What a long, strange, 3 years it's been
January 20, 2023 1:33 PM   Subscribe

 
Let’s all take a COVID test to celebrate! You might be surprised at the results.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:40 PM on January 20 [51 favorites]


. X 1,100,000
posted by lalochezia at 1:44 PM on January 20 [41 favorites]


Let’s all take a COVID test to celebrate! You might be surprised at the results.

It's the antibody test that tells you if you have had it in the past, right? Whether positive or negative, I would be surprised by the results on that one. (Two different spells of some really bad days. One which could be chalked up to having received shot 4 and flu shot a few days prior and the other maybe allergies? But, maybe not!)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 1:49 PM on January 20


One of the earlier 'eyeroll/kill me now' rejoinders from future antivaxx/disbeliever patients was "oh I'm pretty sure I had it last year" (i.e. 2019) despite any number of reassurances that Covid was nowhere in sight in 2019 in the US. So much time has passed and yet the understanding and awareness of what this virus is capable of is about at the level of a middle schoolers understanding of birth control.
posted by docpops at 1:50 PM on January 20 [21 favorites]


It's the antibody test that tells you if you have had it in the past, right? Whether positive or negative, I would be surprised by the results on that one. (Two different spells of some really bad days. One which could be chalked up to having received shot 4 and flu shot a few days prior and the other maybe allergies? But, maybe not!)

"the test at home" "rapid/lft" tests USE antibodies but aren't FOR antibodies.

these at home tests just tell you if you have covid-nucleocapsid protein in your spittle/mucus right now which correlates very strongly with an active or waning infection.
posted by lalochezia at 1:57 PM on January 20 [17 favorites]


Yeah, I thought clinics had a test that could tell you if you have had it in the past. (not 100% accurate, of course)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 2:03 PM on January 20


more than 6.7 million people have died globally from Covid-19

It's staggering.
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:04 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


You can see me rolling in my N100 respirator.
posted by little eiffel at 2:11 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


6.7 million

so approx the population of Toronto Canada.

http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf
posted by djseafood at 2:15 PM on January 20


What? What do you mean?

6.7million is less than 1/10 of 1% of 8billion.

I don't mean to downplay the human loss of life and the echoes and ripples and ramifications of what all that means to millions of people around the world. But simply mathematically, that loss is not really significant by percent of population.
posted by hippybear at 2:16 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


So...please don't do that. You are talking about human lives.

The loss is significant.
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:17 PM on January 20 [85 favorites]


it’s a huge loss of life and likely an undercount, excess mortality figures are at least double that globally.
posted by dis_integration at 2:24 PM on January 20 [31 favorites]


I've managed to go three years (legitimately as of this anniversary) without getting it to my knowledge. I'm going to celebrate that as long as well, until I inevitably get it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:32 PM on January 20 [25 favorites]


People, collectively, seem prone to both understating and overstating the value of human lives: we dismiss 6.7 million deaths as a rounding error, while we go to extraordinary lengths and expenses to prolong the machine-aided heartbeat of a single brain-dead stroke victim. Don't even get me started on the abortion "debate." It's inconsistent and it makes me uncomfortable.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:35 PM on January 20 [12 favorites]


Would many people be surprised at the results of home tests? I thought you generally had to be symptomatic to test positive. I’m pretty sure that I actually had Covid while testing negative the whole time (my partner tested positive and was fluish, while I came down with some mild symptoms a few days later).
posted by vanitas at 2:38 PM on January 20


I thought you generally had to be symptomatic to test positive.

The only reason I know I had COVID at the end of Oct of 2022 is that I was at an event where people were testing positive even before the event had ended, and I tested for 3 days at home before I tested positive. I never had a single symptom (not that I realized, anyway), but I was positive for a full 14 days.

It makes me wonder how many other times I had COVID before that. Like, that was a very rare event where I went without a mask and many others were also having symptoms and stuff. But even with my masking outside of that, have I had this before now and not realized it? I keep getting shots, so maybe I don't even know.
posted by hippybear at 2:47 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


I remember, in February 2020 I got really, really sick with some crazy respiratory thing. I went to the doc, but he said that I just had a virus and/or possibly bronchitis. He offered me a steroid (I declined) and sent me home. I actually remember having a really hard time breathing for a night or two during this time.

I remember thinking, I wonder if this is that new corona virus thing. But this was early February and we weren't quite on the precipice of lockdown at that point.

The first few months of lockdown were unexpectedly challenging...and often traumatizing. Like traumatizing AS FUCK. There was a point, in 2020, I felt my literal self begin to shrink. I shrank so small that all I could do was scream and cry like a newborn baby.

I did this for several minutes while my partner held me and tried to soothe me (she would later experience something similar, and I did my best to comfort her in the same way). Eventually I calmed down, but I felt completely "wrung out", as if all my insides had been squeezed into nothing.

It wasn't all hard, though, and I still get to work from home, which has turned into a great "blessing in disguise" for me and my family. My children get a whole lot more face time with me than I ever got with my dad. That's pretty great, to be honest.

Going through some of this really hard shit; while I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I can say I've learned a lot from it. My outlook is different now. I've learned to let go of a lot of petty notions I didn't notice I had been holding on to.

I realized that a lot of the things I thought I cared about, like certain kinds of prestige or recognition or whatever, I realized those things are 100% bogus.

I also learned the value of introspection.

Working at home is great, but it can also mean being "with yourself" in the same location in an unending loop. I am a person with ADHD, this is a bad formula for me. Several times during lockdown I ran up against this loop, and it often led me to destructive behavior (re: the crying episode above). I realized that I needed to change something, or I would keep having "freak outs" every 6 weeks.

I learned to take walks alone. To exercise. To meditate. To just be quiet in a room for 20 minutes. To let my emotions flow and resonate through me. To listen to myself, and only listen. It's helped me.

I hope 2023 will be a lot better for everyone. I know there is a lot of work to do.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:50 PM on January 20 [43 favorites]


Wow, I am super glad that this pandemic, although catastrophic, hasn't killed nearly as many total people as the black death did when the world population was significantly smaller. Covid still got my grandmother, though.
posted by aniola at 2:54 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


The strangest thing to me: There are still more than 600 people dying of covid every day in the U.S. (likely an undercount). It's the third largest cause of death, if not the second largest.

And yet most people have just moved on, including those in our government who are supposed to know better...
posted by mikeand1 at 2:56 PM on January 20 [27 favorites]


Mod note: The derail about the significance of loss of life... let's pause on that. Not deleting any comments but hippybear, it's time to take a break from this thread.
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 2:57 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


Mr. Meow and I are marking the anniversary by recovering from our first (known) case of it, after three years of precautions combined with a little good fortune. (The ratio of precaution to luck evolved over time.)

I’m glad we were as vaccinated as we could be. Grateful for an aunt’s care packages and bosses who have been gracious about it. It has been a monstrous pain in the ass, but mercifully only that.

I hope we have learned something, as a society, about being a society. I don’t know. I took bioethics and social statistics in undergrad, and that makes me no kind of expert at all, but I’m pretty sure excess mortality is a better measure of significance than certain misleading metrics proposed above. A whole lot of those deaths were preventable, and every one of them mattered. The mourning and the disabled and the morally-injured matter too, and those numbers are truly untold.
posted by armeowda at 3:05 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Today is Friday, March 1055th, 2020 in Covid Standard Time
posted by inflatablekiwi at 3:05 PM on January 20 [53 favorites]


yeah it’s kind of a bummer that the right wing was so completely and uncomplicatedly successful in Just browbeating western society into giving up on any and all measures to prevent the spread

just a complete unambiguous success for their political messaging of “let’s all just decide it isn’t real”
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:06 PM on January 20 [42 favorites]


And yet most people have just moved on, including those in our government who are supposed to know better...

Not billionaires! "Moving on" is only for us working class proles:

World Economic Forum: Here Are All The Covid-19 Precautions At Davos 2022 (Jan 2023)
posted by meowzilla at 3:15 PM on January 20 [37 favorites]


After hearing about the increasing number of people in China and then Europe coming down with this disease, hearing about the first case here in the US gave me the fear about catching it. As the numbers rose, I did my daily check on the case numbers here in the Bay Area, and watched them rise. And I was taking my temperature twice a day. Eventually, people who I’m with every day caught it, but mild. I still didn’t catch it. In December, one them was sick again and then I got sick and the other person got sick. Tested… Flu type A. Meanwhile, now people aren’t wearing masks and are acting like everything is normal. I’m still in a mask anytime I’m out and feel uncomfortable around people not wearing a mask. So after three years now, I’ve avoided actually having the disease, but everyday for those three years now, Covid has been hovering over me like a dark angel of death and I’m just waiting for the next surge. Looking back… Three years… Seems like yesterday when I first heard about it.
posted by njohnson23 at 3:27 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


I’m still very messed up from this whole thing. I felt pretty bad and lost when trump was elected, and covid added to that and was so much worse. I’m working on getting help but I still feel lost and sometimes like I’m in a dream, with depression, anxiety and intrusive thoughts to boot.

Covid and the experience of it is just so much larger than a simple figure or number. It’s a life marker for those that made it through and a portending nightmare for those concerned about a climate future. It could be possible to focus on good moments from it, whatever those were, and try and accept the day-to-day grace we might be lucky to see from here on out. In my better moments I can do that.

I hope you all are well.
posted by glaucon at 3:32 PM on January 20 [28 favorites]


Oh, and all of us were thoroughly vaccinated.
posted by njohnson23 at 3:33 PM on January 20


I made it 985 days (Nov 21, 2022). I was really cautious because I know have a wet tissue paper immune system. My slip was riding the L train to Evanston to see the winter lights at the Chicago Botanical Garden (they were amazingly wonderful) with what seemed like an awful lot of clearly sick people, being briefly unmasked at Northwestern University's student center (they had a vax mandate and weekly testing of students) and dinning indoors at a restaurant with only one other table occupied in the distant corner. The next day I went to Jarvis Bird Sanctuary and while I was on the Bird Observation Platform I noticed a male Eastern Towhee thrashing about in the leaves and was really excited to get a picture because I had only seen two or three during the entire fall migration. I snapped a few pictures and looked up right into the big eyes of a Long-eared owl that had been sitting there unnoticed by my wife and I almost completely unobstructed and unhidden just about 15 feet away from me the entire time. Magic.

So I got Covid in the same 24 hours where I had two fantastic experiences and had dinner with a friend. I won't say it was great to get covid but it was a great way to get covid if you are going to get covid. I at least got some worthwhile things in exchange for the virus catching me.

A few days later my throat got sore, I did a LFT and posted it on Facebook and said "Pretty sick but still negative. Weird". Then a distant facebook friend who I only know through facebook and our shared hobby of growing & breeding Haworthia, a South African succulent, commented "I think I see a faint line". My wife and I were already in bed, she read the comment and without saying anything to me, leapt out of bed and raced to the kitchen garbage and pulled out the test. All I hear from the bedroom is "Fuck". We live in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment and there wasn't much likelihood she wouldn't get infected but she started isolating in the guest room and wearing a mask while in the living room. I tested the next morning: big solid dark line and I was feeling well and truly sick.

