Friday, June 11, 2021

Life in the Time of the Virus: Finale

Dawn in Pennsylvania, Edward Hopper, 1942
 This is the last entry of this type. Not because COVID is defeated, but because we are moving into a (yet another) new phase. A new normal, with all the abnormalities we have seen in the previous new normals.

I am vaccinated. The Lovely Bride is as well (no side effects from the second Moderna, other than she took the day off anyway). Our housemates are vaccinated, as are the other members of our Pandemic Pod. We have resumed in-person gatherings of the Pod in the backyard as the weather has improved. We even held an in-person gaming afternoon over Memorial Day weekend and a dinner at a local restaurant (patio, but still). We have made plans to visit our families in Pittsburgh. And to make a trip to Disneyworld in the fall. 

So to claim that we are in quarantine, fighting the virus with distance and time, is no longer applicable. We will still be cautious, wearing masks for safety and courtesy. But things are changing. Like cicadas, we are now emerging from our long sleeps into a changed world. And like cicadas, there will be screaming.

At the time of writing, there are about 500 deaths/day in the US. For comparison purposes we are looking at approx 100 car deaths and a similar number of firearm deaths/day (all numbers per the CDC). So, good news by comparison, but still dangerous. The overwhelming amount of new cases are among the unvaccinated, and now we are vaxing teenagers, which makes sense. This past week, the Washington State Government has inaugurated a Vaccine Lottery that you are entered into when you get your shots. Vaccination sites are overrun again with those who have put it off. Man, I hate it when marketing works.

We are still talking about coming back to the office in the fall, and decisions are being made to what degree. I've been thinking about what I enjoy about working at home, and the list has been extensive:

  • No commute.
  • More flexible time to work, and I get to work earlier.
  • No driving in the dark in the winter.
  • I am available to run errands, go shopping, and do heavy lifting for the Lovely Bride.
  • I am reading more.
  • I am exercising more.
  • I've been amazingly healthy. I've had a runny nose or a clogged head a few days, and I was exceedingly Meh after my shot, but I have not been taking sick days. 
  • The cats like me to be around the house.
  • Hummingbirds outside my window.
  • Able to enjoy the rhododendrons and wisteria this spring more.
  • Able to mow my lawn over lunch.
  • End of the day alcohol on my back deck in summer.
  • I can get comics at noon on Wednesday.
  • No surprise snowstorms in winter.
  • I've taken to singing show tunes while I work.
  • I've walked more, but have not had to use a cane for about a year.
  • I've lost a little weight over the past year. Yeah, be jealous. 

On the other hand coming back to office gives me .... um, hang on, give me a moment, I'll come up with something. Oh, here we go:

  • It's good to talk with others.
  • Closer to IT when your computer goes down.
  • Someone might bring their dogs in.
  • Odds of me pouring an entire bag of cat food out on the kitchen floor severely reduced.

So what this means in no more entries titled "Life in the Time of Virus" (I hope). Plague books go back to just being books. Life does not return to the way is was, but then again, it never does.

More later