Diary of a Plague Year

A sense of an ending. The sense that it is ending. A shift in people that yields, if not hope, then the hope for hope. The vaccine, for better or worse, is just the kind of magic talisman people need to go return to the outside world, a little bit. Suddenly, the vaccinated are starting to find all their old behaviors ridiculous, though they won’t admit it — only point it out in others. They’re on the other side of the looking glass. They believe they have made the right sacrifices, performed the right spells; they feel the god Science has blessed them to embrace the New Normal, or post-normal. It’s almost funny. From any perspective, compared to life, say, 120 years ago, there was almost no infectious disease; the past year was a safer year for human beings, epidemiologically, than almost every other year on record, save for, perhaps, the past decade, approximately. Perspective is key. Perspective is sanity or insanity. Scale is sanity or insanity.

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