With my tissue paper immune system and being 55, right at the age where the consequences of infection begin their upward climb, I was concerned. Also my older brother had died of a heart attack two weeks after being sick in 2021 so I was not inclined to think I was invincible and could fight it off. I also had Infectious Mononucleosis in my 30s so I know what even mild Long Covid could be like so I went after Paxovid like a dog after milkbones. Went to the CVS website filled out all the forms, agreed to pay $65 for the telehealth consult with their doctor and waited for the prescription. And Waited. And Waited. And Waited. Then I called the branch and the pharmacist said that their prescription forwarding system had crashed and no prescription would be forthcoming. Sucks to be me. She suggested going to a walk-in clinic and getting a paper prescription which I could still fill at CVS. So that's what I ended up doing. I bundled up and masked and left my 16th floor apartment feeling sick as a dog and told two unmasked people not to get on the elevator with me, walked half a mile to my preferred drop-in medical clinic where people were waiting inside unmasked while I awaited my appt with a doctor. I told the doc I was positive for covid and he rather disapprovingly gave me a prescription. I then had to walk a mile to the pharmacy that I knew had paxlovid to fill my prescription again with people all around me unmasked and unaware that I was covid+. While waiting for my prescription to be filled I had to tell a woman that she probably did not want to stand near me. I got the paxlovid, went home, by this point I was a trembling wet puddle of a man. That evening I took my first dose. About half an hour later I had what tasted like a mouth full of battery. A pretty unpleasant paxlovid side-effect. The paxlovid annihilated the covid symptoms almost immediately. Six days of isolation and pax mouth followed, feeling lonely while my wife was just 15 feet away. I only had a faint line on the LFT on day 5 but waited another day until my results were completely clear. I felt good. Weirdly tired but still somehow energized and dying to get outside and go for a walk. My wife came out of hiding. I knew about the pax rebound (BTW pax rebound hits 15% but the no pax control group had 10% rebound!) so I tested each day but after 4 days I thought I was in clear. Night of day 5 I felt something in my throat and said to my wife "Oh fuck". I was positive
again and was pretty sick and wiped out for another week and worse I had infected her. My own covid wiped out the back half of Nov and the start of December. Then my wife's covid wiped out first half of December (she managed much better being generally tougher than me in that way women sometimes are). Christmas snuck right up on us and really didn't happen. Then January came and we both got the terrible cold everyone is getting. Wicked headaches, body aches, sweats, sniffles and coughs. Maybe worse than the covid!

End result almost two months after my 'infection day' is that my resting heart rate is now averaging 11-22% higher than its average (still low though - I have a runner's heart rate - that's why the %age increase is large looking), I feel like I am on the edge of exhaustion all the time, my recovery running pace is about 1 minute per mile slower (but this is after almost a two month layoff), I have a peculiar sensation of difficult breathing, and about two beer's worth of vertigo when walking down the street.

On the whole I would say this experience was about medium unpleasant for me but I do believe that if I was not quadruple vaxed, boosted, bivalented and paxlovided I might be telling a much grimmer story maybe from a hospital bed or someone might have tell if for me (leaving out all the extraneous rambly details). It certainly felt like the trajectory for the first day of illness was worse than anything else I have experienced and I catch everything.
posted by srboisvert at 3:43 PM on January 20 [44 favorites]


My number might have come up finally. Housemate has had omicron twice, I’ve dodged every bullet till now. But I had a little bit of a cough last night, and still there this morning and today. No fever and negative covid test (our last in the house) this morning. But my temp this evening was 100, when I normally barely ever break 98. So I’m sick with something. Housemate’s going to get more tests and some Sprite and crackers, let’s see what tomorrow brings.
posted by notoriety public at 4:00 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


I thought you generally had to be symptomatic to test positive.

Not at all, though it’s probably less likely.
posted by atoxyl at 4:02 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


In these 3 years, I’ve gotten Covid once. I suppose it’s more accurate to say I’ve had my *first* round of Covid - and the next round is waiting for me out there, somewhere.

It’s the third year of Covid, but just the first step of Long Covid.
posted by kerf at 4:12 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


My friend C just tested positive again. A few days ago they had a visit from P who had recently visited C's elderly uncle and was dropping a few things off, and it turns out that before seeing the uncle, P was in contact with other family who had since tested positive, but it looks like the elderly uncle may have been missed? ANyWay, this is C's third or fifth go around despite masking outside, and this fucking thing. You just cannot socialize indoors without a mask with people you don't live with. It's like fucking someone you don't know the sexual history of, except instead of fucking it's breathing the same air for a couple minutes and instead of a few weeks/months the incubation time is five days or less. It's almost impossible to stress how contagious the latest variants are. You will get it again if you are in an room with a contagious person and they are not masked, even if they don't have symptoms.

Fuck this fucking thing and FUCK [omitted]. Fuck!
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:16 PM on January 20 [19 favorites]


I wonder if this is a speciation event for mankind. A million years from now we'll have a bunch of hermit crab like humans, building environmental suits out of detritus an mucus; along side a bunch of long covid zombies...
posted by The Power Nap at 4:28 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


You just cannot socialize indoors without a mask with people you don't live with.

It’s true, and people just don’t wanna believe it.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:32 PM on January 20 [28 favorites]


(I often enjoy Dave Weigel’s political reporting, but his periodic li’l tweets that seem to want to paint wearing masks as some kind of outré idea are slowly killing any enjoyment I get from his content.)
posted by Going To Maine at 4:35 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Three years ago I had just returned from my honeymoon in New Zealand, where I had been touring around the South Island with Los Angeles County Department of Health Director Barbara Ferrer (along with her husband and daughter). They’d had to leave the tour early to fly back to Los Angeles, which in hindsight I think may have foreshadowed what was coming.

Barbara is a lovely woman and does not in any way deserve the public abuse she has received for working to keep people alive, but I have to admit I would prefer a world where it is no longer a given that I’m going to hear her on the radio every week.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:40 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Thanks to Rudy Gobert and the National Basketball Association for kick starting the USA public health response.

posted by eustatic at 4:49 PM on January 20 [9 favorites]


Spouse and I both got sick after Christmas. Spouse went down first. Two positive rapid tests. I went down four days later. I had three negative rapid tests the week prior. Two negative rapid tests while sick. Same exact symptoms. Spouse is pretty close to normal. From time immortal, every single damn respiratory infection I catch (thanks asthma!) ends in weeks of coughing, so I have that plus crushing fatigue.

Thankfully my dad, who is immunocompromised, cancelled plans to join me at Phipps a couple of days before I got sick (and spouse had not tested) so I did not inadvertently make him sick too. The other upside is that my boss had allowed me to work a limited schedule, which has been an utter godsend since I can do a few hours of work, then go lie down. And my kid is still healthy.

But this has sucked. All of it.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:56 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


I used to cover hematology consults at the hospital in San Antonio where a lot of the people who were evacuated from China were taken if they became symptomatic while in quarantine on the Air Force base. (Jesus, that sentence was exhausting even to parse together.)

Things that are indelibly etched in my memory from those very early days of the pandemic in the US:
- all of a sudden, there was a 24-hour security detail at the front desk.
- many, many beds cordoned off from the rest of the ICU and suddenly not being able to get to certain places because it would usually require passing through that now-restricted area
- US Marshalls standing guard and making sure that staff did indeed use the 19-point checklist to don and doff PPE
- being asked by certain colleagues to perform procedures that had no supporting evidence but they were desperate for anything to save people
- cancelling a long-awaited vacation two days before we left because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to come home, and instead using the week off to doom scroll and learn how to use telemedicine
- finalizing advanced directive paperwork with my spouse and crying because I was afraid to go back to work.
- buying KN95s that I now know were probably counterfeit, 100 for $300. My clinic meting out surgical masks 5 at a time, and never knowing when we were going to get shipments of N95s. Putting N95s in paper bags and using them, week after week, until they were in pieces. Keeping tyvek coveralls in my office and my car.
- watching my patients die alone in hospitals from COVID and other illnesses

All of this to have half of the country hating HCPs. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive for the amount of trauma that I, my colleagues, and my patients have endured over the last three years.
posted by honeybee413 at 4:57 PM on January 20 [125 favorites]


Honeybee, the irony is that the people who respect you and appreciate you the most are doing our best to avoid you.

I promise we're still out here.
posted by Dashy at 5:25 PM on January 20 [56 favorites]


You just cannot socialize indoors without a mask with people you don't live with.

Sure you can; I do it all the time and I’ve had COVID exactly once.
posted by rhymedirective at 5:35 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


For me, the pandemic and the emotions are all tied up with parenthood- we found out I was pregnant in November 2019, and wow that was a trip. All the things I imagined doing with my child, were different or didn't happen. A meet the baby party. Heh. She was just about walking when she first went to in person church.

Probably the biggest regret is that I told myself the lie that "everyone is struggling with their mental health right now" and didn't seek help for my Postpartum Anxiety/Depression. Having another baby, now, when I don't have PPA/PPD just highlights how numb I was and how much I missed, emotionally, with my first. I mean, things are good, I had a lovely cuddle with my eldest this morning and am just amazed at both my children, but there are regrets.

I'm probably going to dip out of this thread and the related rememberances. It's really fair that people are angry, scared, disappointed- the world changed dramatically for the worse almost overnight, but yeah it's a bit triggering for me. I need to be positive for the sake of my kids. Much love to you all.
posted by freethefeet at 5:51 PM on January 20 [26 favorites]


--- and I’ve had COVID exactly once.
posted by rhymedirective at 7:35 PM on January 20

You’ve had COVID exactly once that you know of. It's awfully big of you to not give a damn about the possibility you're giving it to other people as you walk around so arrogantly (R).
posted by dancestoblue at 6:00 PM on January 20 [37 favorites]


You’ve had COVID exactly once that you know of.

This. I've had symptomatic covid, with positive tests, just once. But how many times might I have had asymptomatic covid? No idea -- maybe never, maybe monthly.

I remember, in February 2020 I got really, really sick with some crazy respiratory thing. I went to the doc, but he said that I just had a virus and/or possibly bronchitis. He offered me a steroid (I declined) and sent me home. I actually remember having a really hard time breathing for a night or two during this time.

A colleague and their spouse got sick right after we went to a conference in the first week of February, 2020. The only reason any of us remember it is that they both lost their sense of smell, and we all thought that was really weird. I don't remember anyone making any kind of covid connection until months later when the reports of covid symptoms were getting publicized.

I wonder if this is a speciation event for mankind. A million years from now we'll have a bunch of hermit crab like humans, building environmental suits out of detritus an mucus; along side a bunch of long covid zombies...

Respectfully, and understanding this probably wasn't a 100% serious comment, I think this wildly exaggerates the societal impacts and long term changes. This community skews extremely cautious, for both good and bad reasons, but that's not where the majority outside of here are at.

but yeah it's a bit triggering for me

You have a lot of company in that.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:36 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


covid isn’t over and people are still dying but i hope we’re past shaming people for looking around and seeing all the precautions falling away and deciding to live their lives again. i go out in the world and share the air with others and i’m not ashamed. this moralizing about it when nobody else is masking and no western governments are taking even vaccinations seriously anymore is a bit much. i got my shots, all4, will get another one when recommended ,and i stay home when i’m sick , i wore masks for almost 3 years everywhere, but when i landed in rome this winter for a trip and nobody was masked up i just gave it up and haven’t looked back.
posted by dis_integration at 6:44 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


Sure you can; I do it all the time and I’ve had COVID exactly once.

(I’ve been positive for about three weeks. Tested neg last week on day X, tested super positive on day X+1 with zero symptoms (a shade that evening), tested positive again days later with no symptoms. It is so dang easy to have this thing and still test negative. My case has been mild, but I am much more suspicious of everything and everyone.)
posted by Going To Maine at 6:47 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


So far I haven’t had it, though the rest of my family did (by all rights I should have, which makes me think that I might be one of the weird ones). I also work from home 80 percent of the time and when I’m at work I’m knocking around a huge room with maybe 4 of the 50 desks occupied.

Madison schools were the last district in the state to take off the mask mandate (through the end of the 2021-2022 school year) and they actually used a bunch of their covid money to install hospital grade filtration and at least 6x hourly air exchange in every classroom, this seems to have reduced not only COVID transmission but also other airborne diseases as well, which is fantastic.

It blows my mind that we aren’t going deep on ventilation, filtration, and UV air sanitation. It works pretty good for COVID, and incredibly well for less transmissible airborne viruses like flu. There should be government-funded HVAC crews installing high quality ventilation systems in every gathering room in the country.
posted by rockindata at 6:57 PM on January 20 [43 favorites]


It's awfully big of you to not give a damn about the possibility you're giving it to other people as you walk around so arrogantly (R).

Yeah, I get it, I’m a horrible person. By Metafilter’s COVID standards so are 90% of humanity.
posted by rhymedirective at 7:17 PM on January 20 [22 favorites]


I don't see wearing a mask as stopping me living my life. I am in a minority in shops etc but I don't care, it's on them not me. In fact wearing a mask is what enables me to be closer to living a pre-pandemic life. I'm 53, occasionally asthmatic, helping with elderly in-laws, and am pretty keen not to get it unless and until treatment improves, especially for long COVID.

