ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Susan Estrich: COVID fatigue is hitting us all

From the commentary: There is a fine line between denial and acceptance, between learning to live with the risk of COVID and refusing to acknowledge it. We're walking that line right now, as a country, and it's a dangerous one, especially for our fellow Americans who are at high risk because of comorbidities. For their sake, as well as for our own, I'm shopping for masks again. Maybe something new? Black to match the rest of my wardrobe?

Bonus editorial cartoon 2 for Sept. 2, 2022
Cartoonist John Cole draws on the dueling disease wave hitting the United States.
John Cole
We are part of The Trust Project.

If the numbers are to be believed, more than 100,000 Americans are testing positive for COVID-19 every day, an increase of almost 20% in the last two weeks.

Susan Estrich
Susan Estrich commentary
Tribune graphic
More Susan Estrich:
From the commentary: It's clear that whatever else happens, sets should be safer as a result of what Baldwin did.
From the commentary: Every day is a new embarrassment, not just for (George Santos) but for the Republicans in Congress.
From the commentary: The takeaway from this book will be measured not in changed views of the monarchy, or of Harry and Meghan, but only in the bank account balances of the Sussexes, which is the bottom line. Shame on them.
From the commentary: Does anyone think that the right wing of the right wing of the House of Representatives is going to give the FBI a fair shake?

But who believes the numbers?
In real life, the president gets tested every day, but most of us don't; and more and more people these days are testing at home, or not at all, and just toughing it out. So the numbers clearly understate the real incidence of COVID, which should make us even more worried.

So why aren't we all wearing masks? Where is mine?
The news reports say that masks may be back in Los Angeles County, where I live, as soon as next week. The understated numbers are still bad enough for that.

Not to sound like Donald Trump, but I don't want to put my mask back on. It's been so long since I cruised Amazon looking for the best masks, even longer since I trafficked in tips about where to find the coveted N95s that completely mess up your hair and mark up your face while they cloud up your glasses. Bliss.

One of the casualties of the COVID crisis has been faith in government and government regulation. Things have gone terribly wrong in the last two years, and while it will take longer than that to sort it out, a new mask mandate is not going to go down easily.

ADVERTISEMENT

If you're not sick with COVID, you are almost certainly sick of it. We as a nation are suffering from a surge of COVID fatigue that is even more severe than the surge of COVID.

I plead guilty. I have been blessed. I may or may not have had COVID; I tested positive twice on an antigen test and then tested negative on a PCR. So maybe I had it and maybe I didn't; it doesn't much matter with this variant, but in all events, I've been lucky not to suffer the serious symptoms that so many have. And with good luck, I admit, comes a heaping serving of denial.

There are too many other things to worry about, collectively speaking. The country is, according to a growing majority, on the wrong track. It is, as always, the economy that is driving those numbers, but a public health crisis won't make them better. The president is, for understandable reasons, downplaying his illness, an invitation for others to do the same.

More Commentary:
From the commentary: (Mike) Pompeo is critical of what he calls "the (Henry) Kissinger model" of engagement with China.
From the commentary: The (Trump) wall is largely ineffective as policy. ... It’s a silent scream of fear and loathing directed at the people on the other side.
From the commentary: (Kamala Harris) has the brains and the chops to be a real asset to the ticket and the party.
From the commentary: Americans have so far resisted getting cheated out of the benefits they and their employers have paid for with real money.
From the commentary: The 2024 campaign is already very different from 2016, and it’s likely to become even more so.
From the commentary: The real problem is that too many Americans have come to rely on the government for what it was never created to do and less on themselves.
From the commentary: So California, if you're planning to settle up with other groups, you should at least acknowledge that Mexican Americans also have a claim — even if we don't pursue it.
From the commentary: (Pete) Buttigieg connects with voters. He could be the Democrats' presidential candidate. Or, as a replacement for not-much-loved Vice President Kamala Harris
From the commentary: The American business community is about creating jobs, bolstering our economy, and solving problems, and it will support candidates that bring answers and not fear. That message is a recipe for success for either party to embrace.
From the commentary: In another America where laws were once supposed to be equally enforced (the exception being the rule) and truth was not personal, this would likely not have been a problem.

COVID is no longer the death sentence that it came close to being. We can thank science for that. There are medicines for those, like the president, who are at higher risk because of age or other factors. Which is not to minimize the risk or justify the views of people like me, who just don't want to stop living again.

It's not just the masks. It's social life, in the full sense of the word. It's the difference between interacting in person, literally working together, instead of talking to a picture on Zoom. It's all the things we discovered we missed when we got to work from home.

There is a fine line between denial and acceptance, between learning to live with the risk of COVID and refusing to acknowledge it. We're walking that line right now, as a country, and it's a dangerous one, especially for our fellow Americans who are at high risk because of comorbidities. For their sake, as well as for our own, I'm shopping for masks again. Maybe something new? Black to match the rest of my wardrobe?

Stay safe. Be well.

This Susan Estrich commentary is her opinion. She can be reached at sestrich@wctrib.com.

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

ADVERTISEMENT

WCT.OP.Commentary.jpg

Related Topics: COMMENTARYCORONAVIRUS
Opinion by Susan Estrich
Susan Estrich is an American lawyer, professor, author, political operative, and political commentator. She can be reached via sestrich@wctrib.com.
What To Read Next
I’ve written many stories over my journalism career about farm injuries and the importance of having first-aid kits in farm shops and tractors, and I plan to start practicing what I’m preaching.
"If we are unwilling to admit that the racism exists in our power structures, people of color will continue to pay a deadly price."
We could all use a good laugh to start out the new year.
"Life is short, ends in a moment, and we don’t think much about it some days. ... It’s a scenic highway, and we should keep it that way, go a bit slower, and enjoy life."