Count to 10, omicron is not done with us yet
This week, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul reinstated indoor mask mandates.
All over the world, companies are understaffed. Not only is the labor shortage not improving, but it is worsening as the workforce makes new decisions about how and to whom to sell their product – skills, knowledge and effort – and at what price. And then there are the short-term staff crises, as periods of isolation for disease and infection control still temporarily remove more workers from work.
We’re a long way from emerging from the shadow of the pandemic, at least not in the New Years paradigm we all hoped to see.
It’s frustrating on a personal, family, community and global level, because while the pandemic is about two years old, pandemic fatigue has built up for at least 18 of those 24 months. This is when confrontations in the aisles of stores over face masks start to go viral, followed by an explosion of violent incidents on planes, followed by an increase in the behavior of I want to talk to the public. director documented from coast to coast.
We are not only saddened by the pandemic, angered and frustrated by the responses of others, we are collectively exhausted by it, even though the good days outnumber the bad in an individual life. We no longer have to deal with the pandemic.
If only it mattered.
The rise of Omicron will clearly change the landscape again for all of us in the near term (see: Twin Cities Mask Mandates). Local and regional businesses are cutting hours to deal with fatigue and staff shortages. Schools are also adjusting their calendars. Anyone hosting an event on the social or professional calendar re-assesses whether the show will continue on a daily basis.
Following:Worried about the omicron variant? Here’s where you can get a COVID-19 test in Minnesota
We just don’t control the biological pixie that’s causing all the chaos. Being “therefore finished” does not change anything.
But we can be in control to get through this next phase as a community. It takes some old-fashioned attention to what our grandmothers would call good manners.
Is there a sign on the store window stating that masks are encouraged? Put one on or exercise your freedom to choose another store – kind of like visiting someone’s house, it’s their place, their rules. But has management refused to display this sign? Then let the bare face go about its business without your advice, or choose another store.
Did it take longer than usual to get your dinner order? Take a look around before you climb – there’s a big difference between a waiter scrambling to keep up and one who leans in a corner texting a friend.
The chaos of the past two years is not yet over with us. There are more frustrations, changes of plans and debates over what to do about this in the coming weeks. The way we deal with these frustrations will make the situation betterâ¦ or worse.
When in doubt, we can choose to act with grace. We can decide not to make the day worse. We can choose to support businesses and organizations whose values ââmatch our own and we can simply choose to avoid those that don’t, without centering those opinions loudly at every encounter.
We can and should do our best to keep our cool, make good decisions, be patient with frustrations, and assume everyone is doing their best until proven guilty.
Count to 10. It’s not over yet.
– That’s the opinion of the St. Cloud Times editorial board, made up of news director Lisa Schwarz and content coach Anna Haecherl.