Fearless New Year!

Happy New Year, friends!

But, in the end,  is it actually about happiness?

Jan 6th is a feast day for some called the Epiphany and is in recognition of how a timeless part of us descends into a plane of time and space to work out our earthly destiny. The key word there is “work.”

I know going from ’22 to ’23 wasn’t all about fun. For one thing, I know for a fact that 1/4 of you woke up on New Year’s Day the same way you went to bed on New Year’s Eve: managing the flu or Covid. The rest of you had just gotten over one of those or RSV in December. 

Remember the days when you had a cold and nobody knew or cared what exact organism you had? Fun to think about the good ol’ days.

But seriously, even if COVID never happened we are still in a position of managing a lot of challenges, big ones, on an every day basis. If we are trying to be happy, we have “bad” times. If we realize we are here to work, we are never off track.

I’ll concede there is a different type of happiness ahead to be had by those who are in the position to work for it, but it’s more along the lines of the feeling of satisfaction you get after working really hard at something and aching from the effort but satisfied you put in the time. I think, in general, we are supposed to face uncertainty and oppression and grow from facing it, while supporting each other. We seek a place where we can be active and try to bring a little order to the chaos in some way. That’s being human, as far as I can tell.

In that regard, I’d rather wish you a Fearless New Year than a happy one, especially as we point to our timelessness today.

Maybe fearlessness is the new “happy.”

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of fearlessness. Like it? 

Infectious Disease Update

Flu and RSV came out hard and fast this fall, but they’re both on the decline. It’s possible RSV could peak again, but we are through the season’s biggest gauntlet, if you ask me. Flu should stay on the decline but linger to some degree. The new Omicron XBB variant promises to keep us guessing a little for the next couple of weeks, as does the outbreak in China and another new variant over there. It’s all Omicron, however, which has a weak affinity for the lungs. Most of us have had one variant of it or another which tends to make future infections less robust, even new variants. The chances of having worse than “just”  a bad cold with COVID are dropping, no matter who you are. The need for universally contiuuing mRNA boosters is also being questioned by more medical data hounds. With fixed risks and falling benefits it needs to be re-examined for all comers, they say. Certainly if you’ve had Omicron, you don’t need a booster. We saw an FDA advisor and vaccine specialist come out and say that.

Hyper Contagious

Some questions you might have about the even more contagious XBB variant: how much more contagious is it even POSSIBLE to get? I thought we STARTED the pandemic by saying we had an insanely contagious virus on our hands. But supposedly it gets more contagious every couple of months with each variant? What’s more contagious than insanely contagious? Wicked contagious? And who’s measuring this exactly? And how? Is there a contagiousness scale, like the Richter scale?

I get the sense it’s like a big fat bear talking about how sticky honey is. “The honey in this new jar is super sticky. No, wait. This next jar is the stickiest I’ve ever seen.  Mmmmm, just wait for the next jar. That one is absurdly sticky.” Isn’t it enough to say they’re all super sticky or super contagious and to stop going on about it? I for one am officially over big fat bears sitting around the campfire talking about their precious honey and how sticky it is.

Awww, you can talk about honey, if you want, sweetie.

Closing Thought

In general, my point is don’t hold your breath for the world to give you a break. It’s not going to. It’s not supposed to. It’s priming us to find the optimal response, to rise to the occasion. Find some ground to place your stake, find your like-minded allies,  then ask yourselves how do we do some little good together today?