t’s not like I was expecting a parade. Well, I mean, I don’t really know what I was expecting. However, the abrupt end to months of scientifically measured instructions from the CDC about mask-wearing, social distancing, and Covid restrictions all kind of evaporating last week did take me for a bit of a spin.
Coming from someone who had Covid, long-Covid, and has since been vaccinated, I am certainly grateful to the CDC for their continued advice. It all just seems a little… quick, right? In my day job, I work with employees who are based in India and every day I speak with them, the fear in their voices gets a little more dire. They have hundreds of thousands falling ill to Covid every week, and we’re just, like, done?
I get that India is in India and America is in America. And I also get that the transmission rates and death rates in the United States have fallen dramatically. A large swath of the population here has been vaccinated fully. Our economy is desperate to re-open fully. People are tired of masks and mandates and mayhem.
Yet, I still didn’t think it would all just go away with a press conference.
For many – especially in the more rural parts of the city and county, there were never really any restrictions. But for us in the city, we’ve been working from home and ordering groceries for delivery for going on 15 months now. We have been told to shelter in place for so long that sheltering has just become the new normal.
I’m not kidding when I say that walking into a QuikTrip without a mask might take me two or three tries. (I’ll still do it because roller food, obviously.)
We all knew and hoped that, one day, the world would return “to normal.” It just seems…fast. There are only a few weeks left of school. Summer activities are just starting to get started. We were promised that by the Fourth of July, things would “start” to get back to normal. And yet, May 14th, suddenly you can walk into a Wal-Mart without a mask like it was 2014? I’ll stop just short of saying things don’t add up. Because, frankly, conspiracy theories are partially why we are in this in the first place. But it just seems… fast.
Even though I am vaccinated and have anti-bodies for Covid, I will probably still be wearing a mask into the QuikTrip and ordering groceries online for the foreseeable future. It just seems like a no-lose move. The whole reason for mask-wearing in the first place was to make an unlikely event even more unlikely. I don’t see the downside. I won’t judge people who aren’t wearing them and I will probably, at some point, take mine off, too. But I need more than a press conference to do it. Call it a security blanket. Call it overly cautious. Hell, call me paranoid. Don’t care. If I can protect someone by not coughing on them in line at Wal-Mart, then hey, good on me.
I still don’t think we’ve seen the end of this thing. And maybe that makes me the crazy one. Maybe I’m just holding out for the parade.
(Check out Chris Kamler’s work on Twitter, where you’ll find him as @TheFakeNed)