Charles Chamberlain

Navigating Covid


I know Covid can be an emotional topic. Please skip this post if you need to ❤️

For quite a few months now, it's seemed the world has "moved on" from covid. The remaining mask mandates are slowly lifting, travel is becoming less restricted, etc. And during these months, I've mostly moved on too. I've gone out to eat at restaurants frequently, had friends over, and — with the exception of masking on trains — generally behaved as if covid wasn't an issue.

Part of my logic was the following: If we are no longer waiting for a better vaccine, and covid has gotten much much more contagious, how are we going to avoid it? Might as well accept it and enjoy life.

I think I needed that in the moment. Society felt very fragmented; people felt distant. I'm glad to have rekindled some friendships and to have seen a few more faces!

But my logic wasn't particularly sound. I didn't think about the cumulative chance of me developing long covid: it increases with each exposure. This seem true regardless of vaccination status or age.

Now of course I don't want to isolate forever! Nor do I want to mask all the time. I am glad to live in a society where I can see people's faces and they can see mine. It feels more human.

But I will try to cut down my risk over the long term. I'll pay attention to when covid cases are high and maybe skip any movie theaters or restaurants when they are. I'll wear a mask in crowds and in poorly ventilated, somewhat populated rooms. If I can cut down my covid exposure by 50% over the next decade, I can reduce my chance of getting long covid by a seemingly equal proportion ...right? That seems worth it, for me.

I don't want to make any claim on how you should live or that there is one right way of doing things. There is no such thing. I'm hoping to practice writing and publishing justification for my beliefs, and if this can be helpful to someone, all the better for it!

Here's to life in 2023 and beyond!