Apparently the pandemic is over.

You didn’t know?

Well, nobody’s said it’s in the past, but judging by the way people are acting, we’re in the post-COVID era.

Social distancing in queues is non-existent and barely present elsewhere. I actually heard someone say they’d given up on keeping six feet away from the person in front of them in line “because it makes the line too long.” Never mind that it takes the same amount of time to move through the line regardless of spacing.

Mask wearing is at the lowest level since February of 2020. And I hear more and more maskless people saying some variation on “Oh, am I supposed to wear a mask?” or (even more annoyingly) “Why are you still wearing that thing?”

Even the people wearing masks take them off at any opportunity. I’m even seeing an uptick in people taking off their masks because they can’t hear what people are saying. What? You’re not wearing your mask over your ears, you know.

Vaccination rates continue to drop, along with semi-plausible excuses. One hardly ever hears “I’m waiting for the Omicron-specific booster,” any more, or even “Am I eligible for a booster?”

I’m surprised we haven’t seen any lawsuits alleging that widespread masking is harmful to “the children”.

I’m not even hearing much about annual COVID vaccinations to go along with people’s annual flu shot.

Remember back in 2020 when everyone wanted to know what the “New Normal” was going to be? Apparently this is it.

The sad truth is, though, that COVID is still around, infecting and mutating.

Mutations aren’t necessarily less deadly than their ancestors. Yes, over time, less-fatal strains of viruses tend to dominate. After all, parasites that kill their hosts have less time to spread themselves. But they do spread and they do kill before they die out.

Even without a deadlier variant emerging, we’re still seeing hundreds of deaths a day in the US.

But here we are.

America has collectively decided they’ve had enough of the pandemic, so they’re declaring it done.

COVID-19? Darling, that’s so last year.

I do what I can. I still mask up in public. I wash my hands religiously and use way too much disinfectant for my skin’s health. But I’m just me. Nobody’s taking their cues from what I say or do.

For a while, I thought a few high-profile deaths might motivate people to start taking precautions again, but I think we’re past that point. I’m pretty sure Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and Ron DeSantis could all fall victim to COVID-19 simultaneously, and the public reaction would be a collective shrug and “It’s no worse than the flu.”

COVID-19? It is this year. And at this rate, next year too.

One thought on “Rejoice!

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