As we enter the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, no end is in sight. The United States is proving to be less competent than we thought in managing this pandemic. I lost track of how many people I know contracted COVID-19 because there are so many. The virus is penetrating my close circle of family and friends more deeply and effectively this year than it did in 2020 and 2021. Fortunately, my spouse and I have been able to avoid it.
The total number of COVID-19 deaths reported to the CDC as of yesterday was 920,097. The number of excess deaths since the pandemic began already exceeds one million, they reported. With climate change and degradation of our environment, we expect other viruses presently unidentified to affect humans. It was not helpful that the Trump administration dismantled and hobbled the mechanisms we had in place to monitor and mitigate new infectious diseases. The coronavirus seems likely to persist among other viruses and diseases.
In February 2022 we are ready for the pandemic to end. The pandemic continues unabated. We made adjustments.
The main impact personally is we seldom leave the property. When we do, we wear a mask and clean up thoroughly when returning home. I’ve been starting the automobile once or twice a week. When I have been outside the house in winter it has been to take compost out to the bin, work in the yard, take a walk, or head into the retail centers for provisions. The restaurant food I’ve had was delivered by a service, and only when I helped move our daughter from central Florida last summer. Local restaurants have gotten no business from us since March 13, 2020. I picked up vegetables last spring at the farm using a pandemic protocol. We attended no in person meetings, except with our daughter. I severed relations with most of the groups to which I belonged. Combined with my retirement, the pandemic brought substantial change.
What is next? I haven’t done a deep analysis of the COVID-19 death march, although I know enough to see it targets the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and people who have not been vaccinated. We must remain vigilant so as to avoid getting COVID-19, and that means continuing to make do on our property as much as is possible. There is plenty to do. That the pandemic coincided with the beginning of our pensions and retirement from paid work means it impacted us less than younger people who must work for a living.
March 11 is the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaration that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Yesterday the Iowa governor ended her proclamation of disaster emergency. Today, the death march continues.