The main thing I'm not doing that I used to do is dining indoors. Small change, I'm a bit sad about it, but I feel it's worth it.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:24 PM on January 20 [37 favorites]


I dunno about all those points, really. I think more than 10% of the country is still worried about masking, for starters. I also don’t know that people who don’t mask are horrible - people who try to make me feel bad for masking are, I think, but that’s different. But asymptomatic COVID seems quite real to me now, ditto COVID that presents as a day of coughing and then just hangs around being transmitted. The idea that we are buying this collective bill of goods that COVID is somehow rare just because most people don’t present is quite scary to me. I want the before times back, and they won’t come.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:27 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


I think more than 10% of the country is still worried about masking, for starters.

I masked consistently for over two years, then finally stopped last April. I started up again around October because of all the different respiratory illnesses going around.

I live in a big liberal city and sometimes I’m the only person I see in the supermarket on Sunday afternoon in a mask. I think 10% is probably high, not low.
posted by rhymedirective at 7:40 PM on January 20 [10 favorites]


I live in a big liberal city and sometimes I’m the only person I see in the supermarket on Sunday afternoon in a mask. I think 10% is probably high, not low.

I'm in a liberal smaller place full of "woo" people (which skews more than one way, there are a lot of liberal anti-vaxers here but also plenty of people in the super cautious camp). Mask wearing seemed to go up quite a bit in December, but I'm seeing it peter out again pretty rapidly. I'd be surprised if it was anywhere near 10% the last few times I've gone to the grocery store.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:08 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I had something in mid-February of 2020 that knocked me flat. What I remember: severe chills, loss of taste, fever (like “consider stripping naked and standing outside in the cold “), a brief hallucinatory state, and the feeling of an iron hand squeezing my lungs. I sounded like hell, much worse than the whiskey voice I get with flu. My mother did not recognize my voice on the phone. After I was well enough to move around, I tried to go for a walk. I am hardy, but had to stop 10 times in less than a mile. Took me weeks to get better. But I kept trying, and committed to daily walks when lockdown hit. All the miles I did after that gave me plenty of time to reflect on the fact that I was still alive, and grateful for it. Lots of other things sucked just then, but I was alive.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:11 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


It's also the 1 year anniversary of me getting COVID. I had gone to the Safeway earlier that week. Masked. Just had been boosted in November. Everyone in the store was masked, that I saw.
Felt bad Tuesday or Wednesday and then made it to a mobile ( remember those ) testing site, where there was about 5 people in front of me. It was cold, I wore a coat ( this winter has been pretty warm ).

I had a brain fog and tiredness for about a week after I 'felt' better.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:19 PM on January 20


I live in a big liberal city and sometimes I’m the only person I see in the supermarket on Sunday afternoon in a mask. I think 10% is probably high, not low.

My city got a bit of attention when our Governor, a GOPer, went to the local Safeway unmasked and someone told him to read the room. These days though I see maybe 1 or 2 people in that store wearing masks. It's bizarre.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:21 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I'm in the extra cautious group in that I will very occasionally wear a mask, but it's based more on emotion and anxiety centered on certain places than on wisdom. I already have ridiculous levels of health anxiety (the worries I have post COVID about sudden death are much worse than the actual COVID experience, which was basically like having a cold for a week.)
posted by kingdead at 8:22 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


The last year of my mother's life coincided with the first year of the pandemic. It goes without saying, I hardly got any real long in- person time with her. A few times I did a 4-hour round trip just for a window visit. It's painful to think what that was like for her.

A neighbor lost one adult son to cancer in fall 19, and a year later her remaining adult child to covid.

Another neighbor who had it in the early weeks has suffered from long covid brain fog, I think. We were sitting by the lake one day, she looked across at the homes on the other side, and asked, "What lake are those houses on?"

Because I'm older, prevaxx and boosters I was terrified even of my increased risk in a multi-tenant old building. I'm still not socializing or doing things like I used to. When I do, I'm often the only one masked.

My state's official death toll is the equivalent to the population of the mid-size town I grew up in. It's as if the people in my childhood hometown had all died in 2 years.

Meanwhile some guys wanted to kill my governor because they couldn't go to the gym for a few months, and the monsters then in the White House wouldn't talk to her because she didn't kiss their ass enough. And now even the Dem controlled White House and CDC say, "Do what you want, here's a few free tests."

At this point, it's comforting when some people acknowledge this surreal truth:

the right wing was so completely and uncomplicatedly successful in Just browbeating western society into giving up on any and all measures to prevent the spread
posted by NorthernLite at 8:34 PM on January 20 [30 favorites]


Yes Northern Lite, my Mother passed away in 2020 as well. Covid had no role in her passing.
By coincidence it's a bad period for me.
posted by Narrative_Historian at 8:40 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I no longer mask. I used to be the most cautious person I know, but I have given up.
My main motivation for masking was so that I would not infect others. So it just seems totally pointless to mask now when almost no one else here is masking or social distancing.

I can't hold the tide back all by myself, and my behaviour makes no difference to what others are doing.

My husband's work is not Covid safe, even in the hard lockdown in 2020 he and his colleagues were not allowed to wear masks and Covid protocols weren't followed.

We're both as thoroughly vaccinated and boosted as we can be (availability is a problem over here) but he's had Covid at least 3 times, and so have I.

Both of us have been hit really hard with the mental and physical effects of Covid.

Going through this experience has taught me a painful lesson in how much privilege I used to have. I used to believe that I have at least some bodily autonomy. That I had a reasonable expectation that society cared to do the minimum to keep me and the people I care about, healthy and alive.

The thing is, the vast majority of people in my country have always known that is a pipedream.

Now I know why poor people are so often fatalistic and seemingly uncaring about standing up for their rights. They know that they aren't valued.
posted by Zumbador at 8:47 PM on January 20 [34 favorites]


NorthernLite and Narrative_Historian, my mother died in December 2020 in a care facility. Her death wasn't covid-related—early February 2021 would have been her 100th birthday. However, due to my age and health issues, our last in-person visit was in February 2020. I'm glad we decided to have a fun celebration for her 99th birthday, but saying goodbye through a window sucked.
posted by Scout405 at 8:57 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


I have it now. Five shots, most recent the bivalent, a month ago. It's not too bad, like a very bad cold with gastro symptoms. My son has had diarrhea and vomiting. I think he brought it home from daycare. It's our first time. I hate that I can't protect him from this. How many times will he get it? We're the most cautious people I know but we have to work and live. I mask and try to bring up ventilation w/ ppl...I think they feel sorry for me. I feel a bit crazy. I've lost a lot of faith in humanity.
posted by stray at 9:05 PM on January 20 [16 favorites]


Today is my kiddo’s 3rd birthday. I’d had a tough time postpartum with my first kid a few years earlier so I was excited to take this baby to the library, out to lunch, to movies, etc. And we did live it up for a few weeks before the world closed. I’m grateful for that, and I’m grateful that we had her when we did. I had to be re-admitted and they let me and the baby stick together. I don’t think that would have happened if she had been born two months later.

I used to hope that this would all be over soon and she wouldn’t have to learn to wear a mask. But getting her to wear a mask is not a big deal. I’m grateful that she was a part of the clinical trial for the vaccine. Despite all of the awfulness of the last few years, there really are a lot of things I feel grateful for.
posted by kat518 at 9:17 PM on January 20 [7 favorites]


I have also lost some faith in people. Ok, you're not horrible, but I am disappointed. I hear a lot of ableism covered up by motivated reasoning at every level from government to media to ordinary chatter.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:18 PM on January 20 [23 favorites]


We just visited my spouse's 96 year old father in Florida. We were among the only people wearing masks in the airport and on the flight. I just don't understand. It's not that hard.
posted by mollweide at 9:30 PM on January 20 [11 favorites]


I have also lost some faith in people.

Having been a curmudgeon-in-training for many decades, and having finally attained the age of 60 and therefore being granted my official curmudgeoning licence, I can assure you that you're better off without it.

Individual persons are often pretty OK, and I think it's fine to maintain a bit of faith in those, but people are just fucked.

Quite a big part of what keeps me masking up in shops despite 95% of the people around me not bothering any more is how much I've been enjoying the opportunity to insult the obnoxious Think For Yourself types who have made it their business to give me grief for doing so.

"Look around you, fuckwit. How many masks do you see in this shop? Exactly. So which of us is the sheep in this picture?"

They get so furious. It's fabulous.

I do not recommend the same approach to people who are not six feet tall and heavily bearded, but since I am both of those things I live for those moments.
posted by flabdablet at 9:51 PM on January 20 [58 favorites]


We were lucky that Coronavirus was as non-lethal as it was compared to the Black Death or the 1918 Flu.

I was staggered at the lack of concern for others shown by people who refused to mask or get shots.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:10 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


It's weird-- covid minimizers talk a lot about 'moving on', but as someone who's still fairly precautious, it feels more like I'm the one who's moved on. The world has changed permanently and I'm moving with it, while I observe many others who seem stuck in some sort of animatronic re-enactment of the way things used to be. I've experienced sadness over some of the things that have had to fall away, for sure, but haven't stayed preoccupied with them, because I've been able to repurpose that space to make room for new things and new ways.
posted by dusty potato at 10:10 PM on January 20 [59 favorites]


I guess what I mean to say is that contrary to the dominant narrative, the actions I take to acknowledge the realities of covid are not really tied up in 'fear' or 'anxiety' for me anymore at all. Nor really even in 'loss' or 'sacrifice', any more than moving through a changing world (which of course it always is) means you are constantly losing and gaining things. I'm also not trying to fire shots across the bow here at people who take fewer or no precautions; this thread just prompted some reflection that hadn't really crystallized for me until now.
posted by dusty potato at 10:26 PM on January 20 [15 favorites]


The other big thing that keeps me masking up the way I do is having been totally impressed by how well even a simple surgical mask works to block the kind of ubiquitous perfume blasts I've spent decades resenting for what they do to my eyes and sinuses and overall ability to function.

My complete failure to catch a cold over the last three years was also very noticeable and I've been enjoying that as well.

When I need to share an indoor space with tens of people, or an outdoor space with hundreds, masks work.
posted by flabdablet at 10:32 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


In the last week of January 2020, I was thinking of selling my flat (now a long forgotten fantasy) and had a surveyor round to value it. As he went round he was joking about "flu-like symptoms " and told me he had just got back from spending new year with his Chinese wife 's family. He'd got back from Shanghai the day before. By the first week of February I had come down with what I thought was a nasty case of flu, followed by loss of taste and smell. No test available then of course but I have been one of the first cases of covid in London. I never heard back from him with the valuation. I hope he was ok.
posted by Fuchsoid at 10:36 PM on January 20 [13 favorites]


Last week, the medical transport service I take to doctors' appointments was a small van full of six sick people. I was the only one masked. I happened to mention that I hadn't been in such close quarters with so many people in a long time, and there was a stunned silence. Finally, someone said, "Why?" There was another silence, and somebody else said in what seemed like a pretty surprised tone, "What, because of COVID?" Nearly everybody in that van was high-risk because of pre-existing conditions.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:49 PM on January 20 [34 favorites]


That's some high quality thinking for themselves right there.
posted by flabdablet at 10:57 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


1000 covid deaths, on average, in the US, every day, for three years. And over 1200 reported yesterday, according to The Guardian's daily figures.

A small comfort, such as it is, is that lock-downs and mask mandates during the first months of the pandemic worked. Flattening the curve bought doctors and public health agencies time to figure out treatments and make the disease less lethal. Estimates are that such policies probably saved millions of lives, worldwide. I know it's frustrating that many people seem committed to refusing any sort of basic public health measures like masking, and it can feel futile now that people won't mask even during spikes in transmission. But it's worth remembering that despite that, mask mandates did actually do what they needed to do during the most critical phase of the pandemic.

Of course without the anti-health faction ginning up culture war bullshit, who knows how many more we could have saved, and continue to save.
posted by biogeo at 11:01 PM on January 20 [31 favorites]


Been a year since my known Covid bout, contracted during the omicron surge in NY; it kicked my ass, and triggered Bell's Palsy.
despite any number of reassurances that Covid was nowhere in sight in 2019 in the US
No, there were cases in 2019.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:40 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


I became obsessed with Ebola during the 1995 Zaire epidemic (I'm a physician but not an I.D. specialist). I've been a subscriber to the ProMED (Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases) email list since then. It's the place to get early info on epidemics. The first mention of "Undiagnosed pneunonia - China" was on 12/31/19. I almost certainly didn't read that message, but I would have known about it with a week or so.

