In the ruminations one falls into from a little fever and too much stale indoor air, I thought at length about “flatten the curve,” the old term that was the cri de guerre in the pandemic’s first months.
Although the ensuing political theatrics added to the difficulty of the task, complete curve flattening for a protracted period was never realistic. That was the beauty of the idea: Curve flattening was not about extinguishing the outbreak but rather introducing a way to stall the widening catastrophe and buy time till scientists could get ahead of the problem.
As a guy who has lived a pretty dull life since I caught the infection, I am realizing that we actually carried out was the original game plan: We flattened the curve.
So here we are in the post-flattened world, where variants will continue to flare, death rates will spike after each flare and people always will find someone else to blame.
We also know that immunity triggered by infection is only good, not great. Indeed, my adult son has come down with a second Omicron illness only four months after his first. He is less sick but sick — despite youth, his previous recent infection, three messenger RNA vaccinations and a proper respect for how to avoid infection.