Reflecting on COVID’s impact

Nobody wants to read about COVID-19 anymore. It’s like mentioning the IBI (incoherent bloviating imbecile) “Bad form, son, bad form.”

But, we still talk about COVID amongst ourselves. The new variants—will we need a booster for the zeta variant this fall? Will the more virulent variants finally eliminate the anti-logic conservatives? Will Fauci run for President? Should I keep wearing my mask, after all, it saved me from getting any air-born illness, including the seasonal flu.

And indeed, there are various societal changes, many of them beneficial, from having survived COVID-19.

  • Reduction in influenza. Incidents of the “flu” are nearly non-existent. Swapping out a much more deadly disease for our yearly fever-body-ache-runny-nose may not have been a wise trade. But, the near elimination of the “common cold” has proven humans really can change their behavior.
  • Millennials learned to cook. (And thousands of tons of Blue-Apron/Hello Fresh Styrofoam containers now fester in our landfills.)
  • We connected with our immediate families. (Like one long Thanksgiving dinner.)
  • We taught corporate management working from home will not render us all slackers and destroy businesses.
  • Home schooling became the only way to learn — but who would want to? Except, if you can get a college degree online
  • We bought more exercise equipment (that’ll wind up on Craigslist this summer). We turned Jeff Bezos into a mega-billionaire — by all means, order that shit online! We drank ourselves silly, wallowed in depression and discovered many of us have Ciliac disease.
  • Professional sports died. Geeze, I wish. By-all-means, keep paying those buffoons the millions they (do not) deserve.
  • Pharmaceutical companies expanded vaccine technology. The impact of future diseases will hopefully be reduced due to advances in how vaccines are designed and produced.
  • Proved we can live a less planet-attenuating lifestyle. I mean, I don’t care if Global Warming roasts us all alive. The planet is not a thing that needs saving. (Remember, I’m 90% Nihilist.) However, if we wanted to extend the Holocene out indefinitely, 2020 showed that humanity can live a less rapacious lifestyle.

And, of course, COVID showed us a few shifts in behavior that are nonsensical or downright unfortunate.

  • Fewer cars on the road resulted in MORE deaths? Yup. It seems that wide-open highways induced the idiots of the world to drive way faster, without their seat belts and while under the influence.
  • The CDC became unreliable. The United States’ preeminent health agency turned into a factory of lies.
  • We learned to shun our neighbors. “Stranger! Quick, cross the road. They might be infected.”
  • Theaters died, restaurants vanished, hundreds of thousands of small businesses withered away.

However, recall that after the Black Death, the plagues of the mid-1300’s, life became better for the survivors. The labor shortage allowed wage increases for the poor and the shift in power is thought to have led to the the Renaissance.

And the best example of success from calamity, from the ashes of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, mammals arose, and with them the greatest vermin—humanity—this side of Tau Ceti.

roses of success chitty chitty bang bang
“Up from the ashes, grow the roses of success.”

18 thoughts on “Reflecting on COVID’s impact

  1. One of the most striking effects of this Covid Era has been, to me, the heightened awareness of the huge divide between scientists and politicians. You reminded me of that when you said something about the CDC losing its credibility.
    A scientist — a good one — can only say what is true given the current understanding of an admittedly small database. A politician can say any damn thing he wants. And does. Guess who “wins.”
    It must be like getting into a neighborhood squabble with Roseanne Barr.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We also learned here, tragically, that our government believed the elderly were dispensable. At least until the public found out about it. Personally I love working from home—my team managed to do more than our usual work that way. But already we’re hearing those insidious whispers from upper management about “the eventual return to the office “. Glad I’m retiring soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just a few additions from my own perspective:

    -Hoarding. Isn’t it silly when even non idiots have to buy all the toilet paper they can get, and so on, given that standard idiots go into their on idiot survival mode? I found the run on bottled water particularly humorous. Apparently many idiots have no grasp of even the most simple varieties of mathematics.

    -It’s the most vulnerable of us, certainly in America, who have mainly paid the price for this, both in income and education. Conversely the careers of my wife an I have taken a major turn for the better, and the value of our home has been amazing! Banks are now loaning money for free (or far less after maybe 20% home inflation). In a sense it’s strange to me that only Blacks have mounted an uprising so far, and that’s given a different problem anyway.

