Nothing Ends, Not Even COVID

An animated gif illustration showing a line drawing of the infinity symbol that twists and transforms and then takes its shape again

Nothing ever ends.

That’s what they tell me, at least. The scientists, about nature. Things don't end, they change. They transform. It is, as they say, the circle of life.

Does this mean COVID will never end?

Yes, I guess so.

I mean, it really only exists (as we know it) thanks to a whole host of other transformations. It has continued to change, in tiny ways, since we got to know it on such a personal level, and perhaps one day it will change so much it doesn't even recognize itself.

Our medical interventions transform. We've developed a treatment that does whatever treatments do - the molecular version of dismantling the virus and selling it for parts? Kneecapping it so that it's rendered ineffective? Making our bodies into bad hosts so that it has to transform into something else in order to stay alive?

At some point, too, the public health restrictions we are living under will change. One day, officials will stand before us at a specially-scheduled press conference. They will try to contain themselves, but smiles will take over their faces (can you IMAGINE how they will feel on that day?) and their message will have changed completely. The records of the restrictions will be filed away. The webpages will be edited or archived. The social media posts will go stale. They will be replaced with new papers, new webpages, new posts.

Our behaviour will transform. We will hug. We will go to brunch indoors. We will attend concerts and stand right next to strangers. We will hopefully never shake hands again because that is now a repulsive and unnecessary act.

Our boredom and anger and isolation will transform into--well, they won't. We will still feel bored, angry, and isolated, although perhaps less often. We will feel those things while we host dinner parties and crowd into movie theatres and wonder if a stranger in a bar is looking at us and stand in line right next to each other and completely forget where we put our homemade masks.

Meanwhile, the virus will still exist, floating around us. Or maybe it will transform into something else, without 7.5 billion human bodies as nice, squishy hosts?

The only thing that ends is our perception of things. We decide, once this, now nothing. Once we had COVID, then we didn’t. Once we had love, now we don’t. Once we had life, now we won’t. But really, it didn't end, it just changed enough that we gave it a new label.

There is a forever-ness to life that doesn't quite make sense because eventually, we transform enough that our bodies don't work and our consciousness doesn't exist anymore. Or it changes. Into what?

Nothing ever ends. (That’s what they tell me.)

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