2022: Letting go of Hope in the Third Year of the Covid-19 Pandemic
2022 was the year I let hope go. I know it sounds bleak, but hear me out. We all have expectations and goals and exercise our free will to affect the courses of our lives. In spite of our best efforts, there is only so much an individual swimming against the tide can do. Putting hope in other people, depending on them to do the right thing, has never worked out well for me. The Covid-19 pandemic reinforced this irrevocably in my mind. Nearly everyone has moved on and accepted the lie that the pandemic is “over,” even with the deadly truth of overrun hospitals and rapidly spreading variants staring us all in the face. I believe we owe each other a duty of care. Not enough people agree with that sentiment. This has always been true, and I’ve always known it to be true. Even so, I’ve been woefully naive about the scope of the problem.
I genuinely believed the watershed moment of the ongoing pandemic would spawn, if not a majority, at least a critical mass of people committed to wanting to prevent such widespread death and debility. I thought they would be enough of a bulwark. It’s been quite the waking nightmare to watch this ghoulish, deluded march “back to normal!” as waves of people are contracting multiple times a virus that can dysregulate the human immune system so much that Long Covid (the name given to lingering, serious Covid-19 symptoms) has a new classification: “The Autoimmune Registry has determined that biomarkers of immune system activity similar to those seen in many autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases justify the inclusion of Long Covid on its list of diseases.” The Autoimmune Registry notes that more research is needed to confirm Long Covid’s placement on the list of autoimmune diseases, but the well-documented brain fog, deep fatigue, blood clots and other symptoms that persist for months or years make Long Covid something people shouldn’t be taking chances with. Many of them would be more cautious, if the seriousness of the potential negative outcomes had been made clearer to them.
As early as the spring of 2020, major news outlets reported that some patients’ immune systems were responding abnormally to Covid-19. So-called Covid “long-haulers” also made the news in 2020. The cache of evidence demonstrating serious long-term effects of Covid-19 has grown only…