As 2020 was drawing to a close, people were delighted to say goodbye to what was admittedly a terrible year. We can’t wait until it’s 2021, people were saying. I’m pretty sure that intellectually, everybody realized that at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2021, things weren’t going to magically be back to, say, 2018 innocence. Things weren’t going to be perfect just because the clock struck midnight. Still, 2020 had been unexpectedly difficult, and things just had to get better.
Now, here we are at the end of 2021, and many people are still wearing masks. We have experienced two new variants of COVID since the ball dropped at midnight on January 1. We aren’t pitting the Trump supporters against the Biden supporters any longer, or at least not on the news. We are, however, pitting the vaxxers and the nonvaxxers, pointing fingers at who is being the least patriotic.
I’m not even remotely implying that 2021 was just as bad as 2020. I will never forget hiding in my house for six months, afraid to venture into my front yard lest someone walked by with their dog, blowing COVID germs all over the yard. It will be a long time before I look at a six-count package of toilet tissue in my hall closet and think for a moment that I need to run out and get some more just in case.
Still, a trip to the grocery store is not a lot better than it was last summer. I’m grateful that, for the most part, grocery items are on the shelves. Many countries don’t have the luxury of goods that Americans enjoy. But I am not afraid to tell you that I am astounded every single time I go to the grocery store at the cost of goods. And if I have to get gasoline at the same time, well, it’s ground beef for dinner. No, wait. I can’t afford ground beef either.
This sounds like a Get Off My Lawn post, and I don’t really mean to be crabby. I, along with pretty much every other person in the world, am just plain sick of hearing the word COVID, or Pandemic, or Variant, or Vaccine. But the good news is that I have done everything I can possibly do to be safe. I am fully vaccinated. I am boosted. I still wash my hands and use hand sanitizer. While I don’t always wear a mask, I do very often if I’m around a lot of people. I find it somewhat perplexing, however, that now, suddenly two full years into the pandy, we are being told that it is useless to wear cloth masks.
Oy vey. Bring on 2022.