My last workout at the gym was 02/28/20. That's when a case of Covid in a nursing home in Seattle and in a student in San Jose made it clear that Covid was widespread in the US. My friends at the gym thought I was crazy. One(?) week later the gym was closed.

More on Ebola Zaire 1995. At the time, I read every published peer-review article on Ebola and made an annotated bibliography with a solid paragraph summarizing each article. The web barely existed at this time so most discussion was on Usenet. My document was too big to post on Usenet (hmm, really?). And sometimes too big for a recipient's email server. I remember ftp-ing it into someone's .edu account.
posted by neuron at 11:45 PM on January 20 [8 favorites]


I loosely keep up with the long covid research. Everything I read syggests we're just dealing with the tip of the iceberg now in terms of early mortality and ongoing or later-developing health issues.

I wish it seemed more positive. It's very hard to carry this understanding and remain functional in daily life.
posted by allium cepa at 2:04 AM on January 21 [24 favorites]


"Those of us who are
struggling,
left behind,
scared,
and not able to simply
live with covid..."

cantlivewithcovid.com

A bunch of people share stories about how Covid has affected them, and continues to impact their lives.
posted by many-things at 2:50 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


For everyone downplaying the lethality of covid compared to to other pandemics this is the first nov elpathogen that we have had A) modern ICU care which include not just the physicians and nurse, but therapists as well. How do you think people recover after hospitalization B) modern pharmacetical(antibiotics, immunosuppressants like steroids) and effective supportive care(e.g. IV fluids) c) modern public health(waste water survillence, phone tracking) even if wasnt used well. The black plague is easy to treat. It never went away. The bacteria still exists and people still get it. Its just no big deal to all of the above. I kind of wish hospitals were glass buildings so people can see all the shit that goes on to keep people alive before and after. Or how much time education it takes to work in non-admin healthcare frequently for garbage pay for back breaking labor(lot of the assistant position) or if you are lucky to get paid well to have a front row seat to watch the system collapse and watch the quality of care decline.
posted by roguewraith at 3:41 AM on January 21 [30 favorites]


End result almost two months after my 'infection day' is that my resting heart rate is now averaging 11-22% higher than its average (still low though - I have a runner's heart rate - that's why the %age increase is large looking), I feel like I am on the edge of exhaustion all the time, my recovery running pace is about 1 minute per mile slower (but this is after almost a two month layoff), I have a peculiar sensation of difficult breathing, and about two beer's worth of vertigo when walking down the street.

I just want to mention that I had similar symptoms (also with the had been running pre-Covid) but with an arrhythmia and one afib, and my doctor sent me to a cardiologist and long story short, I’m now on meds and a heart patient for life. It might be worth booking a stress test!
posted by warriorqueen at 3:59 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


My household is in the group that may have had COVID in March 2020. Mr. eirias was on a business trip when the pandemic was declared and he was exposed while there. He came home, we got sick, we got a call from a contact tracer. But we are exactly nobody so of course we couldn’t get a test. It’s a bit maddening not to know, since I’ve had health problems in the intervening years that are on the list of post covid sequelae, more annoying to me than worrisome to my GP. But it could have been a lot worse.

I nodded in recognition at dusty potato’s comments about how it feels like, in continuing to mitigate, I’m the one that’s moved on and accepted the constraints of this new world, in contrast to everyone else. This posture is portrayed as fear or anxiety but it feels like something else, like conscientiousness. It’s the same reason I don’t litter, except nobody dies from litter, and people do still die from this, and it’s everywhere.
posted by eirias at 4:36 AM on January 21 [17 favorites]


Oh, but the other thing I understand now that I didn’t understand three years ago is that we are not going to solve climate change. We couldn’t band together for the common good when the consequences of not doing so included the possibility of our own personal death in short order. That seems like game over for a problem that is even larger and more remote.
posted by eirias at 4:42 AM on January 21 [31 favorites]


I hate what Covid did to MetaFilter. It's maybe no different than other controversial topics here, but this is one more topic where it's not possible--without snide comments; without dogpiling; without accusations of fascism, ableism, or wanting people to die--to articulate anything other than extremist views. That's all minor stuff compared to the health impacts of the disease, but it still sucks. I say all that as someone who still masks regularly indoors, is vaccinated, evaluates whether to attend events based on ventilation, density of people, etc., and who takes extra care for people from at-risk populations.
posted by cupcakeninja at 6:07 AM on January 21 [33 favorites]


Are we reading the same thread?? I see a lot of non-extreme views here! I mean, yes, some extreme ones also. “I can’t articulate my opinion without extreme views appearing alongside mine” sounds truer but, like, that’s the internet, man.
posted by eirias at 6:54 AM on January 21 [6 favorites]


eirias, this thread isn't particularly bad! You are so right about the internet, and people really are going to have sometimes extreme and contrasting views. As I said somewhere else here at some point, generally I try to stay away from Covid threads, but I thought the three years bit was interesting. Life has been ugly at times in recent years, and discussions here have been correspondingly ugly at times. I say that because this thread is about the impact of three years, and I think the pandemic harmed site culture in some ways. More or less than society at large, I can't say, but after three years, MetaFilter is better in some ways and worse in others.
posted by cupcakeninja at 7:38 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


My premonition was correct. Immediate solid positive when I tested this morning. Glad I worked from home yesterday, for the sake of my coworkers, and all the people on the El. I mask when in public, and so do many other people, but my level of precaution wasn't enough for me, was it?
posted by notoriety public at 8:06 AM on January 21 [9 favorites]


eirias, some early comments were deleted.

I think previous COVID threads in the last few months have been more heated. So maybe not this particular post, but certainly the topic has pretty entrenched positions amongst us (myself included).
posted by curious nu at 8:31 AM on January 21


I think describing “socializing indoors with people who don’t live with you” as “walking around so arrogantly” and (the implication is) spreading disease is pretty extreme. Maybe it’s because I live in NYC and was low key traumatized by how things were here three years ago. Those were the days when I judged people for doing crazy, reckless shit like seeing a friend indoors.
posted by cakelite at 8:59 AM on January 21 [14 favorites]


Sure, I’d agree that “you can’t be inside unmasked with anyone outside your household ever” is an extreme view (maybe warranted for some people! — it is not my approach personally, but I have less risk than I used to because my vulnerable person died). But that’s really far from a situation in which only extreme views are permitted! I really cannot let that framing go unchallenged.

Sometimes when people say that, what they really mean is “I don’t want to feel judged by anyone present” and, I mean, if you thought zero COVID was unrealistic (it is) then have I got news for you. You will probably encounter vegans, antiracist activists, and others who disapprove of you also (and me too, I am sure) and this site would be different and worse without them.
posted by eirias at 9:35 AM on January 21 [7 favorites]


One of the earlier 'eyeroll/kill me now' rejoinders from future antivaxx/disbeliever patients was "oh I'm pretty sure I had it last year" (i.e. 2019) despite any number of reassurances that Covid was nowhere in sight in 2019 in the US

There was some kind of flu/virus going around the East Coast of the US in late 2019/early 2020 before Covid was ever mentioned in the news here.
It was unusually severe and fit the description of the bad early version of Covid. I know at least two people who had it. So it's not crazy to think that it could have actually been Covid before it had been officially detected in the US.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:47 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


My girlfriend, a traveling nurse, had a bad case of pneumonia in late 2019, just before we began seeing each other in earnest. She started a contract in early February 2020 as a traveling nurse in Santa Clara. I was saddened, but was planning trips and FaceTime calls. Then she returned to Los Angeles out of the blue, a week into her contract, which she’d broken with no explanation, at about the same time of the first Covid death from that first Covid cluster. Three weeks later, she started a job as a ICU nurse at a local hospital just as beds were becoming scarce. The next day, she died.

The preliminary medical examiner’s report called it atypical pneumonia. The day she died, I had the worst cold I’d ever had in a decade, which continued for a week. My family was terrified for me; my work told me not to come back until I could prove I didn’t have Covid; I was just despondent.

Six weeks after her death, the ME amended Allison’s cause of death to methamphetamine and heroin intoxication. This made a lot more sense; it’s how we met. I struggled for another eighteen months with my habit and have known many more people who have died from their addictions than from Covid. Excess mortality in that community, anecdotally, looks much more like the height of the Black Plague than the population at large. Los Angeles County has a six-month backlog of blood samples from the dead to process for toxicology.

Again, anecdotally, from conversations and shares in treatment and in twelve-step meetings, the sharp uptick in substance use disorders seems like yet another of COVID’s sequelae, especially for those like me who otherwise avoided high-risk behavior and followed masking and contact guidelines stricter than what the CDC and local authorities recommended at the height of the lockdown. I kept my sense of smell, I never had tell-tale fevers or something as prosaic as a “cog fog,” and my overall cardiorespiratory health metrics are all better than they were prior to 2020. But Covid, like addiction itself, inflicted permanent damage to those who were never even primary sufferers.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:06 AM on January 21 [16 favorites]


It was unusually severe and fit the description of the bad early version of Covid. I know at least two people who had it. So it's not crazy to think that it could have actually been Covid before it had been officially detected in the US.

The thing that makes me pretty certain that is not the case though, is that covid, when it hit, was so incredibly fast spreading. Cases were doubling every two or three days. That's not the sort of thing that just circulates for a few months. It's the sort of thing that goes from one case to everyone on the planet's gotten it in a few months - if no precautions are taken.
posted by Zalzidrax at 11:33 AM on January 21


Myself and many I know remember people who had a very severe illness in late December 2019. It's possible we'll know a clearer picture as the years go on, but count me as skeptical about that first case data until we do.
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:52 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


We returned from 3 weeks in India on Jan 11, 2020. I remember seeing a CNN broadcast at the hotel in Delhi on Jan 09 - there were a few stand out highlights. One was the assassination of an Iranian general by the US. The other was the quickly spreading pneumonia in China
neither was good news as we were about to get on two long flights from Delhi to London to MPLS.

We also traveled the last leg to Delhi by train and shared a cabin with an older local couple who had a deep cough so sever we half joked it was TB. We both caught whatever it was and carried it back home. I don't think it was anything other than a terrible cold even then.
posted by djseafood at 12:03 PM on January 21


The thing that makes me pretty certain that is not the case though, is that covid, when it hit, was so incredibly fast spreading. Cases were doubling every two or three days. That's not the sort of thing that just circulates for a few months.

That's the thing with exponential growth. It can invisible or overwhelming while still be exponential to the same degree.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:30 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


It blows my mind that we aren’t going deep on ventilation, filtration, and UV air sanitation. It works pretty good for COVID, and incredibly well for less transmissible airborne viruses like flu. There should be government-funded HVAC crews installing high quality ventilation systems in every gathering room in the country.

I read once that any question that begins, “Why don’t they... ?” is answered, “Money.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:32 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


the right wing was so completely and uncomplicatedly successful in Just browbeating western society into giving up on any and all measures to prevent the spread

As I have noted before, in mid-2020, Jon Oliver said, “I do not understand how and why the Republicans made, ‘not spreading disease’ a culture war issue.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:35 PM on January 21 [13 favorites]


Can one of the USians who keep asserting that they or someone they know probably had Covid in fall 2019 explain why they think that matters? That was a fairly bad flu season, I was totally knocked out right before XMas. Not trying to be combative, just wondering what’s at stake.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:55 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


I was commenting in a thread about covid, where others were sharing experiences. I have nothing at stake but conversation, so yes...a little surprised to be challenged on it.
posted by tiny frying pan at 2:02 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


And I remember, in January 2020 I got really, really sick with some crazy respiratory thing as well. I thought it was the regular 'flu, which I'd not had for 7 or 8 years, so I wasn't surprised.

