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After the words rallying us to fight the virus I looked around me,
Then the discovery is made that the virus can also infect without causing any symptoms, which allows it to spread insidiously and exponentially.
Hospitals round the world are at their breaking point. There aren't enough beds for sick patients or medical staff to care for them. Intensive care units are crowded with people on ventilators.
People have gotten into the practice of distancing from each other. Countries beseiged by the virus go in and out of lockdowns in which citizens are permitted to leave their homes only to buy necessities or for emergencies. There are supply shortages and bare shelves in the supermarkets.
Masks become the norm and are required in most public places. Life takes on a new, cautious, fearful kind of normal under the pandemic.
But then one year into the pandemic potent vaccines against the virus become available to the public. It is believed that the world may be seeing the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
However there arises a movement of people known as anti-vaxxers who are opposed to the vaccines for political or religious reasons, or who harbor a mistrust of the science.
The third year into the pandemic some scientists believe that the virus may never be wiped out and that humans must accustom themselves to living – and dying – with it. Infection and death rates continue to soar.
But through the darkest days there are other scientists working against the virus’s deadly clock to find a cure.
Such is the movie in my mind about a future ruled by a terrible, seemingly indomitable virus fortified by human ignorance and folly. Until I snap back moments later and realize that the movie is no movie but actual reality and the future is not the future but the present.
And as I sat in the airport last week I wondered, what if three years ago I could have looked into a crystal ball and seen into the future what I see around me now?