Everything seemed so promising. The end was in sight. All we had to do was haunt the internet sites, make endless phone calls and “remain on hold; your call is important to us,” to schedule our vaccine appointments. First the very old people, then the kind of old people, and then the regular old people.

We thought we would get our two shots, wait a month, and then get on planes. Eat out. Hug our vaccinated friends. Wear masks, but halfheartedly.

Then the boom lowered. Variants. First in the UK, then Brazil, then South Africa. Dr. Fauci said the vaccines would hold against them. Maybe. Then other variants began springing up–too many to keep track of. We are told that as many of us need to get our shots asap–despite the fact that arranging a slot to get one is a Herculean task that many older people are simply not up to, due to their lack of internet expertise.

But that doesn’t matter, because now it seems that even the ones of us who are fortunate to get both shots are still being counseled to do all of the things we have been doing for a year. On top of that, we have to double mask. So the vaccines will “help,” but the damn virus will mutate all around us, extending the pandemic, forcing vaccine scientists to come up with a booster shot, and sentencing us to another year, maybe two, of living in isolation and with no plans to go to the movies.

This news is so, what can I say–unsettling. Is there something I, or anybody else, can say to make us feel better? Yes, maybe. Read this list and see if it buoys you up. If not, I have done my best.

  • Just think of what all of this would have been like without FaceTime and Zoom. Yeah, they are tiresome, but at least we can see one another’s faces. None of us likes writing letters these days, and the USPS is doing a tepid job at best. So we can reflect on that.
  • Bingeing.
  • I like to daydream about what kind of wartime woman I might have been. Civil. WWI. WWII. Rationing? Making bread out of sawdust? Powdered eggs? My God, I would have gone insane. Although I would have been svelte.
  • Speaking of svelte, none of us are, because there is a whole lot of wiggle room in sweatpants. Thus, see below–
  • Comfort food. We are all allowed to have it whenever we need it. No judgement. So macaroni and cheese is a yes. White bread. It builds strong bodies what is it, four ways?
  • Small talk. Nobody has to make it!
  • Naps. Highly recommended, with no guilt attached. Grown ups are supposed to be taking them!
  • Door dash and Uber Eats. GrubHub. Bringing restaurant food to our doors. I had never even heard of these things, but now we use them all the time. And did you know you can use these apps to send meals to your friends and relatives, even if they live across the country? Surprise dinners and lunches for people–this is really fun.
  • Books. You can read all day if you want to.
  • My books. You can read them!
  • And last, but never least, are the pandemic pets. Shelters have run out of dogs and cats. When did you ever think that would happen?

I hope you feel better. What are you having for dinner?



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