April again

Hit and Miss #240

T called me to the window yesterday, to see a heron flying lazily over downtown. There are many signs of spring, but I always take great, excited joy in this one: the great blue heron, beating its slow approach to warmer days. Welcome, friend—I hope you find both peace and bounty.

As we move into April, cognitive dissonance around the pandemic feels ever higher. Catching the virus is inevitable, some say, or an acceptable tradeoff for “getting back to normal”. I struggle to see how catching a virus with potentially significant long-term effects on the cardiovascular system and the brain is “worth it”, even as I do very much want to be more out and about—and understand that I may well catch it! I also don’t see how we can “evaluate our own risk” or “decide on our comfort levels” when testing and reporting have been scaled back, with public health authorities at all levels seemingly cowed into silence and inaction.

I’d be less upset if there was even acknowledgement of what’s happening, with practical advice tailored to changing conditions—Ramadan, Easter, and spring mean April will likely see elevated levels of social contact, but I’m hearing little to no updated public health messaging to reflect this. Maybe it’s there, but I’m just not getting it. Sigh.

It also seems that governments are overlooking meaningful changes that’d help not only with COVID, but with all airborne viruses, like higher quality ventilation standards and in-room filters for older buildings. A right to clean(er?) inside air seems like a huge win, with the related benefits to general health worth the cost. Nor is it a new idea—see the campaigns against public smoking as an example. But is there space in our political discourse for new rights? I’m not so sure. (Must resist the defeatist urge! Better worlds are possible, worth striving for!)

I wonder, too, at the lack of any announced inquiries into or commissions on government COVID responses. If we’re really on our way out, why aren’t these announced? Or will they just never happen? (I definitely don’t think this is over! I also think there’s already plenty of interim investigation and reporting to do, two years into this.)

Anyhow. Some tidbits from this week:

Finally, I’ll re-share this post from Austin Kleon on weekends, from around this time last year. I’ve been worrying too much about how I spend my weekends and “off time”—Kleon offers a good recipe. Basically, chill out.

All the best for the week ahead!