Don’t Panic

The Rams game, and some others, have been rescheduled due to contagion outbreaks.

There’s a sentence that wasn’t in the offing two years ago.

Like most people I immediately cried “foul!” when I heard the news. Even though my team was a beneficiary of this sudden diversion from perceived instituted policy I still thought (and think) that the best course of action is generally the consistent one. My understanding of the existing NFL policy was that teams that cannot field a squad because of contagion outbreak would have to forfeit.

But I was wrong.

The wording, lo those many months ago, was precisely this: “if a game cannot be played due to an outbreak among unvaccinated players/staff this season – and the NFL cannot find a suitable date to reschedule [within the 18-week season] – the team responsible will forfeit.”

The Rams are vaccinated. Tuesday is a suitable date within the season. All is fair. Let’s play ball.

Incidentally, I suddenly feel ill on Tuesday around 3:30 in the afternoon. If someone could call my boss?

But here we are, in the throes of – what is this – the 5th wave? The pandemic persists, as I mentioned before. Because it’s a smart virus with great adaptability just as we humans are relatively smart (with some exceptions) and adaptable ourselves (with some exceptions). The reason we have become, and will remain, the dominant species on the planet for centuries to come (barring catastrophe) is because of those very traits: intelligence and pliability. Also, according to Harari, we form well in herds, work together amenably to destroy our common foes. Like dodoes. Or Neanderthals. Or Matt Lauer.

The same holds true for humanity’s battle with Covid-19, that once-in-a-century pandemic that came and saw and kicked our ass, temporarily. It changed the rules of the game, as big, troublesome invaders are wont to do. Made us pause, rethink some strategies, reschedule events. Isolate. Mask up. Vaccinate.

It was the vaccination that was the big breakthrough, and at a breakneck pace. Virus strikes. Man adapts. And now, the world is safer than it was two years ago despite the recent evolution of the strain. Omicron, and all that it entails. We’re still losing 7000 people a day to this attack worldwide (1500 or so in America). It’s still a thing. But it’s far more a thing for the unvaccinated who choose their fate and take their chances. That is their right.

I’ve never been one for the mandates, though I toyed with the thought that perhaps we should enforce a vaccination rule for air travel for a bit. But there’s ample evidence that the filtration system in airplanes helps to keep the aerosolic nature of the spread at bay and – besides – it just seemed wrong. Sometimes what it seems is more important. I also imposed a mask mandate for those entering my store for a season – which is my right – but it quickly became untenable. Undesirable. Against my business model, honestly. I like the strong recommendation better.

Although I must admit there was a part of me that enjoyed showing antagonistic patrons the door. But, honestly, I don’t need a mandate, a mask, or a contagion to do that. That part, for me, comes naturally.

I think we’re near the end. I might be wrong, but I think the latest variant is showing us what comes next. Easily transmissible. Mostly mild, particularly for the vaccinated or otherwise resistant. Dangerous to some, particularly the unvaccinated or immunocompromised. So, my advice is this:

Get vaccinated, if you haven’t. Get boosted if it’s been a bit since your first defense. Take extra precautions if you are in the high-risk category. Know if you are. Don’t panic. And if you’re in charge out there, lighten up. This might be a hard winter, but we will face it. Together. Like humans do.

This one was bad, as bad as any has been in a century. It’s a real, biologic Y2K. But the light at the end of the tunnel is evident. Let’s get back to it and build it all back better, to coin a worthy phrase.

This was not the end of the world.

We have climate change for that. 😉

22 thoughts on “Don’t Panic

  1. Well said, though I have my doubts we’ll ever be fully back to normal. I’m vaccinated, and boosted, and taking precautions since my husband has an underlying issue… but it’s getting old. The health care system in my state is at the breaking point. They just called in the National Guard to assist because the hospitals are over run with unvaccinated patients. Something has to give.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Something definitely does. I wish with all my being that folks would just get inoculated since we already know now that is safe and extremely effective. Of course, simply saying that would send some I know into shaking fits about how we don’t know that at all because some guy on TV told them that scientists don’t know what they are talking about and that those of us who think they do are brainwashed by some other guy on TV.

      But, yeah, I really hope something does give, and soon. Taking care of ourselves, and those we love, is priority one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would say choosing to remain unvaccinated is someone’s right but they’re taking hospital beds away from others who need them. Just a few months ago a family member had to be hospitalized for something unrelated to COVID. If it happened now, well, let’s just say that the real death toll from COVID is much higher than what’s reported. Some people, people who’ve been vaccinated and wear masks and social distance and act responsibly, are dying because they have a heart attack or something else unrelated to COVID and they can’t get admitted because hospitals are full of people who wouldn’t get three freely available shots. Or, if they get admitted, they’re seen by nurses and doctors who are exhausted and overworked. Responsible people are dying because of the negligence of others.
    So I have no patience with the people who think even wearing a mask is too much. Sure, we will get through this, but let’s not make it harder than it has to be.
    The Rams are vaccinated. They’re winners.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a really good point, Christopher, and one I overlooked in my brainstorming this morning. Selfish and short-sighted people are indeed causing unnecessary prolonged illness and death in others; collateral damage for lack of a better phrase. Do we mandate vaccinations, therefore, or refuse treatment to unvaccinated people? Hard to pull that trigger, too. Like I said, I highly recommend vaccination for everyone, for the sake of us all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We already mandate seat belts and other safety measures. These mandates aren’t punitive; they’re protective. But if mandates aren’t the answer then the unvaccinated have to accept that there are consequences to their decision. Even those who have legitimate reasons for objecting to being vaccinated have to accept that their objections aren’t a free pass to go around possibly being infected by, and infecting, others. People who won’t be vaccinated for health reasons need to be careful when it comes to their own health, and people with religious objections are allowed to have their beliefs but not impose those beliefs on others. As has been pointed out elsewhere people who, say, wouldn’t go to war for religious reasons have still historically accepted that sticking to their principles means some of their other freedoms are limited.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Another round of fine, fine points. I guess I’d have to say that I don’t think those folks who resisted going to war ought to have been vilified for that, any more than returning soldiers should have been vilified for going. Even if I feel, say, the war in Vietnam was wrong, I can’t fault those who went to it for going. Nor can I fault those who objected conscientiously to participating in it. I can blame the leaders for enforcing a draft to fight an unnecessary war, but that’s a political stance and personal opinion.

