It was a warm summer morning, the day I woke up and saw everything very different. From the outside, it all kind of looked the same: The birds were signing, the sun was shining, and the routinely activities of daily life were right there, waiting for me to take action: The kids were hungry and demanded breakfast; my husband was getting ready for work; the endless to -do list was staring at me with no sympathy. But I felt something inside of me was not the same anymore.
I turned the TV on to listen to the usual morning news. All the same: At the time of writing (July 2021) the headlines remain focused on new Coronavirus cases, new variants coming in despite highly vaccinated rates. It turns out, the danger is now with the young people. Old people are not of concern anymore. They are all vaccinated by now or at the worst, dead. The “problem” is with the young: Corona cases are increasing. The newspaper “The Independent” in England comes with a headline: “Exponential Rise in Covid cases in England driven by younger people”. In another site you read:“Covid doesn´t discriminate by age” (npr.org); Another headline from Spain: “Spain reports new rise in coronavirus infection rate as cases among young people continue to spike” (El pais.com).
Now, just as curiosity I checked another country, let´s pick Brasil. A news headline says: “The Covid-19 cases in young people are steadily increasing, according to reports” (CNN Español) (…which reports? They never mentioned). Okay, last attempt to find another storyline. I checked the news from “The Economist” in Mexico. Let’s see; first headline: “Increment in Covid-19 cases among young people, according to OPS” (Pan-American Health Association). Same storyline everywhere around the same month.
In the same article from the OPS, I read the following statement: “The hospitality rates among people below 39 year-old have increased more than 70% in Chile, and in some areas of the United States, more 20 year-old people are being hospitalized due to Covid-19 than 70 year-old people”.
Talking about Chile. I saw a video recently, were President Sebastian Piñera tells the Chilean citizens that everything is going according to budget. He said, “we have budgeted 12.000 millions of pesos for handling the covid crisis, approved in June 2019”…wait a minute. They guy is a genius or has visualization powers and predicts the future. In June 2019, the virus was not even around in Wuhan. How did he budgeted for a crisis that does not exist? That’s leadership my friends!
A year ago, the headlines were looking very different. Here is one from July 2020 in Australia: “Melbourne aged care is facing a coronavirus catastrophe…” Mr. Premier Daniel Andrews alarmingly mentioned that “we will see more people die, particularly in aged care . The consequences could not be graver” (abc.net.au). The World Economic Forum, a leading voice in all economic matters surrounding the pandemic showed a very interesting graph in early 2020 signalizing that “The fatality rate for people over 80 from COVID-19 is almost 15% according to data from China” (…again, which data? The report fails to give those details).
Curiously the fatality rate percentages looked like this back in February 2020:
So, let me try to understand this. According to the graph above, all people above 60 had a higher risk of getting the virus and dying from it in 2020. In July 2021, is all about young people. How is it possible that the virus could “discriminate” younger people, which had apparently a nearly zero risk (with 0.2%) in 2020 and just the next year, suddenly revert the graph so that all the risk is with the young people? If “Covid doesn´t discriminate by age” how did it manage to discriminate young people for an entire year? And what does it mean being at risk now? Risk to get the disease? To die?
What I have learned from this short part of the story is this: First, the virus is very disciplined worldwide. Last year it only affected old people. This year is affecting only the non-vaccinated, young people. Although last year, young people were anyway not vaccinated. Somehow, this virus is extremely precise in the target group it attacks globally. New variants are flying “instantly” to new countries, despite travel restrictions, lockdowns, masks, social distancing and all those measures applied globally.
Second, another curiosity: For the first three quarters of the year 2020, we just had the “Coronavirus” plain and simple. Towards the last quarter, we started hearing about new “variants”: The Brazilian variant, the UK variant…now the trend is with the Indian (or Delta) variant. I start to feel a bit discriminated. Why is there no Mexican variant? And what about a Swiss variant? Why not a Japanese? I tried to find some information that describes what is exactly the difference between the variants, but nothing really useful is available as “scientist are still finding out about them” (Center of Disease and prevention US Gov) and it seems like nothing we do really has an influence. The “virus” has its own agenda. It spreads at the rate it wants, infects the age group it pleases at any given moment, and it kills depending on vaccination rates. The miraculous vaccines seem to be the solution to all our problems. It will save us from dying of a cold (Covid, remember, it used to be a cold?)
Some days ago, while driving in my car, I heard a radio advertisement in Swiss German (the native “slang” in the German part of Switzerland, where I live) that went more or less like this: “Hey, do you need more reasons to get vaccinated? What about this? <sounds of friends gathering and laughing>… or this? <the sound of the waves crashing, resembling holidays>… of what about that? <the sound of music from a night club and people making cheers>…“
Third learning: So, it is not about getting back our health anymore, but also, the vaccine will give us back our freedom; we will be able to travel, to meet our friends, and to even enter to restaurants and bars, just by showing your Covid pass.
It sounds like taken out from a science-fiction movie. Unfortunately, it isn´t. This is our harsh reality in the middle of the 21st century.
How am I supposed to go on with my day? Should I be happy, because the Covid seems to be here to stay? Should I be worried? Should I be scared? Please people from the media, tell me what I have to feel now.
I turned off the TV. I kept doing my activities as usual. When the TV is off and I don´t check the social media, the reality looks actually quite different. I live in front of a beautiful forest. From my windows, I can see the beautiful and omnipresent trees. I decide to take a walk. During my walk, I saw a deer. He seemed to be particularly cheerful, walking around, unimpressed by my presence. At the same time, an elderly woman was walking her dog as well, wearing a big blue facemask. I could not avoid feeling a bit sorry for our human race. Here is the deer, walking freely in the forest, unpreoccupied by anything. He gets his food, he can walk in peace, with no timetable to follow, and he does not need to wear a mask, and worry about any sickness.
The dog seemed as well quite relaxed, just smelling everything around. Why aren´t dogs wearing a mask, by the way? They are as closest as humans as they can be. Some dogs even sleep in the same bed as their owners. From science, we know that all animals, plants, and other living organisms share the same ADN patterns as humans. We also know, that we all share 99.9% of the same genetic structure, and all living things are made of the same four basic elements: carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen (biologyonline.org) So, why only us and not the vastly rest of the living species are affected by this virus? (except for bats that are supposedly the “carriers”, although no clear evidence yet).
So, here we are. Homo Sapiens, the “smartest species” in the planet. Wearing facemasks on the open air, afraid of spreading “viruses” that are so minuscule that the pores of the mask can transfer millions of it. But anyway, is not about science, or health anymore, isn´t it? It is about doing the “right thing”. Is a fashion statement, the Status Quo. If you don´t wear a mask, you don´t belong. You “don´t care” about spreading your viruses to other people. How dare you?
Keep walking. You have a job to attend. Bills to pay. Responsibilities to do. You cannot walk free in the nature, like the deer. Can you? Can we?
We live in a world of illusions, after all.
“Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”- George Orwell