Living in Society

Will the Pandemic End?

Plot #5 after Friday’s shift.

People are uncertain about resuming pre-pandemic social relations.

Yesterday on a Zoom meeting with 60 participants, the moderator took a poll of our vaccination status. About 93 percent of participants were fully vaccinated, everyone had a plan to get vaccinated, and they are looking to meet in person again soon.

Thursday my spouse and I attended a funeral service for a neighbor on line. No one inside the church wore a mask. The preacher mentioned it was the first time in a long time people could gather together for a funeral because of the pandemic. There were more people attending on line than in the image transmitted from the church.

During my shift at the farm we worked outside. All of us have been vaccinated, although we still wear masks when working inside the greenhouse. Outside, no masks are required. It felt good.

On a long telephone call with a friend, they said they wouldn’t go out again after the pandemic. At least not to the kind of event frequented before.

I organize our home owners’ association monthly meetings. Since the pandemic began we’ve held meetings via conference call. When the city library begins renting the meeting room again, that will be my sign it’s okay to meet in person again.

Uncertainty abounds in all of this.

The pandemic is real. People I know got sick and died from COVID-19. The same is true for almost everyone I know. Because of our pensions, our household can survive without outside work. We used to get so much of our lives from work, yet suddenly it wasn’t as important as staying healthy.

I like not being sick since the winter of 2019-2020. That’s a result of personal hygiene practices in play because of the coronavirus pandemic. I won’t abandon my face masks when going to the grocery store post-pandemic. If I take a job, it will be one in which I can avoid daily, random contact with people, or maintain proper protections when in person. It’s becoming a weird world for which I am not ready.

For now, the pandemic continues, and with it, social protocols. What worries me is not this pandemic, but the next one. People smarter than me say more are coming. Will we have learned anything from our time since WHO declared the global pandemic on March 11, 2020? The last year has not provided much hope we will.