Through its first days, 2022 has brought a lot of surprises to me, and one of those was getting the new Covid variant Omicron, which is spreading wildly across the globe. In my case, what first was diagnosed like a throat infection caused by bacterium, the ineffectiveness of antibiotics and the lab test revealed, what it turned to be, the new Covid strain Omicron (besides the germ).
Despite being vaccinated twice already, I had some symptoms ranging from mild to severe (no one life threatening, I should emphasize), being the soreness in my throat the worst of them. It literally felt like I was dragging blades across my throat every time I swallowed, and no pain killer could mitigate the sensation. This was particularly frustrating for me at night, giving me a couple of sleepless nights last week.
Fortunately, I can say almost all symptoms are gone now. I’m feeling nearly as good as before, and I’m now looking forward to a bright future post Covid… or not? I mean, is there one, right?
I remember back in 2020, the first time we went into lockdown, the emphasis was in accepting the idea of “a new normality” with envisioned a world with less social iteration and mandatory face masks for all activities. During the months afterward, the tremendous effort of governments and pharmaceutical companies devoted to the development of vaccines for covid could shorten the manufacturing and testing cycles to haste the delivery to the market. This immunization effort (especially in the developed countries) allowed the people to have a rosier impression of what our future post Covid will look like, and the hope that capitalism has saved the day once again and we could return to our “old” normality.
We are currently in a period of adaptation in which we are “forcing” the “normalization”, but even if it’s difficult to accept, little has changed in the vast scheme of things. It’s truth, we might have newer and more effective vaccines to battle the new strains of the virus in the years to come, until the perceived dangerousness of the contagion decreases. However, all the supposed “lessons learned” that were listed by specialists during lockdown for this more conscious “new” humanity, we have achieved, sadly, none.
Wet markets reopened in China with no additional regulation about the handling of species to avoid the same scenario from repeating. The predation to the species and ecosystems responsible for many of these viruses jumping from the animal world to the human has not decreased. On the contrary, it returned, reloaded. Despite our concern for decreasing in the fatality rate caused by Covid, the fatality rate for other diseases increased, and what its worst, natality rate increased, especially for sub-developed countries. And the list goes on and on…
And I understand, we are all collectively suffering from the nostalgia of our past way of life, but even if we loved it, it doesn’t mean that it was right.
Even if we are surviving covid, we need to stop seeing this just like another “achievement unlocked” and really reflect on those lessons we need to learn as species. Because viruses’ outbreaks will increase its frequency proportionally to the imbalance, we cause to our ecosystem. Maybe we should not worry about producing the next generation of vaccines more than how we stop climate change. Because in the world like in the human body, everything is connected, even if doesn’t seem so.
M. Ch. Landa