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: