The Fog of COVID by
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Hello, Cassandra here, yet again. I was hoping to fade into the mists of Greek mythology, but fate has sent me back in this third year of the pandemic. I am in modern garb because the novelty of my classic dress, like most aspects of COVID, has worn off.

So what should we do? The best I can do is say, "It depends." That enough uncertainty for you?

I’m afraid I’ve grown nearsighted, that each month it becomes more difficult for me to see the future trajectory of this pandemic. I’ve consulted the experts, and they don’t agree. What should we do? Get a fourth booster or wait? Breathe in the open air or wear a mask? Party indoors like it’s 1999, or realize it’s 2022 and keep our distance? The answer is, we just don’t know, and I’m most distressed by the uncertainty.

So what should we do? The best I can do is say, “It depends.” On your age, your health status, the vulnerability of your household, the case rate in your area, whether you choose to or must travel, who you choose to be around and for how long, and when new surges might arise. That enough uncertainty for you?

The risk/benefit analysis is up to each of us, pretty much alone, without a lot of help. There is something disturbingly American about all this, that we are on our own, as if these crucial decisions were some kind of privilege of our democracy.

Last weekend I surreptitiously hung out with my channeler Marian, when she traveled from the Bay Area to Placer County in the California foothills. There, almost no one was masked (except Marian), and people with young children crowded into tight queues in restaurants, after which Marian quickly escaped outside. Back home the following day, Marian was among the 90% of masked people in stores and restaurants, everyone keeping a six-foot distance.

We are living in separate city-states and principalities, just like my home in ancient Greece, with regard to pandemic practices. Given the US politics, why should we be surprised? Soon each state will become a tribal island, possibly with pockets of resistance within it.

As much as I enjoy being with my Retrospect friends, I fervently hope I won’t be visiting you again this time next year, and that someone can come next time (maybe Prometheus) to illuminate a clear way forward.

Profile photo of Marian Marian
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Characterizations: funny, moving, right on!, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Ah, Cassandra, prophetess who can see the dismal future, but no one believes you, you are right to warn us about what we see in front of us. We do not have the insight that you have, but we keep making stupid mistakes and we are no longer a united country, but are indeed, just city-states, where corrupt people vie for who can be more horrible, lie to the people just to control power and wealth. It is a sad state of affairs.

    I agree. I hope you are not writing a similar story a year from now.

  2. John Shutkin says:

    What a brilliant approach, Marian, and beautifully told! I have always appreciated, to some extent, Cassandra’s un-rosy glasses, but, like you, like to believe and hope we can make things better — or, at least, not be resigned to nothing but sadness. So, yes, let us all hope Cassandra is far away from us Retro folks — and everyone — in this coming year. Or maybe she should just hang out with Putin and make his life miserable.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    Poor Cassandra—if it ain’t one thing, it’s another. Gilda Radner: “it’s always something”. War, pestilence, natural catastrophes, climate change, end of times. I’m afraid she will never run out of unheeded dire warnings. Those of us with sharp ears will have to do our best to use her wisdom to navigate the roiled waters. We’ve got some information to guide us now with COVID, but stay tuned.

  4. Hi there Cassandra, but sounds like even a great seer like you can’t say what’s up next!

    And not sure if we want to hear from your buddy Prometheus. Isn’t he the dude who brought the fire? Hope that’s not the way the world ends!
    I guess only the gods know! (Punk intended)

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Marian, you (or Cassandra) perfectly capture where we at at these days. And while many think we are done with the pandemic, I keep reminding myself that the Spanish Flu, even without all of the interventions (although they did cover their faces and probably stayed away from people) lasted 3 years. So I fear we are not done yet.

    • Marian says:

      It pains me to think of friends who have long Covid, Laurie, along with all the other negative issues we will confront, and we will be coping with this plague for a while longer.

  6. Dave Ventre says:

    As a nation, many of us have fallen for the lie that a sense of community and shared responsibility is a sign of weakness. It is achingly sad, and is killing us.

  7. Suzy says:

    Cassandra, sorry you had to come back and warn us again. Sadly, everything you say is so true, and too many people aren’t listening. However, I continue to be cautiously optimistic that we will get through this and come out the other side.

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