It’s so close you can almost touch it. But not just yet. I refer to the time when the COVID19 pandemic will be, like Lubbock, Texas in the Mac Davis song, in our rear-view mirrors. I can’t imagine what Mac had against Lubbock, but he was sure pleased to be leaving. Things are getting better but we’re not there just yet. However, many restrictions have been lifted, or at least eased.
There are obvious post-pandemic-return-to-normal things that people look forward to; perhaps the most popular being the ability to travel again. I’m not much of a traveller myself, but even the chance to take a daytrip somewhere will be welcomed. Nor am I a great one for socializing, but having groups of people gather in homes and backyards, without masks, distancing, or trying to figure out who is in what bubble will also be grand.
A return to normal sidewalk behaviour, where passing pedestrians smile and may even nod at each other rather than shunning each other as if they were lepers will be, like going maskless, a breath of fresh air to me.
The things I am looking forward to are more subtle. Starting with not having to wear a mask – ever – anywhere – anytime. I’ve never had any inclination to the medical profession, and the pandemic has shown me just how fortunate I am in that respect. In a word, I hate wearing a mask. As a wearer of eyeglasses, I find that a mask has one of two effects: either my glasses fog up, or fall off. Don’t get me wrong, I wear a mask whenever it is required, and have throughout the pandemic, but the instant I can take it off, I do so. The concept of an airgasm is not lost on me.
I also look forward to a return to normal sidewalk etiquette. In an effort to maintain proper social distancing, people have taken to giving each other a wide, often very wide, berth on sidewalks, often stepping completely off the sidewalk into the street, around parked cars then retaking the sidewalk once again. When the pandemic first struck my city posted ‘Share the road’ signs in an effort to let drivers know people would be encroaching on their turf. Under normal conditions this overt avoidance of approaching walkers may well be construed as impolite. A return to normal sidewalk behaviour, where passing pedestrians smile and may even nod at each other rather than shunning each other as if they were lepers will be, like going maskless, a breath of fresh air to me.
I fear that one of the long-term effects of this hand sterilizing practice will be the loss of required antibodies, the things that help us fight all sorts of things on a daily basis, leading to a variety of illnesses.
In Montreal we had a curfew. There were strong opinions both for and against it. However, it was really a bit of a paper lion. Between the hours of 8:00 pm and 5:00 am no one was allowed to be outside. Mind you, there were exceptions – many exceptions. Frontline workers, from medical staff to bus drivers were allowed to be out for work. Many other jobs were considered essential, including food delivery services. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of the now ended curfew regarding the spread of COVID, but I have to admit that on winter nights the serenity it provided was a nice change.
The incessant squirting of hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting stores, houses of worship, malls, banks, bars, and restaurants will be something I won’t miss. I fear that one of the long-term effects of this hand sterilizing practice will be the loss of required antibodies, the things that help us fight all sorts of things on a daily basis, leading to a variety of illnesses. But then, did I mention I’m not a doctor?