The Long Road of Covid-19

Frederick E Feeley Jr
3 min readOct 18, 2022

I think the effects of covid-19 on our country will be long and drawn out. I’m not just talking about the physical manifestation but the psychological, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic impact of this disease.

Bear with me.

A nurse friend of mine pointed out that, as Americans, we’ve forgotten what the dying process looks like.

For most of us before Covid, death had become an abstraction. As a matter of fact, unless there was a terrible disease or an accident/ murder etc., death happened to “Those people” “over there.” Namely, the elderly who, it seemed, didn’t know when to lie down.

People began to live well after their retirement age.

It used to be that retirement = death, and people would leave their jobs and give up the ghost a year or two afterward.

Now America has been introduced to death in a very intimate way.

We’ve all been touched by it. We’ve lost people, and we’ve had close calls. There have been shutdowns, vaccinations, and arguments over efficacy; we’ve all heard hospital reports and seen the morgue trucks.

With all of this, life has been reassessed in general for most people in this country and in a tremendous way.

Everything from how people view their work/life balance to personal and even intimate relationships has been impacted by this disease. I can’t begin to tell you how many breakups and divorces I’ve counted among friends.

Priorities have shifted, and they’ve turned in such a way that is quite shocking to older people.

In general, their world and the world have been turned upside down as people scramble to deal with death being a natural part of life and closer than we believed it had been in the past.

I’m unsure if this means we’re headed toward a 3rd Great Awakening, a greater understanding of life in general, a time of more empathy and knowledge, but I know it isn’t over.

These effects will echo and continue to resonate for years to come. The irony is that for those who don’t believe Covid is real or as bad as “…they say it is,” it has been “real” enough to cause this upheaval.

Employers can’t keep people because we’ve gone from a “Stuff” oriented “Quantity of Life” to an experienced based “Quality of Life” because of this jarring event. That will affect us on a micro and macroeconomic scale, which will demand adaptation.

In a lot of ways, it’s like Climate Change. We’ve heard bells ringing over this issue back into the early 2000s. I denied it for a while because nothing “looked different”. People deny it today when the evidence is becoming overwhelmingly obvious. Yet now, whether we like it or not, it has come via Home Owner’s Insurance. HUD is building new homes in our area higher off the ground. Foundation companies charged 100k per home to raise houses after the mass flooding of Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Ida.

It is here, no matter what we believe, and the effects will be long-lasting.

Things are fundamentally changing even in Religious circles — Mainline Protestantism is dying in America, and Evangelicalism is on the ropes dealing with high amounts of scrutiny they’ve never had before.

We are witnessing a resurgence of Fascism, strong man governments, the rise of non-religious affiliated people, skepticism of the idea that every man’s voice is equal, and a rise in xenophobia.

Yet, the pushback is also robust and social justice, political justice, the expansion of rights, and the right to receive medical treatment, but an incredible cynicism about humanity and the human condition coupled, unfortunately, with the rise of an almost Puritanical litmus test.

These are the times that try men’s souls. Yet, the comfort to me is that humanity has known times like this. 500 years ago, for example, when Martin Luther pinned his 95 Thesis to the door at Wittenburg.

Are we moving through a reformation period? Are we moving through something equal to this?

I don’t know the answer to that.

I know that change has come and we’re not entirely done with it yet.

I hope people take it easy on themselves and remember that you’re loved and your life means something.

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Frederick E Feeley Jr

Queer AF Author. Poet. Songwriter. Screenwriter. Human Being.