M.G. Siegler has an interesting take on how we should start thinking about COVID. And it’s one that I tend to agree with.
Folks, I think it’s time to call it. COVID-19 is going to be here with us for a long, long time. Maybe forever. Which sounds terrifying, except that it’s perhaps the opposite. Because it means we’re going to learn to live with it. That’s what we do. So… what if we just start doing that now?
Many people still will not get the vaccine, for whatever reason. Nearly all of these reasons fall on the spectrum of stupid to misguided, but it really doesn’t matter at this point. At some point we have to recognize that we’re not going to convince these people. Carrots did not work (again, as expected). And while other countries are switching to sticks — and guess what? It’s working! — we’re unlikely to do that because freedom or whatever the fuck.
So it’s time to get on with it.
That’s the thing, it’s pretty clear we’re going to keep getting surges and lulls. Like the tide coming in. Yes, it’s largely thanks to the unvaccinated, but again, it’s unclear what else we can do to convince them at this point.
So what if we just get back to life? People will get COVID because people catch all kinds of sicknesses. Maybe they have to be out for a couple days or maybe not at all depending on the situation. Maybe it spreads around an office as a flu or cold would. Ideally the sick people would know to stay home but again, we have to be honest how this plays out. This is going to slowly morph over time into a sickness treated like those more common ones.
The difference, of course, is that for the immediate future, there’s a chance that if the person with COVID infects someone who is not vaccinated, they could get really sick. But again, we’ve spent as much time as we possibly can convincing these people to get vaccinated. You could literally walk down the street anywhere in the U.S. right now and get a shot. This is not true in most other places in the world, which really just makes me even more sad. We have the power to end this here and we just don’t give enough of a shit collectively to do that.
So we move on. We keep living and some people, sadly, keep dying. But it’s hard to see a legitimate alternative at this point. We won’t force vaccinations. And the rules about masks can only cause so much whiplash. COVID is never going to end, the best we can hope is that it morphs over time into a truly benign disease. And we live with it just as we do with so many others.
This is just so obviously how this is going to play out. Because while we have the way to end this, we don’t have the will. And, to be fair, and to further showcase our selfishness, many other countries don’t have the way. So around and around we go. COVID is here to stay.