I remember thinking, I wonder if this is that new virus thing in China, and is it spreading here (Canada) already.
posted by Savannah at 2:06 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


It was March 13, 2020, that my kids were all sent home from school with packets of homework and electronics, and never went back. They were remote for all of the 2020-2021 school year, and then went back -- with masking and distancing -- for the 2021-2022 school year. We made it until March 2022 before we caught Covid. My 5th grader, who had seen none of his friends in person from March 2020 until September 2021, and had diligently masked and distance, had started getting a little careless, and pulling his mask down during gym class or not staying distanced enough during recess. Which is the most understandable thing in the world from a 10-year-old in a world where he had gone through two years of a pandemic being extremely diligent AND could see that half the country's leadership couldn't be arsed to follow common-sense rules.

The amount of guilt he felt was unreal. He's not a crier, but he cried because he was so upset and ashamed that he'd slipped up on the rules, felt like he'd done something horrible and he was to blame. I had to wear a mask to hug him. I probably shouldn't have hugged him. It was probably the worst moment in my life as a parent, my child suffering and guilty and terrified, and we both knew I shouldn't really be in the room with him at all.

Our house is small and not well-ventilated, so despite my 10-year-old's lonely efforts to isolate, we all caught it by the next week. Which of course made my child feel even worse and more guilty, but it was a relief; I could be with my children and cuddle them while they were sick. I honestly worry about whether he has lasting trauma from the whole experience.

I think a lot about my kids, and other kids, and what they all went through. We live close to my siblings and we formed a pod once that was allowed, which was relieving. Twice a week or so, as long as nobody was sick, we'd get the cousins together to play at someone's house. It was good for everybody to have a change of scene, for the adults to be able to socialize and the kids to see someone outside their own household. One adult could stay home and have blessed and rare solitude and silence. In some ways, that part of it was like having an infant -- I was NEVER EVER ALONE. It was never, ever quiet. That was one of the hardest parts of having a baby for me, and one of the hardest parts of early lockdown: never having solitude or quiet down time.

My youngest was 3 when we went into lockdown. She didn't really understand what was going on, but she would sob with fear every time one of us went to the store. Later, she started crying because she wanted to go WITH. My children didn't enter another retail establishment until December 2020 when we went to Costco for flu shots, and they were all AMAZED at being in a big public building. Later that spring, our library returned to relatively normal service and case counts locally were low, and I took my youngest to the library. She couldn't remember a library and was blown away that she could just pick out books. But when I remember most vividly was, we entered the library and she started taking off her shoes ... because they only places she'd been that she could remember were other people's houses (shoes off) and doctor's offices (shoes on). I told her to leave her shoes on, and she verified this was correct three times because she thought it was rude. She even asked the librarian, "Is it okay to have my shoes on?"

Not that life is more back to normal, I definitely notice my older kids have some social skills deficits. My youngest is a little bit terrifying in parking lots, because she missed the years from 3 to 6 going to public places, and I have to remind her about cars. My niece was born early in the pandemic, and she has a fairly significant speech delay, which the doctor thinks is at least partly attributable to the fact that she had such a limited number of people to talk and listen to as an infant. The speech therapist at my kids' school says they're seeing a statistically-significant uptick in speech delays among kindergarteners and first graders (who would have been 2 and 3 when lockdown started), probably partly because of limited social exposure but definitely partly because so many fewer children got Early Intervention (diagnosis and treatment) during the pandemic years. For parents of children with disabilities and delays, a lot of those kids missed 18 months of therapy -- therapies they're entitled to by law -- and you can't make up that time. Some of those children will have lifetime worse outcomes because of those 18 months of therapies they didn't get.

I have some anger about this, but mostly sorrow. There was SO much pressure to reopen schools, and ALL kids suffered developmentally from lockdown -- but reopening plans focused on getting the most kids back in school, which meant "normal" kids, and a lot of kids with special needs were excluded from schools for MUCH longer than necessary, because they were medically fragile, or schools didn't have the personnel to provide mandated aides and therapies. And that has all just ... kind-of been memory-holed. There are no current extra supports for children who need help at least TRYING to catch up, there are no extra supports for families who had no respite care for 18 months, there are no plans for future excess costs or needs. I try to keep it in front of my elected officials (my state rep is particularly great on special ed issues), but I don't have any illusions that anyone's going to do anything about it. I just want to keep talking about it so my elected officials at least REMEMBER.

I feel like I've developed more compassion towards other parents. My community was largely excellent on Covid -- it's a pretty progressive place so people were compliant on lockdowns and masking, and our local political leaders really stepped up in impressive ways. So I know it's easier for me to have compassion than people who were living in communities full of science-denying assholes -- my neighbors didn't always make the same risk choices I did, but I know that they were all make good-faith efforts to be safe and make the right choices.

There are things I do miss about lockdown (and I was glad when people were having a lot of conversations about those paradoxical feelings earlier this year). I miss spending SO much time with my kids (even while that part also sucked), and finding and trying new things to entertain ourselves. My kids are back at school so they spend most of the day with their friends and peers, but for 18 months we were kind-of each others' only entertainment. We made good use of streaming and watched lots of classic sitcoms and movies. I miss when everyone was home ALL day, so I saw all my neighbors walking their dogs all day, instead of taking a quick walk after work. I miss the junior high students who went all over the neighborhood with sidewalk chalk creating messages and pictures. I miss watching kids meet their friends to chat, standing two sidewalk squares away from each other (6 feet). Kids were so amazingly adaptable and clever.

Anyway. I've been writing this comment for like two hours so I have no concluding thought but am out of steam. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:13 PM on January 21 [38 favorites]


I spent some time in the early 90s living in Taiwan, and one of the many aspects of culture shock that immediately confronted me was the ubiquitous face masks in public. Now, after covid, I completely get it. I have been a faithful masker, I have all my shots, and I have been using Enovid in public places as well. It's been three years of no covid, no flu, no colds, and no one commenting on my very active bitch face. Everyone else can do as they please but #Masks4Life4Me
posted by birdsongster at 2:26 PM on January 21 [10 favorites]


The American situation is such a tragedy. It seems that even Italy, which was so terribly hit at first, is better off now than the US. The Trump administration is to blame, obviously, but the people who voted for Trump and the anti-science people are the big problem.

I was diagnosed with PTSD in early 2020, but couldn't start treatment because of lockdown. I spent lockdown isolated at our farm, and started a diary then, trying to make sense of my flashbacks and nightmares and the reality of our weird global pandemic.

MetaFilter was immensely important to me, as was the local Facebook page (I otherwise avoid Facebook because of triggers).

I caught the corona twice. First it was like a mild flu, nothing special. I taught a class from home. Next time was bad. I caught it at a reception March 25th 2022, the first public gathering I'd attended after lockdown. And I had long COVID symptoms until mid-October. I lost my sense of smell and taste, I had no energy and my lungs where wheezing. I was scared. My stats were horrible and I feared that I would be permanently disabled. Luckily, I have recovered.

Here, the government generally did the right thing. Obviously, expensive mistakes were made, but no-one expected otherwise. There was a tiny anti-something movement, but most people supported the restrictions and the compensations were mostly fair. I could write about some drama that happened, but in the larger picture, it wasn't important. I find it interesting that a small country with open borders and a failing healthcare system* could manage the pandemic as well as we could.

*yes, our healthcare system is failing, everyone is very worried. But that is a different story. Maybe it is not failing as much as the US system.
posted by mumimor at 2:29 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Well folks, I'm walking around a downtown light and ice sculpture festival taking pics. After the first two people coughed near me, I put on a mask. And later got my first, "Why are you still wearing a mask, are you sick?" (The "hilarious" part is, no one coughing is wearing a mask.)

There was a time I would have been too intimidated to answer, but I replied, "Because covid and bad flu are still around, but I guess everybody had a meeting and decided it was over. And I should be asking you why aren't you wearing one."

I will try not to let that ruin what I'm doing, as is often the case for me when I encounter rude idiots. I was always pretty cynical about people, but I don't like that between this and MAGA, I sometimes find myself wishing the worst for them.
posted by NorthernLite at 2:34 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


For my part it's the frustration that after years of a global pandemic, nobody seems to have bothered to educate the public on what exponential growth implies, and what that means for how you respond to a pandemic.

And I'm very certain that has cost lives.

It was so, so frustrating early on in the pandemic, to see people just so unaware of how terrifying exponential growth was, how little time you are going to have to react when case counts are going from 100-something to in the ten thousands in about two weeks. The news was just announcing numbers on the radio, without any really context, and without telling people what that really meant. Because it was still numbers that people saw as kind of small compared to the population of the US, no one was hurried to do anything, but I was terrified.

Because exponential growth means it's going to be adding zeros in the same amount of time. That 100 to 10,000 in two weeks is going to be 10,000 to 1,000,000 in the next two weeks if no one does anything. Just the lack of urgency that people had, the lack of understanding... it was absolutely so scary and unsettling and frustrating.

With how fast covid spread, two weeks meant so, so much.

So seeing people still claim that they were sick with covid months before we started properly seeing the outbreak? If you understand what exponentially spreading disease means, and saw how fast covid was spreading, it's just so ridiculous.

But I'm not angry at the people who believe that, I'm angry at the media, our leaders, the people who have failed us so badly in educating the public, in giving people the power to understand what is going on and react accordingly.
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:37 PM on January 21 [4 favorites]


Zalzidrax, links, vetted sources, etc...go a long way for me, personally, then having my comments and other's comments called ridiculous when we are simply sharing our experiences....that...I dont see how it's helpful, or kind? in posts about something that has traumatized all of us. Let's be gentle with each other.
posted by tiny frying pan at 3:00 PM on January 21


(Like, legit, I come here to share, I'm not trying to anger anyone, I don't like conflict, everyone needs a hug)
posted by tiny frying pan at 3:07 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I believe part of what drives conflict here is the fact that it's basically impossible to ascertain the risk in specific situations.

Because covid can be asymptomatic and infectious, it's not possible to reliably know if the individuals present have covid.

The covid virus can linger in the air for a period after people leave, which makes the situation even more difficult.

Because air quality isn't visible, it's hard to know how potentially contaminated it is.

So the main guidelines to making safe decisions is statistical, rule of thumb estimates. Are we indoors? Is there good ventilation? How many people are present? Are people masking? Are their masks fitted properly?

And high levels of personal safety mean generally assuming the worst. But this is in conflict with social pressures. And there's no support from a government level for safe practices. And without that, there's no shield from economics-driven social pressures. "Return to office", etc.

It's overwhelming and awful.
posted by allium cepa at 4:45 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Myself and many I know remember people who had a very severe illness in late December 2019. It's possible we'll know a clearer picture as the years go on, but count me as skeptical about that first case data until we do.
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:52 AM on January 21 [+] [!]


So to tiny frying pan and anyone else that may benefit from some anecdata...

Most respiratory seasons we will see certain runs of viral respiratory illness with specific distinguishing features. Maybe a higher level of body aches, or fevers, or prolonged convalescent coughing...mind you we can't test the myriad strains of adeno, corona, rhino, parainfluenza etc etc that causes what in the end is your basic head/chest cold (bronchitis if you want to sound fancy - it's all viral shit ensconced in the respiratory tract). This year we are doing a lot more testing and you can usually tell pre-test if it will be + for influenza A, RSV, or not based on a vibe of symptoms/sense of things.

