Right now, I'm watching teachers rant about their students on TikTok. Seventh graders can't write a sentence. They can't read. They can't do basic math. They can't understand a simple video.
"I've never seen anything like this."
Just when I think they're going to name Covid and demand clean air, they do something else. They blame the parents.
They blame phones.
Meanwhile, study after study reveals the devastating consequences Covid has on brain function. These studies describe Covid brain damage in exactly the same terms these teachers are complaining about. The research tells us over and over again that children face the same risks as their parents. Expert after expert pleads with public schools to upgrade their ventilation and install air purifiers. Month after month, these pleas go largely unheard.
We make slow progress, but not nearly fast enough to save the millions of children whose minds are unraveling from constant reinfection. Schools are caving to "concerned parents" and banning masks. In some cases, they're even forcing students to take them off.
Covid-aware parents live in a constant state of dread, even if they devote considerable energy to hiding it. Those who can have already made the difficult decision to homeschool their children, even if it means giving up income and peace of mind. It's that bad.
Some of us tried to warn everyone about this two years ago, when everyone decided Omicron was mild and it was time to get back to normal. That normal remains elusive, and this is why.
We knew what was coming.
Now we're here.
This situation won't get better so long as parents and teachers continue blaming each other for these problems while ignoring the root cause. It's going to continue getting worse. It won't be long before seventh graders are performing on a first grade level. It won't be long before they can barely function. We've already lost a generation. We'll lose more.
It's not hopeless.
Some of these students will benefit from treatments and therapies. For them, it's not permanent brain damage quite yet. It's brain inflammation. It's treatable. Scientists are working on it. For others, the damage is permanent. They're going to need long-term care and accommodations.
Parents and educators are currently living in denial of the problem, just like our larger social and government institutions have decided to practice denial toward Covid in general. It took them months to finally acknowledge that Covid isn't over. Some of them are finally reinstating mask policies. The current administration is finally sending out free Covid tests.
It's better than nothing.
It's not enough.
Free Covid tests aren't going to solve this problem. Updated boosters aren't going to solve this problem, either. Let's face it, the booster campaign has already failed. They're arriving too late to be of much use to tens of millions. They're hard to find. In some places, they're completely unavailable. Even if they're available, pharmacies are canceling appointments over confusion about insurance. We're told to insist, that the law requires insurance providers to cover the boosters. Yes, but that misses a few key points.
The boosters provide a temporary form of protection. We already know this. We need a long-term plan. The administration could supercharge funding for Operation NextGen, but they're not. Instead, they're pouring billions of dollars into military and police spending.
States are building cop cities.
We're going to repeat this doom loop over and over until everyone finally decides to invest in masks and clean air.
There's no Plan B.
There's no alternative solution. There's nothing cheaper or more convenient. This virus isn't going to go away. It's not going to evolve to become milder. We're not going to develop herd immunity after three or four or six more rounds of infection. Covid will just continue eating away at us.
You're not safe.
It doesn't matter how healthy you think you are. It doesn't matter how much you exercise. It doesn't matter what you eat. It doesn't matter how well you sleep. It doesn't matter how much money you have.
Covid doesn't care.
Covid will sneak inside you with a mild infection. It will stay in your body and continue attacking your vital organs. It will chew through your blood vessels. It will turn your brain into an omelet.
It will turn your heart inside out.
This isn't fearmongering. This is documented science. We're living through the consequences now. We're seeing artists and musicians ending their careers because of chronic illnesses. We're seeing coworkers who can't concentrate long enough to send an email. We're seeing record spikes in heart attacks and strokes, even among young people.
You don't need a bunch of citations, not now. If you want them, here they are. It's a lot. It's hundreds of studies.
Odds are, someone you know has tried to show you these studies. We've compiled list after list, only for our friends and coworkers to ignore them.
It has to stop.
Millions of people already know what's happening. They already know what needs to be done. They're just too scared to admit it. They're worried about fitting in. They're worried about getting ridiculed or attacked. Well, think of it this way: If we don't do it, then you'll lose everything.
This precious normal people want is like a will-o'-the-wsip. The more you chase it, the more it recedes into the bog. The more we cosplay normal, the more infections we drive, and the more damage Covid does.
It's a death cycle.
I'm not sure anyone has painted a concrete picture of the future if we continue down this path, so let's go there.
First, lockdowns will look like a dream compared to what's coming. Say goodbye to concerts. We'll reach a point where there aren't any musicians left. The only ones who make it will have to inhale inhuman amounts of nose spray to make it through their tours. They'll get tired of that.
Shortages will get worse.
There won't be any healthy workers left to run the supply chains. Some states are already plugging holes in the workforce with children. That's not going to work for long. Those children will wind up dead or disabled from Covid, just like their parents. There won't be a backup.
Spoiled suburban babies are already complaining about the lack of service and poor food quality at restaurants.
Can they connect the dots?
Inflation will get worse.
The current rate of inflation has nothing to do with surplus money or stimulus checks. It has everything to do with labor shortages. People are too sick to work. We're seeing record numbers of disability claims. We're seeing record dips in productivity. Workers can't concentrate.
They're making simple mistakes.
It's going to get even less safe to travel. Traffic accidents keep going up. Near midair collisions keep going up. Thousands of pilots are hiding health conditions that put their passengers at risk.
You won't be able to plan a trip.
Say goodbye to vacations.
We need an educated population to make the electronic devices everyone loves so much. You can't make electronic devices if you've infected every child with Covid so many times that they can't concentrate for three minutes.
It sounds insane, doesn't it?
Who would've thought we would be dealing with a virus that doesn't go away, that keeps infecting you until it turns you into a zombie?
Well, we're here.
This isn't fearmongering. Civilizations have ended before, because they couldn't deal with the threats in front of them.
It didn't happen fast. It happened slow.
It took years.
Rich people won't make it out of this, either. They think they're safe on their yachts and bunker ranches. They're not. They rely on the public much more than they like to pretend. They're just too arrogant to ever see it. They aren't going to like it when there's nobody left to take care of them.
The unthinkable has become plausible. In fact, it has become undeniable. The longer we deny it, the worse it'll get.
Look, you've been lied to about the virus. The pandemic isn't "over." Covid isn't like the 1918 flu. It's more like the plague. It's going to keep coming. There's no end date. There's no return to normal. There's a new normal with ventilation, air purifiers, testing, and masks.
Everyone needs to realize something. You don't get to decide what reality you live in. You live in the reality you get.