Quarantine, closing thoughts

posted | about 3 minutes to read

tags: covid quarantine

A small confession: I’m actually out in a coffee shop1 right now, writing the beginnings of this post while I get ready to get my first COVID-19 vaccine shot in a couple of hours. As we passed the one-year mark of quarantine, the boundaries of “strict” quarantine have worn a bit thin; I still practice the big bullet points of masking and social distancing, of course, but I’ve relaxed my stance on “never leave the house except for grocery runs”. Just getting out and doing stuff like this has really helped me as the weather starts to get warmer again. Still, I’m at least making the effort to be somewhat responsible about it, for the most part2.

There are a few things, though, that I think are just going to become the way I operate in public for the foreseeable future; those two pillars of masking and social distancing, for me, aren’t going anywhere. Even once the pandemic has “run its course”, so to speak, to me, it’s an ethical requirement to maintain masking especially. It’s worth remembering that it’s not just COVID that this helps - what really drove it home for me was looking at the seasonal flu statistics. Bringing flu deaths down from tens of thousands to only hundreds is an unambiguous good, and thinking about how so much of that comes down to the basic practices of masking and social distancing really means for me that by not masking, and running the risk of raising that rate, puts some direct responsiblity on my shoulders. So, masking, moving forward. Of course, I’d love if that became a standard practice in the US, but on reflection, and given how politicized it’s become, I just…I’m not seeing that as something that’s going to happen. Still, one does what one can in one’s own sphere of personal responsibility, I suppose, and I’ll have to satisfy myself with that.

I’m excited to get back to something resembling a new normal, though. I think this whole thing will wrap up with me cooking at home more often, but I don’t think it’s going to prevent me from eating out at all. I do plan to redouble my focus on eating at locally owned places - seeing a couple of my favorites close really drove home how much I appreciate what’s left here - but other than that, I think, there is some desire to be able to do that safely. Takeout is nice, but I do like just going out somewhere sometimes, too, and that’s been a little lacking over the last year.

Finally, it’s good to be able to remind myself that even though we’re not out of the woods yet, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’m looking forward to taking full advantage of that; one of my hopes moving into this year is having some additional opportunities to actually travel a little bit regionally and get to see some close friends more often. Even before quarantine, I think, I was too shut in. I’d like to fix that.

  1. Public Espresso, in this case. I had an opportunity recently to find out what a really good latte tasted like - my gosh, the swill I was putting up with! - and now I’ve been scouring Buffalo looking for really good local coffee places. This one’s definitely a great one. ↩︎

  2. I will confess to taking a vacation. This was not the most responsible thing I could have done, but after recent personal turbulence…I needed it. ↩︎