The photo above has nothing to do with today’s column, but I like this shot.

The second Moderna vaccine happened last Wednesday. Relief washed over me. All I have to do now is wait another week and a half, and I will be liberated from the past year of staying home. The days of quarantine are almost over.

So. Now I have to decide what to do with my new freedom. Having vaccinated friends over for dinner is a no-brainer. That has already been scheduled. Dr. Fauci says we will be fine to joke around, eat, drink wine and be jolly without masks. I am so excited about this, it will be hard to sleep the night before. Like Christmas Eve!

But what else can I do? Flying is out, because so many unvaccinated people remain. Dr. Fauci is still saying we have to mask, mask, double mask. Keep our distance. Shoot. It sounds just like before.

So what will I feel comfortable doing? Will I be able to go to the grocery, browse around in my mask/s, without having a panic attack? Will it still seem so dangerous? The variants. What about those? Good God.

No restaurants, not yet. Fauci says those are still off the table (see what I just did there?). And apparently, the nail salons and gyms are still a no-go. Movies? My Lord that seems like an invitation to disaster. 

So here we all are, those of us who have had both doses. Freed but still a bit terrified. If we venture out, will we see our own terror reflected in the eyes of the other pale and flabby pandemic survivors venturing out for the first time in months? Will we tremble as we pass one another?

Or will it be the opposite? Stimulation starved humans, rushing outside, eyes squinting in the glare, rushing around in search of small talk? Elbows bumping frantically in greeting? Spewing jokes that we have seen on Twitter, having saved them up in hopes of once more having another human to interact with? Pretending not to notice how fat everybody has gotten?

I suppose my life will gradually get back to what it was like in 2019. Maybe I will actually hug somebody other than my spouse. I might shake hands. No–that’s going too far. Maybe  it will seem ok to stand next to a person in line without mentally estimating the number of feet between us. There may come a day when lowering my mask will seem harmless.

But my gosh. I will really miss Dr. Fauci.


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