As the pandemic began three years ago, I knew I couldn’t process several crises at once and put autism in a drawer. The first couple of weeks it was about life and death and to protect oneself. For about two years, lockdown measures and reduction of indoor events/situations created an autism-friendly environment. I felt protected, all social activities were limited to outdoor situations where the virus is far less effective to infect people. Moreover, outdoor is oftentimes less crowdy and less overwhelming sensory input. I didn’t need to explain myself to avoid large indoor gatherings which I normally had to do before the pandemic because of my sensory processing disorder.
Despite of all the underlying drama caused by the pandemic and the political mismanagement, these two years of the pandemic made me appear less autistic since I could avoid social activities which cause sensory overload and shutdowns otherwise, and the need to regenerate.
Last year when the government decided to let the virus rip through the population and justify it with a virus transitioning into a common cold, the benefits of protective measures slowly went away. I’ve read shitloads of scientific papers, newspaper reports and statements of international scientists and doctors and have given it a great deal of thought on my corona blog. In contrast to my social offline environment I’ve been always one step ahead. I knew very well how important it was and still is, even despite several vaccinations, to avoid infection. Those scientists who really really have expertise, confirm that a virus doesn’t mutate to become more harmless. Vaccinations generally reduce the burden of disease. If the virus however mutates quickly enough to escape immune protection by vaccination and/or infection, it always will be one step ahead.
This is our reality now. Denying covid and removing all rules and orders associated with sars-cov2 won’t eradicate its existence.
It’s kind of a philosophy of life for me but yes: “Gathering knowledge and spread the word!” as Stefan Hörmann, a long dead friend said over 15 years ago. I set up my website about weather, autism, klinefelter’s syndrom and now covid because of this motto. I’m also convinced that you only understand a certain subject if you are able to explain it to other people. Most of the time you have to adapt your statements or flawed arguments. This is very important to stay on track. If you are very deep in a flow about a special interest, you risk to lose objectivity. Therefore you need a critical audience not to lose touch with reality.
I’m very well aware of political and societal reality over the course of the pandemic. They decided to forget all we have learned these three years. An airborne virus which could be easily stopped by wearing tight masks and having clean air like in Davos, Switzerland. Incredible amount of knowledge about longterm damage, downplayed and denied. I’m no idiot I’m aware of the reality if I like it or not.
Some autistic people are very good at filtering bad news out, they ignore the media and news in general, just focus on their lives, what they can control. I have a bad bad news filter and when it comes to special interests I can’t filter out what I learned so far completely. I have my flaws too but I’m not unempathic. If friends and acquaintances fall ill because of covid and do not recover, I can’t ignore them and just do my job as before the pandemic. I just can’t. I would consider this a normal empathic reaction irrespective of being neurodiverse or not. Now it interferes with my work however. I don’t have enough energy to ignore all the illness around me and being at risk to get longcovid myself which is sadly still possible despite being vaccinated five times, because the virus continues to mutate and adapt to his host. And people don’t understand it as they lack knowledge but also interest. Most of them do not seem to care because if they cared, they would have to do something about it. Nobody with a clear mind could honestly accept the current situation forever. I don’t get why they don’t get it. I’m unable to solve this crisis by talking, or writing, when nobody’s listening.
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