Sadly, it will be a sombre tale. But it will be one that I am glad to proclaim will come to an end after one year.
Yes, the pandemic will stop as soon as we decide to put an end to the pain and suffering caused. Of course I am not talking about the disease. Sorry, but that's not coming to end just yet. The response to it, however, will.
Pandemic fatigue has already set in and although many including myself have resigned themselves to writing off 2020, the novelty of these unprecedented times is beginning to wear thin. Friends who only dared go out for essentials back in the spring - were out and about this past summer and continue do so where allowed.
With each cancelled event, celebration postponement or business lost impatience grows. I wasn't alone in predicting that the spring lockdowns had no chance of continuing once the weather turned warm. While I am hear to say it again. 2021 will not be a ground hog year. There will be no buy in to skip Easter or put off seeing friends and extended family any longer.
The stifling restrictions will soon melt way as finger in the air politicians react to the winds of change in public sentiment. The desire to live well will soon trump living in fear.
Even seniors who are the most vulnerable to the virus have realized that surviving and living are not the same thing.
The underlying current that will end this misery is that everyone knows current measures are not sustainable. Soon the narrative will change to the human and economic toll our reaction has taken. Some jurisdictions, like Alberta and Florida have already said enough is enough and ended economic chemo as a treatment option. They will do their part in showing that life as we knew it can return.
Of course, many people are not going to support that initially. The shift begins when the vaccine verdict comes in later this year. I hope we get one, but it remains to be seen if it will be some magic, silver bullet. More realistic is that it will be added to the arsenal of Covid measures we continue to assemble. Once people know they can hunker in the bunker all they want, but the wolf is not going away, support for pandemic restrictions will erode very quickly.
Cash strapped governments will replace the fear and shame with reassurance. Get ready to hear how advancements in treatments, vaccine developments and increased capacity will now allow us to return to more normal times. We will incorporate Covid into our acceptable risk matrix and do our best to responsibly move on.
Yes, there will still be chicken little social media neurotics who will try and shame your long, awaited vacation trip south. But people who had a social life are no longer going to listen to those who never did. This group and public health however, will keep us wearing masks a while longer.
Speaking of masks, sorry haters, while you can get social again early next year- you will be doing it with a mask. I do hope the greens eventually push back about the environmental disaster caused by tossing out a countless number of plastic masks each day. Environmentalists also know that people can only take on one crisis at a time. So they will later join the chorus calling for society to move on so they can put climate change front and centre again.
Of course, one thing that would throw a wrench into returning to normalcy, would be if Covid suddenly morphed into the disease it was first purported to be - a horror movie. If the mortality rate became a percentage and not a point of a percentage all bets are off. If that ever came to pass there would be no need for government to shut down anything - we would do it ourselves.
It will also take an effort to rip the mic from the tv doctors and others in the health community who are loving their new found celebrity. They will keep pushing the panic worried their 15 seconds is up, but eventually they will be drowned out by the mob wanting freedom.
This should not disappoint or frustrate those who would be angered by society throwing in the towel. We have put up the good fight. My silver lining has been my renewed faith coming from the sacrifice made by young people. They had the least to fear, but the most to lose. It is especially heartening that people have acted selflessly for an entire year of their lives. My trust in peoples' compassion has never been greater.
Unfortunately, the resources needed to buy ourselves time and protect the most vulnerable are finite. With each passing day it is becoming more evident that the damage to people's mental health, economic well being is too great. Our own government's fiscal sustainability would be in question if this noble sacrifice were to continue any longer than a year.
So let's do what we can and hope a for that miracle vaccine just a little longer. When we are older we can tell the kids how back in 2020 we did all we could to save our seniors.
This sacrifice can only last a little longer, however, if the next generation is to afford to do the same.
Written by Gregory Cawsey