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Reflections on the Covid-19 Pandemic – a retrospective thread
3 points by marginalcodex 1 day ago | hide | past | favorite | 1 comment
The purpose of this thread is for people in this community to share their thoughts or observations on anything to do with the Covid-19 pandemic. From how they felt watching the world close in March, to what their experience was liking sheltering in place, to how their work was affected, to interest in why certain regions suffered more than others etc.

For context: the reason I am making this thread is because I realized I have some pandemic related trauma. I live in Canada where while Covid is over as a public health threat, the pandemic is still very much alive in terms of restrictions and people's attitudes. I entered Covid after having recently broken up with a GF and having switched careers to try to and start a business which failed as Covid began. As a result of this, I spent the Covid pandemic unemployed, single and living alone. Now that I can observe American's live their post-covid life, for the first time, I am beginning to reflect and face the reality that I put my life on hold for 15 months and have absolutely nothing to show for it.

While it's still fresh in everyone's memories, I am very curious to hear any thoughts or personal reflections people had on any Covid related topics of experiences over the last 15 months. My personal reflections are in the comments.

Some random thoughts: March 12th is a day I will remember forever. Rudy Gobert touched some microphones, the NBA suspended its season indefinitely and Tom Hanks tested positive for Covid.

March 12th was the first day the world realized Covid was real and about to significantly change our lives.

It was an odd feeling going from Covid being this speculative thing I talked about with nerdy friends to this being the conversation nearly every person in my society was having.

While obviously a negative thing, there was something really nice about this moment. The whole word felt united. Everybody had the same fears, anxieties and uncertainties. Nobody knew any better than anyone else. We were all equally confused and scared.

With everyone staying home, it was one of the most unique times in internet history. Every day, every website had discussions on only one issue. The entire conversation was covid - and covid all the time.

-------- Covid revealed something about Canada.

Of any large country that actually had to deal with the spread of Covid over the last year, it seems as if Canada had, by orders of magnitude, less deaths.

I'm not sure why this is. In theory, Covid should have hit Canada hard. Canada is urbanized, has an older population and has weather that seems to help Covid spread.

I think one of the reasons for this is that Canadians are so mild mannered. At no point did Covid ever get political in Canada. At no point was there even a conversation of what should or should not be done. We were told to stay at home/minimize movement and essentially, the entire country did without any complaints.

While I appreciate in comparison to countries like Mexico or US states like Florida, Canada had much more severe Covid restrictions. But my sense is the Covid restrictions in Canada were quite similar to places like NY, California, UK etc. so if I had to guess, the reason for Canada's success at minimizing Covid deaths largely comes down to the fact that almost the entire country accepted bought into the shared goal of minimizing the spread of Covid.


At the beginning of Covid, I routinely told my friends/family that at some point in the future, there would be a book written about the Covid pandemic that would knew all the answers. Perhaps that book would be released in 1 year, 5 years or 25 years but at some point, all the unknowns would be known. I said that because I appreciated, especially early on in the pandemic, we knew that we knew nothing about how Covid actually worked and we should respect the amount of uncertainty we faced.

While we know a lot more than we did in February of 2020, I think we still know relatively little about Covid.

IE how covid spreads, why it spreads in certain places/communities and not others, why does covid sometimes under some circumstances make people more sick than others.

I am less confident we will ever know the answers to a lot of these important questions.


Given that Covid was never such a huge risk to any one person but rather, a risk to a large group of people in a statistical sense - my sense is almost nobody between the ages of 55-80 thinks that Covid restrictions and young people's sacrifices actually saved their lives. Of course, in some sense this is true - if only 1 out of 100 65 year olds dies of Covid, each person is very unlikely to have died from Covid, even if it spread rampantly, but at the same time, a huge number of people had their lives statistically spared.


While it is subjective assessment of what the appropriate cost/benefit analysis should have been in terms of Covid deaths/sacrifices, the reality is that various societies did make a choice. I find it surprising how in my society, there is essentially no talk of what this sacrifice means. Younger people took a considerable hit in favour of helping the elderly and those at risk. There are very few conversations being had praising and thanking young people for their sacrifice, or in the political realm, trying to figure out ways to compensate young people for their contributions.


Does anyone remember Dr. Li Wenliang? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Wenliang This was the doctor in Wuhan who went rogue and tried to warn everyone about how dangerous Covid was.

Dr. Wenliang died on February 7th from Covid. Nobody questioned this at the time because given the limited information, people thought Covid was dangerous and it was only natural that it could kill doctors working closely with it. Of course, we now know it's very uncommon for 33 year olds to die from Covid (esp the original Covid) and its very possible he was killed by the State.


It is so incredible that vaccines worked out how they did. The covid vaccines came incredibly quickly and are incredibly effective.

We very easily could have been in a situation where either:

the first set of covid vaccines developed did not work or came with serious side effects

the first covid vaccines took longer to test/produce

the first covid vaccines were significantly less effective

Can you imagine a world where as of June 2021, we did not know when the vaccines would be ready? Or similarly, a world where the vaccines were only 40% effective? The fact that the vaccines are capable by themselves of ending the Covid pandemic is truly a modern miracle.


Covid was a thing everyone experienced, but everyone experienced Covid differently.

I think of my own life situation during Covid. Single, living alone and unable to find work as a result of Covid. This experience was much worse than most of my friends, yet in conversations, everyone treats our covid experiences as if they were equivalent.

There are so many people who lost everything as a result of Covid. So many great businesses that had so much investment, just gone. Similarly, so many people got very sick during Covid or had those very close to them pass away.

Covid had disparate impacts on the population and I think we will only begin to recognize this in the years ahead.


In my head, I break Covid down into two distinct peroids.

March - May 2020, and the rest.

At the beginning, Covid was this crazy uncertain thing that everyone had to adapt to. By May of 2020, everyone accepted the new routine and tried to live their lives as best they could in the new reality.


After April 2020, I was never scared of Covid in terms of my own personal health. I was mildly concerned for my parents and very concerned for my grandmother (who passed away during Covid) but I never viewed my actions through the lens of personal risk to myself. In the end, it didn't make a difference. I could have been a 10/10 Covid denialist and my life would have still been the same. Where I live and in the community I am part of, there were no illicit get togethers or hangouts to be had.

The caveat to this is many people I know spent Covid outside of Canada in warmer climates and more open regions. For reasons I don't fully understand, I had a strong desire to stay in Canada and "suffer" with everyone else. It felt morally wrong to me go elsewhere and enjoy my life while everyone in my greater community was struggling so much. In hindsight, this seems silly and I think I would have been much better off if I was more open to travelling/spending time outside of Canada during Covid.


My expectation when Covid started was that there would be a ton of great art produced. So many artists with nothing to do but stay at home and create. This is still very much an open question but so far, I am disappointed with how little has been released.


It took until March 2021 for me to know anyone personally who got Covid. One of the weirdest aspects of Covid is while everyone's life was so affected by the public health response, very few people in my circles (online and in person) actually knew anyone who even got Covid, let alone got very sick from it.

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