I feel weird bringing this up, considering I’ve been calling this “Staying the Fuck Inside” but most of this entry is about the times when we venture out.
Venturing out is now an increased cause of anxiety for me. I become hyper vigilant about everyone around me, and my/our personal space. People are getting lax about masks again – even store employees – and it’s becoming difficult to not get angry about it. Cases are rising again. People are still dying.
We went for a drive on Halloween night, to check out neighborhood decorations (which turned out to be minimal), and was pretty surprised to see a lot of people out trick-or-treating. Some neighbors had gotten inventive, and had tables out front of their homes for people to take their own candy. Others did not. People seemed to be out in groups, and mingling with other groups, sometimes with masks, sometimes not. All I could see was the spread of infection.
I get the whole “but the kids need a break” thing, but at what cost?
Your neighborhood may vary, but I was not impressed with mine.
Another thing that has become interesting to note is that a lot of businesses are boarding up. Not because they’re going out of business, but because they’re afraid of damage tomorrow, and tomorrow night, and possibly onwards, depending how things turn out. This seems a little extreme to me (Santa Rosa is hardly the size of, say, Portland, or Seattle), but like my inability to take wannabe Bloods and Crips seriously in Ohio, I guess I should probably readjust my expectations of humanity again. I don’t really know what tomorrow will bring. And it’s not going to be just tomorrow – it could last through January, depending how this goes. Or beyond.
I find myself missing the early days of the pandemic – there was, briefly, a sense of community that seems to have eroded. One of the local brew pubs partnered with dairies, produce companies, and butchers to provide incredible deals on food and provisions for people. We all overdressed in too many layers to avoid infection. My outfit was generally canvas jeans, two shirts, a hoodie, a scarf wrapped around my head, and rubber gloves. Now I wear a fashionably ironic mask of some sort, and latex gloves.
I miss turning on the TV to things like all day music. I even miss the commercials that started with the sad piano music, and kept repeating things like “now, more than ever…” and “in these times…” and “together, we can…” etc. Sure, they turned into a drinking game, but now, it’s all about the slow-motion suicide cult rumbling across the country, infecting more and more people, and everybody saying things like “well, this one little instance won’t hurt…” and like cheating on a diet, it gets nickeled-and-dimed up to more spread. More infection. More death.
The virus doesn’t give a fuck.
The virus doesn’t give a fuck that you’re tired of it.
You don’t get to declare a timeout, or a Temporary Autonomous Zone, or decide that your group gathering is “okay” because it’s about something you believe in.
We’ve now been the Fuck Inside through two time changes. I have spent the bulk of my 50th year on this planet dealing with this shit, and expect to spend at least another year or two.
There has been a catastrophic failure.
And it is exhausting.
But that has never led us to think that it’s okay to disregard safety and health protocols “just this one time…teehee….winkwink”
There will be severe psychological fallout when this is over.
I hope tomorrow, the stupidity remains minimal. Both locally, and nationally.
Stay safe. Stay well.
Vote, if you haven’t already.
And then stay safe and stay well, again.