A couple of weeks ago, I woke up feeling quite crappy. I felt exhausted, cold, achy, and had a whole bunch of other classic symptoms. Now, the year is 2022. So the automatic concern was, of course, Corona. So I took one of those antigen tests, and was delighted to know that even though I was definitely ill, it must have been something else. (Yes, boys and girls, there still remain in the world ailments that aren’t Corona)
A quick Google search told me that I definitely had the flu. I literally had every single possible flu symptom. So I took it easy, and decided to relax and vitamin my way to health for the next several days. It was time for my once-a-year sickness. Never pleasant, but what can you do? It has to happen sometimes.
At the end of the week, my wife took my son to get a PCR test. He felt completely fine, but for whatever reason, his school was requiring everyone to get one. So Devorah thought she might as well test too, so long as she was already there.
And then it happened. It was the evening of January 1st, and the text messages had arrived. My wife and son were Covid positive. The household was in quarantine. And after two years of avoiding this bastard of a disease, we were in the mix too. I got tested the next day, and sure enough, it had hit us all. The Jaffe household Corona quarantine experience had begun!
It was long and dull, and most certainly a learning experience. Here are five things I learned during my recent Corona Quarantine Extravaganza:
1) Everyone’s going to get this thing
Trying to avoid this new variant is basically impossible. And I’m not sure if it’s all that bad a thing.
I don’t get sick a lot. Maybe once a year I’ll get a little cold. I seem to have a strong immune system, and I take good care of myself.
But sick is sick. It’s fairly miserable. Immobilizing. And no one would want to feel this way.
However, this glorified bad cold is not worth shutting a world down for. I hope and pray that it tears through my whole country and everyone walks away with natural immunity. As crappy as I felt for a few days, I worked the whole time and, for the most part, lived my life. If this is the worst that Omicron can throw at me, I think the time has come to reevaluate how worried the world needs to be.
Protect the vulnerable, to be sure. Drink a lot of water and load up your vitamins. And accept your nasty flu for a few days. Omicron is not the big bad wolf. It’s a nuisance, and we will emerge perfectly fine on the other side of this thing.
2) Antigen tests are absolute garbage
All three of us took antigen tests, and all three of us got negative Corona results. We wouldn’t have even gotten PCR tested if it weren’t for a requirement from my son’s school.
In fact, I’ve almost never heard of a positive antigen test. And I’ve heard absymal statistics about the effectiveness of these things. I can’t help but wonder why they’re so common if they’re absolute trash. My cynical mind automatically tells me it’s a giant money grab. Someone’s making bank off of selling millions of these things.
My even more cynical mind tells me it’s far worse than that. Why have a test out there that’s super common but barely ever accurate? Perhaps it’s so that infected people can wander around thinking they’re perfectly fine? Perhaps someone out there doesn’t really care if everyone gets this thing?
I suppose we’ll never know, at least not anytime soon. But I can definitely say this: If you think you’re ill, but an antigen test says otherwise, I wouldn’t put too much faith in that. Unless, of course, you want to.
Which leads to my next point…
3) Corona’s Collective Cognitive Dissonance
It feels like there’s a collective thought in the air, regardless of where people’s opinions fall, that escaping quarantine is the goal, no matter what that means.
So if you suspect you’re sick, but you want to be sick on your own terms, go get the aforementioned antigen test. Why? Either it will say negative (likely) and you can just go about your business pretending like there’s nothing wrong, or it’ll say positive, and you get to decide for yourself what to do.
And that’s not terribly unreasonable. It’s what we usually do! When you wake up in the morning with the sniffles, you don’t register your symptoms with the government. You don’t make sure the police know your whereabouts. And you don’t isolate yourself from the illogical. If your dog needs to get walked, you go and walk him. Just don’t cough and sneeze in people’s faces.
But we weren’t allowed to walk our dog, and instead a half a dozen friends and family came by to do so. Why? Because we were in the system. We couldn’t risk getting in trouble, or facing societal stigma if people saw us out and about. It doesn’t matter if this thing is not transmitted outdoors. Or if we avoided other people.
No one cares about that anymore.
Well, that is until they do.
And it feels like the tide’s turning. People want to go back to making their own intelligent adult decisions. The way they’re supposed to.
4) There’s no logic whatsoever
I mean, after all, we threw logic out the window a long time ago. Do you know what matters now? The rules. The rules have become the Corona Overlords, regardless of whether or not they make sense.
My wife and son were diagnosed with Corona, so I needed to get tested. The easiest way would be to go to the local drive-through testing station, but I don’t have a license. We wondered if it were OK for my wife to take me, despite the fact that she was technically in quarantine.
So we called the Ministry of Health and they said it was not allowed. It would be better if I took a taxi.
Yes, my wife with whom I live couldn’t be in a closed car with me, where neither of us was a threat to anybody. But instead I should take a cab there and a different one back, and risk infecting both drivers, who would then drive dozens of other people all day long and infect them as well.
No wonder this thing is spreading like crazy!
There’s no room for logic anymore. It’s just about making up new rules all the time, and then doing everything to enforce those rules. Logic be damned!
5) The solution is worse than the problem
Omicorn is spreading like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Yesterday I looked at stats and saw that 50,000 people in Israel received positive PCR tests. That means 1 in every 200 people in the entire country was diagnosed with the illness. In a day! And that’s just one day. And that’s only people who bothered to get a PCR test.
But you know what? Big deal. Hospitalizations have barely increased an iota. Yes, people are coughing a lot and feeling lethargic. It happens. But in the big picture, it’s a mild nuisance. Schools and businesses will get disrupted. But everything will be back on track before we know it, and the uncomfortable feeling of a few days ago will be long forgotten.
But what about our solutions? Lockdowns. Quarantines. Aggressive and inaccurate portrayals of who is safe and who is unsafe. Vaccine mandates. Discrimination. Mask laws. Fines.
At the end of the day, we’re all afraid of some of these measures… but we’re not necessarily afraid of getting a bad cold. Because we’ve been sick before. We’ve gone to work sick. We’ve done our laundry sick. We’ve taken care of our kids sick. Life goes on when we’re not feeling well.
But life stops when we’re restricted from living it. I shouldn’t get daily texts from the police asking about my whereabouts during my quarantine. And I shouldn’t be restricted from walking my dog, outside, not standing near other people. And people shouldn’t have to fear getting a PCR test because of the restrictions the government might then impose on them. But they should get tested! They should be encouraged to do what’s best for their health, not fearful of what happens when they do so.
What I’m saying is, something’s wrong with a system in which society is collectively more afraid of the solution than they are of the problem. It’s not sustainable. It’s time for us to work together, as educated and thoughtful adults, to focus on what’s truly important in this world: Our health, both mental and physical. That doesn’t happen from throwing all logic out the window. That happens when we straighten out our priorities. And we actually work hard to do the right thing.