The COVID third wave is the most demoralizing of the pandemic for me.

In the first wave, during the early days when it was a crisis, I was too busy responding on campus, moving others out, and then moving myself out. It was the most exhausting, I managed to hold myself together from that exhaustion, but at times barely.

The second wave, with its closures, was annoying.

Relative to how poor my morale already was, it did not cause me any further bother. In fact, as the first week of November was unseasonably warm and sunny, I managed to get a few outdoor picnics in before winter.

In many ways, that the second wave came during the peak of winter lessened its impact for me. Nonetheless, my productivity had never been lower and my motivation nearly non-existent during winter.

Groundhog day, the movie, in real-life. (And I love Groundhog Day, I have RSS searches for any reference to it in academic literature or podcasts)

As the winter dragged on, I had a date for motivation.

April 17. This was the day I would picnic with friends again, this was the day I would go for a coffee walk with someone I haven't seen since September, this was the day that the slow transition back to social life would begin again.

April 17, a Saturday, was symbolically important for another reason. It marked two years since I knew I had the Southam Fellowship. Two years since I began my transition to that project. Two years since I scaled back my social life to focus upon that short-term opportunity.

Once April 17 arrived, so I thought in December, I'd be able to do some things again. Maybe walk out to Westdale, maybe walk along the escarpment. Maybe do some other things. Can't do any of those things at present.

At present, May 4th, I am not making any plans for summer or even fall. Sure, I have some conceptual ideas of things I might do in October.

The crushing disappointment of the COVID third wave makes me hesitant to plan for a future for the risk of losing plans again.

That is what is most devastating, preparing to be crushed again.