John and I were talking about how pandemic life really now has the post-911 feel of irrevocable cultural change, most evident in all the regulations that are slowly transforming from Brand New and Awful to Still Mostly Awful But Increasingly Familiar. As much as it used to feel impossible to imagine a world where everyone is always masked, it’s starting to feel quite difficult to imagine a time when none of this is still necessary (or if, in some cases, not a requirement we can collectively agree is necessary, at least still very much required).

The depressing truth is that when people talk about the “year of the pandemic” I find myself thinking that a year sounds HUGELY optimistic and frankly pretty unrealistic in every way.

Even assuming there is some sort of miraculous warp-speed vaccine (that people aren’t too paranoid to take), it seems to me that some things — masks on planes, maybe — are going to be here to stay. Sort of like how we all just automatically peel off our shoes in the security line and shuffle into a device that scans us from head to toe and then get patted down by a bored TSA agent if we draw the unlucky straw, we will barely remember a time when none of that was part of the flying experience.

The mask-wearing is a thing I truly dislike in every possible way but I can at least agree that unless told otherwise by trustworthy science-based sources it is a necessary evil. I will grumpily mask up as long as it takes, although I will never stop questioning the point of at least 50% of the freshly-installed plexiglass dividers out there.

The smartest-seeming ones I’ve seen are at grocery stores, where the POS situation is limited to a specific area, but there are so many that are just sort of … randomly placed? I was at Best Buy recently and the cashier station had this huge barrier that wasn’t even remotely in front of where the actual customer/clerk interaction happens. I guess the good news is that people in the plexiglass business are probably doing better than most other industries right about now, but jeez, it sure doesn’t seem like it should be that hard to look at where the payment transaction takes place and slap up the sneeze shield there.

Well. If there’s one thing I’m sick and tired of even more than living in an actual no-shit pandemic, it’s talking about the fucking pandemic. I want to go to a movie, I want to go see my mom and aunt without worrying about killing them, I want school to not be a thorny mess of terrible choices for every single parent, I want essential workers to at least be paid essential wages if they’re going to be the ones in the most danger, I want my kids to hang out with their friends, I want us all to go back to life before March of 2020, I want to talk about something ELSE.


12 Responses to “Life 6 months later”

  1. PETE J HAIDINYAK on August 19th, 2020 6:49 pm

    To me the saddest part is when there is a vaccine over 60% of the conservatives say they won’t take it. Hopefully those of us that get the vaccine will get a Hat to separate us from the stupid.

  2. Melissa on August 19th, 2020 8:06 pm

    I bet I can explain the plexiglass in weird places!

    I work in a public library, and we keep asking for more plexiglass because we have learned that people will never ever stand where there is plexiglass. They stand next to it. They lean around it. So we keep asking for more, trying to make it impossible for someone to lean around it, maskless, and breath directly in our faces.

  3. Carla Hinkle on August 19th, 2020 10:20 pm

    I took my 8th grader to school today to pick up her new books for distance learning…she saw a few friends there, it just felt so nice and normal to be on the school campus even in this very brief way…and then I felt how SAD it was that she & I were excited by a 10 minute interaction with people on the school grounds. SAD. I don’t want to do this any more. (But we have to.) (But I don’t WANT to.)

  4. JennB on August 20th, 2020 4:33 am

    These last 6 months have compounded everything. Everything that was hard has become harder. Everything that was a challenge has become impossible. I know that depression in individuals has spiked, I have found that my current pharma blend is not effective. I’m grateful to have a job and a place to shelter and feed my kids, but every day it does beg the question: to what end?
    Then there’s that whole ELECTION subject. And I certainly am done talking about voting for the lesser of two evils…..

  5. Andrea on August 20th, 2020 5:06 am

    Hey- there’s always politics, racial injustice or school…
    JK- I bury my head in Netflix- currently wrapping up New Girl. I found it to be clever and funny.

  6. Shes on August 20th, 2020 5:20 am

    Yes, to all of this, 1000 times yes.

  7. Kim on August 20th, 2020 5:26 am

    I know you’ve always cherished summer which makes sense based on where you live. In the south, we count the days until Fall, when we finally get relief from the months of blistering heat & soul sapping humidity. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve always loved Fall, but this year? It’s the only thing I’ve gotten excited about in months. We might be living out an extended episode of The Walking Dead, but goddammit, I’m excited to go on hikes with the husband and dogs & thank god we still have nature to lift our spirits (for now).

  8. Jennifer on August 20th, 2020 8:26 am

    I think my feeling towards masks has changed irrevocably – I can’t believe I used to just let people breathe all over me. Ew! All of those cartoon simulations of water droplets in the air have changed me, and I may just wear masks forever.

  9. Jill on August 20th, 2020 12:18 pm

    That last paragraph… nailed it! Perfectly said

  10. Donna on August 20th, 2020 2:55 pm

    Movies! I miss the hell out of that. And ac instead of outdoor eating.
    I used to go to dinner (alone), and then go to the latest show of whatever movie I wanted to see on Monday or Tuesday night. I usually had the theatre all to myself.
    Other than that I have to remind myself to put the mask on and have had to do the walk of shame back to my car twice: because I never go out. I am currently sitting up in the woods listening to my stupid dog and a squirrel going at it. And my nearest neighbor is a tenth of a mile away and it’s still too peopley.

  11. Mary on August 20th, 2020 5:59 pm

    The drugstore I go to has plexiglass up, but it’s positioned so that you aren’t facing it when you pay. I said to the person who was helping me, it seems like you’d be safer if they moved it over here. And she said, yes, it started out there, but then they found people spent more money if they moved it over here. SIGH.

  12. Mary on August 21st, 2020 12:25 pm

    I have decided I am kind of done talking about it for a while. I am a nurse. I work in a hospital. I am a liberal. I know what to do, and I am doing it. I am sick of talking about it. And talking at people who won’t listen. Or talking about it with people who agree with me just so we can pat ourselves on the back about how right we are about what we are doing. So I am done talking about it. It feels so much better. It feels like a form of self-care.

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