Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2022/ COVID Freak


Ontario Chief Medical Officer Kieran Moore "strongly suggested" that we wear masks indoors. A few days later he attended an indoor party unmasked.

People around here have been following Moore's example. Very few are masking in the stores -- not shoppers, not workers. I would estimate the percentage to be at most 10%.

I donated blood yesterday and the majority of the staff were unmasked. The screening nurse asked me whether I had "had COVID yet", and when I told her I hadn't, she said "Good for you!" I guess the expectation is that everybody has had COVID at least once.

It's easy for me to not have COVID given that I don't work for a living and so can stay in my room all day. I had a job interview for a position which would have involved going to the office, and I am pretty sure I was rejected partially because I inquired about safety. "Oh, you can mask if you want," the interviewer said. She emphasized that working in the office was non-negotiable. I agreed, but said that although I did not want to work from home (which I do not!) I also did not want to get sick. That probably was not the sole reason I failed the interview, but it was probably a factor. It very much seems that I will be unable to get a job unless I get over this.

At this point KWLUG is still meeting online, but next April or May or June that may change. It had better change because people are sick and tired of online meetings, and our attendance is evaporating. At the same time, I am still wary of meeting indoors. It may be the case that when we finally go back to in-person it will be time for me to say goodbye to the group.

I am still not comfortable with social meetings indoors. I have met people outdoors but with the colder weather those opportunities have dried up. I figure there are lots of situations in which I might be forced to breathe indoor air, but social meetings need not be one of them. But it is no wonder I feel like an outcast. Other people are having fun without getting sick, and scaredy-cat me is hiding away.

I am not being gaslit, but I am feeling gaslit. Am I the crazy one? (Yes.) We are in a crisis right now. It is flu season and RSV season and COVID season, and we are in the exact situation we said was imperative to avoid -- our ICUs (at least our pediatric ICUs) are full to capacity. But nobody seems to care.

We are in a double crisis because our health care systems have been stretched thin and lots of health care workers have quit. As far as I am concerned our health care system is falling apart, and even if it holds together it looks as if it will stay in crisis for a while. But nobody seems to care, or seems to think that this is a good reason to avoid COVID/RSV/Flu even if these things really are "just a cold".

I think part of the situation is that people are tired of restrictions. It does not matter how overcapacity our hospitals get -- Kieran Moore (and his puppet master Doug Ford) will not permit mask mandates. Ford is too busy dealing with inflation and a recession and with paving over the Greenbelt to care about COVID, and Moore mysteriously pronounces whatever message the government wants to hear.

Another factor is that most people have contracted COVID, and for most people it really was no big deal. I sometimes think I should get the virus just to get the experience over with so I won't be afraid anymore. Sure, maybe I will get long COVID and deal with the fallout for months or years, but probably I won't. But I am reading too many COVID alarmist blogs, so the idea of voluntarily contracting the disease seems insane. With Omicron, most people who contract COVID have mild illnesses, but there is still a significant fraction who do not.

I feel the current situation is that people who are COVID-avoidant are strictly out of the mainstream now, and are at the very edge of the Overton Window. At some point we will fall off the edge of the window and be derided for the mainstream for worrying about nothing. The anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers were here a year ago, and now it is my turn.

Clearly being COVID-avoidant is hurting me in a lot of ways. I feel like a freak. I am even less employable than usual. I have next to no social life. I will be stuck in my room for the forseeable future. Everybody thinks I am being ridiculous. I am probably being ridiculous. But I am an undiagnosed hypochondriac. Ridiculous is what I do.

I suspect that if we were to take COVID seriously we would probably have to change some of our habits permanently. We would have to accept that the flu is also serious, and that prior to 2019 we have not been taking it seriously enough. In the short term, we would have to admit that our health care system is in acute crisis. To address these issues would require money and political capital, both of which are in short supply. So it is much better for everybody if I am the crazy one who is too frightened to live life.