The End is Nigh


I’m going to publish this post in two parts: the first, tonight, to commemorate the end of the CDC’s Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, and the second, tomorrow night, to see if the day has brought any radical changes.

I think a lot of people have been looking forward to June 15 as a kind of watershed; I know I have. It’s just that I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking forward to. Since the CDC said you don’t need to wear masks outdoors, the only times I’ve masked up have been my daily trips to Peet’s Cafe. I put on my mask at their front door to walk to the back and pick up my order, and then take it off as soon as I sit down. It’s hardly oppressive.

I also will wear it here in my apartment building, but only when someone else is at hand. Most often they too will usually scurry to put on their mask and we both apologize. It’s simply theater now, with each other as our audience. San Francisco has a greater than 80% vaccination rate, including me; the tiny, tiny chance that I will become infected and then interact with someone who has not been able to get vaccinated or who refuses to is not realistically probable. By now we’re all just putting on our masks as a matter of politeness rather than preventing disease.

So we’ll see what happens tomorrow. I think more than anything else it will simply be a marker that we have come through this finally. I know the pandemic is not over and done, but I’ve been longing to reach this point since March of 2020. We all deserve to feel relieved.

Well that was a whole bunch of not very much.

Again, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting; there isn’t really anything that’s been imposed on me that I wanted out from under, or forbidden that I was eager to snatch up. I haven’t been wearing a mask outside for a couple of weeks. My plan was to glare at anyone who was still wearing one, but I forgot. And there were plenty of people still masking on the sidewalk. Like less than half, more than a third. Call it 42 percent. Maybe 42.5.

Most notable was the re-emergence of tourists. At least I think they’re tourist; people shambling along aimlessly while they stare in at each storefront as if they were hoping that would be the San Francisco Gay Ride they were hoping for.

Since it’s June, even with Pride canceled, there’s still the annual uptick in same-sex couples walking along hand in hand. Oh, it’s so sweet, I can barely stand it. Confirmed bachelors and Sapphic sisters towing one another down the street. I know there are plenty of places where that would not only be uncomfortable, but even possibly dangerous, so I do not begrudge them that simple pleasure. Just get out of my way, I’m late for my chiropractor.

Anyway here’s the report: we seem to have made it through, so yay for us. I know high minded folk are scolding that we have learned nothing from this long difficult time. And maybe we haven’t, but I remember when R Man was dying and I kept thinking “I wish I could get back to my old life,” because there’s a sweetness to your day-to-day life and sometimes savoring it is not a bad idea.

Guys worth a wait:

About mrpeenee

A former bon vivant and terror of a number of New Orleans bars in the mad, gay 1980s, I'm now quietly retired and widowed in San Francisco. I have a crooked nose due to an unfortunate Frisbee accident.

19 responses »

  1. Well, I went to the Woods Campground for fout days, and no admission unless partially or fully vaccinated. Sure was nice to see friends from far and wide again…and the frolic and debauchery return …I was beginning to think I was going to be a virgin again…..


    • I told a friend I wanted to go somewhere, anywhere, that entry without vaccination was prohibited so that I might waltz in past everyone who was denied. I want a fucking velvet rope.


  2. Lucky you, to see the light at the end of the tunnel so early – we’ve just had our so-called “freedom Day” put back by another four weeks, thanks to new variants. Not that I will be abandoning the trusty mask-and-sanitiser-combo in the foreseeable future. Too many germ-ridden “COVID-deniers” around for my liking! Jx

    PS Another smorgasbord of meat fancies? You spoil us…


  3. Sadly, I share Jon’s opinion. In my state, only a bit over 50% of the adults are fully vaccinated. There are too many people who believe the various lies about the virus and the vaccines. I don’t think I’ll be converting my face masks to jockstraps any time soon…


  4. I rarely watch local news so don’t quite know where we stand here. I’m still wearing my mask in stores & when I cut hair. I give my clients the option to wear or not wear a mask. I’m always surprised/shocked at who rips it off & who glues it on.

    I haven’t had a cold in god knows when & I’m liking that, a lot.


  5. “ . . . there’s a sweetness to you day-to-day life and sometimes savoring it is not a bad idea.”. When did you get so smart?


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