The third part of this COVID trilogy is wearing a little thin.
The first part of the story had all the elements of a tragic-comedy. A deadly disease with a mysterious source; tales of heroic health care workers and first responders risking their lives for others; the inability of governments not only to come up with solutions for problem, but even their failure to have an idea of what was going on.
The sequel wasn’t quite as scary, but it had its moments. This time, the disease spread more easily, but now there was a vaccine. Lots of people got shots thinking they would be protected, but it turned out you still might get sick, just not as bad.
Then a new subplot was introduced: political unrest! Masks were either a sign of civic duty or a sign of surrendering to a government mind-control plot. Family members stopped talking to each other after arguing about whether people should wear masks or get the shot.
Like any good story, there are some comic moments. Here in Ohio, the state legislature passed a law that limited the power of the state’s chief medical officer during emergencies. This is a group that can’t find a way to draw legislative boundaries and that has failed for decades to resolve the state’s school financing mess. It has to make you laugh to think in a medical emergency they will be able to agree on a workable plan – or maybe it’s not so funny, after all.
But on to the third part of the trilogy. COVID is even more contagious now than ever, but it seems to have lost most of its punch. In the first part of the story, people were terrified. In this part, everyone just seems to be tired of the whole thing. It’s like a third book or movie that bores you half way through and you decide you just don’t want to wait around until the end of the story.
I understand it’s a serious thing for people who recently have had COVID. I know people who have been vaccinated and boosted enough times that they look like pin cushions. And they still got COVID! I tell them they ought to be like Superman or Supergirl now, immune to any future COVID outbreaks – well, unless someone figures out how to add some kryptonite in there.
Which brings up another point – unless I missed it, no one has ever really determined how this all started. Apparently it either was the work of a Chinese anteater whose habitat is rapidly being destroyed by humans or the work of a bunch of crazy Chinese scientists who mixed up their test tubes. Either way, we humans only have ourselves to blame.
For the record, I got the shots and the boosters. Did it help or will I wake up some day with extra body parts because the vaccine has genetically altered my DNA? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
COVID certainly has changed things. I have to admit I felt pretty uncomfortable when I recently got on an airplane for the first time in three years. Mostly, that was due to the tiny seats they put on planes these days, but I also was a little unnerved by being around so many people in so small a space.
I never really liked big crowds anyway, but now I like them even less. I also have made a vow to stay away from pangolins and mad scientists.
But for the most part, I feel pretty good about things. I have just one, small, nagging thought in the back of my mind: What if there’s a fourth part to this story?
David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected]