On Tuesday, I will be 95-98% immune to Corona.
However, were I a better listener, I would not believe this to be the case. My friends have warned me not to take down my guard “because we can never be sure if this vaccine works.” And it does not matter if I am watching France 24, BBC, Israel TV 11 or Germany’s English language broadcasts, there is always someone warning me that the new mutations may slip by the new vaccine.
If you ask me, there is a reason for concern, but not about corona. The concern is about the lingering fear that still hangs over our heads albeit the reason for this fear is soon to be gone. The thing we need to fear most is fear itself, and the whole system that has been built up to feed our fear, enhance it and at times cripple our judgement.
Eisenhower was the first to warn us of the military/industrial complex, whose overlapping interests are continuing the conflicts needed to ensure power and profitability.
Once enough people get the vaccine which will probably happen by the summer, the plague will be over. However, there are interest groups that will try to convince us that “extreme vigilance should last for another few years” or that the “English or Brazilian or South African mutation” will penetrate the layer of protection provided by the vaccine.
This is not to say that we may be unlucky. At age 55, I had flown to Asia, Australia and the US 40 times in one year and I caught a very bad case of pneumonia. I recovered, got a pneumonia shot, yet once again caught pneumonia. The doctor said, “Shevat, it happens. Rare but it happens. Get on with life”.
I have recently read about how 1945 was such a wretched year. Rebuilding was far more daunting than war. The war was over, the maimed returned home, no one had a pot to piss in, there were no jobs and the hype was gone.
The real issue on the table now is picking up the pieces, making sense of what has happened, and mitigating the fear that has taken over our decimated lives.
Here is how I am going to start. On Tuesday, I am going to hug my daughter and grandchildren for the first time in 10 months. And plan a few trips to Vienna, Florence, Jordan and the UAR. That’s just the beginning.
Free at last.