Monday, November 07, 2022

Life in the Time of the Virus: Update

Railroad Train, Edward Hopper - 1908
 At the time of this writing, about 350 people per day are dying of coronavirus. For those morbidly keeping score at home, we lose 251 people/day to drug overdoses, 118/day to car accidents, and 123/day to firearms. So the pandemic keeps inching closer to daily life as "just one more thing" that can kill you around here.

One of the results of this is that Washington State and Seattle are ending the emergency. Which is sort of like an old Doonesbury cartoon where they ended the energy crisis because everyone was used to it by now, so it could hardly be a crisis, eh? We will continue to see hospitalizations and deaths, but they will be at a more manageable level as far as the institutional structure is concerned.

Most of those who are worst affected are, unsurprisingly, those who have eschewed shots in the first place. But a lot of friends and colleague, including the vaccinated, have come down with it and their symptoms have varied from mild and irritating to miserable and lingering. So even with proper vaccines, it remains dangerous.

On a local level, the Lovely Bride got her bivalent shot and seems to have emerged unscathed. I was grumping around for a day or so, but in my case, I triple-shotted a flu shot, COVID shot, and pneumonia shot in one go, which was probably a bad idea. Still, both the LB and I have dodged the viral bullet so far (touch wood).

Masks are still a thing, but in a much more limited sense. Theaters, medical offices, and tai chi are the only places that they seem mandatory. I haven't had to show my vac card for the past six months. so my freedoms have pretty much been intact. It is at most a very limited oppression. I still wear a mask when shopping. though I am in the minority these days. I am fortunate in that masks really don't bother me much (I have a bin of them by the door), and I seem to be able to communicate without too much difficulty (I have very expressive eyebrows).

On the horizon, there seems to be some new wave of variants coming out of Europe, which there has been a limited amount of information. And the flu season is hitting. AND there is a new RSV (Respiratory Syndrome Virus, similar to the common cold) going around. And Monkey Pox. So yeah, I'm still comfortable with a mask.

More later,