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Strange, Strange, Strange

22 May

ADiaryofaPandemicMaster

May 22,  2020

Day 62

To the extent that it is possible within the limits of their resources, every country in the world has tried to find a way to deal with all of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have decided to say that it does not exist, some have decided to let it run its course and others have attempted, with varying degrees of success, to stem, if only for a little while, the wave of contagion. We are in the midst of the first months of what may prove to be a years long battle to defeat a thing that is not even technically alive, but which is multiplying in its billions of trillions and spreading slowly, inexorably to every living human in the world.

I fear that the end result of all our tilting at this implacable windmill of Mother Nature will be the sad fact that we are powerless in the face of its relentless march and that one will either catch it and live, or catch it and die. Those that live will either have no long term problems or they will struggle with the effects of the virus for the rest of their lives. But they will be alive. They will reproduce and those most resistant to the virus will pass on this resistance to their children. Time and tide will relegate the Covid-19 bug to the history books and the world will wait nervously or obliviously for whatever’s coming down the pike next from the wet markets of China. The virus is going to run its course and humans are banging their heads as it does.

We see this happening now as governments try to protect citizens who don’t want to be protected. We see it in the attempts by some nations to pay lip service to their stated goal of protecting the older members of society while devoting equal, if not more attention to protecting their economies. Fear and apathy are revealed in the morbid nickname of Boomer Remover coined by some who cannot begin to imagine that they might one day be the same age as those they are so dismissive of now. The disease is driving a worldwide wedge into the fault lines of party politics and the result is that those in power will begin to sacrifice the vulnerable in order to protect themselves. Billionaires build bunkers equipped with swimming pools, stock them with the best viands money can buy. They staff them with masseuses, cooks, nurses and personal assistants for every need, then hunker down to ride out the storm, aloof in isolated luxury. Celebrities utterly convinced of their importance fill their Instagram feeds with inane yammering about lockdown being like prison or how we’re all in this together. They describe the hardships they’re enduring and post pictures of their activities as if anyone cared and they pat each other on the back and dream of the day they can hobnob on the walkways again and be famous once more. We see it as governments realise they cannot remain shut down forever. With covidiots partnered with those who simply need to go back to work. With protesters marching on capitols carrying signs that say what amounts to, “If you don’t like my driving, stay off the sidewalk!”.

Through it all the virus continues to be spread by human activity, good or bad, well intentioned or clueless, like water finding its way into every space it can. It’s not overly virulent, as plagues go, and people are getting tired of it ruling their lives. So they carry it to their friends and neighbours and coworkers and fellow citizens and say, “Here, I’ve got it so you might as well have it too. Enjoy! You’re not too old are you? Diabetic? Overweight? Sorry about that, but you’ll be stronger for it.” In the end it will be like a good TV series that everyone eventually sees. Some watch it as it happens, week by week while others binge watch entire seasons a few years down the line. Sooner or later, though, everyone has seen it and then it’s gone, but not gone. It just blends with the scenery. A part of life in the bad old 2020’s. We’re in for a long, strange haul.

And that’s why I’m glad I live in New Zealand. It’s one of the last sane places on the planet and is a country that, whether through geographical isolation or enlightened leadership or just plain dumb luck, has managed thus far to slam the door on the world and then take great strides toward eradicating Covid-19 within its borders. This miracle mixture of luck and applied discipline has bought me some time before its my turn to dance with the devil. Time for the vaccine makers to do their thing, or, failing that, for the drug makers to whistle up some expensive brew so that I can ride this planet a few more times around the sun. I could not be in a better place and from where I sit and write, the view alone is worth the trouble.

 

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Here are the numbers for the island nation that is my home…

AMAY22NZCov

1 New case, 3 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to confirmed and probable cases is 96.7%. 2 Zeroes on the board. 28 active cases left.

 

ATHEUNIVERSEISSPEAKING

 

A@NDUNI

 

ASTRANGE