I've been trying to be cautious, and avoid contributing to the noise of premature takes about this latest variant, omicron.
At the same time, I realize people need to know what to make of it. Even if I say nothing, others will. And they're probably not as smart as I am.
There's also something unique about health news. Many of us instinctively, rationally want to know—right away—what it means for me. Should I do something differently? Be more afraid? Less afraid? Not afraid? Not change at all? If not, why should I care?
When writers and pundits try to meet that demand, in moments when doing so is impossible, we get into a mess.
That doesn't happen with other types of news so often. We're able to appreciate that things can be very important but also not upend our own personal emotional or behavioral landscape. People read news about international coups or tornados or tech mergers with interest, but without a lens of whether or not you need to panic or change what you're doing. I wish we could approach pandemic news this way. Because when writers and pundits try to meet that demand and tell people exactly what some scientific development means for them immediately, we get into a mess. It's exhausting to everyone, and gives a false impression that basic advice is constantly changing. The fact is, it's not. You know what to do. The real challenge is simply to keep caring.
So anyway, I tried to step back and add some context to the past two weeks. Ultimately I put all my energy into a piece for The Washington Post. It's in the print edition today, and already online if you'd like to read.
Here's a bit ...
I'm not sure how much I can legally include here. I'll stop there. (If it's paywalled, subscriptions to the paper are $3.33 per month, or 75 cents per week. A worthy cause, IMHO. You're supporting hundreds of journalists even if you never read their work. And I get zero dollars or cents for saying that.)
It's hard to keep writing about this damned virus, as I know it's hard to keep reading. But problems don't go away because we're tired of them. I'm so over gravity. Yet it persists.
Take care, thanks for reading.