    -If the virus would have mainly affected the young rather than the old, things would have been 10 times worse. Instead of the standard rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, economies should have largely shut down! And now that we’ve paid all this money to the drug industry, it seems unlikely to me that any virus, regardless of the target, will ever do anything like this again. I realize that this is an unpopular opinion, or that we should all still be scared. I don’t think so however. There are always new catastrophes out there to hit the unwary. If you see it coming then you can prepare. It’s the stuff that we don’t see coming that should get us next round.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good stuff, PE. Hoarding: what a weird thing, yeah? It must be based on some ancient starvation gene.
      Aside from getting laid off in August (but then immediately finding a better gig) and my heart attack (1 day after the layoff), we, too, are way better off, financially. We made more $ in 2020 than ever before.
      The Spanish Flu of 1918 did affect the young. Cytokine storms were common — they youth’s immune systems freaking out. So, yeah, had COVID hit the young? Way, way different story.
      The measure of humanity is a string of calamities separated by recovery and preparation for the next.
      Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Everybody may be done with COVID, but COVID isn’t done with us. For one thing, a lot of people still aren’t vaccinated. I know someone currently in quarantine because their daughter tested positive.

    I don’t know about corporate management, but a lot of management is forcing people back into the office, albeit allowing some remote days. Of course, a lot of employees are also quitting.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There were things I missed doing in person, like groups I belong to at church, but I have many fond memories of getting paid more money (than I usually make) to do jack shit for three months. Even having covid was a nice little vacation from my job.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Covid pulled back the curtain to expose Capitalism for what is is: a hypocritical power grab. Commute for two hours, come to work, be part of the family. Your “presence” is required.
    “I quit.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The real tragedy in those small businesses that withered is the loss of arts instruction. Dance, music, art (as a catch-all) – so many died that those remaining will wilt and die. The big trust-funded outfits will survive, but with what and from where will they fill their stables of new talent? Something else that Covid put on hold was the collective creative mind. We survived. Period. I do like passing up the flu and a cold or two. I’m still OCD with “Hand Satanizer” and wear my mask because I trust people about as much as I trust the internet. Good show, tallying it all up. All we need now is 4 panes of “qualified” talking heads to speculate on it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Imagine being a cop in these times? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Only six body-cams, streamed to an online server, with strict adherence to policy would provide the security that you wouldn’t get fired or sued out of existence.

      Like

  8. We taught our employers that we can work from home just fine. However, they still don’t trust us. (I think) Instead, they say that it’s to support the company culture and teamwork by coming back to the office. They also said that our “presence” in the building/ area/ etc. is important so that others don’t forget about us. I find it rather sad that people think that if you’re not seen, you are forgotten. I mean, I know that’s true, but I find it disturbing. Shouldn’t we care about people whether we see them or not? Maybe it’s just me being used to having family scattered across the globe…

    And, those companies talk about being environmentally friendly yet seem to forget that by not driving to the office every day, I “save the planet” just a bit more.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I consider America to be “mostly geared” toward socio-economic and/or cultural subset cliques, manufactured by herd mind necessity out of commonality of employment, location, interest or ethnicity. Or superficial associations created by press agents and fear mongering.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I wonder, as the population grows, does the subtle partitioning of our psycho-tribes grow? The butter-side up vs the butter-side down syndrome?
            And not just the micro-division of our tribalism, but the number of sub-tribes we might belong to. All the labels we attribute, do they each represent tribal exclusivity?
            Are we constantly seeking that dividing line between stranger and neighbor, regardless of the topic at hand?
            Licorice lover vs hater?
            Analog music vs digital?
            Nike vs Adidas? Coke/Pepsi? Red/Blue?
            Is everyone we meet instantly judged and classified by the tribes and sub-tribes they belong to?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I would say yes. The degree to which we think it matters depends on the value or significance we attach to others’ preferences vs our own. “Bob will kill your grandmother for crystal meth” vs “Bob loves vinyl records.” And what’s scary is the good/bad judgement shifts depending on the audience. Ascribing personal value to brand preferences is silly, but very much a factor. You’d think it would be kids, but I had a friend I busted about the evils of Diet Coke, just as a joke, who got all kinds of pissy about it. Like I was denigrating some massive portion of his identity. I quit smoking 12 years ago, but I don’t get all high and mighty with smokers. Because, like most things, it’s a choice. However, I will always cheer for anyone playing against the Philadelphia Eagles. Why? I have no idea. They never did anything to me. Must have been something from my childhood.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Maybe it’s an indication of the notion of self. The less developed, the more inclined to identify and adopt the persona of the tribe(s). I used to be a member of the NRA. I still love guns, their sleek efficiency and craftsmanship. ForgottenWeapons is a favorite youtube channel. But, I don’t give a shit about the 2nd Amendment. Even though I trust the government more than I trust Cleetus and his rusted out, gun-racked pickup, I keep a couple of .22’s squirreled away, for, you know, squirrels n’ things.

                Liked by 1 person

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