Get your booster, there’s a wave
There’s a winter wave coming for the US. For sure.
Europe is one bellwether. What we see there, we tend to see in the US next. WHO and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control have been warning of an incoming COVID wave for weeks now. Germany is talking about reinstating mask mandates and they are currently reporting the highest COVID hospitalization rates since the start of the pandemic.(1)
Canada is another place to watch. The US-Canada border is open now, and truck traffic is back to pre-pandemic levels. Canada is likely to see a COVID wave at the same as the US - not ahead of it. And at this very moment, Ontario is seeing both a rise in COVID deaths and more COVID in its wastewater.
I can’t tell you which variant is going to drive the wave. That’s not clear yet. But there’s a whole lot brewing out there. A huge range of variants and subvariants circulating, evolving, and infecting. WHO is tracking dozens of them. This New York Magazine article has a good summary of the contest for variant dominance. But how much does it really matter? You do not want to get any kind of COVID, full stop. (2) There’s no guarantee, either, that just one variant will win the contest. We could have a whole subvariant swarm driving a winter wave.
So the wave is coming - soon.
This is a communal problem that needs a communal solution. You stop an infectious disease by stopping infections. An inherently group type activity. But we’ve already seen that our governments either can’t or won’t do what’s needed to protect their populations. Which leaves us, as individuals and families doing our best to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors and communities
All of this comes just in time for the holidays. Awkward family conversations about indoor get togethers, discovering that one uncle has gone Qanon and anti-vaxx, and squishing ourselves into crowded airplanes. Lucky us!
Solidarity, friends. Hang in there. I don’t need to tell you to get your boosters - I know that’s the easy part, achy feverish side effects or not. The hard part is the people stuff. Having the same conversations over and over. Feeling like the oddball and the buzzkill. (3)
I am going to do as much of the hard stuff as I bear. I’ll keep wearing my masks even though I’m almost always the last mask standing. I’m going to keep having excruciating conversations to work out everyone’s safety and comfort levels. I am going to nag all my people about getting their boosters. I’m going to keep writing my representatives and calling for more attention to the pandemic.
I hope you will too.
Are we still saying periodt? Can I say it if I’m not Black? Because that’s what we need here. (And it looks like no we’re not, and also no I shouldn’t.)
I might be an oddball and a buzzkill but I am also Cassandra. (I met Larry Brilliant at TED once, btw. He asked me to move so he could access the soda cooler.)
Heyo, just posting here to ask you to please considering joining Mastodon (I'm on the mastodon.lol incidence but a lot of folks are on mastodon.social). I'm also not going to post more on Twitter, and I will miss you there.
(Also, IDK, email me, my name at the G m a i l place, if you want to update contact info - I got a phone in 2001, but SHOCKINGLY that is AFTER we knew each other, lol.)
Also, yeah, I got my booster so fast, omg. And yes. I'll be wearing masks, turning on air filters, asking the building coordinators where I'm an adjunct if we've got MERV 13 filters and we're changing them regularly ... etc. Anyway. Yep. Sigh.