Death in Venice

The chilling similarity is just too obvious to ignore. It appears as well that ignorance is what is driving the infection rate and deaths as people remain unvaccinated and proclaim their constitutional freedom by refusing to wear a mask in public. Other people bent upon reactivation of a normal life have chosen to disregard or brush off the warnings from government, senior medical advisors and the World Health Organization. The commercial and retail interests are regularly attempting to buoy themselves through innocence or lack of enlightenment.

Some countries are reporting more new coronavirus infections compared with the previous two weeks. Global data trends show that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet.

The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919.  In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.

Because there is likely no one alive who recalls the 1918 pandemic there is oddly little digestible direction for everyday management of the invisible threat.

Most of us have never lived through a pandemic like the coronavirus before, but we have heard or learned about them, from the Spanish flu to, more notoriously, the plague, like the Black Death. And perhaps, as you’ve followed the news or talked to people about COVID-19, you have even heard the coronavirus called a “plague.” No, the new coronavirus is not the plague. The terms the plague or just plague (without the or a) refer to an infectious disease caused by a bacterium spread from rats to humans by means of flea bites. This plague is what is meant by the Black Death, which was a form of bubonic plague that spread over Europe in the 1300s and killed about a quarter of the population.

There are pockets of clarity such as Denmark with 78‰ vaccination rate. I am assuming New Zealand and Australia are doing well as they traditionally hammer at any sign of infection. But closer to home – that is, North America – things aren’t so dazzling. In Canada there have been recent bursts in Alberta and British Columbia.

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from the United States of America (1 034 836 new cases; 20% decrease), the United Kingdom (256 051 new cases; 5% increase), India (248 248 new cases; 15% decrease), the Islamic Republic of Iran (172 030 new cases; 17% decrease), and Turkey (158 236 new cases; 6% increase).

Overall the pandemic is proving to be illusive and mercurial. The Government of Canada website currently advises against non-essential travel almost worldwide. This imposes a huge burden on many people. To snap one’s fingers in the face of such restraint is not an option I particularly endorse.

Official Global Travel Advisories
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice
Avoid all cruise ship travel outside Canada until further notice

The good news (there’s always some) is that it enlivens whatever remains within our scope. It has naturally affected (more precisely: diminished) the usual stimuli of retail hobbies. I am besides facing an uphill Battle of the Bulge so the attraction of retail is further discounted. Out of an abundance of caution we have decided to stand firm and hopefully see the whole thing blow overhead. What gnaws at the proposition is its continued uncertainty and apparent volatility. The contamination has insinuated all important aspects of society and manufacture. To fake a cluelessness is a dangerous counsel. But the reversal of so many customs and privileges is enormously upsetting.