Wake Me When It’s Over

EARLY ON IN these pandemic days of ours, I wrote about how crushingly tired I felt all. the. time.

The hourly fluidity of the situation is terribly draining. And even if you try to consume it in small doses, the relentless torrent of pandemic-related news gives rise to an ever-present nervousness that buzzes quietly in the background. Keeping the buzz at bay requires mental bandwidth, and expending bandwidth seeps energy. I feel exhausted just about all day long.

Then came the summer of 2020, when we were able to get outside and see friends. We gained a greater sense of risk management — of knowing which activities were more dangerous than others. By the end of that year, vaccines were being distributed — an astonishing scientific and public-health feat. Last spring my family and I got our shots, and by early summer, infection numbers were plunging.

The delta variant squashed our optimism for a while. Again, though, the caseload eased. The finish line was in sight.

Cue omicron.

Graphs of infection rates show a near-vertical line over the last couple of weeks. Event cancelations are rampant. Like many others, I’m back to fully remote work for now. For the first time, people I know (and care about) have tested positive (despite being fully vaccinated). As in those first several months, I am venturing out only when I absolutely have to.

And the exhaustion has returned. All day long, I am utterly, hopelessly, helplessly consumed by fatigue, both mental and physical. I can’t concentrate or focus. My mood alternates among sadness, fear, and rage.

And I know I’m not alone. Usually that helps me. Now … not so much.

Are we ever going to get this right? | DL

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