For the third anniversary of the pandemic, I share writing from 2020 and 2021. And meditate on our isolation, what it gave rise to - and how we come together again
And I'm grateful to follow someone as articulate and thoughtful as you. Keep your Substack going, Tara, and thank you.
Tara, you did an excellent job describing the last 2-3 years. I am glad you are "on the record" with this for future generations who can read and analyze what went wrong and why the world, especially the USA, with it's ideals of freedom and individual liberty, could have done what was done. 10 years ago, I would have thought this was a science fiction story.
I so appreciated this essay, Tara. Thank you. Your essay caused me to revisit my own experience of the last three years, something which I now realize I had pretty much pushed out of my mind. The hardest thing for me, personally, was not being allowed to be with my dad (who had dementia) as he lay dying in his locked-down assisted-living facility (where he lived with my mom who was also suffering from dementia); and then, after my dad died, the hardest thing was having to explain to my mom over and over again, through a closed window, and also over the phone, that her husband (my dad) was dead and that she was no longer allowed to hug us or to rock on the front porch of her facility (an activity which, up until the lock-down, she had enjoyed on a daily basis). Trying to visit her through the glass of a closed window, or talking to her over the phone, always ended up making me cry. I wanted to hug her and to be there for her to provide the emotional support she needed, most especially because she no longer had her husband there at her side, but the lock-down prevented me from doing so. I never cared so much about my own isolation (being a natural-born hermit), but I cried buckets over my mom's disconnection from me and all the rest of our family. The way we handled our elderly loved ones who were living in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities, at that time, was one of the cruelest things I've ever witnessed in my life.
I subscribed this morning (by way of Jamil Jivani) and have been reading some of your posts. There is a therapeutic or calming element to your writing. Thoughtful reflection is in short supply. Keep going, grateful to be on board.
Thank you for the courage to listen to your gut Tara.
"You were not supposed to ask why suddenly, for the first time ever, there was complete scientific consensus on everything."
For the first time ever? How about climate change Tara? I would say that it would qualify as the first time ever the narrative illustrated a "complete scientific consensus on everything", wouldn't you?
Thank you Tara. Thank you for being one of the few to acknowledge that we went through something, something that broke most of us on the inside. I didn't think I could read this piece as I am still healing from the pain of the last three years, but your conclusion -- that human connection will see us through this -- gave me hope and optimism and made me glad that I took a deep breath and read this essay despite the scars this upheaval has etched.
And you give us faith that journalism is not dead, that asking (hard) questions still matters, and that reporting so we the people can decide what to think remains the bedrock of a functioning free society.
I am very grateful to have found your writing and podcasts during this time. Yours was a voice of rationality and civility that many of us needed. Thank you Tara!
Funny. I knew it was most likely a lab leak from early in 2020, before March. I knew that it had started earlier in 2019 than the Chinese were admitting, and it came back to Canada in the fall of 2019 with serving Canadian Forces returning from a cosy ‘China-Canada War Games competition-showing signs of a strange pneumonia-and rather than being quarantined, sent to their homes across the country. Because China was not admitting it existed and denied it was human-human all through 2019,and was bullying the world into ignoring Taiwan who knew it was human-human and announced it December 31, 2019. I knew that the strain first showing up in Italy not being the same variant as that coming out of Wuhan was still originally from China, but had travelled much earlier through the expansive China-Italy ‘Belt and Roads’ alliance, having time to mutate. How did I know this? I gave up on msm long ago, recognizing they stank of bias and of being bought off, and go with independent sources. Plus I understand how human fear,greed and power hunger drives world leadership. Having been around the block and not born yesterday I understand corruption in academe and politics, and have studied epidemiology. I find the great ‘I Am’ aka God, in reality. So much much of what you speak of here was all smoke and mirrors, and not questioned nearly fast or aggressively enough; while that wasn’t happening, I was doing the math daily with the published statistics, until they stopped publishing them, because too many of us were doing it, and continuing to shout about it, wearing the blacklisting, the FB jail time, the name-calling and derision,as badges and medals, until the truth finally caught up to and vanquished at least some of the lies. Now to do the same for the climate grift.
Bravo! Very inspired and intimate at the same time! Great piece of work!
Love your column, your tenacity, your ability to bring thinking and accomplished people into your sphere of problem solving is remarkable and for me rewarding....ilI look forward to your arrival in my email!!!
What a wonderful column. It closely mirrors my emotional evolution over the past two years. Reading about how other countries navigated the pandemic, clearly others like Sweden, took a different tact that was more responsive to our collective social needs and the risks disproportion for different ages and health situations. Hopefully we can learn for the next time. I don’t criticize our health experts - they did the best they could given our evolving understanding of the virus. But hopefully next time our responses will be less focused on physical health and take a more wholistic approach to all aspects of our humanity.
Thanks, Tara, for the openness and honesty of this piece. You brought the experience of many of us to life here. Well done!
This is well considered and nicely written.