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"The Lottery" in 2022 - Will You Win or Lose Against the Pandemic?

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

By: Anj Fabian

Guest Author

“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right.”

"The Lottery," Shirley Jackson. [spoiler]

I read that in high school. The person selected by the lottery screams that line before the rest of the village stones her to death.

There are two statements. The first one isn't accurate. The lottery is completely fair. The second statement is accurate. It's not right or just to kill someone simply for living in a particular place.

(graphic from

"She says he would have gotten vaccinated if he knew how hard he would have to fight to live. Crabtree's funeral is set for Wednesday."

Her husband would have gotten the vaccine if he had known he would have lost the lottery. In the short story, everyone in the village has to play the lottery. We are all playing the COVID lottery. Few of us have the privilege needed to opt out completely.

Buddy Crabtree played the COVID lottery, assuming that he wouldn't be one of the small minority who would suffer a lethal infection. The vaccine allows us to opt into a different lottery. The odds in the vaccinated lottery are much better for the humans and much worse for the virus. The odds in the vaccinated lottery are much better for the community and much worse for the pandemic.

Buddy played and lost. His wife lost. The town of Ider lost. The state of Alabama lost.

The virus won. The pandemic won.

It *is* about you. It's also about your family. It's about your community, too.

No one wants to lose this lottery and end up in the hospital, or worse.

Another family played the Covid Lottery

Reported on social media by a friend of mine and posted with permission.

"Don’t assume that because you are “low risk” you are not at risk of complications.
Three of my relatives all had COVID in September. We were terrified one was going to have a bad case. He is in his 50s, overweight, and has had one heart attack. You look at him and think, yep, there is a vent with his name on it. His wife was a super healthy half-marathon runner. He was sick for a few days and bounced right back but his spouse was horribly ill for two weeks and now has long term cardiac problems.
It is the exact opposite of what anybody would expect looking at them. So please don’t assume is such an inconsistent disease."

Internet's Best Karen Played the Lottery

And I won! I was vaccinated against Covid in March. One Friday at the end of August, I had the symptoms of a bad head cold. My symptoms were extreme fatigue, congestion, coughing, chills, and sneezing. By Monday, I felt better but went to our campus health center for a test. My positive result surprised both me and the Nurse Practitioner.

Covid and its variants are no joke. It had been spreading like wildfire in our community. I qualified for the monoclonal antibody treatment, and there were more than a dozen other patients getting the infusion that afternoon in the special treatment area set up in the hospital.

Monoclonal antibody infusion selfie

I am grateful for the science that protected me from a severe case and hospitalization, I am grateful for the nurses who worked in a large room with so many Covid cases. Not only that, but I even met a nurse named Karen! I was home in quarantine for ten days.

Fully vaccinated people are at least 3x less likely to be infected with COVID-19, according to a new CDC analysis. Vaccines are working against the new Omicron variant. Among people with COVID-19, fully vaccinated people were half as likely to need emergency care or hospitalization, and 7x less likely to die from COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.

Protect yourself and your community this holiday season by becoming fully vaccinated, receiving your booster dose when recommended, and engaging in recommended prevention steps (like wearing masks or physical distancing in indoor public places where the spread is high or substantial). Learn more at

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