So It Continues.
Strikes me that what I’m waiting for, with this pandemic, is the next surprise.
The coverage so far hasn’t been reassuring, exactly, and it wouldn’t be fair to call it predictable. But it has been trying to fit itself to a story arc. The first lockdown ended, and here in the UK we cut straight to the government’s “Eat Out To Help Out” initiative. Yay! Happy ending!
But that turned out not to be the happy ending after all. That was a superspreader event that helped to push our second wave. Killed the 2020 festive season.
Then the vaccine roll-out came over the rise, with the Spring behind it, and we cut straight back to the happy-ending script. Vaccines worked; thousands got vaccinated every day, Helm’s Deep was saved — sorry, scratch that last one; stray image.
Again, we were all about to be saved. Happy ending! But already, as we booked our tables and hugged our loved ones, the clouds were blackening out from Mount Doom — sorry; another one. Already, another mutation had begun to spread.
The surprise that killed that second happy-ending scenario was the mutation that originated in India, that we called the Delta Variant.
And yes, this was around the time we switched from using the word “mutation” to the gentler-sounding “variant”. Don’t want to panic people with nasty words, do we?
While we were doing that, what did the virus do?
The virus mutated.
Now, we’ve got Omicron. And what do we hear? That Omicron’s milder, gentler, less likely to send you to hospital…
…and all you need to beat it is a third (fourth) injection — not “injection”, no, call it a “booster” — and with that simple precaution, it’ll all be over soon…
…and doesn’t that all sound so familiar?
I’m as ready as anybody for a happy ending. I’m as ready to believe that Omicron is just a puny little variant and no match for the big tough mutations we’ve already faced down.
But — no surprises? The virus is going to follow the script this time?