        I would love to see everyone vaccinated. Even those who object to doing so for personal or political reasons. However, I just can’t get over the hump of mandating it.

        Great points, Christopher. You always get me to think deeper.


  3. Pfizer thinks two years until the first world is endemic. Until, the virus has mutated such that it’s constantly with us, constantly infecting us, just not to the point of killing us (anymore than the flu does). For the third world? Pandemic status for years after.
    Regardless, face masks have kept us (me) flu-illness free for 20 months. Coming down with a cold, regardless of severity, is a silly tradeoff for mask-wearing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two years, that’s interesting. I think I read last year that the average number of flu deaths in the US is 100 a day; we are far above that point right now. We are still in a bad place but I can honestly see a breakthrough on the horizon. Of course, we could wake up tomorrow to the news that Omicron is worse than we thought, or that Omega has come, but if I’m being consistent I tend to lean towards an outlook of optimism. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fastest way to get the “vaccine hesitant” to vaccinate? Tell them they can’t access hospitals for treatment – for anything – if they aren’t vaccinated. And enforce it. Make it real TO THEM. They’re exhausting health care systems we all rely upon, hoarding valuable medical resources when the become gravely ill with Covid-19 because of their ignorance, negatively impacting the rest of us. I’ve lost all patience and compassion for stupidity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I don’t blame you. I feel it is the soul of ignorance to ignore the evidence and resist inoculation to what is clearly the pandemic of our lifetimes. I feel that very strongly. I tend to talk to a lot of people, though, with a lot of different opinions, and even when I throw out those who evidence clear irrationality in their thinking, I find many rational arguments that disagree with me entirely. 100%. Does that mean that I should therefore enforce my opinion upon them, whether they like it or not? Can we flip that script around and allow, say, some areas to refuse healthcare to anyone who ever had a DUI? Got a seatbelt ticket? Fired a gun? Had an abortion? I would starkly refuse such restrictions.

      I don’t want people to keep risking their lives and the lives of others by refusing a simple injection to protect them from a raging virus. With all my heart I want them to vaccinate, distance, and protect themselves and others in every way they can. At the end of the day, though, I have to accept that others see the world differently than I, and I think it is imperative that we reject ultimatum and continue to strive for common ground. Even if we feel very strongly that others are making a grave mistake.


  5. We have a mask mandate and vaccine passports where I live. Nobody loves it, but the vast majority of people comply with it without any objection because we’re all aware that it’s our social responsibility to protect each other. My aunt has to have a mastectomy this coming week for breast cancer (which won’t cost a penny because of our healthcare system), and if some douchebag antivaxxer got sick with covid and needed her bed, I’d be happy to tell them to go home and treat themselves with horse dewormer or whatever those idiots are using now. On the verge of yet another lockdown, I’ve exhausted my patience with people who think it’s their right to parade around without a mask or a vaccine–if you don’t want either, stay the f** home. That’s why they have curbside pickup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally understand that frustration, sister! I had a friend, kind of a coworker who does the odd contract jobs for our business, just have an extended stay in the hospital with Covid, and we feared for his life. He was in bad shape. He’s out, back to work, but still experiencing breathing issues and exhaustion after a relatively short workday. He is unvaccinated. I think that was a personal mistake on his part but not once when he was being treated did I think he should be kicked to the curb and left to fend for himself. I wanted him treated. I wanted him better.

      There are people in my life that lined up for every shot as soon as they were available. There are people in my life that, to this day, intend to never take that injection no matter what. Some of them have those intentions for political reasons and some for health reasons (I don’t know anyone personally refusing for religious reasons) and I hate it. Absolutely hate it. It hurts my heart.

      But, at the end of the day I have to accept their choices and they have to accept mine.

      As hard as that is for us all.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, politics will infiltrate everything. What is going on over there? I keep hearing “let in,” “not let in,” “held in detention,” etc. I admit, I haven’t followed the whole situation, but every time I hear his name I think of you. ❤️ What gives??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He’s been given medical exemption (since you have to be fully vaccinated to enter the country, which he isn’t) as he had covid prior to coming to AO, which was enough at the time. All of a sudden, it isn’t and he’s seen as a treat to the Australian borders. He’s been tried in the court of law. Won once, the second hearing is tonight, so let us see.
        The truth behind the whole mess is Morison has managed the whole covid crisis pretty badly and is probably gonna lose election in spring, so Nole came in handy, a collateral damage so to say to say how they are doing a good job by treating everyone equally. If he loses the case, he’ll be deported (he’s currently in a some ‘hotel’ for illegal immigrants where he was held before with two meals a day and no phone). Besides, he may be forbidden to enter the country in the next three years.
        Sounds fair? Or political?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds political. Say, I thought Australia did a good job early on, or am I thinking of someone else? But I guess as this thing evolved pretty much no one was doing a great job after a while.

        But if the rule is you can’t come in the country without a vaccine, why let a tennis star in as an exemption? Are others getting exemptions?


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