I’ve got the more-intense cold that’s been doing the rounds, and I hate it. Of course, I’d much prefer to have this than COVID: as annoying as it is now, there shouldn’t be any long-term effects, and I’m not heading to the hospital any time soon. So I consider myself lucky.
We hit 800,000 US COVID deaths this week. Almost 1 in 6 people in the country have contracted it. It’s the third largest killer after cancer and heart disease - which itself is an improvement on the beginning of the year, when it was the number one cause of death.
I’m mad at myself for catching a cold: if I caught this, I could have caught something much worse. I’m lucky enough to be triple-Pfizer-vaccinated (and donate to COVAX so more of the world can be), and I’m masked in public. But the risk isn’t zero, to myself or others: as bad as I’d feel catching COVID, I’d feel worse passing it onto someone else.
I’d really like this pandemic to end. But unlike the world presented in this famously awful Atlantic article, we can’t pretend that it has. I’m looking forward to a world without masks, where we can gather again and build community in person, but it isn’t here quite yet. Hopefully next year.