COVID-19 Observer
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COVID-19 Observer

My Brush With COVID-19, Part II

By Adina Bernstein

After nearly two years of living with COVID-19, I think it is pretty safe to say that most of us have been touched by the COVID-19 virus, either directly or indirectly.

Graphic of Omicron virus

Recently, two people that I am very close to have caught COVID.

In early January, one of my relations was hospitalized and caught the virus in the process. Thankfully he was home in a few days. This person is older and has a number of health problems. When I was told that given his age and medical condition, he would have been at high risk of death had he not received all three recommended shots, it was a reminder of how deadly this disease is.

The second relation was diagnosed at the end of January. He was asymptomatic and is overall in good health. After isolating for a week, he was able to return to normal life. But not everyone is as lucky as these two.

To say that these men are an important part of my life is an understatement. I don’t know what I would have done if one or both had lost their lives. I thank my lucky stars that they did not listen to lies and the half-truths that have unfortunately become part of the narrative. But too many have and what is worse, too many have died, even when we know what we need to do to stay alive.

As of January 21, 70.4 million Americans have contracted the virus and 865,000 have departed this life. It is a number that should be numbing and shocking. Behind these statistics is a person who simply because of a twist of fate, is no longer of this world.

I understand that some people are hesitant due to the constantly changing nature of the information coming from the CDC. It’s enough to make the average person wonder if we are being gaslighted. But what we have to remember is that this is a novel virus. It is not tuberculosis, pneumonia, or another infection that the medical community knows how to prevent and treat. Every time we think that we have it figured out, there is another variant. The rollercoaster nature of the numbers of hospitalized, sick, and dead, has if nothing else kept us on our toes.

According to a news report from December 23, the virus will be with us for the long term. Unlike its predecessor, the Spanish flu (which lasted two years), COVID-19 is predicted to become endemic. That means (hopefully) with enough time passing and enough people vaccinated, transmission and its after-effects will be diminished greatly. As much as we all would like to return to a pre-pandemic normal, I don’t think it will happen. The lives we lived previous to early 2020 is firmly in the past. The only thing we can do is make the necessary changes, even if it means being temporarily uncomfortable.

Have you visited the Wall of Memories?

Adina Bernstein is a New York City born and bred writer, who like many writers, has a day job to pay the bills. She has been published in, How to be a Redhead, and The Mighty, among other publications. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram at Writergurlny. You can read more of her work on her blog and on her portfolio

Featured image credit: Opabinia regalis, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons



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COVID-19 Wall of Memories

COVID-19 Wall of Memories


COVID-19 Wall of Memories memorializes the lives of COVID-19 victims while serving as a source of information about its impact on the United States.