How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Coronavirus

It is time to stop living in fear. Two years after a novel coronavirus suspiciously emerged in Wuhan, some governments are still enforcing medical police states. Yet, in other locations, people live their lives freely.

On September 1, 2021, the Australian state of Victoria extended its lockdown for another three weeks after tough restrictions failed to lower the number of daily new coronavirus cases.

During August 2021, Millions of people were confined to their homes in China, despite China officially reporting only 55 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases. China is so proud of their totalitarian response to the virus that their official media outlet Global Times proudly tweeted home movies of a cute child with the caption: “Unique childhood memories! Due to the needs of epidemic prevention and control, Yunnan’s 1.5-year-old boy has already undergone 59 nucleic acid tests and a total of 5 city lockdowns after being born.” Watch the video.

Not to be outdone by the original Maoists, Harvard College upped the ante on their own medical surveillance program. They increased their student PCR testing cadence to 3 times per week in response to a bump in positivity rate to 0.3%. All those living in undergraduate housing will be tested thrice weekly even though they have a 93% vaccination compliance rate. In addition, other restrictions based on Harvard’s current threat level Lime include: each resident can host only 1 guest at a time in their room or suite, only grab-and-go dining is available, and travel is only allowed within 10-mile radius of campus; no overnight stay away from campus allowed.

Meanwhile across the nation, college football stadiums are crowded. In Tallahassee, mask-less students stood shoulder to shoulder yelling and cheering on their Seminoles playing the Fighting Irish. Here in South Carolina, on vacation, I marvel that no one obsesses over the delta variant, booster shots and vaccine mandates. At three different meetings, we shook hands at the beginning and end. (In New York, that would be a serious faux pas) People are much happier. Yes, some people wear masks, but no one wears a mask outside or while driving a car alone.

The vaccine showed great promise when it first came out, but months later its effectiveness is waning. Vaccinated people can get infected and spread the virus. Although the vaccine still appears to be helpful in lessening the severity illness, hope that it would eradicate Covid is gone. The novel Wuhan coronavirus can’t be stuffed back in the test tube. We will have ongoing cases as new strains emerge, recurring surges are inevitable. Hopefully, though, the severity will decrease as people build up immunity through repeated vaccination and/or infection.

If you’re still afraid, take this simple advice from Tom Leher, “Wear a gas mask and a veil. Then you can breathe, long as you don’t inhale.”

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