Yes, COVID-19 is still here 3 years later. It’s most likely going to become like the flu—always around, always mutating, always deadly. As long as we can keep up with the mutations, vaccinations and Paxlovid (an antiviral medication that makes the infection less virulent) will diminish the mortality rate. James and I are still among the few who haven’t gotten it yet.
The pandemic is somewhat abated here, but in other places around the globe, it’s still raging. Americans tend to think of it as “over” because we’re so parochial. The rest of the world is out of sight and, so, out of mind for the majority of Americans. And no one else on the planet is more important than us.
I don’t agree with that stance, and there are a lot of other people who don’t. But we do oftentimes seem to be in the minority.
While looking for a discussion topic to write for work, I came across this acceptance speech by Ursula LeGuin for the 2014 National Book Award. She names the plagues of our times, long before the biological plague, COVID-19, appeared. And she calls on artists—particularly writers, since that’s her art—to redress the wrongs, to write of freedom and hope. In her words [time stamp 1:24–2:19],
I have loved Ursula LeGuin since I first read her Wizard of Earthsea trilogy when I was, I don’t remember how old. Somewhere in my early teens, I suspect. I think I’ve read everything she ever wrote since. If you haven’t read her yet, you’re missing out on a brilliant mind and impeccable writer. She is one of my heroes.
Update: Another new variant, actually probably 2 or 3 since I last wrote, each one more contagious. Fortunately, we’re vaccinated, boosted, and probably going to get another booster soon, so if we get COVID, we’ll just feel fluish, not die. Cases are pretty low here right now, but James and I still wear our masks everywhere and hand-sanitize a lot. I’d do it anyway to avoid the flu or a cold, etc. Why not? It’s great not being sick for 2 years.
My two favorite pictures right now.