are all just... exhausted... by it all; tear ducts wrung out, hearts shriveled two sizes too small as the deaths, the illnesses, the Long COVID, the hostility continues to amount, and the lines between the camps harden.
What's next? I don't know. I just know that a lot of change is on top of us, coming at us all from every direction possible, and at a speed beyond what even the best of us can manage. Maybe we thought we were finding a "new normal" but that's not true, either, because the scale, scope, and speed of the changes negates the formation of new norms. Or, said differently, if "ad hoc AF" is a new norm, then we have a new norm. Our lives as a Minimal Viable Product in an all-encompassing Agile paradigm with no project manager.
A final note: don't read this as if I wrote this in despair. I didn't. These are merely bald, unadorned observations now.
Author: Jonathan Cornwell