My daughter-in-law Lauren posted a photo on Instagram the other day that indicated she had received her first COVID vaccine shot. She was ecstatic to be on her way to being completely vaccinated. Her home state of Vermont has been particularly cautious in their handling of the COVID virus, and she and Heather are still working from home by mandate. They are both state employees.
Seeing that she is being vaccinated a mere 13 months after we were all placed in quarantine made me think about how things were a year ago. We were all frightened, huddling in our homes, carefully venturing out only under the most necessary circumstances. Like buying alcohol, apparently, as liquor stores were categorized as essential businesses in most states. We all remember the scarcity of toilet tissue, but I also was recalling the shelves being empty of pasta and rice, yeast and flour and sugar, chicken and ground beef. Bread shelves were empty. At the beginning of the quarantine, I was grabbing anything that I could turn into a dinner. We couldn’t see our loved ones except via FaceTime. Hugs weren’t allowed. I distinctly remembering asking permission to hug my sister Bec and my brother Dave goodbye when we left to go back to Colorado.
I read recently that nearly half the nation has received at least one of their shots. Personally speaking, I am not acquainted with anyone over the age of 65 who has not received both shots. Of course, there are many who aren’t choosing the vaccine, but every Baby Boomer with whom I am acquainted has been fully vaccinated, and are saying HALLELUIA!
The tricky part now is how do we start making our way back to whatever we are going to call normal. I’m thinking many things we considered normal BC will not return. Like hugging people upon introduction. I was not a fan of that anyhow, and won’t miss it.
My sister Bec sent me an opinion column from The New York Times that talked about that very subject. It is attached here, and well worth a read. Don’t worry; it’s short and uses very few big words. The author — David Leonhardt — points out that many fully vaccinated people are still finding it difficult to brave going out into the world, especially where people are gathering. And it’s no wonder when media is reporting facts like 5,800 fully vaccinated people have gotten COVID. Seriously? Considering the number of people who are vaccinated, that is a drop in the bucket. And most of the cases have been no worse than a cold. Doesn’t the media like to scare us?
The piece points out that while 100 Americans will die in car accidents today, zero or maybe one vaccinated American will die of COVID. And yet, we think nothing of getting in a car but are fearful to step out of our safe house.
Everyone is waiting for COVID to go completely away, and that likely will never happen. But if the experts are to be believed, serious cases will be infrequent, and should someone contract the virus, they will stay home for a few days like they would with a head cold.
I wear my mask when I am going into places with lots of younger people who have likely not yet received the vaccine. I wear it to church. I wear it to the grocery store. I wear it into restaurants until I get to the table. But I’m trying really hard not to panic when I see people — many people, in fact — who are choosing not to wear a mask if it’s not required.
It will likely get easier as time goes by.