Posted BY: Henry F. Smith, M.D.

It is been two years and nine months since the start of the COVID pandemic. In my region of Pennsylvania, the newest milder omicron variants are certainly about, but in greatly reduced numbers compared to last year. There is relatively little morbidity. Nonetheless, we are still forced to masks at the hospital, and once a week, symptomatic or not, because I’m unvaccinated, I am expected to be tested for the virus. Unfortunately, I see no end to this.

Regarding the pandemic, I feel like one does after a dangerous storm passes through your town. You spent time in preparation, boarding the windows, and staying indoors. The winds and lashing rain have passed, leaving downed trees and limbs, flooded areas, and damaged homes. There is a sense of relief mixed with a feeling of sadness over what has been lost.

Trending: The Swamp strikes back

In a metaphorical way, this is where we are in the aftermath of COVID. The panic and hype concerning the virus have slowly waned as people come out of their homes to survey the aftermath. Business have closed, jobs have been lost. There has been significant psychological damage, with some people experiencing residual anxiety about not just COVID, but now influenza and RSV, which have recently become prevalent. The prospect of masking during the winter respiratory virus season has been floated by health officials. and I’m once again seeing more faces hidden behind cloth.

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