Getting bored with Covid
The one element that is being ignored and yet plays an important role as we face this scourge is boredom. Don't underestimate its power to make us vulnerable and take chances. By nature, we are programmed to respond in Pavlovian fashion to the siren call of diminishing returns.
We are gradually bored with the restrictions, bored with the statistics, into the depths of ennui with the stress of waiting for the other shoe to drop. The novelty wears off and, by sheer extension of this logic, we are not even that afraid of the Covid-19 toxicity.
After all, it has been four months and we haven't got it, we want our lives back, so let's be sensible in our assessment of the risk. The odds favour us even if we get it and that assessment now brings in dollops of rationale, like even if we get it, we will survive.
Boredom does that so well. It lowers the guard, makes you so casual. Careless. Remember the early days when we were all gung-ho and ready to fight the good fight, we were fresh and loaded for bear?
Now, we are like battle-weary troops, we don't want to do yoga or take cooking lessons or learn art because the fact is we are bored with Covid and are becoming risk-takers. Problem is that if we allow slack to enter the equation, we could be expediting the return of a virus the experts say is a very real possibility.
Oh, never mind the gloves, collect the delivery... Sounds familiar... Such a far cry from gearing up in the early days like Don Quixote getting ready to tilt at his windmills.
As in all cases of battle fatigue, the little omissions begin to occur and are intensified into a major mindset glitch. No more than three people in an elevator but there are four, what the heck, only two floors up, I'll hold my breath.
Two months ago, reuse mask... no way. Today, a different thought process, only used it for 10 minutes, don't have to throw it away, these things are expensive.
Sorry, we are not receiving anyone, don't even think about it. Now: we can meet them, after all, they have been practising social distancing, they are safe. So easy to convince ourselves.
Two months ago, we were swishing sanitiser every few minutes and washing our hands like frenetic Lady Macbeths. That is not the case for many of us today... not with hand wash anyway.
So, with boredom, don't anyone pretend Covid-19 has vanished. It is right there grinning hideously behind the mask you may not be wearing.