There’s now no way to tell if the horrible flu that I contracted in Chicago in the earliest days of 2020 was COVID. There was a particularly nasty H3N2 going around at the time, and the list of symptoms is nearly identical, including loss of taste.
But we’re quite certain that my wife and I contracted COVID back in August, not long after getting our second-dose vaccinations. And now we have it again. (She got boosted in between; I didn’t.)
No headlines say this. A few lines in some of the financial papers hint at it, explaining why every rideshare and gig delivery company just took a massive stock hit. Frankly, when it comes to hard news, it’s tough to go wrong with the financials.
On Wednesday the 5th, President Biden’s Department of Labor issued a reversal for the Trump-era “final rule” that defined most gig workers as non-employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In an interview, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh explained that this was designed to make gig workers eligible for the benefits everyone else gets. In reality, what it’ll do is force the contracting companies to limit worker hours, particularly during slow periods, so they aren’t suddenly required to pay overtime for someone who’s just sitting around doing nothing. For customers, it’s going to be just that much harder to get a ride at odd hours or to get food delivered.
Yes, there’s a plague. And for some of us, today really sucks. Doctors and nurses are getting burned out — and worse, sick — and things are still just ramping up. The numbers look bad and tomorrow they’ll look worse and a week from now we’re going to look back on today and wish it was still only as bad as this.