Schrödinger's America

Over the weekend, I received a couple phone calls which were quite uncommon.

On Saturday, while I was waiting to watch the Packers to come up with another mind boggling way to lose a playoff game, my boss called me.

When I saw the call pop up, I immediately thought "What the hell?". Unless there was an actual physical emergency which required all hands on deck, there should be no reason for a call.

How silly of me, I had forgotten about the scourge of COVID and the many administrative complexities of this ongoing pandemic of the bureaucracy.

Back in November, my boss decided that we needed to get our department back in the office more. So, we all had to pick two days of the week to be in the office. Since the Omicron surge after the holidays, we have suddenly become worried about the numbers of people in the office at one time again.

So last week, she asked all her next level managers to see if we could move people off of Tuesday through Thursday, because those numbers were too high.

On Saturday, she was calling to ask me to switch from being in the office on Monday this week to Wednesday, because something was happening Monday to skew the numbers.

Of course, I took all this in stride.

By Sunday evening, I get another phone call.

This time it was one of my more annoying employees. You know, the kind who is always reminding you that they are very talented and should get more responsibility. . . until you decide to give them more responsibility and then a conflict or some other excuse magically manifests.

Anyway, he was calling to tell me that his wife had tested positive for COVID, but he was still negative, asymptomatic and unvaccinated. He wanted to know what he should do about work. My immediate thought was "How the hell would I know? The guidelines are changing every damn day!".

But, I told him he needed to notify our Administrative Manager, the person responsible for handling all of these issues.

The next day I found out that this employee was given the brilliant advice to call his doctor or the health department and follow their recommendations.

This got me thinking, if he didn't call, didn't get tested and otherwise felt fine, was he sick? It feels like we've all unwittingly become Schrödinger's Cat.

If you are unfamiliar, Schrodinger had an example where there was a cat in a box with a vial of poisonous gas that had a 50/50 chance of killing the cat. Yet, if we never open the box, we never know if the cat lived or died - meaning the cat is both alive and dead until the moment we learn its fate.

It's a thought experiment that is suppose to help us understand quantum physics, blah, blah, blah.

Trippy, right?

Well, this is what is occurring to all of us with being encouraged to get tested all the time. Almost every person I know that has had a brush with COVID lately tells a similar story.

They went to a function with other seemingly healthy friends and relatives and then they get notified a day or two later that somebody has tested positive.

Several people had tested negative prior to the event and they were vaccinated, so nobody was worried.

Yet, at the same time, some of those people are actually infected, but feel fine, so they never get tested and never learn that they had COVID.

Just like the the cat in the box, these people exist in a state of having COVID and NOT having COVID until such time as they get the results of a test.

This is why the government sending everybody four "free" at home tests is so crazy. Obviously we are all paying for them with our tax dollars, and it's allowing your friendly neighborhood crazy cat lady to waste four tests so she can be assured that the Amazon delivery man didn't cough the Wuhan Flu onto her kitty-litter delivery.

All of this to fight against a virus with a 99% survival rate.

My stepson, who is out on his own, encouraged my wife to order our at home tests immediately, because "they could help us get quicker access to care with a positive test." He eventually went on and ordered them for us.

I guess that's a good thing, he's probably got a point and it was a nice thing for him to do. Yet, even then, one thing seems clear - the government is trying to turn us all into pussies.