Yes, this is the ‘best of all possible worlds’. Voltaire’s Candide was the ultimate optimist, although he did question his esteemed Dr. Pangloss’ optimism on a number of occasions.
So, I find myself staring resolutely out my office window at a dreary and rainy early spring day. We have now been stuck in this seemingly never ending pandemic over a year. Sure, we can get out and go to the grocery store, perhaps thru a drive thru fast food restaurant to grab a bite. And with a little bravery (or risk) we may even find an eat-in restaurant and hope that we neither bring home the virus or a case of food poisoning. There are those of us who still go to work at an office or other facility and do our best to stay virus free. Little else has been available to do. No concerts, movie theaters, or public sporting events. But, I have weathered the year without getting sick. As a matter of fact, physically, I seem to be doing pretty well.
I want to blame someone for this fiasco. I get irritated at the slightest news on the pandemic’s progress. There are over 30 million infected here in the U.S. with 550,000 deaths and counting. I get irritated at those who want to blame others for not doing enough to quell the pandemic. I get irritated at the constant conflicts in information being disseminated. To mask or not to mask. Stay at home. We have seen the worst of this. There is another surge of the virus. Then my favorite, from leadership, ‘do as I say, not as I do’.
And now, we see the possible end to this nightmare. We have at least three vaccines that could provide a return to some normalcy. However, we have to get enough people vaccinated or have contracted the virus to get to ‘herd immunity’. Are the vaccines effective. We are told they are. I am now reading that THE Dr. Fauci has indicated we may be able to stop wearing masks by Memorial Day. Woo Hoo! But we now have a precedent. If the virus surges again, we can be told to put the masks back on. Its unlikely that we could be forced into another lock down. The economy could not hold up. Still, it could happen.
We all grow weary of this. This is not living life. We spend all of our time worrying about those who are extremely vulnerable to the virus. Loved ones and friends have died. We seek out information on what to do, what not to do, how to cope. In the end, we are told we may have to live with this virus.
In the end, I worry that we may have to live with a society that no longer works they way it was intended. We will have forfeited many freedoms and norms that we once cherished. We will have gained a vague distrust of our neighbors. Are they sick? Will they make me sick if they come near?
Truly, this is in fact ‘the best of all possible worlds’. And all has happened as it should. Or, maybe I have missed something.