I mean, wtf.
For two years now, I have been on top of this pandemic thing. I wear N95 masks, avoid most social gatherings, restaurants and haven’t set foot in a movie theatre in two years. I wear gloves in the winter and have stocked up on Clorox wipes and Purell.
It has been a dismal dystopian time, especially during 2020. As we went into 2021, my family and I got vaccinated and the world seemed to open up a little bit.
I was able to go to NY to visit family and take my first vacation in 2 years during the summer. It was a happy time until Delta hit our shores.
But you’d never know it to visit the Midwest. I think some have time-traveled in delusion back to 2019.
Even with being vaccinated, I know of family members who have caught Delta Covid and been hospitalized. For me and my family, it is not worth it to get sick. At all. And long Covid scares the crap out of me.
So when I stepped into Panera yesterday to pick up my curb-side order (no way I’m eating in there), it was like I time-traveled back to 2019. Laughing and eating their lunches, the smiley people had no cares in the world.
Munching on their grilled cheese and organic salads, they did not seem to know a pandemic was even going on. Ten people waited online, not a single one wearing a mask.
My first thought was “Have I time-traveled to 2019?”
Meanwhile, in the real world, we are at an average of 4000 cases/day in Ohio (9000/day as of December 2021). Every single day since August. Four months of this crap. And it will only get worse as the holidays approach.
I was taken aback and grabbed my lunch and walked out. And whispered under my breath, wtf. This is down the road from Cleveland Clinic, where their ER is full, they have a sentry at the door to screen people coming in and a bright red highest Covid level sign sits by the door.
Vaccines aren’t 100%, boosters aren’t 100%. These superhuman Midwest people seem to think they are immune because a. they had Covid (some think this even without a positive test to back it up) b. they got vaccinated or c. they “never get sick” so they think Covid is only for old people, overweight people or sickly people.
I am just as sick to death of the pandemic as everyone else. I’d like to be able to go into a restaurant and enjoy a nice meal, without worrying the guy seated next to me isn’t going to infect me with his coughing. I’d like to be able to enjoy a movie and eat some buttered popcorn, without side-eyeing the girl near me sneezing her head off.
But I am also not going to go out without my N95. And this is why this pandemic, especially in stubborn parts of the country, is going to continue for a long, long time. People just don’t get it.