Anyway in late 2019 in my clinic many of the docs (I work in a pretty large multi-spec group) were seeing a strain of something that was an absolute ass-kicker. Like people that could weather almost anything were getting their asses handed to them. And many of us also wondered if that wasn't covid after all, once the pandemic started in earnest. But when the dust settled it was, despite the wild intensity it brought with it, something non-Covid. Hope that helps. (edit - meant to add that samples of viral secretions from late 2019 were back-tested just to confirm and none of them were Covid).
posted by docpops at 4:45 PM on January 21 [17 favorites]


It...does and yet doesn't help? I, mean, anecdotes are anecdotes, from all of us. My position is, I'm not asserting anything. I'm sharing my perspective, as we all are. Thank you for yours.
posted by tiny frying pan at 4:57 PM on January 21


I had a horrible long-lingering cough from something in early 2020 too, in the weeks before it could possibly have been covid. Weeks of lingering cough after I'd gotten over whatever the prompt infection was. I speculated idly at the time, but I'm quite sure now it was something old-fashioned, not the new hotness. Now that covid has finally, finally found me, I'm thinking back to that cold, and I realize that that was the last time I got sick! Three years of nothing. Distancing and masking work, yo. Not 100%, but three years between illnesses is a damned long winning streak.
posted by notoriety public at 5:34 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


Re: COVID-19 in 2019 in the US. I posted non-anecdotal links above, and I apologize for not typing out the studies (done on blood donations from early 2020; the antibodies appear in blood work 2-3 weeks post-Covid infection) and article title:

Serologic Testing of US Blood Donations to Identify Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)–Reactive Antibodies: December 2019–January 2020 (Clinical Infectious Diseases, 15 June 2021) Conclusions: These findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may have been introduced into the United States prior to 19 January 2020.
Antibodies to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in All of Us Research Program Participants, 2 January to 18 March 2020 ((Clinical Infectious Diseases, 15 June 2021) Conclusions: Our findings identified SARS-CoV-2 infections weeks before the first recognized cases in 5 US states.
More evidence suggests COVID-19 was in US by Christmas 2019 (AP, June 15, 2021)

Adding Italy, where a study showed that "11.6% of 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020 had developed coronavirus antibodies" (CNBC, Nov. 16, 2020) & "This study shows an unexpected very early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals in Italy" prior to the first identified symptomatic patient (Feb. 21, 2020). (SAGE Journals, Nov. 11, 2020, w/additional study detail)

Another study may explain some of this (undergoing peer review; 29,947 study enrollees): due to a common allele of HLA, at least 20% of individuals infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) will remain asymptomatic. (NIH study PREPRINT, 12 October 2022).

COVID-19 was circulating in 2019 in places other than China; some people who caught it were asymptomatic, as throughout the pandemic -- but they would've still passed it along to others who developed that terrible "flu".
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:47 PM on January 21 [5 favorites]


So many stories - sending love and hugs to my Mefis.

Also, I despise, in a way I have never despised anyone. Donald Trump.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:01 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


Here's something I still wonder about.

In late 2019 and early 2020 there were increasingly violent protests in Vrygrond, the informal settlement near us.

Mostly around lack of public transport, and also the perennial problem of people building shacks on the rubbish dump next to Vrygrond (which should give you an idea what the place is like) or on the areas that get flooded in winter, and having their shacks destroyed. Or should I say "their homes destroyed"?

We could see a pall of black smoke rising from Vrygrond every day. Nearby roads were often barricaded with burning tires by the protesters. At one point I could hear the police shooting what I hope were plastic bullets a block away from me when I was out walking my dog.

Some roads became unsafe as people were throwing bricks at passing cars (this happened to my neighbour).

Several busses were firebombed, close enough to my home that I heard the tires exploding.

But when the hard lockdown happened, everything just... stopped.

We weren't allowed out of our houses except for getting groceries and to go to the doctor. No exercise allowed, no dog walking, no nothing. You had to have a document marking you as an essential worker to be allowed to go out at all.

There were rumours of food riots in the nearby areas where poor people stayed (Lavender Hill, Blue Downs, Grassy Park unsettling how the harshest places have the prettiest names).

Some mentions on social media of police brutality in forcing people back into their houses in black neighbourhoods.

But nothing at all about Vrygrond. And since then, the protests seem to have stopped or become so low profile that I'm not aware of them.

What happenned there? Did the people leading those protests get taken out under the cover of the lockdown, or did Covid take out so many people in that community that protests just weren't an option any more, or what?
posted by Zumbador at 8:00 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


"Three years of nothing. Distancing and masking work, yo. Not 100%, but three years between illnesses is a damned long winning streak."

YEAH, it's kinda crazy. We went 18 months without having basically any illnesses, because nobody was being exposed to anything. I caught a cold and thought I must have Covid/be dying, and finally went to urgent care because I was so uncomfortable, and the doctor examined me and was like, "Yeah, so, you have a head cold."

"Not Covid?"

"Um, no, just a common cold."

"But I feel like I'm going to die!"

"So, this is just, like, the human condition."

I was like, I FORGOT HOW MUCH THE HUMAN CONDITION SUCKS.

The fall and winter, like most families with kids in school in the US, we got hit OVER AND OVER AGAIN with a ton of respiratory viruses that the kids haven't been passing among themselves the last two years, between remote learning and full masking. This year, no routine masking, and families got hit with the triple whammy of RSV, flu, and Covid ... plus the common cold. We were sick almost every day from November 1 to today, it sucked. We definitely had RSV. We had flu shots and Covid boosters, and didn't test positive for Covid, but I definitely wonder if we had low-key flu and Covid infections. The first year your kid goes to day care or preschool, they warn you, you will miss at least one day a week all year long, as your kid catches EVERY DAMN VIRUS ON EARTH, and you will have a miserable year as you catch all those pediatric viruses from your kid that you haven't been exposed to in years. This is a VERY TRUE THING, but this year was like all THREE of my kids were starting preschool at once, and ALL bringing home novel viruses to share with the family. It sucked so hard. And it sucked less for me than a lot of parents, since my kids are old enough to blow their own noses and to listlessly watch TV when they're sick, instead of screaming for hours on end because they're miserable and tiny, and then fighting all attempts to steal their precious boogers so they can breathe.

I'm also a person with a lot of allergies, who frequently has a runny nose from allergies, and I am now SO SELF-CONSCIOUS about it. I literally talked to my doctor about how I can have a less runny nose, not because it particularly bothers me (although it's annoying), but because the social censure is terrible. She totally gets it and is willing to prescribe stronger allergy meds for Covid-related social reasons than in the past.

A nice thing about living in a progressive community is that Covid-cautiousness is now a totally socially acceptable part of parenting anxiety. If someone comes to Girl Scouts masked, with their kid masked, and says, "Yeah, so, we're going to see her grandma in Indiana next week, and she's in a nursing home," everyone's like, "Oh, totally, let us pull our masks out of our purses." Or if someone refuses socializing for a couple weeks so they can make an important business trip, everyone thinks that's just good sense.

Another thing that was so interesting to me was learning which friends in your life were capable of radical, painful honesty and which were not. Because responsible people text you or call you, and say, "I am SO sorry, but I just tested positive for Covid, and I was indoors with your kid for a couple of hours two days ago." That is a very hard phone call to make (or text message to send), knowing that you have inadvertently put someone else at risk of literal death, and they may blame you, and they may be angry with you, and there may be more serious social consequences. But it's really important to do to help the community be safe, and reduce contagion, and help people who were exposed make the right decisions! I hated receiving (or sending) those messages, but I also know how hard they were to send, and what strength of character it takes to tell another parent, "I put your child at risk, and I am letting you know so you can take appropriate steps." HUGE BOULDER IN THE PIT OF YOUR STOMACH, no way to avoid your heart racing, it just fucking sucks balls and it is SO HARD to take responsibility like that. But this has absolutely helped inform which of my kids' friends' parents I trust as my oldest starts high school and my middle starts junior high, and they start having more independent social lives with more risks involved. I know exactly which parents are going to be the ones who call me up and say, "I feel terrible about this, but the kids got into the liquor cabinet, here is who was involved and how it happened ..." and which ones are going to try to hide and mitigate the damage.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:50 PM on January 21 [18 favorites]


nobody seems to have bothered to educate the public on what exponential growth implies, and what that means for how you respond to a pandemic

An understanding what exponential growth implies would require a level of interest in mathematics that most of the public simply doesn't have. And for as long as the economy remains constructed as a permanent rat race designed to keep the poors lurching from personal crisis to personal crisis and fighting amongst ourselves while the wealthy sit back and leech off our precious bodily fluids, the overwhelming majority of the public will never have the time nor intellectual freedom to develop such an interest.

The wealthy understand exponential growth just fine; they call it "the miracle of compound interest" and "passive income".

Scrape by on a taxpayer funded pittance and you're a bludger or welfare queen; get paid millions per year just for rolling out of bed and you're a captain of industry and pillar of society. Seems to me that that is the disconnect we need to address if we're to have any hope of responding to future pandemics in a less shambolic fashion.
posted by flabdablet at 9:11 PM on January 21 [6 favorites]


I was incredibly sick in February 2020. The sickest I’ve been in my life with a fever over 102, sore throat, and crushing fatigue. Multiple things on top of that, including total insomnia for 4 nights. I quarantined in one room of my house for about 5 days because I didn’t want my young daughter or spouse to get whatever I had. I learned it was possible to do video visits with doctors and nurses during that time, but I don’t recall getting any treatment. Maybe tamiflu.

The pandemic hit a month later and I wondered for years if I’d had original Covid.

A few months ago we met up with friends from my daughters old daycare and one pulled me aside, remembering how I’d talked about being so sick. He told me that another family had been in Wuhan in January 2020 visiting family, had returned home to the SF Bay Area and gotten sick. We’d been around them while they were sick at a daycare function - daycare kids/parents are always sick, not unusual. They were confirmed to have had Covid when that later became possible, and I almost certainly was exposed. All of timing with the original incubation period fit perfectly.

It was (and still is) a head trip realizing I almost certainly had Covid before the pandemic got fully underway that February. It was so bad.
posted by pkingdesign at 10:25 PM on January 21 [9 favorites]


We went 18 months without having basically any illnesses, because nobody was being exposed to anything.

The winter of 2020 was the first winter I can remember not getting severe flu, despite getting the vaccine every year.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:34 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


We were lucky that Coronavirus was as non-lethal as it was compared to the Black Death or the 1918 Flu.

In a sense yes, but if it has been more lethal I think it would have been taken more seriously. My fear is that we wake up in a few years with a massive healthcare problem and and huge chunk of the population severely affected by repeated COVID infections.

I think most people either don’t care or are just resigned to a new base level of risk in their lives, of course that additional risk is very dangerous for a part of the population, but we’re not gonna go to 0 COVID ever and even when we were masking it was still transmitting.

For what it’s worth we’re still cautious and mask up when shopping or when inside with people not in a close circle of parents whose kids are always together (daycare/neighbors), for those we figure if one kid has it we’ll all get it anyway.

Now I hate that we’re not taking this time to ramp up on ventilation and air quality measures, I don’t understand this one it would help for a variety of issues.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 12:55 AM on January 22 [4 favorites]


Anyway in late 2019 in my clinic many of the docs (I work in a pretty large multi-spec group) were seeing a strain of something that was an absolute ass-kicker. Like people that could weather almost anything were getting their asses handed to them. And many of us also wondered if that wasn't covid after all, once the pandemic started in earnest. But when the dust settled it was, despite the wild intensity it brought with it, something non-Covid. Hope that helps. (edit - meant to add that samples of viral secretions from late 2019 were back-tested just to confirm and none of them were Covid).

That’s really great information to have!

I wonder whether Covid wasn’t spreading that fast among humans at first — seems like a virus wouldn’t have to be that great at it to spread through the crowded conditions of a bat roost — but it was still knocking the T cells of its human victims down and allowing much more virulent strains of the endemic human viruses to spread among the population that was affected by Covid the way it seems to be doing now with RSV in the US, and those more virulent strains of endemic viruses spread faster than Covid at that time and got out ahead of it into the rest of the world.

Which would make the anomalous very severe illnesses people in this thread report experiencing just before Covid actually arrived here grim harbingers of what was to come.
posted by jamjam at 2:28 AM on January 22


ALL kids suffered developmentally from lockdown

I'm sorry, this is fundamentally untrue. Many children suffered developmentally from lockdown, yes. Perhaps the majority? But to say that all kids were affected the same is patently wrong. I would absolutely argue that younger children were more severely affected than older cohorts, yes. But I really take umbrage at such all-encompassing language.

I was going to link some studies but there are SO MANY and all of the ones I looked at said the same things: some children have developmental delays, those children are generally on the younger side, some children thrived in lockdown, we won't really know the extent (i.e. is it a long-lasting effect) for many years.
posted by cooker girl at 10:40 AM on January 22 [12 favorites]


We did a training program in my office in late February 2020. This was located in the Washington, D.C. area, and participants and trainers were from all over the U.S., and there were a bunch from various countries outside the U.S. ... people from the U.S. State Department, U.S. Customs people, FBI, and even some people who work undercover in various capacities. Being in D.C., we had already been hearing about this virus coming out of China that seemed to be spreading, and that it was in the U.S., and there were rumors of closures and lockdowns ...

