There’s a new syndrome going around, and I’m pretty sure I have it: Post-Pandemic Fatigue.

Okay, there’s not, yet, such a thing, but just give social scientists some time and there will be. Its defining features will be rushing headlong back into one’s pre-covid existence without a thought to just how much your life and habits have been altered over 15 months and then finding oneself completely overwhelmed by sensory overload.

For some people, this will not be a “thing.” There could be two reasons for this: 1) They missed their old life so much that the ecstasy of getting it back will override any re-learning pains. or 2) They never participated in this hoax in the first place and thus never gave up their pre-covid way of life.

Of course, there’s also 3), which I get the impression our public health officer would dearly, dearly love to default to: We are not, technically, post-pandemic. Corona is still making her rounds, and after wading through a turgid bunch of data spelled out for me by scientists, I gather that if you were to strip all the vaccinated people out of the covid rates around the country, they are still as high as they were in January. Since half the population is at least partially vaccinated, this means that those who aren’t are twice as likely to catch covid as they were before. But since it’s all a hoax, what does this matter? Party on!

Here’s what I learned yesterday as someone I know was being urged to consider the “science on both sides”: the vaccine is contagious, apparently moreso than this virus that doesn’t exist, even though this non-existent virus nearly killed this alternate facts person’s father. All you have to do is exchange bodily fluids with someone, like kissing or sex, and they will become infested with the vaccination.

I sure wish we’d known this sooner! Why would we have all wasted our time standing in line to be vaccinated when we could have just gone around kissing one another?

But apparently we don’t want the vaccination, either through injection or ingestion, because it’s going to kill everyone who got it three years from now. If I’m following the logic that I’m almost certain must be in here somewhere, in three years there will be this mass die-off, except for 30 families, whose responsibility it will be to repopulate the Earth. No pressure there, then, and I assume only good Christians need apply.

You know, I keep reading in calls for “unity” that it’s very important to listen to people you don’t agree with, and I’ve noted in this blog before that the point of actual listening is not to come up with a rebuttal, which many of us (here I am, raising my hand) do, but to actually hear and understand the speaker’s point of view. But how can you possibly try to hold a rational dialogue with someone who has strayed so far from the facts path that they will never even find their way back to the weeds off to the far sides of the path?

We can’t even wait three years and if there’s no mass die-off of vaccine recipients (did I say “if”? I’m pretty sure I meant “when”) say “I told you so,” because people like this folk will just go back, scrub hard at their paper with stubby little erasers and recalculate.

Nothing has happened as Q (not the fun one from Star Trek) has promised, and this appears only to have grown his (I presume) adherents to the point where they equal the number of all white evangelical Christians, or all white mainline Protestants, in the U.S. If you care to believe the liberal media, reporting on a poll conducted this week by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core.

Fully 15 percent of Americans, including at least 25 percent of Republicans, with another 55 percent of this once Grand Old Party saying they believe the QAnon gospel is a distinct possibility, believe whatever is canon these days, even though Q has yet to carry out any earlier promised doctrine, like the previous president (and he is the previous president, no matter how many bamboo fibers are found in Arizona ballots) rising to squash all the pedophiles except purported ones from Florida who wave the MAGA flag high. (Well, and if we counted dead Floridians, there’s always the previous president’s close personal friend — “never knew the guy” — Jeffrey Epstein.)

Thirty million people following some faceless quack on the internet whose every utterance has so far been easily proven false, if you want to live in a real world, and somehow those of us not of their world are supposed to give them and their crackpottery equal credence?

Some letter writer tried, recently. Two weeks ago in the Crested Butte News she painstakingly and mostly politely picked apart every “argument” laid out the week before by one of our county’s regular letter writers, this one a man who at least used to consider himself a sovereign nation separate from the United States. I don’t read his letters, but he must have tried the “there is no global pandemic” line, and his respondent, who offered to provide a bibliography of her sources, including her own work with vaccines in a pharmaceutical company, wrote, “David. You need to check the carbon monoxide detectors in your house.”

While some people volunteer to check the carbon monoxide levels in the homes of 30-plus million Americans who would apparently slug down Jim Jones’ Kool-aid (Before I get threatened with lawsuits, I know it wasn’t Kool-aid, and I’m very sorry I called it that) without any prodding, I do think I am living through a pandemic that we perhaps prematurely are declaring victory over — and I believe I broke out of my cocoon too early. And now I have Post-Pandemic Fatigue.

Life feels like it’s been a social whirlwind ever since Family Fest earlier this month, and in my rush to embrace normalcy, which wasn’t a word until an even previouser president made it one [Oh. That’s not what happened, Merriam-Webster tells me. Warren Harding apparently just normalcied a word that came along decades before he used it.], I am exhausting myself.

Rather than travel somewhere this weekend (which is on the schedule for next weekend — Family Fest with Tia’s in-laws in Lake City), or entertain both guests and workmen at the same time as ended up happening last weekend, or even plunge into the cold-bath shock of a hotting-up (yes, I see it) summer at Pat’s after a year of just enough work to scrape by, I am going to sit quietly at home. Like the new old days.

It won’t work out that, way, of course, since I have errands to run for both me and the shop, and Lynn and I might venture out for lunch, and a poet friend is in town for a literary festival I couldn’t work up enthusiasm to otherwise attend, but so far the day already feels quieter and calmer, which is what matters in the treatment of Post-Pandemic Fatigue. I have no idea how to treat lunacy, however, so let me just advise you to be careful whom you kiss.

If Jed Clampett can get back into the swing of things, well then by golly I guess I can too. It may just take awhile.

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