We speak of pyrrhic victories when we discuss the COVID pandemic, of battles too costly to call victories, and of losses that should have never been. The war we are fighting shocks our sensibilities.
91,000 are dead, and the battle is not over. It slows down and we take a breath, but then it grows more deadly somewhere else. There are symptoms and there are the symptomless. The person next to you may look fine.
In defiance of rules, a Priest held mass in the traditional way. He died, and many of the faithful are ill. Why is that? How can some spread the disease like a fire, and others do not?
Was it Lord Nelson who coined the phrase butcher’s bill? We ask for the butcher’s bill every day. Every day it astounds us. We cannot even comprehend 100,000 dead, but we are going to see it.
It seems a rather callous statement, as if to reduce the casualties to a cost of doing the business of war. Is it any more callous when it is the cost of just doing business? Or the cost of being re-elected?
This pandemic vexes us. It appears without warning, It kills without mercy. Or not. Some people are afraid; others are convinced this is a hoax, because it feels like one. Until you get it. Weeks of illness followed by, what? Some never even notice they have it. Some end up with lung and heart damage.
No wonder some people shake off the fear and go about their business. It is as if we are dealing with a dozen different plagues at once. That makes it so easy for a person to believe they are not going to catch anything. They take off their masks and move on.
The virus does not. It grows and waits for a chance to grow again. In the next church, or bar, or barber shop. On the next factory floor. Anywhere it can.