Yeah, It’s That Bad

Welcome to pandemic 2.0

Jessica Wildfire


Nurses are quitting in the middle of their shifts.

They can’t take it anymore.

Doctors who’ve been to war are saying, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” Beds are lined up in hallways. Ambulances are queued outside hospitals. The patients are younger. They’re healthier. They’re struggling more. ICUs are full. So are the emergency rooms. Alerts are going out, announcing “delayed response times” for 911 calls.

Mayors and governors are holding town halls. Angry anti-vaxer conspiracy theorists are showing up to heckle them. They’re ranting about mind control and birth defects. Meanwhile, schools are planning to open in full. Hardly anyone around here wears a mask anymore.

This is all happening where some of us live. It’s not distant and theoretical. It’s not doomscrolling. It’s our local news, which has been painfully oblivious to the pandemic until now. This stuff is happening outside our door, impossible to dismiss, and coming to a town near you.

We stay away from people.

They’re dangerous.

We’re in the worst case scenario.

We’re beyond pessimism now.