False Alarms

These are odd times (not exactly news, I realize) when every brief pang of pain or off-feeling stirs up thinking “Oh my…do I have IT?” Whether it’s flaring allergies with a little sore throat, or maybe a bit of a flush feeling, or just overall achiness and malaise, we’re on constant alert these days for signs of “it.”

Sometimes allergy symptoms are just allergies, or various aches and pains are just…transient aches and pains. Once you past 50, weird aches and sensations just happen sometimes. Before 2020, I would likely ignore these same feelings (unless they quickly became worse) and dismiss them, but now? The pandemic is turning some of us into amateur hypochondriacs.

That little corner of the mind, the one that loves to feed off fear and disruptive moments, is having more fun than the rest of us these days. My rule of thumb is always “is this a new feeling or have I experienced this before?” which, so far, is always “no, nothing new.” Usually a comforting thought, but one can’t be too cautious. Typically, I then get busy doing other things and the instigators tend to go away in due time.

As we enter this next post-vaccine behavior phase, I wonder if we’ll see case counts spike from lax behaviors. In Michigan, even though vaccinations are on a upward trend, our case numbers are climbing. This could be the usual delay in contagion and statistics, or could mean people are getting too cavalier again. Hard to draw any real conclusions.

Ultimately, this is a war waged one soldier at a time. Each of us can only be accountable for ourselves. If we’re each doing the right thing, that should be enough. Besides, similar to my option of choosing how I react to my false alarms, it’s all each of us can control.

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