To say that I’m relieved that 2020 is over would be a vast understatement, as I’m sure it would be for most of the people I know. Phone chats and computer communications aside, it was a lonely, painfully isolated year during which even brief chats with neighbors over fences and hedges were social events of convivial importance. My face-to-face communications were few, making even Silas Marner look like a sparkling socialite by camparison. It’s sad to me that one of my most convivial experiences last fall was a visit to Walgreens for my flu shot, after which the nurse and I chatted happily for almost twenty minutes, laughing as though we had just polished off a bottle of Champagne.
When I took the dog to the vet for his booster shots or when I went to my doctor for a check-up, wearing a mask made me feel like a bandit, but my chronic bronchitis sadly made it necessary to take every precaution, as I am now 75 years old and could be snuffed out like a candle if I caught the Covid virus, and there was also the discomfort others might feel had I not bothered with a mask anywhere in pubic. The political ramifications were silly but real from time to time. The look of “Are you one of THEM?” became somewhat laughable on one hand but sad on the other.
In any case, I know that the calendar changing from 2020 t0 2021 is mostly symbolic and doesn’t mean that we’re out of the hole yet, despite the vaccines, which seem to be experiencing rather a slow start anyway. Being overly confident is still dangerous for many of us. Bravado means nothing but a vain pose, particularly with the new strain of the virus, which is no more lethal but is much more easily transmitted.
Regardless, I see light at the end of the tunnel, though I can’t yet tell how long we’ll be winding our way through that tunnel to experience the fullness of that light. Thank goodness for books, crossword puzzles, DVD’s, Netflix and HBO. They’ve spoiled me through distraction and escape when I needed them. The news about the vaccines was almost enough to make me try a cartwheel in my front yard, but being hospitalized for hurting myself that way seemed too embarrassing a prospect, so I went back into the house. When the Covid nightmare ends or is officially under control, I want to party in the streets with family, friends and neighbors again. I’ll bring the wine! JB