Careful is my middle name. It’s also been my mantra for the entire two years (so far) of the pandemic. I really care that we all get through this alive and that we do our part to curb its spread.
I am not silent and accommodating. Which is why some of my loved ones do not want to see me coming.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of them talk the talk about Covid. It’s just hard for them to walk the talk. If you know what I mean.
Not too long ago someone who is quite knowledgeable about the pandemic in their city told me they were going out for drinks. Their city had a 12% Covid rate at that time (soon to rise to 25%) and weather that does not permit outdoor seating. Another told me they were going to a party with a large group of people, all vaccinated. Even though they know intellectually that vaccinated people can spread Covid and breakthrough cases are not uncommon.
So I’m asking, WTF?
This dynamic is puzzling. Apparently the need to be social outpaces the need to be careful, something I simply do not get.
The other day a dear friend invited me to dine indoors at a small restaurant, their favorite. I looked at them like they had taken leave of their senses. Their spouse immediately said “You KNOW she won’t dine indoors during Covid, why are you surprised?” I know this rebellious friend (who has many co-morbidities, BTW) thinks I am over the top with my precautions. They have a hard time acting on the reality of the situation. The spouse, however, has taken me in. Disagrees for themself, but knows my stance and takes it in.
If I said, “It is a certainty I will get Covid if I go” they would act differently. But since it isn’t a certainty, denial of reality is possible.
Forget peer pressure
I don’t much care what other people think or if they run the other way when they see me open my mouth. I am not going to give up precautions until this thing becomes more endemic. Peer pressure simply does not work on me. I am not willing to die for what other people think. Nor am I willing to get sick or hospitalized. Not if I can help it.
Deferring gratification is not an issue for me. I haven’t eaten in an indoor restaurant for a very long time. My life is none the worse for it. I’m not as social as some my friends, but I have learned to get my social fix on Zoom, on phone calls, through social media and text. Which is just fine. I fill my life with so much else!
If I can meet outdoors safely or in someone’s home, safely, I will. I’ve been watching the Beatles documentary with a friend who doesn’t have Disney+ in my family room. I’ve watched the last bunch of Formula 1 races on the phone with a friend across the country, both of us with our TVs on.
Life is going on
Reading, writing, streaming, talking: I’m doing ok. Sure, I’d like to travel overseas. Or even to places like Manhattan. Or my little house in Rochester. Just not willing to die for it.
On a recent outing to San Francisco, a favorite winery marketed what was called a “private” wine tasting in a sumptuous small room in our hotel. So we signed up. At the appointed time we arrived, only to find an unmasked couple also enjoying a “private” tasting in the tiny room.
“Wait,” I said. “I was told this was private.”
“I wasn’t told to close the room,” the hostess said. Hmm. So what was “private?” We declined to enter. Half an hour later we peeked in. Each of the four tables set quite close together–like a couple feet apart– was occupied. No one was masked, of course. This, when headlines warn daily of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Denial is strong. People don’t want to give up the things they like to do.
I wish I had my sympathy for them.
But I don’t.
It’s not just the unvaccinated, anti-mask Co-vidiots responsible for the spread. These people in denial play a role, too.
Life is going on. Mine, anyway. Theirs? Maybe not for long.
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