Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I Pine For Normal

I cannot speak for everyone, but I pine for normal. Never did I think I would miss being in a crowded restaurant or standing in line. I am tired of checking the paper daily to see where we stand on the COVID mortality chart.  Suddenly being first is not desirable. 

I'm ready to go to the Cimmaplex to see a block buster - let me reword that, at this point I would enjoy seeing about any movie. I promise not to get frustrated standing in line for popcorn (served up once again in an open bucket). I miss not being able to try on clothes in a store because the changing rooms are closed. Taking into consideration the environmental plight we are now in, I wish to never see a single serving container ever.  

Never in my life have I not been able to escape my reality. Before this God forsaken pandemic, just knowing I could buy a ticket, at any time, and go just about anywhere in the world to run away was a mental salvation. By plane or train there was an out. Maybe I did not have the disposable funds to afford such a trip, but I knew it was possible. 

I miss seeing people's faces. Wearing a mask prevents us from showing any emotion. Often I find myself smiling then realizing that the show of pleasure is lost in the face covering we all wear. I miss friendly hugs and shaking hands. It will be nice to know that every time I have a cough or cold, not everyone will silently being asking, "Is it COVID?"

I am tired of the world being 6 feet apart. I never thought I would say it, but I yearn for crowds. Deserted sidewalks and empty queues are depressing. Seeing small businesses closed and realizing many will never reopen is terribly sad, knowing that the hard work, investment, and dreams of those owners is lost.

Before February of 2020, I knew the definition of an "epidemic" but was unsure exactly what the term "pandemic" meant. Now, I wish it were a word not heard in every newscast.

I realize in the past, we were lucky to avoid pandemics. Polio, Measles, and Smallpox were eradicated before they could cause a world wide blight. Citizens were appreciative of the hard work and talent of the researchers that worked for years before coming up with a viable vaccine to eradicate these scourges. Most people of my generation sport a scar on our upper left arm, a sign of the Smallpox vaccination we were able to get as children. Yet, now when modern medicine has allowed the production of such vaccines in less than a year, enough people are questioning its efficacy that this modern miracle cannot produce enough immunity to halt the pandemic. 

I shudder to think where I would (or would not) be now if my parents had questioned these vaccines. How many friends and family would I never have known due to the mortality of these diseases. Perhaps I could have been a victim myself. 100 years ago, the world was attacked by the Spanish Flu. But now a majority get an annual flu shot. Does the general public realize if enough of us did not get this simple vaccine every year, it may be the flu shutting down our world as we know it.

COVID is not black or white, red or blue, it is an equal opportunity illness. Yet, by simply going to the neighborhood pharmacy, doctor's office, or maybe even the pop up clinic in the parking lot of the local mall, in a matter of weeks we could be free again. We need to ask ourselves, is it worth continuing this madness due to a false premise? In the 1960's would we question scientific truths and believe the scuttle butt we heard over the backyard fence?

Reality is that it will not go away on its own without taking the lives of 100's of thousands more. Every citizen in the United States has the ability to do our part to end this blight. The question is, do we choose to free ourselves and our neighbors or continue the madness out of ignorance and pride? 

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