The world is seriously suffering from a major case of COVID brain.
Remember at the start of the pandemic, after the initial onset of lockdowns, working from home, and all around uncertainty led our weary minds to become forgetful?
The tongue-in-cheek phrase caught on and people began using it to describe their perpetual exhaustion.
Well, I’m not talking about that COVID brain.
The COVID brain I’m referring to is the increasing common belief that every single little detail in this world is related to the coronavirus pandemic.
That every sniffle or clear of the throat is believed to be COVID.
That every death or every business closure is due to the pandemic.
I know for me as allergy season dredges onward, my dry, rasping throat in the morning has put me on high alert a time or two – but I know better. I’ve had that feeling my whole life – there’s no reason to panic.
What got me really grumbling was the hospital fire in Iraq last month, when an oxygen tank exploded and 82 people lost their lives in the tragic aftermath.
Headlines were quick to point out that one-quarter of the deceased were people suffering from severe COVID cases in the intensive care unit.
What about the rest of the people who died? The accident victims? The cancer patients? The heart attacks and kidney diseases and hundreds of other illnesses that landed people in a bed at that unit?
COVID-19 is A fight, but not THEE fight.
It has certainly shook the world in a way few diseases or global strife have done before in our lifetime.
Every country on the face of the Earth is clamoring for vaccines, issuing control measures, and seeing case numbers rise and fall, rise and fall.
But at the same time, all other battles that were happening before 2020 didn’t vanish or get put on hold.
There is still drug addiction and overdoses. There is death due to starvation, poverty, and gunfire.
There is still civil war in Yemen. Political turmoil in Venezuela. Refugees fleeing Syria.
Your friends and neighbours are still dealing with professional challenges and illnesses that don’t receive media coverage and daily briefings from the government.
While on one hand, it does make sense for the Premier and health officer to offer condolences each time new numbers are released, I do find it hard to accept that some receive such a public tribute from high ranking people.
No such offering comes when people lose their lives from opioids or shootings – both of which are far more prevalent these days than COVID deaths.
When February brought the unexpected challenge of my grandfather passing away at 89 years of age, people would offer up condolences, but their follow-up question would be “was it COVID?”
When I said no, their reaction would be one of relief to the point where my grandfather’s death seemed to be deemed unimportant or one that somehow did not count.
I know the virus is at the tip of our lips and top of our brains, but please remember, COVID-19 isn’t everything.
There are other factors at play, and while we still find ourselves in the thick of high case numbers, closures, and yes, even deaths, there is so much more to life and death and the entire world than the pandemic.
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