After that program, some of us got sick with a really bad "flu". It was a mean one, with sore throat, cough, fever and all sorts of fun symptoms. It definitely could have been flu, but we have always wondered if it could have been Covid, given the timing and our exposure to international travelers.

Our offices shut down for Covid literally a couple of weeks after this program. The original office shutdown was supposed to be two weeks, but I went around and grabbed a bunch of stuff to take home with me my last day in the office because I figured it would be longer, maybe at least a year, which I predicted to my boss. I vividly remember being pretty scared, because I did not think the President was the right man for the job, and I had grown up hearing stories about how my grandfather almost died during the 1918 flu pandemic.

I'm still so angry that 100 years after the 1918 flu politics have gotten so much in the way of public health. My mother had polio at age 3, "recovered", but had permanent effects from it her whole life. She was adamant we got every vaccine as it came available. I just can't wrap my head around anti-vaxxers and the politicization of the virus response and the vaccine. At the holidays, I was at the grocery store wearing a mask (and this is a pretty blue area, it should be noted). It was crowded and I was trying to figure out where the end of the line was, and an older woman in line (unmasked) refused to talk to me when I asked her about the line because I was wearing a mask. I just ... I still can't process this behavior.

I worry about the long term effects of repeated Covid infections. My cousin-in-law in NYC, who is 65 and has asthma, just got over a third round of Covid (this time with the help of Paxlovid), but she was still pretty sick with it. She is vaxxed and boosted but is mostly just going about her business without a mask ... socializing indoors etc.. I can't help but wonder what the future may bring for her, health wise.
posted by gudrun at 11:11 AM on January 22 [6 favorites]


If anything, it will be the dead people and disabled people who are no longer available to toil in the "surprisingly tight" labor market that could eventually drive a demand for change in how we handle covid, from the oligarchs. Somehow, with covid deaths > 1M, excess deaths an integer multiple of that, and millions more out with increased disability and/or long covid, there just aren't enough worker bees!

I really appreciate the framing from dusty potato, that the anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-protection cohort are the ones mentally stuck, in 2019. This -- "living" with covid, multiple reinfections for the rest of your life with each one a roll of a 10-sided dice -- is how it is now. Make your choices accordingly.

My biggest long-term effect is misanthropy. The country voted Dumpster in. Then Jan 6th, and the tolerance towards the privileged white men behind it. Dobbs. It crystallized watching all of the celebration over demasking on planes, last April. I do miss eating out, but the misanthropy takes the edge off.
posted by Dashy at 12:12 PM on January 22 [16 favorites]


Somehow, with covid deaths > 1M, excess deaths an integer multiple of that

Do you happen to have a source for that? I was wondering what the excess deaths figure is the other day, and a CDC publication I found indicated it's only about 300,000 after accounting for COVID, since February 2020. If other sources are indicating excess deaths are multiple times the official covid deaths rate, I'm curious about the discrepancy.
posted by biogeo at 2:01 PM on January 22


But regardless, yeah, the last few years have really tested my faith in humanity. Misanthropy is harder and harder to resist.
posted by biogeo at 2:02 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


What a thread.

On Friday the 20th, the third anniversary, I traveled from the US to a European capital city for a business trip lasting 9 days. For the last three days I have masked diligently (KN95 in airports/plane overnight/transit, surgical masks while in businesses and venues.) Shockingly few people are masking and I have definitely gotten dirty looks about it in shops and at the ballet tonight.

The only time I got Covid was last September, during one of my first business trips in two+ years. In that case, the trip was short and close to home and my test came up positive after I was home. Now I’m across the Atlantic, traveling by myself, my return flight a week away. I know it’s possible to travel now and not catch it (I vacationed with my sweetie in Paris in December, we masked diligently the whole time, all was well) but good goddamn, I just do not want to risk it under these conditions.

While I was killing time during a layover I reflected on how weird and self conscious I felt when I first started masking as Covid rolled out. Wow, who would have anticipated how I am now.
posted by Sublimity at 2:14 PM on January 22 [5 favorites]


I remember walking across campus in March 2020 and noting that every conversation I overheard was about Covid. I was feeling a bit irritated at the fuss, and hoping it wasn't all that big a deal, but a day or two later the University closed and we were all sent home. My life has utterly changed since that day; I took early retirement, left the housing coop I'd lived in for thirty years, and moved out of the city to live with my partner (we married that December). My mother came to live with us for 9 months before moving into assisted living, and I sold the house that she bought in 1981. My son's father died the next year. Every former pillar of my life tumbled: work, home, all the regular circuits of my life. Yet here I sit, in a house set on a half acre treed with cedar and Douglas fir, a block from the sea, in a most beautiful part of the world, wondering at it all. The fire is on, the cats are dozing, and I'm freed from having to work, and, so far, neither my wife nor I, nor my stepdaughter, have tested positive for Covid. What a long, strange three years it has been indeed.
posted by jokeefe at 2:31 PM on January 22 [15 favorites]


@biogeo, I'm trying to get back to a specific
chart I saw , but in the meantime

https://twitter.com/wsbgnl/status/1614049214132260864?t=wQ4pBzFaOHRlze1ugAp4xA&s=19
and
https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/excess-deaths-cumulative-economist-single-entity?country=~USA

"According to Our World in Data, in the second half of 2022 the US saw 75,000 confirmed covid deaths and 113,000 excess deaths."

So integer multiple is overstating it by these charts, but ... not by much, and far more than 300k.
posted by Dashy at 3:32 PM on January 22 [2 favorites]


CovidMeetups.com is for people who are still taking precautions, and would like to meet other people who are still taking precautions. I registered last week. The people in my city are looking for playdates for their kids, but folks in the neighboring cities are interested in adult socializing, outdoors only, or online. You fill out your profile statement with your location (I messed around a bit with choosing "my" city at first, just to see if I could), what kind of socializing you're looking for, and what covid precautions you're taking.

Then when you click "search," you can see who's near your location and what kind of socializing they're looking for, and figure out if your covid precaution needs are compatible. I messaged 3 people, 1 responded, and I'm really enjoying corresponding with her.

The site has a "groups" category, where you can find groups by geography or whatnot, and there's a BIPOC And Covid-Cautous group that has a Discord server (joining the server requires that you fill out a brief questionnaire, because they're making an effort to keep out trolls / white supremacists etc). I am loving their ground rules and channels (pro-trans, pro-Black, pro-Indigenous).

I think the site is not well known yet, so there may not be many people in your area who've registered. I hope it grows.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:39 PM on January 22 [9 favorites]


It's been three years of no covid, no flu, no colds, and no one commenting on my very active bitch face.
posted by birdsongster


One of the few upsides of being a masker, beside not getting The Plague, is getting to practice smiling with my eyes. Seems to be working okay so far.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

But regardless, yeah, the last few years have really tested my faith in humanity. Misanthropy is harder and harder to resist.
posted by biogeo


Embrace the dark side. Expecting the worst of your fellow humans means less shock and disappointment. Also makes living further away from the mob more attractive and enjoyable.

They say that good fences makes good neighbours. I say that the best fence is distance, preferably with a lot of nature inbetween. Yeah, there are downsides, but the upsides more than make up for them.

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

re: CovidMeetups.com

(joining the server requires that you fill out a brief questionnaire, because they're making an effort to keep out trolls / white supremacists etc)


Look it's a great idea, and I hope it works out.

But in the current socio-political climate that is also waving a red flag at the scumbags of this world and saying 'we are over here, in a conveniently identifiable group, come and get us'.
posted by Pouteria at 7:55 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the reference, Dashy!
posted by biogeo at 9:35 PM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I still think people are pretty amazing.

I have a mixed relationship with metafilter though.

In the early part of the pandemic, reading so many misanthropic, angry, doomer comments harmed my mental health significantly.

That's my responsibility, and I limited my exposure to metafilter as a result.

On the other hand, Ask.metafilter helped me profoundly during the worst times of the last three years, both with actual practical advice about mental health issues, and just as a place that helped me realise I was not alone.

I'm a different person now, at least partly as the result of the people here, so... I think people are pretty excellent, on the whole.
posted by Zumbador at 12:51 AM on January 23 [9 favorites]


On Friday the 20th, the third anniversary, I traveled from the US to a European capital city for a business trip lasting 9 days. For the last three days I have masked diligently (KN95 in airports/plane overnight/transit, surgical masks while in businesses and venues.) Shockingly few people are masking and I have definitely gotten dirty looks about it in shops and at the ballet tonight.

Europe is different from the US in many ways. Where you find it strange that people are unmasked, I find it sad and strange when I watch TV from the US, and people are still wearing masks.

The healthcare systems in each country are free and more or less functioning again after the initial chaos. A large majority are vaccinated and boosted twice. People can afford to stay home from work when they are sick. They trust that they will be treated well, with evidence-based medicine, if they get complications. I'm not saying all is good: when I had symptoms for six months, no one knew what to do about them. But I was constantly monitored and I felt safe, in spite of my astma.

There are anti-vaccers here, but I feel it is more of a movement in the US. In this country, they can be counted in the low thousands, maybe just hundreds, and they are generally scoffed at.

There are differences between the countries, too, and even inside countries. While Northern Italy was going through a catastrophe in early 2020, Sicily had very few cases and life went on as normal.

Here, flu vaccines have always been offered to people over sixty and all healthcare workers. Now, everyone can get all the vaccines at their doctor or the nearest pharmacy. So we are not only avoiding COVID, but also some of the other vira. COVID19 has led to a new appreciation of vaccines, both among the wider public and in the healthcare system. Before, most people took it for granted that you'd catch some virus during each winter. Now people are asking why that has to happen, when there are vaccines.

Why wear a mask if you feel safe and you actually are safe?
posted by mumimor at 1:31 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


mumimor, I wish my country had a better, more equitable health care system. Even if I lived in that world, however, I would be concerned about Long Covid and cumulative and long-term effects of Covid that are not yet well understood. It is possible that I will learn that I have been concerned too much about something that is statistically unlikely to affect me, but the cost seems very high if I am wrong. I know people whose lives have been dramatically affected by Covid—people with (for the U.S.) good health care—and I do not want months or years of physical therapy or medical treatment to recover from something I could have avoided

To bring this back to the thread theme: I am now more attentive to long-term risk than I was in past, from mass shootings to climate change.
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:27 AM on January 23 [18 favorites]


> Here, flu vaccines have always been offered to people over sixty and all healthcare workers. Now, everyone can get all the vaccines at their doctor or the nearest pharmacy.

This is the same case in the US. Flu and covid vaccines are free at most pharmacies. They don't even ask for an insurance card. I'm part of the shockingly small group that has received 4 shots, and for the first 3 I just walked into a clinic set up at a church basement in my neighborhood, here in relatively-low vaccine-rate Wisconsin. And despite vocal anti-vaxxers, vaccination rates in the US are comparable in many states and metro regions to the rates in France. In NYC for example two-dose vaccinations are at 80% of the population, basically exactly the same as the Île-de-France.

So if thats the definition of safe, such that you can say: "Why wear a mask if you feel safe and you actually are safe?" then most of the Western world is pretty safe and many parts of the USA is very comparable to Europe. Even the regions with low two-dose vaccination rates are all above 50%, and generally much higher in cities than in rural areas. And the numbers look even better if you limit it to 12 and ups (childhood vaccination has been pretty hard to get people to follow through on).

People who are still masking and avoiding socialization/indoor dining/etc are doing so in spite of often very comparable levels of vaccination. I just want this to be clear because the framing that here in the USA we've failed in a way to manage the pandemic more spectacularly shambolic than in Europe strikes me as generally wrong, really it varies from state to state, with many states doing just as well as France or even Germany, while some states really fucking up in a disastrous, criminally negligent way. So if that's how you define safe, then many places in the US are quite safe. But I don't think that's how, right or wrong, other people are defining safe when it comes to the coronavirus.
posted by dis_integration at 7:20 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


This is the same case in the US. Flu and covid vaccines are free at most pharmacies.

For flu at least it varies by insurance and area. I was told I literally have to go to my doctor's office to get one, flat refused at the pharmacy.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:26 AM on January 23


Call me paranoid if you must but I definitely don't limit my definition of "safe" to the vaccination status of people around me. And likewise, I find it mindboggling that public health efforts everywhere seem so narrowly focused on vaccination.
posted by Dashy at 7:41 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


Yeah, considering all the people I know who recently got covid...they are all fully vaxxed so it's not a comfortable "safe" at all.
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:42 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Call me paranoid if you must but I definitely don't limit my definition of "safe" to the vaccination status of people around me. And likewise, I find it mindboggling that public health efforts everywhere seem so narrowly focused on vaccination.

Sure, that's a valid personal perspective, and I hope no one is beating up on you for it here or elsewhere. To the point made in the comment just above, it's just worth recognizing that if you feel this way, you are going to be masking in countries that had comparatively very good covid responses, not just in the US. The attitude mumimor describes, of reasonably high vaccination rates and hospitals that aren't totally overloaded meaning that people feel comfortable not being masked is at this point the norm almost everywhere for people who are not highly vulnerable.

I don't think it is what you are saying at all, but there are frequent comments that have a subtext (or state overtly) that the US is uniquely a trainwreck on this. We are a trainwreck, but mostly because of all the pre-existing disparities in resources and health care access, all of which were magnified rather than fixed in response to the pandemic, and there are plenty of other trainwrecks around the world offering other cautionary tales. (The horrible disparity here is between the US's resources, which are huge, and its covid outcomes, which were/are pathetic.)
posted by Dip Flash at 7:58 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


Things that would make me feel safer would include things like prolific testing that is linked to support mechanisms for sick people to stay home (and not travel). I would feel safer if ventilation were a focus of public health efforts. I would feel safer where masks were required on public transport. I would feel safer if mask mandates came back for wastewater above, say, 1000 copies per mL. But in the total absence of these things in the US, other people's vaccination status doesn't suffice to protect me; not even close.

Given the absence of these in the US, I do expect to mask for a long time going forward.

Is the US uniquely a trainwreck? I think our for-profit healthcare leaves a lot more holes, and that includes holes in testing. I think our social safety net leaves a lot more holes relative to EU. And I do think the percentage of rabid anti-(science, facts, vax, mask)-ers who demand and get privileged treatment from the government is higher here.
posted by Dashy at 8:13 AM on January 23 [9 favorites]


Yeah, considering all the people I know who recently got covid...they are all fully vaxxed so it's not a comfortable "safe" at all.

Every single person I personally know who has gotten COVID has also had the maximum number of vaccine doses available at the time. Many of them have had all four. I'm not saying I think the vaccines are worthless - far from it - but they're no guarantee, either.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:16 AM on January 23 [2 favorites]


At this point there's no point in caring about the vaccination status of anyone. You're gonna catch it and/or have it fairly bad no matter what shots you have or don't have. My work, who mandated vaccines for everyone early on, finally "officially" mandated that everyone get boosters...except you're now allowed to decline the booster, which means nearly everybody will. I can't even with this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:03 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


I disagree. Given my health history, which I won't detail here, I am certain the vaccines prevented severe illness when I finally caught covid.
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:05 AM on January 23 [12 favorites]


Call me paranoid if you must but I definitely don't limit my definition of "safe" to the vaccination status of people around me. And likewise, I find it mindboggling that public health efforts everywhere seem so narrowly focused on vaccination.

I didn't mention it, but here waste-water is monitored rigorously, and though testing at testcenters is no longer obligatory, people are still tested at work daily if they are in contact with vulnerable people.

I think the three most important factors for the relative success we have experienced in Denmark is:
- near universal public support for the government. The tabloids tried to create a storm about some dead mink, but the election results at our latest election were clear: the government did the right thing. It helped that the responsible parts of the opposition supported all the measures.
- everyone can always stay home if they are ill without loosing their jobs or going bankrupt. Workers have rights, and there was an extra safety net for precarious workers during lockdown.
- we do have undocumented migrants who are outside the social safety system and don't have access to healthcare, but mostly, they work in fields, not service jobs. Migrants from inside the EU have equal rights, even when they are unhoused. Refugees have full access to healthcare.

But even in the worst hit country in Europe, Italy, things went back to normal when the tests and then the vaccines came, and the healthcare system was able to recover a bit. I think all the healthcare systems in Europe are a bit broken now, because Europe has a rapidly aging population and the very different systems just can't handle that, COVID-19 was the final push in a whole long ride downhill.
posted by mumimor at 9:15 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


This is the same case in the US. Flu and covid vaccines are free at most pharmacies. They don't even ask for an insurance card.

Maybe where you're at, but that's far from universal in the US. I've seen pharmacies turn people away for not having an insurance card for flu/covid vaccinations, and require copays for both. Sure, people say "that's not how it should be" but we offloaded this to private pharmacies for reasons. And there's always another reason why this technically doesn't count as restricting access, while doing so in practice.
posted by CrystalDave at 9:30 AM on January 23


Every single person I personally know who has gotten COVID has also had the maximum number of vaccine doses available at the time. Many of them have had all four. I'm not saying I think the vaccines are worthless - far from it - but they're no guarantee, either.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:16 AM on January 23 [1 favorite +] [!]


I am trying to educate my patients to stop thinking of vaccines as an impenetrable wall. I tell them, imagine you are new to a neighborhood, the local volunteers come by with a picture of the neighborhood criminal who looks innocent enough and will knock on your door and ask to use the phone. All the vaccine is is a picture of the dude and a visit from the neighborhood association. They're still going to get into your house, but by the time they do you'll have call 911 and maybe have a weapon ready. The virus attacks your vascular system and multiple organs. Including the immune system. So even a mild case is nothing to be excited about. So everything you can do to reduce the amount of time the virus has in your system is likely going to be proven ideal. So vaccines and antivirals even in mild cases will likely become standard of practice.
posted by docpops at 10:49 AM on January 23 [19 favorites]


I also live in Wisconsin and it was a stupid amount of effort to get my flu vaccine this year — at Walgreens it was gonna be a $80 charge and my HMO balked at giving me an appointment to get it until I squawked. COVID vaccines are supposed to be free to all until the public health emergency designation expires (maybe to kids even after that? A pediatrician would know) but not flu AFAIK.
posted by eirias at 11:40 AM on January 23


I no longer mask. I used to be the most cautious person I know, but I have given up.
My main motivation for masking was so that I would not infect others. So it just seems totally pointless to mask now when almost no one else here is masking or social distancing.

I can't hold the tide back all by myself, and my behaviour makes no difference to what others are doing.


This is just about exactly how I feel. I hate that I have given up. I work in medical and our CLINICS have just gone back to masking. For the last 6 months, the percentage of mask wearers at my place of employment was single digits, at best. That's medical!

*sigh*
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 11:50 AM on January 23 [4 favorites]


I just wanted to chime in re: pointlessness and say, you never know who you’re giving courage to by masking in public. When I had to travel frequently to support my dad who was dying of multiple lung diseases, and my frail mother who was fully dependent on him and not ready to lose him, I lived in fear of catching COVID and not being able to fly out to help him when they needed me. This was right around the time we started seeing op-eds everywhere encouraging everyone who’d been cautious to drop all mitigations. During these awful months, every single mask I saw made me feel less alone. There are friends who crawled up my ass about masks during this time that I have not forgiven and may not ever. This is a major reason why, even though my dad is now dead and my own personal risk is moderate, I still mask, and probably always will. We have been deliberately desensitized to the fact that this is a social problem, but people with complicated lives remain painfully aware. I can’t end the pandemic, but I can make people whose crises are still with them feel less alone — because knowing I am doing that makes me feel less alone too.
posted by eirias at 12:44 PM on January 23 [34 favorites]


tiny frying pan: Yeah, good point. I was thinking more along the lines of when places used to check vaccination status of people as a method of hopefully having less covid. I'm certainly not going to stop getting the shots, for sure.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:24 PM on January 23


I just wanted to chime in re: pointlessness and say, you never know who you’re giving courage to by masking in public.
posted by eirias


That is a part of why I still mask up, besides necessary self-protection.
posted by Pouteria at 6:47 PM on January 23 [4 favorites]


I started hearing about Covid on MeFi. I was coming home from a road trip, had a cold, made some haste to get home. When Maine had its 1st case, I started isolating, with no idea how long it would be. Luckily had some medical masks. I had a cold this month, 1st one since Jan. 2020. Masks and Staying The Fuck Home worked. I have not gotten Covid, as far as I know. I'd like to keep it that way. I'd planned to start substitute teaching, but Nope, not even masking makes that seem reasonable.

The hardship has been spread all around. The older checker at the supermarket who had to keep working. The elderly suffering loneliness and literal isolation. Health care providers, for whom gratitude can't be enough. Many people with damaged health and long Covid. Over a million dead in the US. It seems that moving on is inevitable, but I mind glossing over the misery and real suffering.
posted by theora55 at 6:34 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


I still mask. Even after returning to the office after wfh for the first two years, I wear my mask daily. I very occasionally go inside a public place, masked, and I do not eat indoors at public places.

My partner (we share a home) also still masks, and they have masked for the entirety of the pandemic (which we view as still currently happening) while working outside of our home as their job does not afford them the ability to work anywhere but their place of business.

Neither of us have had Covid to our knowledge, which is good due to some existing health issues that would likely impact our experience of Covid as something on the more intense side.

We plan to continue masking and not attending crowded indoor events until we reach a place where the risk of going unmasked seems mitigated by other factors. I get that some people have moved on and are living lives without masks or other precautions and I wish them well. I also no longer feel much of anything when someone contracts Covid from being out in public places of their own volition without precautions (rather than, say, while working a job they need to cover rent/bills/etc). If the risk of going out without mitigation outweighs the risk of Covid, long Covid, or death then so be it. We're all making choices and living (or dying) with them.
posted by custardfairy at 11:03 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Unless you are sitting at your desk, masking is still mandatory in my office. But with no-one wearing them at their desks it seems kind of performative.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:21 AM on January 24


Article in the NYT today about macroeconomic impact of long covid:
The study, published Tuesday by New York’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, found that during the first two years of the pandemic, about 71 percent of people the fund classified as experiencing long Covid either required continuing medical treatment or were unable to work for six months or more. More than a year after contracting the coronavirus, 18 percent of long Covid patients had still not returned to work, more than three-fourths of them younger than 60, the analysis found.

“Long Covid has harmed the work force,” said the report, by the New York State Insurance Fund, a state agency financed by employer-paid premiums. The findings, it added, “highlight long Covid as an underappreciated yet important reason for the many unfilled jobs and declining labor participation rate in the economy, and they presage a possible reduction in productivity as employers feel the strains of an increasingly sick work force. "

... The Government Accountability Office estimated that long Covid has affected 7.7 million to 23 million people in the United States.

... the report reflects only a slice of the work force: employees with workplace exposure to the virus who are knowledgeable enough about workers’ compensation to file claims. It might include employees who are younger or sicker than the overall working population, while also missing other workers with long Covid, said Ms. Bach, whose own research suggests that about 500,000 people in the United States are currently not working because of long Covid.
I think another article I read (googlefu is failing) said SSI disability claims weren't up yet, but ... I expect this will evolve.
posted by Dashy at 11:53 AM on January 24 [6 favorites]




I reasonably assume that people trying to go on disability due to long covid are going to have a very, very hard time getting that to happen.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:56 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


And I remember, in January 2020 I got really, really sick with some crazy respiratory thing as well. I thought it was the regular 'flu, which I'd not had for 7 or 8 years, so I wasn't surprised.

I remember thinking, I wonder if this is that new virus thing in China, and is it spreading here (Canada) already.
Fellow Canadian saying 'me too' except my thoughts were more along the line of "if the regular flu is this bad no way in hell do I want that new one."
posted by mazola at 2:50 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Pouteria said: "re: CovidMeetups.com
. . . Look it's a great idea, and I hope it works out. But in the current socio-political climate that is also waving a red flag at the scumbags of this world and saying 'we are over here, in a conveniently identifiable group, come and get us'."

A large majority of us actually make these kinds of calculations every single day, since the scumbags of the world think us wearing our skins is waving a red flag at them, so the above comment is not teaching me anything.

Back to what I wanted to talk about: here's a Fortune article about Covid Meetups.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:10 AM on January 26


« Older Packing Heat   |   Happiness sold more copies than any other... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.